She wears silver: Prompt Necklace

Joining Amber Haines as we seek our written voices. Playing with fiction and the prompt “Necklace”


She wears pearls and platinum and is the sort of woman who folds her towel mid way through washing her face. She knows the thread count on each set of sheets and irons them before she makes the bed, miters the corners.

Her children go to bed on time and her husband knows where the table linens are kept, what her ring size is.

She likes to walk into the room and know what is expected, what you have planned. She has advice for you, she will email it to you unsolicited.

She is afraid most nights, that the pearls are going to suffocate her while she sleeps.


She wears silver. Big costume jewelery with fake stones and twisted metal. Her dresser is a suitcase, her home a plane. She rolls her eyes when you talk about invitations for children’s birthday parties, what sort of weed killer to use, how to clean the gutters.

She laughs at your religiosity whilst telling you how the points of light guided her home, how all the stars aligned to help her find herself.

She wouldn’t dare tell you that she is afraid she might float away into space, lose her whole spirit, if she took off  that silver medallion, hung it up in an ensuite bathroom.


She hangs her amber stone next to the tear drop pearl. She doesn’t know any better than you do which is more ‘her’. But she will wear them both with authority and she will make you believe. She shapeshifts to fit your fantasy; make you fall in love with her. She has always been empty enough, that you could fill her with what you believed to be the best fit, she would always believe you were right.

She is passionate in her sway to the left and then to the right but plants her feet one after the other on the solid yellow lines.

She has stopped believing in heroes and villains, but still…if you will rescue her she will clasp that necklace on tight, whisper sweetly what she thinks you want to hear.

Dear Me: A Letter to my Teenage Self

A letter to myself…I’m imagining she is 17. Mercy. You might know too much about me after you read this.



Yup. I sure am wearing brown corduroy shorter-alls…

Dear Melissa,

Oh honey. The world thinks you are winning these days, but the truth of the matter is, you’ve lost yourself completely. This is the year several boys confess love for you; that you are valedictorian; captain of the basketball team, the year that you stop eating. This is the year you pass out from the acid of your body eating itself and vomit on the floor of your first job while helping a customer. This is the year you sacrifice all your passions on a church altar that has nothing to do with Jesus. You learn the gospel of SHOULD NOT; soon you will learn you’ve never heard the true Gospel of Jesus. That he came to doctor the sick. To restore justice. To bind the broken with love. Somehow you missed that part of the story…all you heard was TRY HARDER. BE GOOD.

I want to tell you (and the girls who will follow you) not to take yourself so seriously. Relax. Laugh more. Go on some dates. Tell some people about the broken-up-to-bits inside…people think you got your crap together and it is really sending them for a loop. They think you are a Christian because you are too good for them. You know the truth that Jesus is the only glue that holds heart and head together in one place and sometimes the only safe place is hold up together with Him…alone.

You need to know NOW that you are an introvert. You forget that for most of your twenties and you wake up one day, with a gaping hole where once dwelt passion. Some babies die in your tummy. You blame yourself. You treat everyone badly. Mostly yourself. You stop writing. Really you do…Imagine? I know…it is how lost you get in your pursuit of that which you are not.

And then.

There will be a time, you birth a near ten pound baby. You will grow him inside that body you hate, with his big brown eyes, his strong heart, his stubborn nature (showing even then the way he just flat-out refused to be born…sorry to scare you but it really is awful). Then the way you will wake with him, fed him, clothe him. The way you will keep going no matter how tired you get. Then a baby girl will come along. She will scare you to death (mostly because you are the type of person who writes letters of regret to your 17-year-old self and know that she will too). And yet, you know she was meant for you, and you for her. And this little girl of ours? She has no time for a mother who hates her body…that kind of thinking is a fierce contagion. So get over that will you? I’m telling you…you are strong (TEN POUND BABY !*$#!#@).

You found Jesus there too…the other side of the end of yourself. He lives there still and I try to not leave that place very often.  Tonight, I ate fresh-baked cookies on the deck with the kids while the sun set. They told me they loved me “MORE THAN THE PLANET JUPITER” “MORE THAN CARS 2” “MORE THAN THE SUNSETS”. You are married to a man who chases Jesus with a fire in his belly and he makes you want to. You live in a cabin in the woods. Life is good.



I would like to tell you to do things differently; To not waste so much time trying to be someone, prove something, get somewhere. But the truth is I think that God used those times to make you who you are and you might even like her when you grow up.



