why I write this blog…

by | Jan 22, 2019 | my business story, Running a Business | 138 comments

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the whys behind the things I do.  For the new business ideas I’m currently cultivating… Why am I working on them?  Is it simply to earn more money?  To satisfy a desire for a particular creative outlet?  Is it out of fear of missing an opportunity?

For the ones that are currently on my plate… Why am I doing them?  Is it because I’m already doing them, so I just keep doing them?  Is it because I’m afraid to let something go?  Is it because there is a true passion behind the project?

I haven’t been asking why for a long time.  Maybe out of neglect or busyness?  Maybe because I was apprehensive to dig too deep and cause too much disruption if I didn’t like the answers.  But, I’ve been thinking more about the whys.  I’ve been asking difficult questions and some of the answers have come quickly and easily, but some have been elusive.

As I’ve been thinking about the why behind writing this blog, I hadn’t come to a concrete answer.  Not one that is compelling, anyway.  The fact that I like writing and taking pictures and sharing isn’t enough.  The fact that this blog is the engine that drives the rest of my business isn’t enough.  The fact that I can’t imagine it not being a part of my business isn’t enough.

It can’t just be about sharing what I bought or what I made or what I did.

This weekend, the answer that has been so evasive found me.  Or I found it.  Or we found each other.  And it was in an unexpected place.

Jason Gray, a Christian recording artist, performed at our church this weekend.  He is from Minnesota and has performed at our church several times over the years.  Our church knew him before his songs were played on the radio and he could fill much larger venues.  But, he still comes here to perform for just shy of 300 people.  Since Jeff and I are relatively new here, it was our first time seeing him in concert.

Jason was soft-spoken and unassuming.  He performed a half-written song and one he had just written the week before.  He had to start songs over and forgot the lyrics a couple of times.  He shared that he ate his dinner too fast and was trying to manage the inevitable and inconvenient burps that resulted.  His speech disability, a slight stutter, would sometimes make an appearance as he shared a story behind a song.  He pointed out that stuttering was the least of his shortfalls.  He shared his struggles with insecurity and people-pleasing.

Based on the above description of events, it might sound like the concert wasn’t that impressive.  There were no pyrotechnics and back-up dancers.  It wasn’t a show in the sense of it being pure entertainment.  It was just a guy and a guitar and a clear purpose.  It was honest and enriching and encouraging and moving.

I actually TOOK NOTES during a concert.  It was nerdy, but it had to happen, so I could capture it all and not forget.  I could take it home and mull it over.

It occurred to me later, as Jeff and I were outside walking Sebastian in the biting cold and watching the super blood moon eclipse (or whatever the lunar event was), that was the only concert I’ve ever left feeling braver and more inspired than when I walked in.  I left the auditorium wanting to write and create.  Wanting to be more vulnerable with my weaknesses and failures.  Wanting to bring out more of what is genuine and set aside what is just about pleasing others.

And as I’ve digested all of this, I discovered the why behind my blog.  It has always been there, but it needed to be unearthed, dusted off, and recognized.

I write this blog so that those who read it will feel braver and more inspired when they finish a post and close the browser.  They will feel empowered to create or write or take pictures or paint or buy second-hand furniture or start a business or organize.  They will be inspired to learn a new skill or travel or make curtains or make soup or think about their own whys.

Even though I wasn’t necessarily aiming for it, I hope I’ve hit this target more than I’ve missed it over the years.  And I know there are times when I’ve missed it by a mile.

But, now it’s been spoken, written, and shared.  It’s set as the goal before me and I hope that I meet it consistently.

That is why I write this blog.

And I hope that is why you read it.

I’m going to leave you with one last thing.  You have to listen to some Jason Gray!  You can find his songs in iTunes and on Apple Music and all of the albums and songs (and the stories behind many of them) are on his YouTube channel.  I’ll make it easy, though and share one of my favorite songs from the concert last night and it’s a perfect anthem for being you and being brave…



  1. Doris

    Marian, I have followed your blog for many years and read and reread so many of your tutorials! I love your style, and the way you share the complete story of a project, highs and lows, so that we know that success isn’t always automatic, I love that you are always challenging yourself to try new things and work through the process of becoming proficient in it and then excelling at it (oil painting,)

    But today, when I listened to Jason Grey, it touched me and I could hear God speaking to me, that I am as he designed me, and there was no need to doubt that I am beautiful, my own special beauty and no one else can be my special kind of beautiful! As I have aged, I have begun to grapple with being secure within myself and doubting myself and my talents. Jason’s song has cleared that up for me, thank you for sharing this message and you keep doing your special kind of beautiful for your followers!

    Warmly, Doris

  2. MaryLisa

    So glad you are continuing your blog because you are a great inspiration. I am having hard wood floors installed and the furniture is moved to one side of the room. One of the pieces is my step back cupboard I painted in MMSMP. I was so determined to find this piece after seeing what you had done to yours in PA. Sometimes I just pass this piece and glance and other times like now I really take a look and see how it inspires my decorating. Thank you for what you do here!

  3. Bobbie

    Thank you so much for this post of truthfulness and encouragement.

