A Long Time in Coming, but a Sad Goodbye

Mari 020

Decisions. They never seem to be easy (most of the time anyway). As you know, I've been posting on this site since October 21, 2008, a little over 3 months after we lost our beloved angel, Mari, now up in heaven. When I started this site, it came at a time in my life when I needed it the most. I needed a way, and outlet of sorts, to help me through my grieving process over losing Mari, my precious eight-and-a-half-year-old little girl, my one and only child. It's now been over seven years. … [Continue reading...]

What Does Love Mean to You?

Mommy and Mari kissing 2004-12-23 smaller

Today, week 2 day 2, we're heading into a very well-known, and read, part of scripture: 1 Corinthians 13. I love that Jen takes us back there as it teaches us no matter how many times you read God's Word we can always find something new in it. What I've taken from this passage is that above all things, love matters most. Love is shown in what we do, how we are, where we go, why we act in a certain way. When we lack love, true love, something becomes missing in our lives. Things can tend to … [Continue reading...]

2 Steps to Start Studying the Bible (on your own)

Vector butterfly and flower

While there wasn’t any journaling given today (week 2 day 1), I plan to read the chapter and makes notes as I go along. We need to remember of everything we read in the Bible to ask, “What’s the point?” On page 86, Jen says, “God is certainly in the details, but He’s also definitely […]

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Have you ever prayed Scripture before?

Young family reading the Bible

Wow, today (week 1 day 5) is the first day in the study where Jen does NOT ask us to read a chapter in the book. Instead, on page 165, she says to “turn to Psalm 119. Except for verses 1-3 and 115, this psalm is addressed to God. As you skim through the psalm…, […]

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Have you ever had an ‘awe ha” moment?

Young woman on a train writing notes in a diary or journal staring thoughtfully out of the window with her pen to her lips as she thinks of what to write

Today was Week 1 Day 4 and Jen Hatmaker had us read chapter 4 in her book A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study. On page 56 she wrote, “We must do our part to grow beyond salvation by allowing what began in our hearts to infect our minds…. as the Creator is well acquainted with our […]

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Week 1 Day 3

A view of bible

Jen has some pretty awesome titles for each one of her chapters in this book. Today we were asked to read chapter 3. Title: “Codependency That Doesn’t Require Therapy”. The subtitle is “Learning to Lean on the Holy Spirit.” Now isn’t her title very fitting but adds a cute dimension to it. On page 40 […]

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Week 1 Day 2 (my journey continues…)

vector icon bible and tree

I like what Jen Hatmaker had to say in chapter 2, page 26, “…the truth is, we approach God’s Word without any strategies to make it come alive.” When I first read this I realized just how true that statement is. I’ve always look at the Bible as something, obviously, very important. I knew God […]

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Week 1 Day 1 (On my journey…)

vector icon bible and heart shape

Today there were some really great insights the author, Jen Hatmaker, made in chapter 1 of her book A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study. On page 16, “God never intended for His Word to be tidy, hands-off package with crisp edges and a wealth of mysteries that we set aside until Sunday morning.” And on […]

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A new journey for me…


Wow, it’s hard to believe that the last time I wrote on here was on April 18 of this year. I think most of you know that when it comes to writing on Mari’s dedication site I’ve always only posted things when I felt led to it. I don’t want to be untrue to what […]

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Knowing when a joke isn’t funny

I think  back to the last time I wrote something on here and it was for Mari’s 14th birthday back in December. In only two and a half short months my life permanently changed seven years ago. July will always hold a place in my life of sadness. However, at least I have hope because […]

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Happy Birthday Mariana. You’re 15 Today (or you would’ve been :( ) #acfw #lossofchild


I think back to 15 years ago today and my world was about to permanently change. Right now it’s 10:15 a.m., Alaskan time, but in the Chicago area it’s one fifteen in the afternoon. At this point, the doctor had started the Pitocin and I was about three hours into delivering Mariana. I was a […]

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Going through Mari’s stuff

Mari's Snowglobe

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve started going through Mari’s stuff. I still remember the day we went into the house we’d been renting and sat there packing up every single item that either was Mari’s or we needed for her. Nothing got thrown away. Even her juice cups and light switch covers all […]

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Seeing the Gift


Wow, it’s hard to believe that Mari’s book is done. I entered the last of the edits to part 2 and sent it off to my editor (my dear sweet friend Deirdre). This day has been almost six years in the making. A week from tonight I will be on a plane heading toward Chicago […]

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Was or Is?

Blank white Hearts on Snow Background. Small Depth of Field. Blue tinted

I sit here thinking of Mari today. Time is moving one step at a time closer to the six year mark for Mari being gone. Can you believe it’s been six years already? I think back on all the times I wrote about time after she passed, especially that first year or so. The fact […]

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Reflecting back over the A to Z Challenge #AtoZchallenge

000 1a

I’ve now done the A to Z Challenge two years in a row. However, this year I took on an added challenge of my own by not only doing it on this site but also my author site (kristenatunstall.com). I may not have always got my post up on time, which only happened a couple […]

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