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. amy joanne mogish

    …..and that is what has always drawn me to your blog. Thank you in so many ways. always inspired.

  2. Kelly Benson

    You are an “encourager” beyond belief! I smile every time I type Miss Mustard Seed in my browser because it’s like connecting to a mentor and friend. I’m so grateful you share you with us! Thank You Thank You Thank You!

  3. Sue

    Your blog and the few others that I regularly read have helped me find my decorating style and continually inspire me to tackle new projects to make our home one that we truly enjoy! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Linda

    You nailed it! Before you even stated the reason, I was thinking about how inspiring and encouraging you are. You’ve given many of us confidence to pursue dreams. Of course, I love seeing what you bought and what you did…I’ve learned a lot by following you. You are so real- it’s very refreshing!

  5. Robbie Zeller

    Yep! That’s why I am reading! Thanks for the many many times your life has been an inspiration to mine in San Diego!

  6. jenw

    That’s why I come here. I like the messages you share and I leave feeling more positive than when I arrived. Thanks for your encouragement and the gentle messages to live my life as it was intended for me to do so.

  7. Betsy

    You hit the nail on the head! All those reasons are why I read your blog. Your pictures from the places you stayed in Italy were lovely. I went to Italy last year and the little rooms I stayed in were nothing in comparison but I appreciated seeing the beautiful suites. I was just thrilled to be lucky enough to be in Italy. I love seeing how far you’ve come in your art and I hope some day to be able to purchase one. I’m inspired by all the pieces of furniture you save and give new respect to. Thank you for your blog.

  8. Laura Adams

    What a wonderful post–thank you so much for sharing this. I just have to say, I found your blog last summer, when I was feeling really discouraged and directionless with my own creative outlets. And it did just what you wrote in this post–it inspired me and gave me the courage to try something different and it actually made my dreams feel attainable. So many of these decorating blogs just show gorgeous “before and after” photos or incredible success stories of how their business exploded overnight, and it just feels discouraging to read, because I think, “well, I’ll never be able to do that myself.” But when I read the story of how you started your business and I followed your “evolution of a room series”, it felt so honest and real that it gave me the courage to think “maybe I can do that too”! So, thank you so much for continuing to write this blog and inspire others to pursue their creative passions!

  9. Kim

    Hey, isn’t that the name of your first book? Inspired You? Yes, this blog is definitely an inspiration. And more than that, it is REAL. It’s not just some popularity-wanna-be type of blog like many of the décor blogs are, it is solid, grounded, real, and absolutely gorgeous and wonderful. You are sharing your God-given talents with the world, and inspiring others to use theirs. We are all very thankful!

  10. Susan

    Marian, Thank you for sharing this. I am struggling with some health issues which just slow me down and I feel as though I am losing my why for many aspects of my life. I have made a couple of meaningful changes in the new year and committed a new idea today to help me learn my why and to be my own kind of beautiful! You write this blog to encourage us!
    Thank you for sharing always!

  11. Terri (Tres)

    I saw Jason perform at “The Warehouse” in Brookings, South Dakota, way back in 2000ish. It was a small venue and his concert left me inspired as well. Marian, I will put this out there again (I’ve mentioned numerous times) that it was your slipcover tutorial video that inspired me to make a slipcover for my 12-foot conversation couch. At that time, I had only sewed on buttons. I used my grandmother’s antique portable singer (yes, I did) and went to it. It’s still used today and has had many washings and I’m so glad I used drop cloths. From there, I have made slipcovers for ottomans and a chair, not to mention many pillow covers. I still need to learn to install zippers (my biggest fear), but what I now know is that I can. So again, thank you for inspiring and teaching and encouraging. Wishing you and yours the very best for 2019.

  12. Kelly

    I love Jason Grey! I saw him at a church in Raleigh a decade ago.
    Thank you for all of your brave inspiration, Marian.

  13. Danette

    A movie recommendation, “Ragamuffin”.
    It’s free with Amazon Prime video.

