Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Joy is Servanthood: Guest Post at Unveiled & Revealed

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

I had the privilege and honor to guest post over at Unveiled & Revealed today! Brianna is a For the Love sister of mine and I have so enjoyed her blog.

She challenged us to write about joy in 100 words. Only 100. That's not a whole lot!


Joy—we all want it. Why is it so hard to get? It starts more here.


What is joy to you in 100 words?

Friday, December 18, 2015

#FridayFive :: Five Hopes in the New Year

With the eve of the New Year nigh upon us, I wanted to discuss five hopes I have for 2016. These hopes, some may result in life change and a perspective shift, are something I'm looking forward to!

In 2016, I hope to learn more.
I long to be reflective and recognize what I've learned over the course of each month. I have so enjoyed linking up with emily p. freeman for her monthly reflection of what she has learned. Since I am out of school, it's so important for me to continually stretch my mind and by putting that in writing, I am committing to it and identifying how I have grown.

I have asked for a few resources to help me learn something new this year. One of those is a hand-lettering kit for Christmas in an effort to learn how to create some beautiful hand-lettered art. I also look forward to reading some great books and blogs as well.

In 2016, I hope to be more intentional.
I long to be intentional with my family, the ministry I'm part of, and the community I'm in. Each person has needs that must be met differently, I desire to identify those needs and intentionally meet them in whatever means I can. Our family motto is 'Love God. Love People. Have a Purpose.' Being intentional is exactly that!

In 2016, I hope to be used.
Used. Used, not in the sense of 'used and abused,' rather I yearn to be utilized by the Lord. I want to be obedient. Hands open to whatever comes. I want to remember to hold loosely to the things of this life and be used by God--whatever that may look like.

In 2016, I hope to adventure.
We will be venturing down a new year, another year of life with our daughter, another year of marriage, and into whatever is coming our way. I love adventuring, exploring and discovering. I want to do more of that with my daughter. Harper is going to explore a whole new world--and I am so excited to be staying home with her to adventure alongside her.

In being obedient and being open to being used by God, adventure will come!

In 2016, I hope to love well.
Loving well and not looking back. Loving others without regret. Not worrying about what loving others looks like. Not questioning how it will all work out, rather loving with no regard. When I love others well, Proverbs 31 comes to life.

What hopes do you have? Link up with Mrs. Disciple and let us know!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Spread the Joy: Guest Post at Radically Broken

Today I am guest posting on Radically Broken in her series on Advent. Below is an excerpt from the posting!

As this is our first Christmas with our sweet daughter, I aim to be very intentional with her about the season of Advent and the birth of our Savior. We assembled her plastic nativity last night and as she crawled around with a shepherd in her mouth that was hanging on by his staff, I began to contemplate the role of these shepherds.

Read more here.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

#FridayFive :: Five Joys

These joys are so simple, yet so very important to the season of life that I am currently in. I would love to continually post Five Joys for my week. I will be posting later about 'Joy being found in Servanthood;' however, at this point in time, my brain can only handle composing these 5 things that bring me great joy.

I need this outlet. Running is therapeutic for me and it is necessary for my sanity. The pounding of the pavement and my heart inside my chest, it's both challenging and life-giving. Joy is found in each difficult step, knowing that I'm running towards the prize.

Hot Showers
As of late + being a momma, self-hygiene got pushed to the back burner more often than I would like to admit. I never realized how beautiful a hot shower truly was until I didn't get to do it nearly as much. :) Hot showers are relaxing and rejuvenating and this momma needs more of them! I'm sure those around me would appreciate it as well.

Baby snuggles are the absolute best and I get so much joy from it! Harper is probably the best snuggler around town. I want time to freeze when we snuggle. I often stare at her--taking every tiny thing in. I long to notice each hair, breath, and grasp. Having this perspective makes each moment with her special, and I'm often reminded that my longing for my daughter is like my longing for my Savior. I want to learn everything about our Creator because He loves me. He knows me.

