Hello Readers!! Guess What! This week we are taking the chance to introduce ourselves to you in a little more depth than before! So sit back, relax, and enjoy our Team Member Showcase!
~ Defying Shadows Team
What defines you as a person? Who are you?
God defines me as a person ultimately but I also define myself. I decide on a daily basis who I’m going to be: a good mom, a supportive wife, kind friend, a moral part of society. Every day is a new opportunity to reinvent myself and fix anything I didn’t like or did wrong the previous day. It’s a chance to put into practice what I’ve learned and be a better, more relaxed person who trusts in the Lord.
I am Melanie. I am a daughter, sister, friend, aunt, (step) grandma. My favorite roles are mother and wife. I am a writer. I am redeemed, reinvented, and restored.
What is your personal “motto”?
Gosh, I feel like I have so many mottos and mantras that I live by. Jeremiah 29:10 is my favorite Bible verse that reminds me regardless of what’s going on right now, God has amazingly wonderful things planned for me. I have some favorite quotes like Vincent Van Gogh’s “If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” This inspires me in my writing. If I start to feel “I just can’t do this”, I need to in fact do it and write and silence that voice.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m an introvert with bursts of extrovert tendencies. Growing up I was painfully shy. I’m still shy but not as painfully so. I’m great at small talk and drawing out people who are quiet. I’ve found that most people find me quite easy to talk to and confide in and that’s a compliment. I’ve always been a great listener. I am a typical introvert in most social situations in that I need little breaks in the action. If we’re hosting a gathering at our house, I slip into the bathroom or bedroom when it’s appropriate, just for a five-minute breather. I love entertaining and having company, however, true to being an introvert, we need those little breaks to recharge.
What is your biggest fear?
That feels incredibly vulnerable to divulge. Anything that threatens to separate me from my children is my greatest fear.
What’s your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is that my children will have big, God-sized dreams and will believe in them and chase those dreams until they fulfill them. A close second is my own ambitious dream of being a successful published author. I am working on my first nonfiction book right now about my domestic abuse survival. I know in my heart this book needs to be read and I pray that it will reach and help those who need to read its words.
What motivates you?
My family and time motivate me. I’m in my forties so I don’t have the assumed advantage of youth. I can’t say I’ll “start writing when…” When what? It seems like a great time to start pursuing my dream so my children can see what that looks like. They support me as I do them. If they can see me pursue my dreams and goals, surely that will motivate them to do the same.
What makes you happy?
My family! Do you see a theme? I’m incredibly family-oriented. They are my breath and life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. When they are happy, I am happy.
If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
This is such a tough question. I’ve had some tough stuff happen in my life. But all of it taught me and brought me to where I am now and I am happy.
My Mom died 19 years ago suddenly and senselessly, it felt. She was very healthy and active, but had suffered some shortness of breath episodes and had sought the help of several doctors, but none offered answers. Ultimately, she collapsed one sunny August morning and passed away instantly of a pulmonary embolism. She was 59. It felt painfully early, too early for her to go. It felt like doctors failed her and it made no sense that they couldn’t have anticipated this was the issue and fixed it. It was entirely treatable had they just entertained this as a possibility. My Dad suffered so without her. On the flip side of that, my Mom loved Jesus with her whole heart. She’s in Heaven and knows Glory. If given the chance, could I selfishly demand that she return here after she’d known such wonder? Or could I prevent her from going there if I had a time machine? I don’t know. But I sure miss her every day.
Where do you see yourself within five years?
In five years, my baby will be starting college. I hope by then that my oldest child will have graduated from college and is deliriously happy in life. I pray for those things and that we are still as close as we are right now. I want my baby to have a bright future that he’s embarking on in college and to have a great head on his shoulders. I want them both to have an even stronger faith than they do now. I want to have my first book published and doing well and my second (also a WIP) published as well or close to it. I want my husband to be healthy and happy in his career. I want our marriage to be strong and happy and for my children to be happy and for all of us to be enjoying good health and success.
What do you do outside of Defying Shadows?
As I mentioned, I’m writing a book and that’s a major writing focus for me. I also write at my blog melaniespickett.com regularly. I write about faith and family and the occasional book review. My emphasis is on mental health issues, specifically those related to abuse of any kind. Having survived a difficult first marriage that was rife with abuse, I want to educate others, offer support and encouragement, and inspire hope.
You may have guessed my family is my focus above all (after God of course!) so managing their lives and schedules is my job as well. I’m not employed currently. I have Crohn’s disease and the past few years have been increasingly difficult in that respect and I haven’t been able to keep up with my previous career of nineteen years as a medical language specialist.
What does Defying Shadows mean to you as a person?
I’m thankful I discovered Defying Shadows. It’s a beautiful supportive family of writers sharing our gifts and stories. Together, we are defying the shadows and helping others do the same.
Be encouraged for you are worthy!
Meet Melanie P:
Melanie Pickett is a writer and blogger and is currently completing her first nonfiction book. She has battled Crohn’s disease and complications, has a now-healthy son who was born prematurely under challenging circumstances, and survived a 15-year abusive marriage and her first husband’s mental illness and eventual suicide. A wife and mother of two, she loves Red Wings hockey, reading, playing piano, and traveling adventures.