    • Marian Parsons

      I’ll check it out. Is it about Rich Mullins?

      • Candice Hope

        Also wondering if it is about Rich Mullins. Loved him!

      • Kim

        Yes we watched it last night

  14. Marilyn McAuley

    …. you are an encourager — I have loved your blog and followed for years. I particularly enjoy when you share your faith and belief. Thanks for introducing me to Jason Grey — loved the song you chose and know a young lady that needs this song right now — I will be passing along to her. I also appreciate that you are forthright and honest.

  15. Karyn

    Ahh I love this post! So raw and honest. I think that’s one of the biggest thing I enjoy about your blog the most…your honesty! You have definitely inspired me in many ways, one being your painting journey. I keep thinking “wow…look at how much she has grown and improved” and I think to myself, perhaps I could challenge myself to try something new (even if I fail). Thanks for the continual inspiration!

  16. Krista

    That’s why I read your posts – you are encouraging and inspirational. So glad you do what you do.

  17. Cassandra E

    I am so glad this didn’t end with you stepping back!
    Your voice is the most authentic blog voice. Your sharing has helped me find more authenticity in my own life. (I know authentic sounds kind of cliche, but’s it’s absolute truth. )

  18. Laura F

    I read your blog because of the honest authentic way you share your world with us….it is much appreciated. Whether it is your latest watercolor, project, renovation, quiet moment, business sense, or your family time, I will keep “catching up” on your writing and sharing 🙂

  19. Kelly

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

  20. Debe Leone

    My friend, Janet, and I talk about you and your blog. We have decided you are one of the most authentic people on the web!! This post proves that. I have been reading you for a long time, made slip covers for my dining room chairs, buy your paint and never used it (yet!) and covet your ironstone. But that is what friends do, share. So I feel like you are a friend and am so glad to get to call you one! You are a blessing and your family must know how blessed they are by you! Thank you for every post your share!!!

  21. Michelle

    God is So Good.

  22. Arlene

    If someone asked me to describe your blog in one word, I would say that I could only do it in two: inspiring and creative.

  23. Jenny

    Really, you come across as so talented! It sometimes makes me feel very inferior as a person who likes to try to create. But sometimes you share the failures( maybe not often enough for my imperfect self!). I still enjoy your style and you writing and your pictures so that’s what keeps me interested.

  24. Joanne

    Wow, those are some tough questions. You’ve inspired me to create a list of questions for myself. I believe gaining clarity in our direction allows us to move forward with more purpose. Lately I have been a little stagnant so thank you for the nudge. xo

  25. Jessica

    Best post ever. This is what I’ve been deeply thinking about lately too.

  26. Jodie

    Ah, Marian! You are a God given natural at encouraging. This is what has kept me here for so many years. I love all you share, your wisdom, style and creativity. You give it all away for free! And isn’t that what it is all about, after all? To be a blessing to others. “The best sermon I ever heard was the one I saw. ” This is how I see you!

  27. Jen

    I just have to echo what others have said already: I SO appreciate your willingness to be authentic as you share your creative journey with us. It inspires me to recognize and give voice to my own talents. Thanks for letting us in.

  28. Sharri

    I love reading your blog. You inspire me. I listened to Jason Gray and shared the video!!!

  29. Eileen

    You are a very thoughtful, caring person and it shows through with these posts. Never stop.

  30. Joyce Hale

    Thank you for sharing, blogging ,and being your special kind of you who is truly inspiring ,blessed and informative.
    I loved the song ! Made my day 🙂

  31. Natalie

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for this post! I needed to read this today. For 26 years I was an elementary school teacher, and oh, did I love the work. Then I had a small stroke and a long string of unexplained illnesses that forced me to retire early. Five years later, I am stronger, healthier and stepping into and out of projects. In this creating, failing, revisiting, creating process, I am learning a lot about how to craft, repurpose, restore an object. Now, I want to share, but the unanswered question, “why share?” has stopped me each and every time. Reading your words have revealed my why. I want to write and share what I do, because I miss teaching. I want a place where I can share, and still have time to rest so my health can remain intact. Thank you again for your honesty!

