Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Guest Blogger: Mary Clewley

Hello Dear Readers!

Today, we have a special guest blogger, Mary Clewley.
She lives with her husband in a 150 year-old Victorian house in the heart of Bay City, Michigan.
Rose gardens surround the house. 
Mary created them to bring joy to people passing by!
That's  just the kind of person she is! 
Mary's blog, Hope Filled Living, encourages, inspires and uplifts!
But no more from me.
Today is Mary's day on Writing Straight from the Heart.

Thank you  so much for agreeing to do this, Mary!
Here is her post:

My name is Mary Clewley. I am honored that my friend, Susan has asked me to be a guest on her blog today.

 I began my blog, Hope-Filled Living in 2007, after leaving a very busy career as a pastor. We had just moved to a new town and I had left all of my work and accomplishments behind. It was hard starting all over—I felt very isolated. 

When I worked as a pastor, my passion was to bring hope to the hopeless. I counseled so many men and women whose lives were filled with difficult things…the hard stuff… that I wanted to continue in that work. When I was credentialed before the denomination board, I told them that bringing hope was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life—and I cannot picture myself doing anything else. So… I began a blog… to do just that!

In ministry, people tell you the most private and difficult struggles they are facing. So many things were too big for me that I felt ill equipped. During that season, I learned to give everything to God.  I relied on prayer to get me through each day. 

Not only did I counsel people going through extreme life situations, but also I faced the adversity of being put on staff with three men who believed that women should not be allowed to lead. God made me strong during that season and gave me a voice. You see, I believe that God gave us each unique gifts and passions and we should all be allowed to use them.

 I had a unique voice; acceptance and compassion that drew people to me and opened doors of communication with those who might not have otherwise attended church.

I strive to perform the same kind of ministry of compassion and acceptance on my blog. I enjoy lifting the hearts of women and building self-esteem. Everything I write comes from personal experience or a place of personal woundedness or an experience I have had in my pastorate. 

I do not have a set way of doing things. I just blog from the heart. I want to see women live inspired lives and feel empowered to change their lives and affect the world around them.

Blogging has been a great tool for personal growth for me through the years. I have met wonderful people from all over the world, made pen-pals, I have been given opportunities to do some work for publishing companies and to write my own books and have some magazine articles published.

 I never knew when I started this journey back in 2007 that I would meet artists, singers, speakers, writers, producers, screen-play writers, business women, publicity agents, publishers and leaders in every industry. 

Blogging has opened new worlds for me and I have learned so much through the relationships I have made since I began.

Here are links to some of the places you can find me hanging out:

My website is the place to read my full bio and see what I am doing:

My blog is where I write my articles:

Pinterest is the fun place where I get to pin things pertaining to my life and ministry:

My Facebook page is where I post daily inspiration for a couple thousand readers and answer prayer requests:

I am currently on day 54 of a 101 day online study of my workbook, 101 Prayers and Affirmations for Spiritual Wellness and putting the finishing touches on my next book, which will be released the first week in April, Gratitude: 101 Prayers and Praises.  

In my spare time, I am taking classes to complete my credentials in counseling. My long-term goal is to open a retreat center for women… with weekend retreats, counseling and classes.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to be babble today. I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to talk about myself and especially difficult to condense the things that are the most meaningful to me to one or two pages, so I hope you will just stop by for a visit and get to know me a little better. 

Introduce yourselves and tell me what is important to you. I love meeting new friends.


Anonymous said...

Good Evening Susan and Mary.
Mary, it is nice to meet you and learn about your life. My husband is originally from the Detroit area. We reside in Georgia. Thanks for providing the links where I can read more. I started blogging 5 years ago after the passing of my mom. My husband is disabled and my blog friends mean the world to me since we rarely leave home. It is such a blessing to meet new friends and to support and pray for each other. God has richly blessed me through blogging.

diane.stetson said...

Very inspirational. Good luck in all that you do Mary!

Jeanette Ann O'Donnell said...

Mary,you are doing wonderful work,we need more people in this World to do the same. I hope you are successful in all you do. God Bless

Karen Lange said...

It's so nice to meet you, Mary! Enjoyed the post. Thanks for the intro, Susan!

Denise said...

What a pleasure meeting Mary.Thank You Susan and Thank You for stopping My blog with Your sweet comment,always nice to have You visit.Denise

Linda O'Connell said...

A retreat center for women. I think you'll have a waiting list. Mary has a joy about her. You can hear it in her 'voice'. Wishing her the best.

Ruth Ann said...

Thank you Susan, and hello Mary from a fellow Michigander. I have been through Bay City many times on my way "up north" - I live in Shelby Township. I will be definitely visiting you daily. I think many men in ministry will have to answer for stifling or ignoring the gifts God has given women. I do not say this with bitterness, but with sadness. Many blessings on you as you pursue to fulfill your God-given calling.

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

Hello Mary...

What a pretty lady you are. And what a lovely and compassionate person you must be, inside and out.

Gentle hugs,

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: I like to meet Mary Clewley. I read that she has a fabulous home. She is very inspirational. Great life. Keep in touch

Mary Clewley said...

My heart is full of happy tears. Seriously... reading all of these nice comments and warm welcomes of friendship. I haven't met you, but I already love you all. Thank you, Susan. What a blessing you are! xoxo.

Red Rose Alley said...

I love Mary, and she was one of my first blog friends. She prays for me when I ask her, and she drew me a lovely Christmas painting. She is a special soul, and at times I feel she's an angel on this earth.
Love her so.


Chatty Crone said...

Susan - it was nice to meet one of your friends - I even joined her blog! She seems sweet like you! sandie

Joyce Olson said...

This is such a lovely treat for us. It is so nice to meet you Mary and hear how God has strengthened you and guided you through this beautiful journey of life. I will be hopping on over to your blog now!
Thank you,

Mary Clewley said...

I want to thank you again, Susan for introducing me to your wonderful friends. Blogging is such a blessing, isn't it? I cannot say enough about the beautiful friendships I have made through my blog.
I want to thank you all for taking the time to read about me and my work and for stopping by for a visit yesterday. It means the world to me. You are all such sweet souls.

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