Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November 26th, Day 378 of Giving Thanks - Guest Writer, Mary Jean Marquez

I was so blessed when asked to write this short writing with regard to having a thankful heart, and I most certainly have so much to be thankful for! When I think back on what my awesome God has delivered me from, my heart is filled with such love and compassion toward my Heavenly Father God and others. My life as a child and young adult was filled with fear, hatred/bitterness, poverty/lack, depression, ignorance, abuse (verbal, physical, sexual), and so much more, but when I gave my life to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 20 years ago, my journey toward a better life began.

I have an endless list of things and people to be thankful for. I do not exaggerate when I make that statement! God has blessed me with people, family and a fabulous church to help me in this journey of restoration and wholeness in HIM! God has done above, beyond, what I could think or ask according to the power working within me in every area of life (Eph. 3:20). He has restored to me the years of blessing that the enemy stole from me (Joel 2: 23-27) and has dealt wondrously with me! For so many years I had no joy; I actually did not know what true joy was, and my faithful God has blessed me with such JOY THAT IS MY STRENGTH (Neh. 8:10). This God kind of joy flows out of my soul like a bright light touching others!

My heart and message is that, if God has restored my life, He will restore yours! I take joy in ministering and encouraging people to live their lives to the fullest, beginning within my own home; my sphere of influence. With God, all things are possible to those who will believe (Mt. 19:26) and I believe good things for you. I am thankful to have had the privilege to touch your heart with my life on this page. I pray blessing, comfort, joy, and peace in your lives.

With much Love! God bless you!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Set Boundaries...No stress or burnout here!

As I realized this morning that today is Black Friday, the words that immediately came to mind were, Holiday Stress! I participated once, many years ago, in trying to get some good deals for Christmas gifts, and that was my last! I remember returning home with very little to show for my shopping excursion, but stress and extremely drained, not believing the encounters I had experienced with other shoppers. Ex: I saw two grown women almost get in a fist fight over an item! Wow! Is that Stress or what? I feel this shopping day is appropriately entitled, Black Friday! LOL!

I want to encourage everyone not to allow stress to overwhelm you during the holiday season. It is really a matter of choice! I used to stress over everything when the holidays came around. Being the perfectionist that I am, I wanted everything to be perfect in every way, driving everyone around me (family) crazy! I also desired to please everyone else, and in doing this, I caused myself unnecessary stress that equals sickness.

I have learned to let go of trying to make everything perfect. I do what I can at the time, with what I have! I rest when needed! I plan better so I am not running around at the last minute trying to get things done. I have learned to say NO! For years I tried to handle all the Volunteer church activities, PTA/School activities, family activities...It was hard and so stressful to get it all done, but I managed to get it all done, leaving me emotionally and physically drained. Learning how to balance my schedule and set boundaries, saying NO when necessary, has been freeing in many ways and such a blessing for my family! We actually enjoy our time together. What matters is God, Country, and family!

In reading my morning meditation scriptures, etc...I came across a clipping from a Soul Food Bible Reading that I've had for years, and I would like to share it with you this morning! I pray this will minister to your hearts and help in this time of year and for your entire year to come!

Boundaries and Burnout!

Follow the Lord's rules for doing His work. - 2Tim. 2:5 (TLB)

Are you so eager to stay in everybody's good graces that you're complying with their every demand, even though it's draining you? Good people burn out every day because they lack discernment when it comes to setting boundaries. And once that happens it's hard to fix, because none of us (not even those "ordained by God!) can break His natural laws without consequences. A well known Bible teacher writes: "Once when I was complaining about my heavy schedule, I heard God's Spirit say, "You're the one who makes the schedule; if you don't like it, do something about it."

Paul told Timothy: "Follow the Lord's rules for doing His an athlete follows the rules or is disqualified." Not every problem is Spiritual, some are physical. Furthermore, you can't blame the devil for things that are your fault. We resent people who pressure us, yet we keep doing what they want, and it feeds our silent anger! You're allowing yourself to be pressured by not taking responsibility for your own life/schedule! The fact is, many well intentioned folks are walking around burned out and depressed because they can't say no. They forget that Jesus is our example; that He even made time for rest and renewal.

