Five-Minute Friday: Nothing

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!

Today’s prompt: Nothing

I was up early this morning.

We didn’t have to be anywhere until 10:30 and I’d already squeezed two workouts into yesterday. It was truly a morning off, and I wanted to write.

I made the coffee, I gave myself some time to wake up, I read a few verses. And then I sat down, hoping the words might flow.

There were a few attempts, but it soon became clear that it wasn’t the morning for writing.

I had nothing.

And so I poured a cup of coffee and wandered to the back porch with my laptop, hoping for some inspiration. Even the cool, perfect morning (and the equally perfect caffeine) 😉 just didn’t do it.

Nothing. No inspiration.

Friends, it’s been a dry season…and it’s been pretty quiet around here, too. I can’t quite explain it or even understand why the words just aren’t there. There have been times it’s been frustrating, and other times it’s been a relief.

But mostly…well, mostly I just wish I could write.

I miss it. A lot.

And sometimes I feel like nothing when I can’t get the words out.

I know the truth…and so I tell it to myself over and over…that though it feels like there’s nothing, it’s a great big something. It’s just that my something looks much different.

And so I embrace it the best I know how…

in a park date with my daughter, flower planting with a sweet friend, a mug of coffee on a perfect (if wordless!) morning, a visit from Indo friends, even sunshine and a bit of a sunburn.

None of those are nothing…in fact they are pretty incredible somethings.

And I’m whispering thanks…because He is good.

And because I know that someday the words will be back, too. :)


Five Minute Friday


Take Me Deeper

There are moments in life when I wish I could go back.

Yes, I often ache to relive memories…but there is one in particular. And I want to go back so I can savor it a little more.

I wish I had known, at the time, the turning point in our lives that July 30, 2005, would mark. It was the day our Cathay Pacific flight touched down in Jakarta, and, for the first of many times, our weary feet met the soil of Indonesia.

Our feet were always weary at the end of that trip…30+ hours of cramped airplane space and crossing oceans will do that to just about anyone! 😉

We knew we were setting out on an adventure. Following a calling. That our lives were changing dramatically. All of that…plus more.

But I don’t think we understood just how much the two years we’d committed to, along with the extra three we signed up for later, would change us.

I’d like to go back now…to look at myself then versus now.

And maybe to also tell that 27-year-old girl it was all going to be okay…more than okay, because her Father had great plans in spite of the inadequacy she felt.

Today I’m over at God-sized Dreams, sharing more of my Indonesia story. Will you join me?


Photo Credit: Emrys Roberts


A Lesson from Qatar + A Bucket List

So a couple months ago we took a trip to Indonesia. This post has been a long time coming…and it took awhile to write, so we’re going back a couple months. 😉


That’s in Qatar.

Here you go…a map, just so you don’t have to go and look it up. :)

So we layed-over in Doha, Qatar, both going to and coming home from Indonesia. When we first booked our flight with Qatar Airways, I had to look it up on a map. Where is this mysterious country? Is this even a country? (Ahem…clearly, geography was not my strong suit. Actually, it was, but I missed out on this one.)

So I located it, a little peninsula of a country sticking out into the Persian Gulf and, in my opinion, just a bit too close to the country of Iran, but whatever. A motto in my life is to embrace the world, and so I at least try to do that.

So I can’t really tell you, probably due to my lack of coherence (and sleep) at that point in my day, exactly what my first impressions of Qatar…or, at least the airport, were. I remember that we took stairs off the airplane, boarded a big bus, and took a ride to the actual airport, where we went through security again and then made our way to a lounge for eight hours. (Hubby and a guy from Britain decided to strike up a conversation about the missing Malaysia Airlines plane at this time. Gee, thanks…just what I want to talk about as I’m traveling. by. PLANE.)

