Starting Over: The Restoration of Walking By Faith


At some point, we all need to START OVER at something. The process of restoration is no different. When we restore something we have to strip it down to its original structure in order to rebuild it to its original state (or better, stronger). No matter what part of our journey through life we are on starting over is hard. As I have focused on the word Restoration throughout this year starting over definitely seems to have been a consistent theme as well!

As of January 1 hubby started over in a new full-time position at the church we had been attending since we left our previous church after 12 years of serving there.

In May we moved into our camper as we undertook the starting over with a different house, that wasn’t quite a house yet….it was a horse barn that we are turning into a house. No matter what starting over has a great number of challenges.

Coming face to face with hard things.

A few weeks ago I sat staring at a blank screen. My planner opened to the list of 30+ blog post topics I have been contemplating- some for over 2 years, and I had NOTHING! I felt like I had no words. Everything I wanted to write could be taken wrong by someone and I don’t want to hurt or offend anyone. It’s been a slow building to that for a long time. It’s been ingrained in me. DON”T OFFEND.

The problem is though, sometimes just breathing offends people. Jesus offended people. Just saying the name of Jesus will offend some. I have to ask myself at what point am I going to draw the line in the sand and say enough is enough.

Truth is hard. It’s hard for me too. The reality is if I don’t write the truth then I might as well hang up the power cord to my computer and say “sorry God I’m just not going to do this anymore ” the funny thing is I did just that. Notice how I didn’t finish the write 31 days challenge? Don’t worry I’m going to but I have some things to write about first.

This is one of them.

As I plunked out post after post for the writing challenge I realized that I was writing a lot of disclaimers. All in the name of not offending. The hard part is we all have negative things about us that we need to grow out of. so no matter how many disclaimers I write, somewhere someone is going to be offended, no matter how hard I try not to offend. I’ve been offended by those similar types of things.

So what should we do with that offense?

If we find ourselves getting offended at something that should be a warning that there is some heart work that needs to be done.

The best thing I have found that helps me is to ask God to show me the truth. Show me my own heart. Have you ever heard the phrase ” You can’t handle the truth!”? It was made famous in the movie A FEW GOOD MEN. Most of the time that’s where we are..we can’t handle the truth

Prepare your heart for the truth. I had to do this as I wrestled with God (remember it’s my favorite thing to do) about giving up the blog. I didn’t know how to fix the problem. The problem was me and how I write.

I had given up the way I had started writing nearly 16 years ago. A daily narrative of my life as I journey through my life. I became disconnected from how I wrote as I struggled with not offending people. I had been accused of writing about things “I shouldn’t be writing about”. That’s where it started and it snowballed into where I am now. Unfortunately, It created a cycle in my mind that I wasn’t even aware of.

The problem is 2 fold:

First, the problem was the person assumed the passage I shared was about something that it wasn’t. He got offended because I just shared a passage from a Psalm. That really should have been my first indication that there was a problem but I was in a place of high trauma and that just fueled the abuse we were enduring.

The second problem is that it has to do with me. if it impacts me, touches my heart, and my life ad triggers my mind then I should be able to write about its impact. Do I have the right to air dirty laundry, fuel anger, be spiteful with my words, or share details that aren’t mine to share? Absolutely not! Have I fallen prey to that in the past? Unfortunately. But I have grown a lot in my walk with Jesus and grown in spiritual maturity.

However, I cannot give up valuable headspace to that so I had a choice to make.

Restore or Let Go (aka give up)

Giving up was the easiest answer because I hate drama. I will do whatever it takes to avoid it at all costs. I know that people-pleasing is a real struggle for me and is something I have been battling all year. It’s been an area of growth for a while now and after much prayer I believe this is the next step in process of letting that part of me go.

So I chose to restore!

What does that mean going forward?

Well, first it means that this isn’t going to be a perfect change and transition. I have to work really hard to find that passion and form of writing from the past.

Second, it means, at least for the time being I have to let go of the old list of posts. I still have them. I just have to rethink how I will write the to not be so “mechanical” and make them more personal.

