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Home Is Wherever I’m With You (Chapter 1)

Hey Everyone! THE DAY HAS COME! My most requested post to date, a tour of our little loft. One of my best friends ever, Stephi Velez of stayed with us over the weekend and snagged some photos of us at home. The one room we didn’t show was our kitchen because I want a special post just about that area so stayed tuned for Chapter 2! We lived in a different loft in the building when we got married, and then in November we moved into this unit. We liked the apartment structure while still keeping the loft vibes. We’ve been in this loft for seven months, and it’s just now starting to really feel like home. The interior is darker with fewer windows and full brick walls, so we went with lighter furniture and accessories to contrast… We had a TV on top of our faux fireplace mantle, but recently we took it down and put up this beautiful portrait from our wedding that Byron gave me on our anniversary! Never did I think we’d have a HUGE hand painted portrait of our faces on the wall, but it was a handmade piece of art from Jesse DeLeon and it’s a conversation starter for sure. Now when we have friends over, we’re not just staring at a TV but we’re talking about art, playing boardgames, and actually looking each other in the eye. So many people ask me how I designed my home and really my Mom is an incredible interior designer that gave me so many pieces and helped me put everything together. I change things constantly, move furniture around, and restyle areas all the time. Another question I get is how I style my book shelves, which is a totally different post! So if anyone wants to know specific styling things comment below! Anyway, thank you guys for checking this out! We hope you like this glimpse into our little home! Xx Mariah

All photos from, custom portrait by Jesse DeLeon (IG: @de_leonartz,

# G O A L S

Wellllll howdy there! Yes! I’m alive! No! I haven’t abandoned this sweet little blog although I know it seems like it! I’m sorry! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years were crazy and super busy for us… (Ok ok, yes I spent most of my time eating pie.) But we were traveling and spending QT with family and friends. But I miss YOU FRIENDS! You guys, life update… After flying home from New York on January 3rd, we got up the next day and headed down a very new road. We started two new jobs at an incredible church here in Houston! For some reason, we have offices which I think is HILARIOUS because I feel like a lawyer with a desk. But we get to serve under an amazing youth pastor, and serve the vision of senior pastor’s that planted this church 2o years ago. It’s so insane for us, it feels like the first day of school. Everyone is new, everyone is so experienced and we’re literally just trying to take it all in! It brings up this subject of “goals” to me… A term we’ve all coined recently to comment under photos of things we wish we had and were. But how many of those “goals” do we actually make an effort towards? On the flip side of that, how many of these “goals” are things we envy? Or things we pressure ourselves to reach and then beat ourselves up about when we can’t reach it right away. Starting this new job, I find myself scrutinizing every move I make. Every time I feel like I didn’t connect with a student the way I wanted to, every time I see someone texting during a message I’m preaching, every time I interview a volunteer and walk away wishing I did a better job. It’s a never ending cycle of rubbing against the sandpaper of my “goals”… But the real question is how do we try to do our best and be teachable without punishing ourself for every misstep? How do we keep our goals from turning into a land-mines of perfection that end up hurting us later?

There are a million things about our inner selves and outer selves that we can point out to change. Every year we make resolutions to lose weight, get healthy, cook more, sleep more. But then in-n-out starts calling your name. (man, that sounds so good rn). What if one of our goals this year was to find the really really really good things – the positive things, the things that set us apart – and focussed on them. Yo, like have some grace for yourself today. Just like I want to be the best at my job, you want to be the best wife or girlfriend or daughter or friend ever, or you want to have the best grades and make every winning shot every game. There’s no way to accomplish every instagram goal we see every day. But set mini goals for the day. Have grace for yourself for the day. Take heart in the fact you’re doing your very best. If we spend all of our time beating ourselves up over things that have already happened – there’s no growth there. When you give every desire and trial to Him, He gives you your place in the sun in His timing. He teaches you, He stretches you, He places you in ways we don’t have the capacity to do by ourselves. Keep your soul healthy by placing your stare on the strengths God has given you. My strength may not be your strength! But we can learn from each other, give to each other.

I know life can be overwhelming. My to-do list is currently two pages long. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in work with no time to play, but these are the moments when we have to shut the door, close our eyes and say “God, I look to you. I won’t be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like you do.” Take life one step at a time and know there’s grace for you today. For your to-do list, for your homework, for your #goals. Take a breath. And know you have a beautiful and inspired life – find the beauty and be thankful for it all! I promise you’ll conquer this week with joy!


Love you guys! x Mariah


Interior Design

“God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish.”
Philippians 1:6

Today, I woke up feeling tired, weary, disappointed in myself and devastatingly unmotivated. Just finding it to be a challenge to remember the sparrows and find the bright side. Some days it’s hard to fight off the lies from hell… but I got out of bed, washed my face, and started cleaning, organizing and redecorating (a normal occurrence in my loft). And then Jesus impressed something upon my heart. Just because my loft needs work – some polishing, some more furniture and organizing – doesn’t mean

I’m just going to forget about it and move out. No! I’m going to spend even more time here, using all the energy I can to make it beautiful so that I can invest into others and use it as a place of healing and worship. I’ll keep rearranging things for awhile because I want it to be the best it can be. I have a vision for my space, for my life, and I know that it won’t be a perfect apartment overnight – if ever! Just because it’s not perfect yet doesn’t mean I’m just going to move back to my parent’s house.

I feel like that’s what Jesus does for us. I want to be a space, a vessel, that Jesus can use. But most times fear, failure, sin and humanity can make a mess inside. God doesn’t just leave me and move out and stop using me (just like I wouldn’t move out of my loft when there’s dishes in the sink).

God still uses us in progress. In the polishing, the decorating, the vacuuming. He doesn’t wait until we’re perfect. It’s His presence and design that makes us worth using, worth living in and loving.

He uses you. He lives in your space and loves you while He’s working. Trust Him with every dirty dish, every unmade bed, every pile of laundry. He lives with the carefree AND the brokenhearted. Wherever you are in process, know He doesn’t leave you or wait for you to be a perfect house to live in. He loves living in you, using you, decorating you and perfecting you in His image. He’s (drake voice) faithful faithful faithful, faithful to finish what He’s started in you.

He will never move out, He will never stop designing.

xx Mariah

malena blog

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