Steph: Influential Woman #10


Steph and I have been friends for years. Since college really. We lost contact for a number of years and really reconnected through the magic of social media. Then through a mutual friend, we reconnected in person and on a deeper level. over the last two or three years, we have become each other’s cheerleaders. She really has influenced me deeply with her voice of reason. When I’m frustrated that I haven’t met my own expectations she is there to speak the truth and say “Goodness Mary, here’s the logical reason why you can’t seem to make that goal…Life is a little crazy for you right now.”

She makes it so I can take that big deep breath and let go of my lofty expectations! She has taken time to REALLY listen about some of the darkest times in my life. Steph has taken that time to literally breathe life back into my soul. Helping me to see Jesus in the middle of it all! helping me to see my value in the muck no matter how cruddy it all was.

She spoke the truth in the middle of the worst physical pain of my life!

We know that we can speak truth into each other’s lives and it will make a difference!

That kind of Influence is life-giving and that is why I asked Steph (And Beth) to be on my prayer team for this blog! You can check out their introduction in this post here.

That in and of itself is a powerful influence. but to be willing to speak the truth in love into someone’s life is one of the most powerful influences a person can have.

How about You?

who is someone that speaks truth into your life?

Do you let them influence you with that truth?

How can you influence someone by speaking the truth in their life?

You Can Check out more #31days2022 authors here!



When the Fog Clears


My eyes popped open at 4 this morning. I made myself stay in bed until my alarm went off at 5. Yesterday I battled a scratchy throat and some congestion so I didn’t want to overdo the not getting rest. But as soon as my alarm went off my feet were on the floor. I got dressed grabbed my journal and my coffee cup and headed to the barn we are turning into a house.

It was a brisk morning but no worries I had my sweatshirt on. I scanned the sky. YAY! There are clouds!! (More on that in a minute!!)

I went into the barn and started the coffee pot.

I gathered some other stuff around the barn for our typical day at church.

I went back to the coffee pot and grabbed my cup and as I turned to grab my creamer from the fridge my eyes caught what had happened out the window…FOG!!!!

WHAAAAAT? When I came into the barn a few minutes ago there was no sign of fog ANYWHERE! And now I couldn’t see the forest behind the barn-house.

I grabbed my coffee and headed to the picnic table but not without some apprehension first.


Taking the Step into the fog

It’s not the first batch of fog we have had at our new home. Matter of fact I shared a pic in yesterday’s blog post of another foggy morning from last week. I enjoy seeing fog. I think it is pretty. However, fog is daunting and a little scary too because you can’t see through it. You don’t know what is there with you.

This morning’s fog was thicker than the other days. Everything felt a lot “closer” than usual and I could see how someone who struggles with claustrophobia might not enjoy this experience. I could have chosen to stay safely in the barn. I didn’t know what was in the fog. I know what could have been….coyotes, fisher cats, Bears Oh my.

However, I was EXPECTING something so I took the risk and stepped over the threshold of our barn-house. And carried my coffee to the picnic table and watched the sky over where the woods should be.

Waiting Expectantly.

Over the next half an hour I took sips of my coffee and waited expectantly looking at the sky. I began to notice something happening. The sky over the tree tops started to lighten and change colors. I kept watching but with the next sip of coffee, I noticed something amazing. The more I stayed focused on the sky, the more the fog was clearing.

All of sudden this thought crossed my mind- Mary this is the perfect explanation of this restlessness you have been dealing with.

The funny thing about fog is that you can walk through the fog, seeing just what’s ahead of you for a few feet. So as I traversed through my restless fog I kept taking steps forward, but couldn’t see past my current place. I chose to write through it, baby steps inching forward in faith. I kept my eyes on God or at least in his direction waiting for some glimmer of the rising sun. I knew He was there, He always has been.

I began an old habit I had put in place during college and as I wrote my way through words and prompts I saw the brightness in the sky. I looked around me and realized the fog was beginning to clear.

What happened next is amazing.

When the fog lifts

It lifted just as quickly as it had come. I finished typing my last few words for the blog post Called Restlessness and Grace, I sat back and took a deep breath before I started the editing process and I was flooded with some understanding. I knew what my next steps were, albeit daunting.

