What Happens When OUR Faith Meets HIS Power?

     Hey, Y’all! Long time, no talk, right? Well, we have been incredibly busy the last month, and I had to temporarily step back from a couple things to be able to give my all to a couple others. 

      Turns out, I got overwhelmed anyway. Anxiety got the best of me.  And one day a few weeks ago, the minute my husband walked in the door and (bless his poor soul) said something, I stormed out of the house. I had been home all day with the girls, who had both been in some sort of moods. Abbie had been in my bed at 5:30, so my morning prayer/Bible time was shot.   I hadn’t been able to work at all that day. I hadn’t been grocery shopping, so dinner wasn’t happening right, either. And that day, I lost it. In response to his, “Where are you going?” question, I responded with an, “I don’t know. Anywhere but here.” And here is the thing about my husband: he lets me go. No guilt, no argument. He is INCREDIBLE. 

     I needed to pick up a prescription from Walgreens, so I headed there. On the way there, (which isn’t very long in a car because I could walk there in five minutes!) God was speaking to my heart. I was going over the various reasons certain things in my life weren’t going as planned or weren’t up to my standards or I was unhappy with. And what He asked me was this: “Are you going to pitch a fit about it or are you going to believe I can and will raise you up?” 

Sometimes the Lord gives me a verbal smack in the face. Like a southern mama, He sets me right. I love it. 

    Then, He laid something on my heart: a plan. I headed to Kroger for supplies. Armed with a foam board, tape, colorful pens and markers, and a heart full of new revelation, I headed home. I helped Studmuffin put the kids to bed, apologized that my crazy slipped out, and headed for the bathroom. Some candles, essential oils, and a bath made for serious relaxation while I listened to one of Keith Moore’s sermons on faith. 

   Afterward, I sat in my office and made a vision board. Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, 

This is what God put on my heart that evening: “Write out your vision. Pray over it. Believe it. Where your faith and vision meets MY power, there is a change that will affect the nations.”

So, I did. 

It’s not beautiful. It’s not even full. It has things that have been on my heart, things I know I’ve been called to and things I just want to do. So far, it has affirmations regarding financial stability and business (the more I have, the more I can GIVE!) , to be raised to the higher calling of worship and speaking to women about God’s love (they NEED to hear it!) , to finish my Bachelor’s degree (in Pastoral Ministry), our dream home (because it’s amazing!), and a list of debts we want to pay off (‘Nuff Said!)  More will be added soon. 

   The week after I made this vision board and prayed over it, I was asked to fill a leadership position in our church for youth worship. I was directed by God to count our change bucket: which ended up being enough to pay off a debt, plus eight dollars. 

You see, this prayer thing, it works. When we hear his voice and listen to it, something happens in us: a relationship is built with Him. 
And when our Faith meets HIS power, things happen for the kingdom of God that will have world-changing repercussions. 

Love to my loves, 


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3 Reasons Marriage is So Hard (and How to Help it NOT Be!)

Mawwaige, Mawwaige, Mawwaige. (Yes, I’m a Princess Bride lover, and I couldn’t stop myself.) Marriage is something that we experience from birth. We see our parents’ marriage, our grandparents’, aunts’ and uncles’ marriages. We see them flirting with each other or fighting, spending time together or avoiding each other, working through their problems or divorcing. As we grow, we start to think about the person we will marry and the relationship we will have with them.

In the Bible, we see many examples of marriage and many scriptures about how to conduct ourselves in marriage. The Bible is full of good advice on love, sex (oh, my goodness, did she just say the S-E-X word? Yes, I did. Blog post on it to follow. You know you’re interested.) , and the relationship between you and your spouse.

Hard is a word I don’t like to use to describe marriage. Emotional? Yes. Exhausting at times? Definitely. Time consuming? It literally takes a lifetime. (See what I did there?) Confusing? Oh, heavens, yes. And why? Why, why, why?

Because you are two different people. That’s why. You are two different people with different wants, different desires, different PERSONALITIES (Will and I could write a series on this topic!), and different biological and emotional needs. You’re different. SURPRISE!!!

So, after almost 6 years of marriage and picking the brains of many, many couples who’ve been married for 20, 30, 50 years or more, here are 3 ways marriage can be hard (and ideas on how to stop it!)

1.) You fight a lot. 

