Currently… (aka: the I’m-Tired-So-I-Need-a-Blog-Prompt Post)

One of my favorites…I don’t even know the original source. :)

Current Reads: Just finished Kisses From Katie, which really is worth a few separate blog posts in itself. Such a fantastic read. Still working (and haven’t gotten far) on Water For Elephants. (Have any of you read it? Is it worth it?) Also, in a very unlike-Mel move, I read this the other night. It was hilarious, it was political, it was everything I don’t typically enjoy. But it was short, which was why I was able to make it through the whole thing…in about an hour, I think. But since I don’t talk politics in this space, I won’t tell you about it. πŸ˜‰ It’s free for Kindle right now, though, if you’re dying to read it.

Current Playlist. Oh, goodness, I just made a new running playlist that is enough to get me out of bed early. :) It’s amazing how changing up the tunes makes me want to run out of sheer curiosity at what’s coming next. That, and I had a really fantastic praise time with my Father the other morning…I’m pretty sure He shuffled the songs in the perfect order Himself. Love when He does that. :)

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Today? Chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick. (I did have a partner in crime if she wants to admit it. ;)) Golly, it was so good I’m gonna dream about it tonight. Really. (In my defense, I have not been to a state fair it what could be termed almost-eons. Therefore, I deserved whatever I wanted to eat on a stick. And it was a completely justified indulgence. :D)

Current Colors: Dark blue for the jeans that it’s finally cool enough to wear. Lots of gray and black. I need more color…I know, I know…as one of my faithful blog readers has been telling me.

Current Fetish: Lately I’ve loved going through my closet and finding things I’d forgotten I had. Yay for “new” outfits! I think I wore THREE things this past week I hadn’t touched in several months. :)

Current Food: I think I admitted it already. See: shame-inducing guilty pleasure. πŸ˜‰

Current Drink: Oh boy, oh boy! So very exciting. I am drinking…Airborne. To kick the cold I came down with yesterday. Thankfully, between that and DayQuil, I am somehow not feeling completely cruddy, which is usually not the case.

Current Wishlist: I need a new pair of jeans. The practical side says I should go with my favorites at Maurices because they go with everything. And because I love them. And because the price is about the best I’m going to find for a decent pair. The completely off-the-wall side of me…wants these. In the bright blue. Or green. :)

Current Needs: Prayer. But I don’t really want to go into details in this post, so I’ll just say jeans. ‘Cause I need them, too. But I’d appreciate your prayers, too. :)

Currient Triumph: Honestly, just doing life with my girl and my hubby. Striving to live fully and love well.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: I don’t really have one today that I can think of. I’d love it if Maelie would still take her afternoon nap, but I’m not going to term her awake-ness as that. It balances out when she goes to bed at 7:30, anyway. :)

Current Celebrity Crush: I always leave this one blank. But if I have to choose…and my hubby already knows this…I’d have to say Dennis Quaid. Just because. That’s all.

Current Indulgence: Man, that cheesecake is coming back to haunt me…in the blogging world, anyway. πŸ˜‰

Current Mood: Anxious, a little. But mostly content. It was a really good day…I like those.

Current #1 Blessing: I’m a daughter of the King. I’m blessed with a wonderful hubby, an amazing daughter, and pretty awesome friends.

Current Slang or Saying: Aduh. (The Indonesian equivalent of ugh or stink.) Oh, goodness/good grief. (I need to find a few new phrases!)

Current Outfit: Black running shorts, a tank top, and a gray workout jacket. (Strangely, I did not…and have no plans to…work out today.)

Current Link: I linked enough things in this post. :)

Current Photo: Please excuse the messy hair and slightly streaky makeup…it was a good day. It was also a busy one. (And, yes, in case you’re wondering, that IS Elmo in the background in his underwear, sitting on his little plastic potty. You’ll NEVER guess what we’re working on at our house…) πŸ˜‰

Thanks for stopping by, friends!


Five-Minute Friday: Focus

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: Focus

So, on my way to the computer to write my Five-Minute Friday post, I got distracted by a pile of laundry that needed to be folded.

