A New Space for A New Journey (And a GIVEAWAY!)

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For years, I’ve stared at it.

The boring space that is A Barefoot Life. Really, friends…it was boring. I’m just being real here. 😉

Maybe what I wrote wasn’t always boring, but there’s so much that’s appealing about a pretty blog. And as a polka dot lovin’, flip-flop wearing, fashion-adoring girl, it just seems right that the place I live online should be cute too, huh? Can I get an AMEN?! 😉

And my sweet friend, Lisa? Well, one of her callings in life, at least according to me 😉 is to design pretty blogs. And she did an amazing job, didn’t she?!

Oh, I’ll be coming back here all day (and probably all of forever…) just to gaze at the beauty that SO not my gift at all. I’m so very thankful that someone I love is gifted in this area. :)

In thinking through my blog redesign…the one I’ve been wanting to do for a year, at least…it was hard. I had no direction because I was going through that kind of season. You know, one of those.

What’s my purpose? Who am I exactly in this great, big, bloggy world?

Because let’s be honest, friends…this bloggy world IS big. And it IS easy to feel like a tiny drop in a sandbox bucket.

Over the past few months, God has been whispering something. It’s not always been something I’ve wanted to hear, but He’s been pretty loud and clear.

He’s not calling me to write a book (right now, at least) or to be some big, awesome, word star. He’s just calling me to share my words.

Beautiful or messy, profound or just chatter…for the people who need them. And that probably won’t be the entire world…though that would always be nice. :)

He just wants me…Mel. My heart, my willingness, my words…for me to take those and use them for Him and let Him do the rest.

It has taken a long time for me to embrace that and not just be ok with it.

But today?

Today I’m completely owning my new taglineLive the Adventure. Tell the Stories. (<====Tweet this!

And there’s actually a funny story about how He gave me that tagline. It was somewhere, in the air, between Doha and Chicago, as I fretted over situations and processed a dream that had come to an end when I opened my email during our layover in Qatar. It was in those moments of grief and even a little fear that I heard my Father whisper…

Live the Adventure…it’s what I’ve created life to be. And then Tell the Stories…the people you love, the places you go, all I’m doing in you.

That’s it. And I kind of love it. A LOT.

So welcome to my new place…same site but a whole lot prettier. Thanks again, sweet Lisa! :) 

I can’t wait to share the adventures with you…the ones that happen as I slowly traipse my way around the world and the even better ones that happen in my own backyard.

I hope you’ll join me for all of them!

Here’s to a new space for a new journey…I can’t wait! :) (<====Tweet this!)

                                                           

I’m so glad you’re here, and I want to say thank you with a happy, fun, summer giveaway. Use the rafflecopter below to enter to win some of my favorite things! (Sorry…U.S. residents only.) :) 

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First up…what’s summer without COFFEE? (Really, what is LIFE without coffee? But we might have to go into that another day…) 😉 And, psst…Dunkin’ Donuts has any-size iced coffee for 99 cents all summer from 3-6 pm! WooHoo!) And if, for some sad reason, you are nowhere near a Dunkin’, let me know, and I’ll throw in $10 so you can get yourself some good coffee. It’s not like that gift card won’t get used around here…ahem. 😉

Finding Spiritual Whitespace…it’s one of my new favorite books. In fact, I’m reading through it for the second time so I can journal it out in detail. (I never do that with books. I’m doing that with this one, though…it’s that good.) It will probably take me six blog posts to talk about why it’s my favorite. But if you’re craving rest and intimacy with Jesus, you need to read this…Bonnie shares a journey of heartbreak, healing, and hope. It’s inspiring. And I think, no matter who you are or where you are in life, her words will resonate somehow.

My sweet friend and blog designer also has an Etsy store with some of the most beautiful prints I’ve ever seen, and Lisa is offering a free print from her store to the winner…you get to choose! Be sure to hop over and check out her amazing designs…they are seriously gorgeous. (I need more walls in my house just so I can buy more of her prints!) And as a bonus…the money raised from all sales goes to help fund her family’s adoption. How cool is that?! :)

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Last up…check out one of my new favorites. Ok, so it took me a loooooong time to embrace dresses and skirts again…five years of being forced to wear them might do that to just about any woman. But gotta admit that they’ve stolen my heart this summer, and Target has some cuuuuute dresses right now…this one was an awesome $11. Ok, ok, I had a $5 gift card and got a sweet 20% off with Cartwheel. 😉 Take this $20 gift card and pick up something fun to wear. 😉

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Thanks again for being here, friends. I wouldn’t want to walk this journey with anyone else!

(And I’ll pick a winner on Sunday. Or, rather, Rafflecopter will.) 😉

Photo credit: plugged mind

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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In Summer…

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This is, like, the most bizarre time to blog ever. EVER.