    • Marian Parsons

      Your comment made me teary! Isn’t it so valuable and comforting to discover the why? I love that your why is teaching and I hope that compels you to share and teach others.

  32. Addie

    Missed it by a mile???? NEVER!!! You nail every time. I look forward to every blog post. Thank You!!!!

  33. Cindy in Oklahoma

    Oh, Miss Mustard Seed…. if you only knew how much I love almost every thing you share in this little space. I’ve learned a little about so many things – diabetes, ironstone, bravery, independence, art, décor, etc., etc., etc. I feel like this must be the modern day version of my grandmother’s weekly quilting club or cooking club or women’s church group. Seriously. What you and those who comment have shared here has been nothing short of a wealth of important and interesting information and okay, I’ll say it… joy….the joy of being alive. … creating a more fulfilling life by pursuing those things we love and pursuing ways to make life better for those we love. I can’t get enough. Truly.

  34. Robin Wade

    Gee. Thanks for making me cry in the lobby of the dentist office.

    You are a writer. So. Write.

  35. Debra A Wise

    Thank you for sharing and for your inspiration.

  36. Cherylan


  37. Mary Berry

    Yes and thank you!

  38. Candice Hope

    Love! Love! Love this post. We read because you do inspire and do it with a realness and authenticity that is missing in many blogs today. In this season of New Years Resolutions and constant striving its refreshing to see someone being still and asking why. I have also decided to ask why. I have come to the conclusion that I was not asking why and not being still enough to examine the “why” because I was afraid of what the answer might be, afraid to disappoint or to not be enough. It’s time to start asking and stop chasing after things that I don’t need to be. Thank you for inspiring and encouraging us to examine our why’s. And Love Jason Gray!

  39. Janet in Kansas City

    Well I for one, hope you keep writing your blog, because I seriously look forward to it and miss you when you’re gone. You do inspire us all to do new things, and try new things and create. You make us feel like friends and in this often cold hard world you are a good place to come and be refreshed and encouraged. Thank you.

  40. Teresa Grant

    You nailed it!!! I look forward to it every time! Thank you!

  41. Elizabeth Stein

    Miss Mustard Seed

    Decorating tips – check
    DIY instructions – check
    Bravery and inspiration – double check

  42. Sharon Dobbs

    I have followed and unfollowed many many blogs over the years. And I did not know WHY, but yours has always been the one that I “click” every time to read. Even if the topic does not knock me over, I love the pictures, story and yes…. inspiration. I was so worried reading this post that you were going to say that you were shutting down your blog. I am glad that you found your Why!

  43. Ruth A

    I found your blog after I started collecting ironstone. Always inspiring me to try new things! Love your paint, have done a few pieces of furniture. Your blogs seem to come at times when they are most needed. Thanks so much Marion!

  44. Karen

    THANK YOU! That was both helpful and encouraging! I’m on the brink of starting a blog and I’m both nervous and excited and asking my own whys. This post definitely helped with that. You have inspired me, and I’m sure countless others over the years, so I would say you’re right on target. Thank you for taking the time to share your heart with your readers.

  45. Elena C

    I stumbled across your blog back around 2009 when we had a lot financial issues and barely making our mortgage. You inspired me to make the best of our little house and fill it with love and creative decorating (ie curbside and garage sale finds fixed up and painted). I painted furniture, light fixtures and anything else I could find. We painted every rom in the house and when we sold it in 2013, I truly loved our house. I had been so depressed about our situation but God gave me a different perspective. Its funny because I’m more into modern but have learned to appreciate other styles through your blog. I appreciate your honesty and integrity and I always leave inspired after reading your blog to try different things. I’m currently getting ready to do some oil painting. Thank you so much for all the work you share with us. May the Lord continue to bless you as you bless so many of us!

