I Am

I am the baby girl born in the Ozarks, first born child of a preacher and a nurse.

I am the little girl who always knew I would be a nurse and a mother. Who played Poke-Eye Hospital on the stairs with a host of dolls, only one of whom had eye injuries. Who loved books more than anything, including chocolate.

I am the girl who visited a firehouse in first grade and became so afraid of fires that I kept a satchel full of treasure next to my bed for a year, ready for an instant get-away. I’m the girl who played with my Black doll and dreamed of visiting far-away lands, but never imagined I’d have children born in Asia and Africa.

I am the teenager who couldn’t figure out what Brooke was talking about when she said nothing came between her and her Calvins.

I’m the girl who wore her shorts short and her pants tight and drove her dad nuts. The girl who loved Def Leppard and Foreigner and Survivor, and thanks to a summer working at a car wash could identify every car on the road in 1983.

Who sat by a window for months waiting for a certain guy named John to drive by after wrestling practice. (He didn’t turn out to be the right John. The right one never passed my house without stopping). I am the girl who read romance novels and dreamed of finding a man as nuts about me as my dad was about my mom.

I am the girl who found that man.

I am the woman who walked down the aisle into adulthood at 19. Ready or not. Who finished college three months after our first child was born.

I am the woman whose highest, best, most sacred parts of life are Faith and Family.

I am the nurse who bathed a stillborn baby and cried with his mother and then went home to cry over my own baby for a long, long time.

I am the mother who can read story books for half an hour but who wants to scream after 5 minutes of Candyland. I am the multi-tasker whose mind whirls so fast that I just have to write things down so I’m not spinning so many plates at once.

I am the person who is desperately impatient to become patient — truly and steadily, not just in short bursts during moments of minimal trial.

I am the woman who dreams of making a great difference in the world — but also always hears that voice reminding me not to get too full of myself.

I am the woman who every day is conscious of the deep and unearned blessing of my life. Who every day longs to be a little more grateful, a little more peaceful, a little more joyful.


  1. That is wonderful. I am going to have to set some time aside to that. Beautiful writing.

  2. This is so beautiful!!! I’ll be playing along in your contest soon… you have been busy for the last couple days since I checked in over here!!!!

  3. Lovely – it is obvious you have given more than you have got, and keep giving and sharing. You are a gem!

  4. You are awesome! I’m going to try this one myself.

  5. Beautiful, Mary.

  6. mary – i love this!

  7. What a great writing prompt. I think I will use this for my kids.

    I enjoyed reading yours.


  8. Oh Mary, I loved doing this last year, and I love the changes you’ve made. I can’t wait to sit down and take the time to do the new format and submit it.

    Yours was beautiful. I love it. Thanks for hostessing!

  9. I am Heidi’s, from Butterfly Mama, Mom. I am a cute boy’s Granny, I am his Dad’s Mother-in-Love. I am much more as well!

    I love this Mary! I enjoy reading your blog when I tag over from Butterfly Mama.

  10. I can so relate to bathing the stillborn. Hugs to you and that mom. What a blessing you were to her that day!

  11. I am in awe. Beautiful post.

  12. Oh Mary, that was wonderful to read.

  13. I come from Carol’s at She Lives! I loved reading both of yours so much! I just got mine in under the wire! That was fun to do~Thank You!