That Post Where I Give Away Some Fun Stuff

Hi, friends!

In honor of my sweet friend, Holley, and the fact that her new book is officially releasing tomorrow, I’m doing a giveaway.

P.S. I’m a total gift-giver, and I haven’t done nearly enough giveaways in this space, so this is perfect!

So, first up, I’m so excited about her new book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has For You. I got an advance copy of it because I’m part of the Dream Team, and I’ve been happily burying my nose in it during the past two weeks. I’m not quite finished yet, so the review will come later, but let me just say…

Friends, you want to read this book.

Holley writes with Truth and beauty, and I finish every chapter knowing I need to stop and process and reflect…but I also fight the urge to keep reading because it honestly feels like she’s sitting down to have coffee with me every time I open the pages.

So, I’m giving one of you a copy of her new book.

:)

Oh, and because I really love you all, I’m throwing in a couple extras, too…

Some chocolate. My very favorite chocolate.

And a $10 Starbucks gift card.

A good book + chocolate + coffee = some perfect time spent, in my opinion. :)

To enter…

1. Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear about your God-Sized dream if you’ve got one. If not, feel free to tell me about the weather, your favorite kind of chocolate, or you can give me your opinion on whether or not you think I should add a few streaks of dark blue to my hair. (‘Cause I’m totally thinking about it. ;))

2. Share this post on Facebook. (And come back and leave me another comment.)

3. And I’ve gotta be honest here…I don’t use Twitter like I should. But if you tweet this link, hop back over and leave me another comment, and I’ll give you another entry. (And you can follow me @barefootmel if you don’t already. ;))

Contest ends Saturday night/Sunday morning at midnight, CST. (I never know what day that actually is…hope that’s specific enough! :)) And U.S. residents only…sorry. Someday I’ll do an international giveaway!

I’ll announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck! And what are you waiting for? Enter!

And thanks for stopping by, friends! :)

Sig

My God-Sized Dream: With Love

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)

It’s been nearly 27 years since he first walked into my life, and many of those little details have faded far into the shadows of my eight year-old past.

It was one of the first days of third grade, and I sat in my seat in the second row, a quiet and shy girl with way-too-long, brown hair that I would often twist around my finger while I chewed on the end of my pencil, while learning of course. :) (Can we say easily distracted? ;))

There was a little knock on the classroom door, and a man walked in. I remember thinking he looked like a grandpa.

Through some quick introductions from our teacher, Mrs. D, we found out that “Grandpa Don” was her father-in-law and that he was going to help out in our class two days a week.

I don’t really remember the beginning of our time with him as much. He would come to our class and help out, he would play with us at recess, he would eat lunch with us.

But it wasn’t long before he became so popular that we had to start drawing names for who got to sit by him. I’ll never forget the day it was my turn. :)

For some reason, the two of us connected.

I can’t, to this day, explain why…other than the fact that God must have told Grandpa Don how much I needed him for a friend.

He would show up at my house on Saturdays, bring me chocolate ice cream, and then he’d set up the lawn darts in our front yard and show me how to play. (I was really bad.)

He would take me fishing and to Taco John’s.

Once he went to the store and bought me a new headband because I’d broken mine on the playground that morning. (Probably doing a headfirst flip from some piece of now-banned playground equipment. ;))

We would sit on the front porch of the cream and brown house on Park Street house and talk for a long time; sometimes my dad would join us, too.

He had stories, and I remember hanging on to every word.

The funny thing is that, almost three decades later, I don’t remember those stories.

I remember the love.

Third grade ended, and I missed seeing my friend. Once in awhile he would show up at the fourth grade building to help out, and he would still come by on Saturdays here and there, always with chocolate ice cream. That continued through fifth grade, too.

The middle school years passed, high school arrived, and I’d see him at his grandkids’ basketball games or here and there around town…and during my sophomore year, I heard that he was sick. Dying, sick.

He was gone a few months later, and I cried. A lot. (I still cry.)

And, almost nineteen years ago to the day he left us, I sit down to remember him in this space. (And keep the tissues close.)

You could take the time to ask anyone who spent a significant amount of time in my hometown, and they would remember him…for he left a mark. Not with grand achievements or through personal gain…but in the way he loved others.

Grandpa Don wasn’t a dreamer in the BIG sense, as so many of us might view dreamers.

