What We Are AboutIntro to Best & Beautiful You
It took more than 27 years…
My name is Mary and my Life has always been a Mustard Seed of Faith.
My God has been there Through It All for me.
This is His Story Through Me.
I was born March 24th 1969 to a rebel teenage boy and a teenage catholic school girl.
I have vague memories before 6th grade-only stories-When I was 3 months old my mother took me and fled Chicago – following her mother to California.
She met Dan Fitchie whom she married when I was 3 and left him when I was 6.
My only memories from that time that are not stories is when I was in my safe place with her mother (my grandma Dee) who relocated to Lake Havasu City, Arizona along with my Aunt Gladys (Grandmas sister) and Grandma Dolly (grandma’s friend who became family) I would fall asleep with my dog Rover when my mother would drive us from California to Lake Havasu to visit them high and drunk as I knew I would die in that car and wanted to be asleep so I would not feel it. God had other plans for me!!
After being in and out of foster care my grandma had me come live with them so my mother could get her life figured out.
My safe place was taken away when my mother met DJ and wanted the “perfect” family. His job moved him to Phoenix – I was at least closer to my safe place!!
My mother continued to drink and use drugs (both prescription and illegal), as well as have other men over while DJ was at work.
I found school to also a safe place for me. When I was in 7th grade, I met Tammy Schlador at the bus stop … (she would trade her $1 for lunch that her mom gave to her so I could have money – for cigarettes – in exchange for my free lunch ticket – then share her lunch with me!!)
I was always in trouble… (the only time I could get attention from my mother) and grounded. Tammy invited me to church with her family and since that was the only time I could leave the house, I jumped at the chance. My only exposure to God prior was with my grandma and that was Catholic and Lutheran rules that I did not want to follow. My mother even had a sign on her wall that read When God created man she was only joking. When it was raining, I was told I was bad, and God was peeing on me.
This church they went to was different. Not about the rules and meanness of God. They taught about a loving man named Jesus. I was baptized in a short amount of time after attending.
The Schlador family was the family I used to only dream about. (Mom, Dad, Tammy, Paul, & John) – parents and siblings!! I found my new safe place!! I was with them as much as possible!!
In 9th grade I was able to live with them for a little while when my mother went to detox.
On Christmas eve of 10th grade my mother held a knife to my throat in a drunken and drugged rage telling me she gave me my life and she had the right to take it away. I managed (by God’s hand) to get away. I went to live with the Schlador’s for a while so my mother could get the help she needed.
Living with my mother I had open access to drugs and alcohol (which was ‘cool’ and an escape) A few months into my junior year she got a DUI working for the Sheriff’s office and lost her job. She pulled me out of school to work 2 jobs to support us. She was always there to get my checks and one night while cleaning as she was passed out I found a utility disconnection and an eviction notice..I knew where the money had been going.
I did not want this life for myself, so I called the Schlador’s and begged to move back with them. Their love was unconditional but there were conditions for this to happen. They needed to have legal guardianship of me and I had to be back in school…My mother was not going to have any of that.
I gave her a choice…show up at the lawyer’s office or I would turn her and all her dealers into the police. She was at the lawyer’s office early that day, which happened to be scheduled on my 17th birthday. My grandma Dee died that July.
In September I was back in school and in my now in a few of my safe places once again. I took correspondence courses and extra credit hours to make up for the year that I had lost. I wanted to graduate with my class of 87!!
In Spring of 87 I was pregnant and so ashamed. I had let my family down. They loved me through it and gave me 3 A choices…abortion, adoption, or all my life (abortion was not an option to them as they had been arrested and news crews at our house for stopping abortions at a Tempe clinic and all my life…I could not picture that at the time I walked in my graduation that May and had a family ready to adopt my child through Christian Family Care.
