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What are your current vocational roles?

Women’s Ministry Coordinator at Uptown Church, Writer, Wife to Mike and mom to Emma (15), John (12) and Kate (9)

What one word that best describes how you work?


What are the apps or online tools that you use every day that you can’t live without?

I use Accordance Bible software everyday.

What types of social media do you frequently use?

Facebook and Twitter

What kind of workspace do you have?

The fact that there are systematic theology books right next to Southern Living Cookbooks sums up my life pretty well.

Do you have an exercise routine?

I exercise 5-6 days a week and rotate between running, walking the dog, and some sort of strength-training routine.

Do you incorporate any spiritual disciplines into your work day processes?

Currently, I’m reading through the Bible in a year. So, I begin my day with those passages, and usually I write out my prayers in a journal. Our family begins each morning reading from “Voices from the Past” (a Puritan devotional edited by Richard Rushing).

How do you manage what you have to do?

I try to prioritize my activities in such a way that my more intense mental activities (like writing or studying my Bible) happen earlier in the day. Also, I multitask most activities. I use the time I’m walking the dog to set up ministry phone conversations or check in with friends. When I’m helping my children with homework, I’m also folding laundry or cooking dinner.  I answered most of these questions while waiting in my car during my daughter’s soccer practice.  Basically, I try to squeeze everything I can out the moments of my day.

Besides your phone and computer, what electronic tool can’t you live without and why?

The electronic tool I can’t live without is my car door remote. The downside of constantly outlining articles in my head while driving or grocery shopping is that I cannot remember where I parked my car!  The “beep, beep” is a lifesaver for me.

What book has helped you improve your productivity or work habits?

In college, I majored in mathematics. As I studied, I found that each year I grew more efficient and organized in my work and home (it was a noticeable change since growing up my family lovingly called me “Messy Melissa”). Learning to solve abstract problems helped me work with a more creative and efficient approach to real-life problems. My somewhat strange advice would be to play logic games and puzzles. I think problem-solving puzzles for your brain are the equivalent of doing sits ups for your core.

What do you do to recharge?

After dinner my husband and I usually sit on the back porch and catch up on our day. Discussing life, ministry, and theology with him helps me to recharge – it’s my favorite thing to do.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Since having children, I lost the super-power of being able to sleep long stretches. If I can get 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, I feel great.

Do you have a process for handling email?

I use different colored flags for my email traffic:  Red for immediate needs, yellow for my children’s activities, green for book projects, blue for blogging, purple for speaking engagements and grey for my Uptown Church work. It helps me to be able to find emails quickly and keeps most emails from getting lost.

Do you listen to music when you work?

I enjoy quiet while I write and music when I cook.

What’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?

My favorite piece of writing advice came from James Anderson. He told me to view my first draft as something like a big block of marble. I could go back and chisel away at it later, but first I needed to get something down. I regularly set a clock and say to myself, “Just write something (anything) for one hour.” It’s freed me up to not worry about getting it all sorted out and perfected on the first draft.