Melissa Frey

Fiction Writer, Freelancer for Hire, and Paleo Enthusiast

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Wellness/Paleo Website Launch!

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This past February, my husband and I took an amazingly relaxing trip to Tampa, Florida. (Above is the sunset in St. Petersburg.) We almost didn’t make it out of Michigan due to a snowstorm, but as the palm trees came into view, we could almost feel the weight (probably the weight of the snow) lift off our shoulders.

We took the week and rested, ate amazing food, laid out and walked on the beach, drove all over the Tampa Bay area, and watched Supernatural. (Thank you, TNT) And after our minds finally cleared, we decided that we needed to start something.

At first, we weren’t sure what we were going to start. We knew that between my own Paleo/health journey and his desire to become more fit we’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge about wellness, health, and nutrition. So we brainstormed, planned, scrawled all over some white boards, planned some more, thought way too much, and came up with an idea. A website! (Not very original, but bear with me.)

We knew so many people who wanted help getting their health back on track, so we wanted a place where people could go to find help on their wellness journey. Somewhere people could peruse articles, check out some Paleo recipes, and gain inspiration to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle day in and day out.

Our website isn’t up quite yet, but we wanted to start getting the word out. If you are considering starting your journey to a healthy life, are ready to get started, or are simply curious, sign up to get notified when the site launches! It’s really only a few clicks away. (Get notified here.)

Also, we’d love to connect with you on Facebook! My Facebook author page is here; send us a message! If you have any questions or already have ideas of things you’d like to see on the website, email us at info@andrewandmelissafrey.com.

And don’t worry; my blog will still be here! I will just transition my health and wellness posts to andrewandmelissafrey.com.

What would you like to see on the new site? Blog posts, recipes, pictures, something else? We want to create content you’ll love! Sound off in the comments!

5 Ways You’re Probably Holding Yourself Back

We all do it.

We have great intentions, lofty goals, but we somehow never see the results. Somehow, some way, we’re stuck. Frustrating, isn’t it? I’ve lived in this place a long time, and am currently clawing my way out.

Beach Sunset Taking Picture in Florida

But in the process of learning how to move forward, I’ve learned a little about the things that were holding me back. Perhaps they’re not mind-blowing revelations for you, but identifying the problem is the first step in finding the solution.

1. You’re Not Learning

It’s easy to binge watch Netflix. Not that anyone here’s done that before… Ahem. What’s not easy is challenging yourself, pushing yourself, learning and absorbing all you can.

Does it matter what you’re learning? Not really. It’s about training your mind to process and retain information. So learn anything and everything you can. I mean it. Want to learn the migrating patterns of a particular bird? If that’s your thing, run after it. We have this amazing thing called “The Internet” that might help…

Learning to learn can be a beautiful thing. And it helps you grow as a person; sometimes just the act of learning itself will help you grow. Just try it.

2. You’re Thinking Horrible Things

Imagine you love someone a whole lot. Like a ton. Remember your first girlfriend maybe. Or think of your husband. Or your kids maybe. Now what would you do if you heard someone tell them they were worthless? Besides wanting to punch them in the face (don’t do that), you would, in no uncertain terms, tell them to leave immediately and never speak that way to your loved one again.

Have you ever told yourself those kinds of things? If you have, you’re undoubtedly reading this right now with a lump in your throat. Push those thoughts as far away from you as you can by replacing every negative thought with at least one positive thought. Bonus: if you can find a way to make the negative a positive, you are well on your way to conquering that evil voice inside your head!

I’ll be the first to tell you that this is in no way easy, but it’s well worth it, I promise.

3. You’re Listening to the Wrong (External) Voices

Anyone ever tell you something you should do? No? So you’ve never been around people before? Everyone, whether they mean to or not, has at some point given you advice. It’s not a bad thing – until we start listening to them more than we listen to our own voice.

What’s the best way to avoid this? Know yourself. It’s hard, so hard. But completely worth it. Figure out who you are, and do it relentlessly. Then you’ll be able to take all that advice, filter it through your personality, then use what serves you and discard what doesn’t. Again, it’s hard. But anything worth pursuing is.

4. You’re Allowing Fear to Run Your Life

Ouch. I’m stepping on my own toes here. Always (read: every single time) ask yourself your motivation behind choosing to do or not do something. Is fear holding you back, telling you you won’t succeed, or that you’re not good enough, or that _________ (fill in the blank)?

Don’t let fear run your life anymore. Jeff Goins sums it up well: “…courage isn’t the absence of Fear; it’s the willingness to face it in spite of how you feel.” So let’s all do one thing to be courageous and laugh in the face of fear. Then another. And another. And soon, fear will go and bug someone else.

5. You’re Convinced This is All There Is

You’ve been there, haven’t you? Somehow someone (probably yourself) convinced you that where you are is where you’ll stay. Sometimes it definitely feels like that. But here’s a quote I love, and though I usually use it to pertain to travel, it fits here, too: “Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.” (Author unknown) That isn’t only talking about your geographical location, but maybe for you it is. Or maybe it means something else.

The point here is that you learn, grow, venture out, try new things! The worst that can happen is that you find out something you don’t like – but maybe you’ll stumble onto your life’s purpose. And what could be cooler than that?

 

All that to say: we don’t have to stay here, people. We can live in victory, in freedom, in complete and utter happiness, if only we discover how to let go.

Because only in letting go can we find true freedom. (Tweet that)

What one thing can you do today to start moving forward? Let me know in the comments!