The answer lies in: (a) putting your life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; (b) learning to put first things first; (c) not expecting everybody to understand when you set boundaries. Remember Solomon said, "A friend loves at all times" (Pro. 17:17), not just when you comply with their wish. So, if saying no costs you the friendship, it wasn't a healthy friendship to start with!

~Have a fabulous Holiday season and year 2011. I pray peace (Shalom) and God's blessing upon and in your lives. God bless you all! ~

Mary Jean Marquez :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


~I found this on John C. Maxwell's Blog, and I had to share with you! I will follow these rules on RESPECT! Love it! Hope you are blessed by this. ~MJM ~

A few years ago, I read an article about a young man who, at age 23, went to work as the senior pastor of his first church. He found the experience very intimidating because he was to be the spiritual leader of people who had children and grandchildren older than he was.

How did he handle it? By showing his people respect and asking them to treat them in kind. To make his standard clear to everyone, he shared ten rules for respect that he promised to live by, and he asked his people to do the same.

Here are his rules:

1. If you have a problem with me, come to me (privately).
2. If I have a problem with you, I’ll come to you (privately).
3. If someone has a problem with me and comes to you, send them to me. (I’ll do the same for you.)
4. If someone consistently will not come to me, say, “Let’s go see him together.” (I’ll do the same for you.)
5. Be careful how you interpret me. On matters that are unclear, do not feel pressured to interpret my feelings or thoughts. It is easy to misinterpret intentions.
6. I will be careful how I interpret you.
7. If it’s confidential, don’t tell. If anyone comes to me in confidence, I won’t tell unless (a) the person is going to harm him/herself; (b) the person is going to physically harm someone else; (c) a child has been physically or sexually abused. I expect the same from you.
8. I do not read unsigned letters or notes.
9. I do not manipulate; I will not be manipulated. Do not let others manipulate you; do not let others try to manipulate me through you.
10. When in doubt, just say it. If I can answer without misrepresenting something or breaking a confidence, I will.

His story intrigued me because I had faced a similar situation early in my career. The young pastor’s list reflected what I’d learned in my own experience.

Most people greatly desire the respect of their leaders. And when leaders give it freely, I believe it creates a very positive relational environment. As author Alfred Glasow said, “The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude.”

~God bless you all! ~MJM ~

Monday, June 14, 2010

Don't Let Unforgiveness Steal Your Present and Future!

I want to share with you a bit of my life and how I struggled with unforgiveness, but have come through victoriously. I also want to share a bit of my mother's same struggle, but sadly, does not end victoriously.

I had to face that ugly monster of unforgiveness that was making my life miserable. It began with God bringing understanding into my life about what was happening within me. I quickly realized, that if I wanted to have a life of peace and joy, I was going to have to deal with the unforgiveness I was harboring in my heart. It was causing emotional distress, illness, anger, bitterness, and affecting relationships as well. It was not easy to do, and was a long process for me, but I desperately wanted to be free from the control of unforgiveness and I fought for my deliverance, my life, my joy...and won with God's help.

When I chose to forgive, my life transformed into a joyful and beautiful life, from the inside out. I also forgave myself for my own wrong doings. Self forgiveness is a huge part of this process. We were not meant to carry the burdens of the past. God tells us to cast our every care upon Him, and that He is our avenger (Divine Re-payer). He is also the restorer of our lives, and boy has He restored my life! I chose to look to the future with hope through God's eyes and stop carrying the past on my shoulders, as I was not equipped to carry it.

I know that there are hard things to forgive, but you can. If I did it, you can too. Some of the things I had to forgive were sexual abuse as a child (at the hands of family members, step father, and my mother's boyfriends), abandonment by my father, my mother for neglecting me and my siblings and so much more. Believe me when I say you can do it. God is the healer of your life. He healed my life in every way and He will do the same for you. Call on God, He is patiently waiting! He will never leave you, nor forsake you.

I want to clarify some things about forgiveness. Forgiving frees you from the emotional control of that person who has harmed you. More than likely that person has moved on with his/her life or died, as one of my abusers has. It frees you from the ill effects that festers in the spirit, soul (will/mind/emotions), and body. Forgiving makes you stronger in every way, and never a doormat to anyone!

