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21 Days: Day 20 and TWENTY-ONE

It is with great relief that I'm writing this last installment. I honestly couldn't bring myself to write yesterday after suffering from a serious bout of second guessing. It's crazy how sometimes a little tiny bit of negative can infiltrate so much positive and make you question yourself.

Today, I went to the Niles campus of The Movement to hear my favorite Niles Campus pastor speak and was greeted with love, hugs, and several people thanked me for writing this blog and told me that reading about my struggles helped them. That mattered more than any criticism that had me kind of second-guessing if I was being self-indulgent or oversharing.

I strive for self-awareness, but I'm a work in progress. It is usually far easier to see flaws in others than it is to recognize them in ourselves. So I struggle on putting one foot in front of the other and praying for clarity and wisdom.

1. Each day that I woke focused on gratitude, my awareness of the goodness, grace and love around me was heightened, and I will continue to count my blessings day and night.

2. In the worship experience today, one of my favorite singers sang an amazing song. And as her beautiful voice singing the most powerful words sank into my heart, many of the experiences of the last 21 days washed over me, the good, the bad, the trying ... they all choked up in my throat and finally spilled out of my eyes and down my cheeks. I wanted to run out of the building and curl up in my car and cry. I'm usually pretty private and choosy with my sharing, but I have opened up my heart, mind and life in this tiny little space and in return, I've gotten grace, commiseration and so much love. I've also gotten criticized and psychoanalyzed. Most importantly, I've gotten chased down by people who told me that my words made a difference to them. Thank you for chasing me down. You made a difference for me.

3. Thank you for reading this and encouraging me. Thank you, Brad Bell, for being patient and long-suffering as I put my neuroses and our life on blast. Thank you, my girlfriends, for being supportive and amazing superwomen. Thank you for every like, comment, text and email. Thank you, my church family for every hug. You all have no idea how much you touch my heart.

Putting all your crazy out there for public consumption sometimes blows up in your face, but all of your love, all of your me too's, all of your hugs and winks and high fives matter. Thank you for being my people.

I'm feeling pretty raw and overexposed, so I'm gonna crawl into my shell and recover.

I realize listening to that song today that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks about why or what I write. God sees my heart, and He knows my motivation.

"Through it all; my eyes are on You, and it is well with me."*

*This isn't my favorite Movement singer performing; still, the song, the performance, and the message are awesome.

Thank you!



  1. Mary, you are awesome and you've lifted me up so often lately that i want to help you know what a treasure your self-awareness is and how you gulp too when you think you're oversharing. me, i suspect no one reads what i write (unless it's got a racy headline) and even then i wonder about whether it all should be put out there. your combination of God-loving and bomb-dropping has always been a delight to me and i find it richly empowering and encouraging. I wish I could meet you for coffee and just hang out by a fireplace to chat and compare and laugh, nod, cry and hug. You seem to know exactly when to comment and that is something I don't know if you'll ever understand. I'm going back on the couch in a couple weeks, gotta sort through this shit and allow myself to be real with how I feel about my mother and all the hurt she put me through. I thank GOD ON HIGH for people like you, Mary. I hope you know it and feel it and know that even when you feel alone, that I'm walking right next to you, reaching for your coffee. xoxo

    1. Molly, I want to print this out and hang it up on my mirror so I see it every day. You know, I hope, that I feel all these same things about you. I'm not everyone's cup of tea, and I'm far beyond the place of killing myself trying to be. I just try to keep it real, and you are so authentically who you're my role model. Thank you so much for your kind words and support. I do FEEL it and I hope you do as well. xoxo

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    1. Hey Liz, thanks for reading and for your encouragement :) I will definitely check your blog out.

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