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The Declare Conference :)

A whole year has passed since I wrote this post! I'm preparing again to return to the Declare Conference - and can not wait!!

Where has that year gone on my blog?? You can find that missing year HERE, but be sure to come back to subscribe here at this site, since this is the only blog that will be updated!

Grace and peace,

Next week I'm super blessed to get to go to the Declare Conference in Dallas, TX. It's my second year to go, and it's one of the BEST conferences I went to last year! Although there was a blog/writer emphasis, it wasn't OVERTLY focused on that... the main sessions felt like a Christian retreat, and it was extremely missional (or at least, that's what I walked away with).

So this year, before all of us blogging/writing women move in to Dallas at the end of the week, Declare has set up a link-up for us, so we can get to know each other better! This is what they've asked us to do:

Before we meet face to face, let’s have a little fun getting to know one another! Since this is the 4TH year of Declare, let’s share a 4×4 of 4 THINGS! 

This is me:

Things about me: 
     I've been married 30 years to the same man, and we move every 3-5 years (except the past 5 years, we're in the middle of our 4th move now!) He's had long-term jobs, but transfers and promotions have moved us state to state... one time we lived 18 years in the same zip code and still moved often due to company housing options!
     I have 3 grown, married kids (and 6 grands on the ground, 2 more due by the end of the year!)
     I'm passionate about women in missions, and missionary care!
     Ask me about my HIStory! God has done amazing things! 

Endearing quirks:
     I get quiet in a crowd, despite being a people person.
     I am a "Highly Sensitive Person." (enough said)
     If you ask me to pray for something, I'm going to pray right then...
     I don't like sports, and am completely non-competitive. I think it's because I don't like competition in general, or arguing... (which is a TOTAL God-changed-my-heart thing!)

Things about my blog/writing:
     I've always been a writer... hopeless romantic and poetry and doodling on paper as a kid, more daily life journaling and devotional as an adult on a blog.
     I started blogging before I knew the word "blogging"! I had a yahoo group back in the late 90's, and switched to blogger in the early 2000's... it was just writing... seeking community when we lived out in the country near a really small town in the middle of nowhere...and it was literally AT my kitchen table (hence the name, Marina's Kitchen Table... but I'm launching this week - recently removed from online and changed to ) I will also launch TWO more websites this year - though I'm not completely settled on the names - one will encourage marriages through seasons of workaholism, and one to engage, equip and inspire women in missionary care.
     I wrote for a county magazine called "Connections" (out of Barry County, MO) for the first 2 years it was in print. It was a very small town, and I was an outsider, so I used the pseudonym "Auntie Em" ... however, it was such a small town, that many knew who wrote it anyways... lol
     I have always loved photography, and studied it in college (but never graduated or settled on a major). It is a major part of my blogging now too, and my work as a VA/Photographer for DaySpring co-founder Roy Lessin at  

4 of my favorite things:
     Time with my husband, preferably within the sound of waves crashing on a shore, but anywhere will do!
     Time with friends and family, making memories with them!
     Discovering new places and people with my camera in hand!
     A long bath with a good book!

I look forward to getting to get to know YOU better, and hope you'll share some of your 4x4 Facts in the comments section below.

If you will be at Declare, I hope you'll come up and introduce yourself!! I'm horrible with names/faces... so PLEASE don't be offended if I can't recall if we met last year, or an hour ago (it's a serious side effect of anti-histamines I've been on for years). Forgive me?? I'm sure that by the end of the weekend we will all be laughing (and exhausted) and have had made some great memories!! 


  1. Hi Marina, can't wait to meet you next week - I'm horrible with names but will never forget a face :) Kim Stewart

    1. Thanks Kim!! Looking forward to seeing you!! (Praise God for name tags!!) ;)

  2. I enjoyed your 4 x 4 :) I live in Missouri but have to admit I don't have a clue where Barry County is (note to self: Google "Barry County Missouri"). I'm looking forward to meeting you next week!

  3. Thanks Patti! Glad you stopped by!
    Barry County is in the SW part of the state... if you drew a triangle from Joplin, to Springfield, and then came down in the center, you'd land in it! We lived in Cassville, or outside of Cassville, and enjoyed Roaring River all those years! :)
    I look forward to meeting you, and hearing where you call home! Safe travels!!

  4. Nice to meet you! Wow, you've been blogging for a long time. Inspiring!

    1. Hello Stephanie!
      It's either inspiring... or CRAZY!! ;)
      Sadly, I've never been as consistent as I'd like to be (I keep a lot of irons in the fire, which gives me stuff to blog about, but not time to do it!). Oh well... what I lack in consistency, I make up for in heart...

  5. one more thing! your smile is CONTAGIOUS, marina! and i remember fondly your passion for missions. excited to see you next week!

    1. Thanks Eryn! :) I look forward to seeing you too!

  6. Hi Marina - I LOVE that you have a heart to encourage missionary care! You might be interested in my Acts 15 Team. We are a writing cards to those who lead, serve and are served in missions. For right now the focus is on organizations or people who serve broken families. We write to The Lulu Tree and others. I'm looking forward to meeting you at Declare. And by the way, could antihistamines really be behind my decreasing memory abilities?! EEEK!

    1. Hello Jolene!
      I'd love to get the details on what you do through your group, but I can't join in on the fun you're having (sorry, my focus in this season is loving on the missionaries in my life, heading up our church's Giving Trees project for 150 on the field (men, women and children) and inspiring others to care for the missionaries in their life!)

    2. OH - and if you take anything Benadryl like (even the "PM" sleep aides), or Zyrtec based... yes. It can be contributing to memory issues...


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