Little Blessings (Pt. 61)

:) Catching up with some of my favorite friends.

:) Kidless trips to Target, the kind where you wander aisles aimlessly and buy $3 hats. ๐Ÿ˜‰

:) Cookie dough and late-night chats.

:) The movie, Tangled. And the fact that, somehow, God has blessed me with the incredible ability to tolerate it multiple times in a row.

:) Road trips and extra time for just me and my girl.

:) Pinterest recipes. Tried a yummy one tonight.

:) Goodbyes that make me sad…I am blessed to love people enough to hurt when we part.

:) Salvation Army shopping and cheap, cute sweaters.

:) Laughter that reminds me of the precious gift of friends.

:) Watching God teach me some difficult things. (More on that tomorrow!)

Will be headed home to Illinois tomorrow with my girlie…please pray we have a safe trip. Thanks! :)ย 


Five-Minute Friday: Bare

Today Iโ€™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.

Todayโ€™s Topic: Bare

It’s an early and cold winter morning, and the first thing I do is wiggle my bare feet into my slippers.

Being a tropical-at-heart girl, I’m not so much into being cold, and those slippers, strangely, make my entire body feel about a hundred degrees warmer. Even though they’re only covering my feet.

I remember the blizzard we got two years ago, and how I couldn’t wait to jump around in the almost-two-feet of snow that fell. At one point, I got this crazy idea to take my boots and socks off and run around barefoot in the snow.

It was cold…like, I’m not sure I’ve ever been that cold. And, honestly, I had a hard time warming up for the rest of the day.

When we walk around with bare feet, our senses are heightened. We notice those things we may have missed with shoes or slippers or even a pair of socks.

That lovely, little dribble-puddle of apple juice my daughter has left on the floor.

The sticky peanut butter that somehow escaped from her sandwich and made it’s way to the bottom of my foot.

That tiny little rock on the sidewalk that, had I even been wearing flip flops, I never would have noticed.

And sometimes? What we’ve experienced while we’re barefoot affects us longer than foot-stickiness or a moment of pain.

I named my blog what it is for a reason.

While slippers are awesome…especially in the frigid-to-me, Chicago-burb winters…I never want to get too comfortable with those foot-coverings.

God tells us in Scripture that we should rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.

Basically, I feel like He’s telling me I should feel…as much as possible.

Go barefoot. :)

Even if my feet end up freezing while I’m doing it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Five Minute Friday



Hey, friends!

Pardon the short and sweet post tonight.

We had a busy day, lotsa snow, and I worked my muscles a little (or a lot!) by shoveling. Don’t laugh at me…I kinda love to shovel. :)

Though I’m gonna be feelin’ it tomorrow!

Maelie and I are heading to Iowa in the morning, and…miracle of miracles…I am actually mostly done packing for us. (And, most likely, we will wait until later morning or early afternoon to leave…depending on the roads and weather.)

I’m also going to be “unplugging” for the weekend.

I use that term very loosely…I may, in fact, still write my Five-Minute Friday, but for the actual weekend, I’ll be taking a break to clear my head and spend some time with family and friends…I’m especially looking forward to seeing my two best friends…I don’t see them often enough.

But I’ll be back on Monday…AND on Tuesday to tell you about some things God has been showing me when it comes to dreaming. Things that, even a few days ago, I’d been blind to. Things that I think He’s going to use, and I’m excited. ๐Ÿ˜€ Are you curious yet?

You should be. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

Really looking forward to sharing more with you all. And if I’m not here tomorrow, happy weekend! Thanks for being here, friends. :)


My God-Sized Dream: Mean Girls

It’s Tuesday…Dreaming Day.

Actually, every day is full of dreams for me ;), but today…grab a cup of coffee and let’s have a chat.

Last week, my friend Holley asked the ladies on the God-Sized Dream Team to do something really scary. Like, so scary, I still cringe.

She asked us to post a photo of ourselves during an awkward phase.

Oh, there were sweaty, shaky hands and almost-puke-inducing butterflies as I selected this photo, checked fifty times to make sure I was only posting it to the private Dream Team facebook page, and then hit the share button.

Awkward, almost-12-year-old Mel.

It’s not as if I think I was the ugliest person on the planet…though that perm…really?! Why did we ever think that was a remotely acceptable style? ๐Ÿ˜‰

But that picture reminds me of things. People. Words…often unkind ones. Memories I can’t shake of a heart-bleeding time in my life.

