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WHERE STORIES MATTER

Because we were made for so much more.

Made for More. | meredithbernard.com | #TheGreatestGift

Wrangling my thoughts of late has been as hard as wrangling my three-year old girl for bedtime after she has an unplanned two-hour nap before supper.

Not. Easy.

No one culprit is to blame and I would love to blame anything but the truth, because per usual, the truth hurts.

The busy season. The busy mom. The busy teacher. The busy wife. The busy friend. The busy ministry helper. The busy. Busy. Busy…

A dry well won’t help a thirsty village any more than a dry spirit will quench a thirsty soul.

Soul laid bare, that’s where I am these days. This night in the warmth of my cozy, tree-lit room, curled up by the wood stove enjoying the serenity of a house at rest…and struggling to find the same.

Busy, but busted. Drenched, but dry. Overwhelmed, but underfed.

On the heels of the season of giving thanks and the cusp of the season of embracing The Greatest Gift, something’s been lost. Or worse yet, Someone has been lost?

For thirty-one days I wrote and the words came and they meant something to me. I didn’t manufacture them, as is my greatest fear. I never want this place to become a word factory for the sake of words and not for His sake, for goodness sake.

When the words don’t come easy, they don’t come at all and if they don’t come at all, then there’s nothing to say. The thing is I believe I have words left in me.

But an empty bucket can’t bring any water out of the well.

Here’s some honest to goodness truth for you, even though it hurts to admit. I’ve not been getting enough of Him to give any away and that hurts me as much as it has the potential of hurting you.

And in true “Merdie” fashion I had high hopes to start a month of Advent with our children and follow along with Ann Voskamp’s beautiful new book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. We read the preview and then missed the FIRST night. Yep. The first night. How hard can this be?

So tonight we read two. And it was beautiful.

I watched my girl name people who needed to know God loves them…and she was right. I watched my boy question that God in three persons actually kissed life into the first man and then eyes come alive with wonder when the light bulb went off. He knows the story, He’s been knowing it his whole life. But tonight he got it.

And tonight I got it, too. I got the message loud and clear and near and dear.

“We were made by love…for love.” That’s what Ann said and it stuck. I read it over to the kids hoping it would stick with them, too.

You and I were made for more than this.
Made for more than what we know and see and touch and feel.
Made to love those we look past, skim over and drive by.
Made to show God’s love to the very people we can’t stand.
Made to get over our busy lives and get on with living in and through the love that is in us if He is in us.

I know I’m redeemed. Saved. Restored. Rescued. He is in me. I just have to dig deep to let His love out somedays. And I have to keep filling myself with Him in every way possible to have more to give.

I knew this. I know it now. But I wasn’t working towards it. I wasn’t living it. I haven’t been filling up with Him to let His love come up and over and out.

Tonight I’m grateful for reminders and second-chances and a perfect God that loves even imperfect me and imperfect you.

I’m also grateful for this scraggly, star-topped-heavy-leaning-over Christmas tree that is really the most beautiful thing I’ve seen. In all it’s imperfect ways, it still shines. Maybe that’s the best reminder of all. 


It’s #Woman2Woman Wednesday again, born of my desire to talk about “woman stuff “ in a way that builds the sisterhood up and always points us towards Christ. Always and in ALL grace.

If you have a blog and would like to join the link-up, we would love to have your beautiful self! If you do, please link back to this site (use the button if you wish) and also please comment on the person linked up before you. We are all about sharing love and grace here.

If you don’t have a blog, we would still love to have your comments here and at any other links you have the time and grace to visit. You can also spread the love with hashtag #woman2woman on twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And if you love an image…would you pin it? Pretty please? Much love ladies! xoxo, Meredith

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  • […] more information about custom images for your website or ebook contact me via email.Linking-up with Meredith, Holley, Kristin and Jennifer today. You’re invited to write and read and join together in […]ReplyCancel

  • […] with Meredith, Holley, Kristin and Jennifer today. You’re invited to write and read and join together in […]ReplyCancel

  • I adore your honesty. I find the same thing, when I am neglecting him there just aren’t words and then I get feeling restless and frustrated until I remember what the problem is and get thing right with Him.ReplyCancel

  • This was for me today…well, tonight. I spent so much time re-reading your post going, “Is she talking to me?” I did the 31 day challenge back in October. To those that completed the novel challenge in November back to back…You. Are. My. Heroes! I sit here TRYING to blog three times a week and find any words to try to work on my book…and I come up dry. I cannot get this routine going for me. I needed your post tonight. Juse seeing this link-up is so encouraging. Thank you SO much!ReplyCancel

  • Yes, that’s us too – stumbling through the readings – but finding certain images that catch all our attention – and being kissed by love is definitely one of them 🙂 Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • “I have to keep filling myself with Him in every way possible to have more to give.” This balance is such an art, one that I have yet to perfect. But then, I don’t imagine God would want me to perfect it, because the goal is to depend on Him every step of the way, right? Filling, emptying, refilling and on it goes. Your words touched me today and your honesty, well, beautiful. Thank you for sharing and letting us share too. And PS…we missed night 2 with Ann. Hooray for small beginnings!ReplyReplyCancel