He’d had a successful career, and upon retirement, decided to use his days to give back…to make a difference. To love.

There was a day, about a decade ago, when I was out at the cemetery and went to look for his stone. I knew the approximate area where it was located, and when I found it, a twinge of sadness set in.

A small plaque with his name, dates of birth and death staring up at me.

This man, one who had given of himself so much, was remembered with a simple plaque, nothing more. Everything in me wanted to scream, But he was so much more than that!

And he was.

It wasn’t about the rewards on earth for my beloved Grandpa Don…it was simply about love. About doing all things with that love.

And I will never, ever forget him or the way he inspired me to love.

*********************

Each day I walk this path that my Father has placed before me.

Sometimes I’m obedient and step exactly where He’s planned; other days, I take a little (or not-so-little) detour.

I’ve talked about my dream…to see my book in print, to share my stories, to tell you about what my Father did in my heart and life, despite the fact that my heart and life didn’t always reflect Him.

But, ultimately…if I could only ever choose one thing to strive for…it would be love.

The kind of love that leaves people better than they were…the kind of love Grandpa Don showed to so many. The kind that mirrors the love of my Father.

I wish I had a picture of my Grandpa Don…just a small way to remember my friend.

But I don’t…and now, I remember him in my heart. One that, I’m sure, is better because I was loved by him.

And I can best honor my friend, and my Father, by choosing that love in my life every single day as I strive for a dream God has planted deeply in my heart.

Father, please help me to do all things in the power of Your Love.

Holley asked us this week to think about someone whose journey toward a dream had inspired us and share their story. I thought about a lot of people, but being the heart-writer I am, I wanted to write about someone who’d had an important impact, personally, in my life. You can read more from my dreaming sisters by clicking on the link below. I hope you’ll join us!

God-Sized Dreams

Sig

Monday Talk

Hi friends…happy Monday!

The day of the week that I used to not love, but gotta be honest…it’s growing on me. But that could also be because coffee tends to make any day look a little better.

😉

I am incredibly blessed.

For so many reasons, but in the past few days, it has been almost overwhelming (but the good kind of that) to see how God is speaking Truth into my life.

Amazing concept that if I will be still and listen, I might actually hear! 😉

It humbles and amazes me that He knows this heart…the one that can beat with a hundred different emotions at once, and He can still decipher those and know exactly what I need.

…hurt=peace

...confusion=assurance

…doubt=Truth

…loneliness=enough

emptiness=encouragement

Just a few of the ways He has met me since Thursday. You know, that day when I truly vowed to find bloggy-balance. (Hee hee…do you think they would coin that term and give me credit?!) 😉

And for those of you who read that post, I thought you might be interested to know that God brought up that verse Saturday AND Sunday, in separate contexts from different people.

He speaks. Loudly…and it’s amazing what happens when we turn off the noise. 

So on Friday’s I participate in Lisa-Jo‘s Five-Minute Friday. It’s become sort of a tradition for me in ending my week, one that I truly love. It’s also given me the chance to connect with some beautiful, amazing friends out there who heart-write, just like I do. :)

Last week, as I mentioned in my post, her topic scared the begeebies out of me. I may or may not have mentioned wanting to run away from the computer?! 😉

And then, this past Friday’s word did the same thing to me.

I wrestled with those topics on the days I wrote of them and the days following.

And then I realized that half of that was the fact that He’s stretching me…growing me. He tends to do that, I guess, when we grow tired of complacency and desire to, instead, be what He’s called us to be.

Thanks to my (mostly) non-TV Lent, too, I’ve been doing a lot more reading.

I’ve just started Angie Smith’s book, Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole. Angie speaks such truth in a way that anyone can relate to…and I am (intentionally) slowly soaking in each sentence. I have been somewhat guarded with the topic of this book, but within the first few sentences, I knew that God had brought a group of women (and the study they are doing on this particular book) into my life for a reason. Will you pray I will find the courage to connect with them this week? :)

My Bible study at church is also starting a new book. I’m looking forward to going through it in-real-life with some of the sweetest friends ever and praying that God will show me Truth…and with this particular topic, I’m expecting some of that Truth to be tough. I’m praying He’ll keep my heart open.

And I’ve been reading through Holley Gerth’s book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You.

Friends, just WOW…the good kind. So Holley has the gift of writing to begin with, but Truth and beauty just ooze from her grace-filled words. It’s a book that is hard to put down because I just can’t wait for what she’s going to say next, but once again, I am intentionally soaking in the words and praying God will use them in the journey to be more like His Son.

