We have a Choice to Make…Will we choose to Rest in Him?

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Something to consider tonight…

When you and I go to bed tonight. We have a choice to make…we can either lay there and reflect on the troubles of the day or week and allow anxiety and hopelessness overcome our hearts and minds…we have a decision to make. We can do that or we can consciously choose to acknowledge that we are going through hard times but remember to focus our minds on Jesus. We can remember that He has been with us through everything in the past.

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5 NIV

The Lord will surely comfort Zion
and will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden,
her wastelands like the garden of the Lord.
Joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the sound of singing. Isaiah 51:3

We can choose to have our HOPE in HIM. We can choose to have our joy in Him. We can give him our worries and receive His peace, hope and His healing love. We can choose rest in Him, tonight.

Isn’t that a relief?? We can let go of trying to “figure it all out ourselves”. We can leave it in His hands!!!

It is time to do it!!

I am so thankful for the incredible peace He gives me and YOU through His grace! Aren’t you?

Let’s rest in His arms tonight. We have a choice to make! Will we rest in Him or will we hold onto the burden He is waiting to carry for us? The choice is there each day and night and Jesus is waiting to take us into HIS arms…

The choice is yours. Which will you choose?


Hanging onto HOPE in the Darkness


In the midst of the dark of the night, it is the light we see reflected in the stars and the moon that help us find our way. In order to see them, we have to stop what we are doing, stop trying to feel our way on our own…and look up.

For me, the same thing happens in the painful, dark times of my life. God never puts us in a place where we can’t look up and find His grace shining through the darkness. It is there to help us see that He is still with us and will help us find our way through the painful times and keep our eyes on His light.

I am amazed, and reminded daily, that the situations we are going through never catch God off guard. He knew what was coming and He used our previous experience…earlier times in our life when He carried us through and taught us and grew us…to prepare us for what we are facing now.

And when we feel as if there is no way we can make it through…when we feel totally overwhelmed and forget the grace…His strength, His wisdom, His courage, His grace…to that got us through in the past, He is there to remind us once again.

For me, God has been showing me how His timing is perfect. He brought my husband and I together at a specific time in each of our lives and brought me to Texas to marry him in August for a specific reason.

He fills my life with special people who encourage and support me and help me to remember not to quit…just when I need it most.

Our Lord lifts me up…shines His light in the darkness and reminds me to trust Him.

He reminds me to have faith. Do I really trust Him? Continue reading

God is a God of New Beginnings

God is a God of new beginnings. He amazes me every day. When I look back over my life, I see so many times that I thought were endings and hidden amid the folds, God had a new beginning being birthed that I could never have imagined nor dreamed up on my own.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 ESV

Right now, I am in the middle of a very, very special new beginning. A very special time that just a couple of years ago, I could not have imagined or dreamed I would be experiencing at this time in my life. I am SO glad that I am not in charge of my life! Know what I mean? God is the author of life and love and sees the past, present, and future as one big picture with His purpose for our good and His glory. We may not always understand what is happening as He takes us through the journey, but He knows exactly what He is doing. I am so glad that HE is in control!

Several months ago, God brought me together with a very, very special man. He brought us both into each others’ lives at just the right time for each of us. His timing is perfect in all things! He has been and continues to write our love story.

He has grown us closer together over these months and has given us each other as a grace filled gift to one another. God has touched my life through Jimmy in so many amazing ways and every day I give thanks to Him for the precious gift of this amazing man.

This past week, we joined our hearts, lives, and families as we married on Thursday, August 7, 2014.

We have embarked on one of the most amazing new beginnings that God gives…the gift of marriage. Together, with God’s grace and love, we have begun this new adventure as a couple and as a family and I have so much peace, joy, and happiness in my heart! I am so blessed and in awe of what our Heavenly Father is doing as He writes our grace filled love story.

I hope you will join me as I share glimpses into the new adventure on which we have embarked.

I am enjoying, learning, and growing so much with my new husband and new family. Isn’t God amazing?

I look forward to sharing more of the lessons from my heart over the next months and years. Thank you for joining me during this very special time of new life and new beginnings…as God walks us through each new day of our own love story.

