When Doodling Brings You Closer to God {and a GIVEAWAY!!!}

bible&coffee final

This is a hard thing to admit, but I struggle opening my Bible some days.

Many of the days.

It’s been a struggle for years, and I attribute-without-blaming it to the fact that I attended a Bible college for five years, where the Bible inadvertently became more of a textbook than a gift.

I’ll never forget the first week of my freshman year…the one when we were required to read the entire book of Genesis. I caught myself audibly grumbling as I stayed up well past midnight to finish the required reading. While I’d never been super-crazy-Bible-reading woman, I was pretty good about reading my Bible…and I sure wasn’t enjoying any of this.

Plus, it was a total “On Your Honor” system…did I read it? Yes or No. Circle one.

Oh, goodness, there were days when I was tempted to fudge…but who lies at a Bible college?

And so I squandered sleep and fun and many other things in order to tell the truth about my Bible reading.

And while the whole required reading thing isn’t what this post is about, I know it’s a lot of the reason why I still don’t always view reading the Bible as an enjoyable activity.

It’s just that I don’t always crave God’s Word like I should.

Today I’m over at God-sized Dreams, sharing about a surprising way I’ve learned to enjoy reading the Bible again. Will you join me there?

And, P.S. There’s also a giveaway you won’t want to miss!




Five-Minute Friday: Paint

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: Paint

Ok, so I really thought about making y’all laugh and writing about the ridiculous woodpecker who keeps pecking at our house and is leaving holes in the siding and taking the PAINT off.

I may or may not have totally chased him off with one of my boots today.

But, instead, I’m going to talk about what came to mind first and avoid the possibility of getting into trouble for chucking footwear at a bird. 😉

So, I’m really trying to be a more fun mama.

I mean, there are lots of moments of fun for me and my girl…goodness, we rode a motorbike together in Indonesia. And if there had been vines, I would have totally taken her vine swinging. 😉 And on a normal day, we have a great time. Dancing, playing, couch surfing.

Yes, yes we do.

IndoMotorBut there are also way too many times when I just avoid the mess.

Oh, there are definitely moments of the controlled kind of mess…the kind when we cook together and I just wipe up the messes as they happen. Or when we play with glitter glue and I just spread the newspaper far and wide so I don’t have to deal with the sticky and the sparkle all over Eve.Ry.Thing.

But this week…well, it was different, kind of.

We’ve been talking about painting together…that thing that is just GUARANTEED to change the color of the dining room table forever. But we were walking through Target, and she found it. A cute little princess set with a brush and Real. Live. Paint. (As in, not watercolors.)

Oh boy…and Mel takes a deep breath and spends the dollar so her sweet girl can have an afternoon of painting fun.

She had a blast. She seriously loved it.

And the best part? The paint wiped right off the table.

Win. And here’s to a lot more afternoons of painting and making messes.

Because I’ve got a pretty fantastic girl…and I want to make all the memories we can. :)


Five Minute Friday


Behind the Scenes: That Time I Made a Scarf

So a few months ago, I wrote a post about a vest.

Maybe this picture will remind some of you you? Yes? 😉


I love a good, funky piece of clothing.

And, sometimes? Well, sometimes I’m willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get it…like stalking eBay for years and then getting into bidding wars. You know, hypothetically. 😉

But this vest isn’t what I’m writing about…even though, oh my heart. I love it. :)

You see, y’all (love that word…my heart is totally Southern) were so amazingly sweet when I posted this. I got comment after comment…online and in person…I’ll make one like that for you! Or, I’ll teach you how to make that!

The one thing I didn’t mention in that lovely little post is that I actually can crochet. And, true to Mel form, I taught myself. About a year ago.

Oh, there’s no way I could make that vest…most of what I come up with are in the scarf or cute-hat-with-a-flower categories. And most also are given away. I rarely make anything and actually keep it for myself.

But about a week ago, I watched this cheesy, Hallmark-ish movie. It was a remake of The Gift of the Magi, and in it, the main character had this scarf.