My 9lb 12 oz daughter Reena Louise was born December 24th 1987…My mother was back in my life and offering a home for us if I wanted to keep her now that she was here!! I had her in foster care for 3 days and decided to keep her and we went to live with my mother and her new boyfriend. The patterns with my mother were still there and I did not want the same life for my daughter. When I told my mother I made a wrong choice, she told me the day she leaves is the day I had to leave…when my daughter was 6 months old, I knew what I needed to do even though I was hurting and dying inside…I called my advocate at Christian Family Care. A new family adopted her and changed her name to Amanda Noel and the Schlador’s AGAIN let me come back home!!!
I had been dating an amazing man Scott Kominska during this time who served time in the Navy and was ready to settle down…I was nowhere close to that so when he asked me to marry him, I said no…
In 1990 I was working at Sun State Savings and loan when the FTC came in and took over during the Savings and loan crisis. They offered me a job and when they did my background check, I was informed that my last name Fitchie was not legal. I had to go back to my birth last name of Hartfield…
I was told my whole life my birth father wanted nothing to do with me so imagine my surprise when my mother called me later that year and told me she was getting back together with him and they wanted me to come and give our family a chance in Chicago…I jumped at the chance and when I got there it was a disaster and I was stuck!! Within a few months God made a way for me to come back to Arizona, I honestly do not remember how!!
I was again working on getting my life together…then in May of 1991 the only man who loved me unconditionally, Dad Schlador was called home to be with Jesus… but I did not see it that way then…That was my I hate you God moment and I spun out of control back to drinking, drugs, and escaping. Later that year I was pregnant from a one-night stand and had one of those A choices I was given before…I had an abortion.
I continued to drink and drug and in 1992 I met James. We were both broken humans trying to mask our pains. James had some prior legal charges, jail time, and was on probation…I thought I could fix him.
Within a few months of being together I was going to move in with him, however his roommate did not approve. I went to his apartment complex and saw police cars…as I walked up to his apartment… I saw they were there…at his apartment…arresting James for violation (he kept a knife in his mattress for protection) …the roommate had called them we found out later…
James spent a few weeks in jail and then was sentenced to court appointed rehab. Within a few weeks he jumped the fence and came to me. I was living with a friend who I got my drugs from.
In less than a week I knew I was pregnant, and he needed to leave the state of Arizona. We sold what little we had, hoped on a Greyhound bus with $500 dollars in our pocket and a duffle bag of clothes and went to Kokomo, Indiana where a friend of his lived. (No…Not the Kokomo song from the Beach Boys!!)
We only stayed with him a few days and had to leave. James got a job at Lee’s Chicken and I at the Ramada Inn, but it was not much to live on. We were told not to live on the other side of Markland Ave, but we found that was all we could afford. We were the only whites in an all-black neighborhood. (best neighbors I have ever had in my life!!)
My 3rd A choice happened…the All of my life…when our 10lb 7oz son Bryan was born on December 20th of 1993.
From 1993 – 1998 we built a new life in Kokomo…Unfortunately as I have learned you are wherever you go so patterns of use did not stop …James and I did baptize Bryan a few days after he was born and were married shortly after he turned 1. We started going to church and were baptized together…there was a double rainbow that day…that is God’s promise!!
We put our faith in people instead of Jesus so when the people hurt us we fell away..Mother’s day of 1998 the police came to the door looking for David (James’s brother who was with us for a while and got into trouble and had bounty hunters looking for him)..When they asked for ID to prove James was not David the past came back to haunt us and James was arrested…then a few months later Extradited back to Arizona…
The move back to Arizona was what I needed!! Being a functional meth user for 10 years…thinking I had everyone fooled… when Bryan was 5 his dad and I took him to a counselor and she said very powerful words of truth…you have a screwed-up son because he has 2 screwed up parents, when are you going to stop using drugs… That was the last day I used meth!!! And divorced James the following year.
I was still drinking and began using prescription drugs to escape while still looking for love in all the wrong places. I had to completely close the door on my mother in 2003 and stop chasing the fantasy of the mother I thought she should be.
