About the Author

Melinda raises girls, hopes, and hands. She's a writer, seeks what's lovely, and savors the present.

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  1. Melinda,
    I agree with Terri….what TRUTH here….all I can say is, “AMEN!” Every resolution you cited continually takes the spotlight off us and places our hope and trust in hope’s source – God!

    Joining you in going forward, fully alive, into 2017!

    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. Wow your words have giving me the courage to go forward. I felt God speaking them to me. It is another huge step in my life that I need to do. I know God loves me but I have been so hurt in my life with divorce and disease. I now feel he loves me so much and my attitude of gratitude has lead me to this next step. I am so grateful for your words and I will continue to pray that my ears be open for him to lead me. He knows I want to do my best for him and my trust is very shaky only because of my past . I also know he holds me in the palm of his hand and with him all things are possible!

    • Oh Grace! Thank you for sharing part of your story with us. I am so sorry to hear of the hurt you’ve experienced. Sometimes courage looks like taking a step forward with knocking knees! You are so brave to be willing to give hope another go. God loves you so much!

  3. I first read that statement by St. Iraneaus in John Eldredge’s awesome book, Waking the Dead, the Glory of a Heart Fully Alive on this exact subject and it was life changing for me as I was yearning for a deeper experience in my walk with God.

    This morning was one of those mornings I woke up feeling it deep in my soul, fully alive in Him and it is wonderful!

    May 2017 be a year we allow God to wake us up and realize how fully alive we are in Him!

    Thank you for this beautiful post!

    • Oh, I love this Kathy! I also love your encouragement to wake up and realize the fullness of life we have in Hm! I’m also eager to read the Waking the Dead book! You’re not the first one to recommend it to me! Blessings to you in 2017 and thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  4. What an exhilarating, exuberant post, Melinda. I’m so glad that I took the time to read it. I love this time of year, and anticipating all its possibilities. And yet, a part of me draws back, cowering in the corners of past failures and fears, wondering why this year would be any different from last. I know it all has to do with trusting God–literally trusting him with my life. I am taking the adventure of my lifetime next March to the remote island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland (and it really scares me, because I’m going to travel abroad alone). At first, I had no earthly idea why I was doing this. This is something I would never do in a million years, and yet . . . . and yet, I feel God’s calling. It’s nearly impossible to say no to that (though, at times, sadly, I have). I’ll be joining eleven other women for a spiritual retreat there for a full week. I’m going to write snippets of your post in my “vade mecum” for encouragement and nourishment for the journey. “He’s beckoning us to leave our cares in His more than capable hands and come out in the wide open spaces of His grace and glory to stand tall and shout our praise.” I am truly going to try to trust him–not just for this trip, but my ministry–and leave my cares with Him–my fears about this pilgrimage–and come out to the wild and wide open spaces of His grace on this island at the edge of the world, at the edge of the sea, and stand tall in my hiking boots and shout His praises for all the world to hear. He’s given me an intention for this journey: New Beginnings. And I’m thinking it’s an intention we call could receive with trust and grace to live fully alive in Him. Thank you so for such a wonderful, faith-filled post! Happy New Year, Melissa, fully alive!
    Lynn

    • Lynn! What an incredible journey lies ahead for you! It’s okay to feel a little shaky in your hiking boots! We all have failure in our past, but when our future is set on him, we can be greatly reassured by the fact that He never fails! I love knowing you’ll carry this hope to the edge of the sea and look to the future with hope. Ours is a God of hope! Thank you so much for sharing your plans and heart with us. Praying for travel mercies and God’s favor on each step of our journey.

      May 2017 knock your boots off in the best possible way!

  5. I am up early, sleep elusive. And your words are serving their purpose, reminding me EXACTLY what I need to know and believe. Thank you. Thank you. With tremendous gratitude and affection.

    • Eloquently stated, as always dear Robin. Thank you for reading through sleepy eyes and commenting with such grace. Cheers to a full life in 2017.

  6. “Let’s put our faces to the wind of this new year with our hopes up and our souls all in. Life is for the living, and as long as we’re still here, let’s make sure we’re fully alive.”
    Decided this is going to be a motto of mine for this year! Thank you !

  7. This spoke to my heart on so many levels!
    My “word of the year” is “Approved”. It’s two-fold.
    1) 2 Timothy 2:15-16; studying to show myself approved.
    2) Approved by God. I’m totally accepted and I’m learning to walk in that fullness.

    That second fold is where my heart meets this post so gloriously!!
    Thank you for this!!

    • Kela! I love your word for 2017! So fitting for you–totally accepted, beloved, and approved by God. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. Cheers to the new year!

  8. Beautiful!!! These are resolutions for the new year I’m actually wanting to follow. What joy if in 2017 I was able to bring God glory! Forget meal planning and thinner thighs – haha!!!

  9. I am celebrating 2016 as the first year in four years with no health issues needing recovery. My theme had been “Hope, Health, Happiness”. It happened!!! Looking so forward to 2017 and was focusing on the year’s theme. I think you nailed it for me with the title of your article. Thanks so much. It’s going to be a great 2017!!!!

    • Wonderful, LaVerne! I’m celebrated restored health and hope for you. Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us. It is going to be a great 2017!!

    • Oh, I’m so glad you were encouraged, Tiffany! Thank you for taking the time to share such an uplifting comment. Indeed God is working!

