When I was ten years old, my mom threw me a birthday party complete with games, prizes and cupcakes. To commemorate my first ever party with friends, mom and I spent the weeks leading up to the party planning every detail. I was over the moon with excitement and the anticipation brought great joy. A celebration bigger than my imagination filled my every waking thought and I looked forward to the big reveal.
When the big day arrived, I ran to the basement. I saw a wonderland of streamers and a game set up in each corner. A smile the size of a crescent-shaped moon spread from cheek to cheek. As I surveyed Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Drop the Clothespin in the Bottle, I could not wait for my friends to arrive. The big reveal fulfilled the dreams I only imagined the day before. The celebration from that day remains in my memory.
Today I am thrilled to ask you to join in another celebration. I am inviting all of my beautiful friends that hang out here to celebrate the big reveal of my new writing home. Celebrations need community and a gathering of good friends. You all have been that for me. Your heart in developing friendships by connecting here has been a beautiful blessing in my life.
For the last few weeks as this new design was taking shape, I have been over the moon with excitement. I always pray that my words speak life and encourage others. Now I pray that this new home is welcoming, comfortable and full of grace.
As a way of saying thank you to my faithful readers and new friends, I am celebrating with a giveaway. Think of 10 year old prizes at a birthday party only better. Also, since today is my birthday, the celebration extends beyond just a beautiful new site, but into the joy of God blessing me with another year of life.
I cannot do this without all of you. Each time you visit you affirm God’s desire for me to write and encourage others. When you leave comments and share a piece of who you are, you teach me how God is working in your own life. You all and the grace of God are the reasons this site exists. So pour yourself your favorite mug of coffee or tea, take a look around and make yourself comfortable.
[Tweet “I am celebrating at the blog today with a giveaway. Come join the fun and see the big reveal!”]
Before you leave today, leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway and I’m crossing my fingers you are a winner. In my eyes, you all are winners!
AND… one more prize because you have blown me away with your kind words and beautiful hearts. One lucky winner will get this Inspire Bible just for leaving a comment by this Friday, February 10.
I am grateful for Susan Stillwell of Fistbump Media, for the beautiful design and update. If you are looking for some design work or other website help, Fistbump is the place to go with all your questions and needs.
Love you all,
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Beautiful, Mary! Celebrating with you! Love Susan’s work:) Enjoy your new space!!! I know I will;)
Thank you Ginger! I love having you here to help celebrate!
Love this! Hoping to do the same later this year, after I retire and start writing more consistently!
I’m excited to hear you will be retiring. It’s a wonderful season of life to enter. I pray God leads you through these last months of teaching and provides clarity as you seek him in the next season.
Mary, the site looks so classy and celebrating it, you, and your fine words to encourage us all is very special. Thanks for having us!
Thank you Linda! I am blessed you stopped by to celebrate with me. I pray this is always a welcoming space for you to come.
I don’t do anything crazy to celebrate my birthday. I just have a nice dinner (some times out some times at home). Last year my fiance cooked me chicken parm one of my favorites. That’s all I need.
Happy Birthday, Mary! And I love the new look of your blog! Here’s to this next year being your best yet–in all areas of your life, my friend!
You are so sweet. Thank you for joining in the celebration. It wouldn’t have been the same without you. Your kind words are a gift. Love you friend!
Hope you had a great birthday! The website looks beautiful. How do I celebrate? Usually dinner out with my family. 🙂
I had an amazing birthday. I’m so glad you came by to see the finished product since you got a sneak peek before it debuted.
congrats! it looks amazing! and happy birthday! xo
Thank you Jennifer. It means a lot to me that you stopped by.
Congrats, friend! What a fun thing to celebrate!
Thank you sweet Kaitlyn! Glad you stopped by to join in the celebration.
Wow, this looks amazing, Mary! And these words: “welcoming, comfortable and full of grace” are such an apt way to sum you up, as well as being very suitable in describing this beautiful place. Happy belated birthday to you, dear friend!! I’ll happily eat some cake (if there’s any left, of course) but I may have to pass on the party games! May the year ahead be full of abundant blessings in every way. Love you! xox
Of course, I saved some cake just for you! I am so glad you were able to stop by beautiful friend. You are such a dear and integral part of this community. I’m glad you love the new space and I hope you come by often. Love you friend!
Awww, Mary! Your new site is stunning! I love it, my friend. Happy belated birthday. I’m better at remembering birthdays after the fact. Sigh.
I think the most important thing to me is to have my birthday acknowledged by those who are the most important to me. It doesn’t have to be a big, bold celebration, but something—dinner out, getting together with girlfriends, a small gift—is important to me.
I hope your birthday was wonderful!
Having my birthday on the same day as the big reveal honestly was secondary. Thank you for being such a treasured member of this community. And I love how you celebrate your birthday! Love you friend!
