I'm now 30 weeks and feeling more preggo than ever. It's becoming more and more challenging to fit this bump into my go to outfits, but it's a joy knowing that our sweet babe is growing healthy. I've found that dresses are the way to go this final trimester. They allow me to be the most comfortable and give me a sense of being put together, with little effort. My two favorite styles right now are fitted dresses like the one I'm wearing above, and maxi dresses. This red dress was included in my BellaNove Box this last month and I loved it for so many reasons. I wouldn't say I'm really a red kind of girl, as I prefer more neutral colors, but this color was so wonderful and made me feel really great! The fabric was nice and soft, so I didn't feel suffocated. And it highlighted all the right places - I got to show off my bump without feeling too "out there". It was great all around and I would have totally kept it in my closet if I could have!
For those that don't know, BellaNove is a subscription box that rents stylish maternity clothes. Which is honestly perfect for pregnant mamas needing cute clothes, for the few months their actually pregnant. There's no real sense in investing a ton of money into a wardrobe you can only wear for nine months, so this is an excellent alternative! I really enjoyed my experience and found that every item they sent me fit seamlessly.
BellaNove has been so kind as to offer a 10% off discount to my readers for the first monthly subscription box! Y'all can use the code "PIE10" for 10% off - enjoy!
* this post is in partnership with BellaNove.
This weekend my beautiful friends put together the sweetest shower for our sweet girl. It was so overwhelming to be surrounded by such wonderful women who already love our girl so well. She is just SO blessed and I’m so thankful that God has brought such outstanding friends and family to our lives.
I’ve been praying that God would allow our girl to have great role models. Reflections of who He is and representations of strength, love and grace; women who are examples of what beauty looks like. I want her to see sweet sisters, loving mothers, giving aunts, comforting grandmothers, joy-filled friends, faithful pastors, and bold daughters. I think God has given us just that community and what a blessing it is.
I love this dress so much! Maxi dresses have been my go to these days with this growing bump. Comfy and cute are the way to go y’all! I’m hosting a giveaway on Instagram for a $75 Pinkblush giftcard, so head on over and enter! The giveaway will end on Friday, the 13th. Good luck!
I love feeling comfortable. I live for moments where it's ever so cool outside, light rain maybe, and I'm wrapped in a warm fuzzy blanket that feels like the inside of a rabbit's ear, with my pup snuggled up next to me, and my husband cuddled by my side on our cozy couch... like that is what I live for. I LOVE feeling comfortable. This is the image I think of when I consider being comfortable; like being in a space where everything is right and I have no worries, or agitation, or fears, or wonderings, but my being is at peace.
And yet, so many times throughout scripture and in leadership lessons we're warned to not remain comfortable. Why? Why can't we just live in this sweet state of being where nothing is wrong and we're cozy as can be?
I've lived most of my life in a state of discomfort. I've endured many seasons of valleys and deserts, but grown and learned through most of it. I've learned that my feelings do not dictate God's presence, and my emotions play no part in who God is or what He is capable of doing. And so in moments when I am uncomfortable, I can rest assured that God is in fact still very much the same and not in any way shape or form affected by my current state. I however, am very affected by my discomfort. I often fight it, I complain and I kick or holler, but in the midst of my fighting, God is preparing my blanket on the cozy couch for the moment when I'm able to join Him.
While I may know that these seasons of discomfort are for my good, I am human, and so I run from them, or rather sit in place and refuse to run (anyone else?). Sometimes in my mind it seems easier to remain in the comfort of what I've known or trusted, then to go out into the unknown or unchartered territory. But how many know that fighting God's will is rarely the "easier" way. And so eventually we must resolve that the temporary discomfort is well worth the struggle, in order to receive the consistent comfort of knowing we are walking in alignment with God's will.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. | Romans 8:18
It's in seasons of discomfort that we move. We can't very well move when we're planted on a comfy couch, let alone have the desire to do so. It's in seasons of discomfort that we learn. We learn all about who God is and all about who we are; the stuff we're truly made of. We can say all day long we have faith and we believe in a miracle-working God, but until we can put our money where our mouth is, they're just words. Discomfort allows us to exercise our faith. And so, it's in seasons of discomfort that we grow. We grow towards the heavenlies and we grow deep into the soil of our foundation. We grow towards becoming the women (or men) of God that He has called us to be. Discomfort is actually better than comfort. I know, it seems backwards. But for me, it seems as though one is our fight and the other our reward, though both are good and healing for us.