Lastly, I won’t be doing a Happy Homemaker post for a while. It’s an easy post and I enjoy them but I was hiding behind it As in ” oh I wrote my post for the week so I’m all good now.”.

For the time being, I want to focus on what God has been doing in my life! Some of the stuff is hard. some of it’s amazing and he is using it all for his glory…especially if I share it!

The other BIG thing is I have started reviewing books again! I have been reading my brains out and I have two books ready to write posts for and another in the wings. I can tell you though that they aren’t easy topics.

So will you join me on this journey? I sure would love it if you would!!


Hello and Welcome!!!


HELLO Myy name is Mary and welcome to my little place on the internet, I have been blogging here for about 7 years BUT I have been blogging in general for 15 years! YIKES. Feel free to poke around and get to know my home on the internet.

So who am I?

Like I said I’m Mary- I am in my 40’s. I am married to my red-head hubby and this May we will celebrate 19 years of marriage! We have 4 kids ages 16, 15, 14, and soon to be 12. It goes boy, girl, boy, boy.

We are an animal family too. We currently have 3 dogs and 3 cats and I know horses are in our near future.

I am a Christ follower. This is the single most important part of my life. Because if my relationship with Jesus isn’t first and foremost, the other areas of my life will and have suffered when I lose sight of that priority.

My purpose in life is to make God famous -to bring Him glory in everything I say and do. I’m human and I make mistakes. I fall short but the amazing thing about God is he is full of grace and mercy, He wants me to grow and learn from my mistakes. I am his creation!

And I am a pastor’s wife. Yep my hubby is in full time ministry. As much as this doesn’t define me it is an intragal part of who I am. We just left a ministry we were in for 12 years and accepted a position at the very church we have been attendiing since we left… was a God thing for sure and wasn’t on our radar! God really is amazing!

Let’s get a little deeper

I write for 3 reasons

  • For my sanity- I love to write. I have been writing little stories and poems and journaling for as long as I can remember..
  • It really helps me to process th things I am struggling with vs. what I am learning about. I am an avid reader, and sometimes the things I am reading hits a deep . And I become very passionate. Because I want to live a life of excellence in how I live for and serve God.
  • For the growth of others. My thought is, if I’m struggling with something I know I’m not alone. My goal is to help other women grow right along with me.

I am passionate about living with God-fidence… in confidence in God, rather than myself. I can’t do anything. I’m a flawed human being who has been saved by Jesus and it’s only through him that I can do anything!

I’m passionate about having a godly influence. So mach so that I have written a HUGe series on the Power of Your influence here in my blog and I have spoken to a group of women on the topic as well. I am a firm believer that we are all influencers whether we like it or not, it’s a matter of WHAT KIND of influence we are. You can check that series out here. (there are 2 sets ones from 2018 and ones from 2021)

I am slo passionate about living a life of excellence for Jesus. Now this has been a struggle for me personally over the last number of years. And even though it has been a struggle for me and I have fallen short doesn’t mean I can’t be passionate about it. Sometimes our greatest struggles are born out of our passion. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not confuse excellence with perfection!

Some fun facts about me

I (am)

  • an introvert- but that doesn’t mean I’m not a little weird or quirky. and that I can’t get upon front of people and speak
  • kinda a nerd…yeah I’m completely ok with that!
  • a creative… a whole bunch of ways
  • have been on a journey of learning how to paint…not very good but I love the process
  • have been a missionary as a fresh out of high school graduate and went half way around the world…which was also my first time on a plane
  • did I mention I’m afraid of heights
  • enjoy reading (I think I already said that)
  • want to write a book (can you guess the topic?)
  • know that I have a very specific calling for helping women and girls to bridge the generation gap.
  • passionate about women’s ministry
  • have been a mentor at a Crisis Pregnancy center
  • directed more plays than I have fingers
  • helped build/ design parade floats
  • served on a women’s conference planning team
  • have been a book reviewer for major Christian publishing company
  • have been legally blind since I was 13
  • We have two special needs kids
  • loved to play basketball
  • Heath bars are my favorite candy bars
  • love to cook
  • was a tomboy.
  • have eaten silkworm…..and liked it
  • have used a squatty potty and it’s not the type advertised by a cute unicorn
  • took every wood-working class available to me at my middle and high school
  • enjoy learning new things. BUT it takes me forever to actually take the next step to actually try the new thing.
  • am a planner
  • actually like public speaking (remember I said I was weird and quirky)

My purpose

So now that you have gotten to know me a little better here’s my purpose

Hebrews 10:24 NLT

24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

So let’s join in community. …..

to fulfill that purpose!