But the lounge was nice. It needed more beds…really…but comfy chairs, showers, food, and the coolest coffee maker ever more than made up for the lack of places to ACTUALLY. LIE. DOWN. 😉 (And I tried to take a picture of the coffee machine and got yelled at…yep, apparently using my iPhone in the food area of the lounge was a big no-no. Though the woman who scolded me had no argument to back up her scolding. Just trust me…it was cool.) 😉

QatarCoffeeBut I DID sneak this picture of my COFFEE. IN. THE. LOUNGE. (Hand slap.) 😉

Anyway, back to my purpose in telling you all of that. 😉 Since the food was all-you-can-eat, we chose those hours to make up for the less-than-stellar airline food we’d been served, which had gone mostly uneaten. (Except for the bread, the cheese, and the little KitKats.) 😉 And, oh, the food. It was a spread of yummy deliciousness…pastries, breads, sandwiches, fruit, and hummus.

I swooned over that hummus. (And ate as much as I could without feeling physically ill. Or maybe I did feel a little sick. A little.) 😉

It was while I was munching on, yet another, triangle of pita doused in hummus that I realized it…Eating hummus in the Middle East should have been added to my bucket list. You know, the bucket list I’ve been saying I would write for years and never actually HAVE?

Yeah, that one.

The reality is that I probably should write it soon before all that’s left is for me to go skydiving. Because I will never go skydiving, so there.

If you’ve had a conversation with me regarding the trip we took, you may know that really the only negative thing I have to say about our trip to Indonesia involves laying over in Qatar…probably something we will not choose again. (Though the hummus was good.) But there was a takeaway from our time there, and for that I am thankful. (Oh, and I also bought a mug and a little stuffed camel, so I guess I took those things away, too.) 😉

I took away the inspiration to write a bucket list for us. Me in particular, but I’m hoping Tobin and Mae will jump in, too. They’re invited, and so are you. :)

So here it is…the beginning of it all at least, complete with my happy little commentary.

And, of course, subject to additions for the rest of my life. 😉


1. Learn to play another instrument and actually play it somewhere. (If anyone will let me!)
2. Sell a piece of my art.
3. Publish my book. (Finish it first, I guess…and then find an agent, too!)
4. Become fluent in another language. (I seem to have a good head-start in Indonesian…) 😉
5. Learn to roast coffee beans.
6. Speak at least once at a writer’s conference.
7. Build a coffee table.


1. Visit the pyramids in Egypt.
2. Take a boat ride on the Nile and maybe even swim there. (I know, I know. Let’s not talk about the crocodiles, k?) 😉
3. Shop the markets in Turkey. (Must. Buy. A. Cute. Bag.)
4. Take a mommy/daughter trip to another country.
5. Do an overland safari in Africa.
6. See Machu Picchu in Peru.
7. Visit Australia and hold a koala. (Except for Antarctica, it’s the only continent we have left.)


1. Adopt a child.
2. Visit an orphanage with Mae.
3. Read 100 chapter books aloud with Maelie.
4. Return to Indonesia as a family for an extended period of time to serve.
5. Spend a year as a family doing acts of kindness for others.
6. Let Mae choose any adventure she wants to take for her 10th birthday and just go.
7. Do something wild and unexpected for a friend.
8. Do something wild and unexpected for a stranger.


1. Buy plane tickets, pack our suitcases, and just go…all in the same day.
2. Buy a home in Bali for retirement someday.
3. Take our friends on a crazy, other-side-of-the-world, getaway for my 40th birthday.
4. Buy a motorbike/scooter in the U.S. (T made me add U.S. ’cause I had one in Indo…) 😉
5. Go a month without using a car at all.
6. Get a tattoo.


1. Break 27:00 on a 5k.
2. Run a 10k in under one hour.
3. Run a half marathon.
4. Do CrossFit for six months.
5. Learn to do yoga.
6. Run a 5k as a family. (All of us. Running.)
7. Complete a triathlon. (Shakin’ in my Nikes already…)


1. Read through the Bible in six months.
2. Memorize the book of Philippians. (I’m 3/8 of the way done. At least I used to be.) 😉
3. Lead an overseas mission trip.
4. Spend a year volunteering for Mercy Ships in Africa.
5. Go to Uganda with Sole Hope.
6. Learn to love like Jesus.

Did I miss anything? (Of course I did…every time I proofed this list, I kept adding to it!!!) 😉

What would you add?

