The other day I was featured on the Tiny Prints Blog! I shared a fun wrapping paper DIY that I used for my friend Kalli! Check it out and let me know if you decide to do something similar; I'd love to check it out!
I took these photos in San Antonio in my parents' backyard; their view is unbelievable. I couldn't help but be completely moved by God's creation. All too often I take these small things for granted. I've tried to be more intentional as of late. Intentional with my time and energy, intentional with my thoughts and expression of love and appreciation, and intentional in my words and actions. My goal this year is to create a meaningful presence, and so far I have seen the powerful effects of words of kindness; not only for those I speak them to, but in my own life. It's difficult to feel sad, stressed, overwhelmed or insecure when you're speaking life into someone. It'll do a world of good, for you to shift your focus off of yourself and to start blessing people for no other reason, than simply because people deserve kindness.
Three years ago, Elisha got really into health and fitness. He signed up for his first race and the name alone made me nervous - it was called the Spartan Race. He explained to me all that the race entailed and having never been a part of this "world", I was nervous to say the least. I went out and took photos of him, supporting him and cheering him on at the finish line. He did great! He explained all that he had to do and how much fun he had and said "you should do it". I said "maybe someday", but in my heart I was fairly certain that was not going to happen.
Elisha would go on to complete numerous races, triathlons, and six other Spartan races, getting his Trifecta medal in his second year. I was, and still am, so proud of his accomplishments. He is healthy and strong. When I look at myself, I can't necessarily use those words to describe myself. In fact, while I was running this race, this thought came to mind - "when did 'weak' become a term I use to describe myself?". As a child and young adult I was fairly active, an athlete even, but at some point, I wasn't. I don't know when it happened, but I no longer saw myself as strong (physically), and that was pretty sad.
So, I wrote out my goals on January 1st, of this year and I decided that I was going to complete a Spartan Race. I didn't make this a goal because I really wanted to do it, but more because I felt like I needed to. I needed to prove that I could. I needed to know that I could. And so, on May 16th, I ran my first Spartan Race, and I finished! Elisha was by my side the whole way, and honestly I could write a whole separate post about his support, encouragement and inspiration to me. He is great!
During the race I had many thoughts, "I can't believe I'm doing this!", "I feel great!", "I'm sorry, you expect me to do what now??", "But what if I fall??", "I could legitimately die right now", "Why did I not train for this?!", "I hate life. I just hate it.", *crying*, "As much as I hurt right now, I am actually going to hurt even more tomorrow", *crying*, "I'm still alive! I am running this race and I can do this!", "I can literally see the finish line. Why does it seem so far away now??", "All I have to do is jump over this fire into this pool of mudwater and then I'm done!" *jumps in pool and crosses finish line*
Guys, I wish I could say that I had a really great attitude the whole way through, that I was really confident and that I had felt really great afterward. The truth is I had a mixture of good and bad moments where my thoughts, fears and insecurities got the best of me. There were times where I would literally cry - not necessarily because of how hard it was, but because I was embarassed that I couldn't do better, or because I felt so incapable and that frustrated the mess out of me. There was one obstacle that had a rope on an inclined wall, that you had to pull yourself up and over. I started and did surprisingly well. Then I lost my footing and slid down halfway. I heard the voices of my husband and another runner cheering me on - I kicked my legs back underneath me and tried again. I got to the top when a hand shot down to help pull me up and over. As I let my hand go of the rope to reach, I slid down again, this time it was painful, as the rope burned through my hands and my body hit the wood, my back shot with my pain - I fell to the bottom and felt so defeated. Like really defeated guys. I felt like this should've been my moment, the one I look back on and think "I thought I couldn't, but then I did!".
I think about that moment and I kind of want to cry again (sorry for all the emotions). For the last few weeks I've been thinking about this moment and asking God what I could learn from this. This isn't a message I always share and to be honest it probably isn't that uplifting, but I felt like it was right for me in this season - you're not always going to be able to do it all. Sometimes you're going to fail. Sometimes it's going to hurt. Sometimes the very thing you think should work out, just doesn't. But at the end of it all, you'll still cross the finish line and you're still going to feel pretty great that you endured the pain. Now, if I do this race again, which likely I will, I'm going to conquer that freaking wall and I'm going to write about that and we can rejoice together. But for now, this message is good for me.