Date Nights
It's so very important for my husband and I to be intentional in spending time with one another. I don't want to lose sight of our first love for one another. Date nights are a routine and it's an event that is very much looked forward to.

Good Books and Quiet Time
I've always enjoyed reading, though it became a chore while in school. As of late, I feel that this joy had been rekindled! I was blessed to have been on the launch team for Jen Hatmaker's book For the Love in March. It was exactly what my soul needed. Since then, it has sparked an interest and true enjoyment in reading once more. I have now taken part in several book launch teams and I cannot say enough about the joy I get when I read and recommend these books to friends! I've also begun to have a better, and more consistent quiet time because of this deepened desire to read. God is so good. I have seen how He has used each of these launch teams to pull me closer to Him.

What are five joys in your life? What brings you joy? Link up to Mrs. Disciple and share your #FridayFive!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thankful Thursday

It's Thursday! It's time for me to reflect on this week and express thanks for each and every thing. The good, the bad, and the ugly. :)

I am thankful for family time. Tyler had to travel, so we are enjoying some evenings at home. I love the simple things that we do as a family--cook, eat, bathe Harper. They are seemingly uneventful, but I love it. We are also planning to take Harper to see her first round of Christmas lights this weekend--it should be so awesome!

I am thankful for the opportunity to serve. We enjoyed a ladies staff day this week and I loved getting the opportunity to serve Blue Santa. We wrapped Christmas presents--and if you know me well, you know that I am awful at wrapping gifts. It was a challenge, but I loved it. I had a great time of community as well.

I am thankful for challenges. Challenges for me come in many forms--wrapping Christmas presents, writing for someone's blog, stretching myself, etc. I am thankful for those challenges because it gives me the opportunity to push myself and grow! Life is made sweeter when I can grown, stretch, and become better at something.

I am thankful for the opportunity to watch sweet Harper grow, change, and develop. She's changing rapidly. I don't want to miss any of it! Last weekend I watched Inside Out and I loved it. I want to cherish each memory with Harper.

I am thankful for Christmas lists and Amazon. Amazon Prime is a beautiful thing and has allowed me to knock off a good portion of my Christmas list. Prime has allowed me to shop without leaving the house, and it arrives at my house in TWO days. Everyone needs this in their lives.

I am thankful for hard days. Hard days make the easy days so much better and sweeter. Without the difficult days, I would grow tired of the good days. My innate desire is not to be satisfied with what I have, even the good days can become expected rather than treasured. I want to treasure each and every day!

I am thankful for simple truths. I often read aloud The Jesus Storybook Bible or Bedtime Bible Stories to Harper and I am often reminded of these beautiful, simple truths. Sometimes I need those reminders stripped down and simplified.

I am thankful for Advent. Other than gathering around an Advent wreath and lighting candles one Sunday per week in December, I don't remember knowing or participating much in Advent while growing up. Now that this will be Harper's first Christmas, we are looking forward to Christmas traditions with her. I want to be intentional with her, for her to see that the Advent season is all about the anticipation, waiting, and trusting in the coming of Christ.

I am thankful for fulfillment in Jesus. Advent is important in that we learn about Jesus being a true and better Adam. A true and better Moses. A true and better Noah. We no longer have to offer up a sacrificial lamb because He is the Lamb. We no longer have to light a menorah because He is the Light of Life. He fulfills all of God's promises. 2 Corinthians 1:20, "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God."

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

#FridayFive :: Five Traditions

This #FridayFive is an extremely sentimental and fun one! We are discussing Christmas Traditions! My family was very rich in Christmas tradition and as this will be our first Christmas with a child, we been reflective over the traditions we both held growing up and those we want to hold onto or create with our own family.