Oh, and guess what?!

Her book officially releases on Friday, and I’m giving away a copy. :)

So, a hint for y’all…stop back by here on Wednesday or Thursday to enter for a chance to win the book and some other fun stuff. Chocolate may or may not be included. And by may-or-may-not, I mean most definitely. Just in case you weren’t sure. 😉

Hope you all had a fantastic Monday. :)

Sig

Five-Minute Friday: What Mama Did

Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama for Five-Minute Friday.

Join me!

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, overthinking, or backtracking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: What Mama Did

It’s a day I have waited for…and dreaded at the same time.

That day when I cross the line, officially, from child to adult. No, not my eighteenth birthday, but I rang that in a few weeks ago.

I’m leaving for college.

It’s time to go…time to get out of here, or more like high speed it out of here on I-35 in my awesome ’85 Olds.

And I know I don’t do goodbye well…or see ya later…or even hello, but what the future holds for me is bright. I just know it.

And I leave behind the place that started me…and the people who were the pieces of that beginning, too.

She was one of my biggest influences, my mom…and life turned out much differently than any of us had ever planned. Circumstances were unfair, the consequences of decisions affected us to the core, and when I packed my bags on that sweltering August day, we knew that I was leaving as a much different person than I had been before they ended.

Her and my daddy.

And my last two years there, it was just me and her. She was strong and did what she had to do, but the situation changed us all forever.

And now I’m me…not the same as I was, but still pieces of it.

Sometimes stumbling, faltering…and I learn again to rest in His grace and remember that there is always a brand new day coming where His new mercies abound.

Almost seventeen years later, I think about the new journey that day began.

I kiss my husband.

I love on my daughter.

I thank God for the many, many blessings He has so graciously given.

Included in those blessings, are those pieces from my beginning. My daddy. My mama.

And now, I continue on in her shoes.

And I hope that, one day, when my daughter is asked to reflect, she will write of me with thankfulness and love for all we shared.

Five Minute Friday

Sig

More of the Still

It has been one of those seasons…over and over, there have been reminders from Him.

Sometimes quiet whispers, sometimes not-so-quiet, and a few in-my-face. 😉

For some reason, God keeps bringing this verse into my life…literally. I can’t even count the number of times it’s come up on the radio, in sermons, in reading…in the past few weeks.

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

At first it was a little weird to me that this verse, one that spent most of my life hidden away in the sometimes-elusive Old Testament, has now become such a precious promise to me…but I’m so amazed at all that He’s teaching me through these twelve words.

So it’s probably not news to most of you that I’m an open person…and I’m well aware of the amount of heart-spill that happens on these pages. It may surprise you, though, that I do have a filter, though it’s not always in the proper place while I’m doing that heart-spill. 😉

I have struggled with this for a long time…and, combined with my sheer love of words and talking and sharing, I’ve almost exhausted myself.

And probably shared too much.

So this verse is more than a promise to me from God…it’s also a challenge.

You see, friends, He is fighting for me. He’s fighting for all of us…and He’s fighting for the good.

Always the good.

He just asks that we be stilland that involves so much more than physical stillness, which I believe is an important part of choosing to sit and be, too.

It’s learning to have a quiet heart…one that can be silent enough that when He speaks…I can actually listen. I have to admit that I’m not so good at that. Some people are internal processors, and I am anything but…I always feel the need to talk and share and bounce my thoughts off of those closest to me.

Right now, He’s asking one thing of this heart…

To be still.

And what He’s asking of me means a lot of things.

Rest. (I need to stop my literal burning of the midnight oil. My new goal is in bed by 11, up at 6:30. Yes, seven-ish hours. Ambitious, I know…honestly I’ll be happy with seven good hours, but that extra 30 minutes would sure be nice.) 😉

Quiet. I have got to learn the art of thought before words, of consideration before expressing. It’s not my strength, and I think I have gotten better, but there’s room for improvement. :)

Less Words. This place is going to be quieter for a few weeks. I have to admit to you that it just about kills me to only visit here a few times a week…as in three, maybe four. (No more.) Tuesdays, Fridays, and another day in there. And it’s not permanent…but for a season, I need to step back.

Not walk away…just distance myself a bit. For lots of reasons.