I come from a loud family. I know, you have a hard time believing that, but it’s true. My family is what my husband calls “full of chiefs and no indians.” Translation: Everyone wants to be the leader and no one wants to be the followers. Therefore, a hearty dose of yelling ensues. Not at each other- my family is incredibly close- but we are all loud and bossy. Everyone of us. We yell, even when we are happy. It’s just loud. My husband, while also coming from a loud family, is not a loud person. He is not necessarily introverted, but he is relatively quiet. He’s also incredibly strong willed, just like his wife.  And BAM. Two worlds collide. I get loud, he thinks I’m mad, he gets quieter, I now get mad because he isn’t talking to me, and you have this awesome (sarcasm), awkward “fight” on your hands. Now, I don’t know how it looks in your family, but it’s never fun. So, how do you STOP FIGHTING? Well, you don’t. You’re going to disagree. You’re going to argue. It’s going to stink sometimes. But, when you disagree, there is something you can do.  Remember that the problem is the problem, not your spouse. Your spouse isn’t the enemy, he is your partner, your best friend, your other half. Fix it together.

2.) Your families are difficult.

Well, hello, elephant in the room. If you have both sides of the family that are just easy to handle and everything is hunky-dory, congratulations! You’re possibly one in a billion. There MAY be approximately seven others on earth whose families all get along and no one ever meddles and everything is wonderful! For the rest of us, it’s a delicate balance. Will and I both have awesome families. They (we) are flawed just like all other families and we may be parading some crazy around on the front porch with sweet tea, but we had to make a decision early on: we are our own family. While your parents, grandparents, siblings are incredibly important and infinitely valuable to you, it is you and your husband against the world. You MUST treat your marriage as the Pentagon of your existence: You defend it against everything, and sometimes that includes your families. There are two of you and you made a covenant before God to protect each other. DO IT.

3.) You have kids.

Yep. I said it. Having children changes a marriage. It makes it more difficult. The moment you bring that beautiful bundle of joy into the world, your marriage is different. It’s a fact of life. That doesn’t mean it has to change it for the worse. He is going to walk in the door after work to find you exhausted, covered in puke, and in tears. You’re going to feel like a milk cow and a maid. You will both have changed from only having to worry about yourselves and each other to being responsible and caring infinitely for another being. Make the extra effort. It’s going to be tiring for a while. It’s going to be a sacrifice for you to make his plate with a baby on your hip when he is fully capable of making it himself. Do it anyway. You’re going to want to go to sleep instead of actively participate in sex. Don’t. It might do you some good to wear your sexy panties instead of the grannies you wear because they’re comfy. (I’m not judging. I have those grannies, too. They look GREAT under my yoga pants.)

There are a million things that complicate a marriage, from sickness to loss to infidelity. These suggestions aren’t all-inclusive. What they are is real. They are annoying. They are life. We have to decide as a married couple that we are going to honor our vows and our God by putting the other person first, always, no matter what.

For more on the differences between husbands and wives, and a biblical view on how to embrace these differences, check out Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs. It’s my fave.

Love to my loves, 


For more Mary From Martha, check us out on Facebook HERE.



On the Orlando “Gay” Nightclub Shooting

     Once again, here we are discussing a tragic loss of life. Someone had no regard for anyone but himself, was full of hatred, and took 50 lives. FIFTY. It’s absolutely unfathomable. Fifty families shattered by hatred. Fifty mothers who will never hold their child again. Fifty families who will forever be plaqued by guilt and what-ifs. Fifty friends whose lives were shortened and taken too soon from the friends around them. Fifty people who could have been beacons of light in a dark world. Fifty human beings whose full potential the world will never see because ONE PERSON decided they weren’t worthy of living life.    I can’t explain how much this hurts me. I can’t imagine how much these families are hurting. I can try, though. 

     Let me explain: On June 8th, my brother, Richard, would have been 25. It’s been five years since his death and it still hurts when that day rolls around. Richard was funny, sweet, kind, and sassy. Richard was also gay. And when he felt he could no longer deal with the condemnation, the ugliness, the hatred the world had to give him, he took his own life. He was 20 years old. TWENTY. I’ve thought many times of our conversations growing up: when he first started thinking he was gay, what his dad would say and do to him, what had happened to him in the past, and when he realized that God loved him despite his sins- a revelation I wouldn’t come to until later. This amazing Guy’s life, too, was cut short due to hatred and ugliness. 

    So when the world decides to shoot instead of love, condemn instead of redeem, and spew hatred every chance it gets, what’s a Christian to do? The answer is simple. 