Celebrating in His Joy,

Mary Susan

You are Braver than You Believe!!


“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

A.A. Milne (quote from Christopher Robin)

I have been through a lot of painful challenges in my life.

Wait!!! I need to rephrase that…God has brought me through a lot of painful challenges in my life.

He has brought me through many years of child abuse while I was growing up by a very significant adult in my life; a domestic violence first marriage after becoming pregnant with his child while we were engaged and being homeless and living in shelters three times during that engagement and marriage; escaping my first husband with our boys who were four months old and five years old at the time; starting a new life in a town across the state from my dangerous ex-husband.

He has brought me through living with PTSD, depression, anxiety disorder; some of the challenges of living with my own disorders while being married to my second husband who struggled with bipolar disorder and what that brought with it at times; going through the horror of the tragic car accident that claimed the life of my second/late husband and barely surviving the accident myself; two years of caring for my two sons who were seriously injured in the same accident and rebuilding my life.  And I can’t forget to mention the PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorder and permanent physical limitations that I now deal with every day following all of this.

Yes…I do feel a series or e-book coming from this article…

You see, there is one phrase that I want you to focus on from all that I just shared with you.

“God has brought me through a lot of painful challenges in my life.”

Through it all, I was NEVER alone. God was with me. He was cradling me in His arms, filling me with his strength, courage, wisdom, giving me His comfort when nothing else would comfort me.

So many times I hear people say to me…

“Mary you are so much stronger than I!! I could never survive what you have been through in your life.”

“But you are wrong!! I am weak. I had to lean completely on God every day and continue to do so as I face the challenges of every day life. It is God who is strong…not me.” –has been my standard response.

I am learning something in recent weeks though…I am learning that I am braver than I believe I am. I am brave not because of me…but because of remembering to trust God and embrace the challenges I am faced with as opportunities instead of obstacles. My strength is in God and I am so, so grateful to Him for filling me and refilling me each day.

But I am also thankful that He helps me to be braver than I believe I am.

About a month ago, I was faced with another opportunity to be braver than I believed I was. My new father-in-law is very, very ill and I needed to get to our new home in Texas in July instead of waiting until the time that James and I had set aside and planned for him to come up to Missouri where I lived and we would get married and he would pick up the trailer for me, he would take the lead in packing the trailer, and then he would drive our car pulling our trailer behind it from Missouri to Texas and we would start our life together as a new family.

James didn’t ask me to come early, but nothing was going to stop me from getting there. Continue reading

Texas, Here We Come!!!!!

You heard me right!!!

Soooo much has happened since I last blogged! Our new life adventure has begun!!!

On July 14, Monday…Josh, Michael, and I…with the help of friends and neighbors…loaded up this 5×8 trailer and headed to Texas to join my soon-to-be husband, Jimmy, in our new life adventure in Texas!

After two years of recovering from my injuries in the accident in July 2012, we decided to break the trip up into four days of driving to make it easier on my back/body and on our car as I pulled this trailer filled with our most prized possessions. Out on the road we made many discoveries as a family, created new, very special memories, and I learned a lot about myself!

Our “travel mission Texas” as the boys called it, started out near Rolla, Missouri and ended up in our new home town near Waco, Texas. With getting lost side trips and following our daily mission driving plans we covered more than seven hundred miles in what went from four days of traveling into five when we faced flash floods and severe storms across the state of Texas on what was supposed to be our fourth and final day of travel.

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But we enjoyed many great experiences along the way as well. We enjoyed yummy foods, exploring new cities and states, learned to use the toll roads of Oklahoma, enjoyed beautiful weather as well as endured and survived severe storms and flash flooding. We enjoyed times of singing songs as a family in the car as well as times of crankiness from little people after hours of driving across country sitting a booster seat. We enjoyed very cool temperatures as well as fun moments of swimming and relaxing in motel swimming pools and making new friends.

Most of all…we shared stories, things we were looking forward to in our new family life with my amazing , soon to be husband and my awesome soon to be step teenage step son. We shared the realities of what our life will be like as we walk with my in-laws through the priceless final weeks and days of saying good-bye to my new father-in-law as we live with him and my new mother-in-law with the special honor of being there with them and helping them in any way we can to make life easier in these difficult days.