For one thing, my rough draft is getting so close…and while I don’t want to force the words out, it does feel as if it’s coming more easily, and I’m SO excited to see this dream continue to grow.

More importantly, my daughter is growing up WAY. TOO. FAST. She is at the most amazing age…and we are truly having the best days together. I want to soak up each and every one completely. :)

As I’ve gotten busier during the past two months, I’ve noticed a decrease in the time I spend encouraging others. I want to intentionally make time for coffee or a chat, for writing a note or having a text conversation, and even for prayer. Relationships are huge part of my life.

Which brings me to my hubby. Since beginning his new job, it feels like we see much less of each other…and I want to be able to give him quality time together…not time that is spent distracted by what I feel needs to be written.

I also want to really focus on filling at this point.

As a writer, I often feel like I spend so much time pouring…and it’s time to fill up.

I’m blessed. Through connections and some amazing women in my life, both in-real-life and online, I’m part of two different studies and have three incredible books to read, books that are speaking Truth to me in ways that are so needed and such blessings.

I love how He knows and meets me exactly where I need to be met…without me even asking.

So please be patient with me for the next few weeks, friends. There won’t be new thoughts every day…though I will still be here at least a few times a week…but I’m not going to push it. Just take the opportunity if it’s there and I can. :)

I want you to know that you truly bless me just by being here, reading my words, and allowing me to share part of my heart with you.

Please pray that during this time of stillness I will really learn to be still.

Thanks so much…love you all!

Sig

My God-Sized Dream: Mending

The most dangerous word for a God-sized dream is “someday.” How can you start implementing your God-sized dream {even in a small way} right where you are?

I wrestled with this question for several days.

And then, the other night, I cried to my husband.

The tears came after we’d had a little spat…the kind that should have normally never even been an issue. The kind that really wasn’t an issue…it was just a buildup of too many feelings…that were released because I forgot to rinse out the blender after I made my protein shake. 😉 (Can anyone relate here?!)

And in expressing those extremely worked-up, tear-streaked, emotions, I started talking to him. Really talking.

About how my past still hurts and haunts me.

About how, each time I return to my hometown for a visit, which I did last week, I leave feeling more battered and scarred.

About how I need to quit letting the past define the woman God wants me to be. Because, in some ways, it’s keeping me from becoming her.

The truth is that if I let who I was be who I am nowI will never move on. Yes, I grew up feeling as if I never had a place to belong. Yes, my parents divorced when I was sixteen, causing emotional heartbreak that only God has been able to even begin to heal.

And while the past might hurt, it is never wrong to keep moving forward, talking about it when it’s necessary, because sometimes it is, and choosing to learn and grow from the pain instead of sitting and letting it continue to wound me.

When I think of Indonesia, it seems most natural to write about the good…the things that brightly painted my days and filled my heart to the point of overflow.

But if my goal is to be honest and real, then I have to face some ugly moments…the times when God chipped at me and dragged led me, sometimes kicking and screaming, through places I didn’t want to go. Because He wanted to bring Himself the glory, as it should have always been.

Writing this book has been a lesson in dealing with the past.

Yes, revisiting things that make my heart sing with complete JOY because of what He did and how He moved in such an imperfect life.

But it also means opening up those places I would rather leave locked behind a heavy, unmovable door…the places He still did some amazing things, but the places where my flaws and inadequacies were put on display for all to see.

So what I can I do now?

The writing part isn’t hard.

What I have to do now is be willing to go to those places. And while they may hurt, I need to trust and KNOW that no pain is ever wasted…and that His healing will be even greater, far surpassing what I can even imagine.

It is a complete God-thing, too, that I came across an (in)courage community that seems to be a perfect fit for this season. One of my dear God-Sized Dream Team sisters is helping lead a study on this book…and while I’m finding myself a bit guarded right now, I really am looking forward to what God will show me.

I am choosing to believe, with everything in me, that God can and will mend a heart that is still cracked, one that still sometimes-hurts, one that has never been able to fully let go of the past.

My prayer is that He will give me the grace and strength to do just that…because I really can’t wait to watch what He will do.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Every Tuesday we’re linking up here! Click the button below to read how God is molding and shaping the lives of some amazing women who are choosing to dream BIG while following Him in obedience. We’d love for you to join us!

God-Sized Dreams

Sig

The Woman on My Wall

(I figured I should probably post the picture before you all get creeped out by the title. ;))

My husband snapped a picture several years ago when we were living in Indonesia.

