WELCOME! Thanks for stopping by today. We believe that women are the heart of the home. Uniquely created and positioned by God, no one can touch the heart of another like a woman. Together Melanie and Alisa offer inspiration and encouragement to women to pursue their potential, develop their creativity and embrace their place as the heart of the home.


Life Lines ~ Guard Your Heart

Guard Your Heart
(Excerpt from Melanie's Life & Style topic Guard Your Heart)

Proverbs 4:23 instructs, “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life.”
To keep means to guard, protect and maintain. The first strategy in keeping your heart is to guard your heart. A guard is set in place to protect something of value.
Is anything more valuable than your heart—that which represents your inner self?

Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of Who Switched Off My Brain? writes, concerning the heart, that science has caught up with the wisdom of Scripture. “Your heart is not just a pump; it also acts like a mini brain.”

As we look through Scripture, we often see the heart portrayed as the seat of thinking, emotion, and the dwelling place of the Lord and the Holy Spirit. Proverbs 23:7 records,
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

In Luke 5:22 we read that Jesus perceived the thoughts of men and questioned what they were "reasoning" in their hearts.

Jesus said of Himself that He “searches the minds and hearts” Revelation 2:23.

"Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" I Corinthians 3:16.

So how do you guard your heart?

Scripture indicates that by taking our requests to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, the result is peace—the guard of our heart.
Philippians 4:6-7
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Anxiety is a sure path to a troubled heart but there is an antidote to anxious thoughts. When fear threatens to hijack your heart and terrorize your thoughts, present your requests to God by means of prayer in an attitude of gratitude. In addition to making your requests, try asking God for a different perspective on the circumstances. Often a shift in viewpoint changes the whole picture!
Then, look for ways to be a blessing to someone despite your present situation. You don’t have to “have it all together” before you can be a godly influence on another.
Finally, give generously in the midst of a trying time. According to “Dr. Mel,”* generosity relaxes the tensed muscles and worry lines produced by anxiety.
So give! Give a donation, a smile, a kind word, a pan of brownies!

May the supernatural, impermeable, impenetrable peace of God guard your heart today.

Are you in a trying time? Need the peace of God to guard your heart? I'd love to pray for you. Just leave a comment or email me at mylifeandstyle@aol.com.

(*I'm not a real doctor, I just "play" one at home, thus my family's nickname for me. ;> )
Interested in hosting a Life & Style conference? Go here for more information.


Style File - Getting Real with Hospitality

The Bible teaches us to offer hospitality to others. In Titus, hospitality is one of the qualifications for church leaders. Paul said "He must be hospitable". What does that really mean today? With our lives filled to the brim and running over with so many things to do and responsibilities to fulfill, what and when do we have time to be "hospitable". The Living Bible sheds some light on this verse by saying "They must enjoy having guests in their home." Do you enjoy having guests in your home? I do! Having been raised in a Pastor's home, I grew up with guests in the house. Looking back on that experience, I believe it is what has made me love extending hospitality to others today.

The Bible is full of examples of others practicing hospitality. In verse 13 of Titus, the Living Bible says this, "When God's children are in need, you be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night." I think it's pretty clear that God wants us to "practice" offering hospitality to others. Hospitality is very different than entertainment. Entertainment seeks to amuse and divert one from routine. True hospitality seeks to minister to the needs of others.

Recently, I was talking to a man whose wife has been diagnosed with cancer. She has been going for weekly treatments and he is committed to staying right by her side. Obviously, others things aren't getting done. Like mowing the yard, cooking the meals, cleaning the house and other mundane but necessary chores to keep the home going. He shared with me that he was disappointed because so few of his "brothers and sisters in Christ" have called or offered help. I was mortified! I realized that I could do more! Even though our lives are full and at times hectic, I believe it is imperative that we look for and indeed seek out ways to offer hospitality. Many people won't ask for help but they will accept it if it is offered. I recently heard a Pastor say that "you are never closer to God than when you offer mercy and a helping hand to someone in need". God's heart beats with mercy and compassion. He desires us to be his hands and feet on this earth.

When I hear the word hospitality, I always think of hospital. What goes on in a hospital? Usually sick and injured people come to be restored and made whole again. What an incredible picture that presents for how we can offer up our home to be a place that can restore and offer wholeness to others through Christ Jesus. It is so true that we never know what shoes someone is walking in. They may desperately need someone to just share a meal with them, offer companionship or help carry their burden. My prayer is that we all begin "practicing" hospitality. Quit worrying that your house isn't perfect or you aren't a gourmet cook. Just extend the invitation and be yourself! Let God do the rest! His ability outshines ours every time!

