Meet the Team

Team

Happy Wednesday Friends! I have been waiting on the edge of my seat for almost two weeks to introduce you to my prayer team. In reality, these sweet women have been praying for me a lot longer than when I asked them to join me on my journey. They are the only other 2 people on this website who I will use their real first names. This is just another baby step in me letting go of the “mental chess game” I have been struggling with for some time. And in giving up the game I am going to share about these two very special ladies. I can honestly tell you that without them the 100 Days of Choosing Courage blogging project I did this past August-November would have never been finished!

Why A Team

We were never meant to do life alone. We were made to need each other. This is something that God has been teaching hubby and I for some time now. It is why we chose the church we chose. It’s not just about just having a team either. It’s about having the right team. One that loves unconditionally and cares for each other and seeks the others best interests and growth over their own.

Who they are

Meet Beth and Steph! These two women! they amaze me. Each of them has quite the stories of their own. The really held me up last December when my health was turned on its ear. They checked in, they sent encouraging texts, and really listened when I was struggling.

Beth has been a LONG TIME friend of hubby’s family. Beth’s two sons played with Hubby and his brother at the same bible conference we have attended for many years. And now Her grandkids and our kids run and play in the same places their dad did over 20 years ago. Beth and I have connected deeply while at the Bible conference and our friendship has just grown over the last number of years. When hubby and I told her and her hubby that he was resigning from his position they came to us and we had lunch and talked. If ever I’ve had an iron sharpening iron friendship this is it!

Steph and I have been friends since college albeit not as close as we are now. We reconnected through a mutual friend and our friendship has grown deeper as well. We have kids the same age. Our families have a great time together and Steph has been a real light in some struggles we can often be found texting each other about some insanity one of our crazy children has done! A few times she has talked me off the ledge of frustration.

Why a prayer team

BECAUSE I NEED A LOT OF PRAYER! Actually, I was chatting with another friend who is another author and she mentioned she had a prayer team. We talked about what that looked like and the why. That was a number of years ago and I was not in the place to have such a thing. There is A LOT that goes into this but it just wasn’t the time.

Fast forward to this past August when I attended the Global Leadership Summit with hubby. To say I was sick at the time was an understatement Anxiety was an all-day everyday experience I was barely functioning on extremely low iron. Actually, the second day of the conference started out with my first iron infusion But during that conference, I heard a speaker talk about her 100 days of facing her fears. AND AT THAT MOMENT I KNEW…I had to face a fear…YES, ONE…..BLOGGING! weird right? I have been blogging for this insane amount of time and I was afraid of it. Well, that’s because I have been roughly criticized by people who I counted as friends. Those hurts caused me to nearly quit but I have this pretty amazing hubby who wouldn’t let me do that. Enter more mental Chess.

Actually, I had to face two fears. I knew I was going to need accountability and that was going to require me asking someone….and EVERY other time that happened it ended with me getting hurt HORRIBLY. To say I had trust issues is an understatement.

So I prayed and asked God who could serve as a prayer partner for this journey I was about to undertake. Steph was the first person I would ask and then a few weeks later I would add Beth. I created a text thread that introduced the two of them and the rest is history.

The Journey

I cannot tell you the number of times I hit a roadblock and one of the two of them OR BOTH would text me and tell me what the last post had meant to them. It would give me the shot in the arm I needed to keep going.

If I happened to be struggling with a topic or something I could shoot some thoughts off of them. And when that journey ended in November we still kept in contact via that text thread and we still shared prayer requests frustrations and other things.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. I had a rather nerve-wracking meeting scheduled for a Tuesday morning. God had really made some things come to the forefront in my life and it needed to be dealt with as much I didn’t want to. I needed prayer. I knew Hubby would be praying for me but I knew that I needed o contact Steph and Beth and asked them to do the same. And they said they would…..but they like the amazing friends they are didn’t leave it there! They checked in later that night.

