Thankfulness Challenge : Summer Edition


Hey everyone welcome to the new season of the THANKFULNESS CHALLENGE! I have been falling behind on the thankfulness challenge and as I have been praying and working I have come to the realization that the attitude of gratitude has fallen to the wayside and I am seeking to put this back into practice and I am seeking to refocus. so this is one way I am doing that.

The other way I am seeking to do that is by using the gratitude pages included in the LOVE THE WORD BIBLE STUDY BINDER giveaway I am hosting on this blog post..

Let’s be Honest….

Sometimes thankfulness falls to the wayside as busyness and other life concerns get in the way. AN sometimes we need to take a few moments and be grateful for all the small amazing blessings that are sprinkled throughout our days like glitter.

The Goal

The goal os for me to snap pictures of little things that bring joy (my word for the year) to my everyday life. Things that I pass by. Things that I take for granted. I want to slow down and see each of those things as they are …..BLESSINGS. Will you join me?



This beauty is one of many circling our little heart shaped frog pond. That little gem was a hidden surprise. We owned our house for about a month before we discovered the frog pond was just off the main yard. So many fun and amazing things happen around that frog pond. It is full of my first love in the animal department ….FROGS!

A Great View


Some days I forget to open the windows so I can take in the view from ALL of our back windows. And sometimes I forget to take walks around the backyard so I can soak in the painting that changes every couple of hours.


I have always loved clouds. From my early childhood laying in the grass deciding what each cloud formation looked like. This one in particular looks like a squid. I love checking out all of the unique cloud formations. Even now as I sit out n the front patio with book in hand I can find myself getting lost in the clouds.

Planting things

One upon a time we had a big garden. Gardening wasn’t y thing. I just didn’t have the time with all of our involvement in church and other various ministries. that’s who I was and I am not really a gardener. and that is ok. I do however really enjoying planting things and watching them grow and then using them in my food that I took. so this year I planted this little herb garden. It sits right out my from door and I can just take a few steps from my kitchen and grab some fresh herbs to add to my meals I prepare for my family.

The Picture I never took.

Earlier this week I was at church while a meeting was being held there. I was bustling about. I was helping hubby with something and I was helping other people with other things. I was doing LOTS of things. And one thing I can say about our church is if you are there at sunset time you are in for a real treat. I don’t know why but it always has an amazing view of every sunset.

I remember at one point coming out of hubby’s office walking down the hall to the Welcome area and catching a glimpse of this AMAZING sunset. It was one of the deepest plum purple sky gradually changing to a rainbow of colors as you move closer to the horizon. I remember thinking oh in a few minutes I will run and grab my phone BUT I forgot. Before long I was sitting at my hubby’s desk typing away and I glanced over to the window and it was hard to believe but it was an even deeper purple. I have never seen anything quite like it. I turned back to my sentence I would take the picture as. Soon. As. I. Typed. That. Last. Sentence. I sat back in my chair wrapped my phone and turned to the window……and it was dark!

And just like that it was gone….a fleeting moment. and I could have take a picture and kept it longer Now it’s just a faint memory. And this moment got me thinking ….how many other little moments have a missed?


Life changed for everyone ! Most of our lives came to a screeching halt…..Some lives got busier and more stressful BUT everyone’s life was different. And every part looked different. We took the menial taks in life for granted. One of the things hubby and I have decided is that our lives were not going back to the way things were. we have learned to say no. And we have learned to say yes more to our kids.

We have made some really great memories and soaked up some amazing family time. We have conversations, and family meetings and generally the house os full of laughter…GENERALLY. The reason for this I believe is that we made a choice at the beginning of all of this not to miss the little things….this unique opportunity. How quickly I have forgotten as things are slowly coming back to normal. s

So I am taking the lesson from that miss picture and I am striving to make this a serious practice to see the little things. the amazing things God gives us to make our lives just a little sweeter. The simple things that bring a smile to our face without us even realizing it.

Will You Join me?

Not a blogger don’t worry. You can post your pics on Facebook or on Instagram and take me in them

The bLog facebook page is Here

And the Instagram handle us @walkingbyfaithmary

I want to challenge you to really take a hard look at all the little things that God uses to bring a smile you your face. Let me know in the comments what some of those things are.