A staple in our house is to watch a Christmas movie -- generally we watch one a night, a few days leading up to Christmas. We love to kick off the Christmas movie season by inviting friends over to watch Elf with us. A family favorite of mine while growing up is A Christmas Story. We love this simple tradition and love to cultivate a sense of community while gathering around the TV with some cider or cocoa.

We snag ornaments from everywhere we travel. This in and of itself has become a beautiful tradition for us. Some of my favorites are from the National Parks that we visit throughout the year. One of the most meaningful ornaments is from Acadia National Park in Maine, as we named our daughter after our time there (you can read more about that here). We love to decorate the tree with those ornaments and reminisce over our time on that trip!

Every year, my family would load up the car and head out of town. When we arrived at the Christmas Tree Farm, we would squish several families onto a hayride. My brother and I would take turns deciding where we would stop to hop off. We would pick the perfect tree and cut it down. It was ours. We worked hard for that tree, sawing, chopping, and agreeing on the 'one.' Once the tree was cut, our family would be taken back to the barn at the front of the Tree Farm and drink cider while the tree was tied to the car. I would love to continue this tradition on; however, my husband is allergic! The best I can make of the situation is to use a fake tree and I now diffuse pine tree oil--which then makes the whole house smell like we have a real tree! Problem solved.

One thing I want to do with Harper is to go through Advent with her. My church had the Advent wreath and we would go through it each week as a family. I also want to partner Advent with being 'others' focused. Harper will help us look to help others, especially so in this season. I'm not sure what that will look like yet, but I know that we will look for ways to love others and express Christ's love for others by the giving up of ourselves.

Every child has a toy that they always want at Christmastime, but some years those toys don't make it under the tree. My parents have since given us one toy that we wanted as a kid, but we didn't get. It's now become a tradition of ours to receive one 'kid' gift each year. This is an absolute favorite of mine because we end up playing with those toys as a family! One year, we all got Beyblades and battled one another for hours. Two years ago, we each got Nerf Guns and played in the front yard--some of those foam darts didn't make it past Christmas day! I genuinely look forward to (and often attempt to guess at) the 'kid' gift that we get. I urge you to do this with your family if you don't already--we all love it and it's such a blast!

What are some of your Christmas traditions? Link up with Mrs. Disciple and let us know!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

What I Learned :: November 2015

Does time ever stop? This month has flown by. I'll be linking up with emily p. freeman for her 'What I Learned' series for the month of November. That being said, check her site out and read what others have learned during this month and link up your own post, too!

November was crazy--beautiful, encouraging, busy. I've blinked and it's December. Bitter winds whip, ushering in the cold chaos that is the holiday season. Before we embark on the Christmas season, I want to reflect on what November taught our family.

Who actually cares about a red cup?
Grab some coffee and enjoy your life. Honestly, this is hilarious that people were ever upset over a cup. I would much rather grab coffee with a friend and dig deep into each others' lives over worrying about the cup it is served in. I love people, we are funny.

Patience and trust can go a long way!
Wow, the month of November was PACKED with opportunities to be patient. It was hard. Trying. Difficult. Challenging. Ultimately, we put our trust in the Lord and we are BLESSED for doing it. Patience is a discipline--one that I will continually have to learn, relearn, and be reminded of often.

Subway systems are neat.
We visited the Big Apple during November--we enjoyed it as much as we could, with both of us getting sick on our first trip without our sweet baby. One thing we were extremely impressed by was the subway system in NY. If we wanted to get anywhere. Google knew EXACTLY which line to take, when the next one is coming, etc. Technology is amazing.
Launching books is a lot of fun!
I was notified of two more launch teams that I am on--Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington and Raising Grateful Kids by Kristen Welch. I love to read and learn and read some more! I'll post more about the books later.
Self-reflection is necessary. 
I'm a list maker. A to-do list queen, if you will. Self-reflection helps me analyze what I can do to get things knocked off that list. Diana Kerr is a wonderful Christian Life Coach and she hosted a webinar on finishing 2015 strong--and it starts with creating a to-do list, setting goals, and wanting to achieve them! Analyze your action plan. Tyler and I have been setting goals (both short and long-term) and we discuss them every 6 months or so. I have NEEDED this in my life.