It’s late on a Sunday night. I just finished a weekend of volleyball playing, topped off by a sprained hand (Awe.Some.) and being mama alone 24/7 thanks to hubby working about that many hours on the big company move. I just put my girl to bed amid the longest and loudest giggle fest we’ve ever shared…You are so very welcome, I say to my neighbors who have the blessing of windows that face their house.

We’re kind of all tired, to say the least. And some one of us is most definitely subsisting on Coke Zero and Tylenol as she sort-of types, under the glow of Christmas lights, while a purple My Little Pony with freakishly-yellow hair stares her down.

I can’t make these things up, friends. 😉

But the words…well, they’re burning. Through all of that, even.

And so, on this late-June evening, here they are. Because I’ve kind of been thinking through some things.

So, I love summer.

LOVE it. (Profound, I know.) 😉

In fact, I might be doing a little Olaf-dance around the back porch in between sentences right now. In summerrrrrrr!

So good. SO.

Summer for me signifies lazy days. A bit of sleeping in on those non-running mornings. 😉 Coffee on the back porch. (Friends welcome!) Park adventures with my girl. Backyard swimming. Constant flip flops, or even bare feet. So much of fun to be had.

And in some ways, summer feels like medicine for my heart…an actual excuse to live out days that don’t always seem like they have a lot of purpose other than to just be.

And it feels like I’ve been living a strangely similar, summertime world this past year as I’ve fought purpose. Meaning.

Seriously, God…what?! Why am I here?

This isn’t one of those sob story posts because I think we all deal with the idea of purpose at some point in our lives. Seasons change and we find ourselves wondering just exactly what lies in the word, purpose. That’s ok.

At least I’m telling myself that it is.

Last fall I went to a writing conference. When I boarded that plane, I fully intended on going to that conference, learning how to be Super-Blogger-and-Book-Writer-Mel, coming home and rocking the word-world.

Well, I went, it was really good, and God moved in some huge ways, I came home…all good news, right? 😉

But as for rocking anything…notsomuch.

I came home not sure anymore. My rough draft just sat there. And sitting, it has been doing, for eight months. Eight. There have been ideas floating around here and there for it…ideas that I’ve typed into my iPhone, and that’s it.

I came home to a blog that became a (very) sporadic place to share life. It was starting to look like a chore, even feel like one.

And I fought purpose, because why? Why would God give me such a deep desire to write and then literally strip the words away?

Honestly, friends…I feel like I’ve been fighting for word-air for MONTHS. It’s been hard. I see people who dash out beautiful posts, deep thoughts, life-changing messages, and I fall into the comparison trap and figuratively bury my head under a pillow. Or maybe sometimes I really do. Bury my head, that is. 😉

Maybe tomorrow will be better, I tell myself. But then the words are still gone and my heart feels like it’s fading, too.

My season is changing. It is. And I hate to admit that.

Because there was a time when I thought I might be the next big blogger, and instead He said, No. No, Mel…you’re going to be the next big follower of Me. That’s all I need from you.

This space is going to look different in a few days. I’m going to introduce it to you on an extremely random day during the week (think Wednesday) 😉 and share a little about life…just to let you know where it’s all going.

I’m kind of excited for the change. And, let’s be honest, I’m just excited for a pretty blog, because it’s way pretty. WAY. :) (Ok, now I really can’t wait to show y’all!)

I’ll be giving away some of my favorite things, too, because I like to give gifts and make people smile. (And who doesn’t like FREE stuff?!)

So I hope you’ll come back to see the new space and maybe to chat with me, too. :)

I’m still not exactly sure what my goal is in this great, big writing world, but I’m not sure that matters right now. I think He spoke purpose to me a long time ago…and I just need to listen. And now…well, now I just want to live out my season completely, whatever it looks like. Wherever it is. And follow Him through all of it.

Even if it sometimes just doesn’t make sense. And even if it always feels like summer.

And so it goes right into this space.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it. :)

Photo Credit: Bermi Ferrer

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You Are Four

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Dear baby girl, the one who’s not so much a baby anymore…

My Maelie Naomi.

Today you are four. FOUR. As in, years old. Wowza, where did the time go?

I was telling a friend tonight, through a stifled giggle, about life exactly four years ago. I was so enormously pregnant that I refused to even take a picture.

And yet I knew, somehow, that the little person inside me was worth the hugeness…that she was going to burst into my life and change it forever.

That, my sweet Mae, is exactly what you have done.

Each year, as I take the time to look back, I realize just how much you have changed me. Just how much better my life is because you fill my days.