From the Life & Style Session "Inspired Living". Do you have a story to tell about a time when someone offered hospitality to you when you needed it the most? I'd love to hear your story. Comment or e-mail me at mylifeandstyle@aol.com. Until I see you again,

Happy Hosting!



Life Lines ~ A Praising Woman Influences

" A Praising Woman Influences"
(from Melanie's Life Topic EVEry Woman Influences)

Recently I heard that a woman I am acquainted with lost her teaching job ~ a job she was very good at. (I know because she taught my daughter.) The news hit her hard and out of the blue, and yet the same day I heard of her loss I marveled at her response. It was a Sunday morning and after hearing the news I watched as she lifted her hands in praise to God. Perhaps it was a sacrifice of praise I witnessed. Nevertheless I was blessed to see her praise God with the same passion week after week.

Her passionate response of praise influenced me and I rejoiced with her. In the midst of a trying time her praise sparked the praise in me. Praise because I have also been in trying times and yet have come out to wide open places with greener pastures. Praise because of the realization that although we cannot see around corners, God sees the end from the beginning. Praise because it is a sure pathway to the throne of God.

This praising woman unreservedly revealed her heart to all who would see. In the lean times or the mean times there is always a meanwhile. What will you do in your meanwhile? Will you offer praise to God? Or will you give Him the silent treatment?
A praising woman may never know whose life she influences. But there is always someone watching. So...influence for good!

Do you have a specific reason to praise God today? Do tell. You just may spark a praise in someone else today!

Interested in hosting a Life & Style conference, go here for more information.


Style File - Fashion vs. Style

Coco Chanel once said, "Fashion fades, style is eternal." I rather like that. Year after year, all the designers come to the big city fashion shows with their version of what we ladies should wear for the up coming season. Frankly, I wonder sometimes at the concoctions those models flaunt down the catwalk. Do designers really expect that the average woman, working 9 to 5 or caring for her children and home, is really going to wear some of the outfits they send down the runway? I'm convinced not. Regardless of the trend, "skin is not in"! I was recently reading a book about how NOT to be a fashion victim. The author was quite humorous in her definition of a FV. I began to take note. Here are her three red flags: (1)the "IT" bag, (2) the number of brand name or designer lables she is wearing, (3) note how many of her clothing choices were inspired by the season's trends. I'm not discouraging you from buying this year's trendy, new styles and colors but your entire ensemble shouldn't be made up of this season's hottest "must-haves".


Most of us girls like to look good. If we look good, it helps to make us feel good. Now, I'm not saying that it's all about outward appearance, no, I know that real beauty comes from within. What I am saying is that STYLE is a language and each time we get dressed we are sending a message to the whole world about who we are and what we believe. Thus, my topic today - Fashion vs. Style.


What is style? How can you define it? I am not sure I can answer those questions but I believe we all know it when we see it. Over the years I've come to learn that true style is timeless. I've also discovered that truly stylish women have some basics in common. Here's the short list:

  1. She only buys what flatters her figure and complements her coloring. In other words, she knows how to pass on the bargain and keep only those things that make her look good.

  2. She understands the importance of buying the quality pieces that will never go out of style such as the Little Black Dress or the perfectly tailored jacket. These become the "foundation" of her wardrobe.

  3. She knows what pieces to splurge on. These pieces will add panache to her basics and remain timeless season after season.

  4. She understands that SHOES and BAGS make the outfit.

  5. She knows how to add DRAMA with accessories.

  6. She understands how to mix and match, creating new ensembles on a whim.

  7. She realizes that style ISN'T about the money.

  8. She knows how NOT to be the victim of this year's trends.

  9. She is comfortable knowing that everyday is not a photo shoot.

  10. And MOST importantly, she understands that the FIT rather than the size or label is EVERYTHING!


Each Wednesday I will begin posting a detailed entry for each of these basics starting next week. If you would like to know more about Life and Style by God's Design or to schedule us for your next ladies event, go here.

Until I see you again,

Dress for Success!



Life Lines ~ "A Woman's Woman"

"A Woman's Woman"

(from Melanie's Life topic "EVEry Woman Influences")

Sometimes our influence is felt more by what we don't say, what we don't do. In my role, I have often been a listening ear to those who would unburden themselves. I consider that a high and holy privilege. When someone chooses to be vulnerable and confide in you, it is of utmost importance that you discipline yourself to hold that confidence in trust.

You've heard the phrase, "a man's man." It's often used to describe the kind of man other men enjoy being around.

I want to be "a woman's woman." The kind of woman who protects and covers the "sisters." The kind of woman who keeps confidences close to the heart. The kind of woman who refuses to participate in gossip, foolish talk and vulgarities.

When you build up, refusing to knock down (no matter how subtly) you are a "woman's woman." When you encourage the giftings and abilities of other women, you are a "woman's woman." When you share good news, good opportunities, a good shoe sale or a good recipe, you are a "woman's woman."