The boys shared their excitement of having a new daddy, a new brother, and new grandparents and uncles! And I basked in my joy of the reality of being married to my soul mate very soon and the honor of being his wife.

A new marriage. A new family. A new state. A new home. A new adventure in His Grace!!!

Won’t you join me as I share this life changing journey with all of you???
And while you are here…won’t you share how many state you have lived in during your life time?

I have personally lived in– Missouri, Kansas, Virginia, Illinois, and now the great state of Texas!!! How about you???

Soaking in His Grace and love!

Mary Susan


And Blog Launch Giveaway winners are…

Thank you so much for the awesome response to our Thirty-One Gifts Giveaway to help launch New Adventures in His Glory!!!!! Special thanks to Vivian McWhiney for providing all of these amazing prizes!!!

And now it is time to announce our winners!!!!

Drum roll please!!!!

First prize goes to…SPRING LEMLEY!!!!!

1st prize1 st prize !!!!!! $77.00 value Creative expressions bag with up to 6 kids personalized with names!!! Manicure nail file. Hang-it up key fob . Flower clip Magnetic Bookmark.

2nd Prize goes to..Maureen Armstrong Tenney!!!!

Second Prize…2nd prize2nd place $55.00 value  and includes this gorgeous Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote and a Magnetic bookmark Manicure nail file Floral clip.

3rd Prize goes to JENNIFER CANE MORRIS!!!!

And third prize is…

3rd prize3rd Prize–  $44.00 value including this gorgeous Keep It caddy. Magnetic Bookmark Manicure nail file Floral clip.

Thank you so much for all of your entries!!!!! I am so excited about embarking on this new adventure in His Grace with all of you!!!! Thank you so much for joining me!

Embracing His Joy,

Mary Susan

Blog Launch Party GIVEAWAY — Over $150 of Thirty-One Gifts

I am so excited about launching New Adventures in His Grace with all of you this week!!! If you missed “Welcome to my New Adventure” in which I share about New Adventures in His Grace, I encourage you to check it out! I’d love to hear your thoughts on what is coming!!!

I was thrilled when I got a message from Vivian Mcwhiney. She has a Thirty-One Gifts business and is generously offering a very special giveaway to help me celebrate this new adventure in blogging!!!

Vivian is giving away three amazing prizes

First prize is…

1st prize1 st prize !!!!!! $77.00 value Creative expressions bag with up to 6 kids personalized with names!!! Manicure nail file. Hang-it up key fob . Flower clip Magnetic Bookmark.

Second Prize…2nd prize2nd place $55.00 value  and includes this gorgeous Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote and a Magnetic bookmark Manicure nail file Floral clip.


And third prize is…

3rd prize3rd Prize–  $44.00 value including this gorgeous Keep It caddy. Magnetic Bookmark Manicure nail file Floral clip.

On top of all of this!!! She has a special sale with gorgeous summer products from $10-$20 each while supplies last!! Soooo cool!

So here’s how you enter!!!

Required entry— Subscribe to New Adventures in His Grace and leave a comment telling me you did.

1 Extra Entry– “Like” my “New Adventures in His Grace” on Facebook  then leave a comment telling me you did. (a separate one for each entry)

1 Extra Entry — “Like” Vivian’s Facebook Group  “In Season with Thirty-One” Then leave me a comment telling me you did. (a separate one for each entry)

1 Extra Entry— Go to Vivian’s Thirty One Gifts website and then leave me a comment telling me your favorite gift that you saw! (a separate comment for each entry)

5 Extra Entries — SHARE this blog post on your Facebook Page…then leave me a comment telling me you did. (a separate one for each entry)

10 Extra Entries– SHARE this blog post on your Blog and help me spread the word of the launch of my new bloggy home!! 😀  (a separate one for each entry– please include a link to your blog post in this one.)

Giveaway ends on Monday, May 19th at 8:00pm CST!!!! So enter now!!!! Winners will be announced here on the blog and on the New Adventures in His Grace Facebook Page. Winners must contact me with your email address within 48 hours or a new winner will be drawn. Thank you!!!


Celebrating with Joy,

Mary Susan