I had to take the steps of faith in the fog before I was ready to say yes.


  • trusting my husband in a new way (nothing bad, just new)
  • changing my perspective/ idea for what my #write 31 days project in October will look like
  • tweaking the last 3 #write31days projects to fit a MUCH bigger writing project
  • Changing a title and a focus
  • Being brave in every way possible.

I told you all the restless fog usually comes before a big breakthrough.

Now about those clouds

We always seem to think that having a cloudless sky made a day beautiful. We also tend to think that a life without clouds and storms is a sign of a really good life. And yes some clouds are gray and can make us feel gloomy and sad.

Can I just tell you though I have gained a whole new appreciation for clouds both literally and figuratively, and here is why. Clouds give the sky character. I have a very distinct childhood memory of laying in the grass f our backyard just watching the clouds float by and talking with my brothers (i think) about the shapes we saw in them.

As we have transitioned into our new home and we have a much bigger view of the sky I have taken more notice of the clouds, especially at certain times of the day. Sunrises and sunsets. Sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous on their own but add in the clouds and wow! Extra colors, extra shadows. The sun just bounces off of them in so many ways.

How about the sunsets right after a storm? Gorgeous. So often we see the clouds in the sky and we forget that they can be transformed from what they appear to be into something so stunning.

The same is true for the clouds and storms in our lives

As I sat pondering all of this, this morning with a coffee cup in hand I saw these little puffy clouds. I could just barely see them as the fog began to lift. But as the fog lited those little puffy white clouds GLOWED PINK in the rising sun…..AND then I looked behind me, the fog had lifted and the clouds behind me weren’t just glowing pink, but were purple too.


Sometimes we get so incredibly focused on the clouds themselves that we forget to see what God has done around us.

I want to challenge us to do 2 things:

  1. Trust God in the middle of the fog. Keep taking baby steps in our walk with Jesus. Understand that he is there with us in the middle of the fog. Fog is going to look different for everyone. For me, it was a restless heart and mind. for others, it might be depression, anxiety, grief, and a host of other situations.
  2. When we see the storm clouds rolling in or overhead keep our eyes peeled for the painting God’s about to paint. He has a plan to take those scary clouds and turn them into something beautiful. We have to be willing for him to do that though. We ALSO have to keep our eyes peeled in order to see it.

So to recap we MUST



Greetings: Happy Homemaker Monday


Greetings sweet friendsI know it has been a long while since we have last chatted! The last few months have been…..Interesting….to say the least. Nothing short of lessons in having patience and being seen.

It has been so amazing to know that in this beginning of our new seasons that God is answering prayers from over the last number of years. They are not how we planned for them to be answered and yet we have been seen…..AND HEARD. It doesn’t mean it hasn’t been hard. BUT even in the midst of what is hard GOD IS THERE. He sees me and He sees You.

So let’s jump into this weeks Happy Homemaker Monday!

♥♥ The Weather ♥♥

We have been experiencing a little bit of spring each week. We have been getting those hope filled days of high 40’s to low 50’s with a few in between days and then days that are much colder
Monday 51 partly sunny. Tuesday -51 rain. Wednesday – 54 Rain. Thursday -29 partly Sunny. Friday 33 snow. Saturday – 26 partly sunny. Sunday – 34 mostly sunny

♥♥ How I am feeling ♥♥

Pretty good. I have been pretty sore lately (tweaked my whole right side -not sure how I just did) but it is getting much better.

♥♥ On the breakfast plate ♥♥

Cup of coffee, egg whites

♥♥ On my reading pile ♥♥
  • The Life giving Home By Sally and Sarah Clarkson.
  • the book of Luke from the Bible
  • 365 ways to Save time
♥♥ On my TV ♥♥

The kids and hubby have been revisiting Knight Rider and Star Trek

I haven’t been watching much of anything but I have been listening to podcasts as I work around the house. I finished Season 1 of the Rise and Fall of Mars Hill a little over a week ago and Over the last two weeks I have been catching up on missed podcasts of Mom to Mom Podcast

♥♥ On the menu ♥♥

This week is super simple as we have almost a full week of school (yes we give our homeschooled kiddos off all the normal holidays. And we have some fun with friends planned and a bunch of extra time at church this week
Monday Pasta Night- Mac & cheese

Tuesday- Chili, biscuits, and salad

Wednesday-Pizza. (we have friends coming over for a movie/ game night.