  10. “He’s inviting us to believe Him – to leave some space on the calendar pages to sip and savour and enjoy the present.”
    I love this and want to be intentional with regard to time management and enjoying what God has in store for 2017…..remembering that He is for me
    Thank you for this encouragement Melinda! Happy New Year

  11. I love this! I think “fully alive” will be my theme for 2017. It will be a fitting tribute to an ugly turned victorious 2016. I’ve struggled for years understanding the phrase “abundant life”, but your post has colored in the blank areas. Thank you!

    • Oh, Dana! Your words bring such encouragement to me! Way to warrior through the ashes to find the beauty! Cheering you on from here!

  12. No resolutions! Every morning I wake up to diet commercials, and I think it’s time to start telling women they are God’s beloved and let His love shape our lives and bodies, then the vibrant health comes. Happy 2017!

  13. Another beautiful and encouraging message written by my dear joy-filled friend, Melinda. I am so thankful she is using her divinely inspired talent to lift up our faith, hopes & dreams! Xoxo & Happy New Year!

  14. No matter our address or elevation or the weather, you given us all the most beautiful view of the new year.

    Grateful to have hope on this last day of 2016.

    Thank you, Melinda!

  15. Melinda…today I woke up asking for a word from the Lord about what He wanted me to “live out” this new year and feeling frustrated that at times I doubt whether God speaks to me. This past year I have lived scared and have allowed the hurts of life to weigh me down and the day in/day out of raising three small girls to keep me spinning and simply surviving. Your words were like a breath from heaven to my soul this morning and I just wanted to say thank you. This is exactly what I needed to hear. I want to live each day “fully alive” to all God is, who I am and what He has for me in those wide open spaces. Freedom, Hope, Trusting Surrender. Blessings to you…xoxo

    • Joy,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read with such an open heart. I am humbled to be a small part of God’s answer to you and am inspired by your desire to seek Him fully. Raising little ones is sacred work. It may feel unnoticed, repetitive, and undoubtedly exhausting, but it is the work of the gospel every single day. Carry on, lovely. You’re doing so well!

  16. Melinda, your words always inspire me to press on in my lane of the race set before me. Thank you for using your gift to encourage fellow followers and magnify the One it’s all about. Carry on, sister!

  17. Happy New Year Melinda! Thank you so much for sharing. Your words have brought peace to my worried heart this morning. Needed this ❤❤ xoxo

  18. A fabulous twist on a new year. What a wonderfully succinct combination of thoughts that speaks truth, hope, freedom and certainly encouragement. Thank you for sharing this…. Please continue!

  19. Melinda, you are so uplifting and real. Thank you for this awesome read. I love you lady ~

  20. So beautifully said, dear friend! Thank you for your words of truth and encouragement for 2107!

  21. Melinda,

    We as a people of God need to live our lives as though we fully trust God with everything. It is so easy to give God our problems and then take them back thinking He can’t or isn’t handling them. One secret to living fully alive is to make a prayer list. Pray it daily. Mark the ones God has answered. You will be surprised how many He answers. For 2016 I have about 20+ answered prayers that include 2-3 miracles I was able to witness! Each time you go back to the prayer list thank God for those answered prayers. Keep reminding yourself that He will answer prayers either yes, no, or wait!

    Happy New Year Everyone! 🙂

    • Yes, Beth! The key is *not* taking back what we’ve entrusted to him. I absolutely believe in the power of prayer and am greatly encouraged when I remember how he’s answered my prayers. Cheers to 2017!

  22. All of this….so beautiful. You have a lovely way of expressing the simple joys and freedoms of faith. Keep writing and sharing, Melinda. We are listening and learning!!!

  23. Melinda, you continue to amaze and inspire me with your wisdom and talent.
    Oh, how I needed this post to remind me that whatever 2017 holds for my life as the nest empties; that I will not be alone. God has me in the palm of His mighty hand and as long as I step forward in complete faith in Him, I may stumble and fall, but He will always be there to dust me off and set me back on my feet!
    I choose to live this year in eager anticipation of what His plans are in this new season instead of living in fear!
    Thank you for your encouraging words and blessing the lives of your friends, family and readers. Love you so much!

  24. I am late in commenting but just want to say how appreciative I am of this post. I have of late become very jaded because of life’s circumstances and have been skeptical of God being for me. This brought tears to my eyes and made me want to trust afresh that God is for me. I had not planned to choose a word for 2017 but after reading this, I decided to choose “positivity”. I want to try to look for the positive and bright side of things in this new year. Thank you for your post.

    • Ahh, Eunice! You have brought such encouragement to me! I am so proud of you for choosing hope and to look to the positive in the new year. Oh, how He loves you! May 2017 knock your socks off in the best possible way!

  25. I am an over eighty (ole) lady and due to changing churches this year am now a member of a small church and I feel put on the shelf right now. I will look forward to God using me in a greater way than I could even dream of in 2017. I will trust Him to lead and use me in His way and I will live “fully alive” Praise His Holy Name. Thanks for your message to me today. I’m smiling and am excited that Our God who loves me knows my every need and is capable, able and willing to lead me as we fill out my calendar this year.

    • Oh, sweet Rose! You don’t belong on any shelf! You are more spry than some who are half your age and I want to be like you when I grow up. Our God loves you so and has big plans for you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. May you be richly blessed in 2017!