See Ya, 2014

2014 heart final 2
It’s safe to say, almost-a-million times, that I’ve put off writing this post.

I’ve been aware for several weeks that I needed to sit down and, somehow, find a way to put 2014 into words.

Words that are honest but also bring hope. Words that remember but also look forward.

It’s proven to be much more of a challenge than I thought it would be.

But that’s ok. Today I’m finding you and my blog dashboard after an embarrassingly-late sleep in and two large mugs of coffee…and I think I’m ready to share.

So let’s get to it. Though I am extremely tempted to refill the coffee mug yet again before I chat. We’ll see. 😉

When I look back a year and read through some of the things I shared with you all, I realize something. I had so much hope for 2014.

That hope looked like a lot of things. Restoration in relationships, especially my marriage. Hopefully an addition to our family. Topping it all off with a book deal.

I like to dream big. :)

When I make that list of things, there is a certain semblance of failure that threatens to creep into my heart. And while I won’t let it creep in, the tears are definitely creeping toward the corners of my eyes, and I have to blink them back.

There’s so much I wanted from 2014…so much that wasn’t just NOT given, but was also taken. It’s easy to dwell on those things and let them define a year.

A year. The truth is that we had a packed year. A crazy one. A difficult one. And there was a lot of good in the middle of it.

This was the year we finally got to take our sweet girl to our second home. I still can’t stop the tears of joy when I think of the first time we introduced her to strawberry juice or she rode on a motorbike or she gave our beloved pembantu a hug. We had dreamed of being back in Indonesia as a family, and I still have to pinch myself when I remember that we actually got to go.

There were also some pretty sweet reunions with some of my favorite sisters.
To steal a line from Logan…or was it Sarah Mae? 😉 It still blows my mind that the internet gave me some of my best friends. They are truly a gift, one I am so grateful for.

Allume 2014-1221(2)
And part of me wishes I could just stop there so you could all see the good…but I know I need to keep going and keep it real. :) Because there are other pieces of the year that need to be shared…

And they SHOULD be remembered because they’re forever-pieces of the story He’s writing.

The hope our family had of another child broke to shards on a sunny July morning, and it has taken months to even begin to pick up the pieces. Our hearts still ache and the tears still fall, and while I will make no apologies for those things, I also know that I need to hold onto Hope and continue to walk forward. It’s there, even when I don’t see it, and I need to claim the promise that His plans for me are good ones.

We said a heart-wrenching goodbye in September to a beloved member of our family. It was a sudden, painful blow, and while there are so many good memories of the wonderful 11 years with our sweet boy, we just hurt. Still. And we accept that He gives and takes away, but that isn’t without tears. And those tears just have to be part of life for this season as we move forward and love the ones we hold in our arms.

And maybe a silver lining in all of this loss is that God has knit us closer together as a family and especially in our marriage.
We have clung to each other as we’ve tried to cling to Him. God has deepened our marriage, forcing us to walk with Him together on the many, many days we don’t see. We love each other more deeply (though we can still argue with the best of them!) and we choose to walk this life together, now, more than ever…even if there are days when it’s tempting to throw it all away.

And we also hold on a little tighter to our girl, too…though she did give me a reminder the other day. Mommy, soon I’ll be too big for your arms! Never, my girl. Never. 😉

Mae&Mommy final
I’ve also watched Him take the book-writing dream and say a firm, No.
That one…it’s hard to swallow. Writing and publishing a book has been so much of what I’ve let define me as a blogger…and yet, it’s not what He’s calling me to.

That makes me cry, kind of a lot. And yet, through so many things, I know He is just saying that it isn’t what I should be doing right now. I’m being called to a season of depth and connection, not building and branding. I’ve needed to let go…for awhile now. And as I’ve slowly accepted that and loosened my grip, I can’t tell you how much peace it’s brought. How much pressure it’s released.

And it’s also confirmed something in my heart.

You see, I want to tell my stories. I don’t want to sell them.

And so…you’re all going to be getting them this year. On the blog. Every Monday, I’m going to share one. Unedited, raw, heart-stories that come from a tender place in my soul from an unforgettable time in my life. Stories He gave me that I want to share.