I know this is a lengthy post and if you've stuck with me, then thank you! I'll close with this final thought; I think that there is something really powerful and strong inside of us and it's this will - the will to fight, the will to endure, the will to be better versions of ourselves. I'm not going to become super athletic now, or at least I don't plan to be, but I know that this race has changed me for the better. I learned a lot about myself and what I'm made of. I'd like to push myself a little more, because I think there's still room enough for me to grow. All of this to say, that there's a will inside of you - whatever situation that may be for you - there is something inside of you that can stretch you further and take you places you never thought you could go. If I can finish a Spartan Race, you can most definitely conquer your "cant's" and "wont's". xo. mel
Back in 2009 I started this blog. It was a space where I could share creative things, inspirational things and some cute outfits. Slowly it began to evolve and became a little home on the internets for me. I've met so many incredible and inspirational women on this platform and I count myself so very blessed. I love Pie N' the Sky.
For the last year or so, I've been struggling with what I want this space to be. In fact, I still am at a place of indecision, but felt I owed you some sort of explanation for my long absences. The truth is I'm busy. We're all busy, and I have a lot of things on my plate that are very important to me. I've had to remove a number of things that I care about, to be able to hold on to this, because as I said, it is so near and dear to my heart - it's our space! I am currently working full time, in grad school, leading worship for our youth ministry, running the PS shop, being a wife, and trying to be a decent friend, sister and daughter. I feel like everything I am currently giving my time to deserves my attention, including Pie N' the Sky.
So, what does this all even mean? Well, I've started to dream again. I've started to reimagine this space and what it can be used for, and lets just say I'm pretty pumped. You will be seeing fewer of certain types of posts, and I'll be adding new ones as well.
I want this to be a place where women can find answers, inspiration, rest, and maybe sometimes a good laugh. During my first year of starting this blog, I received an email from a reader, who said she read the blog every morning and she loved being able to start her days off with the inspiration Pie N' the Sky provided. That comment has stuck with me, because at the heart of it all, that has always been my goal. I think about blogs I read, sites I visit, or people I follow and they all have that same thing in common - they inspire me, they move me, they make me think differently, they uplift me... Does this place do that for you? If the answer is no, then I hope that will change in these next months. If the answer is yes, then yay! It's about to get even more inspiring, soon!
I can't promise that I will post more, but it will definitely be more consistent. Additionally, the content you read will be more intentional and purposeful.
Before I continue, can I just say thank you? I realized that I probs should have said this earlier in the post, but seriously thank you. If you've been a reader for years, months or days... thank you! It means so much to know that my voice is reaching others who feel like I feel, facing similar situations, or share the same style as me! It's good to do life with others, so thanks for doing life with me!
Back to the news!
So, if you follow me on instagram then you know I occasionally share some postive or encouraging posts with the hashtag #melwritesanote. I thought it would be fun to implement the same dynamic on the blog, but with a bit more depth and thought. Be on the lookout for other new series! I'm excited for what's to come and I can't wait to hear your feedback!
I was so excited when I saw this top being featured on the Hello Apparel instagram! I love all things dogs (obvi), so it was a no brainer to get this tee! I opted for a medium for a looser fit (in case you care). And I felt it only appropriate that Gretchen make a cameo. I sure do love this hound!
My family is in town so we're having a blast hanging out. Tomorrow we head out to Austin to visit Adrienne and watch Elisha run in his Super Spartan. I have my race next week and I couldn't be more nervous excited! I never thought I would try to complete a Spartan Race, but when you set your mind to something, you just make it happen. I'm really thankful that Elisha has been so encouraging and supportive. Here's hoping I don't die, ha! I'll keep you all posted.
D E T A I L S || top:anthropologie | denim & duster:urban | boots:nordstrom
Okay, long story, but my computer crashed (like dead) about 3 months ago, and with it it took all of my photos, documents, music and basically any other digital thing I had of value. Insert crying panic emoji. Elisha was able to help me recover a few things, but I realized that I had a few photos still on my camera; they would just need to be re-edited, so all was not lost! So, I found this style shoot I did while visiting my parents in San Antonio, and I figured I'd share! Yes, I have bangs in these, and they are finally starting to grow out of the awkward "we don't know what we are" phase, so praise God!