AND ALL I HAD TO SAY WAS……

“I wish I could have coffee with the two of you.” Their response was Let’s make it happen and within 10 minutes we had a date time and place. And this past Friday it happened. Steph and Beth had never met each other. It was amazing. I had never had something like that happen. And I spilled my guts. They listened. They loved, We laughed and we grew together. They know there are going to be some challenging posts coming down the line. I don’t know when. But I know that I can count on them to pre-read and pray me through and help me fight off the mental chess games I apparently love to play.

When It comes down to it these two ladies have challenged me to be the best me I can be. When I asked them to take on this role I had no idea what path I was going to head down next. I am a fairly content person. I am not looking for the next cliff to leap off of because we ALL know how I feel about Heights!! ACK!

But as We wrapped up Friday’s meeting I had something rolling in my head. Back in September Beth had read one of my Posts “When You Lose Yourself” and she said she thought it would work great as a book chapter (Beth has known for a long time that this is a HUGE dream that not very many people know about). She said she felt like it was the beginning of a book….and as I sit here re-reading that post I am dumbfounded. She saw something I didn’t and now….now I have more to add..more I didn’t know or maybe understand before

As a matter of fact, as I have sat here scrolling the text messages over the last 8 months a lot has happened. God really is so amazing at how he orchestrates things.

Thank you Ladies

Thank you for embarking on this wild journey that NONE of us fully understand we are on!

Thank you for dropping everything for me!

Thank you for your shining example of friendship and Jesus’ unconditional love.

Thanks for checking in!

Thanks for reading!

Thank you for making me laugh!

Thanks for helping me become a better Jesus follower and communicator!

And most of all thank you for praying!!!

Hello and Welcome!!!

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…..it 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…..as 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…..in 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

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

half

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……

INFLUENCE

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.

Blog on Purpose

purpose

Confession time

I love to write. I always have. But you already knew that. BUT I struggle to write a purpose statement. The point of a purpose statement is that it’s short Concise and easy to remember. But if you have been around here for very long you know that concise isn’t on the of the words that describes how I write.

Well back one month ago as I began this writing journey, I began to consider writing a purpose statement for my blog. I could tell you what the purpose of my blog was but it would not be concise.

It rolled around in my head and I have thought many times how to articulate it. bu nothing ever seemed good enough,

A lesson in every little thing

Back in December when I was living every waking second and some of the not quite awake but not quite asleep moments, praying that God will get me through that moment.

Whether it was moments of pain ( That was the majority of the moments) or laying in the ER waiting for the next procedure You can only count the tiles on the ceiling to many times. I quickly learned that God really did care about every little thing. It was a hard lesson. But by the end of December I was taking every little thing to HIM. I wasn’t fretting about the details anymore.

But How Quickly I Forget

Fast forward to now and I am just hanging out pondering all these details – trying to do all the things myself and then when God shows up I sit mouth gaping at the pastor when he answers a question he didn’t even know was asked.

I mean seriously the WHOLE month of DECEMBER I spent learning this lesson…and I just forgot the lesson.

So about that purpose!

There I was listening- taking notes and BAM

Hebrews 10:24 NLT

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

That’s exactly what I try to achieve her and on Social media. I want people to grow in their walk with God! I want people to grow in their love and good works!

I cannot tell you the number of times I have read the book of Hebrews and never really noticed that verse.. And yet there it is.

Baby Steps

Over the next few weeks and months there will be some changes here on the blog. She will be getting a facelift. BUT what’s more important is that the bones of this blog are sturdy. And that starts with a rock solid purpose Statement. It is what will be what keeps me on track and not lose sight of what I need to be writing about!

I can have a pretty blog but at the end of the day if I have no purpose or lose sight of my purpose I will not have joy in what I am doing! And right now I am loving what I am doing!

Thank you so much for joining me on this growth journey. That is what this project is….It’s pushing me to grow beyond my comfort zone. And it’s helping me to see just what God wants me to write about.

Thank you for being patient with me as I wobble with each baby step on this journey. If you are new here and you are asking what on earth is this girl talking about? Then you can check out this blog post here and if you have missed any of the blog posts you can check them out here.

See you tomorrow for Day 32!