Romans 12:2 says, “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

So whatever the world is doing, we should be doing the opposite. We should being showing a community rocked by hatred and confusion that there is a God who loves them and died for them, FOR US, in spite of ourselves and our sin. 

   Do you curse, get drunk, say ugly things, judge, have sex outside marriage, take the Lord’s name in vain, overeat, gossip? The bible says in 1 John 1:10, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” We have all sinned. So to use “righteous condemnation” to justify being ugly to the homosexual community is nothing short of hypocrisy. We ALL sin. No sin is greater than the other. Instead of acting like the world and either blindly accepting homosexuality or spewing hatred, why don’t we try something new? Let’s try the love of God. 

Let’s show that love right now to a community who is hurting, who has been targeted by worldly hatred and absolute rage and judgement. Let’s pray for them and with them. Let’s show them the mercy and grace of God. Let’s stand FOR them and WITH them as people, as creations of a mighty God and as Americans and BE THE LIGHT. 

We have an opportunity here to show something the Church has been missing for so long: compassion, mercy, and grace. Ask God to move your heart AND theirs. 

Show them He will comfort them. Allow Him to guide your steps, your words, and your prayers. 

Then, go out into the world and share the Gospel. 
**To family and loved ones left behind, I’m so, so sorry. I can’t explain to you how I’ve cried for you and with you. I pray you find peace. While it never goes away, it does get easier, but there will always be scar tissue there. There will also be memories of how you loved. 

Love to my loves, 

For more Mary From Martha, check us out on Facebook HERE.

What’s Wrong With the “Dumb Dad” Stereotype?

I came across a post on one of my new favorite blogs today regarding the way dads are treated/portrayed in modern society. Media tells us they’re incapable of anything more than making money and sitting on the couch passing gas. It is something that has ALWAYS irritated me.

Maybe it’s because my husband is incredibly capable of cooking, better at cleaning than I am, and VERY involved both with our girls (who have him wrapped) AND our marriage. In any case, check out Painting Arrows and the AWESOME post they’ve done addressing this very topic:

Mom Talk- In Defense Of Dads

Then, if you’re feeling groggy, leave them a comment letting them know you agree!

Its high time to encourage the men in our lives to be what God has called them to be and RECOGNIZE when they’re trying.


Love to my loves,


Is Your Heart Overwhelmed?

UNDAUNTED    This has been one heck of a week. And today, what is really on my heart is “Thank God it’s Sunday. This week is OVER!” Monday is a day to start fresh and kick butt coming right out the shoot. And while I like to think that’s exactly what I’m going to do, my heart is overwhelmed. I AM OVERWHELMED.

Between being wife, mom, a boutique owner, a youth worship leader, a blogger,  now that my license transfer from another state is FINALLY complete after 3 months of chaos, a REALTOR, this week got to me. Especially since it ended with me having a severe bladder infection and the baby a serious case of strepthroat. I. AM. EXHAUSTED.

I’ve been stealing away little pieces of time where I could this week to read and spend time with God- which MUST be the only reason I’m still sane. The book I’m reading (and have been reading for approximately one month due to my having to hide in order to read it for two whole minutes….MOM LIFE, YO!) is Christine Caine’s UNDAUNTED. The wisdom in this book is incredible, inspiring, and undeniable God-inspired. (Christine, if you’re reading this, I’m your number 1 fan. For real. My middle name is even Christine, which happened without my knowledge, but I’m SURE it’s a sign that we are destined to be besties. Call me!)

Something I saw while reading it this week that God apparently packed away in my mind until this precise moment when I feel like I’m going to explode is this:

Psalm 61:2.

Got it? Ok.

For as long as I can remember, it’s be like this: “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” And that sounds lovely, doesn’t it? But, that’s actually completely out of context. So, in , I saw the whole verse, which reads like this: “From the end of the earth will I cry unto you, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I”.  Both say pretty much a similar thing. What I love is that when we read it in context, we see the psalmist saying, “God, I am at the ends of the earth, the end of my wits, pouring out my heart to you and it’s overwhelmed. LEAD ME! LEAD ME to a higher place I cannot see or reach on my own!”

And you know what? That is exactly what he does. He brings things to our remembrance (that we read days ago and haven’t thought about since) time we need them. Today, I have cried out, at wit’s end, overwhelmed, and he has brought me to a place of peace, which was so much more than I could achieve on my own in these chaotic moments. He listens. He hears. He wants to lead you to that place.

