Behind the Scenes: Just Breathe

There are few moments…few…in the life of this extrovert when space is needed.

Yep, I’m mostly being serious.

I thrive from time spent with friends, my family…and it’s possible I thrive equally on caffeine, too. (Just keepin’ it real today, friends. ;))

That’s why I surprised myself last week.

Or, maybe it wasn’t really a surprise. That much, anyway. I’d seen it coming for awhile.

You see…this space has been going for almost three years. Yep, that’s a long time for Mel to stick to anything. I wrote a lot more during the first two years, but I’ve been posting at least twice, sometimes three times, a week since I started my blog.

And it’s slowly taken it’s toll.

Not always in a bad way, but I was exhausted. Emotional. Potentially starting to detest the idea of sitting down to splash out words from a tired heart that didn’t want the gift of words anymore.

But we can’t always throw away our gifts, can we? And, to be honest, I didn’t really want to.

And so I took a break. As in, I replied to the comments from last Tuesday, and I broke for a week.

That was not an easy thing for me to do.

My online community…where many of my sweet sisters and friends dwell…they were thriving and sharing life, and everything in me wanted to glue myself back together, take back my words, and rejoin them to tweet and pin and insta-whatever…just be a present part of their lives.

But I didn’t.

And instead, I embraced this.


This path.

This quiet.

It’s one I used to detest.

Going on and on with not a whole lot more than solitude and creepy woods, it used to bore me to tears. (Not really…no actual tears involved. Just sweat running over my eyes, but that’s kind of the same thing, right?!) 😉

Last week I pounded out over 22 miles on this path.

Part of that is because I somehow got myself signed up for a 10k that involves a lot of running and a lot of hills and, therefore, I need to train my body to go further than 3.1 miles.

But I don’t think that’s the only reason I ran it over and over.

Do you ever have those weeks, friends?

The kind when you question everything?

I’d like to say that I spent this time in prayer…in praising God for His amazing creation. In thanking Him for giving me the physical ability to actually run multiple miles without (mostly) feeling like I’m going to die. In lifting up friends and those I love who are hurting.

Sadly, I think I spent more of my time arguing with Him…telling Him how I thought things should be.

How this writing thing should be easier and the words should just be flowing…it shouldn’t be this hard.

How relationships should be a lot less complicated, too…why can’t we just get along all the time?

And telling Him that I think now (or, at least nine months from now) is the perfect time for us to have another baby…and why doesn’t He think so, too?!

There was a lot more than that, I’m sure. (And so you all aren’t disappointed, I did still sing along sometimes.) 😉

But in the middle of it, even after unleashing that much frustration…I still heard Him.

Breathe. Just Breathe.

I’ve got this.

Friends, I struggle every day.

I struggle to accept the fact that He truly does have it all.

Because I have a plan in my head that seems *so perfect*and I forget that my plans should be His and surrendered and taken out of my fully-open palms and placed into His.

Oh, how hard that is to do.

This is the path where I told Him all of that as my feet pounded and the tears mixed with sweat and the words

Lord, I need You, Oh, I need You

played over and over.

That time for me and my heart and Him.

And now I’m back.

I’m not sure what’s different yet, but something is.

Because He’s Good and He hears the hearts of His children.


On Tuesdays, I link up with my friend, Crystal, at her space for Behind the Scenes.

Social media and online relationships can make us feel like everyone else has it all together. We’re edited, proof-read, Pinterest-perfect versions of ourselves (or so some might think!) when – in reality? There is an unfinished pile of laundry around the corner. That cute toddler smiling for the camera just had a massive meltdown seconds ago. That yummy breakfast-for-dinner you just showed us on Instagram? It’s because the cat licked the chicken that was supposed to be for dinner.

“Behind the Scenes” is a fun link up where we show those photos – but tell the real story behind them. The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.

