Your Life Still Counts... (a book giveaway!)

"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." Isaiah 43:19

     "We know that you are not getting this degree to become a CEO of a company and make a ton of money, instead of -- per credit, this particular degree will be -- per credit. That's a 40% discount."

     I stopped dead in my tracks and I silently cried. I was in the middle of the greeting card aisle in my local Stop and Shop and I didn't care. Is this really going to happen? Am I going to college?

     "Hello, Marie?" said the voice on the other line, "Are you there?"

     "Yes, I'm here," I replied, "I'm just trying to gather myself. I can't believe that. Really? As a part time student?"

     I was on the phone with the admissions adviser for Oklahoma Wesleyan University.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing. What this woman just told me about the tuition discount has now made college completely doable for me. I inquired about it but I thought that I will need time to save my pennies.

     A few weeks before this conversation, I began reading  The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst.  I felt that my best yes was to take the steps to go back to college. I prayed and thought about what I REALLY wanted to do and I felt led towards Christian ministry.

    After all, I have this blog that I started with the hope to inspire and encourage others. I wasn't sure what I had to bring to the table for God. BUT GOD, placed this desire to tell others about Him in my heart and so I'm pursuing it.  The biggest roadblock for going back to college was the financial part.  My husband and I have two children, a hefty mortgage, and bills, bills, bills.

     However, based on my conversation with the adviser from OKWU that college was now doable! Really??

    It has been 17 years since I last attended school. Four of those 17 years were filled with working and partying and bar hopping. I was a hamster in a hamster wheel going and going and going but getting nowhere. BUT GOD was there. Even if I didn't know He was. College was so far in the back burner.

     Eventually, I eased up on the bars and partying. I met a man in the most unlikely place in a most unlikely way. It may have been the magic of Christmas, but on Christmas Eve, my birthday, this man won my heart. A year later, I was pregnant. Unmarried. Uncertain. Unprepared. BUT GOD, helped us through it.  The years that followed brought us two boys.

     Marriage is tough and marriage that is lopsided in faith is even tougher. It isn't an easy road to walk BUT GOD helped us through it.  I wanted to do ministry work but it caused a disagreement in our marriage. BUT GOD guided me, encouraged me, held my hand as I sought to become a peaceful, respectful wife to my husband

     And now, here I am. Halfway into my first college course for my Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministry. I just became a part of the Bible Study Live team for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, an online ministry for women. I have this humble blog where I try to encourage others in their spiritual and physical fitness.

   WHO WOULD'VE THOUGHT??? I can't end this post with happy ending because my journey is just beginning. I'm entering a new chapter in my life. The pages are blank. I don't know for sure what these pages will say. But I do the know author. He is the Great I Am, the Lord God. "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within (me), will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6 (emphasis mine). 

   Looking back, I can see how God has been with me all the time. I am not proud those late teens and early twenties years. I turned my back on God. I put God in the back burner and only called on Him in my time of need. But all that time, He was there. He is there for you too.

    Do you want to know how God can use your past to create a beautiful future? This book I am currently reading may just have the message you need to hear. In Your Life Still Counts, Tracie Miles helps you recognize that God not only has a purpose for you, but He has prepared you for your divine purpose.  

     And guess what???? I am giving away a copy of Your Life Still Counts! All you need to do is leave a comment below! A winner will be selected by random (I will write the names on a piece of paper and have my boys pick a name... simple as that).  This contest will close at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. I will announce the winner on Friday, November 21.


  1. Thank you for sharing what's on your heart, Marie! I love seeing how God is using you right now to make such an incredible difference in the lives of your friends - mine included! From one former party girl to another… :) Hugs from NJ!

    1. Thank you, Christa! I just do and go with God's leading and honestly, I second guess myself ALL.THE.TIME (I often wonder, "why would God use me?!?!") so this is encouraging to hear. :) XO

  2. love your story. God is awesome, and He understands us when we don't understand ourselves. loves us ALWAYS, and never ever gives up on us. Praise God for what he has brought both of us through