• Family,  Parenting

    Happy Maycember!

    “I love the last two weeks of school!” (…said NO MOM EVER!) Friends, we are in the homestretch, and let me tell you, with all honesty, I am phoning it in! As much as I love my children and want them to succeed in school, I am over all the last-minute projects and end-of-the-year field trips, the awards ceremonies and the concerts, the sign-ups for year-end party donations and the requests to be in eight different places at once. My second grader was upset with me that I couldn’t attend her last field trip because I had already promised my sixth grader that I’d attend her class’s year-end picnic. (I…

  • Faith,  Family

    Spoiler Alert

    For her eighth grade English class, my daughter is currently reading one of my all-time favorite books. I won’t tell you the title for fear of spoiling it for anyone, but she knows how much I love the book and was excited to bring it home and tell me she had begun reading it. She was only a chapter or two in when it—the thing she almost always does—started… Her: “Why did so-and-so do such-and-such?” Me: “Read the book.” Her: “When do we meet so-and-so?” Me: “Read. The. Book.” Her: “Does so-and-so die? What about so-and-so? Please tell me so-and-so lives!” Me: “READ THE BOOK!” Her (skips to the end…

  • Faith,  Fear,  Hope,  Pain,  Prayer

    Even If

    A couple of weeks ago, I had a routine medical test done. The next day, I received a voicemail asking me to call back regarding the test. My heart sank because that’s never a good sign. No one leaves bad news on a voicemail; they always ask you to call back. When I returned the call, the woman told me that the results were slightly questionable and that I needed to schedule for the test to be redone. She assured me that this happens often and that things were most likely fine; however, being human—and a natural worrywart—I wasn’t reassured and immediately started freaking out. The retest was scheduled for…

  • Faith

    Coloring Outside the Lines

    I have a confession to make: My name is Melanie, I’m 42 years old, and I like to color (…in my Bible). GASP! Is that allowed?! I’m guessing some of you may be “purists” and think that the Bible shouldn’t be written in, let alone colored and painted all over, and that’s okay. Even one of my daughters gives me a hard time and jokingly (I think!) tells me I’m defiling God’s Word whenever she sees me journaling. I understand that Bible journaling isn’t for everyone, but Friends, let me tell you…it has changed my world! I’ll tell you why, but in order to do that, let me first tell…

  • Career,  Faith,  Family

    I Believe in You

    Right after I got married, I couldn’t find a job. I went straight to grad school from undergrad, graduated with my master’s degree in English, and then spent the next couple of months finishing up wedding planning. I figured I’d search for a job after our honeymoon.  But six months passed with barely an interview, and I was getting pretty bored sitting at home all day watching “The Price is Right” and reruns of “Quantum Leap” while my husband was at work. I decided I needed to do something—anything—while I still hunted for a writing job that might actually make use of some of my six years of college learning.…

  • Faith,  Family,  Motherhood,  Relationships,  Stress

    Blessings Un-Disguised

    I love October—the beautiful colors of the changing leaves, pumpkin doughnuts readily available in stores, cooler temps that mean I can finally wear my cute jeans and sweaters, pumpkin doughnuts, apple picking with the family, pumpkin doughnuts…. Plus, some of the best things in my family’s lives have happened in October. My husband proposed to me in October, our anniversary and several family birthdays are celebrated this month, and both houses we’ve lived in were bought in October. It seems to be our month.  But although it’s in the same spot on the calendar each year, October sneaks up on me and causes me to panic. Every. Single. Year. It…

  • Family,  Motherhood,  Parenting,  Stress

    Just Say No

    I risk revealing my age when I say this, but I was in elementary school when then-First Lady Nancy Reagan introduced her anti-drug campaign. I recall seeing green signs posted everywhere with the campaign’s slogan, “Just Say No!” in bold, white letters. I remember PSAs featuring the First Lady surrounded by school kids screaming what to do if I, on the other side of the screen, were ever offered illegal drugs. People wore “Just Say No” t-shirts, Mrs. Reagan appeared on talk shows, and the message of saying that one, seemingly simple word was drilled into our heads on more occasions than I can remember. I’d like to credit Nancy…