  4. Lynnett Ratchford

    Dear Marion,
    I am a newcomer to your blog, but I was drawn to it by the book you wrote, “The Home Design Doodle Book, unleash your inner designer”. I’ve stayed because you are helpful, interesting, real, inspiring, motivating, fresh and a Christian; although that doesn’t always glare out in your blog, you aren’t throwing curse words or immoral ideas at us.

    Thank you for what you are doing. To me you are fulfilling what God has called you to do. You are using your God-given talents which are also centered on your interests and sharing them as well as inspiring others to in turn use their God-given talents and interests and not be afraid to try something new. Keep it up, girlfriend. We need more of you.

  5. Maureen

    Yeah, what THEY said!! I’ve never come across another blogger or decorator who GOT it the way you do…you understand all of our doubts and foibles and joys and obsessions, and I love that I’m not alone. And you work so hard, and that’s an inspiration for me not to quit or go off on another decorating tangent, but stay true to my deepest heart and find my own kind of beautiful. Thank you, Marian.

  6. Pat

    B R A V O!
    I, totally, agree with you about blogging. . .
    it is a creative outlet for me!
    It is my hope that those whom visit will leave encouraged and inspired!
    I hope (my word for 2019) that you will continue to blog for many years to come.
    I always come away inspired.

  7. k

    Thank you. You do for adults what I have tried to do for my kids: process things out loud (even when I don’t need to) to convey basic adulting, instead of just getting stuff done efficiently and silently. It turns out, we all find value in that, even if the applications aren’t exactly the same. We all need to see people take risks and even sometimes fail and handle it or learn from it.

  8. Marie

    We’ve all lost our way, or missed the mark. It’s life, pure and messy. You sharing this reminds all of us to look beyond the obvious and find the real. You have been an inspiration to me, not only sharing how you have arrived at “your happy place”, but the act of doing it!. Thank you for reminding me of that simple fact, to find the real reason we do things… Marie

  9. Jessica

    Loved this blog post. Reminds me why I still start my day by checking in with you and your life view.
    On a side note, any time you want to paint a copy of the 2 birds painting, please let me know. It sings to my soul and would be perfect in my guest room.
    Thank you for brightening our world Miss Mustard Seed

    • Angela

      yes!! I love that bird painting.

  10. Kelly

    Dear Marion, your mission is accomplished!

  11. Lillian

    YES! YES! YES! & we keep writing that it is working!

  12. Janice F

    As a follower of your blog for some time now, I agree with all the readers before me. You are real, uplifting, spiritual and talented! Your blog makes my heart sing almost every day. God has you where he needs you! I came across this saying many, many years ago, and have held on to it all this time. It fits my journey, and I feel it fits yours, too.

    “Always keep a patch of sky above your life….You have a soul in you of rare quality, an artist’s nature; never let it starve for lack of what it needs.”

    May God continue to bless your soul and your life in this fractured world. We need more bloggers, teachers, creators and women of your caliber and humility!

  13. Laura K Sherman

    Back before blogs, I clipped a d a picture of you in your guest room from the article in BHG. Then I followed you on blogs. Yours is one of the few I’ve kept in my sidebar of my 10 year old neglected but newly revived blog. I kept mine for much the same reasons. I click on yours though to bring order to my thoughts, in clean and textured ways that my creative self wants to think. I get a recharge then step back into my chaotic world of my own version of ‘Survivor.’ I love blue. I become calm in green. Paint can fix anything. 🙂 Keep blogging. <3

  14. Marlene Stephenson

    Thank you for being who you are and helping me in so many ways.

  15. Michele

    Just like in the Wizard of Oz…..the reasons have been with you all along – you just had to realize them to share.

  16. Karen

    Thank you for sharing all you. You are an inspiration to what one can accomplish.

  17. Shelly Smith

    Best kind of concert! Give me the real, honest, and humbleness over the other stuff out there any day. Nothing wrong with the others, but there is something that breaks down walls faster with the Jason Grays of the world. And, the Marion Parsons as well.

  18. Brenda

    Marian, Yoi truly are an inspiration!!! You get so much DONE in a day and then take time to write about it. I have been I inspired to get more done every day, mostly because of you! We’ve lived in our house for more than 4 years and I STILL have lots of boxes never unpacked and rooms undecorated… I’ve also gone back to read your posts of “Stuff” and been inspired again. Thank you for doing your best to NOT listen to the negative things that come your way because the positive IS EXCEEDINGLY GREAT! Also I truly appreciate your honesty and I pray God continues to Bless you and your family!!!

  19. MaryJane

    I am fairly new to your blog, and I would totally miss it if it ever went away. Thank you for processing your feelings, and your “why’s”. You are truly and encouragement. I am so amazed of how you do so much. At random times, I think about things you have posted, pictures you have painted and think “wow” she is amazing! Thank you for being real. I, too, re-read some of your posts. I love following you on IG. I pray many blessings on you and your family.

  20. Kellie

    I love Jason Gray’s music, but I don’t know much about him, so I loved what you shared about his concert at your church.

