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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  1. Mary,
    I hear you sister. Last year, my “word” for the year was “embrace”. I was open, ready, and willing to embrace whatever God was going to teach me. I suppose I imagined good and marvelous “Ah hah!!” moments as I spent time, daily, in His Word. Well, some of that did happen, but what I didn’t plan to embrace was suffering…or should I say more suffering. 2018 I was through with surgeries (having had 5 in 5 years). This year I would be in the gym, meeting goals, and becoming the new me. That was until I severely injured my back and wound up in the ER with my 6th surgery on the OR lineup. That, along with heart-wrenching difficulties with my adult children, left me wondering….what exactly am I embracing here? You are so on point when you say that we are only made new through Christ. In Him, and Him alone, are we a new creation. Actually, if we feel so good in our skin and in our world, then something is seriously wrong. I believe we always will have a homesickness in our heart for the perfection that will only come in Eternity with our Lord and Savior. But, in case the rapture doesn’t come today….I’m lacing up my sneakers and heading to the gym lol.
    Bev xx

    • Oh, Bev, what a swift kick in the resolutions that must have been! It’s so difficult to learn to embrace what we get instead of what we want. I’m hopeful for a more enjoyable year for you to embrace in 2019! 🙂

  2. Oh MARY! Feeling like I wrote the post myself this morning! God’s Word today showed me just that… I can give you more strength, I can help you in your strength, Or I can hold you in my right hand and you having no strength will have all mine.. weak & helpless is how I give you all my strength! I feel better now than ever! I’m surrendering the dead self and living through Him.. trying not to depend on me at all! Yes just another glorious day in creation \0/ Last years word was content.. didn’t happen.. this years word was Hope. I’m hoping my adult children reconcile but I’ve surrendered them last year and now I’m contented God will make beauty out of ashes.. that Hope is the truth! God is with us and y’all Blessings

    • Sadie, thank you for sharing your heart here today! I pray God fans the flames of your hope as He continues working in the lives of your children. xoxo

  3. Mary, this is exactly how I feel! Exhausted, bloated, disappointed in myself. But excited and hopeful about this new year. I am excited to have another opportunity to get things right or at least better. And I am hopeful that our country and our world will find a kinder path. And I am reminding myself that God controls it all. I have a part, but I am not in control. Thanks for hitting the nail on the head, for me this morning!

    • Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your heart today, Irene! It is a time for all the emotions, isn’t it? Disappointment right next to hope, inspiration right next to reliance on the only One who can change us at all. Knowing I have a part but am not in control is a lesson I’ve been learning (over and over) as well!

  4. Mary,

    Last year brought many changes in my family. My FIL got diagnosed with stage III bladder cancer, had surgery & celebrated 90th birthday. I can see he is slowing down a lot. MIL isn’t all that healthy either. I’ve been helping hubby care for them. Three of eight people left job in hubby’s department. It mean lots of overtime. Add to that a merger of the two big hospitals in area into one company & lots of changes. It was tough. This year brought me unemployment. Also though a new start. I can now work full-time-not just part time. I am looking forward to this new year with some trepidation. I also know that God is with & for me. He has plans for me to prosper me & not harm. He knows the future better than I. Making some resolutions to become a better prayer warrior & lose weight.

    Blessings 🙂

  5. Dear Mary, Thank you for sharing your wisdom, it touched my heart today. It’s so unfortunate, but I believe it’s true, too. We do have this”…all-or-nothing, now-or-never, extremist approach to the New Year” …until we begin to “get it” that our lives aren’t even about us. Loved your perspective. In Jesus, Lori

  6. Mary
    It is just wonderful hear your reflections on the beginning of a new year. Nothing is perfect and you make me thinking on God’s presence throughout this 2019.
    Thank you


    • Nothing is perfect — that’s exactly right, Marinalva! Remembering that will certainly help us keep a clearer perspective when looking into the new year. 🙂

  7. “He will bring me back to my knees and His presence, where I remember it’s only when I rely on His strength and seek His plans for my life that I can do anything at all.” May this be what marks 2019 for all of us! As always, Mary, I love hearing your heart and voice through typed out words. xx

    • Now, how is it that the one sentence I struggled most with is the one you pulled out?! That’s crazy. I really thought about deleting that line completely. Funny how God knows just what we each need to hear — and so very humbling that He uses us to share those words with others!

  8. Thank-you for yet another reminder that it’s OK to not feel OK about a new year. I find the transition from the busy, full, bright Christmas season that I love to a new year (with days starting to get longer, yes, but still too cold and dark for my liking). Thank God that he is indeed with us every step of the way!

  9. (Oops! Didn’t quite finish my sentence above.) I meant to say that I find this transition difficult and a little melancholy. I knew I wasn’t the only one.

  10. Wonderful encouragement, Mary! Just what I needed today. Just keep turning to the Lord! Thank you for blessing us. Warmest thanks and Happy New Year! Peace and joy, Patricia

  11. Thank you for your encouragement!
    I’ve been struggling to heal from a major injury to my legs and knees last May. The leg fracture has healed, but I am still living with a lot of pain in both knees from torn meniscus tears. I pray God continues to heal me. There are days the pain is unbearable. I pray my doctor can find the right treatment plan. Today I was in tears with pain. May this new year bring new hope!

  12. (((Hug))) Love your vulnerable heart, Mary. I always smile when I see your byline here. 🙂 Praying for you this morning, sister. I pray He gives you fresh hope for this newborn year. I used to feel “weird” about Januarys, too, but somewhere along the way, I began to enjoy them.

    I wish our human nature didn’t put so much pressure on ourselves. I’ve spent many a new year trying to force changes, rather than patiently growing into them. The last few years have felt chaotic for me, and this year, I’ve decided to insist on rest. Insist on making slow, purposeful changes that lead to peace. I bought a Goal workbook, and created a whole new “study, reading, writing, crocheting, rest nook” for myself. I pray I’m able to leave 2019 with more peace than I walked into it with.

    Praying the same for you, too, friend. He created us for more than stress and chaos. Such wisdom in your words that—walking through this year with Him by our side, will make the year a gift. — May He grace your year with refreshment and joy. ♥