Renew, Refocus and Restore

One year to make BIG changes. Over the next year, I will journey down a path to renew myself, refocus my life and restore my relationships.

Last week, during staff meeting, our lead pastor encouraged us all to take the summer to renew ourselves, refocus on our goals and restore our relationships. For some reason, this really resonated with me. For a while now, there has been a discontentment in my life. I’ve felt felt disorganized, distracted and detached.

I know where it all started: June 1, 2011, the day I got the call that my mom had lung cancer. News like that sends you in an emotional tailspin. I had this feeling that my whole world was hanging by a thread and I was dangling there, just waiting for the line to snap. When that line finally snapped, four short months later on Oct.1, I went spiraling.

The loss of my mother changed me. I found myself so disorganized that I couldn’t tell my head from my foot. I became so distracted by every little thing that I was overwhelmed with the simplest tasks. I discovered that my relationships were strained because I just wanted to detach myself from anyone and everyone, including my husband and daughter. So, you can see how the idea of renewing myself, refocusing my life and restoring my relationships resonated with me.

So, for some time, I’ve played with the idea of a blog. I find that when I can’t focus, putting my thoughts and feelings on paper help to clear out the cobwebs. Plus, there is something profoundly therapeutic about seeing your struggles in black and white. The words stare back at you, forcing you to address what your mind pushes away.

Part of my initial hesitation about jumping into the blogosphere was a fear for being too transparent. However, if just one-line I type helps or connects to just ONE another person, if it makes an impact in some tiny way, then my transparency is justified.

So, here’s my plan. Starting today, I will begin a year-long journey to make BIG changes in my life. Each week, I will blog about my progress, struggles and successes.

The Plan:



Body – I use to be in excellent shape. When I was 21, I was in the best shape of my life. While I am not expecting to EVER return to that wonderful 21-year-old body (a girl can only dream), I do expect that I can start a plan to get my butt in shape.

Goal 1 – Food is for eating, not for filling. I will resume Weight Watchers and remain accountable at keeping track of my points.

Goal 2 – Get off my tush and push. I will commit to 35-40 minutes on the treadmill at a MINIMUM for 5 days a week. My ultimate goal is that I will participate in a 5-K in the spring of 2013.


Mind – There is a saying, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I spend far too much time filling my wonderful brain God gave me with mindless entertainment. (My guilty pleasures are Glee and Vampire Diaries.)

Goal 1 – Schools out for summer, but that’s it. Starting in August, I am back to 9 credits a semester. It’s time to knock out those last 60 hours and walk across that stage.

Goal 2 – Become a bookworm. I am committing to reading one new non-school book a month.


Soul – My soul. There is a quote I saw from C.S. Lewis, “You do not have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” If I am a soul, then why do I spend so little time taking care of it?

Goal 1 – Get into The Good Book. I work at a church, I should be reading my Bible every day, exploring the Word of God on a deep level. So, I will commit to a plan that will help me read through the Bible in a year.

Goal 2 – Prayer changes things, so pray! I will keep a prayer journal and really commit to praying for my family, friends and co-workers.


Home – Organized chaos, this is how I would describe my home. It’s not a bad thing, but for some time now, I have let little things go and it’s time to refocus and clear out the garbage.

Goal 1 – You better check yourself, before you wreck yourself. It’s time to create a budget and stick to it. This is my least favorite goal, but financial health is important.

Goal 2- Clear out the clutter. Why do I hold onto so much crap? I will commit clearing out and organizing one room in my house each week until we are organized.


Career – What do I want to be when I grow up? I am almost 32, and I am still struggling with this question. I just need to refocus on my career goals and push forward.

Goal 1 – Make a decision already! I have had an idea for some time, but I am torn between two paths. I will have a decision by the end of this year.

Goal 2 – Set some clear goals. I will sit down and write out a 5-year-plan with clear goals for my career path.



It’s time to restore relationships. Restoration is not just repairing something that is broke, it’s rejuvenating something worn. God designed us to be in relationship with one another, life is too short to spend time angry and bitter.

My Husband – I need to date my husband. So, I am bringing back date night. I will have AT LEAST one Ella-free night with Rob a month. So, if I hit any of you up for babysitting, help a sister out okay?!

My Daughter – I will make special mommy/daughter bonding time for my girl and I.

My Family – I need to water my roots. I need to spend more time “watering” my roots and restoring my family tree. I will commit to telling my family that I love them on a regular basis (more than just Facebook.)

My Friends – Friends are the family that you get to choose. They add zest and color to your life. I will commit to spending quality time with friends at least once a month.

My Co-workers – I will spend more time building up my co-workers. When you build others up, it takes more for others to tear you down.


So, thereyou have it, a plan—my plan to renew,refocus and restore my life. My last goal is to use this blog as a form of accountability. I will commit to blogging every two weeks about my progress. I am giving myself a year. One year to make a SERIOUS change in my life.

“He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name sake.” – Psalm 23:3

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Jordan Lanham June 11, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Melissa, thank you so much for sharing your journey on O'Fallon Patch. I look forward to reading about your progress! Good luck to you!
Heather Kemper-Hussey June 11, 2012 at 06:35 PM
You got this, girl! :)
Rachel Ballard June 11, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I'm a list girl. I need it. For everything...and I've got my list systems in place complete with the best app for the job. I put my "Mommy Time" on my list...and my "Husband Time" on my list. Now my kids and husband don't know they are part of my weekly to do list...and obviously not every little thing ends up on there, but I put one item per kid (for all 4 of them) on the list per week. Things like - dance party, spa night, special note in a lunch box, sneak candy in the book bag, etc. Things I know that kid will love. Things I know will make that kid know that at least one time that week I thought about JUST them. It works for me. Good luck!
Lorilise Scarborough June 11, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Amazing. You are amazing and though these ate big goals, in both quantity and quality, I look forward to reading about your successes as you blog. Inspiring!
Rosemary Gore June 12, 2012 at 04:10 AM
I'm already on the "Melissa Fan Club" role - so count me in as support of any kind, when needed. You are a blessing to me - let me return the favor! Go Girl!!
Anna Frese-Hummel June 12, 2012 at 03:06 PM
thank you for sharing. Great ideas. you are in my prayers. Anna Frese Hummel
Debra Tiihonen June 22, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Looking forward to your progress. Hope it will inspire me to get off my butt!


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