I lived them, and so it’s time to tell them. I hope you’ll be back every week to read them. :)

Honestly, it’s easy to read all of this and and wonder how on earth so many paradoxes can coexist. In some ways I’m shaking my head…but mostly, I have to remind myself that I don’t see the whole picture. Oh, I’d love to…but alas. 😉

If I’m being completely honest here, it’s tempting to say (audibly AND loudly), See ya, 2014. Don’t let the door smack you too hard in the #!* on the way out!

Brutal honesty here, folks. 😉

And yet, I want to walk away from this year, knowing without a doubt that none of it was wasted.

I see it so much already…in the prospect of sharing my words for the simple fact that I can tell my stories, in expectantly looking forward to the good He holds for us, in the ways He is taking the heartbreak and making something beautiful from it.

It’s what I hope for in 2015.

Which brings us TO 2015…at least tomorrow. Will you come back? I want to tell you about the word He’s given me for the year.

It holds Hope, a different kind. One that I think He might be using to knit our hearts back together.

I truly love each one of you who have spent even a few seconds here. Thank you for that, from the bottom of my heart.

Goodbye, 2014.

(And have a Happy New Year, my friends!) :)

Photo Credits: Kim Deloach Photography, Alan Levine


I’m linking up at God-sized Dreams today as part of our One Year Celebration…seriously, can you believe it’s been a year?! We’re all sharing stories and updates from what God has done this year…so hop on over and join us. :)


I’m also linking up with my sweet friend, Kristin, for Three Word Wednesday. :)




  1. Love this, sweet Mel. You’re brave to continue telling your stories, even the hard ones. I’m so glad you linked up and I’m looking forward to reading more from you in 2015. xoxo

    • I’m so thankful for you and your sweet encouragement, my friend. I love your link up…I’m looking forward to joining in more in 2015! Blessings and happy new year! xo

  2. Happy New Year, friend! May you continue to see Jesus in everything. I love your stories and look forward to many more. I especially look forward to continue watching the “from ashes to beauty” process happening. I don’t know if you can see it, but beauty surrounds you and hope is holding you tight!

    • Thank you, my friend…for the many ways you have encouraged me, especially in the last year. You are a gift…blessings on you in 2015! (((hugs))) :)

  3. Sweet sad…
    Glad mad…
    Dream reality…
    Go stop…
    Sometimes opposition is attractive and distracting…stand firm in the loce of the Father.
    The book may come…sometimes it is just not yet…from God.

    • That is a reminder I need…that I can always stand in Him, no matter what’s happening around me. Thank you for being here, sweet friend. :)

  4. Mel, this post it just full of beauty. It’s honest. It’s transparent. It’s beautiful. I know I have only been here a few times the past year but I sense God saying, “You need to come visit Mel more often, Beth.” Love your plans for your Monday post.
    And this . . . “I’m being called to a season of depth and connection, not building and branding.” So many yeses to that. I’m completely with you.
    But what captured my heart most was this … “God has knit us closer together as a family and especially in our marriage. ” It was a challenging year for my family of spending most of it apart. But God (love those two words) He wastes NOTHING. Such truth. Love reading how He is bringing you and your family closer together.
    Ending note: I believe you live in IL area, right? I have thoughts for that deeper connection … have mentioned to a few people trying to form some sort of local writing group to encourage one another and maybe meet up once a quarter. Would love to connect!
    Blessings to you friend.

    • I do live in IL (an hour NW of Chicago)…and I’d love to connect! Please let me know once you have plans for what it might look like. I’m all about an (in)RL meetup! :) And thank you for your sweet encouragement today, too…you are welcome here anytime, friend. Blessings and hugs. :)

  5. Mel, I happen to love the brutal honesty you brought here. Nothing, not a tear was wasted in 2014. But, like you, I see Hope sparkling on the horizon of my 2015. I’m praying it out loud for myself, and for each of my sweet friends that I know are clinging to it with me. Toasting a year full of breathing room, storytelling, and building connections, with you!

    • Amen, friend! I’m blessed to have such amazing sisters to walk this journey with. Blessings and hugs…looking forward to all 2015 holds! :)

  6. Beautiful heart. Beautiful words. Love your honesty. Love that you want to write, not sell….just love your whole heart in this. Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. You had a hard year, but I’m so glad you are able to find comfort in the fact that with God nothing will be wasted. I look forward to reading more of your raw honest writing! You may not have that book deal yet, but you have a wonderful gift with words, YOU ARE A WRITER! xoxo

    • Those words you just spoke…what a gift to end my year. Thank you. :) So grateful for you, my sister, and that we can walk this together. You’ll never know how much you bless my life. (((BIG HUGS))) (And an overdue vox will be on its way soon…love you, girl!)