Here’s to a beautiful life…join me? 


Less Words…

This might be the kind of day when I heart-spill a little too much.

So if I do, forgive me. :)

It’s 5:45 in the morning, and I’m up early because…well, because I’m trying to get into a good routine, and as much as I’d love to sleep much, much longer, this is my time to get things done.

I have to admit to you that I wish I were drinking coffee right now. We’ve got a big ‘ol container of Bailey’s Mudslide Coffee Creamer in our fridge right now (it was the only size they had) and OH. Yes, it DOES make me want to drink coffee all day. (As if it takes creamer to do that…) 😉 But, alas, I am not drinking coffee.


See, I’m also trying to be better about getting up to run early in the morning. I’ve been good during the last few months about doing lots of strength training and cardio/strength, but I need to get back to running more often. And my rule? No coffee til the run is over.

I know. Oh, I know. ‘Tis a bit brutal. 😉

I’m pondering life and love and the fact that my sweet three, almost-four, year-old finishes PK3 today. It has been such a good year for her, and I’m finding myself thinking back to the times when I would finish a year of school; especially when I was younger, I would always be devastated to say goodbye to my teacher. Clearly that emotion has been passed, straight on, to my girlie.

She cried yesterday when she told me she had one more day. I don’t WANNA leave Mrs. H! Or Mrs. B!

And, oh, how there is that piece of me that would gladly let her remain there forever…but we go forward anyway.

And with a few tears because that’s how a lot of us roll, I think, whether we’ll admit it or not.

And along with the whole finishing PK3 thing comes other milestones to remind me that my little girl is growing up so fast. A ballet recital on Sunday in a sparkly costume with her hair all pretty and MAKEUP. So not ready for this one…

A real, kid birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate the BIG FOUR. Not ready for that one in a completely different way…

Swimming lessons to come. That one I’m excited for…she’s been asking, and I want it for her.

So many changes every day…the pants get shorter and the cute little shirts don’t cover her belly anymore. Her aqua toenails peek over the edge of he flip flops, and I realize it…

…I wasn’t looking, and she grew up.

So time marches on, and while the snuggles and kisses remain, the I-love-you’s are a daily thing, and we laugh and dance together because it’s just what we do, I know it’s going to change.

That’s the part I don’t want to come.

I think back to the things I’ve always wanted so much for her…

To know that she’s loved so much…

…accepted as she is…

…and beautiful. SO beautiful.

Those things…they start with me.

And God has been doing some things in my heart when it comes to my daughter.

I was in Houston a few weeks ago with some pretty awesome sisters, and during our time there, a friend and I took a little break outside for a bit to sit by the pool in the glorious, Texas sunshine. (You know, that thing we haven’t seen much of in FOREVER here? Yep.) 😉 We were chatting up life…the two of us are in different parenting seasons…and I was soaking in all she had to say. The mama of four daughters, she gets this…

And I admitted to her that I felt like the blog was wearing me down and all I wanted to do was just be mommy. (But please, my readers, don’t run away.) 😉

As we continued to talk, I confessed that I felt like the time and energy I’d spent trying to build and comment and connect had depleted me more than filled me. That was a hard confession because I love…LOVE…this community. I want to be here…writing, sharing, doing life together.

And God isn’t saying to give that up…but He IS saying to step back a little.

That’s why it’s been so quiet in this space. It’s been a word battle anyway lately, but I also haven’t spent as much time at the computer. The majority of my day is spent with my girl…how it should be anyway. And nights are a little different, too…I used to spend them commenting and answering comments and reading blogs…and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But you see, I have a husband, too. He and I are desperately trying to find our dance again. We’ve both kind of forgotten how that looks, but it definitely doesn’t involve computer screens.

It’s such a confusing place to be…knowing I’m meant to be a writer, but being aware that to everything there is a season. And I think it’s my season to write less. A lot less.

I miss connecting with my community as often. I miss the twitter parties and late nights…and while I may show up once in awhile, it’s no longer the commitment I sprint out of praise team for. It’s an added blessing when my day allows it.

