Hello! I'm Mary. I'll take a lowfat mocha latte. Chocolate at all times!
God has taught me so much in the last 30 years. I don't come from the same background as my other friends. I was Catholic, lived a very sinful life and only by the grace of God do I live in HIS grace daily. There are women like me who need to know they are forgiven and can be of such service to God as He changes their lives.
My husband and I have 5 children between us, 11 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. After our love for the Lord, these precious souls are the most important to us. We pray for God’s guiding hand to be on their lives and for Him never to leave them or forsake them. As a parent you have tough days but as a grandparent everyday is special!
We have been restoring a house for the last 8 years and when my husband retired 5 years ago the daily work began in earnest. Every wall, ceiling, door, floor, window, trim, lighting and small details need fixing. It is easier to build a new house than fix an old one! My husband switched the kitchen and the dining room, repaired and replaced 553 foot of soffit at the rate of one hour per foot, laid 1700 square feet of hardware, rebuilt a 6 foot high retaining wall and on and on with jobs of like size. There are no typical days just long ones. We are able to listen to Christian radio while we work to be spiritually filled. There are some moments where you can’t hear the radio over the saw, drill, air hammer, etc. but we get the gist of the message!
I am a morning person and enjoy the peace and beauty of the early day. I love a cup of coffee and gazing at the Lord’s creation while I read God’s Word. I have started a prayer journal again during my quiet time with God. Writing down prayers is a wonderful way to see God’s promises and hand working over time in the lives of those I am privileged to pray for. My bible study group has let me teach them books of the bible over the last 8 or 9 years. I mentor and teach a Moms with Tots group. What a joy and a blessing to see these younger women who have embraced the Word of God for most of their life hunger for more of God’s teaching. A special group of women watch their children during the study time so they can concentrate on hearing God speak to their hearts. The week after confirmation I chat with the 8th grade girls about serving the Lord in church and how expansive the opportunities for women’s service are. I am allowed to sing in the choir and use our house to host a choir party amidst all the dust. Advent by Candlelight is an event I coordinate and write for.
I work at Miller Park during the baseball season. When the Brewers are in town I leave for work around 4:30 pm and return around 12:30 am unless it is a day game and then it is morning till early evening. Sometimes those schedules are back to back which means I don’t get a lot of sleep. I have 2 cats who also are sleep inhibitors!
When I am in my car I listen to Christian music such as the Getty’s CD’s or Christian radio. Listening to talk radio makes me want to fix everything and only God can fix everything!
“You are a woman of many hats, for sure! How would you describe your unique role as a woman?”
Fulfilling! I am so glad God created me to be a helper. Single or married God is always providing for me. As a married woman what a gift to live under my husband’s umbrella and know God uses him to protect me. I can lead where God calls me to and sit back and enjoy being led when God wants me to. There is quietness and joy in living God’s calling for me.
“What is your favorite bible passage?”
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Over and over again in Scripture God commands us to be strong and courageous. He gives us His strength and His courage to stand firm in proclaiming the love of Jesus Christ. I need His strength and conviction to do what is right in His eyes in every circumstance He leads me through. Acts 4:29 asks God to enable us to speak His word with boldness and Joshua 1:9 is a reminder that God is with us wherever we go and speak with this boldness.
“Who is your strongest Christian mentor?”
My husband! He loves Jesus. His faith is the most important thing to him. He is a quiet, strong man. He grew up on a farm and has a remarkable work ethic. He does plumbing, electrical, carpentry, fixes cars and can figure out most things by reading and doing. He has an extraordinary capacity for forgiveness. When we travel we read and study books of the bible like Ezekiel using the People’s Bible.
My other mentors are:
My mother – she had 9 children in 11 years and a very BUSY life. As I have grown up (just in the last 10 years!) my mother and I talk almost every day about little things and big things. It wasn’t always so as I am pretty hard-headed. We are so close and thankfully God has given us time to be so. I am so glad to have these years with my mom.
Quilters – a group of women who have experienced many hardships including the earthly loss of a child, grandchild, spouse. They impart their wisdom gained through trials and they radiate the love of Jesus Christ. They are also a lot of fun! We (mostly they) make quilts for babies, disaster victims, and children’s ministries. Their service is a reflection of Galatians 6:10.
Bible Study – a group of women I have known for more than 15 years. We have lived through our children’s growing years, weddings, grandchildren, illness and death of loved ones. We have studied God’s word together, prayed for each other and our faith has strengthened and deepened. The joy, generosity, and love of these Christian sisters are a blessing of the Holy Spirit.
Women in Christ – a group of women serving the church in whatever capacity they are asked to. There is so much to be learned from women who have served the Lord and the church for many more years than I have lived!
My mother in law – from the first moment I met her she showed me love. She loved unconditionally. She loved Jesus and it showed. We would make applesauce together and over the stove I learned from her a Godly women’s role in the home. She was a mother and a friend to me.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss – Nancy’s ministry is Revive Our Hearts. She speaks to women about their role in God’s word. Biblical, encouraging, and uplifting, she is a strong, gentle presence teaching women to love Jesus.
“Any advice to share with men that may be reading today?”
Study the Word of God faithfully. Be the leader God has called you to be. Read the bible with your wife daily. Pray for her. Pray for your children.