When you’re feeling as if you’re at the ends of the earth and you can’t go any further, cry out to him. He will set your feet on higher ground. Because He is good. HE IS.

Love to my loves,




To The Mama of The Kid in the Gorilla Cage

Oh, sweet mama. There are no words to express how glad the nation is that your sweet baby is ok. The fear you must have felt watching your baby fall that far into an enclosed area with a giant animal must have been immeasurable. The relief when you knew he was going to be okay must have been overwhelming.

I know it must have been simultaneously gut wrenching and relieving when the animal was shot and killed- on one hand, a beautiful animal’s life was taken in an effort of precaution because no one knew what may have happened, on the other hand, your child’s life was being spared.

I pray I never have to endure anything like that.

And you’re taking a lot of criticism in a moment when you should only have to be grateful for your child’s life. Many have ranked you lower than the gorilla in their thinking when they’ve made these ugly comments.

But, I will not.

As the mama of two littles, ages two and four, I know how hard it is. I know the fear of Looking up and not being able to see my kid in a crowded room. I have a runner. My four-year-old, who is typically very obedient, is also very high-strung. And if she gets a wild hair, she will take off running, which always ends in us both panicking. I know the fear of being a mother and constantly wondering if the child is alright or needs anything or is thinking of breaking the rules even when I’m standing right there. I know the anxiety of lying awake at night wondering if all the windows are locked. I know the worry that if I turn around for a moment, say at the zoo, to give the two-year-old a goldfish cracker, my kid might fall into the tiger cage, or the gorilla pen.
But for you, mama, all those fears came to pass. Your baby’s life flashed before your eyes. Your heart stopped and did not restart until he was safe in your arms again.


Parenting is HARD. You have two hands when you need three hands per child. I don’t know if you were alone at the zoo or how many kids you had with you or what you were doing at the time. What I do know is this: what happened was a FREAK ACCIDENT. It does not define you. It doesn’t define whether or not you’re a good mother. It does not define your parenting skills.

Look to Jesus for all that.

I get judged and ugly comments because I put my kid on one of those backpack kid leashes. You get horribly harassed and kicked when your down because you didn’t and you may have turned your head. You can’t win with this world, mama. You just can’t.

The world can call you what they want. They can judge you and be ugly.

But here’s what Jesus says:

-You are worthy. (John 3:16)

-He uses your weaknesses to showcase HIS strengths. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

(To learn more about how Jesus overcomes our shortcomings and how to LET HIM, check out my FAVORITE book I’ve read this year HERE.)

-He gives you grace when you need it most. (Hebrews 4:16)
I know you’re holding onto your baby tightly tonight. Just know, as tightly as you hold him, Jesus is holding you both tighter.

From one mama to another, IT IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT.


I desperately hope this letter finds you.

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Why I Won’t Be Saying “Happy Memorial Day!”

I’m not a big fan of the saying “Happy Memorial Day!”

I’m not sure in what way it is a happy day. Am I excited for a three-day weekend with my husband? You bet. We typically don’t get even a Two-day weekend. Do we grill out and have fun? Absolutely.

But while we are having fun spending time together and giving happy patriotic holiday greetings, another wife and mama just like me is fighting for her sanity today. She’s fighting to keep her head above water because the man she pledged to love “till death do us part” has parted from her way too soon. As the grocery store clerk tells her “Happy Memorial Day” she fights tears because to her, every day is Memorial Day as she desperately tries to help her young children remember the man who gave them life and liberty at the cost of his own.

It’s not happy for the father who will never see his daughter again or the mother who is raising her grandchildren because her daughter answered the call. For the mother giving birth today to a child who will never see the strength and love she saw in his father’s face. She will wrap him in a blanket today and pray it’s all a bad dream and he will walk through the door with flowers and they will be a family again. But he won’t.

He won’t. Because he gave his life so we could have the freedom to say what we want, no matter the cost. He died so we could stomp on our flag and drive through fields of memorial crosses. So we could abandon our veterans and ignore our God. He died so that we could violate the very Constitution he gave his life to uphold.

But she also died so that my babies could know what it is like to be carefree, if only for a while. So I can raise them to know their hope is in Jesus and He will get them through the hard times. So they will know they’re always protected.

I heard it said once that the only two people who have ever died to save us are Jesus and the American Soldier. And I know it’s true.

So, as I spend today with family, I will pray a little longer for those who can’t because they made sure I could, and that I never have to live in memorial to the two men in my life who have answered the call to duty.