Blessings Mary

Thankfulness Challenge: Fall


It’s no secret, I am a spring/ summer girl. I love the warmth/ heat and the beauty it brings. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. But there is just something about fall. Matter of fact I love almost all things fall. There’s only one thing I can think of that makes me really REALLY not like fall as much as spring and summer- THE COLD!

But as I dit here staring at the beautiful upstate New York mountainside I can’ help but feel a sense of coziness. It’s my favirite kind of fall day. it’s GRAY which mean the fall colors just seem to POP even more than normal. I love rainy days to begin with but rainy fall days where ist is still warm enough to go jacketless and the leaves are in full color and still on the trees is one of my all time favorite things.

I really am thankful for fall and the reminder that there is a season for everything. and fall reminds me that sometimes there is a season to give things up JUST like the trees give up their leaves..  And yet there is no garuntee that those leaves will come back over the last few years we have had some trees die over the winter months for whateverreason.

Sometimes we have to say goodbye or set aside something that we once loved for whatever reason. I am ina season of letting go of somethings. i have no idea of I will ever pick them back up again and that’s ok. Somethings are just in the “stuff” catergory. and somethings I should havenever picked up to begin with. Like helping with something I don’t really enjoy or something that is seemingly changing directions and purpose. Somethings are distractions and somethings could be a way of life. All things that require much prayer.

Now don’t go wigging out on me because We aren’t moving and we aren’t changing ministries! AND I am not stopping blogging though as you all know this was something that I have laid aside for a season.

And just like Spring is a season for new growth fall is a time for pruning back. it’s when we weed out the dead plants in the garden and we prepare for next spring. we plant bulbs that will pop up after the winter’s deadness.

Here are a few other things that I really enjoy and am thankful for

  • pretty leaves
  • apples with caramel
  • hot apple cider
  • baked goods
  • pumpkin spice EVERYTHING
  • hayrides
  • bonfires
  • cute boots
  • cozy scarves
  • ALL the smells of fall

And that is just to name a few. It’s the simple things we need to practice in thankfulness.

So it’s your turn:

What are you thankful for in this Fall season oR whatever season you happen to be in right now?

For more of my Thankfulness Challenge posts click here.


Thankfulness Challenge 9-19-19


Thankfulness takes our minds off of ourselves and places it where it belongs…..Jesus!

So Many times we get wrapped up in our own problems we fail to see what God is doing around us! Each week we will strive to take our minds off of ourselves and look to see the blessings around us in the god, the bad and the ugly.

Lost Perspective

I must confess that over the last few years respective has been lacking here on my blog. Maybe even purpose or passion But over the last few weeks I have dealt with this heavily in prayer and I must tell you at this point my writing momentum has picked up and I cannot even keep up with the ideas rushing through my head. I can’t seem to get the blog ideas in my planner fast enough!

But sometimes we must experience the loss of perspective in order to get refreshed and gain a NEW perspective. I’m not gonna lie it’s been a few years of wrestling with God. Wrestling over fear mostly. Fear of doing THIS thing…..BLOGGING. yep. At some point, we need to come face to face with the fact that others may not like what I’m saying. People I know and Love. Sometimes I might step on toes. Trust me mine hurt long before I ever write a blog post. So tonight I am thankful for my lost perspective. It’s been a long road but now sitting here writing this I know that the lost perspective was one of the greatest things that could have happened, Sometimes wrestling with God over something helps us to understand more of who God is and who I am in Him. Now that is something to be thankful for!

Just a note of warning though: when you chose to wrestle with God and hash things out you need to understand that God WILL win. He ALWAYS DOES!

So now it’s your turn! to practice thankfulness! Is there something hard in your life that God has been showing you that has far greater worth and purpose than you ever imagined? if so share it in the comments!

Also tell me something you are thankful for this week.

Blessings, Mary

For more Thankfulness Challenge Posts click HERE.

What Are You Thankful For? AKA Thankfulness Challenge!

ThankfulnessAs I have been journeying over the last few weeks I have come to the realization of a few things and I really want to show you a piece of art,Yes I Ive been playing these few weeks away.. Pencils and paint. you won’t see them all BUT this one…I LOVE this quote from Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts.  I am so thankful for this book as it is changing how I look at my life.  Being thankful takes your eyes off you and puts them where they belong, THE GOD OF ALL CREATION!

Life Change comes when we recieve Life with Thanks and ask for nothing to Change


I have written thankful lists for a while now but as of late I have ben striving to not just write them but to actually pray and thank God  for the things on my thankful list (what a profound idea right?)