Clearly I need to work on my focus. :)

Sometimes it’s so hard for me…I set out to do something and I HAVE a goal; it’s just that before I get there, twelve other things beg for my attention. My daughter can’t find her princess slippers, the dogs need to go outside, my coffee cup has somehow magically drained itself, and that laundry that I meant to fold on the way to the computer? Never actually got folded.


One thing that has helped me intentionally focus is to start my day off with “me” time. I get up early most mornings, go for a run, crank up the music, and praise. I need it. When I get home, shower, and find my coffee, life just seems easier. My girl is up, but since I’m already going for the day, I’m able to focus on her more. And while she gets going on her morning routine (aka: cereal and Sesame Street) I can find some time to talk to my Father and read His Word.

Those things help me focus. Not perfectly, but they sure help.

Maybe even enough to get that pile of laundry folded…but first, I need some coffee. :)

Five Minute Friday


Rainy Night Thoughts

I love a rainy night. :)

Especially the kind when hubby forgets to close our bedroom windows and the temperature is just perfect for making a cup of hot cocoa and climbing into bed under a fleece blanket to update the blog.

As close to perfection as it’s going to get for now. :)

All that’s missing is a fireplace, but I’m guessing that won’t be happening anytime soon around here. Though my neighbor has one…maybe I’ll crash her living room on the next rainy, I-need-to-blog-and-feel-cozy night. :)

I do have to tell you that I love my new, red fleece blanket, though. You know that 5k I ran last weekend? The goodie bag rocked. A cute t-shirt (5k t’s are rarely cute) AND a blanket. The kind that screams, You know you want to go to take a nap just so you can cover yourself up with me. Yep, that kind of blanket.

Be jealous. πŸ˜‰

It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve just written…you know, had a virtual coffee date with you all like I used to. Except tonight we’re havin’ hot cocoa. And it’s good despite the fact that I had to dig through the cupboard to find a packet of it, and I’m sure it’s been there for at least a year, but I think it might be closer to two. Hey, isn’t that what preservatives are for???

So, since we’re catching up, I guess I’ll just talk about…we’ll just see where it goes.

I finished Kisses From Katie yesterday.

I can honestly tell you that, besides the Bible, it’s not only the best book I’ve ever read; it’s also the most life-changing. Read it…testimonies of God’s abounding grace just leap off the pages. I saw pieces of myself in her, but mostly I saw the Father’s heart…which I think was the point.

You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

And as a complete side note…I feel like I understand myself and where I’ve been a little more after reading this piece of her story, too. Sometimes it’s hard to explain to people why we spent time overseas…it was cool too see her put into words some of the reasons. I could relate. :)

Ok, just read it. (And I’ll move on to something else.)

My sweet girl is all but done napping. It’s a blessing and a curse all rolled into one. Her non-nappingness (Golly, I looooooooove my word creations sometimes!) gives us more flexibility with our days, and that’s definitely a bonus. But it also makes the days long. It also means potentially super-crabby evenings, but also almost guarantees that she will crash the second her head hits her special pillow.

Yes, she has a special pillow. And tonight, she has special jammies, which I had to pull out and cut the tags off and get her really excited about because the worn-almost-every-night princess jammies are a) dirty; and b) too non-covering for a night like tonight. Thankfully she bought my made-up excitement about jammies covered with snowmen and reindeer that I bought for 70% off last January. :))

Someday she will read this and be embarrassed…thankfully that day is not today. πŸ˜‰

I love her. And I suppose the fact that she got excited about Christmas jammies in September is comparable to me and my new blanket. (Which is still super comfy, since I know you’re all wondering!) πŸ˜‰

It’s been kind of an up and down few weeks, but I’ve been thankful for what He’s doing despite the roller coaster moments. I’ve tried to be intentional about counting my blessings…it’s amazing to look around and see all the good that surrounds a day despite circumstances and emotions.

I almost skipped my run this morning, but I’m so glad I didn’t.

The weather was perfect, and I made a new running playlist a few days ago, and I was excited to hear more of it. I basically went through every song in my iTunes, picked my very favorites, and shuffled them.

Toward the middle of mile two, this one came on. I hadn’t heard it for months…and I didn’t even remember adding it to to the playlist. But sometimes God just surprises me…and this was a blessing. I hope you’ll take the time to listen to it. :)

And each time I will fall short of Your glory, how far will forgiveness abound?