And so, for this season, the rough draft still sits. The blog is a bit quieter. And the words flow through my heart more than they do through my fingertips.

But I’m good with that because it’s where I need to be.

And now I need to go…because four miles, a pot of coffee, and a sweet, three year-old princess await me.

Life is so incredibly beautiful…and I don’t want to miss any of it.




Five-Minute Friday: Grateful

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!

Today’s prompt: Grateful


This little girl is going to finish PK3 next Thursday. Hold me, ’cause I hardly know what to do with it all.

I’ll never forget the first day of PK last August. It was an emotional day, one when the tears just flowed. I was honestly surprised that I cried, but when I think about it…well, it doesn’t surprise me anymore.

I get it now…how quickly the days go, how the months seem to fly, how they just grow so fast. It’s sweet and it’s sad, but it’s all good.

This thing called mommyhood…the beautiful gift wrapped in love and crazy and hugs, a bit more crazy and even more love…well, it’s wonderful. Sometimes it feels like a wreck, especially on the days when the temper tantrums abound…but at the end of the day, yep.

My heart just bleeds gratitude. And so much LOVE.

I’m so grateful that I get to raise this girl. I feel so lucky. And even more blessed.

Last week we were playing with my phone. Lately it’s been a struggle to get her to actually look at the camera and smile at the same time…but the first thing she wanted to do?

Mommy, let’s take selfies! (Yes, she knows that word…ScArY.) 😉

And so we took a string of them. Some smiley, some goofy, some sweet…and the quality of them is terrible because I didn’t take the time to adjust the flash, check the lighting, or even to wipe the smudged makeup from the corners of my eyes. I just snapped the memories, and to me…well, they’re perfect memories.

And that sweet afternoon lives in my heart forever, too…and I’m so grateful.

Grateful that He chose me to be her mama and that we get to spend our days together. The tears threaten to spill over when I think of the years that are flying, but I wouldn’t trade a bit of it.

Thank you, Father, for my girl. :)

I am so very blessed.


Five Minute Friday



bike canvas

I was walking through Hobby Lobby the other day and I came across this. And I had to have it.

Bonus? It was 50% off…I think I paid $7 for it. (I really, really, loooove that store.) 😉

Yes, it’s a bike and not much else. No inspirational words, no deep thoughts to ponder, just a bike.

A bike.

And yet, it somehow struck a chord with me.

So we’ve been home from Indonesia for about four years and back from our visit for 38 days.

38 times I’ve woken up in the morning, most days with at least a smile because this really is such a good place. I love it.

But there have been more-than-a-few days, too, where there’s that ache in my chest followed by a quick, whispered prayer. Father,  I miss it. Why?

That’s a hard thing to admit to y’all…that my first words of the day have sometimes been of wondering and questioning, instead of trust.

It seems that the theme of my life, the story He has for me right now, revolves around the word, Here.

I. Am. Here. Deep, I know…but a concept every single one of you can relate to, due to the fact that you are…well, you are in your here, whatever that may look like, and wherever it may be. 😉

When I was little, I dreamed of another place…anywhere but my small town, where belonging never did happen. I didn’t want my here.

In college, I longed for a place with a bit more freedom.

I got married, and I longed for more because being married is tough stuff and a continual, day by day, process. Still.

In those first years of marriage, it was a longing for His Great Big Plan…wherever that took us.

And when that plan took us to Indonesia, we longed for home…far too often.

And now, here…well, sometimes we long for there.

It’s a jumble of always being Here. And, often, wanting there.

And it’s been a slow process…to accept that where He has me is always what’s best. It is because…well, because it is, and because it has to be.

My plan isn’t better than what He’s got…you’d think I’d have learned that a long time ago.

So if He’s got me here…well, here is where I should be.

And so I wrestle…and surrender. Wrestle again, surrender some more.

The truth is that my heart is torn between countries and continents, the crack separated by an ocean. It hurts…some days more than others and a few blessed ones, hardly at all.

In all of it, though, there’s been that reminder. Mel, you are blessed. And no matter how you’re feeling, and no matter where you are, there are always blessings. And you need to count them.