Comfort allows us to rest in God's presence and recount the ways He moved. Discomfort allows us to get up off our seat and actually live the stories we'll recount in later days. And so, let us not discount the season of discomfort we may find ourselves in today. It is building for us a greater glory to come.
"He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. The Lord himself watches over you. The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade." PSALM 121
All the best, Mel
I pray our girl is strong. Strong like a warrior going into battle. Strong like an oak tree that’s not concerned with taking up its space; growing upward towards the sky and deeply into the soil. Strong enough to withstand the pressures of this world; knowing that while she is a gift to us here, she was made for somewhere else entirely. Strong enough to grab ahold of what she believes in without doubt or insecurity. I pray that she knows her strength can be both bold and delicate; both calming and fortifying. That she would never have to choose between strength and meekness, and that neither would be confused for what they are not. I pray she is strong for herself and for others; that she would stand in the gap for those who may not have the ability to be strong for themselves. I pray she is strong because the world needs strong women - women who lift others up, who stand up for what is right, and who hold tight to what is true.
I pray that her strength would know no bounds, like the vastness of the oceans deep, both wild and open. That no fear, no insecurity, would ever rob of her of her role here on this earth but instead, with strength, she would lay hold of every dream and promise given to her. Yes, I pray she is strong, and I pray that God would make me strong enough to raise a strong woman like this.
The other night I was asked what has been most unexpected since getting pregnant, and I've been thinking on this for a few days now. I think I've landed on the following: I never expected to take on motherhood so early on. That is to say, I didn't expect to feel like a Mom before I held her in my arms.
There's a beautiful, deep connection that I have with her, that has truly transformed my perspective, my priorities, and my personhood, even now. I have felt new depths of love and heard God's voice in a unique way, that I know I wouldn't have before. I didn't think this would happen while I was pregnant and thought all the change would happen all at once when she arrived. But the truth is, in so many ways it feels like she's not only here now, but always been with us, like this promise written on my heart that I've carried unknowingly.
This whole experience has been beautiful to say the least. Difficult? Absolutely. But, I'm used to challenges and thankful for the fruit they produce. I know that there is still so much more to learn, and glean, and experience, and I welcome it all with open arms.
We took a visit to the beach this weekend and I loved that our sweet girl got to be with us. I can't wait until she's running around in her bathing suit, chasing Gretchen around! I wore this dress from Pink Blush that fit my bump so perfectly. I love finding dresses that make me feel good, and this is definitely one of them.
Our sweet girl will be here in 99 days (or less!) and it's just blowing my mind!! We're out of the triple digits and the reality that we will soon be caring for this new little life is both overwhelmingly exciting and just a tad bit nerve-wracking. I don't know how "prepared" one should feel at this point, but I'd imagine I'm right alongside most other new mamas.
We've been gifted several gems for her and I am getting so excited to start putting her nursery together! I have a sweet space designed in my head and I can't wait to see it come together; which it will in time (I have to keep reminding myself). We still need to find our house, and move into it, and get everything settled in... in 99 days (or less). I know it can be done, and I know it will be done, and so instead of worrying I spend my time daydreaming of our sweet little lady.
Now more than ever, I am reminded that no amount of preparation, planning, or stressing truly makes a difference in how things turn out. That's not to say one should not plan or prepare, just not dwell on them. Some things just happen; as they should. This is one of the most beautiful seasons of my life, and instead of trying to fight or push past the current, I am embracing it and floating along. The good will come, the tough will come, and I'm gonna make it through all of it.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
I'm learning how to pray and thank Him. I've always done these things, but I feel like the depth of my faith is growing in new ways as I learn to fully relinquish control. It's scary, but very satisfying in knowing that I don't have to carry a heavy weight, and it's pleasing to God. This whole Mom thing is already teaching me so much, and I feel like there are a million more lessons in front of me. Here's to learning and growing!
DETAILS | top c/o Rosie Pope, yoga pants/Target, sweater/Altared State
I can't believe how fast time is flying. I am nearly 6 months pregnant and I am amazed that in 112 days we're going to hold our baby girl in our arms. Like, what??
I'm not sure at what point I'll feel the full transformation into Mama, but I must admit that I've noticed subtle shifts taking place in my heart and spirit. I think of her so often, and I imagine what our new little life will hold. I dream of the sweet things and I admittedly am anxious for the things I have no idea how I'll face. I look forward to the challenges that will grow me as a woman, as a wife, as a Mama, as a daughter of God... I welcome it all. I know it won't be easy, but few pieces of my story have been.