What a beautiful new blogging space…I LOVE it!!! Annndddd Happy Birthday!!! Celebrating birthdays is ALWAYS better with friends…and cake!!
Celebrating with friends like you is the best! Thank you for being here and joining in on the celebration.
Love the new look! Happy belated birthday!!
Thank you sweet friend! I love that you stopped by to see my beautiful new home.
Your website is beautiful and welcoming, Mary–just like you!
Have a Happy Birthday celebrating your new website and the gift of life that you are to so many people.
You are such a dear Janis! What beautiful words you just spoke into me. Thank you for joining in on the celebration. You are a blessing!
Looks wonderful, Mary!
Yay! It’s so fun and exciting isn’t it? Love that you stopped by to check out my new home.
Love the blog design. And Happy Birthday! What a great way to celebrate!
Thank you Amanda! I love that you joined in the celebration.
Mary – Wonderful news! Your new blog spot is special, bright and beautiful – just like you! Perfect! May God continue to bless your writing endeavors with success and faith sharing! Heartfelt pride and love are what I feel for you!
Thank you Karen. You are a wonderful part of this community and your words mean so much to me. God is in this place and when we all join together His presence mixes with ours. You are a beautiful treasure friend!
Woot! Woot! Happy birthday and happy new space!
I’m whooping and hollering over here too. This has been an exciting week. Thank you for stopping my to see the new space.
Happy happy birthday!! And congrats on your new blog!
Thank you Laura! It is exciting! I love fresh starts, how about you?
Looks absolutely wonderful Mary. God’s got you on a new journey, and the joy shows through with your words and new look!
I love having you as part of this community. It is a joy to have treasured friends new and old to hang out here. Thank you dear friend!
Mary, your new web look is beautiful! Happy birthday!! Praising the Lord with you for what He is doing in your life and through your writing!
Thank you for this sweet encouragement. Blessings to you and thank you for joining me here today!
Happy Birthday, Mary! I love your new site – so clean and fresh and welcoming!
Thank you Gayl! Love that you spent a little time here today. Blessings!
Oh what a lovely facelift! What a lovely mid-winter treat for you, for us!
Birthday blessings to ya’ … may you find the year ahead to give you fresh hope, clear direction, huge joy.
Congrats, friend …
It is a beautiful treat! It has been such fun creating a new look to my writing home for all of you. Thank you for being such an important part of this community. Love and hugs!
Happy birthday, my friend! I LOVE your new space. The design is beautiful and it made me smile big to see your name at the top :). Many blessings to you, Mary, today and always.
Thank you! So good to see you here! I’m so glad you love the new space. I am blessed to have a writing community and so many wonderful friends to share it with.
Happy birthday to you. I enjoy having my family with me and that is enough celebration for me.
I love having family around too. To me that is the best gift. Thank you for stopping by!
Happy Birthday, Sweet Friend, Mary!! I love the new, fresh blog. I know you are ready for FRESH so close to the new year. Let the fresh new look here bring refreshment to your soul! I KNOW without a doubt your heart and pen are ready to write what God brings to your mind. I’m excited to read God’s spoken word through YOU to US. I am thankful we had a birthday lunch to celebrate YOU❤ To another year of YOU writing and all of us reading! Yay!!
Your words are such a treasure today. What a beautiful gift to share my day with you today. You are a dear to speak such truth into me. Love you friend!
Happy Birthday, Mary! Congratulations on your new writing home! May God further bless this new endeavor! If we were already signed up through Passage Through Grace, we don’t need to resign, do we? I don’t want to miss anything. 🙂 Love and hugs to you!
Thank you for these sweet words. I love having you as part of this community. You do not need to resign since everything was transferred over. Thank you for thinking of that though. You are a blessing friend!
Yay, celebrating with you!! Looks beautiful and inviting!
Thank you for celebrating with me! I am so glad you stopped by!
It is beautiful my friend, just like YOU. Happy Birthday. I hope your day is GRAND!
Glad you love it! It has been an exciting journey completing the new site. My day has been grand!
Happy Birthday and congrats on the new blog!!
Thank you Cherie! Glad you stopped by to join in the celebration.
I had an amazing painting party with the people I love most for my birthday. 🙂
A painting party does sound amazing! Being with the people you love most is the best part. Thank you for being here Mandy!
Happy Happy Happy Birthday Mary! The site looks fantastic. I love it and I love you too! 🙂 Have a great day!
Thank you sweet friend! I am thrilled with how the site turned out. Blessed you spent a little time here today on my birthday.
Happy birthday to you ?
If I could sing you a song??
Beautiful site friend…beautiful for the beautiful lady that you are.
I would love for you to sing me a song. Thank you for being here Ifeoma! I’m glad you love the new site. Blessings and hugs!
Happy Birthday Mary! May God bless you in special ways today! Love your blog’s new look! Way to go!