And You answer, “My child, I love you. And as long as you’re seeking My face, you’ll walk in the power of My daily sufficient grace.”

Powerful words from my Father…Wow.

Love you all…thanks for stopping by. :)


On Making a Difference: A Letter to God

Dear God,

Do you remember him?

That little boy who stole my heart that summer so long ago? I can’t believe it’s been thirteen summers since I fell in love with the sticky heat of the Amazon and all that came with it.

Especially him.


He was one of hundreds we saw. Talked to. Loved. Those streetkids who just wanted someone…anyone.

But there was something about this particular boy…the way his eyes pleaded, the way he scraped the last bits of shoe polish from his can in his attempt to polish my sandals and earn a few extra soles for…well, I don’t know who exactly.

Was there even a family for him to go home to?

And do you remember how long I wore those sandals? I do…it broke my heart when I finally threw them away.

I was just a college student on what I thought would be just a summer adventure to write home about. I had no idea he would change me. That Peru would change me. That my heart would never, ever be the same.

I still ache today thinking about him.

Now he’s an adult…and I wonder sometimes. Did someone take the time to love him? Did he grow up healthy and strong? Did he grow up to love You? Did he grow up at all?

I really can’t think of that last question, God…because I’ll never know the answer this side of eternity. And even more-than-sometimes…I wish I had done more. Tried to find him…and maybe, somehow, sponsored him. Even a college student could have found a way.

God, you know Eladio never left my mind or my heart. And how often I still go back to look at his picture.

And then…you gave us an opportunity. Another chance to make a difference. His name is Putra, a nine year-old boy from our beloved Indonesia. I’m amazed at Your Goodness…how you brought our hearts to this place and showed us which child needed us. We already love him. We are anxious to see what You will do through him.

Thank you for him.

Sponsoring him makes me want another one. And another.

God, I pray that they will all get sponsors. Please. Whether it’s through my blog or another, please don’t keep them waiting longer.

And, God…be with Putra. Let him know, somehow, that we love him and are praying for him every day. We’ll be telling him that soon in our first letter, and I can’t wait to write it.


September is Blog Month for Compassion. I’ve committed to write blog posts for them to raise awareness for child sponsorship during the month. But I have to be honest here…I LOVE this ministry. I have a feeling I’ll keep on writing these posts for a long time. :) Should you feel led to sponsor a child, you can simply click here or on the Child Sponsorship button on my sidebar. Pray over the children you see, and ask God who he might be asking you to sponsor. You truly can make a difference! Thanks for being here!


Monday Smiles

So, for a Monday, today wasn’t half-bad.

There were some smiles…

A beautiful, perfect day. 70’s. Sunny. Can the weather just stay exactly like this forever? We can all dream. :)

Spreading sunshine. Maelie and I went to visit a sweet friend at work and took her coffee and a gift ’cause it’s her birthday, and I love celebrating a birthday…even if it’s not mine! We even got Mae to sing parts of “Happy Birthday”. T’was sweet. :)

Outside playing. My cool girl is such the climber. She can now scale the side of her clubhouse. It still makes me nervous, but I can smile, too. She’s just growing up so much! I love taking walks up and down the street with her…we have the best conversations and even sing together. So fun.

Encouragement. Sometimes it comes in the simplest forms…like a chat with a friend or a smile from a stranger…both happened today.

Hope. There’s something I’d like to see happen…and it looks like it might.

Swinging and guitar-playing and puking. WAIT…did I say puking? Yep. However, in this house, we are giving thanks that Maelie threw up due to all the swinging she did (not because was sick) AND that she missed my guitar by about an inch. The sweet girlie is feeling just fine now in her happy dreamland, my jeans are in the dryer, and my guitar is packed away (and puke-free). ALL blessings. :)

Much-needed laughter. Sometimes it just feels good to laugh, and singing with Mae tonight provided some pretty great moments. Caught on video, nonetheless. I laughed so hard I cried…and it felt so good. Families need to laugh together often. (And I can almost guarantee that there’s at least one good video coming to a blog near you very soon!)

How was your Monday? I hope a happy one. :)

Thanks for stopping by!


