Let me begin this conversation with my husband’s favorite greeting of mine: howdy! Welcome to my blog, This Beck Life. I hope, dear readers, that you are doing well. If you’ll allow me to introduce myself, I hope in time we can call each other friend and that this will be the beginning of a fruitful and God-honoring relationship. My name is Mary Beck. Though I seek to (read: struggle to) find my identity solely in Christ Jesus, there are many other ways I can find to describe myself.
Country Girl Living in the Big City
I was born and raised with two younger brothers in a small community of the Piney Woods in East Texas. We grew up raising cattle, going to church and spending a lot of time with family. More recently, our family got involved with living history through Civil War reenactments – not because we want there to be slaves again or another war to break loose, but because we believe we can learn from our past. That new hobby led to the procurement of horses and mules, which we love to ride with friends for hours on end. That’s something I don’t do near enough anymore as boarding a horse in the city is pretty much the same as paying a monthly mortgage payment on a house. It’s just not in the budget right now. Now I get to ride on tollways and interstates more often than not and there are at least five malls within a 25 mile radius of where I live. There are also a lot of crazy drivers and insane traffic jams. Though I feel I’m adapting fairly well to the city, nothing can take the country girl outta me.
No family is perfect, but I’m pretty sure I have the best parents, brothers and grandparents in the world. Okay, I’m biased, but not so much to change the previous statement. They have taught me about God, right and wrong, responsibility, commitment, hard work, love, family…to sum it up, I’m blessed. The hardest part about living in the city is being three hours away from them. I know three hours isn’t long compared to some – i.e. I have an aunt in Florida who has to take a plane if she wants to visit – but it’s still an adjustment for me who has always lived a stone’s throw away. I was two hours away in college, but looking back that seems like nothing. There’s something about that extra hour that just drags. Anyway, the parents live on the farm and one brother lives just down the road from them. The baby brother is a senior in college. My sweet Poppa passed away in April 2013. The only grandfather I knew, he was one of my heroes and his absence has been difficult to accept. My precious Gran passed away more recently – November 2015, two days before Thanksgiving. I’m still having dreams where she is with me, still alive and loving me and my babies well. Her absence has left a gaping hole. Grandmother lives about 45 minutes away and we like to challenge her to a game of Sequence now and again. She’s ruthless, y’all.
Wife and Stepmother
In August 2013, I married the man I love and became a stepmother to his nine-year-old Punkin (I love her, too). Side note: Her name isn’t Punkin – that would be cruel – but it is a term of endearment we use for her and that’s how she will be referred to here. It’s humbling to think about how vain I was beforehand, thinking that getting married at 30 years old made me so much more prepared for marriage and parenthood than if I had married when I wanted to, say, at 23 or 27 even. Ugh. I have quickly learned in this short time how wrong I was and I’m laboring to learn how to deal with expectations (y’all, I didn’t even know I had some of these expectations…they just creep up on you) and how to behave when those expectations are broken. Wow, that sounds gloomy! No worries, I am blessed to be married and love Mr. Beck more than I could put into words. We both recognize that we’re two broken people trying to make it in a broken world and that requires grace (as Christ extends grace to us) and forgiveness. A lot of forgiveness. The Punkin and I currently have a rocky relationship, but we are growing and learning and, again, working to forgive and extend much grace. She’s very smart and creative, so we are rarely short on laughs. The hardest part to play is that of disciplinarian; I’m so thankful I don’t have to do that on my own!
Like most new couples, we had planned to wait a couple years before expanding our family, but God had other plans. In November 2014, we welcomed our Little Man into the world. No, that’s not his name, but that’s what I will call him here for privacy sake. Then (surprise, surprise!), we welcomed our Little Lady into the world on Valentine’s Day 2016. So, now…now I’m Momma to “two under two” and I am on the receiving end of many “you’ve got your hands full” comments. That comment…hmmm. At first I just resented the assumption, but now I just respond with “sometimes!” because in all honesty, sometimes I do feel like I have my hands full. It wasn’t our plan to have two babies 15 months apart this early in our marriage…I’ve been pregnant ⅔ of our marriage, y’all…but we are trusting that God is sovereign and knows what’s best for us. We wouldn’t trade our precious babies for anything. They truly are little rays of sunshine in our world.
I really enjoy making things. Whether it’s a craft or DIY project, a new recipe, decorating or taking pictures, it doesn’t really matter. They all give me an outlet for my creative tendencies. I’m currently trying to expand my sewing abilities and improve my photography. Hand embroidery has also caught my eye, though, when I will ever sit still long enough to learn it, I have no idea. Plus I have the hardest time figuring out which fabric to use. It’s on the bucket list, lol. Moving on…I have a Silhouette Cameo that I use for projects when I can. I highly recommend that machine! It. is. awesome.
As this post gets longer, I realize there are many more ways I can describe myself than I originally thought. It would be a bore to try and talk about them all, don’t you think? Instead, this blog will be a reflection of myself. The plan is to share about things I’m learning, projects I’m doing, Pinterest successes and failures, recipe reviews, book reviews and photographs that I’ve taken. Not that I’m going to limit myself to those things, but that is a general overview. Hopefully, I will share something that you find helpful or something that will make you laugh. Hopefully, I’ll make new friends in the blogging community and one day attend a blogger conference. Hopefully, through it all, I will glorify God through my words.