Forgiving someone doesn't mean you have to be friends or even socialize with that person after you have forgiven. It means that you have set yourself free from that person, and what they did to you. What happened in the past will never change, but you have the choice to change your life today for the present and future, by releasing yourself from those unforgiving ties. Seek out the help of people, a good church, books/information, that will help you get through this time of healing and change. God has great plans for your life!

The dangers of unforgiveness are extremely hurtful, not only to the one who is harboring that unforgiveness, but to others who are attached to that person's life. Unforgiveness can control a persons life at every level. I have seen this destructive enemy control my mother's life to the point of stealing her present and future, pushing her family away. Harboring past hurts and pains in the form of unforgiveness will literally make the body and mind sick, not allowing a person to make rational decisions, and hurting others in that process. It creates strongholds of anger, hatred, and bitterness to a point of no return at times.

One example in my mother's life of how unforgiveness can steal a persons present and future, is when my oldest daughter married, a year ago this month. My mother and father had issues in their marriage, ending in a very bad way! This was over forty years ago, and my mother talks about it as if it happened yesterday. Obviously, she never forgave causing an intense hatred and bitterness that I did not know was possible. A very evil thing!

When my daughter called my mother to give her the good news of the engagement, the first thing out of my mother's mouth was, "Is your grandfather going to be there?" Wow! To this day my mother has not congratulated my daughter. Within that year of planning the wedding, my mother called my daughter several times talking very ugly about my father in a vulgar and abusive way. My mother even got to the point of talking about violence if he showed up at the wedding. Total crazy talk! At this point, my daughter had to cut her off, and I had to deal with this ugliness.

I tried to minister to my mother about forgiveness, but she would not have it. She would not listen and just wanted to be heard, rehearsing the past, over and over and over! She made the decision to stay a victim and wanted sympathy, but I did not give it to her. She eventually told me that she was not going to the wedding if my father was going to attend. I told my mother that it was her decision, but she would regret it for the rest of her life. She went as far as to turn her side of the family against me and my daughter, and no one on my side of the family showed to the wedding. She spread horrible lies! Unforgiveness birthed strongholds of anger & bitterness in my mother's heart! My mother recently found out that my father, who lives in Alberta, Canada, was not able to make it to the wedding!

My daughter and I have forgiven my mother, but our relationship will never be the same. I have had to forgive a lot when it comes to my mother, but this one was the hardest. To this day, she has not apologized or shown any type of remorse for the pain she caused, and continues to live in that life of unforgiveness that has stolen her present and future. Her present and future could hold beautiful experiences and memories with her family, but she has managed to push us away. The future holds three more weddings with her grandchildren, but will more than likely miss out because of unforgiveness that has hardened her heart to a degree of severe hatred and bitterness.

I will never give up praying for my mother, as I love her dearly. All things are possible to those who will believe and I know that my God is a God of miracles. My mother is God's daughter, and I have cast her upon Him, for he is well able to help her.

In spite of all the drama with my mother, my daughter's wedding was awesomely beautiful! We gained a great son-in-law who's family is absolutely wonderful. There was a spirit of peace and joy surrounding this wedding, and my heart overflowed with love and gratitude for my family and new added family members. We were also surrounded by our church family. The greatest blessing was that our Pastor, Rochelle Nieman, married Jake and Vanessa. Oh my, what a blessing that will continue into future generations!

I pray that my story helps you if you have any degree of unforgiveness in your heart. You are not reading this by accident. Don't let unforgiveness turn you into a bitter and angry person. There is a good life ahead of you. Turn to God and ask Him for help. He is waiting on you. You are not a victim but a victor in Christ Jesus.

DON'T LET UNFORGIVENESS STEAL YOUR PRESENT and FUTURE! The past is the past, leave it there and don't go back. Let the healing of forgiveness restore you. God is your redeemer.

Forgiving opens up a Fabulously Peachy life Darling!

With great friendly love! God bless you :)

Mary Jean Marquez

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Redeem the now moments of your life and seize the days!

How many times have you said the words, "I'll do that tomorrow"?