  46. Tracie

    thank you! because of your blog, I hope to be able to fill in the box below “Your website” –

  47. Christine Irvine

    Miss Mustard Seed, Marian, I love you!
    I agree with so much of what was already written about you and your talents, gifts. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us! I am so sure it pleases the Lord we love. Keep using all you have to glorify Him and you’ll always know why you are here and doing what you love.

    Personally, you have helped me so much, and I thank you.

    A friend in New Hampshire,

  48. Rachel

    You are the only blog I still actively subscribe to and read! You are just wonderful and I’ve absolutely been inspired by many many of your posts. I just recently painted by 6th piece with milk paint in my home 🙂 We have twin girls on the way, and milk paint is the only thing that could have done justice to my great aunts chest of drawers! Love it, and you! Thank you!!

  49. Jennifer Showalter

    I’ve started to sew again after an 11 year hiatus after reading your blog, I learned to buy old, not loved, needs worked furniture and flip it after reading your blog…, I even learned to upholster after watching your YouTube tutorials (my dh purchased me an air compressor and staple gun for Christmas.., eeekk). This summer I’m striving to participate in my first vintage fair. Thank you for your blog, it has helped me find passion I didn’t know I had. Good bless.

  50. Sue in Northern Iowa

    Oh, Marian – your “why’s “ are the reason I follow you and why I was moved to join the creative retreat in Italy! I don’t follow any other blogs because I haven’t found another that is as unpretentious and inspiring as yours. Don’t doubt that you make a difference in this world and that your blog is at the heart of that.

  51. shena caston

    Marian, what you describe can really make a difference. ‘A guy and a guitar’ is my music of preference, and last year in London I saw Paul Simon and James Taylor on the same evening in Hyde Park in the open air. I have recommended the clip you put up to my daughter Lucy, who is studying music and also exploring her faith.

  52. Dana

    Marian, thank you for this post today! You are inspiring in so many ways. I’m sure it is not always easy being in the public eye. Your blog is a blessing to me and I always learn something new.

    An aside….we were fortunate to meet Jason 15 years ago at a relative’s wedding. He sang for the wedding and came alone — so she had us sit with him at the reception to make him feel welcome. He related to all my children (they were the same ages of his 3 at the time) and he and my husband were able to share deeply about career issues they were having. Both were at major cross roads in their careers and seeking the Lord about what to do next. We came away as new friends and he even gifted us with CDs. Years later we heard him on the radio and were so happy and to see he persevered since he has an amazing God-given talent.

  53. Vickie White

    There’s nothing more powerful than the truth and that’s what you share with every post! Your truth in struggles and failures and successes resonate with those of us who struggle with all those things in our own lives. And your kind of humility is so appealing in a world filled with those who continually shout from every venue, “Look at ME! Look at ME!” You inspire and illuminate and motivate me every day. I’m thankful for you!!

  54. Jennifer

    Honestly, you will never know how much God has used your blog and social media in my life!!! He used you to make me braver than I thought I could ever be. To see things I had missed and just for the pure inspiration! Thank you for being you and sharing yourself with us! May God continue to bless and use you!

  55. Carole Prisk

    I have been watching your progress with painting and have marveled at your growth. I haven’t tried it yet, but you make me see that it isn’t a prerequisite to already have a fully formed talent. I learned from watching you, that determination, dedication and practice will lead to skill. Soon, I will start my journey.

  56. Deborah Raney

    Just want to add my “vote” to others’ who’ve used words like authentic, inspirational, creative, and real. I think one of the things I admire most is your ability to say: “There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s just not my style.” Or: “I know this might not be the most popular style right now, but I still love it, so I’m using it.” I want to be more that way…not caring what’s in style so much as what I love and what works for our house and our family. (And that goes for things besides decor!) Doing that, I think, creates a timeless and very personal design. Thank you for always inspiring.