Oh, goodness, this scarf.

It was waaaaay more interesting than the actual movie…and this slightly hippie, Boho-lovin’ girl couldn’t stop staring at it. 

And as I continued to focus on that funky scarf and completely ignored the plot line, I thought, I can make that. It was just a bunch of granny squares sewn together…something I didn’t know how to do, but hey. What’s YouTube for, after all? 😉

Sunday afternoon I finally had a little time to sit down. True, again, to Mel form, I just pulled out my hook and yarn and got to work, sure that it would be a piece of cake to whip up a few of those squares.

Ha. Ha. And Ha.

Nope, I threw away my first mass of tangled yarn and pulled up YouTube later that night. Ten minutes later I had it figured out…and once I got going, I couldn’t stop. (And I may-or-may-not-have stayed up until an ungodly hour of the morning making those cute little squares…which maybe weren’t looking so cute at…ahem…one in the morning.)

But the lack of sleep? Totally worth it. :)



Happy Tuesday, friends! Today is the day when I join some sweet friends at Crystal’s space for Behind the Scenes. We’re sharing the silly and sweet and sometimes-tear-jerking moments that happen behind the camera lens…I hope you’ll take some time and pop over to read some great stories.

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.



Behind the Scenes: A Sanctuary (and a Superwoman Story, Too…)


This may come as a shock to some of you, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m not really Superwoman.


Especially when it comes to tasks that require assembling…well, pretty much anything.

But I surprised myself last Friday night.

So this past June, a friend and I were walking through Target, and I saw The. Cutest. little table and chairs the world has ever seen…exactly something I’d been wanting to buy for awhile. Unfortunately, the price tag was more than I could pay at the time, but I vowed to keep my eye on it throughout the summer, figuring it would go on sale eventually in the land of red and white.

Well, I was right.

I was really right, apparently. Just a week later, the price had been slashed 50%. I bought it immediately.

And then?

The box sat in our garage for a small forever. (Read: two months.)

I’m not exactly sure why.

I’d been dying for a cute little place to sit and drink coffee with a friend, to do my morning Bible study on our back porch, to kick my feet up in the afternoon and read a book…

But there it sat. And sat. And sat.

Finally last week, I decided it was time to put it together.

Hubby was out of town.

I was faced with attempting the impossible to assemble some big and scary furniture all by myself.

And Friday night was the night.

Mae and I had been out most of the day, got caught in a huge storm, made a late(r) night trip to Target…but by 9 p.m. she was in bed, and I was ready.

Tired, but ready.

I tore open the box.

I made sure I had all the pieces.

I read the directions because I am a woman. 😉

And then I found the little allen wrench (totally had to ask hubby what that thing was called…) and started on the first chair.

After (rather painfully) struggling through attaching the first armrest/leg, I decided it would be best to work on both of the chairs at the same time.

It was slow going…I think I finished them around 10:30 p.m. with a quick, I-need-something-to-eat, snack thrown in there.

My muscles were tired from squatting, bending over, and trying to hold pieces in place with one hand and use that little wrench thingy with the other hand.

I actually broke a sweat. (And made a lot of noise when I kept dropping the wrench…)

But I finished.

You can clap here if you so choose. I may or may not have had a little celebration myself. 😉

And the table was my redemption. Five minutes.


Furniture. That. I. Miraculously. Assembled. By. Myself.


The best part? Is that my sweet friend joined me the next morning, just so we could break it in properly with coffee and a long chat.

And no one broke a chair, either. 😉

And since Saturday morning, I’ve managed to sit at that table quite a few times.

Coffee on Saturday morning and Sunday, catching up on a few things today, reading a little…

I love it.

It makes me smile that I finally have a little place…a sanctuary…on my back porch to breathe and just be.

And I’ll gladly reclaim the title of Superwoman if anyone wants to send me a cape. 😉


And, friends? I want to thank all of you who have been stopping by to read my words, leave me some comment love, pray, encourage me…you just bless my flip flops off. Truly.