Thank you for being here and sharing birthday wishes! I am so glad that you stopped by and joined in the celebration!
Happy birthday, Mary! Today as I enjoy my morning cuppa in your honor, I’m praising God for you and asking Him to continue to draw you closer to Him throughout the coming year. Your site is fantastic! I’ve been poking around a bit and I love what you’ve created here! Congratulations!
Your words today are such a beautiful birthday gift. I am praising God that we have become friends. I pray that our words are blessed by God and our hearts seek to honor Him in all. Love and hugs!
Happy Birthday, and Congratulations on your beautiful site! I am a new subscriber of yours, and I look forward to reading more of your encouraging posts!
Thank you Bettie! I am blessed to have you join the community here and I look forward to getting to know you better.
Happy Birthday and congratulations!! 🙂
Thank you Tammy!
Such a beautiful new space for a beautiful person! 🙂
Thank you LeeAnn! It has been a fun secret but I’m thrilled to share it with my favorite friends!
Happy birthday! I fell asleep last night and didn’t take a peak. Your site is beautiful. You are one of my dearest blog friends and someone I look up to in writing. I am so thankful to be here to celebrate with you!
Well I’m glad you got some sleep. You are one of my dearest blogging friends too. I am where I am because of you. I hope you know that. Thank you for celebrating with me. Love having you here!
It looks amazing! I love the colors, the signature, the layout. Everything! Thanks for the giveaway contest too.
Thank you Natalie! That means a lot. I’m glad you stopped by to join in the celebration.
I love celebrations! Does that make me a “party girl”? LOL I guess so! But, what a joy it is to celebrate each day God has given us! Happy birthday, Mary! And…your blog looks great!
It’s okay to be a party girl! Thanks for joining me here for this party. So glad to have you here today, Joan! Here’s to enjoying God’s blessings!
A most beautiful site with inspirational writing. As a retired high school teacher I’m going to follow your blog and join your people, God’s people. Without his grace we have nothing so thank you allowing me to join you on this journey of grace filled life. Happy birthday Mary.
Thank you for blessing me by stopping by today. I am also a retired teacher and love knowing that we share that in common. God’s amazing grace sees us through and guides us on the path to Him. Blessings new friend!
Oh, Mary, happy birthday, and happy everything! This is a wonderful celebration!
Thank you for being such a beautiful member of this community. I am blessed that God has provided not only this space but words to encourage others.
It’s beautiful….a happy place to come to with a cup of coffee!
I love hearing this! Thank you for stopping by and sharing birthday wishes!
I love what God has accomplished through you and Susan! Congratulations and celebrations indeed !
Thank you Corena! I am blessed you stopped by to join in the celebration!
It is beautiful! I love it! And Happy Birthday to you dear friend! May this day and the year ahead bring you much much joy. Love you girl! ❤
Love you too sweet friend! I appreciate you celebrating me last night. Thank you for joining in the celebration!
Happy Birthday sweet friend and what a wonderful gift!! LOVE the new look…we all need a “makeover” every once and awhile. Love the color scheme. Look forward to journeying further with you one day at a time!
Blessings and Enjoy!!
So glad to have you here joining in the celebration! I love the new blog and have been so excited about it. Thank you for the birthday wishes!
Nice new place, Mary. And, Happy Birthday!
Thank you Karen! I appreciate the birthday wishes!
Happy Birthday, Mary. Your new design is lovely. You are even lovelier! Much love. Beth
Thank you Beth! Such a nice treat to see you here today! I’ve missed you!
I like to go out to dinner and see a movie with my husband. I like to eat funfetti white cake homemade with vanilla frosting and sprinkles from Pillsbury with our sons. I like gifts and quality time.
Yum! I love your birthday fun! Quality time is one of the best gifts you can give me! Thanks for being here Jenn!
Just a beautiful new space, Mary! And a very Happy Birthday to you!!!! May you have a wonderful day celebrating you!
Thank you Joanne! Blessed to have you join me for this celebration.
Holly is above me and we are in your SPACE, your beautiful new space – it almost feels like a photo booth experience but BETTER!!! I have a cuppa coffee and I’m going to browse a while. Susan did our friend Tammy Mashburn’s site also – she does excellent work. I like the colors here and the daisy dot on the i. Looks really great. Congrats! Happy birthday! A blessed year. I have my eye on those earrings! (((xo)))
Thank you, thank you! Susan does amazing work. I checked out Tammy’s site to get ideas. I love hers too. I’m glad this is better than a photo booth experience because I know how you DON’T love those! Blessed to have you here!
Woohoo!!! It is beautiful! Congratulations and happy birthday all rolled into one! You and Susan did a marvelous job. The layout is great and I love the colors. Enjoy your day! xoxo
Thank you! I know you know how excited I was for the big reveal. Thank you for being here for the celebration!