Decision making can be scary, but is ultimately rewarding!
I suck at making decisions. I would rather somebody else choose for me, because I know that I would be happy with anything. Unfortunately, that does not and cannot happen all of the time in this life. I made a tough decision this month...and I am proud of myself for it. I was given a super simple tip from a friend, she said to flip a coin with the two sides of the decision. As you flip it, you know in your heart what side you want it to land on--call it before it lands, and that is what you truly decide. It sounds so flippant; however, I was pleasantly surprised with how true this coin flipping has been for myself. I also realized that I was attempting to please the masses, instead of doing what was best for me.

People SWIM in the ocean on Thanksgiving.
That is crazy! They are brave. I enjoyed some time at the beach over Thanksgiving, but nothing was more bewildering to me than those that were swimming--and they were not in wet-suits or anything. We also heard some crazy Black Friday stories, but we decided to #optoutside and go to the beach instead. It was awesome--a fire, s'mores, and the ocean.

November, you've been a treat! Looking forward to what December has to offer!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

She Reads Truth :: Psalms of Gratitude, Day 3

Day 3 of She Reads Truth's Psalms of Gratitude has commenced! I would love for you to join me in digger deeper within Psalm 34:1-22.

This is a beautiful section of scripture packed with blessings and promises from the Lord! I am overwhelmed by His character that I have learned and been reminded of in this passage. The authors of this devotion want you to dig deeper into each gift that we are given in the specific verses below:

God’s gracious gifts to me!

verse 4:  He answers me
verse 4:  He delivers me
verse 5:  He sees me
verse 6: He hears me
verse 6: He saves me
verse 7:  He delivers me
verse 7: He protects me
verses 9-10:  He provides for me
verse 15:  He sees and hears me
verse 18:  He is near me
verse 18: He saves me
verse 20:  He protects me
verse 22:  He redeems me


Those who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing. Psalm 34:10

Because of His gracious provision, I will continue to be grateful. I am grateful for the truths found in scripture and seen to fruition in my own life. Lord, may my eyes be opened to Your blessings and provisions. May I continually turn back to You, in all things, and give thanks!

What new things are you learning about God while reading these Psalms of Gratitude? 

Friday, November 27, 2015

#FridayFive :: Five Thanks

Hello on this Black Friday! I'm going to be linking up with Mrs. Disciple for this #FridayFive--Five Thanks!

1 Chronicles 29:13, "Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name."
Psalm 106:1, "Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

If 'giving thanks' is in scripture multiple times, there must be a reason for it. I know that it isn't in our human nature to be thankful, rather it is an attitude and discipline. Hebrews 12:11 says that a discipline at the time is unpleasant; however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those that have been trained by it. I am currently in a season of training. Looking at each facet of my life and training my mind and heart to be thankful in all circumstances, as Paul learned to be content in everything. I yearn for that.

On Thanksgiving day, my husband gave me a wonderful gift--he took care of our sweet baby and allowed me to shower and get ready in quiet. While getting ready, I was reflective of what season of life we are in and why we should be thankful. I was reminded of a wonderful book that I had the opportunity to help launch this year.

In Jenny Simmons' book The Road to Becoming, she breaks down each season of life:  the dreaming/destruction, burying, lostness, waiting, and becoming. Her beautiful words bring me comfort for whatever this season of life it is that I am in, He will meet me there. I am thankful for each season of life, as I've been through each one, and I want to reflect and express my gratitude. I can see His hand in each season, and for that I am THANKFUL!

Thank Him in the Dreaming and Destruction
Life happens--both beautiful and sad. During this season, we are thankful that God is sovereign. We understand that He is in control, though it may not come easily. He paves the way. Lives are made new each day and sometimes that life is taken away. We can doubt God during this season or we can lean into His gracious arms. I've done both, and the doubting I did allowed me to draw closer to Him in time. It's how you handle the destruction that reflects your heart.

