This week’s been about repainting life. Rolling fresh hues over worn scuffs of history and struggle. A few months ago, I discovered a kindred spirit in this journey online – someone I’ve come to admire and whose writing I love. Some of you probably know her already, and I’m excited to share today my recent interview with Mary DeMuth.
She describes herself this way: “Chef wanna-be, a sometimes tri-athlete (note emphasis on sometimes), and a passionate follower of Jesus. I’m in love with my husband and kids and am zealous about writing and speaking. (I promised my family I wouldn’t talk about my nose ring.)
My deepest dream is to see stories—mine and others—change lives as they’ve changed mine.”
Here’s a little more about what she’s working on, what brings her joy and how she sees God leading her in life and ministry this year:
Q: You’ve recently changed “brands” from “Trials to Triumph” to “Live Uncaged.” What led to the Uncaged idea?
“I really liked Trials to Triumph, but it felt like there was too much emphasis on trials. And I didn’t like the word triumph because there are seasons where we don’t feel triumphant in the trials, even if we are. With so much of my past behind me, I wanted to have a more forward-looking attitude… a more carpe diem, in the moment idea. So I asked my blog readers, Facebook and Twitter followers what they thought was my “one thing.” I got hundreds of responses and phrases back on “living now,” “living healed,” and ideas like that. But it was while I was praying that the words Live Uncaged came to me. And I thought, ‘That’s it!'”
Q: What kinds of issues have tried to cage you this past year? How do you ‘Live Uncaged’?
“Beautiful Battle was hard to write because, of course, I went thorugh spiritual warfare the whole time. Now that it’s released, there’s more of that too. And my spiritual growth book was hard to write because, after all, I’m just a person and I struggled with a lot of insecurity and inferiority as I wrote it. I have to remind myself of the truth in those moments, and have some good friends that remind me of the truth so I don’t stay stuck when I get there.”
Q: How do you keep up those important friendships with all your other commitments?
“I’m part of a life group that meets regularly and is like a little church. And I make sure to get together every week with some of my best friends.”
Q: What new directions do you feel God’s taking you this year?
“I fell like I’ll be speaking and promoting books more, but more strategically than in the past. Also my upcoming books are much more broad than in the past. One is for all Christian women, rather than specifically women from abused or challenging backgrounds. Another is for both men and women – about growth. I feel like God’s going to lead me to speak to both men and women, and to broader groups.”
“Also, as I developed the new site image in 2011, I realized the writing resources needed their own space. It isn’t really fitting with the Live Uncaged blog, so I launched a Write Uncaged site that has all the writing and mentoring resources – and more – all in one place. “
Q: Do you have any fears as you move forward?
“I fear that the travel will be too much. But I’m determined to make the choice not to make it overwhelming. Last fall I traveled too much. I could just feel it… and I felt it with my family. I will have to be more discerning about where I’ll go and how much I travel.”
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of your work and ministry?
“I disciple some junior high and high school girls in my daughters’ groups through church. It’s a fun way to stay connected with them. I also like to run and I like to create. I really love decorating, graphic design and anything that’s visual arts. All of that calms me down. That and spending time with family, cooking, taking walks, gardening… just getting outside.”
Q: What are your hopes for 2012?
“I’m going to run farther this year, maybe even a half marathon [she laughs]. I want to be spiritually open to whatever relationships God has for me, and be more dedicated to the ones I have. I want to be more available and let go of my workaholism, although it will have to be after this upcoming book deadline and the 60-hour workweeks it will bring!”
Thanks so much, Mary! Can’t wait to see how God unfolds this new theme more and more in your work and ministry. There’s nothing worse than the sense life’s got us stuck, and I love how you convey the imagery of living unstuck, living life uncaged!
To all of us living life uncaged!