Thursday-Soup and Salad

Friday Loaded Baked Potatoes

Saturday- Mashed Potato Sundaes

Sunday- Tacos

♥♥ From the camera ♥♥
Meet Bella- who is keeping her buddy company!
♥♥ Looking around the house ♥♥

UGH…..let’s not talk about this. We have been working to pack and downsize but it’s been a crazy rollercoaster. We have no move date we just want to not wait to the last minute.

♥♥ To do list ♥♥

HAHAHAHAHAHA this is funny!

Can I just say everything and call it good!?!

  ♥♥ Today’s Devotional ♥♥

This is a verse that really hit me a few days ago .

Luke 6: 46-49 (NLT)

46 “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”

So many times we build our foundations on shaky things like relationships, money, status, a job….the list can really go on and on. But these things are unstable. People will let us down. We tend to elevate our expectation of them to God like status. I have seen so many people do this for celebrity pastor’s and speakers and even friends. The problem is when we do this we put them on a pedestal only meant for God and they will ALWAYS fall short.

Money, status, and a job are all temporary and fleeting. Are here one day and gone the next. Our foundation NEEDS to be on Jesus and him alone and when it is life isn’t perfect BUT when people let us down or our income is lost or we no longer have the influence we once had we can stand firm on our rock solid foundation.

Solid foundations still are shaken in earthquakes. Life will still shake us but we can remember and take comfort who is holding us.

For more Happy Homemaker posts you can check out Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

And you can check out my other Happy Homemaker Posts here

Happy Homemaker Monday: 1/23/2022

:::: The Weather :::: 

It has been a rather roller coaster sort of week. and this week is shaping u to be no different. It can range from 30’s down to the negatives. Last week we had a negative 14 morning (That’s without the wind chill).

:::: How I am feeling this morning :::: 

I am ready to tackle the day! I have a lot of planner work to do today since it didn’t happen on Saturday. So I have some catch up today but I am ready to go!

   :::: On the breakfast plate :::: 

A cup of coffee gingerbread syrup and Oatmilk. Egg whites with parmesean cheese and bacon

   :::: On my reading pile :::: 
  • The book of Matthew (Bible)
  • Wingfeather Tales (with the kids)
  • Simplifying Prayer (PDF)
  • Get Out of Your Head
  • The Life Giving Home
:::: On my TV ::::

Nothing really

:::: On the menu this week :::: 

Monday -Hamburgers and French friens and fresh veggies
Tuesday – Ham and Scalloped Potatoes. Wednesday -Subs and Chips Thursday– Chili and Biscuits
Friday –  Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole. Saturday-Meatball Subs Sunday– BLT’s

::::From the Camera ::::
Daisy is our garage cat. But when it is super cold out she comes in and hangs out in the warm house. she is very pleased with her current situation.
:::: Looking around the house :::: 

Lots of work to do as we make plans for a move and adjust to new schedules and the like. Homeschooling has made these transitions a lot easier for sure.

::::  To do List :::: 
  • Kitchen – dishes and sweeping and counters
  • catch up planner work
  • Kitchen table
:::: Today’s devotional ::::  

Today I’m reading Matthew 22-23. Chapter 22 talks a lot about Blind guides and this resonates with me a lot because I understand this concept perhaps a little more differently than some….because I have literally been a “blind guide”. I am what is commonly referred to as a visually blind person. I have shared that a number of times here on my blog.

As a teenager in my Junior year of high school I attended “blind camp…..sounds amazing right? Well it was. And at this camp as a camper there were no real “Can’ts”

We went hiking over night and slept in A frames, we fished and canoed and paddle boated….we even had a group that went spelunking (crawling around in caves) and we even rafted down a local river. There were two types of campers. Blind campers and sighted blind campers and as a “sighted blind camper” I had to help those who were completely blind.