Those have left deep wounds that are still not fully healed.

I was awkward, somewhat of an outcast…always questioning belonging and relationship. Not the happiest place for a preteen to be. And, sadly, it never really got better until I moved on from that little Iowa town.

There were just some mean girls…I didn’t understand them then and I don’t understand them now. And I really don’t want to go there today…we all know about mean girls.

But when I saw today’s writing topic,

Whatโ€™s one fear youโ€™ve faced when it comes to your God-sized dream? And whatโ€™s the truth thatโ€™s bigger than that fear?

Oh, I tried. Believe me, friends, I tried…to find one fear that was bigger, one that scared me more, yet I could somehow bear to face a little easier in this vulnerable, online place of heart-spilling.

But I just couldn’t.

Because, more than anything, I am afraid of mean girls.

I fear what I feared in middle school…in a different, yet strangely similar, way.

I fear that the things I write from my heart that mean so much to me will be ridiculed and made fun of, purposely stomped on and torn apart. I fear that the dream God has placed in my heart will shatter to bits under the weight of these things.

Oh, how these thoughts and emotions could potentially destroy me if I let them. And I can’t let them.

I know that these fears and insecurities I have in me won’t just disappear overnight. That’s not the way we learn trust and acceptance and identity.

But what I know? Is that my God is bigger than them.

Way bigger.

And in facing this fear of rejection, I simply need to rely on His promises to me and trust them as Truth…because they are.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3

For you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:7-8

There are probably a thousand other verses I could share…My Father is truly the One Who can heal and overcome, build us back up when we’ve been torn down…and remind us of where true belonging and identity are found.

Perhaps the experiences I’ve had have also reminded me of grace and the choice I have to extend it each day to those around me. I don’t always know what they face; I don’t know what goes on in their hearts. But I can choose to love and accept, to be kind and embrace others as who God has created them to be.

And if you’d like to read some amazing stories of how God is at work in making big dreams happen for some amazing women, click on the button below. We’re linking up every Tuesday and would love for you to join us!

God-Sized Dreams


Monday Scatter

Do you ever have those scatterbrained days?

I started off with a plan for this glorious day called Monday. I really did.

It is so against my personality type to make a to-do list, but I actually scribble one out every Monday (on crazy paper that’s about nine different colors ;)) and add to it as the week goes on. This morning I was actually pretty motivated, but I had such a hard time focusing.

While Maelie ate her breakfast, I was planning to send out an e-mail to my Bible study. (That didn’t happen until much later.)

Then, while she was painting or doing puzzles, I was going to have some quiet(er) time…catching up on a study I’m doing and reading some Psalms. Instead, I felt guilty that I hadn’t shoveled yet and the poor mailman (or woman) would have to tromp through four-ish inches of fluffy snow…and so I took Maelie outside to “play” at 8:30 a.m. :) She had fun in the snow and “helped” me shovel, which only made everything take longer, but it’s about the memories, right? And those were most definitely made. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This afternoon was more of the same. I went to clean the kitchen and got sidetracked by a basket of laundry that needed folding. I pulled out the vacuum, and it sat in the living room for two hours before I actually used it.

Just call me incredibly scattered today. Oy…

Even tonight…I sat down to finally write after my usual, Monday night workout, and I got distracted by this site. Oh, don’t misunderstand me…I think it’s fantastic to use your smarts to donate rice to help feed the hungry. And…it was a good reason to brush up on my world geography. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But, still…did I actually do what I intended? Um, nope…well, not til at least 10:30 p.m.

I guess some days are just like that…all over the place.

I’ve been doing a bit of reflecting on Friday’s post.

I couldn’t believe how hard it was to publish that.

Ever the non-rule-follower, I actually do follow the rules for Five-Minute Friday, and after my five minutes of writing were done, I saved the draft, plopped on the couch next to my hubby…and cried. I could have not pushed the publish button, I guess…I was caught in this strange place of wanting to know how honest I should/could/wanted to be.

Not everything needs to be shared, ya know? And I wasn’t sure I wanted to share all of that. I don’t feel I owe any of my readers an explanation for my obvious openness…it’s certainly not the first time I’ve bared my soul. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But it was a hard post to put out into the blogosphere.