There are many reasons why people procrastinate. Some people procrastinate out of fear of failure or fear of success. Some people procrastinate because they feel inadequate of the task at hand; the unknown of being able to reach that goal or dream. Some people procrastinate because of the negativity they have been told by others in the past, such as, "you'll never accomplish that." "You'll never succeed." "Yea right! who do you think you are?" I call those people, Dream Squashers! Run from those folks! Build yourself up and surround yourself with like minded people, who are going to encourage and uplift you. Procrastination can also stem from not having the right information/education, or downright laziness! If that is the case, get yourself up from that bed of slothfulness and get yourself going! No excuses!

As I do an honest self assessment of my life, I realize that I have missed out on many opportunities because of procrastination that stemmed from many of the reasons mentioned above. Fear of failure was a big one for me. I would tell myself, "Why even try, I am going to fail and then I'll be disappointed." This mind set was within me because of what I was told by several family members in my younger years. I had to renew my mind with good things! I chose to change that, and so can you. I was also fearful of success, because if I succeeded, then more would be expected of me, and what if I couldn't do it! Oh my what a vicious cycle! Many of those opportunities have never circled my life again, but the good news is, God is a God of second chances, and we are free to change and make wiser choices in life!

I realize just how wonderful life is and can be. I thank my God for helping me navigate through life. I have made wrong choices, and have learned from them. I have also made many right choices that have placed me where I am in life today, which is a good place, thank God. We are all where we are in life because of the choices we've made. I purpose in my heart to make right choices, to seize my days, to redeem the now moments of my life.

It is never too late to stop that cycle of procrastination in your life. Put that behind you and make the quality decision to step into those opportunities that will help you and others in life. Write that book you've had in your heart to write, start that business you've been wanting to start for years, enroll in those classes you've been wanting to take, take that awesome vacation with your loved ones, begin those exercise classes. Whatever it is, just do it! We are only on this earth for a while, so live to the fullest!

There are people who are waiting on the other side of your obedience to be blessed! Don't withhold your talent/gifting from the world. You tell that fear and procrastination to be gone from your life, and you get yourself going! Only you can do it, no one else can do it for you. I encourage you to never give up on your goals and dreams. You rise up and dare to live and work for the life you know in your heart you desire.

The following examples of people who achieved their goals and dreams, no matter the obstacles, have been uplifting to me. I hope this encourages and uplifts you as well!

(From a Bob Gass Devotional)

"Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he drafted the Declaration of Independence. Charles Dickens was 24 when he began his Pickwick Papers and 25 when he wrote Oliver Twist. Newton was 24 when he formulated the law of gravity. A second danger is to think that creativity and invention belong to the young. Not so! Emmanuel Kant wrote his finest philosophical works at age 74. Verdi at 80 produced Falstaff. Goethe was 80 when he completed Faust. Tennyson was 80 when he wrote Crossing the Bar, and Michelangelo completed his greatest work at 87. Moses was 80 when he led God's people out of Egypt, and 120 when he got to Caanan."

Wow! what great people. If they did it, so can you!

Ask yourself the following questions, and be totally honest with yourself! (Also from The Bob Gass Devotional)

1) What would I do if I knew for sure I could not fail?
2) What should I eliminate from my life because it's holding me back from reaching my full potential?
3) Am I on the path of something marvelous or something mediocre?
4) Am I running from something, or toward something?

I pray that this inspires you to start working on that greatness that is on the inside of you. No more excuses, just go for it! Don't live with regrets or the question, "What if...". Perfect conditions don't exist! I have experienced in my own life, that the longer I procrastinated, for whatever reason, the more confused and blurred things became!

Take those words "I'll do that tomorrow" out of your mind set, and replace it with "Getter Done!" Add a little western twang to it, LOL!

I wish you much success in your life! God bless you!

Mary Jean Marquez :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Proud of our daughter Vanessa!

My last post was about the importance of family! I want to share my daughter's success with you and our family's adventures. Our oldest Daughter, Vanessa, graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX this month. We had a fabulous time as a family. When we arrived to my daughter's apartment, after a nine our drive, she and her husband had prepared a wonderful lasagna dinner for us, so we had dinner as a family with good conversation and good wine! and then some of the family headed out to enjoy the pool.