In the Life & Style By God's Design women's conferences, I visit the lives of influential women throughout the Bible. I'd love to have your company on the journey as we discover how to be a woman of influence!

Interested in hosting a Life & Style By God's Design conference? Go here for more information.


Style File - Discover Your Design

I want my home to be nice. I want it to be comfortable but most of all I want it to reflect who I am and what's important to me. In other words - I want my home to reflect my personal style. For many of us ladies, we struggle to define our personal style. I know that I find myself frequently falling in love with several different styles, colors and trends. My husband tells me that my favorite color is the one I'm having painted on the wall at that moment usually by him. LOL! Oh, there is some truth to that statement! I believe our homes should be a haven. What defines that haven for you will be different than what defines that for me.

To help you in discovering your design, I will outline 5 decor styles that I present in my Style Session - Discover Your Design.

  • Classic - Your look is clearly traditional. You are inspired by historic homes and European aesthetics. Chippendale, Queen Anne, and Empire-style furniture in rich wood tones like cherry and mahogany naturally draw you in. You appreciate the quality of fine furnishings and fill your home with family heirlooms and antiques. Timeless color schemes such as blue and white with splashes of yellow or spring green with pink warm the interiors of your home making it comfortable and personally yours.
  • Country or Cottage - You are drawn to comfortable spaces with timeless appeal. Your idea of the perfect room is well-worn furnishings that invite you to put your feet up! Your rooms aren't fussy or stuffy but warm, cozy and inviting. Preferred colors are rich cream, tan, combos like red, white and blue, and colors inspired by the great outdoors. Slipcovered or painted furniture is right up your alley.
  • Contemporary - Open interiors and carefully edited surroundings speak to you. Unlike the classic style that finds beauty in layers of color and pattern, you crave sleek lines and simple profiles. Large doses of white (and every variation thereof) is liberally applied to walls. You add color by displaying important pieces of art or photography. Paintings are usually simple but sophisticated. Furniture is functional and clean. Every item has a purpose and every item has a place.
  • Chic - You've got style and you like to show it! The lastest fashions find there way to your closet and the most up to date home decor finds its way to your rooms. Just like the Little Black Dress is your choice time after time, you like to start with the basics - a classic sofa that can be jazzed up on a whim with the trendiest shades of decorative pillows or throws - then add show-stopping accessories. You're not afraid of color and you take your cues from the fashion runway. You have a natural eye for mixing and matching. You know where to spend your money and where to invest in timeless style.
  • Cultural - You love stylish spaces that overflow with exotic collections. You are drawn to far away places and love to travel or learn about the cultures of countries around the world. You choose colors that lean toward spicy, sophisticated tones, such as red, yellow, orange and brown. Earthy colors and ethnic accents define your personal style.

God has uniquely positioned us ladies to provide for our family's comfort and home life. We instinctively want to add color, softness and beauty to our surroundings. If you are interested in Discovering Your Design, I'd love to hear from you. E-mail me at MyLifeandStyle@aol.com with your questions or comments. To learn more about Life and Style by God's Design, follow the link.

Happy Decorating!



Life Lines ~ Think About It!

Think About It!
Melanie Dorsey

It delights me when science catches up with the Bible! Many would agree that positive thinking is beneficial. I would add not only is it beneficial, it is necessary for ultimate health ~ spirit, soul and body!

Philippians 4:8 instructs us to "meditate on things that are of value and praiseworthy." Meditating is more than thinking, however. Meditating carries with it the idea of reflecting, muttering, pondering even sighing. That kind of "focused thinking" affects not only how our brains operate but is directly linked to all other functions of the body. Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of Who Switched Off My Brain?, writes, "What you think and feel prompts your hypothalamus to begin a series of chemical secretions that change the way you function...The hypothalamus gland is actually the facilitator and originator of emotions in response to life circumstances, such as fear, anxiety, stress, tension, panic attacks, phobia, rage, anger and aggression."

Psalm 1 tells us how to live a blessed life ~ meditate on God's Word day and night!

How is that possible? By filling your mind with God's Word, you filter every thought through God's Word. Reject thinking that is ungodly and that which does not reflect the principles of Scripture. Accept thinking that is in line with God's truths. Your thoughts impact your life because they are intricately linked with your emotions, attitudes and actions.
Dr. Leaf writes, "...the mind is a battleground, with ongoing conflict between toxic thoughts and good thoughts, thoughts that serve your mental and physical health well and thoughts that deplete your body and mind of health."

So serve yourself well today ~ meditate on those things that are true, noble, just, pure lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy! Do it for your mind, soul and body. It's a noble thing.
(From the Life & Style topic, "Noble Things.")