About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for this Mary. It is so true that loving friendship requires us to be fully ourselves. To be real, authentic, and there for our sisters when things are tough. To say yes, I’ve felt crazy too; it’s okay; and you’re loved and supported; you’re not alone.

  2. Mary,
    Mary, I could probably be the poster girl for crazy. I used to hide it, but God called me to the mat to be vulnerable and share my experiences and feelings so that I could be a safe place to land. Obviously your friend felt comfortable sharing with you because you had dared to be vulnerable with her. People don’t share if they don’t feel safe. Being a safe place to land means you may have to admit your brokenness, your inability, your failures, your deepest thoughts and fears. Thank you for encouraging us all to be safe places…to be vulnerable.

    • I think if there were a poster for crazy, Bev, it would be very crowded with all of our [crazy] faces! 🙂 By the way, your profile pic is gorgeous. I hadn’t seen it until we switched to Disqus!

      • Thanks Mary. That was taken on my wedding day slightly over a year ago…one of the happiest days of my life 🙂

  3. Oh so true. I love this explanation! When we are aware of each other’s gifts and personalities, our friendships will grow stronger with understanding. Thank you!

  4. I so wish you were here to tell me the same thing. We just sold our house and moved into a one bedroom apartment with a 13 year old on a futon. This is all we kind find without a lease as we try to find a house to buy in our price range in our new city. I feel tired and crazy some days but I don’t have a friend who seems to understand. I am sure you were a huge blessing to your friend. Thanks for sharing.

    • you have just gotten over 40 thousand friends. we if nothing more, can picture you in God’s hands and pray for you

    • Oh, Monica. It really is okay to feel crazy. I can only imagine the logistics and emotions involved in your situation. Hang in there; it won’t last forever (the situation or the crazy!).

    • Prayers that you find that house soon! Know that you have an on-line friend who is praying for your family right now!
      Blessings 🙂

  5. Yes…I am that friend like you. Sometimes I feel so guilty or not a “good enough” friend because I don’t feel comfortable doing someone’s laundry, or I can’t bake but, if you want an ear and sound advice PICK ME!

    • We all have our skills, that’s for sure. And sometimes we have different “friend skills” during different seasons, and I think that’s okay, too. I imagine your friends are very thankful to have your listening ears!

  6. That’s the kind of friend I have been praying for. I’m an encourager myself, but sometimes the encourager needs to be encouraged. I need someone to look me in the eye and acknowledge my hard stuff, without looking away. I know that it can be hard to be a friend to someone with chronic illness, because they just aren’t sure how to help, and when they can’t fix, they aren’t sure what to do. I just need someone to hug me, to say” I know this thing you are living with is hard”. My weary heart needs that so much. I am thankful for the friends I do have, but having a fellow encourager would be so nice. Someone who can handle my brokenness and just be there in it. Thank you for this writing today, I will tuck it away and continue in prayer for that special friend.

    • Kim,
      I’m your soft place to land! Praying for you that God will send a covenant friend quickly. Praying for your weary heart to know that God is there for you and we at (in) Courage are also!
      I love encouraging people also! I can’t fix everything, but I will listen and hug you, if I was there!

  7. Mary, I so appreciate your words here. I don’t always have the time to make a meal or watch young children (without first cleaning up the thousands of Legos in our playroom!), but I can be a listening ear. And on occasion, I bake up a mean pan of chocolate-chocolate chip brownies. 🙂

    But, being a soft place to land for our friends? You’re right. We all need that from time to time. Thank you for the permission you give to focus on being that for friends.

    • Oh, the Legos! And yes, you understood what I was trying to say – sometimes we might have the skills but not the time or energy, and what we see as a consolation prize (listening and empathizing) is exactly what our friend needs! Blessingsn ot you, Jeanne!

  8. Beautiful, Mary. I love your words of being a soft place to land. I think so often we put too much pressure on handling people or situations “right” that we forget that we just need to be their safe place. It’s a hard tension to know the balance of- when to bring a meal and when to enter yourself into their days in practical ways versus when to just be a good sounding board and a shoulder that welcomes tears. This was a great reminder that the seemingly “impractical” ways to serve our friends can be just as, if not more, effective for their hurting hearts.

    • Yes, yes, this. I’m sure somewhere in Ecclesiastes 3, it says there’s a time for casseroles and a time for hugs. Right? (Well, maybe not, but what you said is still true – there’s a time and place for both, and I’m thankful that God can help us discern which one is needed in each situation!)

  9. These words were so sweet to my heart today. I was in a Bible Study during the winter and I always felt so guilty about not bringing cookies or offering to make dinner. But God led me to share some of my poetry with my wonderful sisters, and as I read this today I realized that I didn’t have to bring cookies to contribute, to serve, but that the words He had blessed me with and the listening ear–these were all gifts too that He ordained for me to use. Looking back now, I am overwhelmed by what He does through us and in us in out-of-the-ordinary ways. Thank you so much for pointing to Him in this way today.

  10. I love this explanation but I can’t help but feel a sense of envy when reading it. Since my husband and I have moved away from our family, we have had trouble building a new community. I’ve never been able to keep/maintain friendships with women. And I’ve never been friends with other Christian women before (this is something new for me). My one and only friend I’ve had for a long time is not speaking to me right now. I can’t help but think it is something I did, even though I know I’ve tried my best. I have been praying for friendships and trying to meet friends at church, but it all seems so much more difficult than when we were in school. Any advice on making friends as an adult?

  11. Everyone has gone through “crazy” times they just don’t want to admit it or can’t be bothered. I want to be bothered. If I ask you “how are you” you bet I want to know. Not just a simple ok–but truly how are you doing? Tell me the crazy, crappy of your life I will listen and offer encouragement! I want to be your soft place to land!
    Last year was my turn to “feel” the craziness of life. My dad moved into assisted living and had a myriad of health issues. A good friend also had both parents dealing with health issues. We would talk almost daily about our parents and our craziness.

  12. Thank you, our family is in crisis now and I have seen different friends do all of these. The biggest gift to me has been those who have let me be a mess and listened.

  13. I love, LOVE this post. And I love the verses that you shared from 1 Corinthians 12. They are ones I use often with my own children, as I help them see that “comparison is the thief of joy” even as it relates to spiritual gifts and the God-given way each person was created. And, as one of our 4 has Down Syndrome, I like verse 22 so much: “In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.” The ground is level at the foot of the cross. In the body of Christ, we need each other…and we ALL have a place.