Author Archives: Mandy

Mandy Mianecki is a wife and mom of 4. She is passionate about encouraging others in their healing journeys from brokenness to wholeness; in uncovering their unique kind of God-breathed brilliance; and in living in the freedom won by Christ. When she’s not writing, Mandy is dreaming God-sized dreams, which usually involve making art, wearing turquoise and eyeing a nearby jar of Nutella. In addition to being a contributing writer at and God-sized Dreams, Mandy blogs at Hearts Undaunted . You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

The Basketball Hoop

I hear that there are people who enjoy exercising. They thrive on it.

I’d like to spend some time with this foreign species and soak up some of their enthusiasm and motivation, osmosis-like.

Because I’m more in the exercise-is-really-a-form-of-torture camp. It’s a bit like childbirth for me: painful enough that I need to minimize any aspects that are remotely frustrating in order to pull through it.

I tried walking (not running, mind you) through my neighborhood with my husband and kids. That was stress galore: different paces, fear of cars slamming into children, sippy cups going AWOL…

So, I changed course and crafted a plan I could follow: walking solo on a path of my choosing, the time of day, pace, and duration determined by me alone.

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Let It Spill

I knew the message would be congenial and kind, encouraging even.

I knew it was coming, as she had requested my email address.

And yet, the flurries in my stomach were mixed: part jitters, part curiosity…

What did she have to tell me, this teen minister from my youth?

I clicked on her name in my inbox.

I want you to know I love you. And I am on your side. ALWAYS.

They were simple words. Profound words.

And they were simply profound.

Each sentence preceding these concluding words in the email surrounded my tender heart with unconditional love and a growing awe that here, before my eyes, were the very sentiments I’d longed to hear.

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God Is

The words breezed by me countless times throughout my 36 years, I’m certain.

A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13:34

All these times, I’ve registered recognition but not nothing more: Oh, yes. The love commandment. I know that one.

Until this day.

God’s been persistent in whispering clues about how He loves. He knows I need to get this before I get anything else.

I’ve been alert, awaiting the whispers. So, on this day, when I read of Jesus speaking about love…

I pause.

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I began with the “H” in royal blue across a square of white, my rainbow of classic Crayola markers splayed over the plush burgundy carpet. I smiled, imagining Mom’s delight when she spied it in the morning, my signature, block-bubble letters, surrounded by a wavy, drawn-ribbon border: Happy Birthday!

I taped the poster board in its traditional spot, above the doorway to the dining room, where all the delicious indulgence would occur. Next came assorted balloons with bold red curling ribbons cascading down.

She created them for all of us, a sign for every birthday growing up. I delighted in the task of creating hers.

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