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Practicing the Art of Adventure: Mary Kuehn

What does it look like to practice the art of adventure?

On Fridays we feature a woman who is Practicing the Art of Adventure in her daily life-stepping into the unknown, embracing change, trusting God, leaving fear, and loving extravagantly, all the while, traveling deeper into His heart. It is our desire that through their lives and stories of adventure you will be inspired & challenged to say YES to God’s invitation to follow Him. No matter what season of life you find yourself in, may you see that everyday is an opportunity to practice the art of adventure as you abide with Jesus.

We’d love for you to join us here each week!

So…what adventures is God leading you into?

Today you get to my sweet friend Mary! Mary and I met while living in Vienna, Austria. What I love about Mary is her friendship with Jesus. Her faith is vibrant and alive and relevant in her everyday life and decisions.

Come sit with us for a moment as we get to know another women, just like ourselves, who is traveling with the Lord into the unknown and embracing the unexpected with a joyful heart. In this interview Mary shares two ways she combats her biggest fear, how she’s stepping out of her comfort zone this year- in staying rather than going, and where she hears God’s voice the clearest.

First, introduce yourself {tell us where you are from, your favorite place to go or favorite thing to do, and what a “normal” day looks like for you!}

Hello!  My name is Mary.  I’m from western Pennsylvania, and I love to join friends for coffee pretty much anywhere in the world.  After several years as a congressional staffer in Washington, D.C., I’m spending a few months with my family while starting on grad school applications.  I just took the GRE and am glad to be done with it!  I hardly have such a thing as a normal day at the moment, but I typically start by having coffee with my mom in the morning. Every few days I work for a friend in her home business, and every few weeks I spend a few days with my sister’s family helping with their seven kids. Later this month I might start a full-time job, but we’ll see!

What is your current season of life right now & where are you having difficulties trusting God?

Oh my goodness.  I wish I had a name for my season!  Actually, the weather in Pennsylvania  right now is maybe a nice little analogy: it’s officially spring, but it seems a little unclear what season we are actually in, and that’s kind of how I feel!  We had warm sunshine and bouquets of daffodils last week, but for the last two days there has been fresh snowfall.  Each day is beautiful, but it’s unpredictable and confusing.  

I’m having a hard time trusting God with what’s next for me because it’s been tough for me to figure out what I want to do.  I haven’t heard God leading me clearly in the bigger picture-He’s just been giving me very, very small steps-and I’ve had a hard time deciding where I’m headed next.  

I feel like my life looks a little irresponsible or lame right now, and even though I know it’s important that I’m here right now, and that God is doing so much under the surface, some days I’m very frustrated.

Share with us a specific example of how and when God has met you when you’ve walked into the unknown with Him?

At the end of 2012, I was living in Washington.  My office was closing, so I was out of a job at the end of the year, and a lot of things came crashing down at the same time-my emotions were a pretty fragile shell by the time 2013 arrived.

That New Year’s Eve, I really felt like I was stepping off the edge of what I knew into an utterly unknown place.  

I had no more plans left and not much strength to think of new ones.  I sat and cried to the Lord and told Him how scared I was, how some of the surprises in the last few months had left me reeling. Even though I knew deep down that I would be okay soon, I had no idea what that would take.  

God reminded me that no one needed to see Mary Kuehn’s faith be strong, they needed to see Jesus being strong for me. I started praying to see Him where He is, not just where I hope He will act, and suddenly I had hope in such a dim and dreary place.  I looked for God’s surprises all year, and it was glorious.  

Oh-and I had a new job within two weeks, and the spiritual/emotional growth I got to make that year was one of the most valuable gifts I’ve ever been given.  I wouldn’t give it back for anything, despite the pain.


We’d love to hear what step(s) out of your comfort zone you have taken recently or will take soon.

Well, I recently decided that I’ll stay with my family a little longer, until August.  I had originally planned to only be here until March or April, but I know it would be good for me to stay here a few more months!

 I paused my job search because I believe it’s important that I’m here longer, but I have no idea what the next several months will hold!  Simply staying put is a big step for me sometimes.

How do you hear God’s voice most clearly? Is it a time of day, a place you go, a thing you do…anything!

I love to talk with the Lord on long car rides!  I’ve been doing a lot of driving over the past several months since I’ve been spending so much time helping my sister’s family, and it’s a four hour drive to where she lives.  God gets to deep things in my heart when I’m driving alone, and He’s said so many clear things to me on these trips.  I think the biggest part of it is that I devote a big chunk of time to listening to Him, pouring out my thoughts in all their detail, and being quiet to listen some more and just be aware of Him with me.  For some reason, driving is really conducive to that!  

So much of walking with God on this adventure is about facing our fears, embracing change, and trusting Him…what is one of your biggest fears that keeps your paralyzed from saying “Yes” to God’s adventure for you?

Fear of failure.  That one haunts me way too much, and I know that the heart of it is just pride!  If I didn’t expect so much greatness from myself, I wouldn’t be concerned when I fail.  God has no delusions of my grandeur.  He knows how much I need Him just to keep breathing through the day, so I need to just relax into His strength and live there.  

And how do you overcome it?

Since fear of failure (and pretty much every problem ever) is rooted in pride, one of the best ways that the Lord has helped me combat it is to remind myself of who He is and who I am in Him.  

1.When I see Him in His power and love, I see myself and my problems in the right perspective.

Going through Scripture and reading out loud or memorizing things that describe and glorify God-this is always a good place to start for me. I love the Amplified Classic bible.  It really fills out the nuances of words used in Scripture and shows the depth of what God is saying, which helps me understand and soak it up.

2. After going through who He is, I can start to look at who I am because of Him as a second step.

There’s a verse in Job where God says, “have you ever in your life commanded the morning?” The Lord really struck me with that, reminding me that at my very best, I can’t pull the sun up over the horizon and launch the day, but at my worst, I can’t keep it from dawning.  I am so small compared to the Lord, so I can in no way tarnish what Jesus did for me!  I am just not that strong, and it’s such a relief!

What does a life of adventure with God look like for you?

Continually knowing Him more and more, we can never come to the end of Him.  I think a big part of that is in facing new things, because in them we suddenly have to ask God for things we have never needed before.  There are aspects of Him we haven’t had the chance to see yet, but change in our lives makes us need them, and there He is in all His faithful wonder!  I love it.

 I also think people are a huge part of our adventure, because they reflect Him, they bring us closer to Him, and they’re unpredictable.  We don’t get to be in control, so our weaknesses get highlighted and healed.  We need each other!  Life is so much more exciting with people in it, and God designed us to do it together.


If you’d like to connect with Mary…

Find her on Instagram // Facebook

This week Christina of Creative & Free did a giveaway for a 40-days of adventure journal, there’s still time to enter!! Also while you’re there be sure to download a free guide to adventure with God that I created for us! Get it all here!

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Comments (1)

  1. I love her analogy about the physical season! “it’s officially spring, but it seems a little unclear what season we are actually in, and that’s kind of how I feel! We had warm sunshine and bouquets of daffodils last week, but for the last two days there has been fresh snowfall. Each day is beautiful, but it’s unpredictable and confusing.”

    So well said.