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    It’s safe to say that I’m the occasional blogger.  I write when I have time or something to say or sometimes when I have absolutely nothing to say but just don’t want to leave another 2 month gap between posts… or when I want to share some random photos along with my thoughts, which is where I’m at today.

    So let’s move forward!

    I’ve been in my own head a lot this past month, and I’ve been doing the work of unburying layers of myself that have gone missing over the years.  At the same time, I’ve been unveiling the lies that have been woven around my heart and then slowly and carefully replacing them with the truth.  It’s quite an arduous process but one that is completely necessary as I continue to adventure my way through all the things God is leading me to do.   Some days, as I scrape away deep layers of guilt or shame or past hurts and disappointments, I just cry it out.  (Cause those that know me well know I love me a good old fashioned cry!  And if you watch This Is Us, I have a feeling you’re just like me in that regard- amen?)  But then there are other days when I’m skipping with joy around the house much like my 6 year old does when she discovers that school is cancelled and she gets to stay home.  But as unpredictable as this unburying process is, it really is quite a beautiful thing when I feel that final piece of a lifelong lie depart me, making a new place for God’s truth about me to be planted, tended to, and grown.  That’s when we see the pretty tears.


    Another thing that has been serving me well is working on/studying my One Little Word for the year- DANCE.

    For me, dance is about letting go.  Being free.  Setting the rhythm and moving along to the beat.  Inviting in spontaneity and movement.  Finding the joy.  And, of course, having fun.

    It’s the perfect word for the season of life I’m in, and right now, things are coming together in my life wonderfully, despite the trials and unknowns we are currently facing.  I just know there’s hope.  There’s always hope.

    For all of my fellow Office fans, one might even say “I’m so deep inside perfectenshlag right now.”  😉  Man, I love Dwight.


    I’ve also discovered that as much as I love memory-keeping and book-making and all that cute crafty stuff that has been my fun creative outlet for 5 or 6 years now, I feel a life-shift happening.  And honestly, I’m finding my “down-time” being filled with other things that are simply making me happier!  Yes, I know that might disappoint some people because it’s likely that I won’t be posting on social media post after post of scrapbook layouts or pages in my albums (although I haven’t been doing that nearly as often anymore anyways!!!)— but part of this reframing or unburying process is being true to myself and not catering to everyone else’s “requests” of me.  God has showed me time and time again that the reason I feel so off when I get too into sharing my creative projects is because I do it out of unnecessary feelings of obligation.  And that’s ridiculous, right?  In other words, paper crafting can be a stumbling block if I let it.  Now, please don’t get me wrong- there’s nothing wrong with the way we creative storytellers document our lives, and it’s not like I’m quitting!  Good grief, no.  And, of course I’ll continue to record my photos and stories in album after album, and it’s likely that I’ll still be buried alive under all my books by the age of 50.  You’ll also see them on my blog from time to time, as well.  But I don’t want it to completely take over the main thing that sets me on fire: writing and encouraging and sharing {with whoever is willing to read and listen} about God’s immeasurable LOVE.  It might not be the prettiest work.  It’s not even fancy most times.  It can be difficult and draining and ostracizing and, quite honestly, usually met with a lot of eye rolls.  But I love it.  And I want to just keep rolling with it and see where it takes me.

    Because I’ve experienced the life-transforming Love of God, there’s nothing I want more than for everyone around me to experience a life changed and transformed by Him, too.  My hope is always that someone close to me will finally say, “I get it now.  I get why you love Jesus so much.  I do, too!”  When you let Him in, e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. changes, and, man, it’s an adventure!


    Humor me, please, and read this excerpt from Beth Moore’s book Audacious:

    “The person you are when you love Jesus with everything in you- with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength- is the real you.  The brilliant you.  The bring-it you. The breathtaking you.  The born-for-this you. The person you were born to be crawls out of the shell of a heart cracked wide-open to the audacious love of Christ. When your heart, your soul, your mind, and might are engaged in a wholly invasive holy affection, march yourself into the nearest bathroom and look in the mirror over the sink. That’s you.  And what that woman in that mirror in that condition of teeming affection most wants to do is most likely that woman’s calling… Does [she] want to help the homeless, teach kindergartners, visit shut-ins, teach Bible classes, reach the unreached, write a book, work on an album, foster children, go to seminary, work with preteen girls, tutor underprivileged kids, work in law enforcement, fight human trafficking, finish creating that cookbook, pursue an acting career, become a college professor, manage money for nonprofits, run a corporation, do medical missions, volunteer at a women’s shelter, or be a network news anchor?

    When the blood in your veins runs hot with holy affection for the living Christ, what do you want to do most?”


    This right here.  This is what made me realize that something had to give.  That the thing that made me feel most like me didn’t actually involve pretty papers or cute designs or even beautiful photographs (even if I do love all of those things immensely).  In fact, focusing too much on those things over the years has been nothing short of draining cause I find myself playing the “what-photo-can-I-take-to-share-on-social-media” game and sometimes even comparing my work to everyone else’s…. which always leaves me feeling inadequate.  So00, after I read this, I actually did march myself right over to a mirror and said loudly:

    “I want to get crafty from time to time.  I want to load up my old film camera and create pretty pictures that make me high-five myself when I see the scans.  But more than that, I want to speak, and I want to lead, and I reeeally want to write!  I want to share my life but this time place more emphasis on the story and put less emphasis on making it pretty. I want to reach the discouraged and share the Hope I’ve been given.  I want to see more women stepping forward to start small group Bible studies where they can grow together in their faith and also in their friendship- and I want to help them do that.  I want to do small things in a big way— not for recognition but for the joy of knowing I was given the opportunity to share God’s love with someone, no matter what that looks like.  What I DON’T want to do is spend any time playing social media games or focusing on who everyone else thinks I should be.  So helloooooooo, Marybeth!  Nice to see ya, girlfriend.”

    For the record, my husband wasn’t home when this mirror conversation went down, but I would have said the same thing even if he was in the next room listening.  He’s used to it.  😉


    I only ask one thing of you- please try to respect this thing I’m doing and these much-needed personal changes I’m making.  Meaning, do your best not to guilt-trip me into being someone I’m not.  I feel like I have to say that because, well, it’s happened before.  😉

    I’m going to be honest, I have no plan for what’s to come.  But in the days, weeks, and months ahead, I simply invite you in to this space of mine, no matter what it looks like.  Regardless of whether I’m sharing photographs I’m taking for fun or albums I’m filling with my stories or just plain old black and white words I want to write, I’ll do my best to do the only thing I instinctively know how to do which is encourage you in your day to day lives.  And maybe, juuuust maybe, I’ll share some resources that could get you started in small group Bible studies, too.  (Although that might come slowly because I’m learning the how-to’s right along with you!!)

    I hope 2018 has been treating you wonderfully so far!  Thanks so much for reading!


  • Let Advent Begin!!

    It’s here, it’s here!  December!  That means it’s time to break out the advent calendar. This year, I decided to…

    December Daily
    / December 1, 2017