The second day, we woke up early and visited the University of Texas at San Antonio, for my other daughter Chrysta and her friend, Artie, who will be graduating from high school! Our tour guide, Tremaine, was totally cool and patient! We had a blast. After the tour, we headed to the Alamo. The history of the Alamo is so amazing! It is wonderful to actually experience first hand verses reading it in books. Don't get me wrong, reading is awesome, but when you are in the presence of such rich history, it doesn't compare. After the Alamo, we headed across the street to the famous San Antonio River Walk. We ate at the Rain Forest Restaurant, quite the experience, and took a boat ride on the river. Wow! Too much fun!

The third day we headed out to another university tour at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. As we walked through the campus outdoors, the rain came down hard! We got soaked, but we had a blast! We later headed to Austin, TX to visit The Texas State Capitol! FABULOUS! What history, architecture! We did so many other things together.

I share this with you because to me it is these times with family that makes life peachy! Fabulous! Do whatever you have to do to make memories! Schedule family time into your schedules. It would have been easier to just drive out for the one day event, but instead, we turned it into a five day family adventure. An adventure that we will always hold dear in our hearts, and talk about to future generations.

I have to tell you that I took 375 photos! It is so cool that we can take one moment in time and capture that moment forever on a photo, and pass them on to future generations! I pray that this Marquez Family Adventure touches and inspires your heart to plan your family adventures. I would love to hear about them. God bless you all!

Proud of our daughter Vanessa!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What really matters in life!

Hey everyone! It's been a while since my last post. I have been trying to figure this Blog world out, but I have not quite got it down yet. I guess with some things you just have to do it and not wait for things to be perfect, or have all your ducks lined up in a row! right?

I was thinking about what really matters in life. To me, what matters is my family, people! Human tendency seems to want to pull us to the superficial things in life, taking our focus off of the really important things in life. Seems like People are so busy trying to make a living to accumulate status and things, that they miss out on what really matters in life. For example, we say, I'll play with my child tomorrow when I have time! and that time never comes! It keeps being pushed to tomorrow, and tomorrow never arrives. We say, I'll take that vacation with my family! this coming Summer, but this coming Summer never arrives because other things takes its place... The list can go on and on! Stop this vicious cycle before it's too late. Stop filling your hours, days, weeks, months, years, with people and stuff that don't matter. Read the following story from a Bob Gass Devotional. This story made a great impact in my life years ago!

The Days of Time and Chance: Eccl. 9:11 Time and chance happens to them all.

Live every day like there was no tomorrow. Speak that kind word, send those flowers, make that phone call, spend time with our children or grandchildren, volunteer to teach that class, visit that shut-in. Stop merely thinking about it, and start doing it.
I once ministered to a man in his mid-forties. I had just preached his father's funeral. Twenty years before they had a bitter argument, and apart from exchanging pleasantries at family gatherings, not a word had been spoken between them since. They were both stubborn, and neither of them would give in. Now at the graveside, this successful young executive collapsed into my arms weeping, and said, "I loved him so much, but somehow I could never tell him...and now I'll never have a change to."
You get better perspective at a funeral than you do at a party. In my autumn years, I find myself thinking a lot about the seasons of my life and about what is really important. Was I so busy paying the mortgage that I didn't get to enjoy the house? Did I put my career ahead of my loved ones and now there's so little time left to enjoy them? When you reach the end, what will you wish you had done in the days of "time and chance"?

This next part is from me, Mary Jean, don't get to the end of your life and leave with regrets. Put the things that really matter in life first! You know what and who they are. When you do this, you will find that life is Fabulously Peachy Darling!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My vision for this awesome Blog "Fabulously Peachy Darling"

My first post! Well, I want to share my heart and vision for this Fabulously Peachy Darling Blog with your heart. In this season of my life, I have learned to enjoy life and not take things so seriously. I used to be so uptight about everything! I know that I cannot control everything, therefore I do what I can, and leave the rest up to my heavenly Father God, knowing that all will be okay. I want this blog to be an uplifting and encouraging place to visit, and when you leave it, you leave better than when you arrived...wanting to return. A blog filled with wonderful thoughts and ideas about life, family, and self. Featuring delicious foods, wines, and places to visit. Books to read, movies to view, and music to enjoy. Let's enjoy our journey on this marvelous earth with the life that we have been blessed with. Life is what we choose to make it, and I choose to make it Fabulously Peachy Darling. I hope you choose the same! I am excited to see this blog evolve into something beautiful!