Little Blessings (Pt. 48)

I feel bad that this series has tapered off…trust me, my life is abounding with blessings. And I need to keep counting them, even on the rough days.

God is doing some really cool things, and I’m excited to share them with you, hopefully soon.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend. :)

Now, the list. πŸ˜‰

:) Ice cream dates with my girl. Like, the kind when I end up wearing half of her sundae before the date is over. Choosing to smile over our precious time together instead.

:) This 5k. Which I managed to run a mere 25 days after having my gall bladder out. Nowhere near a PR for me, but I love the cause. Was worth the pain that running FOUR hills involved, and I managed to still break 30. πŸ˜‰ (Ok, I’ll stop…some of you have heard me talk about this a little too much! HA.)

:) Symphony concerts with friends.

:) Changing the life of a child. So thankful for my Bible study group and their decision to sponsor a child. You can, too!

:) Hide and seek with a two-year old who skips five every time she counts to ten. LOVE her.

:) Parades and candy and perfect, sunshine-y 70 degree weather.

:) Piano duets with a certain little girl…a strange mix of beauty and chaos. So profound that it triggered a blog post I’m hoping to use as a guest-write. We’ll see. :)

:) Flowers and barefoot dancing.

:) The promise of fall being here very soon.

:) Seasons…and that He performs miracles in each one. My Father is Good.


Five-Minute Friday: Graceful

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, or overthinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Graceful


That’s me laughing Really. Really. Really. Loud.

Because graceful? Is soooooo not me. In terms of physical anyway. I’m a decent athlete/runner, but I have zero grace.

You know, the kind that dances and looks so beautiful and elegant.

Um, no…never known that feeling.

In fact, I remember my first dance classes as a kid and how they didn’t go so well. While my dance teacher didn’t kick me out at all, I seem to recall being “encouraged” to explore other areas of life.

Maybe that’s why I’m an artist and a musician. :)

Have you ever seen that lovely episode of Friends when Phoebe runs? Here’s a clip for ya.

Golly, sometimes I wonder if that’s me. In a strange, paradoxical way, I’d be kinda proud if it was. This clumsy, totally lovable girl, making her tiny, memorable, mark on a great big world.

In all seriousness, though…graceful.

I’m a blessed child of God who has had the gift of Grace lavished upon her. My life is walking testimony of the fullness of His Grace.

And as I laugh over my clumsy tendencies and shake my head and giggle when I fall over nothing (which is often!)…I remember that I have real Grace.

May I never forget that, and may I choose to extend it to others, too.

Five Minute Friday


Take a Few Minutes…

…and watch this.

I know child sponsorship isn’t for everyone. I know finances are tight for a lot of people.

But these few minutes were life-changing for me. More than ever, I wish I could rescue every. single. one. of them.

Will you help?

One Act from Compassion International on Vimeo.


Compassion…Change a Life

A few of you know that for several years, I’ve wanted to write.

That’s kind of been a bumpy road.

Finding a good fit for me has been hard. I wrote a few articles for a local online newspaper, but it wasn’t really my thing. (And I have a hard time sticking to a theme…hellOOOO! Just read the random of this place.) πŸ˜‰

Several months ago, I decided that stressing over what might be next for me as far as writing (if there even IS anything) wasn’t worth it.

This blog is my space…my place. And in some very real ways, a piece of home. And so it’s where I’m staying. Just to do my own little thing.

However, one of my long-term dreams has been, for several years, to blog a trip for Compassion. For those of you unfamiliar with what that might entail, Compassion takes bloggers with them on their trips to visit sponsored children. Those bloggers are able to provide new perspectives because they are seeing and experiencing with new eyes and hearts.

I don’t make it much of a secret that I’d love to do that.

But that really can’t happen at the moment. For one thing, I have a two year-old girlie. My place is with her for now. And the bigger reason is they tend to choose bloggers who have higher amounts of traffic and comments. (That’s not a subtle hint. Or a not-so-subtle one, either. Just the facts. ;))

Last week I was browsing the Compassion site and came across something…

Want to blog for us?

Um, YEAH! (Pretty sure that was audible, though Maelie was the only one to hear it. :))

It turns out that Compassion is asking bloggers to write for them during the month of September to raise awareness and ask readers to consider sponsoring a child.