But for the rest of the week, I’m going to take a break. Just a week…my plan is to be back for Behind the Scenes next week.

I just need a few days to breathe, catch up on some other commitments, and work on a few things that desperately need to move from my brain to paper. Plus, we all need to take a break once in awhile, right? :)

Love you all!


Happy Tuesday, friends! It’s time for one of my favorite link ups, hosted at my sweet friend, Crystal’s place.

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.

Hop over and check out some sweet and silly, fun and moving stories of the things that go on behind the pictures. Some of my favorite bloggy friends hang out there, and I know their words will bless you. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)



Banished to the Basement

No, not really, but I knew that would get your attention. 😉

I’ve actually spent a good part of the day IN the basement, but that was by my own choosing. (But before you go feeling sorry for me, I have a comfy chair, a fleecy blanket, my laptop, and my awesome slipper boots that I hate to ever remove from my feet. Life is really very good with these four items. :))

AND my awesome husband gave me a wonderful, late-Christmas gift.

The afternoon off.

Yes, it deserved bold. I probably should have typed it all in caps, too.

I needed it. Between attempted book-writing, keeping up with the blog, staying connected with my Dream Team sisters, spending as much time as possible with Maelie, and trying to not bow out of regular life…I maybe think I almost, kind-of went a little crazy yesterday. Just maybe. (Though I’m positive I hid it very well.) Add to that the fact that the emotions have been running high this week, and well…enough said.

So we spent this morning together as a family…coffee, took our time getting out of the house, and then made trips to Hobby Lobby and Target to pick up a few things. (Side note: Yes, yes, I know that today was “Support Hobby Lobby Day”. However, I went there because I needed to get a few items, not because I’m into that whole thing. I mean, I support Hobby Lobby and AMEN to their courageous stance against the whole Obamacare fiasco, but I’ll go there anyway, not just on January 5th.)

Ok, ok, climbing down from my soapbox. Hee hee. 😀

Anyway, so when we came home, I temporarily much moved myself to the basement to get my head back together. I am pretty sure there were so many scattered pieces floating around in my brain by then that productivity would have been questionable had I not given myself peace.

I created for awhile. Thanks, Pinterest. I am now almost positive that if I continue at the rate at which I am currently going, my friends will never again need to purchase an accessory of any type.

That could make me cool. Or slightly obsessed. (I vote for the first. ;))

So between Mod-Podging (I love that verb…it SO belongs in the dictionary) and an extremely-overdue, hour-long chat with my Indo-friend, Becky, I managed to squeeze out two more chapters. The plan is one more tonight, and I will be on track to be half done with my rough draft by January 20th. Wowza.

Definitely a productive day.

Oh, and guessing you probably want to see what I created?


They’re going to be on chains for necklaces. (Mod Podge just takes so stinkin’ long to dry that I haven’t finished yet.) And this is my first try, so they’re definitely not perfect, but I love this kind of thing. So the fact that I can make them now? Well, like I said, thanks, Pinterest. I really do heart you and the far-too-many, must-make options you provide for my creative streak. :)

So can I tell ya something?

Writing a book scares me.

I mean, the actual words to paper are the fun part for me. I love reliving the memories…it’s like they come alive in my heart all over again. :)

But there’s that part of me that wonders why my stories would matter to anyone else.

I know that’s fear and uncertainty speaking, but I gotta be honest. I’m terrified.

But I also know that God wouldn’t have opened some pretty huge doors lately if He didn’t want this to happen. And so I’ve got to trust (there’s that word again) that it’s all in His hands. Which I already know.

I just sometimes forget that little detail.

So I’m gonna head back to my rough draft and pound out several more paragraphs.

And, hey…if I don’t feel like much of a book writer tonight, at least I look like one. Guess who got glasses? (Translation: Guess who really needed to start wearing them again so she could see…I don’t know…across the room?! Slight sarcasm. ;))

But life IS much better without a headache. And when I can see. :)

Off I go…back to the book. Must. Write.

Happy Saturday to you…hope it was a good one.