With love, regret, and a whole lot of hope,

Yourself, Melissa, age 34

This post is dedicated to the release of a book (I’ve ordered but not yet read) by another ‘youth pastors wife’ down south.                          I read her blog and it is rich in Jesus, grace, compassion. Pick one up for a ‘young woman’ in your life that suffers from the           ‘try harder’ complex I suffered from…

Prompt…’The Cup’

These cups have stories to tell. We sip them, full of espresso, and we speak of life, love, loss. They have heard us whisper our dreams and scream our disenchantment. We have wrapped our hands around them as we make Christmas mornings memories. We have warmed ourselves with them, after sledding and outdoor fun, full of chocolate warm and sweet. We have tried to revive burned out bodies with caffeine; it never worked but sitting side by side and sipping never hurt any couple I knew. These cups join me on my window seat, rest on my journal, peak over my notes…know more about me than they should.

These cups are part of what home looks like to us. We fill them up, wash them out, repeat. It is part of the rhythm of family. They break sometimes; we knock them asunder. Still, we pick up the pieces, put things back together, try not to slice each other open. We bring each other steaming cups titrated with the right amount of sugar…he knows I don’t like things that are too sweet. We lean into thirteen years of knowledge of each other, we sit long with the little people who join us now, my cup overflows.

A prompt by Amber Haines & linking with  LL Barkat

Five Minute Friday: Join

A free write…five minutes on the prompt “Join”.

It is time to join with the dreamers and schemers, because you were meant to walk in that same direction. Against the pulse of the whole rest of the world and against your own good sense. You were meant to walk in the direction of your fear, to the other side of the end of yourself and to suddenly feel the breath of God beneath you.



I feel it beckoning. There are doors closing on me and windows opening and I feel wind blowing. I feel claws at my feet and a thousand directions I could go, but I know, finally, which steps I must take. I know which claws to fight off and ignore and where to lay my time…my service.

“Be careful what you pretend to be” he said to me “you might just become it” and he was quoting and it struck me true. Tell me this pretense you’ve been living? Do you like it? Is it who you really hope to be? This life you are is your kick at the can. How will your husband speak of you someday? Your children…what will they say? The friends you have? Will they rise up and call you blessed?



I’m not telling you to be perfect…I got over that a long time ago.  It is the journey that really counts anyways…this side of heaven there is no destination. Just the measure of these very short days, how will you spend them?


I know who I am joining. The justice seekers. The joy bringers. The dream chasers. The Jesus finders.

Yes. Join us?



(blech…forgive me for publishing this. But a five minute free write is a five minute free write…right? Anyways…bedtime for the little people is calling…I must join them)




one thing tuesday (on wednesday): summer reading

Every summer I splurge. The best day of the year, might be, when the summer amazon parcel arrives. WAHOOOO. 

The fiction: Because summer TV is the worst…

The poetry: Because when the children are around and the husband is away is prime time for little bursts of beauty…

The dream chasing: Because it is time…

The Jesus chasing: Because it is all…

The family loving: Because I do…


Looking at this list I realize it might take me clear through to Christmas…oh well.

What are you reading this summer? Have you read anything on this list (should I remove any before I even start?!)

Five Minute Friday: Identity

Join us in a five minute free write won’t you? Prompt is “Identity”…


I am the thick blood of a Scot, with my freckled skin, my stubborn nature. I am the fair hair of a Swed; the hardiness of Canada.

I come from a place of hard work, of uncomplicated love, of sacrifice and devotion. I come from small town and gravel road and meadowlark.

I am all dichotomy, ripe with contradictions. I am the gray matter of every argument; the space between your black and his white. I can always see the middle. I am a text-book gemini who doesn’t believe in astrology. I apologize a lot. I don’t expect much from you. I expect a lot from myself.

I am a recovering perfectionist, a conflicted introvert, a prayer warrior who forgets to pray some days.

I am nurse, and I am mommy and I am becoming wife. I am a story-teller and a Jesus chaser and a theology-phob.

I am at peace, midnight underwater and in the quiet of water lapping the shore.

I am found in the wildness of forest and its stillness at dusk.

I am recovered in the pages of scripture, the fine words of scholars, the stories I weave.

I bask in moon beams on my pillow, the glow of my children, the light of my good man; three extraordinary reflections of Creative God.

I love Eddie Vedder and super hero films and I would rather sit by a fire with two friends that be at a party with 20. I love music and dancing and poetry that is raw. I love wind in my hair when travelling too fast, coffee in a paper cup, blank pages and black ink.

I like people who love good food and a good laugh the most. I make my best attempt at authenticity but hate when I use that as an excuse to not pursue rightousness…goodness…purity. Being real is not an excuse to be mediocre.

I believe that I am created with purpose and destiny and I believe dross will fall and I will stand in the identity He formed; identity redeemed.