  57. ART

    Yes…you are most definitely an inspiration and an encouragement <3

  58. Tonya

    I love your blog…still one of the few I read. I had a blog and stepped away from it bc life got too busy and it was taking too much from my kids, but I miss it. Someday, I will go back to it; thank you for yours, and for reminding me.💗😁 Thank you for making time to be an encouragement and add a smile to our days!

  59. Monique

    You are very inspiring.Thank you.
    Even though I am much older..much:) You inspire!

  60. Traer

    Aw love this 🙂 I just starting blogging again to encourage others, but what I didn’t realize is that in turn people would be encouraging ME!!

  61. Lydia

    Such a perfect post and your timing could not have been better!

  62. Tracey

    One of the many reasons I love this blog is because you are one of the most real and generous people out there. You share all of your talents and skills with everyone just because. I don’t have the exact same style as you do, but I always learn something from you. You give information freely and share yourself in many ways. I am a longtime reader and will continue to be one as long as you are willing to write! Thank you for all you do!

  63. TheresaB

    Thanks Marian!
    Since I discovered your blog years ago, it has always been an encouragement. You never require perfection, and invite us all to join in with whatever project you’re on and learn with you! Thank you, for being real and true to the sweet soul that you are. Blessings always,

  64. Sheila

    I come for inspiration and beauty. It’s always sweet and surprising.
    I’m perpetually curious about life and learning. You are a great outlet for the what if’s I’d like to try.
    You’re a pep talk to be bold and trust in myself and not let the fear of failing stop me from trying.
    You also admit to not having all the answers even though you are multi talented. People often assume those that do always can, without doubt. That’s not usually the case.
    Y’all just make it seem so easy because you’re doing what you love. It’s an important message to share.

  65. Caroline

    Another lovely and thoughtful post. But you frightened me there for a minute! I selfishly thought, “Just please, please, please keep posting, Marian! The “why” doesn’t really matter!” I was wrong and selfish, but I’m so glad you will continue with your inspiring and beautiful posts.

  66. Diane Wicks

    Oh, I love, love, love your blog! But if you don’t enjoy it or understand the “why” it can be frustrating, I’m sure. I’m so glad you were able to get a clear message as to why you blog. As a fellow blogger, I am often asked why I blog. Sometimes that is a hard one for me to answer, as well, as I haven’t monetized my blog, so for a year and a half, I just crank out blogs with no tangible reward other than a few comments. I tell them it’s to express my creativity and inspire others. And that’s enough for right now:)

  67. Heather Macgregor

    Such a great post, and thank you for such an informative blog. please keep them coming 🙂

  68. Gail

    And YES Marian you are inspiring!!!

  69. Laurie

    Thanks for such a positive and uplifting post! Loved the Jason Gray song too…

  70. Susan

    So many of the bloggers that I used to read have sold their souls for swipe-ups and affiliate giveaways. Yours is one of the three (only) that I still read. Your blog feels authentic. Some content speaks to me and some doesn’t but that’s okay! Keep doing what you’re doing. As to revealing your vulnerabilities, I think they would endear you to your readers, as so many other blogs gloss over this to present a false image of perfection. (As long as you do so while protecting your privacy.). I’ve read your blog every day, and I’m still here!! Interesting post today!

    • beverlee lyons

      I so agree, Susan.

  71. Debra

    Amen to that! Not only do you inspire, your creative skills are a joy to see. Everything you accomplish is, in my eyes at least, wonderful! You bring such joy to me each time I open a post from you. Thank you so much for ‘just being’ and keep those beautiful posts coming. Loving your style.

  72. nancy from your old stomping grounds

    Oh thank goodness. I was afraid you were going to say you’d decided to stop. Yours is one of the very few, of the many I follow, that I read “religiously.”

  73. Lisa

    Ditto… to all the above!

  74. Judy Williams

    Your blog is inspirational and educational — great reasons for someone to read it. Thanks so much!

