Saturday, July 22, 2017


July is the midpoint of the year and I find myself looking back - in fact, I've been doing a lot of that lately..but I'll save that for another post. Right now though I find myself at a place of contentment within this year. It's had some pretty rough spots, but it has also held some places of growth and healing, and of trying new things.

I have been on a journey over the past 6-7 years to find ways to use my voice. It has felt like a deep calling from God. Art, photography, and this blog have all been ways that have enabled me to, both find and use my voice. Last week I tried using my voice in a completely new way: I preached!

I have used my voice in different small ways before in our Sunday service - leading the service, doing an announcement, even partnering with my pastor a few times when we have talked about being missional or about outreach. But this was the first time that I took a passage of Scripture and preached a full message from it. You can hear it on our church website by clicking on the picture below:

Again, in a future post, I'll write more about the journey behind the message I preached. For now I just want to touch on the experience of it. I found myself amazingly calm and at home in the midst of speaking, which totally shocks me looking back at it. I was quite nervous in the time leading up to it. I love digging into Bible study and contribute from my studying on a team at our church which  collaborates to help form our Sunday messages and service. But taking what I have studied and turning it into a 30 minute message - that made me nervous! Being vulnerable and sharing parts of myself live and in-person in front of a bunch of people - that made me nervous! Yet I also experienced growth in the midst of it. And I think, in some way I haven't totally figured out yet, it was another step in my journey to becoming whole - my word for this year.

I shared a quote in my message from this summer's Grace Table Book Club book, Rhythm's of Rest by Shelly Miller. I find I keep coming back to this quote. It is ruminating in my soul. Especially when I combine it with a quote from a message my pastor preached from Galatians 5:16-21 earlier this summer. He said:
"There are these pockets of resistance within us that we continually struggle against." ~Doug Rumschlag

Shelly Miller writes mostly about practicing Sabbath. I find that God has so much for my whole being in the topic of Sabbath and rest. You can learn more about Shelly, her book, and Sabbath on her blog

While I'm sending you to read blogs I'd also like to send you to Kris Camealy's recent blog post, "When It's a Slow Transfiguration"I really resonated a great deal with what Kris' wrote in it.

On the art front, today I completed my final Rolodex scrap collage card for the 100 Day Project. While the project officially ended on the 12th, I'm okay with getting done late because IT'S DONE! It was a good challenge. It challenged me to work small, to use up scraps of paper and ephemera, and to get creative almost every day. I ended it with a favorite quote from Dr. Seuss. I like to end my travel journals with this quote, and believe me, this 100 day project has been a journey!

For the last seven weeks of the 100 Day Project I combined it with the ICAD (Index-Card-A-Day) challenge, using many of their prompts. The ICAD challenge doesn't end for another nine days. I'm feeling the itch to move on to other projects, but I may keep going and finish this one since I'm so close to the end. I have posted my 100 Day Project and ICAD cards on Instagram. (Link in the right hand sidebar.)

I feel somewhat caught up now. :)

I'll be back sometime this week with more on my journey and some thoughts on Commonplace books. I recently read a blog post about them and it reminded me how much I have loved this practice in the past.

So, how are you doing midpoint in the year?


  1. Awesome cards, love the Dr. Seuss quote and fabulous "counter." Hope things are well in your neck of the woods. Hugs, Autumn

  2. Mary, congratulations on your first preaching engagement! The Lord sometimes takes us on a long journey of small steps, but we get there in the end. Finding your 'voice' can take time (I'm on that journey myself, having had it spoken to me in dreams, pictures, and confirmation from others) but our small steps of obedience all add up. May there be many more opportunities to use your voice.

    1. Thank you for the wonderful encouragement, Tracy. :)

  3. Have you ever read "Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and and Delight in Our Busy Lives" by Wayne Muller? It's a keeper on that topic, and one of my favorite books!

    1. I have not, but I have read quite a few quotes from it. I need to put it on my list.Thanks Dawn!