  8. None of it wasted. Yes! I want to wring everything out of the experiences, not miss a drop.
    Thank you for your honesty! We are cheering you on!

  9. I’ll definitely swing through for some of the stories. Your words and transparency concerning your writing have ministered to me. Thank you for your honesty and obedience. Happy New Year Mel!

  10. Beautiful, honest and transparent. I look forward to reading your stories here each week. Happy New Year!

  11. Thank you for sharing your heart so bravely and boldly – that can be hard to do through tears, I know. Such a beautiful testimony of following after God’s plans and being obedient even when it’s not what we expect or want or like. Stomp our feet faith, right – throwing the tantrum before a gracious God and then walking forward believing His plans are so, so, so much better in the end. :)

    • I think you worded that well, friend…I know there’s definitely been some arguing with Him while at the same time choosing to trust that somehow this is all for good. I can’t wait to see. :) Thanks for being here…blessings and Happy New Year!

  12. Thank you.
    Know that your family is in our prayers. I too am filled with a mixed bag seeing 2014 leave. It is nice to know that it is more then just me.

  13. laura pratt says:

    I’m glad to see 2014 go. It was a hard year in so many ways. I couldn’t be there the way I wanted for everyone and it hurt my heart. You have been on my heart so much lately but other than praying I haven’t been able to find how to be there and encourage and just support. So I just pray. And send lots of love everyday. I personally can’t wait to read your stories and to watch what God has in store for 2015.

  14. Mel-
    I love you so much . I would truly think we would be BFF in real life. I am pretending we are having that 3rd cup of coffee together! I love it! I love your words. They give me holy chill bumps, joy, make me feel closer to Jesus. I love the honest places of your heart. Write my friend, write. You don’t need a platform or a brand, just be you. You are a gifted talented writer. I cannot wait to kep reading. I am so sorry for the heartbreaking things of 2014.. that breaks my heart for you. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

    • Oh, friend…I can’t wait for the day when that real-life coffee and chatting and laughter can happen! You are such a gift…thank you for being such a sweet encouragement to me. Love you right back! (((hugs))) :)

  15. Steve Vance says:

    Thank you for honesty and beautiful 2014 update. We miss all of you. We would like to come maybe Spring Break for a visit. Saying good-bye to Megan on Sunday for 2 years. Luke is finishing college at NW Missouri State. Joshua has news we will tell in person.
    Love & Hugs
    Steve & Jeanne

    • We miss you, too…would love to see you and catch up. :) Let us know the dates when you have a chance and we’ll make a plan. Sending love and hugs!

  16. Oh sweet Mel, I love all the honesty in your words….the good times and the hard times. Nothing is wasted in His hands. He is and will use it all for His glory. I know that I have already been so blessed by your words over the year or so and I can’t wait to read more in the new year. Love ya girl and continue to pray for you and your family.

    ps I echo the comments above the YOU ARE A WRITER !!!!

    • Love to you, sweet friend…you are such a blessing. Finally getting to hug you in person was a highlight of my year…and I can’t wait until we have a chance to sit down and heart-spill for hours. I’m so thankful for you! (((BIG HUGS))) (And I owe you a Vox! Soon!!!) :)

  17. “When I make that list of things, there is a certain semblance of failure that threatens to creep into my heart”…this is where I have also been living for too long. I have been forgetting that He said, “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Is. 55:11). His Word, in us, does not fail (though our hearts can falter). This is the hope that we can cling to…that the things He calls us to accomplish…well…HE will accomplish them (sometimes in spite of us and sometimes through us).

    So you are in a season of preparation and laying a firm foundation…that is such a good place to be!! You can lay a strong and sturdy foundation. You can revel in this job because God only lays a foundation where He plans to build something greater afterward. You are doing a Gospel work when you lay a foundation and form connections and encourage others (Matthew 7:24-25) and that has eternal significance.

    I am so glad I met you and that we connected. In that brief moment you were like a ray of sunshine. Still are. Can’t wait to read your stories :)

  18. Thank you for sharing so honestly and deeply. Sometimes it is so hard to put into words how we feel and to be able to walk away with the positives when the negatives seem to be greater. You were able to do that beautifully – thank you for reminding us, me.
    Take care

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