And today, I will take the time to explain to my girls WHY we “celebrate” Memorial Day me why all give some, but SOME GIVE ALL.

Love to my Loves,



For more Mary From Martha, follow us on Facebook HERE.

Finding Joy In The Presence of God

    Over the past few days, things have been crazy on our end. A blog post that I never expected to go “viral” did and in three days had 1.8 million views. Due to it being a heated topic, the ugliness rolled in along with it- death threats, name calling, hatred, people who do not know me assassinating my character. And so much more support, kindness, and encouragement from followers of God. 

     The first day completely overwhelmed me. Not only was I anxious because of the influx of messages, emails, comments, and views, but I was on a 12-hour drive to my brother’s military graduation, having left behind with a family member our daughters- one of whom ended up having a stomach virus all weekend. Overwhelmed. 

It’s funny how in the midst of trials God will speak to us and gives comfort. So, I put my phone down and stopped checking notifications for a bit. I turned on some worship music and BAM. 

Overwhelmed by the world turned into overwhelmed by God’s mercy. Anxious about leaving behind a sick baby turned into thankful for His stripes that give her healing. Afraid that so many people were seeing me turned into happy that through seeing me and some of my posts, people might see HIM. 

He is never too far. YOU are never too far. He is only a thought, a silent prayer, a moment of worship away because He promised to NEVER leave or forsake us. 

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you’ve been, in His presence there is redemption. In His blood, there is salvation. There is healing. And He will comfort you, just as He has me, when you ask Him to and rely on Him for it. 
Love to my loves,


An Open Letter to Target: Regarding your New Restroom Policy

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a woman. I am a frequent shopper in your stores. I am first and foremost a mother. Your recent change in policy of who you allow to use each restroom concerns me. You stated in your blog post, “We believe that everyone…deserves to be protected from discrimination and treated equally.” and “…you’ll always be accepted, respected, and welcomed at Target.” As a business owner, I do understand your right to make a stance as a company. As a parent, I will never understand why you would trade the safety of our women and children for the sake of not hurting  feelings.

I realize that everyone needs to feel accepted, loved, and wanted. I know the struggles of a person struggling to find their identity. I also know that as of September 2012, a Gallup poll showed that approximately 3.4% of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. If, for argument’s sake, we assume that those groups are of equal representation in that number, that would indicate that of the American population, only 0.85% of Americans identify as transgender.

Let’s also look at other statistics, taken from RAINN.ORG:

1 in 6 women will be the victim of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.

1 in 9 girls under 18 have REPORTED being the victim of sexual assault.

1 in 53 boys under 18 have REPORTED being the victim of sexual assault.

These numbers factor out to being 16.67% of women, 11.11% of girls, and 1.89% of boys.

If anyone is allowed to “claim” an identity of a gender not their own, they will have unlimited access to anyone they so choose. A woman could claim to “identify as a man” and YOUR little boy could become 1 in 9 in an instant. A man could claim to “identity as a woman” and have instant access to myself and my daughters. BAM. I am 1 in 6 and my little girls are 1 in 9.

You have taken the FEELINGS of LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of our population into account  and in one swift statement told the entire country that the safety of our vulnerable women and children is of no concern to you or your staff.

I have questions:

How can you ensure that the people entering the restrooms of the opposite gender are, indeed, of the “gender persuasion” they are currently claiming to identify with?

Are you willing to send your wives and daughters into a restroom that is occupied by another man and trust that he is who he says he is? How about your son with a  woman?

How should I handle an instance where my two and four year olds see a man’s private parts and I have to explain a) why she saw his genitals and b) why is in a women’s restroom long before they should ever have to consider such adult matters?

And, lastly:

WHY are you willing to forego the physical safety of the many to appease the internal struggle of the few?

I’ve never “boycotted” a company based on political views. However, I will refuse to use a company for the safety of my children.

Target, you have lost a loyal customer because you have betrayed my trust. My children’s safety comes first.

To see where I stand on the struggle of transgender individuals, I ask that you read THIS. And please know, I love you. Jesus loves you. 

This letter isn’t a statement in fear of Transgenders. It is a worry of people who are NOT claiming they ARE. ❤️
To hear my latest interview on BroadsCas regarding this subject and post, click HERE.

For more Mary From Martha, check us out  on Facebook HERE.

Due to some very ugly comments and this being a heated topic, I have turned the comments feature off.