  75. Rita

    Your posts are always so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your home, tutorials, recipes, and even those things that you try and fail. Sometimes I’m envious when I read a lot of decorating blogs, because my house isn’t perfect compared to them. I don’t shop at the “it” places or succumb to the latest decorating trend. But my house is real, lived in, and it feels like home. When I read your blogs, I feel inspired to find my way. I also teach craft and sewing classes in my community and surrounding counties. For me, it’s all about sharing the talents that I have been given and seeing others create.

  76. Mary from Life at Bella Terra

    First of all, thank you for introducing me to Jason Gray~~God certainly gave him a gorgeous voice with inspiring lyrics.
    I am a relatively new blogger (only 2 years) and so often I struggle with posting something because I am afraid it’s not current, or trendy, or what people want to see or hear. However, your post today makes all the sense in the world. I do read you because I learn something new and I am inspired to try a DIY project or paint a canvas.

    I am going to re-read your post now and start thinking about why I started blogging and what I can do to inspire others. Thank you for your depth and sincerity.

  77. PAULA Krueger

    Thank you for your inspiring words and great tips. I love the fact that you are very real and down to earth. I think you have one of the best decorating blogs out there and I have always been drawn to your photographs of your home. I just recently noticed you live in Rochester, MN, which is where I grew up. Keep up your amazing work, inspiring art, and great blog.

  78. Libby Armstrong

    Oh my goodness! I love this post. I have a feeling you will be very inspired by another singer/songwriter. Her name is Mandy Harvey, and she has the most gorgeous voice and humble/gracious spirit. Mandy is deaf, and after loosing her hearing and the motivation to sing, she finally realized her why in life and decided that being deaf shouldn’t limit her passions and capabilities (and the way she retaught herself how to sing is fascinating and awe-inducing). This woman can SING. I experienced her perform, and she peppered the moments between her songs with her stories of setbacks and triumphs, and it was nothing short of incredibly motivating. Thank you for sharing.

  79. Nancy

    May I add my thank you to the chorus that has already been written.
    You brighten my day! You help me be creative and feel as though I am enough. I watercolor because you inspired me, thank you. You make a difference in my life.
    Thank you, Nancy

  80. Jenny B.

    Love it! I got to hear Jason Gray (opening with Laura Story for Steven Curtis Chapman) a few years ago, and really enjoyed him. 🙂 I love small, intimate concerts. The ones without all the electronics and perfectly orchestrated everything are my favorite.

  81. Suzette

    I was almost in tears before I got to the last part.
    Thinking there might be a different outcome.
    I’m so thankful that you found your “WHY”!
    From reading all the comments, I think we would all be lost without your inspiration!
    Thank You so much! I’m inspired by each post.

  82. Cindy

    Don’t hold your creative world inside, we want to know It all. You encourage us to push beyond our ordinary, to do the things we’ve only dreamed.

  83. Sherry

    Thank you for all your posts and inspiration. You are so real and I am thankful for your blog. I was afraid too you were going to shut it down! And thank you for sharing your faith in God with us! Love you Marion!

  84. Cindy

    I create because my Creator, God, left His mark in me and it needs to come out. I experience so much joy in the process and I believe that’s a gift from God. How wonderful for you to be able to take that mark of God in you, and enrich others. Perhaps, it could be a spiritual gift?

  85. Rosalina

    Dear MMS. I started following you almost from the beginning. I was so excited to find you. At last here was a person who loved what I loved. I started collecting ironsone many years ago, way before it became so popular. I was always drawn to it. Especially the stained, cracked ones. I have loved how you have honestly shared your highs and lows, how you would post when something didn’t work out as you expected. How you would keep at it, like painting, you have so inspired me not to give up and to continue trying. Thank you. I feel like I know you even though we’ve never met. God bless you and your family.

  86. Joan

    That was beautiful. You really are a genuine, giving, creative, (TALENTED!) sharing, caring and encouraging person, your blog is beautiful and honest and entertaining! I always love it…. and I Thank you so much for all, you have helped and inspired more than you know, it’s working, I appreciate all ! ! !

  87. Cheryl

    Beautiful Song, thank you for sharing it! You have always inspired me and I thank you for that also!