Be a positive witness for the saving power of Jesus Christ. Encourage your wife in your words and actions. Hold your wife in high esteem and praise her to all who will listen. Guide her gently in her faith so her light shines.
“Is there anything specific from Titus 2:3-5, our blog's mission, that you'd like to comment on?”
This is probably the passage I quote most to women. You are responsible to mentor any woman who is even 1 day younger than you is my thought on the matter! Women are always watching other women. Think what a wonderful gift it is to other women to see you living out this passage in your life. Speak well of your husband to everyone. If you have issues with your husband take it to the Lord and no one else. The exception to this is abuse – then seek the wisdom of your Pastor and/or Christian counselor. Live a joyful life even if your day-to-day life is anything but joyful. Smile! Be kind to others in all your dealings, speak with wisdom on your tongue so when tough times comes to others and they will, you will be someone they can seek out for God’s word and His comfort. Use whatever gifts you have to minister to others daily. Prayer, hospitality, cards of encouragement, a devotional, chocolate, are all gifts to reach others for Christ.
“What do you feel is a threat to a woman's faithfulness in her home?”
The culture and all forms of media in American today send the message that women at home are not important or necessary. You are only worth something if you are working out of the home and bringing in an income for you to spend on yourself. Live for yourself is the message. The most important job today is being a Godly woman! If you are a wife and mother this is your most important work. It is life changing for those around you to live a biblical model of womanhood. I wish I had learned this early in my life and followed it. A long time ago I was a SVP for a mid-size bank. Through a series of events God showed me that my ladder was leaning against the wrong wall. By the grace of God, I left my job and stayed home with our youngest two children, then ages 4 and 8. It took a long time for my role to change from my way to THY way. What a journey! I learned I have the best job in the world. My husband is wiser than I will ever hope to be. My children do need me to teach them about Jesus. Children do need daily interaction and affirmation. They grow so fast and your time at home with them will soon come to an end. Make the most of every opportunity to impart God’s truths to them. I love my children as adults but I wish I could go back and hold them and look them in the eye as little ones and tell them again and again how much they are loved by Jesus and by me!
“Can you share an event in your life that was difficult that God strengthened you through?”
The death of my father was a hard life lesson for me. I did not know where he stood in his personal relationship with his Lord and Savior. I talked with him about Jesus during his lifetime and prayed for him. The day before he died he would wake up in a start with the most awful look of horror on his face. My sister-in-law Pam suggested we read the bible to him. We did and his look of horror changed to peace. Through the years since his death the Holy Spirit has led me to trust His redeeming work and rely on His power to change hearts and not my own. We are responsible to pray and tell others about Jesus. 2 Corinthians 4:7 reminds us that it is God’s power by which men are saved and not us. What a freeing joy to know we are not in control of another’s’ spiritual destiny.
“Is there a moment that you saw God's hand so clearly guiding you that you would like to share?”
30 years ago I attended a bible study taught by a woman and I thought I would like to do that. Never mind that I didn’t know the bible, lived selfishly, or had any idea of the amount of studying it takes to teach. God patiently worked on my hard heart and head and led me to His quiet place to teach me His word. God’s word is the clearest evidence of Him providing for me. Jesus never gave up on me even when I turned my back to Him. I teach today by His grace.
One day I was writing a note to my aunt for Easter. I had decided to send her an email about Jesus and just sign a card. Quick and easy and no work required on my part. I signed my name and decided to have a Dove chocolate before I sealed the card. I eat a lot of chocolate. You know how Dove chocolates have those wonderful sayings on the inside of the wrapper? The message said:
“Write a real letter, not just an email.”
I sat for many minutes in Holy fear before saying in more Holy fear – Yes Lord! Chocolate hasn’t spoken to me in this way before or since.
God has also saved my physical life more times than I am aware of. One event stands out though. As I passed an alley way on the way to work I felt a physical presence stop my movement and pull me back. A millisecond later a garbage truck sailed by with a blast of wind. Spared by God. Do you have moments like this? Spared by God to live for Him. Make every day count for Jesus. People are dying to know Jesus before they leave this earth and sadly they don’t even know it. Share the love of Jesus today. Time is short!
“Yes! Thank you for that encouragement, Mary. What's next for you?”
Last winter my husband and I were on an extended vacation. There were hours to read and study the bible in peace. I continued with research started 5 years ago on the women in the Bible. Someday soon I hope to finish the research and write a reference guide as God gives me strength.
God has burdened my heart for the homeless. For a number of years blankets and coats have disappeared from my closet and many others have shown up on my doorstep to take to a homeless shelter. I can’t imagine being cold and without the comforts of home. God will reveal how He wants this to continue.
Prison ministry also has a pull on my heart. How God is going to use me in this I am not certain. Perhaps just as a prayer partner.
God blesses me with opportunities at every turn to be faithful to Him. I will follow where He leads me.
"Oh! Thank you for sharing your insight and life with us, Mary. It has truly been great getting to know you through the interview. Your nurturing spirit is mentoring all you come in contact with (I love that you chat with 8th grade teen girls - what an opportunity!) and healing hearts with Christ's message of forgiveness. Christ's grace has compelled your compassion for others - beautiful!