About Me

Mary Carver | givinguponperfect.com

Hey there! My name is Mary Carver, and I am so glad you’re here!

Welcome to my little corner of the Internet. We talk about real life here – the good, the bad, the funny, the surprising, the disappointing and the amazing. We also talk about our favorite TV shows, confess the leaning towers of laundry just outside the frame of that photo we just Instagrammed, and debate the best way to make nachos. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, I hope you’ll kick off your shoes, get comfy and stay a while!

I’m a wife, mom and writer who lives for good books, dark chocolate and television marathons, but I live because of God’s grace. I’m a word nerd, a Jesus follower, and a big fan of YA novels, Mexican food and pretty office supplies. I’m also a recovering perfectionist whose friends and family delight in reminding me of my blog’s title when I get a little twitchy about doing everything just right. But after a lifetime of trying harder and doing more, I’m finally learning to give up on perfect and get on with life, already.

After all, I believe Jesus when he said he came to give us life to the full. And I believe that only happens when we let go of our wished-for, made-up, shoulda-woulda-coulda lives and grab hold of the real, hard, beautiful lives we’ve been given instead.

After a decade in fundraising, event planning and public relations, I’m thrilled to now work part-time from home as a writer, blogger and freelance editor, as well as a curator for ForEveryMom.com. Of course, habits are hard to break, so you might still find me sharing worthwhile causes and perfect-for-a-crowd recipes on occasion – and avoiding the serial comma like the plague it is.

About Me page1

I’m more than a writer, though. I’m a wife and a mom and a small group leader and a music lover. I’m a lot of things, actually, and none of them is perfect – but every single one is real.

I’m a book worm.
And a spelling and grammar geek.
I’m a big fan of M&Ms and pretty much every kind of Mexican food.
In related news, I’m a lifelong Weight Watchers member (not to be confused with a Lifetime Member who’s met her goal).

I’m a small-town girl with God-sized dreams.
And a Southern-by-blood belle who lives in the Midwest.
I love to cook. And hate to clean.
I’m a cat lady and a [former] scrapbooker. And I watch way too much TV.

According to Myers-Briggs, I’m an ENFJ (though just barely an E).
According to the Enneagram people, I’m a Type One (the Reformer).
According to the Strengths Finder, my top strengths are Activation, Communication, Responsibility, Input and Belief.
My spiritual gifts are administration and hospitality, my love language is words of affirmation, and I’m fluent in sarcasm.
Oh yeah – and I love personality tests.

My husband, Mark, and I live near Kansas City, Missouri, less than an hour away from our tiny hometown, where we met more than 20 years ago. We’re constantly amazed at how smart, funny and maddeningly strong-willed our two daughters can be – and we’re both convinced they got their hard heads from their other parent.


Writing has kept me sane for several years now, through lousy jobs and great jobs, through the toddler years and preschool politics, through my husband’s night shift and my attempt at being a stay-at-home mom. I’ve blogged here since 2008, and I’m a regular contributor for (in)courage, Mom Advice and Mothers of Daughters.

I’m also the co-author of Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts, coming in January 2016. You can pre-order that book here, and while you wait for that to land in your mailbox, here are a few of my favorite blog posts to keep you busy:

Every single day I am reminded that perfection is simply not attainable – and that God loves me just the way I am. As I’ve learned those truths oh-so-slowly, God has continued to whisper (and sometimes shout) one word to my heart: GRACE. Giving up on perfect means accepting and extending grace, over and over and over again.

Let’s not waste our lives searching for perfection tied up with an untouchable bow.

Let’s choose, right now, to give ourselves and each other more grace, to grab hold of our real lives, our true selves, and to embrace every second of this challenging, gritty, beautiful, messy reality that we have instead.

Let’s tackle our preconceived notions about what our homes, families, careers, faith and more would or should look like once and for all – and get busy getting on with life.

Won’t you join me in giving up on perfect and getting on with life?