This isn’t just about me! I want this to be a safe place for us to grow together and help each other…So join in the discussion in the comments or you can check out my blog’s facebook page.

It’s my goal to make that usable and if you like the page you can get updated when I add a new blog post.

Thank you so much for checking out this post and my blog. I hope and pray for you my readers that these posts will meet you where you are ate! I hope you feel welcome, loved and seen.

Let’s get started together! You can start by introducing yourself in the comments below!

Drum Roll Please- Week 14 Update


DRUM ROLL PLEASE- Cue the trumpets and Confetti!

We did it friends- 100 Days! All wrapped up here in this last blog post…..and ya know what? I don’t want to stop. I knew going into this challenge one of two things were going to happen. Either I was going to get to the end and still want to write OR I was going to get to the middle give up and I knew that it would be really hard to continue writing,

I wasn’t sure if I could even do this. It wasn’t easy. I had to let go oof some ideals a long the way (as do we all). I know I mentioned last week that hubby really wanted me to take a break but I didn’t know how that will all would pan out BUT!!! I have figured it out. I will be taking break until December 1st…HOWEVER if you show up here or on facebook you will see that I still have posts that have went up! THAT”S because I wrote them ahead!

A Couple of Thank you’s

I have to thank two very special ladies who really kept me going through this project. I could NOT have done it without them. They have been such a great encouragement even when other people let me know they thought I was crazy. And they were right on the mark when I was struggling. (They didn’t know I was struggling so much that I wanted to quit). And then BAM both of them texted me in the same evening letting me know how much I was encouraging them. WOW.

I couldn’t have done this without my hubby either . Man whenever I was struggling with a topic God had laid on my heart to write about but I wasn’t sure about connections he and I would tease out the various areas I was struggling with. He also provided time and space and encouragement to keep going when the schedules got rough.

And for God, through this project he showed me some things about myself. (That post will come at a later date). Without him I wouldn’t have had the courage to do this. nor would I have had the words to say. Through this I have learned why I do what I do AND I have learned to give myself grace and to let go of my ideals and seek to truly please HIM and only Him.

In the coming weeks….

In the coming weeks there will be some big announcements about my blog and the future of it…and many other things. so stay tuned.

And one more thank you!

This thank you goes to YOU my readers. Thank you for hanging out for the last one hundred days I appreciate you so much.

I hope you all have a blessed thanksgiving and we will see you back here December 1st!

Feel Free to check out the other Choosing Courage 100 Day blogging Project posts here

Week 6 Update- Almost Half Way


I cannot believe that we have just finished week 6 for this writing project and that we are SUPER close to being half way done. (Today is day 44- we are one week away )

Blogging Update- Here’s What to Expect in October.

Up until this point In the writing project I have been just diving in head first, gaining courage. I have checked off a number of the blog posts on my VERY lengthy post idea list. There hasn’t been a theme at all really, but I knew that once we hit October I was going to change paces and revisit a theme from a few years ago. I wanted to finish what I started . I have the content it just never made it into posts.

Behind the scenes I have been doing some in depth planning. I knew that when I participated in #write31days a few years ago that is was said to be the last year. I don’t know why I stopped posting at Day 18 but for whatever reason I did.

So when I took this writing project on I know that October was going to be dedicated to this theme I just wouldn’t use the hashtag and I wouldn’t be “signed up” but hey I am writing for “31” days in October anyway. Then I started seeing emails flood my inbox sharing about the procedure and prompts and stuff like that- Well I am not really interested in the prompts but I can still write about whatever I want and I can link up.

