About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Mary, my understanding of a hypocrite is a person that would intentionally jump back in the car to put the radio on K-LOVE; a person that with intent wears a mask to impress knowing full well they are something else. Though I do get your point about needing to be real and humble, I would also suggest to be a little gentle with yourself as a person who is willing to accept loving correction from your Father when your heart has been convicted. Sister love to you.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Susie. You’re right that God offers us so much grace. There are times, though, that I am absolutely wearing a mask on purpose – so I’m thankful for both the Spirit”s conviction and that grace!

  2. Mary,
    I love your honesty and your candidness. You are not that too-pretty-to-eat-yucky-tasting cake…no you are the yummy cake, frosted with beautiful colors, with one big finger licking good finger swipe through the frosting…you are REAL. Your love for Christ shines through your vulnerability. Don’t let the enemy turn conviction into condemnation. That’s not what God would want…He’d just want to be in relationship with you enjoying that yummy imperfect cake…and I think He would say, “Be easy on yourself…you are loved!”
    Love and ((hugs)),

    • Oh Bev, thank you so much for your kind heart and your kind words! I absolutely believe that God wants a relationship for me no matter what kind of cake I am in any given moment. My desire is simply to be more consistently “yummy” on the inside as I try to be on the outside! 🙂

  3. Love the analogy! My daughter had a beautiful cake for her wedding, but that fondant icing was awful! She had done most of the planning and choosing herself. I was so surprised. I’d never had it before but seen many beautiful pictures. I will mention that to the rest of my girls when the time comes. Such a waste. I surely do not want to be that cake!

  4. Such a beautiful post, Mary! Getting beyond what people think and focusing only on what God thinks – that’s a struggle I’ve battled to overcome. I guess we all have. I love your illustration here. Your sincerity shines through your writing! And by the way, my car STILL looks ‘excessively lived in’ and my son is almost 16. The mom car saga continues…

    • MOM CARS – yes! You get it. And yes, the battle to be consistent and only seek God’s approval is just as ongoing as the car struggle!

  5. I know where you are coming from. Just yesterday got the same message from the Lord about my needing to fight hypocrisy and Pharisaism. Thank you for reinforcing the message.

  6. Oh my such convicting words that I so needed to read and hear. I am more often than not, that cake. Thank You Jesus for wise women who are not afraid to share their hearts so we can all grow in Grace and and truth.

  7. Oh my! I sure was blessed by your honest appraisal and humorous assessment….but I have to agree with some of the others: we are hard on ourselves! I love your hunger to be pure and true in who you are! That desire shines through beautifully…and inspiringly!

  8. Mary, thanks so much for your brutal honesty which pierced me deeply. I am not alone. Great post for me.

  9. Fantastic article and such a good reminder for me. I receive this from the LORD and do desire to be more like Jesus!!! Thanks so much for this exhortation, Mary!! I, too, plan to make some changes in my life!

  10. Mary, I am glad for your willingness to admit to us your struggle with the hypocrisy you described. I see that a couple here have been concerned that condemnation was perhaps behind your confession. It’s good for friends to care for us if we are. However, as I re-read your post, that is not the tone I heard. In another recent (in) courage blog, Renee Swope wrote on Convicted but Not Condemned. When I consider the difference between the tone of condemnation vs. the tone of conviction she laid out, I truly thought the way your expressed the process you went through on this matter to be within the tone of conviction. I think the main thing I saw to point to this is how you did not shrink back from the Father who loves you (us), but have a desire and conviction to go to him in your “closet of prayers” and “seek God before people’s approval and ask for wisdom…” This sounds like the Holy Spirit giving you some pretty specific true to His Word instructions. This is the foundation of His love to correct us by directing us to come to Him for cleansing and help, isn’t it? I have had my own struggle with hypocrisy and am glad for the reminder here of how easy we are tempted in this way. May we continue to pray for each other to become fully free from its hold on us. Blessings to all.

  11. LOVE THIS POST! What a great reminder that “…man looks on the outside appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

  12. Mary,

    I love your candidness and honesty. Thank you for being real with us here. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves! Sure we mess up some and act like Pharisees, but God will forgive us if we ask. Quit listening to the evil one and start believing the truth of God. You are a beautiful cake that tastes delicious.

    “Let’s seek God and ask for wisdom before asking for more time or money.” That statement speaks volumes. My husband and I often pray for wisdom when tackling a problem or situation. God honors that more than any other prayer we could offer. He wants us to seek His wisdom and guidance.
    Blessings 🙂