If you have some time, feel free to stop by for some great stories of the fun and funny, the sad, the joyful…all of those things that happen behind the camera lens. I hope you’ll join us! :)



  1. Dear sweet Mel
    Oh, I hear your heart, my friend. This morning when I woke up and had to get up with the Fm/CFS I also seriously wondered how long dearest Jesus before you come to take us home. I was not able to write last week because of a bad case of flu and bladder infection as well, but my good friend, Floyd, helped me out. I am so touched today by your sharing today of your deepest struggles and questions as wel as Crystal’s and I just love how we can be open to one another here where we know we will not be condemned! Love you, my friend.
    Blessings XX

    • I’m so sorry that you’ve had such a rough time, friend. Praise God for amazing friends who will step in and help out and encourage you like that. So grateful for this community…love and prayers to you, sweet Mia! (((hugs)))

  2. Taking a break is always a good plan. And no, the words don’t always naturally flow, and I believe that’s a good thing. I have been a professional journalist, writer, editor and teacher of creative writing for fifteen years now. I used to resent it when there were no words, or when I needed to take some time out. Now I see it as something that has enormous benefits.

    We all struggle with our spiritual practice, regardless of the path we follow. And I had a perfect plan too. I was in a relationship with a functioning alcoholic and I chanted every day twice a day for months that our relationship be transformed and we both find happiness with each other, that she would stop drinking. And then she broke up with me. I was like “WHAT? That’s not what I was chanting for.” Turns out, that was exactly what I was chanting for. Seven years later, we are friends who talk over email. She quit drinking. It just didn’t look like it looked in my head when I was asking for it. But you know what? It’s exactly what was right for both of us.

  3. Yes this is the story of my life…how I know the plan He has for me better than I think He does! Somehow I can always look back and see God’s provisions but it seems it is always in hindsight. Sending love your way!!

  4. Love you, Mel. That is all. {{hugs}}

  5. Here’s a great big ((hug)) from me to you!!! One thing I’ve always appreciated and loved about you is your honesty…mixed in with your humor and words that make me smile, you live an authentic, real life in your everyday-ness and through your blog. How I can’t help but think about how God smiled down upon you as you poured out all your ‘why’s’ and hard questions to Him. Sometimes I think we forget that He is big enough to handle our tough questions, that He loves when we are real and genuine with Him… friendship is about sharing the good and the brokenness… and He loves to share both in relationship with us! Have you ever heard Amy Grant’s song, Somewhere Down the Road? I listen to it at least once a year when I’m asking God some tough questions! It’s a good reminder…that He’s in control, and I just have to keep walking in Faith that He indeed holds the answers to all these tough questions I’m asking now. Here’s the youtube link:

    • You are such a sweet encouragement to me, friend…thank you for the blessing you are. :) Thanks for sharing that song, too! It’s a good one. :)

  6. I’m praying for you, Mel. We all have moments where we need to workout what is going on inside of us with God. It’s okay. And breaks are good as well. Both of these things can reposition our focus and cause us to breathe easier.
    I’m praying for some wonderful deep breaths for you, girl! Happy Tuesday!

  7. I love your sweet honest heart. There are those moments when we know He is calling us to turn off the noise of the world, even the good noise and just spend time with Him. Opening our hearts hidden places for Him to piece back together is such a hard thing especially for us women just because we want to handle everything with our control. However, we know we are never really in control at all. Big {{{HUGS}}} for you as you continue towards His calling on your life.

    • Thank you for the hugs, prayers, and the encouragement you are to me, my friend! There were definitely blessings in those quiet(er) days, but it is good to be “back”, too! I’m praying I’ll be able to find a better balance in all of this. Hope you’re having a wonderful week! (((hugs))) :)

  8. So you know, this waiting on God doesn’t end in your 20s or 30s or 40s. It is a constant discipline, which will keep rearing its ugly head until our dying days. (Leave it to me to keep it real!) I’m just glad He gives us His Word, and friends to guide us and let us vent during those times. Coffee and a sympathetic ear do much to enliven the music of the soul!

    • :) I’m thankful for those things, too…and especially thankful that He’s patient and loving, despite the fact that I question far more than I trust. Gotta work on that. 😉 Hugs, friend!

  9. I love this! And I am so proud of you for taking a break… for not giving in to the pressure and the lies and the push through it and suck it up voices that try to bully us into overdoing it! We all need a break… and the fruit of it will be more and more evident as it blossoms out of a heart well-rested! Bless you, sweet friend!

  10. Oh my sweet friend how those words wash over my heart. I knew there was a reason I had not made it over here until today. God always at work…..I have been running in the “scary woods” as my girl calls them a lot lately too. I got close to 20 in and it felt good. It’s where God and I talk too. And the need to step away, I feel like that too. He has slowed me down way more than I expected as of late, but it has purpose and I’m so glad that your training is going well!! So proud of you!! Keep going, you are going to be amazing!! Much love to you :)

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