And so I count.

The sunny days, the rainy ones too. The days when Mae and I dance together and the days when mama and daughter struggle. The times when the adventures abound and the moments when they don’t. The living room picnics and the pony-playing. The sweet days and the hard ones, too.

All of it.

And maybe that’s what that bike meant to me, the second I saw it…Life is an adventure waiting to be lived. Here. Where I am. (<====Click to Tweet!)

How can I live it today?

Well, I doubt I’ll be riding a bike, but I think there will be some dancing with my girl. Some coffee drinking. Some playing outside. We might even take a walk to the park.

And maybe I’ll find a place to hang my new picture, too. :)


On Community and Sisters


I boarded the plane last Friday morning feeling depleted.

It had been a long few months.

Months that were full of so many blessings…trips, reunions, memories, friendship. So much to fill my heart with thanks.

And yet…months that were full of so much discouragement. A halt to my dreams, a funk that I couldn’t pinpoint, words that were gone.

All I knew was that tired reigned and I was running close…so very close…to empty.

Add to that the fact that anytime I fly, the butterflies do backflips. My stomach goes nuts. Really, it’s pretty miserable until the flight is over, and then things tend to calm down. Thankfully the plane landed early, my crazy-70’s-flower suitcase was one of the first bags out of the gate, and I had no problem finding and hopping the transit shuttle to meet my friend, Mandy.

Just a few minutes later we were exchanging a hug, taking a selfie, and grabbing a Starbucks while we waited for another friend to arrive.

The butterflies were gone, and it was the beginning of a beautiful weekend.

Mandy&MelAirportYes, that’s a moonwalking cow in the background. I guess he’s famous? 😉

Just an hour or so later, we were all at Gindi’s house, together…most of us reuniting with hugs and hello-agains, and a few hugging hello for the first time.

It was a moment when I stopped, took a deep breath, and determined to savor it all.

And through the weekend, there was plenty to savor, and I’m not just talking about the awesome food.

Y’all. Really.

Tex Mex, BBQ, sandwiches, chips with spinach dip (Oh. The. Spinach. Dip.), a dessert platter to die for. (It’s a wonder I came back lighter…I have no clue H.O.W.)

But food aside, the community. The sweet conversations. The powerful prayers. The amazing worship. The heart spills. The tears. The laughter. The stories. We came together to talk, plan, and pray about the future of God-sized Dreams, but we left with so much more than that.

It was all an amazing gift.

I still can’t quite wrap my head, or my heart, around the fact that God decided to bless me this much. THIS. MUCH…with a community of women. Writers. Dreamers. Friends. Sisters.

It’s true. They are sisters and my family. And we share life, even if it’s more often through messages and voxer than it is around a table.

They love me even when I’m the ugly crier in the room, they laugh when I get a little crazy and do a cannon ball into a kinda-cold pool, they listen and love when I tell them that I’m not sure of much right now. They smile and do life with me anyway in the mall when the four inch heels just aren’t cutting it and I’m forced to live up to my bloggy namesake. They (somewhat?) willingly happy dance with me. 😉

I’ve spent several days trying to find words…adequate ones…that will explain just how much these women mean to me…and what this weekend meant, too…and there really aren’t words. Just our Father who brought us all together and gives us the reason we’re doing what we do.

I’m thankful. I’m blessed.

And He is Good.

And the weekend did so much for my heart. Even as I boarded the plane Sunday night in Houston when the weather was bad, and I knew that the flight was going to be rough…my heart was still so full.

God gives gifts in all kinds of different ways. This gift…the amazing gift of community…is one I breathe thanks for each day.

To my beautiful sisters…(in no particular order, I promise!)…Mandy, Christine, Holley, Lisa, Alecia, Gindi, Kristin, Elise, Delonna, Elizabeth, Chelle…you truly bless my life, and I am so grateful to be walking this dreaming journey with you.

And I already can’t wait until the next time we exchange hugs. And maybe do a little happy dance together, too. 😉

***Thank you to sweet Lisa, who let me borrow a few of her pictures for this post. :)