We are thankful because He is still there when all else fails.
We are thankful because He is the rock we cling when hard times come.
We are thankful because He is beside us in the midst of suffering.

Having walked through both dreaming and destruction while trying to start a family, I am so very grateful for the truth found in scripture.

Psalm 46:1, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

We thank You because, in You, we dream and find hope in the season of dreaming and destruction. We thank You for trust, strength, and desire in this season. We thank You for hearing us when we call.

Thank Him in the Burying 
Burying something is the acceptance of it being gone. The control you think you have over things is not truly in your hands. In the burying of these things, you soon realize that you should hold loosely to them. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't love well or fiercely nor should you live in fear that all will be stripped away; rather, you should live and love each day accepting that our hearts are made for things not of this earth. Our hope is in Christ alone.

We accept the grief that comes with burial. Grief allows your soul to heal. Burial brings grief and grief will eventually birth hope. We are thankful for that painful, yet magnificent, process!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

We thank You for the season of burial, for we know that through this season You are planning greater things. Our hope is in You and You alone. We thank You for allowing burial to happen and praise You for setting eternity in the hearts of men.

Thank Him in the Lostness
When we are lost, we think that no one knows where we are. But, being lost can be a wonderful thing! We can inhabit the stillness of being lost and listen, listen to what is happening around us. Find our bearings. Be reminded of our roots.

Sometimes I feel that God uses the lostness so that we can refocus on Him. When we've become so entangled in this life, when all is stripped away, and we investigate our hearts to find what truly matters. God is at the heart of it all. Lostness strips away the busy, the plans, the next steps. Lostness strips away the noise of this life.

After having two miscarriages, I often found myself crying in the car. Arguing with the Lord. I felt as though I was wrestling the Angel of the Lord, like Jacob at the Jabbok. This is when I felt lost. I recognized that God has a better plan, but I had put my hope in getting pregnant, because that's what others had told me. 'I was young. It's ok,' trying to brush the grief under the rug. The point of the lostness was to accept the burial and destruction that had taken place after the dreaming, and to know that God is who He says He is. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In an effort to start a family, I put all my hope in that.

Psalm 46:10a, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God..."

We thank You for FINDING us, no matter how far we've gone, You'll ALWAYS find us. We thank You for calling out to us in our lostness. We thank You for the calm and stillness in this season.

Thank Him in the Waiting
I feel as though this is the season that we have one foot in--heading out of, but still in to some degree, as we have been waiting and trusting in the Lord for some clarity over our daughter's health issues. Waiting is hard. Waiting sucks. Even still, I am continually reminded that He is good.

We thank Him because we know that He is fighting for us.
Standing beside us.
Holding our hands.
He is faithful, even in the waiting.
He is preparing the way for us.

Jenny's words hit home with my heart: "I want to finish well--and finishing well means having the patience to wait when waiting is required...Sprinting to the finish line only shortchanges dreams that need divine time to come to life."

God uses this time of waiting to refine us. To grow us. To make all things new. To make us more like Him. It is in the lostness and the waiting that we see glimpses of Heaven, glimpses of what is to become in us.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

We thank You for Your comfort, protection, and peace during the season of waiting. We thank You for allowing us to wait, trust, and lean in to Your plan.

Thank Him in the Becoming
Our other foot is stepping forward into the becoming. The acceptance of this new 'normal' for our lives and we want to live it.
Live every day and be thankful for each new mercy.
Each new morning.
Each new blood cell that is produced in our daughter's sweet marrow.

We are praising Him because we know that we are blessed. We know in our hearts that we may never have an answer from the doctors, and that is ok! It does not mean that God is any less good. We can find rest in knowing that He is working in us. We rest in His goodness, His blessings, His faithfulness, His promises and His coming again.