God Alone: A Study in Making Much of God

So here’s a few thoughts I had on Psalms‬ ‭72 (from the NLT) today:

The psalm at first appears to be all about the king and how he is asking for his kingdom to be prosperous, requesting that all the people in his kingdom are blessed and filled to the brim with the things they need. At first glance, this seems to be a little conceited. Why would the writer be asking God to make his own name great?

“…May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful… May there be abundant prosperity until the moon is no more. May he reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth… All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him… Long live the king! …May there be abundant grain throughout the land, flourishing even on the hilltops. May the fruit trees flourish like the trees of Lebanon, and may the people thrive like grass in a field. May the king’s name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise.”

Then the last few verses came, and one word jumped off the page. And I got it.

“Praise the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. Praise his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!” (emphasis mine)

Did you catch it? The end of the psalm shows that God ALONE does all these things. And all the king’s prosperity is for God’s glory, not his own.

Can’t we relate? We shouldn’t desire to be known simply to make our own name great; we should desire to be known so we can make God’s name the greatest of all.

And then…(I love this last part.)

The writer just drops the mic.

“(This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse.)”

How great is that?

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭72:1-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬

To tell me how you’re making His name great, connect with me here.

Beauty wins Flint: Why the News Out of Flint Isn’t All Bad

I live near Flint. I work in downtown Flint. I grew up near Flint. And, like nearly everyone else, my hearts breaks for the #flintwatercrisis there. This tragedy has touched so many people, some I know by name.

And it is a tragedy, in the truest sense of the word. Things that shouldn’t have happened did. And it’s tempting to focus on that, on the negative. It’s easy to focus on finding blame, punishing those responsible. And while that process is necessary, it shouldn’t be the focus.

I say it’s time to focus on the good.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Downtown FogFall Tree Behind Flint HouseRiverside Fall TreeSnowy Road

(The one above may not be Flint, but it’s definitely Michigan, and we definitely have snow.)

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These are just a few of the pictures I’ve taken around Flint. This last one is a bridge over the now-infamous Flint river. And you know what? I choose to see beauty here. I choose to see scores of people being the change instead of waiting for someone else to do it. I choose to focus on the beauty, on the community here, than on all the horrible things happening here right now.

So instead of politicizing the crisis and calling for resignations far and wide, what if we send money, pass out water, donate water, pray for the people of Flint. What if we choose to focus on all that’s going right here?

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – ‭‭John 1:5‬ ‭‭NIV‬‬

If you know anything about history of the city of Flint, you know the sad story. I was a young girl when the last of the factories started closing. My family drove by all the empty factories and buildings as we went to school, church, my grandma’s house – it’s very sad.

Most of those reminders remain. Some of the lots where factories once stood are now empty concrete slabs. Some are just empty shells with the windows broken or boarded up. And with the factory closings, the businesses around them closed, too. The domino effect on the economy was far reaching.

But there’s a revitalization coming, and it’s already begun.

A New Coffee Shop Coming to Flint’s College and Cultural District

New Businesses Opening Downtown (ABC12)

The New Farmer’s Market

So come visit Flint! We need your help, to be sure, but we need your support more. We need water, but we also need your prayers, your patronage, your blessings.

Come see the great Flint comeback. Visit a coffee shop on Saginaw, take in a show at the Whiting, check out our new Planetarium, eat at the Farmer’s Market!

Be the change. Be the light in what can sometimes seem to be an overwhelming darkness. And don’t miss the beauty.

Upload pictures of beauty right where you are (even if you aren’t in Flint)! Let’s show the world that beauty and love triumphs over hate and fear. Just use #beautywinsflint on any platform.

The Un-Resolution New Year

Okay, so I haven’t posted on here in awhile. Like since last summer. Life’s been crazy, we moved, the holidays… blah, blah, blah. You know how it goes.

But those all kind of seem like excuses, don’t they?

So here’s my un-resolution for this year: no resolutions that will stress me out or cause me guilt. Sound good? I thought so.

Instead, I’m resolving not to make resolutions, but just get back to what I know I should be doing. Yoga, meditation, prayer, Bible study, writing, editing, mindfulness, healthy eating…all the things I did at some point in this past year but that somehow made their way out of my regular routine.

I did some of the things on that list this morning. Did I feel guilty that I didn’t start on January 1st? No way! I’m super proud of myself.

Here’s why: Imperfect progress is the name of the game. Because any step forward gets you that much closer to your goal.

Ann Voskamp wrote a blog post about Perfectionism and Procrastination and Doing the Next Hard Thing. She summed it up this way: “Fire your perfectionism and your procrastination will quit too.”

Isn’t that freeing? So instead of feeling guilty that you ate one more leftover Christmas cookie today or you missed out on yoga because your kids woke you up early and the dog was tracking snow through the house and your husband burnt pancakes in your nice new skillet then your oldest got a bloody nose and your youngest started screaming at all the blood…breathe. Just breathe.

Just breathe, try again tonight, or tomorrow morning, or tomorrow night, or Wednesday at 3pm, and know that imperfect progress is infinitely better than no progress at all.

So let’s all make an un-resolution this year: stress-free, guilt-free, worry-free imperfect progress.

I think we’ll all be surprised at how far we can get.

 

P.S. Here’s a picture of the wreath I made this year. Yes, it’s still on my door. No, I won’t be taking it down any time soon.

Christmas Wreath

 

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