Today I'm headed out to a fun conference with some women from my church. I'm excited to have a time to recharge and refocus. I got to catch up with a friend this last week who I hadn't seen in two years. It's always great when you can pick up right where you left off without skipping a beat, isn't it?! While we were talking I was reminded of how wonderful it is to have friends who speak life into you, call you out and inspire you to keep dreaming big. I love the people God has placed in my life and I'm realizing how important it is to feed into those relationships and foster the good things I've been given. I'm finding myself in a place of reprioritizing and like a new season is kicking in, and I'm excited to see what's next!
There are two types of people: ones who accept no's and ones who accept challenges.
I really wouldn't classify myself as one who is naturally confident. In fact, for the majority of my life I steered away from spotlight, attention or anything that required me to be seen. I shared a post a few years back about insecurity and my long and irritating battle with it. I've come a long way from that point. But, like many women across the world, I deal with bouts of insecurity, lack of confidence. and comparison.
There's a statement that was instilled in me from a fairly young age that I still carry with me today: do everything with excellence. If you're going to do something, don't do it half-hearted - you're just wasting your time then. If you're going to go for something, then by all means, go for it! Give it every ounce of your attention, your energy, your time, your heart... give it everything.
I decided to write this post because I remembered a moment. It was a defining moment. It made me realize what I was made of; that in fact I wasn't weak, I wasn't easily swayed by the opinions of others, as I had thought I was for many years. On the contrary, I was actually the kind of person who rose to challenges, who fought back, who took words of negativity and turned them into fuel. I don't know if you've ever had one of these moments, and quite honestly you may not even realize that you have. I didn't realize this moment was what it was, until years later.
I was sitting with a group of friends, mentors, leaders, people whose opinion mattered more to me than my opinion of myself. I was asked the question of what I wanted to do with my life. At the ripe age of 18, you can imagine the emotional turmoil I felt within as I stumbled to come up with an answer that was fitting. I had dreamt of being many things, but somewhere deep down, I knew there was something, a gift, however small and inconsequential it felt at the time, and so I shared it - "I want to be a worship leader". To be honest, I had only learned 2 years prior to that conversation, that that was in fact a real position, but they didn't need to know that. I said it and I remember feeling hot all over, like I was developing hives as I waited for a response. Instead of being met with encouraging remarks, the way people do out of kindness and consideration, I was told something that I'll never forget - "I don't see that for you."
Those words echoed in my heart for what felt like a decade. Even as I write these words I can still feel a pang. I remember feeling like a balloon was being filled in my throat, as if at any moment I might stop breathing. Filled with hurt, anger, frustration and confusion, I sat in silence. The voice continued with encouragement to seek different areas of interest. I began to convince myself over those next few weeks that they were right, that the feeling I once felt, must've been wrong, because if others couldn't see it, how could it happen.
A year later I would go to school. There I would study music, find myself struggling to balance life, ministry, part time job, extracurriculars and a full school load. I would sit at a piano weeping and praying explicitly to God in a way that I know only my loving Father could understand. Because as my fingers would stroke the piano keys, with every wrong note, I would hear those words "I don't see that for you." And it became natural to go through each of those questions - "Should I have listened? What if they were right? What if I'm wasting my time? What if I'm not good enough? What if I never get better?" And with that I would place my fingers back on the keys... and begin again.
I am actually quite grateful for the person that said those words to me. Although you may find that confusing, you see, it was that voice that pushed, that nagged, that irritated the heck out of me, but ultimately helped shape me into the woman I am today. Because not only did it challenge me to become the worship leader I knew I could be, but exactly the woman I knew God wanted me to be.
I say this all to encourage you. To remind you that not everyone will see what you see, feel how you feel, or understand what you are truly capable of. Some people mean well, some people have good intentions, but some people have no clue what they're talking about. Let's just be real. So take every word with a grain of salt. Understand that there is strength inside of you that has yet to be seen. You have the ability to do whatever God has told you, to achieve the wildest of dreams, to be exactly who you think you should be.
So don't be the kind of person that loses heart over a no, but takes that no and turns it into a "I told you so!" Boom. Prove em all wrong.