John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Whatever season of life you find yourself in, may you live life to the full. Rest in His blessings.

We thank You for the becoming. We thank You for the rest we find in You and the life we HAVE IN YOU.


We are thankful for each season because it draws us closer to Him and allows us to become more like Him. I want to give thanks for each season daily, to train myself to give thanks in circumstances. Training will eventually become a habit, and a habit becomes a state of mind. Lord, train me to be thankful and grateful every single day.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

She Reads Truth :: Psalms of Gratitude, Day 2

In Day 2 of She Reads Truth's study Psalms of Gratitude, I am exploring Psalm 19:1-14. This Davidic psalm is written by one who has witnessed creation and scripture. When I look at creation, my busy and weary soul is calmed. Finding rest in what He has created for our pleasure. I am thankful for His goodness, His creation, and His perfection. I am continually learning to seek after Him (our Perfecter) not what the human mind conceives as perfection--I'll never be able to stack up. Because His law is perfect, I must confess my imperfections.

Who perceives my unintentional sins?

Cleanse me from _______________________.

my impatience.
my anger.
my judgement. 
my brokenness.

Moreover, keep me from _______________________.

allowing those sins to harden my heart.
normalizing, rationalizing, and justifying those sins. 
Do not let them rule over me.
Then I will be innocent and cleansed from blatant rebellion.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

I recognize that I am broken and that makes Jesus all the more beautiful in my eyes. Thank you, Lord, for being far more than my human mind can fathom, for being bigger than my big worries and imperfections, and for seeing your Son when you see me. 

Your glory abounds, may I reflect Your glory in all I do.

Diving into Psalm 19:12-14, what are some issues you are working to surrender to the Lord?

Monday, November 23, 2015

She Reads Truth :: Psalms of Gratitude, Day 1

During this time, I am going through She Reads Truth's "Psalms of Gratitude" Study. This is my response to day 1, Psalm 100. I know...I am starting late in the study, but this is a perfect season to express thanks. I love that the activity asks you to respond to God. This is my prayer, my thanksgiving, my song of gratitude to God.

Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.

You are the Healer! 
You restore & make all things new! 
In me, You make all things new.

Acknowledge that Yahweh is God.
He made us, and we are His —
His people, the sheep of His pasture.

We are Yours, forever Yours. 
Til the end of my days, remind me that I am Yours. 
Even when we turn, we are Yours.
We are in Your hands.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.

We praise You because we are made in Your divine image. 
Some piece of me reflects You, though I am unworthy. 
You bend down and call me Yours. 

I will praise You because each day is a blessing. 
Though they can be hard, we praise You because each day is written in Your book. 
May You be glorified by each of my days.

For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal;
His faithfulness endures through all generations.

I know that I can write many more verses and versions of this song of thanks. My prayer is that this song would become a posture of praise, thanks, and worship to Him. 

What does your song of gratitude look like? Follow along at SRT for more Psalms of Gratitude.

Friday, November 20, 2015

#FridayFive :: Five Senses

This fall season has been wonderful! We've actually enjoyed cooler (but not cold) weather in's rare, so we are basking in the beauty of it!

I'll be joining up with Mrs. Disciple's #FridayFive again in the theme of 'Five Sense,' so I'll be discussing what my senses are up to currently!


I thoroughly enjoyed a Peppermint Mocha this morning. Peppermint and chocolate are a beautiful marriage. Having been sick for a little while, having a warm cup of coffee is a tasty treat. A smile in a cup, if you will.

Last night, we celebrated 'Friendsgiving' and it was so delicious. A Thanksgiving Potluck at its finest. We supplied the corn casserole, a personal favorite of mine! It was perfect melding of friendship and food. To say that Friendsgiving was merely enjoyable is an understatement. 'Twas a wonderful way to begin the celebration of this holiday season and it beckons me to appreciate our community, our lot in life. To reflect on this life and be grateful. I long to have that perspective continually.


