Hello, thanks for being here. I’m glad you are.

I claim the name of the blog, but in person I’m just Mary, not Mary Renee. The nursery rhyme and the song are long-time friends and the somewhat begrudged soundtrack of my childhood. Mrs. S used to ask every lunchtime whether my garden was growing well, as I made my way past her in line. I would smile, awkwardly, as I balanced the milk carton on the corner of my tray, not sure whether to answer the question directly or laugh that I had no garden to answer for. Her eyes would sparkle. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone ask that, now? How is your garden? Or whatever you’re tending. And your shoulders would sag after all these things you have been balancing.

I grew up in Lebanon, Ohio, which always feels very important to say. We read library books in the Golden Lamb gazebo across the street and finished the reading program every summer. Momma strolled me up the ramp my first living summer and read me twenty stories, until the year I could do it myself. Make-belief was a gift. In those early years, I found writing under a tree in a park, the modulating voice of my mother making stories. They were always about us, my brother and me, and I like to say that being so accustomed to living in a story made it natural to make a home there. I wrote stories growing up, poems in my teen years, and now I notice things and mull them over until they spill out onto a page. 

I’ve heard God whisper verses, in quiet moments, and that feels important, too. Here’s the most common pair, the sword-bearing friends:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

I learned it in the New King James, and now it never sits well without the “shall.”

Truthfully, I am never good at synthesizing what it is that I write. But mostly, I write about belief and the way that leads to who we're becoming. That encompasses most things in life, which is just narrow enough to suit me. I love God, and I love His word. I find Him in Scripture and long walks and whispers in the wind. You might too.

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