Secretly, she had wanted to publish something all her life.
A conversation with one of her friends gave her an idea.
She talked it over with her pastor, Chris Winkleman, and he said, "Go for it."
Mary McSparin, Eldorado, contacted CrossBooks, Bloomington, Ind., a Christian publishing house, and sent them her synopsis.
They said, "Go For It!"
The book is a devotional cookbook titled "Taste and See: A Devotional Cookbook."
It is now available at Dream Baskets and Book Emporium in Harrisburg, Barnes & Noble's in Carbondale and online at Amazon.com.
"I was talking with one of my friends about how fast paced our lives are now. I thought possibly other women, and younger women especially, might want help and encouragement while cooking meals each day. She and I combined our recipes with a few outside recipes. I then wrote the daily devotionals," she said.
"I have always written. When I was a child, I loved doing essays in school.
"I love writing! I can touch people's emotions when I write."
McSparin graduated from Cave-In-Rock High School in 1975, Southeastern Illinois College, and then attended Mid-Continent University earning a bachelor's degree in business management in 2011.
"While at Mid-Continent I served as class chaplain and had to prepare class devotionals. I tried to come up with something different every time. I have always loved words," she said.
"I feel the Lord gives me ideas. They come to me at the strangest times and places.
"When I wrote 'Taste and See' I was simply following my pastor's suggestion to build a class around the material and teach it at the church. That class grew from six weeks to twelve weeks because women wanted more of it."
Sensing that she was on to a good idea she contacted CrossBooks of Bloomington, Ind. and the publisher called her after reading her submission.
"They were very encouraging," she said."It took one and a half years before the book was printed. There are soft-covers, hard-covers and an E-Book.
"My decision to write came to me after hearing Chris speak on Joshua 18:3. 'How long will you wait to take possession of the land I have given you.'
"It may be a small book, but it lines up with the Bible." she said.
She has a website www.marymcsparin.com.
CrossBooks website is www.crossbooks.com
McSparin said one of the things she learned while writing the book was not to be too hard on herself when revising her work.
"You have to revise, revise but I learned not to beat myself up over a few errors," she said.
Page 2 of 2 - The book is divided into categories, starting with appetizers and ending with desserts.
"The number one priority of this book is for readers to understand the scriptures and answer the questions in each section," she wrote in the introduction.
McSparin said there will be more books, possibly a novel, in the future.