I hear your howling and singing, the first things to alert me that you are ready to greet each new day. Sometimes I ask you to turn down the volume, but the truth is? I love your exuberance. And I love YOU even more.

Howl away. Really. :)

I see the joy you find in the simplest things…in playing outside, in a new little pony, in jumping on the bed only to leap into my arms for a hug…you see the beauty everywhere and you embrace it completely.

I love that about you.

We’ve watched you grow and change so much in the last year…your first year of school already behind you, several haircuts and jeans sizes (quit getting so tall already!) passed, many new skills and words, too. OH. You are just soaking up every piece of life around you.

It’s amazing.

You talk about wanting a baby sister. Sometimes you pretend you already have one. And often, we’ll stop what we’re doing to pray for one.

Sweet girl, I would love to see that happen for you. For all of us. And watching your faith grow as you kneel and ask Him for such a deep desire is something that melts me and breaks me all at the same time.

You are learning lessons, already, in resting in God’s will and trusting Him. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.

But I really, really, hope that this is the year you will get to be a sister. Because I think you’d be an amazing one.

There are so many people who love you…when I pause to look around at this community, I see just how blessed we are with the people who love you…and you love them right back.

Please, sweet girl…never stop. Never stop loving people.

It’s a bittersweet night for me…the last night of having a three year-old in the house. I stroke the hair away from your face, watch your chest rise and fall as you sleep, and I know these days are numbered. This doesn’t last forever.

But I also know something else…I know a lot of somethings, but this one thing sticks out more than anything.

God gave us the most precious blessing in you…and every day is a gift.

I’m so glad I get to spend this life with you.

Dream big and love even bigger, my sweet girl.

He’s always got you. You are His forever.

All my love,
Mommy

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The Dream in Front of Me

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It’s a slow morning, the kind when we don’t need to go anywhere.

I’ll always take one of those. :)

Our morning routine is often the same…I’m up early for quiet time and (most days!) a good workout. I get the coffee going and have my first, of many a few cups.

She sleeps until about 7 a.m. and then greets the day, usually with howling or singing…and though I sometimes grumble when I hear those first signs that she’s up, the truth is that I LOVE her exuberance at the thought of a new sunrise and the life that awaits in the coming day.

Part of this routine is the same, too…up for breakfast and a bit of TV while this mama finds the coffee (again) and sits at her computer to pound words and paragraphs that might just form a post.

And so, on this particularly slow morning, I find myself sinking even further into the routine.

I look up, startled by the clunk of the mailbox. (Yes, our mail comes early.) 😉

How is it 9:00 already?

I peek into the living room to see her sprawled on the couch…almost a zombie…munching the last of her Apple Jacks from the bowl, eyes glued to Jake and the Never Land Pirates.

And I? Have just woken up from my own little zombie state, too…definitely not a useless daze, but one in which I remained for far too long…

Today I’m over at God-sized Dreams, sharing a dreaming lesson He’s teaching me through my precious daughter. Join me?

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Five-Minute Friday: Hands

Today I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five-Minute Friday. So, grab a timer, set it for five minutes, and join me!

The rules: Write for five minutes. No editing, revising, overthinking, or backtracking. Just write. Then leave some comment love for the person who linked up before you…and anyone else because that’s the fun and the heart of the community!

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Today’s prompt: Hands

I seriously can’t believe this is the prompt this week.

I’m not kidding when I tell you that my eyes filled with tears the second I saw it. The word, Hands.

You see, God gave me a gift this week. One He knew I needed…even when I didn’t know that.

He sent me a friend…a sweet friend from years ago. We’ve kept up as much as we could, but oceans and countries made that harder. Our lives were so separate…so alike, but that physical separation by miles isn’t always easy to bridge.

But she came for three days…and they were three of the most precious days. Days I will hold in my heart for a long, long time.

There were so many conversations. Some laughs. A lot of deep. Connections…sharing lives that had so many similarities but hadn’t been able to connect in the same room for so long.

What a beautiful gift.

She pulled away on Tuesday morning, and the tears streamed down my cheeks as I watched her go. And then I just breathed thanks…because God knows what we need, and He gives it in the most beautiful, unexpected ways.

But before she went, she left a sweet gift with me and my girl. Something from her life to wear on our wrists…a reminder to pray, and a reminder of our friend.

And so I did what seemed right at the time…I took a picture of our hands.

Just so I could have that little reminder of friendship. And of the way God brings people together in His timing.

Tonight, just before I left for praise team practice, I asked God something. Please give me a word that works…I’d love to write my Five-Minute Friday about this.

And He knew…and He gave it to me.

Friends. Always connected by our Father, even if we can’t be together. I love that He cares about the littlest things.

I’m so blessed.

Five Minute Friday

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