About Mary Hess

Mary is a creative spirit, gifted speaker, loyal wife and loving mother dedicated to furthering the message and mission of Jesus. A Kentucky native living in Summerville, South Carolina, Mary is an active member of New Day Community Church – where she serves on staff as a Pastoral Assistant and Director of Event & Communication. When she’s not working, Mary enjoys reading, blogging and spending time with her husband and two children. And coffee. She really loves coffee.

OneWord365 :: Selflessness

2014 One WordThis darn word.  It has rocked my world this year.  So much so, that I haven’t been able to even bring myself to post about it.  How do I share the ways this word has permeated my life? What words can I use to describe the journey I’ve been on so far?  I’m not sure I can at this point.  I want to, but it feels so deep, so personal, so hard.

I’ve had 3 scriptures that I’ve tried to focus on all year.  They’re posted on my bathroom mirror and on the wall at my desk – right in front of my face.

Philippians 2:3
Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.  Put yourself aside and help others get ahead.  Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.  Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Philippians 2:4
None of you should look out just for your own good.  You should also look out for the good of others.

1 Peter 3:8
Be agreeable.  Be sympathetic. Be loving.  Be compassionate. Be humble.  That goes for all of your.  No exceptions.  No retaliation.  No sarcasm.  Instead, bless.  That’s your job – to bless.

I used to think that being selfless would mean that nothing good ever happened to me – that I would be passed over, left behind, stuck in the thankless positions, always giving, never receiving.  I used to think that being selfless meant that I would forever be helping people, even at the expense of my own well-being.  I could just see me walking through life never being noticed, never getting that promotion, always in the background, always with the left overs.  Sounds dramatic, right?  Like a martyr?  Yeah.  That’s what I thought too.

You know what I’m discovering?

It’s the posture of my heart that determines selflessness.  If my heart is set on getting my own way, focusing on my own needs at the expense of everyone else, or feeling entitled, then it’s very hard to be selfless.  But when I focus on those scriptures and when I say to Jesus, “I want to be more like You,” then something amazing happens.  He begins to work on my heart.  He softens it and causes it to be filled with compassion for others.  It becomes a matter of “wanting” to be selfless, not “having” to be selfless.

There’s something redeeming and restorative about walking this out.  It actually has a boomerang effect.  That whole sowing/reaping thing.

I find that the more I give away, the more I want to give.

And yet, the more I seem to receive back.

So while there are still ways I find myself kicking and screaming at how this word plays out, I am determined to walk it out.

Even when it feels hard.

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Did you participate in OneWord365 this year?  If so, I’d love to hear about your word and how things are going for you this year!

The Homeschool Journey :: Grade 3, Part 2

the homeschool journey logo

Homeschool has been, ummm, interesting this year so far.  As of today, we have finished 30 days of class.  I guess that’s not too bad.  But it’s not where we were this time last year.  Funny how life events, work, family time, church, whatever else gets thrown in the mix, can alter a day in a matter of seconds.

I’m not a big fan of that.

But at least with homeschool, we can roll with the punches and try to keep going.

I’m not a big fan of that either.

But at least it’s an option and I’m learning to take advantage of it.

If you’ve popped over here expecting to see an amazing post of everything we have accomplished and how awesome it has been, you’re gonna be disappointed.  This is your only warning.

3rd Grade School RoomSchool Room

I had high hopes that we would spend 2-3 hours a day sitting in front of the computer in our cute little school room doing school room related things.  Things like discovering how to save the world from this ISIS crisis, how to get the US out of it’s crazy national debt, save our dollar, and oh, maybe set Zoe up for President soon.  But that hasn’t happened.  In fact, we’ve barely used said room because of life.  And timing.  And work. And my needing to be doing stuff while she’s doing stuff.

Sigh.

We’ve sat in there a few times, but it’s been a chore to make it happen.  Hopefully as my work pace slows down over the next couple of months (and before we have to pack this house up to move to NC), we’ll actually use it the way I had dreamed we would.

Bahahahahaha.  I crack myself up.

School Work

2014-09-30 13.35.07We are really playing it kinda loose at first.  I’m bombarding Zoe with lots of worksheets to go over things we learned last year. Giving her a 3 month break was a BIG mistake.  I feel like we are starting over in some areas (Math, especially).  We have been doing lots of addition and subtraction with Regrouping (which apparently is the politically correct term to use these days.  I particularly still like borrowing.  But I digress).

This is the stack of work she’s completed this year so far.  And I still need to grade it all thoroughly.  Yay me.  She loves having paper in her hands, so again this year, I’m printing her work and using the computer minimally.  Maybe that will change as we ease into more of a routine (Please Dear God Let Us Ease Into A Routine Soon). We’ll see.

Fun TimesShe’s had a blast over the last couple of weeks going over to a friend’s house to do homeschool while I work (shout out to Ginger Widener!).  They had a Fiesta Day and made paper flowers, tacos, and talked about Mexico.  Then she has played Restaurant a few times – making a menu with prices – and using our play money to pay the bill, make change, leave a tip.  This is helping her with her Regrouping skills.  She’s finally heard back from her pen pal in Belarus.  And lastly, I’ve set her up to do daily and weekly chores.  So I’m hoping that we can do lots of “every day” things that will build her skills and help her with some of her work that tends to be tedious and boring to her.

Miscellaneous

She broke her arm about 5 weeks ago – her wrist, actually – while dancing in the living room one night.  She’s been a trooper about it and pretty much does everything she did before.  She’s had another growth spurt and now stands at 4 ft 6.5 in tall – at almost 8 years old.  Her 18 year old sister, Haley, is 5 ft 2 in  if that gives you any grid.  She’s still as rambunctious as ever and loves to sing and dance every chance she gets.  There’s never a dull moment.  Ever.  Never. Ever.

I’ll be back with another update next month.  We are at T-3.5 months until we move to NC.  So this homeschool thing is sure to get even more interesting as the time approaches to start packing this place up. . . .