Well one night as the Sr High campers were walking back to our cabins (we got to stay up later and were in the senior lounge” I had the task of walking back t one of my cabin mates who was completely blind complete with cane. And we were walking kinda fast….and well there are certain things even a sighted blind person can’t see real well in the dark… volleyball nets. Needless to say we both ended up flat on our backs rather stunned but the surprise that seemed jump out of nowhere. It’s not like it was new it had been there ALL week. I had dodged it myself many times but in the dark its completely different story.

Well In Matthew 22 Jesus is talking about how the Pharisees were a bunch of blind guides. they are referred to as such numerous times throughout the book of Matthew but 22 is really when Jesus hits home- They are leading the people in the wrong direction focusing on the outward appearances rather than the hearts of those they are leading and teaching.

Ya know it’s funny I remember very distinctly thinking to myself oh we aren’t anywhere near the dolly ball net and literals 30 seconds later we were laying on our backs stunned. I thought I was leading her around it. BUT I was wrong.

And we like the Pharisees and myself leading my cabin-mate have to be incredibly careful when leading other people.- or even being led by people- because what appears right and good can be very misleading……and very harmful. Mentally, spiritually and/or physically.

Thank you so much for doing me today! For more Happy Homemaker posts you can visit Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

Hello 2022- Happy Homemaker Monday


Hello Friends and Hello 2022! what an end to 2021- What started as a week long break in the middle of November quickly spread through the New Year! It wasn’t my plan but it was necessary! After blogging for 100 days I needed a break and some time with t family. She have been extremely busy and there are some announcements spread throughout todays post! We are beginning an exciting journey and we hope that you will come along for the ride!

Let’s get into todays post!

:::: The Weather :::: 

Today is the coldest day of the week at a whopping 17 degrees! But the rest of the days will be up in the mid 30’s for the most of it

:::: How I am feeling this morning ::::

This morning was a whirlwind. Hubby and our oldest son had to fix one of the brakes on our truck (it failed when they were out and about yesterday). I am so thankful that there was no troubles other than the brake not working. Then it was off to the hospital for my 4th IVIG infusion.

  :::: On the breakfast plate :::: 

I had a bagel and cream cheese before I left for the hospital so I could take my vitamins (which I forgot UGH). And then I had bacon, yogurt and egg and cheese omelette after the infusion started.

 :::: On my reading pile :::: 

I have a few books I am finishing up before I start on thee 2022 reading list. Stay tuned for the first few books, in the near future.

But for now I am finishing

  • Get Out of Your Head
  • Hello Fears
  • 365 Ways to Save Time
  • LisettesList

Not to mention my Bible. I am going to read through the New Testament this year. One Chapter a day.

:::: On my TV :::: 

Currently yje Tv Show from the 80’s Different Strokes

:::: On the menu this week ::::

I must confess I don’t have a menu set up for this week it is on my list of things to do for today
Monday – Burgers and fries and veggies (hubby and Had salads from one of our favorite local places as a celebration. Tuesday – Baked Chicken with mashed Potatoes and Gravy and broccoli. Wednesday -Pasta. Thursday – Soup of some sort. Friday –  no blessed idea.

:::: From the camera :::

We have been keeping a secret!!!!!

Hubby accepted a position at a new church. The cool thing is it is at the church we have been attending since he resigned his other position. We have all been fully integrated and we really do love our Faith Family!

:::: Looking around the house :::: 

BOXES UPON BOXES UPON BOXES- we are in the slow process of packing and downsizing for a move. Thankfully it’s not a far move . We have gone under contract with a house and are excited bout the possibilities ahead of us!

::::  To do List :::: 

  • Downsize
  • pack
  • downsize
  • Pack
  • pack
  • Pack
  • Downsize some more…..
  • oh and undecorated from Christmas

:::: Something fun to share :::: 

Oh man…..I don’t really have anything right now.

:::: Today’s devotional :::: 

1 Peter 5:10 NLT

10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

What a promise! When we suffer for a little while (because in light of eternity it is really a “little while) He (God) will restore, support and strengthen you….me….I don’t know about you BUT I NEED this reminder.

Thank you so much for doing me today! For more Happy Homemaker posts you can visit Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.