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Ordinary People. Ordinary Things. with Melissa Radke

Jul 10, 2018

There is a chapter in my book called Chicken Fried Women. This chapter is about the women in my family who I am very close to. I call us chicken fried, because we may be battered on the outside with our scars and our stories, but we are soft and tender on the inside. With, of course, a little spice thrown in. I have four incredible guests today. My Mother Anet, My Grandmother Mary, My Aunt Melba, and my cousin and Melba’s daughter Meridith Baxter who was also my guest on episode episode 5 Over My Bread Body.

We talk about how close our family is and the unique relationship we have. We are loud and outspoken. We tease and give each other a hard time. We fight and forgive, and we love each other fiercely. We talk about what it means to be brave, family traditions, and our relationship with god. We share family stories and discuss challenges of forgiveness and reconciliation. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our lives and the women who have helped make me who I am.

You can find Melissa here:

Podcast Web Page
Facebook Page
@MsMelissaRadke on Instagram
@msmelissaradke on Twitter

Show Notes

  • [02:03] Anet Lee is Melissa's mother, and she likes it when Melissa calls her Big Mom.
  • [02:20] Mary is Melissa's grandmother or the matriarch of the family.
  • [02:34] Melba White is Melissa's aunt and Anet’s sister.
  • [02:44] Meridith is Melissa's cousin and Melba's daughter.
  • [03:08] Melissa introduced Aunt Melba to podcasts, and she'll never be the same. She loves listening to true crime podcasts.
  • [03:33] I call us chicken fried women. We may be battered on the outside, but we’re tender on the inside. We also have a little spice to us.
  • [03:56] There are a lot of strong women in our family who all have their own set of stories.
  • [04:13] It's unanimous. Melissa is the loudest of the bunch.
  • [04:20] Granny is the quietest, although she has moments of outbursts.
  • [04:50] Long-standing family traditions. Everything in our family is centered around God. That is a tradition that not a lot of families can say.
  • [05:31]  Everybody gets together at Christmas, but if it falls on a Sunday plan on going to church.
  • [05:50] One family tradition that we used to have was on Christmas Eve, we would go and bless other families by Christmas caroling.
  • [06:27] We are an extremely musical family. We chose families in need when we went caroling. We miss this tradition and would like for our kids to have the same tradition.
  • [06:56] We would also go sing at the nursing home.
  • [07:40] We see each other so often we make each other sick. We get together on every holiday, and see each other a couple of times a week for extended visits.
  • [08:13] Melissa's kids love going to Granny's house on Sunday evenings.
  • [09:19] The story of the Chapstick and why it's a good idea not to use other's people's Chapstick. Especially, Granny's.
  • [11:22] The panel at the Social Event based on this chapter in the book. Several audience members were crying when they heard this chapter.
  • [12:12] How it's unusual for people to see families like ours. As women age, they lose their mothers. A lot of people look at our family, and it makes them feel like something is missing.
  • [12:39] Our family has learned to support each other and not look for support in other areas.
  • [13:29] As a family, we have learned to work through our issues together.
  • [15:25] One reason our family may have stayed so close is our relationship with God and our solid marriages.
  • [16:23] Reconciliation and forgiveness. Melba has struggled with holding grudges. Her husband taught her how to forgive and gave some great examples of forgiveness.
  • [17:37] Forgiving and forgetting is hard for Anet too.
  • [18:08] Granny's husband was very good at making things right. When it comes to forgiving, the Lord would help Granny forget about the hurting part.
  • [18:31] Why is it so important for our family to be close?
  • [19:05] Our family loves each other and wants the closeness.
  • [19:33] We are an accountability system for each other whether we want to or not.
  • [21:07] A story about someone riding their horse in Melba's Dad's yard. He had to pray and let it go in order to live by the word.
  • [22:35] We either live it or we don't.
  • [23:00] Forgiveness may not mean reconciliation if the other party doesn't let it go.
  • [25:21] Reading the book Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People. Going into a relationship with an agenda is not love.  
  • [26:39] How the word of God is about love.
  • [28:43] Melba believes that everything should line up by the word of God, and children should be raised by the word of God.
  • [29:45] The most unique thing about this family is our sense of humor. We also do a lot together.
  • [32:11] When we all get together, there's about 27 of us in the room. We are loud, and there are a lot of kids. There is also a lot of food that is mostly fried and desserts.
  • [33:13] Most of us live on the same street, and we all go to the same church.
  • [35:07] The oddest person in the family…
  • [36:08] The best cook in the family…
  • [39:12] The family member that is never on time…
  • [40:19] Who's the best driver in the family…
  • [41:18] Melba stays brave by not shirking her responsibilities.
  • [41:51] Meredith stays brave because she knows her children are watching.
  • [42:33] Anet stays brave by resilience and facing challenges over and over.
  • [42:54] Granny stays brave by praying every day.
  • [43:40] How we are a brave group of women who all love each other.
  • [44:59] Silent Night - Christmas in July

Thanks for joining us on Ordinary People Ordinary Things. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review. Just like your mother taught you.

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