I've been writing letters to our sweet girl each week and it's become my most treasured time spent with her. I have plans to get it bound for her to keep and grow with. I want to be intentional with all that I do, but I know that undoubtedly I will fail at times. I will fail to take in the moments, to stop and watch her grow, to be at the things that matter, and to not take for granted each day. I know life will get busy and I will be human. But, I set out to do my very best; to be everything she deserves. I can't wait to be her Mama and help her to become the beautiful woman of God I know she is called to be.
There is no real purpose in me writing this today, except that I may need to revisit it at times. In the moments where it is challenging or difficult, in the moments where I lose sight of the important, or when I simply need a reminder of how sweet a season this is.
I had the privilege of speaking to our students last week at Grace Youth, on the topic of Purity. My message focused on the importance of drawing boundary lines in our lives, and how doing so allows us to live a life of purity. Drawing lines allows us to live in the most that God has for us.
To see more from our Thirsty series, visit us here.
After I graduated high school, I spent the following two years in a discipleship program. I remember dreading God's call to go into this program, because it went against all of my other plans. Doesn't it usually? I remember praying about going to college or this program, and weeping in my room when I felt deep in my soul that I was to stay and attend. I gave up my dream of moving to New York. I gave up my dream of studying to become an opera singer. I gave up my dreams in exchange for His. At the time it was the most difficult thing I had ever done, but looking back, it was the wisest choice I could have ever made.
I stayed in my little hometown in New Mexico and it was probably the hardest two years of my life. My friends had moved away, I moved in with a family from the church, I had to break up with Elisha (we weren't allowed to date while in the program), and in every sense of the saying - God was my everything. He was my friend, He was my family. He was my life; all consuming and ever present. I learned how to love Him to depths I could not imagine. These were the years He would pour out my foundation.
I often think back to this time to remember where I began. Because most days I felt like I was unwinding and falling apart, but God was actually putting me back together. I felt like a spool coming undone with it's thread thrown about on the floor, getting all knotted up and displaced, but God was removing the old threads to place me back on the spindle and replace it with new golden thread; thread that was strong and sturdy, beautiful and priceless. Yes, this was my unmaking. And it was also the moments that made me exactly who He wanted me to be.
I remember my graduation night. We were asked to prepare a speech of what the year had meant and I was terrified. I knew what God had done, but I was so scared to share it with the world. It would mean explaining that I wasn't perfect before, and that God had had to do some major work on who I was. I had to admit that I didn't have it all together and what they had previously seen was a lie. So with all the courage I could muster, I wrote my speech and I did so with complete honesty and openness. I talked about who I once was, and how I thought I didn't need changing. Then I talked about how hard it was to come to terms with the fact that I was broken and in need of my loving Savior. And finally I reached the end and shared four words that truly changed everything... I'm a new creation.
And I remember being both humbled and proud in that moment. Humbled because I knew I couldn't have gotten to that place without Jesus, and so aware of my own inadequacies. Proud because I was now standing in front of friends and family a new person, who could admit to my own faults and had learned that my worth was in Him alone.
I was thinking back on this moment as I was reading my Bible today and I came across this very verse. Taking in all of those feelings yet again. Back then I had thought that the period at the end of my sentence meant that it was over; I had become who I needed to become, in order to do what He had called me to do. But truly I had become only the first of many versions of who God was sculpting me to be. I was indeed a new creation, but daily I was becoming new, different, more mature and wise through both the painful and wonderful. I can say today that I am a new creation, and I know tomorrow I will look even more different. And the truth is, I am so satisfied in knowing that I will always be changing. Because I want to grow, and I want more of Him. I want to never lose my sense of awe and wonder at what He has done, and what He promises to do.
So today I hope you'll be encouraged in this - He's not done yet. Yes, He has made you a new creation, but there are still countless facets of His being that you have yet to see. Aspects of your own character that you have yet to let shine. He is drawing out more of who you are, each and every single day.
My bump is finally starting to show! I have felt pregnant since I found out, thanks to the ever present "morning" sickness - which should really be "all day" sickness. However, I feel extra pregnant now that I look the part, ha! It's been so exciting finding new outfits and figuring out what works. I'm loving fitted dresses like this one, and honestly love showing off what little bump I do have.
DETAILS | dress / target, coat / c/o SHEIN, shoes / dsw
For all my Mamas out there, where was your favorite place to shop when you were pregnant? I've checked out h&m, ASOS, Madewell, and Target. Anything I'm missing? Share them in the comments below or send me a message!