I’m creating this little introduction to the girlies at the Relevant Conference who I can’t wait to meet! Thanks for stopping by! If you already know me, feel free to skip on by this post.
I suppose the title of my post reads like a confession. Yep, I’ve been blogging a long time, a biblical period of time. I started my blog, oddly named Relevant Blog (prophetic much?) when we hitched up our skirts (and pants) and hightailed it to France. It was my way of connecting with friends and family back in the states. It became my journal, the way I processed our church planting experience on French soil. Some of my posts reflected the joy of living in Southern France with olive oil and lavender and the Mediterranean Sea. Some were rants about my comical foibles with language, my kids enduring difficult French teachers, the difficulty of planting a church.
Relevantblog became my haven and my community.
While in France, I wrote my first few books. Though I fretted that they’d flop since I didn’t live nearby to promote, God graciously allowed my books to sell and get into the hands of those who needed it. Why did I worry? Besides, the growth that came from that time in my life left leaves ripples in my heart even now. Oh how hard it is when growth comes through trials.
We moved back to the States at the very end of 2006. I wrote more books, helped my kids transition to life back in the states, and continued to blog. My children, now 18, 15 and 12 grew up during the next five years. Want to meet them?
Sophie, on the left, is a freshman at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas. Aidan is fifteen and a sophomore here in North Texas. Julia is thirteen and an eighth grader. They’ve been great friends and continue to be so. What’s been really fun is to see how all my parental experiments, by the sheer grace of God, have culminated in a home that truly is a blessing. I love my kids. They love me and my hubby, and they deeply love each other.
To date I’ve written twelve books, with a few more in the hopper. I write fiction and nonfiction, both parenting books and a memoir. (If you’re curious, here’s a page of all my books.) I also speak around the country (and sometimes the world) about living uncaged (oh how Jesus has set me free!) and how to become a published author. I mentor writers at The Writing Spa, and teach at several writers conferences a year.I recently finished a $4.99 ebook called The 11 Secrets of Getting Published, over 300 pages of everything I know about writing and published in one handy spot.
If you’d like to really get to know me, sign up for my monthly ezine. If you do, you’ll receive my 90-page ebook, Live Uncaged, plus a healing audio retreat. Can you tell I love to give away stuff? God has been so good to me, I can’t help but spill it over to you!
As you may have noticed, my tagline is Live Uncaged. This typifies what the Lord Jesus has done in my life. I was a broken, hurting, needy girl who met Jesus (thankfully!) at fifteen. He’s spent the past several decades healing me from sexual abuse, neglect, and a myriad of other difficult things. I am no longer that cowering girl. I’m a woman with three kids, an amazing husband, and a life of joy and surprise.
I’ll end this introduction to my blog by showing you a picture of me and my husband of 20+ years. He once said to me, “Mary, It’s my desire to make sure that the last half of your life is so much better than the first half.” His steadfast love has contributed to an amazing latter half!