  • Anonymous

    “I have to keep filling myself with Him in every way possible to have more to give.” This balance is such an art, one that I have yet to perfect. But then, I don’t imagine God would want me to perfect it, because the goal is to depend on Him every step of the way, right? Filling, emptying, refilling and on it goes. Your words touched me today and your honesty, well, beautiful. Thank you for sharing and letting us share too. And PS…we missed night 2 with Ann. Hooray for small beginnings!ReplyCancel

  • There are definitely quiet seasons. Even Mary pondered to her own self sometimes! Blessings and thanks for inviting us all in when you were ready to share.ReplyCancel

  • I wanted to share that I know exactly what you mean by that squeezed dry feeling at the end of the 31day series. I call it running out of words. The only solution I know is to fill myself up with words… not just any words, I need THE words. God’s Words can fill that sucked dry overwhelmed empty overflowing mess better than anything else.ReplyCancel

  • […] to those of you stopping by from Woman2Woman […]ReplyCancel

  • Amen, sister! We’re reading the same beautiful book, and so far both nights have been a mad rush of “c’mon, hurry up and sit down, it’s past your bedtime and we have to *do* this!!” Then I’ve gotten lost in the wonder of the words and the message and got up from the couch so encouraged. Here’s to both of our families and many more around the world being filled by Ann’s ministry of words this season, and ultimately by *His* Word now and always. Love your sweet spirit!ReplyCancel

  • “Tonight I’m grateful for reminders and second-chances and a perfect God that loves even imperfect me and imperfect you.”

    Me too! Beautiful, heartfelt post. xoReplyCancel

  • […] Linking up today with Meredith Bernard for Women to Women Wednesdays. […]ReplyCancel

  • Meredith,
    This. These words. They sing beautifully a song of love’s redemption and grace’s covering to my weary soul.
    Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • This is beautiful, Meredith! Filling ourselves with him can be a challenge when the world presses in–but it’s the only way.ReplyCancel

  • Meredith,
    You bless so many with an honest, open, God-loving heart that you share! I immediately wanted to share this verse with you when I read your statement about the dry well, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25 I discovered it one day after making a refreshing drink and then started searching the bible for how God refreshes us (my weird mind). But that verse has helped me so on those days when I am pouring and pouring out. I stop and ask for Him to refresh me so that I can continue refreshing others. I am so glad you are doing Ann’s advent study with the children. I was so blessed by her study last year and it gave me a new appreciation for preparing room in my heart for the celebration of Christmas! You are not out there alone, as evidenced by those who already commented. I will continue those prayers we talked of last night and I know that the Prince of Peace is just waiting to wrap you in His loving arms. You are a Princess…rest in Him!ReplyCancel

  • Oh Meredith, some of this is like you were in my head…all last month I felt like I just had no more words. It’s only though his Spirit we have anything to say at all. This is a message I need to be reminded of again and again. He loves me. And that’s enough. Thanks, friend. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Oh friend thank you for your transparency- the light shines clearly through you as you show up as you are. This, yes this, “In all it’s imperfect ways, it still shines. Maybe that’s the best reminder of all.” Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Oh Meredith, I know where you’re coming from. This is exactly how I felt the whole month of October! And somehow in November God’s Spirit sparked me! I don’t think I’m any less busy, but I have said no to a few things. It’s been more a work of God’s opening my eyes to joy and blessing and helping me choose not to focus on the crud (which abounds too!)

    Would you believe we’re doing advent readings with our kids in the MORNING this year? ‘Cause evenings are way too complicated around here. The last few years if we got 4 nights a week in, I’d call it GOOD! Morning’s not quite the same, but easier for us to actually do. Blessings on you. (sorry I wrote a book, but my heart goes out to you.)ReplyCancel

    • Not a book, Betsy. 😉 I always appreciate your words and wisdom. Maybe we should try mornings, too! Thank you for your encouragement and for being here.ReplyCancel

  • […] up with Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday, Meredith Bernard’s Woman2Woman, and Jennifer Dukes Lee’s […]ReplyCancel

  • Your heart is speaking so clearly here, Meredith. Speaking for our hearts too. Thank youReplyCancel

  • Meredith, thank you for sharing the struggle of your heart. We’ve all been there. I’ve been there in some ways every single day…several times a day. But I am so thankful that God’s compassion never fails and He always draws us right back to His side. I love the image of your imperfect Christmas tree still shining. Gonna keep that one close to my heart. Praying God fills your heart with wonders anew and gives you more words than you know what to do with! Love you, friend.ReplyCancel

    • Thank you sweet friend!! I owe you another reply that I haven’t forgotten about. I love that we aren’t alone in the struggle. Praying God shines in new ways on your day. xoReplyCancel

  • Meredith- I’m right there with you. What is ti about this season, squeezed between two, that squeezes us so? This line is for my journal: “On the heels of the season of giving thanks and the cusp of the season of embracing The Greatest Gift, something’s been lost. Or worse yet, Someone has been lost?” Thanks for your beautiful words here. I needed them today…ReplyCancel

    • We do get squeezed don’t we, Karen. Trying to be intentional today to not let the squeeze take our the wrong things. Love you!ReplyCancel

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