Welcome to Divine, Clever, or Whatever! I’m Mary and I’m an intentional writer, creating this blog as a directive by God. I write about my everyday life where God shows me humor, generosity and most importantly, His love. I’m eager to make you laugh, may make you cry, could make you angry, but mostly want you to know that in mini, soundless moments and magnificent blaring ones, He is by our side.
I’m a writer, a business owner, a graphic designer, a mom, a mess, a friend, an empty-nester. I’m a seeker, inquirer, survivor with baggage.
As a girl growing up in the 60s and 70s then coming of age in the 80s, I jumped on the popular bandwagon that women can do it all and I still believe we can. But after decades of busting my butt – I now know we don’t have to! We can CHOOSE what we want our lives to become and there are varied ways to get there.
My parents supported and encouraged me – especially my Dad who told me more than once, “You can be whatever you want to be when you grow up and I’ll be here to help you!” As God would have it, he took Dad just eight weeks before I graduated from college with a degree in journalism/advertising desing. My plan was derailed, I was thrown into a tailspin without him. But Dad also taught me that God is always with me, protecting me and guiding me and that drove me forward.
I have been blessed with a lifetime of love in a supportive family. I’ve spent close to four decades with the love of my life, my husband, Greg. We have two children. My son, Travis, is a wonderful and loving husband to his beautiful wife, Tameka and a marvelous father to their beyond beautiful sons, Remington and Elias. My daughter, Evanne, is a special effects makeup artist embarking on a brilliant career. So, yes, life is joyful – not perfect but we live a joy rooted in God’s trust.
A free ride in a tiny, 3-man airplane was the compensation for my first professional creative effort as a 12-year-old. I won a design and writing contest in my rural county in northern Illinois.
On that blistering summer day, I was able to see my hometown and the lush jade, emerald and khaki farmland surrounding it from an aerial perspective. That ride helped me realize I could make a career out of my childhood passions – writing stories and coloring pictures. It also taught me that I was afraid of heights … and flying.
My blossoming entrepreneurial skills turned into a determined career. Years later, I completed a degree in Journalism and Advertising Design, then followed that up with an MBA in Strategic Marketing. I’ve built a 25+ year career writing and designing in corporate, legal, non-profit and medical fields.
I left the corporate world to follow my dream to be my own boss, to write and design and live my life on my terms – and that’s when God came calling – literally.
He has asked me to use the writing talents he has given me to reach people with my stories of life, death, grief, happiness, hate and so many other adjectives. I’m living my life following God’s lead although I’m a stubborn half-Italian, half-Irish girl and those genetic roots get in the way of letting God handle everything.
When I’m Not Creating
I love road trips, live music, a bit of Jameson in my ginger ale, baseball and good conversation. When I have ‘me time’ (with quote marks it’s not a real thing – right?!) I like reading, biking, gardening or just hanging out with my snarky and hilarious family.