I am feeling so much better after coming down with a stomach bug. That in mind, I am feeling very blessed to be back to 100%. I was once told 'the best part of being sick is feeling better.' Boy, is that true?! There's a new low in life when you hug airport porcelain. That is something I wish on no one, for it is cruel and unusual punishment.


Just this morning, I got to see my baby girl CRAWLING (forward) for the first time. In just a few days, she went from 1-2 scoots to a full on crawl. Look out, world! Here comes Harper! I cannot wait to see what she does, who she becomes, and watch her grow into her name, personality, and character. She is such a blessing to us and I don't want to miss a single thing she accomplishes, even the most mundane of things. I want to always remember the blessing that she is and those sweet blessings that she brings to us, that is my prayer.


I love the smell of fall. The cool, crisp air. The smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, sage, and apple are a perfect concoction for the fall enthusiast. The smell accompanies some delicious apple cider and a good book, perhaps some Longhorn football on the weekends. The fall, when Texas gets to experience it for a days, is a beautiful thing.

A pungent smell I encountered recently was in New York--the subway system! As we entered and exited a subway train, my nostrils were inundated with the specific 'New York subway stench,' but though it may sound gross, I was reminded of my childhood trips to Six Flags over Texas. The rides that my brother and I would ride over and over were the Mine Train and the Runaway Mountain. The ride would smell like grinding wet metal, a very distinct smell to me, and I loved that the subway reminded me of some fun summers had with my brother.


Wow, I could go on for days about The Lone Bellow's show that we went to last Friday night. Since that concert, I can do nothing but listen to them along with Leon Bridges. My soul longs for good music. Take me back, take me back. This is a full concert from another venue a while back. I am still brought to tears when I think back to their acoustic tribute to Paris. The raw emotion that is expressed in their show is something that I have NEVER seen before. Everyone needs to experience this.

I could also hear my daughter giggle for forever, days upon days. Every single time I hear her, I am reminded of many things...I am so thankful that she can laugh at the future, for it is in God's hands. I am thankful that she can giggle and enjoy life. That she can giggle and cast her cares on the Lord. Giggle and experience the things of this life for the first time, to have that fresh perspective. To giggle and trust that her needs will be met. Being a parent has opened my eyes to the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father. It's so very humbling and I want to continue to hear her giggle and coo so I can turn to the Lord with a new perspective and appreciation.

Would you like to link up with Mrs. Disciple for her #FridayFive? Tell me about your senses!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday

It's been a while since I've done a 'Thankful Thursday' post, so here goes...

I'm thankful for good news from the doctors. God is working in our dear little one's life and we are so thankful and blessed beyond measure! We know that He has her in His hands and we treasure all the encouraging news we get.

I'm thankful for time away. New York was awesome!  I'm so thankful to have spent time away with Tyler, it was a great time. I loved seeing The Lone Bellow in concert and walking through Times Square and Central Park. New York actually has seasons and experiencing that was wonderful!

I'm thankful for FaceTime. While we were away, we got to FaceTime with Harper and it was so sweet. FaceTime is totally underutilized in our this I say 'no more!' I love that family near and far can see Harper grow and change through the technology we have.

I'm thankful for sweet giggles. Being away made me appreciate them even more. I want to make Harper laugh forever and ever because her giggle is quite possibly the sweetest sound she can make right now.

I'm thankful for Peppermint Mochas and Caramel Macchiatos. YUM! After being sick, one could enjoy a sweet pick-me-up. Both help me usher in the holiday season.

I'm thankful for GOOD Italian food. New York definitely knows how to do Italian. We were never disappointed. Cheese. Bread. Delicious Sauce. DONE.

I'm thankful for the truth in Proverbs 19:21, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD'S purpose that prevails." Goodness, I need that continual reminder that His purpose prevails. Always. Forever. I'm so thankful for God's provision, in all circumstances.