  88. Shelia

    Hi Marian I’m so grateful for you and this blog. Yours is truly the only one that matters to me out of all those that I read. It’s because you inspire me and give me Hope. You are FEARLESS Marian!! That’s what I admire so much about you! You just go out and get what you want. If it’s something you don’t know how to do, you find someone who can teach you. I SO want to be like that! Each time I read your blog posts I get a little more brave. I’ll get there eventually, but it’s going to take me a little longer. It’s hard to break life long habits of living in fear. I so admire you and everything you’ve accomplished and will continue to accomplish in your life. You’re living your Best Life and I believe that’s what we’re put on this earth to do. I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy family life to encourage and inspire a bunch of total strangers. Yet I feel like I’m getting to know you through your blog. Does that make sense, or is that too weird, lol?! I always look so forward to your posts and it’s a bit of a downer when there’s nothing from you that day. But I understand you have a life to live so you can come back and teach us new things! Thank you for all that you do! 😁

  89. Mary Kaiser

    You are totally inspiring, not just to me, but everyone who is lucky enough to find your blog!!! Please keep doing what your doing!!

  90. Cindy Coghill

    Yours is the only blog I read every day. You constantly inspire me and fuel my creative juices. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, if I haven’t said it before.

  91. JolieAnne

    I was holding my breath….almost, wondering if you were going in a new direction and giving up blogging. I am glad that is not the case!

  92. Rita C at Panoply

    Marian, you have always inspired me (and my sister!). You are definitely your own kind of beautiful! Thanks for shairng it all!

  93. Sue Anderson

    Nice! I have existential moments myself and ponder the direction my life has taken and what I do and why. It is refreshing to read about your particular evolution and know that we are not alone but quest together to learn and communicate our personal truths. Thank you for sharing and for inspiring me and the others who have responded to your message.

  94. Pattie

    Thanks so much for that inspiring message. We all have to remind ourselves occasionally “why”. Have followed you for a long time. Keep up the good work and thanks again.

  95. beverlee lyons

    You have been and are an encourager, so you have succeeded for a lot of us. And, unlike a lot of bloggers, you have stayed true to yourself, and not succumbed to the overselling and endorsing of any product that will pay you.
    I realize it costs money to have a blog, however it is a choice bloggers make, and you have NOT made your blog about doing that.
    I know I am not the only one who feels this way. We love and appreciate you more than you probably realize.

    Thank you, Beverlee

  96. Karen

    This email is a keeper to read over an d over again! It’s real. It touches the heart of a weary artist in these cold wintry months with days of no sunshine and lots of rain! You are the sunshine! It gives direction, motivation and fires up determination for the new year to succeed. I thank you- Atlanta!

  97. Jill

    I love this post. As a fellow creative and all that entails…blogging, photo sharing, teaching, encouraging…and a huge Jason Gray fan (I’ve broken bread with him and he is delightful) I, too, ask why, and the Spirit says, “Someone must teach people how to recognize and embrace beauty, vulnerability, art, love, the voice in the burning bush, the promise in the rainbow.”

    Two songs that brings it all together for me are Sara Groves’ Why It Matters and Add to the Beauty. They are songs that call to the artist’s heart. You and your work embody their message. Carry on!

  98. Linda

    Your blog has always been inspirational to me Marian! You were my first introduction to reading blogs along with your videos of how to chalk paint and it came at a time in my life when I needed a new direction due to early retirement. I look forward to reading your words every time I open my email and see a new blog post because you not only share your creativity but your insight. I look forward to your 2019 journey.

  99. Missy

    Thanks for sharing Jason’s song…needed to hear that message today! How did you know??

  100. patti

    I read your blog to open up different ways of thinking for myself, to motivate myself to live my day fully and because you and your life are honestly very interesting to read about! I’ve noticed a shift since you’ve moved -your blog has become even more honest and open which I realize is hard to do on the internet, but your genuine personality has come through. Thank you!


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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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