2014: Restore

Warning: This turned into an intense, heart-spill. Thanks for reading.

Hi, friends! Happy New Year!

And, yes, I’m blogging three days in a row…which hasn’t happened since, like, 2012.

And now that you’ve picked yourselves up off the floor… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Restore. My word for 2014.


I’ll get to that in a minute. It’s one that has caused more wrestling and wondering and tears before I even chose it as my word for the year.

But let’s back up and talk about Dream for a minute.

It was my word for 2013…and, in every way, the safe choice for the year.

I was already part of the God-Sized Dream Team.

Already in the thick of dreaming and surrounded by so many other dreamers.

It just made sense.

Oh, there were parts of it that were challenging, definitely, and I don’t regret my choice at all. In all of the dreaming, and the hard part…doing, God did incredible things…opened doors and opportunities. 2013 was definitely a dreaming journey, one that has changed my life forever.

But, today…and this year, Restore.

It was supposed to be Create.

You see, that’s the word I wanted. It’s something I love. A word I had planned on making my focus for the year because it’s so easy for me.

To pull out the paint and a canvas and splash art.

To pick up my hook and yarn and make something cute that I’d rather not pay $30 for in a store. Or to make a cute hat for a friend. :)

To frustrate myself through the roof with my Rainbow Loom, but somehow make a cute bracelet. Yes, I bought one. It’s fun. And completely addicting…and, yes, I promise I am 35 years old. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Creating…it comes naturally. And it’s easy.

But God said something different this time…and, ironically, He said it through a painting. (And a whole series of events that make up an incredible account…I’ll be sharing that soon, but not today.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

He said it through this.



I will restore you. Your marriage, your heart, your emotions, your confidence, ALL of it.

You see, I paint a word mural in this space.

While I keep it real most days, unless you know me intimately, you don’t know the brokenness that resides in this heart.

Some of it is my own doing, some of it isn’t.

But regardless of the source, there are pieces of me that need to be restored. Not fixed completelybut at least brought back to a place of being able to shine Him again, even if it’s through cracks.

Our marriage…it’s hard. We are night and day, sunshine and rain…and looking for the rainbow. I know it’s there, and I remind myself of that daily as, sometimes, we try desperately to hold on. The Truth is that we are working to make Him first again. I’m not sure how it happened, but somewhere in the last eleven plus years, we became more me-me-me, and less Him-Him-Him.

Pray for us? Please?

My mommy heart needs to be restored and reminded daily of the blessing I have in my precious daughter. Most days I know it and feel it and the two of us dance it out like the crazy, fun girls we are. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And others…the ones when my period is late or I’m cramping horribly…well, I focus on what I don’t have. Will you pray that God will restore my heart? And because I believe in being real…and also because so many of you are my family…here’s the deal. Really.

And I want you to know it.

We’re focusing on us and our sweet girl. There’s no trying right now, and I’m ok with that. We are hoping a few months down the road that we’ll be in that place again, but today, we’re not there. It’s been a source of me needing to let go of my perfect family ideal…which didn’t include kiddos who were four or five years apart. (If that.) And yet, here we are.

And I long to be ok.

And there’s also a deep desire for freedom and restoration of my past…situations that left me broken, empty, and almost unable to go back to the place that was my home for so many years.

The truth is that, right now, I can’t go back without a pit in my stomach, a hardness to my heart, and tears brimming on my eyelids.

I hate that it’s that way. Hate it.

And I know that ONLY HE can Restore it and somehow glue back together the pieces that fell apart so long ago.

I mean it when I say that it’s almost become easier to live broken than to live Restored.

But I long for it…and He has spoken it.

Now, I need to obey it.

So, Father, please Restore…whatever it is that needs to be restored in me. Make my heart new, make it long for You, make it shine You again. I know You can and You will.

God gave me a verse recently…and, ironically, it popped up as the verse of the day yesterday. But maybe it’s just another little whisper from Him that He’s got this.

This…THIS…it’s my prayer.

My hope.

My promise from Him for 2014.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
ย ย ย ย and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)

Restore 2014. He Will.

And, thank you…to each of you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being willing to walk this journey with me.

That makes you my friend, and I love you for it.