I can do that. In fact, I would LOVE to. :)

I can’t sit here and tell you that I understand the extreme poverty, hunger, and sheer need that these children face. Yes, I have lived near people very much in these circumstances.

But I have also never, ever been without. I have never been asked to enter in to the suffering experienced by so many children around the world. God has blessed me abundantly and given so much MORE than I could ever ask or imagine.

I honestly don’t know whose eyes see this. If my blog is anything like the many I read but don’t necessarily comment on, I could have a lot of readers.

Will you do me a favor?

First, leave a comment. I want to know you’ve been here. You can just say hi or tell me your favorite joke or compliment me on my awesome word usage. (Well, sometimes. ;))

Second, would you pray? For children around the world who are in life or death situations. Such a small amount of money each month would turn those situations around and give them HOPE.

Third, would you consider sponsoring a child? I can’t guilt you here. I can’t force it. Nor do I want to. But I can give you the opportunity to think about it. Pray and see what God might have you do.

I had this crazy, but super-cool, idea that it would be awesome if, through BarefootMel, I could get 100 children sponsored this month. (There are currently 3,108 waiting for sponsors. That’s a LOT!) All you have to do? Is click the button on my sidebar, pray through the children you see, choose one, and that’s that!

The lives of 100 kids changed forever. Or even MORE!

THAT’S something that can be done NOW. Love it.

I do want to point out that the blogger who gets the most children sponsored through his/her blog gets a spot on an upcoming Compassion trip as a blogger. That’s not why I chose to do this. It’s ultimately about seeing lives changed, and that’s what I want more than anything…just being up-front. :) But it would be pretty awesome to get to participate in a Compassion trip.

That’s all.

Oh! I almost forgot the best part…we have a new family member. :) His name is Putra, and he is a nine year-old boy from Indonesia. My husband and I decided we needed to finally put some walking with our talking. I have to tell you that I’m already in love, too. I can’t wait to share pictures with you!


Book Review: Coming Home

I shared a week or so ago that I figured since I’m a bookworm AND a blogger (but even more of a blogger than a bookworm) I might as well read free books and write about them.

Or something like that. :)

I’m eventually going to add a separate Book Reviews page to this blog so the posts won’t just show up on my front page. But since I haven’t gotten to that yet, you can all just read my first one.

Hope you all had a wonderful long weekend and Labor Day. :)


I’m a long-time Karen Kingsbury fan and was excited to get my hands on her latest novel.

Coming Home was pitched by the author as a book that could either stand alone or serve as an introduction/finale to the twenty-two books that have made up the Baxter family series. The first part of the book was spent reviewing major events in the lives of John and Elizabeth Baxter, though Elizabeth passed away earlier on in the series, and their six children and their families. The underlying theme is that, no matter the trial, God has always proven Himself faithful to them through some, sometimes, extremely difficult circumstances.

Coming Home was no exception for this family…there was the usual trial, this time magnified to a much greater degree than any of Kingsbury’s readers could have even imagined. The entire family has planned to reunite for a surprise party for John’s 70th birthday, and while traveling “home” to Indiana from Texas, Erin (the youngest daughter), her husband Sam, and three of their four girls are killed in a horrific car accident.

To say this was a smack in the face to all of us who have literally fallen in love with the Baxter family is an understatement. We have laughed with them, cried with them…and in this book, sobbed buckets with them. I understand the thread of God’s faithfulness, and it’s true. He is faithful in all things, which we do see in this story. But for a finale to a series that, literally, millions of people love…she could have been a lot kinder to her readers.

I did appreciate the fact that the topic of organ donation was emphasized. It provided some type of saving value to a story that just seemed too awful to even imagine. That part made the events of the story a little easier to swallow for those who don’t view the Baxters as “just” characters in a book. But still…I didn’t love the book. And I’m still reeling over the fictional fact that she basically killed off an entire family we’d come to love.

That said, many people have expressed that they are done reading books by Karen Kingsbury after this one. I’m not there. She’s a gifted writer, and she tells stories that really connect with people and where there hearts are. But if you haven’t read the Baxter series, this is in no way an introduction; and if you want to enjoy the books, don’t start with this one. (And really…don’t end with it, either.)

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.