We were on our way to the beach. And we’re not talking a nice, smooth, hour or so drive to pristine sand and sea. Just clearing that up now. :)

Indo roads wind…and wind…and just when you think they can’t wind anymore, they do. Like, to the point where Mel’s very best friend during said excursion is a tiny little pink pill called Antimo, guaranteed (almost always) to keep the breakfast down.

But the up side is the fun, random stops you can make along the way. Friends who have experienced this kind of drive can completely attest to this…you just never know what you might see. :)

On this particular trip, we were traveling with a large group and had split by gender…the girls in one car, the guys in the other. We ladies had stopped at a roadside fruit stand for some manggis (mangosteen), one of my favorite fruits. (I would seriously choose this over chocolate on many days so you know it’s good!) The guys stopped at a gas station, and while Tobin was waiting for everyone else, he pulled out his camera.

I’m just going to interject into my scattered storytelling the fact that I am ever so grateful I married someone who actually thinks to take pictures. And takes them well. I don’t do either.

He saw a woman working in a nearby rice paddy and thought it was a cool shot.

So he snapped a picture.

She looked up, and he snapped another.

And then? She waved and smiled…which it typically atypical…and he got another. (Not that Indonesians aren’t kind…they’re just often shy with strangers.)

We arrived at the beach for a weekend of relaxing, sunshine, ocean-playing, and hanging with friends…and somewhere in those days, I’m sure he showed me the picture. Which I’m sure I liked. :)

But over the years, we’ve come to really love this picture, almost more each time we see it. It’s just beautiful. Gorgeous green color, beautiful smile from an (I’m sure) equally beautiful woman.

But after we returned to the States, this picture became even more of a favorite, to the point that we finally ordered a large canvas print to hang on our wall. (Which hubby hung yesterday.)

I love the tangible reminder we now have of Indonesia…one we can see every day.

But what I love even more about this picture is that it truly is a representation of this place that holds a piece of my heart forever. I think of beauty and kind people when I think of my Indo…those are the two biggest things I took away from what I now call my second home.

Tobin and I were talking yesterday about this woman…and how we don’t even know who she is. He insists he could find the gas station again, and by asking around, we could probably eventually locate her…it’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever have that chance, but we do wonder.

Would she be embarrassed that she is now the focal point of our family room? :)

I hope not. I hope she’d be honored…because, to me, she represents the beauty of Indonesia.

Sig

Five-Minute Friday: Beloved

Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama for Five-Minute Friday.

Join me!

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, overthinking, or backtracking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Beloved

Hello, urge to run away from the computer.

Gotta be honest that when I saw the topic for today, I almost didn’t write. (Like a hundred times almost.)

The word beloved is that kind of word…that kind of Truth that makes me feel so incredible, inexplicably blessed…and at the same time so overwhelmed and unworthy.

He calls me His beloved.

In that statement, my Father reiterates, again, His unconditional, unfailing, total love for me…Mel, this girl who can throw out a hundred flaws about herself.

It overwhelms me…how do I possibly return this kind of perfect love? The answer is simple.

I’m not capable of it.

But through Him, and only through Him, I can walk in obedience, praise Him with every breath, allow myself to be lavished in His grace and showered in His love…and try to show that love back to Him and pass it on to others.

It’s really about Grace…about that full acceptance of something so amazing, so wonderful, so completely perfect that we will never fully understand it.

But we don’t need to…we’re His beloved. And when we accept that, it’s all we’ll ever need.

Five Minute Friday

Sig

How Quiet It Is…

It’s a quiet night.

Really quiet.

I’m sitting in our family room, snuggled under my favorite blanket, pounding on the laptop keys…and the only sound I’m hearing is the keys.

I am such a noise girl. I thrive best when surrounded by it; I often intentionally create it; heck, I even sleep better when there’s some. :)

And most nights when there’s writing happening, that writing coexists with noise, and we’re not talking about the toddler kind. I can’t tell you how often I’ll flip on the TV or put a in a DVD just to fill what I term as empty space. I am always convinced that this helps me be more productive.

But guess what?