***Linking up at Circles of Faith and the One Word 365 community today.



  1. Brave, beautiful words here. I can relate to family not being what you expected, especially with the timing. I’m laying our third adoption down and it’s both sad and freeing. You and your family are on my prayers. Happy 2014.

  2. Irony! My word for 2013 was “dream” because it was my first year and it was a safe word. My word this year is “create”. It was the word that embodied everything I want for this year. My word was supposed to be “go”. But it didn’t feel right. I am excited to see where these words lead us this year. Love you!

    • That’s right…we did have the same word last year! And, create…love it. Will be fun to see where He takes both of us…maybe Uganda? ๐Ÿ˜‰ In His time. :) Love to you, my friend! So grateful for you!

  3. I am praying for you brave, sweet friend!! I know the hurts of wanting another child so badly in my time and God saying no….not right now. I am praying for all the ways you need restoration – that he would make beauty out of what seems like ashes. Love you girl and am walking with you this year and praying for you along the way!!

  4. I keep trying to tell myself that Intention is NOT my word for this year, but it keeps coming back. I want a safe word, too. Intention is not it. It means that I will have to follow through and complete some things. It means I have to be deliberate and to pay attention. I want a safe word. Intention is not it this year.

    • Isn’t it funny how, when God puts a word on our hearts, it’s hard to brush it aside? Many blessings to you, my sweet, dreaming sister…asking that God will do some BIG things in your life this year!!! Happy 2014 to you! :)

  5. Wow! Thank you for sharing so vulnerably, Mel. May God indeed restore every broken piece, hurtful memory, shattered promise! May He fill you with Himself. (((HUGS))) I also have a scary but essential word this year–Freedom.

    Deb Weaver

    • Thank you for your sweet words, friend. And, Freedom…wow. Praying God does big things through that word in your life this year! :) (((hugs)))

  6. Tears, tears, tears. I am already SO proud of you, girl! You are raw, and it is hard, and you are BEAUTIFUL! He WILL restore. He will. And I am right here beside you, whenever you need, praying, cheering, offering Nutella and a spoon :) Love you!

    • Love you, my sweet sister! That jar of Nutella is just lonely without you…here’s to another couch chat, hot chai, and a jar of it with two spoons…SOON! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So grateful for you.

  7. Cena Becker says:

    Mel we have so much in common…it is a relief to hear someone say the things that burn inmy heart and keep me up at night. thank you for sharing and may God restore you as you continue to live for Him.

  8. Oh Mel. What a beautiful post. When we are real with ourselves and others, we strengthen others’ ability to pray and come alongside. Thank you for inviting us to be part of your cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). Incidentally, I think my #oneword is going to be Sustain.

  9. Honesty. Beauty. I hear the beginning of restoration in your words here. I will be praying ‘restore’ for you throughout this coming year!!

  10. How beautifully you reveal Him even in (especially in) your brokenness. We may not share the same brokenness but we do all have it. Your words have express the desire of my own heart and I thank you for being so open and honest. I join you in prayers that He will restore us each as the year progresses. I love you and can’t wait to see Him restore you.

    PS Isa 43:18-19 are verses I claimed in 2010 and forward as my life verses. I have them posted in all types of places to remind me that He has a plan and is working in my life even when I don’t see it.

    • I love that we share those verses, friend. You have been such a constant source of encouragement and love to me over the past year. I’m so grateful for you! :) (((hugs)))

  11. That verse has been springing up for me too! It was my verse today. I will be praying sweet friend. My heart understands your words so very well. You have a hand holder in me!! Love you!! He’s got this ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • It amazes me that several people have mentioned this verse just in the last few days…God is definitely up to some BIG things! :) You are a blessing, sweet friend…thank you for being a hand holder! Love you! :)

  12. Beautiful, friend. At this point restore sounds so much more hopeful than ‘survive’ but that is how the past two months have felt. Does the email connected to this blog work to write you at? I’ve thought about doing writing…I haven’t been in my blog cause I’ve had too much to process, yet in the brokenness there is peace, there is beauty, there is healing. And that is better than to survive…to heal. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Love you, friend.

