guest post: Melanie Cantelmo

My name is Melanie and I have a little blog over here.
I am married with three beautiful, yet busy children.

I started blogging to share with my grandparents all that their great grandchildren were up to.

I ended up realizing that I can use my blog as a means bless and encourage others. I hope I am able to be an encouragement to you today.

I was on a long drive home to Phoenix from a wedding up in Flagstaff. My mind was racing with things I had to do. Prepare for a research paper, get the laundry done, go grocery shopping, find a babysitter for Thursday night, and look into new daycares for my daughter.

My new normal was a constant feeling of being overwhelmed.

At the time I was a single mom to a beautiful two year old, Grace.

I just finished my bachelors and went straight to starting my masters in counseling. The workload was overwhelming, but this was my dream. I wanted to be a counselor since as long as I could remember.

I did not want to give it up.

As I started processing all that I needed to do, I heard a small voice saying, “Melanie, slow down.” If you know me, you know I tend to go full speed ahead. I hate slowing down. I hate being still and I hate listening.

Listening to that small voice was the best thing I ever did.

Have you ever been there?
You know, the crossroads where you need to reevaluate your current situation? Maybe it was leaving a bad relationship or switching schools. Whatever it was or is, crossroads are hard.

It’s hard to know which way to go.

When I got home, I decided to drop out of school.
With working full time and getting my masters degree, I rarely saw my daughter. Grace was more important to me than a degree and I knew that I needed to make these years count.

Shortly after I quit my masters program; I landed a job in social services.
I was excited to get the job because this would give me the real life experience I desperately needed.

The reason I wanted to be a counselor was to help people who have lost hope. This job would have me help people who were in desperate need of hope.

For years I have worked in this field. Walking along side of mothers with drug addictions, fathers in gangs, children removed from what they knew as love, sisters with eating disorders, brothers with psychotic disorders and the list goes on.

Many times I would sit and color with a child who had recently been removed from their home because their parent murdered someone.

At times I would question why God would allow so much suffering.

I went into this field to offer hope to others.
I ended up leaving with more than I could ever give.

I now have a thankful heart for the beautiful
(yet not perfect) family that I have.
I now have a love for people who are wounded.
I now see people with a "disorder" as a human being created in the image of God.
I now can offer grace to people that so desperately need it.

I am starting to see people how God sees people.

I have to admit, it wasn’t hard to leave my job to stay home with my family this past April.

I knew that this was the path that I needed to take.
I knew that my children needed me.
My husband needed me.
I needed time to renew my spirit.

If I never listened to that small voice on that long drive home;
I would have missed the journey that God wanted to take me on.

Thank you for taking the time to hear some of my story.
Feel free to stop by my place in blog land over here and introduce yourself. I love meeting new friends and hearing your story.

Thank you, Megan for allowing me to share some of my life with your friends. You are a blessing to me!

i am so grateful Melanie took the time to share a little bit of her story! when she first told me what her degree was in, i knew that we were soul sisters. her story is so amazing and inspirational how she learned to love others, and more importantly, how she learned to love and appreciate her family even more.
thank you so much, Melanie, for sharing your wonderful message!!


Anonymous said...

This post really resonates with me. I always wanted to help others as well. My bachelors is in psychology & I knew I didn't want to go to grad school right away. So, I landed a job as a TSS worker & I LOVE that I get to make a difference in their lives.

I too, will be happy to leave once I have my own family.

Such a lovely story, thank you for sharing!

Ashley @ The Sweet Life said...

Cute kiddos :) This story is's good to hear a story about having the strength to make tough choices and in return seeing a wonderful outcome!

Autumn @ Autumn All Along said...

Good for you for listening...I have such a hard time going with non-plans (who doesn't?). I feel when I go with non-plans...which are often much better than the notebook scribbles I plan for myself that I am sometimes inadequate.

The reality? It just means I'm relying on God more.

Thanks for sharing :)

Emma Frances said...

What an absolutely beautiful story! :] So inspirational!

the Momma Bird said...

loved this. what a beautiful story! such a sweet spirit :)

Alexis Kaye said...

I really love this story :) I identify with it on so many levels! Thanks for sharing this :) you helped give me hope today!