In thinking about what to give up for Lent, I landed on two options. Coffee. Or TV.

could have chosen coffee, but if we’re being real, I am a much more pleasant person to be around when I’ve had my six cups of coffee. (Kidding. That was a joke…I promise.) I was truly thinking of others…and maybe a teeny-tiny bit about my love for this beverage. 😉

Maybe it sounds like a cop-out, but I chose TV. (And my hubby is enthusiastically(?) going along for the ride with me.) We do have one amendment to it…we’re allowed to watch movies on weekend nights.

We began the non-watching yesterday, and I barely noticed it. (By the way, Maelie is not participating. It isn’t as if my daughter watches hours a day, but with a non-napping sweetheart of a two year-old, mama needs a bit of down time.)

However, last night I went to work out, and immediately realized I couldn’t flip Netflix on and find something to occupy my brain while I crunched and planked and burpeed (that word just seems wrong) and squatted (even more wrong). 😉 I had to settle for some music instead.

You know what? It wasn’t bad. And I might argue that singing along burns a few extra calories. 😉

But here I sit, tonight, heading to the rough draft for an hour or so after this, and I’m more-than-well aware that the familiar sounds of Little House will not be the soundtrack to my writing moments for quite awhile.

It’s a new kind of focus, a reminder that sometimes He just asks me to be Still.

To throw away the noise and rest in Him…in His goodness, in His grace, in His love.

Thank you, God, for quiet…for still. Please teach me to thrive in it.

Sig

My God-Sized Dream: Less…

Hi, my name is Mel.

And I write. Like, a lot.

I pour out my feelings in this space not-quite-but-mostly every day, and my huge dream is to finish writing and publish a book of my Indo-stories.

I’m also mommy to the most amazingly wonderful and talkative little girl. (Think as chatty as her mama. ;))

So, in essence, there are an extra-lot of words all over my days. :)

When Holley shared with us what she’d like us to think about and apply this week, I almost laughed at my initial response.

In fact, most likely I did. (Laugh at myself, not my sweet friend. ;))

Choose what you will decrease in your life so that your God-sized dream can increase.

Friends, I almost think you might laugh, too.

Because, though the dream of writing a book is inching closer and closer to reality, what I chose to decrease?

Writing.

I know it sounds like an almost-too-easy answer.

But it makes sense to me…and maybe some of you can relate, too.

I am first and foremost a follower of my Father. Then comes wife, mommy, friend. All things that will remain, no matter where life takes me, priorities.

And after that, a mix of writer-runner-creator-singer/musician…things that fuel my passion for life.

But mixed up in the writing hat is the fact that I not only am somewhat-furiously writing a book, I’m also trying to blog 5-6 times a week.

Writing is how I process the extraordinary and the everyday…whether or not I have anything important to say. (I rhymed…love. That quote totally belongs on Pinterest.) :)

But last week I had a moment.

On Wednesday, I hit a social-media-overload wall fueled by too much blog reading and commenting, and too many status updates, tweets, and dessert-pins. Can’t blame a girl for loving dessert, though. 😉

I actually buried my head in my hands and then closed my laptop for several hours and just sat on the floor and played with my daughter, forbidding myself from opening that computer. And as Mae and I put puzzles together and rolled out play-doh, took her princesses on a field trip to the Little People farm, and giggled at life in general…I thought

about how I’ve got to find some kind of balance with writing…to write with purpose and not because I feel like I have to.

I started by somewhat-unplugging for the weekend. (No blogging or commenting Saturday and Sunday and keeping other forms of social media to a minimum.) It helped that we were out of town, but it was a good time to consider direction.

I love this space and plan to continue here. But I also need to learn to give myself permission to miss a day or two (or four) in a row without feeling as though I’ve failed somehow. My new goal is no more than five days a week but at least three. (And if I don’t do three…extending lots of grace to myself. ;))

I also need more focused, spaced-out, intentional book-writing time. (I can’t write with the same intensity and productivity on consecutive days.) I typically take Wednesday nights from 6-10 for that, but guess what? Ash Wednesday is tomorrow. So I’ll need to find another time during Lent where I can sit, uninterrupted, and just let the words spill. My goal is to find two of those times each week…spaced out enough that I don’t feel like I’m forcing the words. (And if one or both of those don’t happen in a week…more grace.)

It’s not a race…it’s obedience. He’s got the timing figured out already…I just need to daily walk out what He’s called me to do.

To read more amazing things God is teaching a group of dreamers, click on the link below. We’re linking up every Tuesday and would love to have you join us!

God-Sized Dreams

Sig