As you can see, there’s been some changes around here!

Taking a break from writing posts this week gave me some time to work on redesigning my blog…something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. I don’t really have any money to spend on this right now, but after a few days of frustration, attempts to learn CSS, and working with photoshopping pictures, I have ended up with something that feels right.

When I started blogging I really had no idea what I was doing. I actually only started my blog so I could have a place to practice writing, to build up my confidence to submit work to publications. I didn’t figure out my brand. I didn’t have a vision. It was basically an online “blank notebook” for me.

I didn’t even want people to know about it. I was embarrassed and afraid.

Now, almost two years later, I feel a little differently.

This space has become a place to connect, to share and to encourage. As I’ve written out my own struggles and experiences, I’ve discovered that I’m not alone in them. Existing relationships have been strengthened and new friendships have been forged. Lastly, I’ve found that in sharing what God is doing I’m held accountable in a way I’ve never known before.


I had originally titled this space “A Work in Progress” because I wanted everyone who visited to know that I don’t have it all together. I’m not finished, I’ll make mistakes, I’ll change my opinion, I’m in process. I still feel that all this is true, however, over the last year God has really been speaking to me about this idea of “abiding” in Him.

What I once saw as an active process has been revealed to me as a state of being.

The word “abide” in John 15:4 is the Greek word “meno.” It means: 1) to remain, abide (tarry, continue, to be held, to survive, live) and 2. to wait for, await one.

Jesus’ words in John then take on a whole new meaning to me:

Be held by me. Survive in me. Wait in me. Live in me. And I in you.

Viewing myself as “a work in progress” I felt this pressure to improve and better myself. Rather, Jesus tells me to rest in Him and wait.

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

As I rest in Him, continue with Him, the Holy Spirit will work in my life and I will improve and be bettered. That’s why they’re called the “Fruit of the Spirit,” not the “Fruit of Melissa’s Strivings.”

I feel like this is a better representation of where I’m at. I’m learning that it’s not about me, it’s all about Him.


So, here’s the new look.

My apartment, my head, my life are messy and cluttered. Here is a wide open, clear space to think and breath.

Take a peek around and let me know what you think.

I hope you like it, because I’ve been excited about it! :)

Now I’m off to watch Rudolph with the family!

While we’re on the topic…

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

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24 thoughts on “{abide}

  1. Love the new look! I like all the white space…Just like you said, gives me room to think. :-) My favorite Christmas movie has always been White Christmas. However, we started a new tradition with some of Luke’s family of watching Elf every year together. I wasn’t really excited because I don’t love Will Ferrell, but I quickly changed my mind because I think Elf is really funny. So, that’s climbing my list. I haven’t seen Rudolf in awhile, though…Might be time to bust it out!

    1. I love Elf! We’ve started the tradition of watching it on Thanksgiving after dinner. It’s the official start to our holiday season. :) It totally seems like a movie you’d like because of Zooey Deschanel’s singing. That actually reminds me of you.

  2. It’s beautiful. It’s more than just nice and clean – it’s kind of flowy – elegant. I saw it the other day and commented. Even your writing seems a little different – in a good way.

    Fave Christmas movies – It’s a Wonderful Life, Prancer, Miracle on 34th st (original), Muppet Christmas Carol

    God Bless

    1. The Muppet Christmas Carol is awesome! Growing up my church did a musical production of A Christmas Carol, called Scrooge. It was so fun to watch the Muppet Christmas Carol because so many of the lines are the same as what we said in the musical, so it was like watching Kermit live my life. Haha!

  3. The site looks great.

    I need to spend more of my life abiding in Him.

    Favorite Christmas movies: White Christmas, the original Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s A Wonderful Life.

  4. omg…i LOVE it!! like love love love it. one day in the future when i go public and share my writing with the world, i would LOVE to pay you to hook a sister up :)

  5. Love the new look. So clean and classy! My favorite holiday movie is Little Women. Not that it’s really a holiday movie, but I always watch it at Christmas and there is that famous Christmas opening scene.

        1. Yeah, that one’s my favorite too. It came out when I was in high school, my friends and I had major crushes on Christian Bale because of that movie and Newsies. :) Haha!

  6. Your new look is crisp and snappy. Like!

    I love “The Bishop’s Wife” from the 1940s. Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven—you can’t go wrong with a line-up like that. The story is charming, funny, and has an undercurrent of regret and ultimate redemption. It’s perfection. I’m a sucker for old movies…and, um, Cary Grant.

    1. Yay! I’m so glad you like it. :) I was worried it would be too simple. I’ve never seen that movie. I’m going to have to start a list. I’m also a sucker for Cary Grant. Haha!

  7. Ahhh…I like it, a lot. The look, the whole “abide” and “be still” business, everything. God taught me about resting in Him a few years back, and it has been invaluable to know how valuable that rest is. So many times when we go to God, we think we have to fill up the silence with prayers and praises, or anxiously waiting for some word, some message, but sometimes (a lot of times, actually) the best thing is just to, well, be still, and know that He is God. It’s so comforting and encouraging when you really, truly get that He absolutely does not care in what condition you come to Him, all He wants is for you to come.

    Oh, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas for the win.

    1. I’ve noticed that after all of my classes at Life, I approach the Bible as a textbook sometimes. I feel like I have to walk away with an answer, an observation, an application. It’s been freeing to realize that sometimes I’m just supposed to read, or not, or rest. It is so encouraging and comforting to realize that He doesn’t care what condition we’re in. :)

      Ahh, yes, How the Grinch Stole Christmas…but the cartoon one, not the live action, Jim Carrey monstrosity. :)

  8. love the new look!
    I pretty much LOVE any Christmas movie that doesn’t suck. I think that “A Christmas Carol” is probably one of my favorite stories, subsequently I love many of the different adaptations – Muppets might be my favorite though. White Christmas and Miracle on 34th street (old school) are the most nostalgic for me. I also love Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, Christmas Vacation (just watched it all the way through for the first time last night), Rudolph (I love how an advertisement has become one of my favorite cultural Christmas traditions), the Little Drummer Boy (claymation style). I could go on, and I’m sure I’ve missed some of the obvious favorites – oh, like Gremlins!
    Hahaha! Miss you guys, how was Thanksgiving?

    1. I HATE the Little Drummer Boy! That song drives me crazy. I think I’m the only one who doesn’t like it, like my dislike of strawberries. Haha! We have a collection of holiday classics and the kids always want to watch that movie…and I won’t let them. :)

      Thanksgiving was awesome…so laid back and fun. It always makes me think of the Thanksgiving when Josh and I came down and visited you all here. It’s strange that now we’re here and none of you are. Hope yours was good! And we’re super excited for January!!

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