The funny thing? Was that I felt free after I published it. Almost as if God said, Ok, Mel…you know what you need to do, so just do it. Trust Me. Actually, pretty sure He did…and has been saying it for awhile. :)

And that makes me smile. It’s a good place to land after a scattered day. Here’s hoping for a little more focus tomorrow. :)



Been awhile since I’ve done this one. And it’s a good way to wind down on a Sunday night. :)

Current Reads: Just finished Unglued (Lysa Teurkeurst)…we read that one for Mom’s Bible Study. It was so, so good…I recommend it to just about anyone. Just about finished with A Year of Biblical Womanhood (Rachel Held Evans) which has been a fun and challenging read. Also almost finished with The Do-What-You-Can Plan (Holley Gerth) and so excited to dive into her new book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream! (Planning to start it tomorrow!)

Current Playlist: I actually just made a new favorites/running playlist a few days ago. Even splurged and bought a few new favorite songs on iTunes. This one is definitely toward the top of the list…I even hold my own little karaoke session in the car whenever it’s on. :)

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: These. Found on Pinterest, of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I decided that even if we didn’t have plans for the Super Bowl, we could still eat something yummy. Oh, my.

Current Colors: Gray and mustard yellow, green, cream, black. Lovin’ a lot of colors right now.

Current Fetish: Leg warmers and tall boots…two things I love about being cold and am desperately trying to wear as often as possible. :)

Current Food: See above. Though we went out for some pretty amazing buffalo chicken pizza here last night. Gotta be a winner when you combine two of my favorites.

Current Drink: Water. Though thinking about making some coffee. Yes, I’m boring. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Current Wishlist: Nothing, really. I’m boring? A new laptop, but that will have to wait. Still got a few miles left in this new-to-me one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Current Needs: Peace…and more trust in my Father through some uncertainties that seem to be looming on the horizon. He is Good.

Current Triumph: A pretty fantastic week (minus a few isolated incidents) with my daughter. Less and less temper tantrums, less and less mama-frustration…lots more happy memories and bonding moments. She is my sunshine. :)

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Rude drivers who don’t obey merge signs. (Not that I’ve had a recent experience with that or anything. ;))

Current Celebrity Crush: Well, there’s this pretty cool guy. And he’s married to a girl who could maybe be a published author in the near future. And that would make him a celebrity, right? Yeah, I’ve got a crush on him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Current Indulgence: Too much coffee. I blame it on the creamer…always the creamer. And that sinful, buttery dessert I may have mentioned a few times already.

Current Mood: Subdued with a bit of guilt. I should be trying to add a chapter or two to the rough draft tonight. (Though there is definitely still time since I don’t really care about the game. ;))

Current #1 Blessing: One? Really? My little family. My sweet friends. My Father and His love for me.

Current Slang or Saying: Oy; Oh, goodness; Really?!

Current Outfit: Hoodie, jeans, and my favorite slipper boots.

Current Link: I always hate this one. I’ve got a bunch of new faves on the sidebar of my blog…feel free to check ’em out! :)

Current Photo: Tonight you get me and my sweet boy, Andre. Love him. :)

Happy almost-Monday, friends! Hope your weekend was a good one.


Five-Minute Friday: Afraid

Today Iโ€™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.

Todayโ€™s Topic: Afraid

Really? Really? Do we have to talk about fear today of all days?

Gotta admit that was the first thing I thought of when I saw the FMF topic for today.

Being the emotional worrier that I am, I very much think about the what if’s of life a little too frequently. Before I make a decision…or even get to the point where I might be ready to make a decision…a thousand of these must be considered.

This mama heart…the one that spends her days with the most wonderful little toddler girlie…has a very afraid heart when it comes to the thought of more kids. Oh, it’s been on our minds and in our hearts for a while, for those of you who have wondered.

Gotta be honest, though, and admit how scary that is for me. Babies don’t come easily for me and T. Pregnancy struggles and loss before Maelie were hard enough. I can’t imagine them after.

This fear…this time of truly being afraid…has ruled so much of where my heart is when it comes to more.

Part of me wants to never again subject myself to the pain of loss, while the other part feels a loss for the thought of never trying to have more.

I’m afraid…I am. In some ways, it’s very much like being afraid of the dark…not knowing what ‘s out there. Letting my mind wonder…and not allowing my heart to trust. And in this kind of dark, my Father whispers. I like His whispers because they’re loud and clear. Put Your trust in Me. You don’t need to be afraid.

And so…we trust. Pray for us?

When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. Psalm 56:3 (NIV)

Five Minute Friday