    • Oh, how well I understand that word, survive…I feel like most of last year was spent doing just that. There was something so redemptive to me about the word, restore…so life-giving, so promise-filled. My expectations for this year are high, but I also serve a BIG God! One Who can and WILL heal. And, absolutely…you can write me anytime! I will warn you that it usually takes a few days for me to reply, but I will get back to you! Sending you a hug tonight, friend. :)

  13. How beautiful and real,not only your words but you. I know what you mean when you say it’s easier to remain broken than to be restored. There are places in me that need to be restored and where I need to give place to forgiveness, but man oh man, is it hard work!
    Praying for you, sister. I just know this time next year, God is going to have done some major restoring :) I hope you can look back and smile on how far you’ve come.

    • Oh, friend…thank you for your sweet encouragement and prayers. I am so looking forward to exchanging a REAL hug with you soon! Thank you for walking this journey with me and for being such a sweet sister. I am so blessed. :)

  14. Oh Mel…I am sending you a great big hug. Thank you for sharing this…I believe you have made a way for God to do a mighty work . You are willing…and He is able. Oh I love that verse. On New Year’s Eve, we went to an awesome service, and the pastor was talking about how Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s go across to the other side.” He said there is always another side. God is at work in the unseen and I know He desires to restore, yes, but even more to make things new as your scripture says. I will be praying for you. I am anticipating God’s goodness on your behalf. Can’t wait to hug you in person!!

    • I love that…probably the hardest thing for me has been to be willing and trust that He is able. Thank you for that encouragement. Your prayers mean so much, my friend…thank you. And thanks for the hug, too…sending one right back to you! {And I really hope there’s another (in)RL one soon, too!} :)

  15. I’ll be praying for you! Thank you for your courage to share the hard stuff. My husband and I have really been struggling, as a result of his over 3 years of unemployment and our severe strain on finances. I have so many regrets but don’t want to look back. We need to keep moving forward. One of my goals this year is to write those things that cause me to shudder. Thank you for your honesty.

    • Thank you so much for your prayers, friend…they mean so much. I’m lifting you up, too…and asking that God will give us both the courage and strength to go forward. Sending you a hug today. :)

  16. So appreciate you and your brave, beautiful heart, Mel! Praying for restoration in every way in your life this year. Love you! XOXO

  17. Before I even start this comment I can promise it will be long. Bare with me? Dang girl. If only we could grab coffee because this so speaks to my heart and my story and I so wish I could tell it all to you right here! “Restore” has been a word long on my heart, really ever since everything fell apart four and a half years ago. I could see healing in myself and in my own heart, I could even see reconciliation in little patches around the surface, and inside I felt restored in Him. But the relationship? No, there was no “restoring” there. All you said about going back home, eyes brimming with tears and not wanting to go back, yet wanting to want toโ€ฆthat has been me for longer than I can remember. This stopped being my home years ago, while I still lived here even. And I have prayed and believed and hoped and begged and cried and pleaded. I have waited more than I could express in words. And thought I haven’t shared the story (soon, though!) online, God has done a HUGE work the past three months. That old friendship has been restored and after four years I was excited to come home. I haven’t shared because I don’t know how to put a miracle into words and I don’t want to not do it justice. He is only good and just as good as He was before. But I say all this to say don’t give up hope even when you can’t see even a pinprick of light. And then this: I got to “easier to live broken than to live restored” and immediately thought “Oh! I must leave in the comments my verse!” and then I scrolled down and my hands literally flew in the air and I said “shut up. shut up!” out loud. Because Isaiah 43:18-19 have been my verses throughout all of this. When I IG’d the verse a little bit ago, it was the result of a broken relationship being restored, finally seeing that yes He had been doing a NEW thing in me all along but it was finally His timing to do a NEW thing in us. I’ve written a novel, I know, but just keep holding onto Hope, Mel. He isn’t finished yet.

    • First of all…just WOW.

      Second, long comments are always welcome, friend! Your words bring so much hope…hope that is so desperately needed in this heart right now. In many ways, God has already begun restoring, but I sometimes feel like there’s so far to go still…but He’s good. And we always need to cling to that. :) Thank you so much for stopping by this space, for leaving some love, and reminding me of the Hope that is always there. You are a gift to this community…and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with y’all tonight at FMF! It’s been way too long, and I miss you. :) (((hugs)))

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