    And I also find it very refreshing that it’s only now that you’ve discovered the “why” behind your blog. It seems like everyone is always saying we need to have a mission statement for everything we do. I’m all for goals and all, but I usually feel frustrated or discouraged with these types of exercises because it always felt like I was just trying to justify something I was going to do whether I had a mission statement or not. What I like about what you’ve said is that sometimes we don’t know the specific “why” behind the things we do, but it’s just the part of the bigger picture of following God’s will for our lives. Often we don’t see the “why” until after the fact, when God shows us how He’s been using us to make an impact in His world.

  21. Taina

    I absolutely love you Marian. Your one of my favorite bloggers! Your post here really inspired me as to why I write my blog. My life prior to blogging consisted of designing everything from how I was going to make an antique chair into one that could be adored with our French Country style now – refinishing antique dressers and side tables to be enjoyed in a French Country home – reupholstering all of my antique chairs – and creating my own home decor. I started blogging last year around this time and I haven’t looked back. I pour my heart into blogging and thoroughly enjoy being able to share my over 30 years of being a designer with the world. My mission is to educate people in my own personality. Right now I’m writing an article on how to build French Country Furniture and although I’m very comfortable in working with table saws, etc. it’s important for me to relate this information to someone that’s never held a power tool. So how am I getting around this? Well the construction involves glue and nails and screws opposed to mortar joints, etc. Please never stop doing what you do. Not only with your blog, but in your videos and furniture refinishing – your amazing!

  22. Deb

    feel empowered to create or write or take pictures or paint or buy second-hand furniture or start a business or organize. They will be inspired to learn a new skill or travel or make curtains or make soup or think about their own whys.

    exactly what I was thinking — incredible that you have it all written out this way. God is good.

  23. Bonnie

    Marian….I don’t get a lot of bloggers emails…..just a few….I narrowed it down, Actually only getting two now and yours is one of them. You inspire me….”you had me @ painting furniture” haha Well actually you had me @ when you were doing the markets….that was a while ago. So Thank You. I’m signed up for a 3 day conference at my church this weekend and I’m taking MY notebook. See there you inspired me. So Thank You.

  24. Jane

    Your blog inspires me every day, in my business and personal life! I have followed you for years. You are one of the reasons my word of the year last year was Brave. This year it is Confident. Thank you for what you do!

  25. AnnW

    I can’t believe the boys are 10 and 12! That’s a long time from when you were refinishing the floors with your feet stuck in diaper boxes. That would make a great scene in a movie! So I guess I have known you for around eight years. When I was reading your reasons for writing the blog, I kept agreeing. Yes, sure, of course. When you got to the final reason, I thought, absolutely! You have been our biggest cheerleader for almost a decade. You are showing us how to ‘move mountains’ …anywhere. Nothing is too big of a challenge for you. Write a book, okay, and I’ll show you how I have to be the photographer also. Provide some extra income for the family, sure, I can draw kid’s murals, but I really want to Create My Own Paint? No problem. You have met every challenge in your life with grace, courage, and ingenious solutions. You are an inspiration for the world. Ann from Connecticut

    • Marian Parsons

      Yep, Ann, I’ve been reading your comments for a long time! I have always appreciated your wisdom and encouragement. (And, if I’m not completely crazy, didn’t we meet when I was traveling somewhere? Colorado, maybe?) And yes, the boys are getting so big! They were both in diapers when I started this blog. 🙂 Thank you for being a part of my story.

  26. kristen

    Thanks for this post. i am a newcomer (well, new-ish) to your blog, and from what i have read, poking around (blog-stalking?), you are accomplishing your “why,” at least as far as this girl is concerned (insert thumb-pointing to myself here). God has placed a creative itch inside me, and your blog does inspire confidence, and the feeling that, “maybe i CAN do that.” thanks for being willing to share your ideas, your talents and your creativity with us. there is a level of generosity that goes along with it also, you know. you could keep all of these things to yourself, so that you could have a large piece of this creative corner of the market. but you share your talents with us, and i am grateful for that. so thank you. thank you for the confidence you inspire, as well as your generosity in sharing the “how” with your talents, so that people like me can create beauty too. God’s blessings upon your business, your family, and you.

  27. Genevieve

    Beautiful post, Marian! I have been following your blog for more than a handful of years and have been so inspired by your creative and simple style. I love how you share your heart authentically and allow us to follow along your incredible journey! Thank you for sharing what you are passionate about and btw, this song that you shared is lovely and timely. May the Lord continue to bless you and guide your steps.

  28. Annie

    Why? Such a simple question with not always a simple answer! Marion, your post has given me much to ponder and I want to thank you for that.

    Whenever you’re wondering WHY you write your blog, it for people like me. You wrote this in January, it’s now May and I’m just reading it. I don’t have time to always read blogs I subscribe to and to be frank I do delete others without having read them but I save yours and read them when I can.
    Your content is real, inspiring, thought provoking and most importantly from the heart.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, thank you! What a lovely comment!

  29. Lil Herbie

    You’re the real deal! Thanks for handing out courage, inspiration, and being who God made you to be!

  30. Lil Herbie

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful blog! must read fr the people who are at adverse condition !


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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