In my continuing wrong belief of I can love them enough to fix them, I met my second husband Beau…Again 2 broken people trying to mask the pains of our pasts. We married on New Year’s Eve of 2005.
In February of 2008 Mom Schlador was called home to Jesus…again I did not see it that was but was really starting to search for the God I knew before…
In June of 2006, money was tight, and we needed extra income, so I started an Avon business and became an entrepreneur (that is what our country was founded on after all!!).
February of 2012 after almost 7 years of employment with KB Home I was laid of (this was during the recession, and I had survived many previous rounds of layoffs and had gone part time since I was making more in my business than I was working Corporate America!!) I had already earned lots of trips from my business too!! This year I celebrated 17 years in business.
In August of that same year, I addressed the elephant in the room as Beau and I were leading separate lives, Beau told me that he did not want to be married anymore and we were divorced a short time later. I am grateful for him pushing me away!!! Later that year while undoing a lot of wrongs I had done in my life I was given a beautiful gift…Scott came back in my life!!!
May 17th of 2013 Scott and I we said our vows and were FINALLY married…I am so grateful for the many chances God gives us!!!
I am grateful for the loving God we have and His patience!! I recommitted my life to Him and was baptized for the 3rd time in 2014 and was working on forgiveness.
Thanksgiving of 2015 I found my mother in Florida and had a conversation with her (nothing on her side had changed). I got to tell her I loved her and forgave her as I know she did the best she could. She said that Joyce Meyer was our connection, so I knew she believed!!!
In early 2017 while serving at a Joyce Meyer conference I received a call that she had brain cancer. She died a few months later…the same night I had tickets to Chris Tomlin’s concert!! When he sang his song Home, I knew that is where she was!! I began calling her Momma Lou that night!!! She is healed and FREE!!
April of 2017, I had the honor and privilege of baptizing my husband Scott!!!
God was continuing showing me where forgiveness needed to happen in my life..in the summer of 2017, with James and I both following Jesus instead of people, our relationship completely changed and was met with friendship, love, grace, and forgiveness. When I received the call from his mom on May 30th 2018 that he had died, I knew he is where he always wanted to be..Dancing with Jesus!! Like Kathy Lee Gifford’s song…He Saw Jesus!!!
Bryan (our son) was already in a bad place (pretty much homeless) when James died. We had him come stay with us and a few days after James’s death my suspicions were confirmed…Bryan was using heroin. He admitted he needed help and I spent 3 days detoxing him. Within a few days he used again. I called the police, and he was arrested from our home on a warrant. Later that day I started my learning boundaries journey thanks to a class offered at Central Christian Church.
A few months later Scott and I heard the call from God to sell our 2100 sq ft house. In less than 3 months we had sold our house and moved into our 1200 sq ft house! Everything we had dreamed of in a house in in this house!! (God cares about the details!!) Walking in pure faith (most everyone told us it could not happen!!) God will move mountains to put you where He wants you. All things work together for those who believe and follow!!
In March of 2019 Bryan reached out to me and asked for help with the addiction. He began attending church with us and then I had the honor and privilege of baptizing him on my 50th birthday!! 2 days later we walked with him through 3 weeks of Valley Hope of Chandler intensive inpatient rehab and was he released on April 18th. Against all the advice he chose to go back to his apartment where he lived alone and relapsed. He had several additional rehab stays and relapses. In July he was my guest at the Rooted celebration and chose to surrender and was baptized again!! He was high and did it for me before…he calls this his clean one and did it for himself… We cannot want it for them more than they want it for themselves… August 6th through lots of prayer he moved back in with us. He was doing well. He completed the Rooted experience and the Boundaries class!! When covid hit and with work from home there was a relapse …as much as my flesh wanted to kick him out I kept hearing “show him me”…we showed him grace, love, and forgiveness…!!!