So Starting October 1st you will see that hashtag and title pop up and hopefully we will get some more friends to join us along the way but the only difference you will notice is an ongoing theme.

And the theme is……


I told you I was going to finish what I started! So if you haven’t read the first 18 blog posts you can catch up here.

Like I said before this was a part of my plan to begin with way back in August when I started this journey. I think the interesting thing about all of this is that over the last 6 weeks as I have prayed about this topic and as I revisited my post list I already had I began to see that certain posts would fit into the whole influence topic. I began to mark them with a highlighter and added them to my list.

But what about the other 13 days?

Saying that just sounds ridiculous to me- I mean really? This is day 44 and I couldn’t finish out 13 days ? But I have to remember I was in a difference place and a different time. I have changed a whole lot since 2018.

About a month ago I realized that the post list I had made wasn’t still in the planner from that year. So I began to pray and ask God to help me find it.

As I decluttered a bookshelf in out bedroom I found the list tucked in the back of a stack of papers on a clipboard.! I couldn’t believe it. So then I began working through them.

What I saw were some posts that I wasn’t ready to write then but I am now. Now those posts have some different perspectives that can be added that I did not have before and after six weeks of writing I no longer have the fear to write….ok maybe a smidgen but it’s not going to stop me.

As for the other weekly posts I know at least Tuesdays and Sundays will get two posts. And that’s the weekly update and the A Time to play posts. But those aren’t hard. They are both just sharing the week. All of the work is done. The other two might be hit or mis.

I am so excited

Words cannot express just how excited I am to embark on this journey to finish what I started. It’s been nagging me for 3 years and I am going to fight for completion this time. And I am excited for you to join me on this journey!

Thanks for joining me for My Choosing Courage 100 day writing project.. You can check out all the other posts by clicking here.

Weekly Update- Week 2


Good evening friends- I cannot believe it is time for the week 2 update! And I most certainly CAN”T believe this is my 16th blog post in a row! This is supper exciting I am two weeks into building this habit! I know I can’t keep up this pace forever but I need to finish this journey and build this new habit.

Reading Update

If you haven’t seen a few of my earlier posts you know that we started school yesterday. I spent last week setting up computers and the like so reading was at a minimum last week and even the beginning of this week. So I don;’t have any updates from the book (don’t get me wrong I have still been reading, it has just been smaller chunks and there hasn’t been as many journaling spots so by next week I should have a bunch to share with you.

Blog Posts Update

I think I have settled into a routine with the posts. I have a schedule of arts-

  • Monday- Happy Homemaker Monday
  • Tuesday- Weekly Update
  • Wednesday- Blog post from my lengthy post list I have been making for sometime
  • Thursday- One Thousand Gifts JoyDare (Gratitude Post
  • Friday- Whatever suits my fancy
  • Saturday- From the blog post list
  • Sunday- A Time to play Post

I am excited to see where this all goes. I do have to go back and do some fixing on some blog posts I had some pictures that wouldn’t load properly and other technical issues.

The Struggles

There were some days this last week where I felt overwhelmed and tired. I could have talked myself into taking a night off but the reality go the matter is this habit and practicing my writing is super important to me. In the past I would have given up too easily. Through the last 9 months God has really convicted me of taking the easy way out. It’s hard watching people take the easy way out. And all I keep hearing roll around in my head is “anything worth having is worth fighting for”. I want to use this time fore growth- my growth both in courage and intentionality (intentional is my word for the year) is definitely worth fighting for.

So I fight

I fight through the struggles and the temptation to give up. I fight for the habit. I fight for having a purposeful blog. I fight for my growth. both in discipline, skill and diligence.I fight for perseverance. I fight for and choose Courage!

Will you Join me?

For more of my Choosing Courage Blog posts Click Here

Oh and one more thing….We are going to finish ESTER!!! I had put the liist of post ideas away for “SAFE KEEPING” (HA) and I found them yesterday so expect those to show up soon! I am SOOOOO excited!