But as I have read Ann’s book I have decided to take on the challenge of writing One  Thousand Gifts.

It is hard because it is really developing discipline to not only look at your world and see those tiny gifts lurking in sometimes dark corners of your day but it is also  slowing down enough to take the time to write them down in my cute little travelers notebook.  Have you read or seen how crazy our schedule is???

So this is my accountability….I will post the numbers of my gifts. Like This

I’m Thankful For…..

#9Pounding rain that drowns out any other background and creates this peaceful drone.

#10 Solid teaching from god’s word that convicts the hidden spots of deepest tucked secrets of ones life that proves God really does know us better than we know ourselves

#11 Belly laughs the take over the entire family

#12 a simple answer to prayer

#13 Sequence the Game!!

This is how it will work.  FIVE short statements of thankfulness!  That’s it.  It can be simple or   it can be complex.  I will waiver between the two AND I will probably share both funny and serious things I am thankful for!

So here is the burning questions I have for you….

Where are your eyes looking to?



Thankfulness Challenge 5/19/2016


Welcome to this week’s Thankfulness challenge!!  I’m glad you are here.  This is a wonderful time for us to share what we are thankful for in this sometimes crazy upside down world we live in.   Sometimes  it is very hard to find things to be thankful for, that’s why I have called it a thankfulness CHALLENGE!

Well here it i the 19th of May, Can you believe it?

I can’t it doesn’t really seem like May after all it did snow on Sunday!

so as I have been contemplating on all day about what I am thankful for, God and I had this conversation…Ok I did the talking but you know what I mean…’s actually the Number 1  thing I’m thankful for, and I was shocked as I uttered the words I am about to share with you…

I am thankful for…..

  1.  The really hard things.  yeah I just said that  2 years the unthinkable happened/  I am not however thankful that it happened…that would just be all sorts of sick and twisted and WRONG.  However after journeying through it I now Have the opportunity to hold a friend up as she now finds herself journeying through that same nightmare.   I am grateful and thankful that God was with us every step of the way, and now I get to be that voice of truth in her life…that voice, that help that encouragement I soon longed after.  I will confess it is not easy to journey with her, but my pain, anger, frustration are NOTHING compared to what she is feeling.   God’s got my mess.  I don’t need to worry about that, but I can understand her pain and how she feels far deeper than most, and I won’t let her alone in it.   My story does not end with me.  and her story will not end with her.  we are both world changers….we change the world through Christ one person at a time… hard times…and in silly times…..and in times when we have more people than there are staff 😉
  2. a local crisis pregnancy center that shares the hope of Christ day in and day out.  It’s beyond my comfort zone…..but it’s a place of change love, grace and mercy.   I get the distinct privilege to watch God change lives, through me and through my friends.  we fight for these girls and babies, and kids in all of their messes (some are mighty huge)
  3. For quietness…you say Mary you have 4 kids, three of whom are boys…and not just any bus, but “those” types of boys.   we have two volumes INSANELY LOUD and fast asleep.   so today I made a choice.  A choice to not to  go on a field trip with 10-12 kindergartners, and some 1st graders some other parents and siblings and a couple of teachers  I sent my hubby instead!  They had a ball and I had something I have experienced in quite some time…SILENCE.  I’m an introvert by nature.  Give me a book and a soft chair and silence  I will be re-charged. and life lately has been light speed, warp drive, go go go with nothing resembling  anything but a dull roar.  TODAY WAS GREAT.
  4. My hubby.  My kids loving considerate, pastor hubby turned 35 yesterday. He gives so much of himself too many people and a lot of times all he gets in return in a whole lot of complaining.  complaining that something wasn’t done to someones liking or not fast enough or……you fill in the blank.  so many people love to complain and yet when push comes t shove, they aren’t willing to help, they are just willing to put their testimony  in a compromising place….for out of the mouth the heart is made known.   (Matthew  15:18)
  5. a home, a place to call my own, a sanctuary..a place of peace and rest.  A place I can be myself……that is something special, not just for me, or my husband but for my kids as well…a safe place for them to stretch their wings…test out new things, a place to nat be made fun of, teased or picked on.  A place to grow.  This is not only important to our family but also to those we welcome into our home.

So here’s the question, what are YOU thankful for this week? will you Take the THANKFULNESS CHALLENGE…leave your links in the comments!