We needed to eventually ask him to leave. The last 2 years he has lost his job, his apartment, had a few DUIs, and has also lost his car…He is currently homeless and on fentanyl…Please pray for him. I am trusting and waiting on God!!!
God has freed me from my desire to drink 4 ½ years ago. Marijuana helped me get off prescription drugs but then also became an addiction for me. He has also freed me from that addiction 3 ½ years ago!! Instead of escaping when I have struggles, I look to HIM…
Embracing the Boundaries class while doing intensive Christian counseling for over a year (along with a few EMDR sessions) I was putting in the hard work of healing as I am the common denominator in everything that is right and wrong in my life.
Facilitating the Rooted experience in January of 2019 added to my healing and helped me to process and own the last 25 years of my story.
I began attending PAL (Parents of Addicted Loved Ones) in March of 2019…that That was a blessing to me and others in our group say I was a blessing to them!! That is how our God works!!! I will even be presenting Boundaries for yourself and your addicted loved ones next Tuesday!! Look at God go!!!
I facilitated again in the Rooted Experience in May of 2019 where I was able to process and own the first 25 years of my story… and again in 2020!!!! He knew I needed 3 rounds of Rooted before Covid hit!!! Praise God!!
Being asked to pray about being a facilitator for Boundaries all I could do was laugh and say, “who me”!!!??? I felt the nudge and began facilitating in 2019. We completed another class that ended last night!!!
I am currently creating a 4-week curriculum helping people though a journey of their thoughts, boundaries, and self-care that will be launching in January of 2024!!
God knows what we need when we need it…We must simply be Brave, doing it afraid, and saying YES!!
I began my journey with the Cares ministry at Central in 2021 after God used Don to keep planting and watering those seeds!! This has been such a blessing and I have seen so much growth in myself and others. We recently completed the 12-step study written by Don…The ladies and I each gave one word to describe this experience…they are Empowering, Boundaries, Healing, Helpful, Vulnerable, and Humbling. God revealed to me during this time that my son was my addiction…I have fully surrendered Bryan and finally stopped paying for his phone and being Holy Spirit Jr…I needed to fully get out of the way and let Jesus do what only He can do…He is not my son…He is God’s…I did not put him in my belly, God did…He had a plan for Bryan well before I know I was pregnant. I am embracing the words given to me a few years ago…raise your children to leave you and not need you.
In closing I am dedicating my testimony to Pastor David Wilinski…Jesus called him home a few months ago unexpectedly. His family and our Central community are still healing through the grief. He had a heart for Jesus and the broken. He was a blessing to all of us.
I had shared with him and Sarah (his wife) that I went from being a drug dealer to today being a Hope dealer. The next thing I know I was gifted this shirt that I am wearing today and will treasure it forever!!!
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight
He has taken the broken and made me beautiful
When it may look like I am surrounded I am surrounded my Him..that is how I fight my battles today!!
Jesus 100% man-100% God..He is in the boat..always has been and always will be!!
I am not strong…I simply surrendered!!!!
I’m just a nobody.
Trying to tell everybody.
All about somebody.
Who saved my soul!!!
Thank you for being here tonight and allowing me to share His testimony through me.
Avon Makeup Beauty Products Online
There were times when the only thing going well in my life was selling Avon. Now a full-time business, I love selling world-class products that make people beautiful on the outside and save money through quality. Avon has also given me the opportunity to connect to others through its team building program.
We give back 10% of all sales to a local non-profit each year!!
Do you have trouble saying no? Can you set limits and still be a loving person? What are legitimate boundaries? Learn how to set healthy boundaries to take control of your life by joining us in a nine-week class using a small group discussion format about Boundaries and “When to Say Yes and How to Say No”.
Currently the Boundaries class is held over Zoom to ensure proper physical distancing.
Celebrate Recovery and Parents of Addicted Loved Ones are other Support Groups available that work closely with Boundaries. View all resources at the link below.
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