Behind the Scenes: My Heart and an Invitation


This picture has popped up on my blog a few times lately.

Yeah, I think she’s pretty adorable. :)

A couple months ago, we took advantage of a Groupon deal and hired a photographer to come out to our C’ville stomping grounds and take some family pictures.

Let me tell you, friends…with a spunky toddler like we have, this was a tall order to fill.

But he rocked it, despite the fact that she was constantly on the move.

And? He managed to capture this gem.

To say that I. Completely. Love. It. is just scratching the surface.

Because what this is…it’s me and my girl and my passion and my heart all miraculously captured in one, beautiful photo.

For years, I have dreamed of writing. Of blogging, of publishing, of making a name for myself. (I didn’t say all of these were noble aspirations.) πŸ˜‰

And during those years, another dream of mine has been dancing around my feet, sometimes holding my hand, sometimes spinning on her own.

This girl.

Maelie girl.

She’s fabulous.

And she’s my calling, my dream, my heart.

She is who I want to be my priority every second of the day.

Even over writing and blogging and publishing and being all that those things bring.

And so this picture…this snapshot of our moments…it represents so much.

Because I love my daughter to the moon and back. (Plus infinity…just ask her. ;))

I still love to write…

I still want to publish a book…

I still dream of being a contributor on a blogand that one is happening soon, so stay tuned!

But my point?

Is that I want moments like the one in this photo all the time.

I want her all the time.

And so…I’m redefining.

Making mommyhood, marriage, a follower of my Father, a friend…priorities.

Oh, I’ll still write…’cause a writer still needs air sometimes. Plus, I just love to write…I can’t give it up.

But I’ll do that when she’s in bed. Or having her quiet time. Or watching her hour of tv (hour, not hourS).


And I’m not perfect. I’ll fumble, I’ll fail, I’ll write a blog post while she watches yet another episode of Sofia the First or Doc McStuffins.

But where my heart is now?

It’s in that place where I don’t want to miss a single moment.


And, friends?

I’ve been given a great opportunity, one I am incredibly thankful for, one I didn’t plan on…but one that God was weaving into His plan all along.


I am completely blown away by the opportunity to be an (in)courager.

Squeeeeeeeee! πŸ˜‰ (Plus, imagine a little happy dancing, too.)

I am so excited to encourage and invest in the lives of other stay-at-home mommas like me…ones who, I have a feeling, struggle with many of the same things I do.

(In)courage has a new session of (in)courager groups kicking off this week, and registration is open! If you’re looking for a small group, a place to connect with women in the same season of life, a place to be encouraged…this is exactly for you.

You can go here to read the heart behind (in)courager groups AND to find one that is the perfect fit for you. Of course, I’d love it if you joined my group, but look for the one that best meets you in your current season. (And as of tonight, my group is full…but there are TONS of groups…go find one! ;))

You will love it. I promise. :)

It makes me smile to look back at the last few weeks…to see how He is weaving together pieces of my heart and writing another part of my story. Pulling back on a few things, but still filling my life with amazing blessings.

And reminding me of the ones I already have.


Happy Tuesday, friends! Today is the day when I join some sweet friends at Crystal’s 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.Β The sneak peek behind the scenes, a look past the edges of the photo to the real life behind it.

I hope you’ll take some time to pop over and read the sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-tear-jerking, just-fun stories that go on behind the actual photos. :)



  1. I love reading you heart! God always whispers to us the path we are to take and through it we find blessings unimaginable. Some days, we don’t regard them as such, but they are blessings no less.
    I can’t wait to hear about your new blog contribution! And, I can SO relate to Sophia the First! She is a regular in our family room. Have a wonderful day, friend!

    • Thank you so much, friend…your words are a blessing today. :) And, yep…Sofia. Gotta love little girls and ALL things princess! Have a great day! :)

  2. You both are so beautiful! And it’s so amazing that God manages to keep calling us forward and shifting things to let us be all that He made us to be. I love your precious heart. You smile always brings one to my face and your words and threads, weaving into what He wants to speak to my heart so often. Love to you sweet friend. You are amazing.

  3. So excited that you’re leading a group! You absolutely have the gift of encouragement and so thankful you’ve been given a platform to keep on doing what you do best~ =)

    • Aw, thank you, friend! I’m really looking forward to it…it’s kind of a dream I didn’t even know I’d dreamed. πŸ˜‰ Blessings and happy Tuesday to you!

  4. Beautiful! I’ve read about “Behind the Scenes” but haven’t had a chance to visit until today. Looking forward to meeting you at the Allume newbie meet up :-).

    • So glad you stopped by today, Mary! And, yes! SO looking forward to meeting you at Allume…I can’t believe it’s NEXT month! Happy Tuesday to you. :)

  5. I want to gush over this, but you know where I’m at right now… so I will just say I love you, friend. You already were an encourager πŸ˜‰

    • (((hugs))) to you, sweet friend. I know. And I’m keeping you in my prayers…can’t wait to see how His dreams for you unfold! Love you! :)

  6. “to see how He is weaving together pieces of my heart and writing another part of my story.” This resonates with me and it seems I’ve been saying it a lot lately too! So excited for you my friend, it’s amazing to be an (in)courager!

    • I hope I didn’t steal your words…promise I wasn’t trying to! πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your sweet encouragement, friend. I’m so excited for this journey! Happy Tuesday. :)

  7. whoop whoop Mel! That’s awesome you are becoming an (in)courager, I’ll be looking for your first post :) That’s so exciting! And I’m glad you are finding you can make time for both dreams, your daughter and writing. πŸ˜€

  8. I love you my friend. You inspire me with your words and your heard. I have decided to test the waters and be an (in)courager, after seeing all you lovely ladies post about it on FMF every week. You have solidified that this was a good choice!

  9. You are indeed already an encourager. Thanks for sharing your heart here.

  10. What a lovely photo and what beautiful words you’ve written! As the mother of three, count ’em, three, girls, I know all too well how fast the minutes become hours become days and years. Savor them!

    • Thank you, sweet friend! And thanks for the reminder to savor each minute, too…yep, I’m almost afraid to blink. But I know each day is a gift, and it’s one we need to soak up completely and make those memories. :) Blessings to you!

  11. I love hearing your heart (wiping tears). God is already using you in such a mighty way as an encourager and He will continue to use you. He will be able to use you because you are focused on the right priorities. Thank you for sharing your heart and parts of your life with us. Love you girl, have a blessed week

  12. Just so much yes! And this: “She’s fabulous. And she’s my calling, my dream, my heart.”
    Oh – Amen, my friend!!!

  13. Beautiful picture and a beautiful reminder of our first calling as moms. I love where your heart is in this post and in your words, and love how the Lord is honoring your commitment to Him and to your family by allowing your dreams to unfold in His hand. You have such an honest way of speaking out Mel. I love coming here to visit every week.

  14. I love that picture. You ladies are so sweet. :)

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