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: www.hopefilledliving.com
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: www.pinterest.com/hopefilled2/
My Facebook page is where I post daily inspiration for a couple thousand readers and answer prayer requests: www.facebook.com/hopefilledlivingbookstudies/
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.