I'm thankful for another book launch team endeavor, Breaking Busy. Here's a short bit from Alli Worthington's website on the book...'Sharing how society’s message of be more, do more, achieve more is keeping us from hearing God’s message to us, that doesn’t say ‘more’, but simply says ‘enough’. You are enough.'

What are you thankful for in this holiday season?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2015 Gift Guide for Her

Hey y'all! I'm linking up with For the Love of Dixie as she is creating a 2015 Gift Guide! I love this idea and thought it would be fun to add a few of my thoughts...

A Gift Guide for the Hiker

Puffer Vest! Keep your core warm and look fashionable while doing it.
Hiking Pants! Every hiker needs a good pair of hiking pants that wick water away, but also allow for comfort whatever the season.
Wool Socks! Goodness, these socks are amazing. I have several pair and you should too. These socks are meant to handle the terrain.
Swell Bottle! Keeps hot things HOT and cold things COLD--for a very stinking long time. Perfect for hiking.
Hiking Boots! I love my low-top hiking boots, they have saved my feet from extreme terrains and have held up well for quite a long time now. These boots were definintely made for walking.
Hydration Backpack! Keep at those extra miles without getting dehydrated.
REI Tech Shirt! Tech shirts are an amazing invention--keeping you warm while being lightweight.

A Gift Guide for the Book Lover

Coffee Mug! I love fun mugs. Books beckon a warm cup of coffee or tea.
Personal Library Kit! Who wouldn't love to create their own personal library system?! You can also check out your books to your friends and still know who has them.
Printable Bookmarks! Coloring is very relaxing, so print a bookmark and make it your very own.
Flower Pressing Bookmark Kit! I absolutely love this creative and beautiful way to make personal bookmarks.
Beautiful Throw! Snuggle up with a beautiful blanket and a fantastic book, you'll be set.
Extras: For The Love Book! There is not a woman I know that wouldn't enjoy this book. Order your copy, ASAP.

A Gift Guide for the New Mom

A Sleep Mask! This is a beautiful gift because sleep is a beautiful thing, specifically to a new mom. And it's extremely affordable, at only $6.
Dry Shampoo! Life-saver, perhaps not necessarily a Christmas gift...though it's a great stocking stuffer.
Teething Necklace! Momma's gotta look nice--might as well make it functional too.
Sweet Coffee Mug! You are a boss. Yes, you, momma. Rock it. Enjoy that coffee, too. Worth every sip.
Nail Polish! Because who doesn't love being pampered a little bit?!
Extras: A new mom would also love to have someone pay for a massage and a manicure! Perhaps a morning of being able to sleep in, if you have the luxury of gifting such an item!

These are just a few ideas of mine, what would YOU add to the gift guide?

Friday, November 13, 2015

#FridayFive :: Five Dinner Guests

I'm linking up once more with Mrs. Disciple for her #FridayFive! This week, we're discussing Five Dinner Guests.

This is RIGHT up my alley. We love hosting. I'm taking a slightly different spin on the Dinner Guests topic today...

Let's get the fire going and sit down to a warm meal and a fantastic drink. We'll have good conversation and food and dessert, of course! If the weather is right, we will fire up the grill. We don't have our cloth napkins ironed--or I may not even know where they are right now, but we're here to listen to your story and we've got paper towels. We don't have fancy china, but we have laughter and wine.

Five Things I Want Dinner Guests To Know

1. We love you.
We do. I'm sure I don't say it enough, but we love you. We love your friendship. We love your community. We love the way you love us.

2. We see you.
We want you to feel known. We see what you're dealing with. We see what life has thrown your way. We see you the way God sees you.

3. We are here for you.
Whatever you are going through, let's share a meal. A meal can be healing. A meal can be restorative. A meal can be just what you need. Just what we need. We are here for you, with whatever life brings your way.

4. We hear you.
I say this because I find myself longing to not just be listened to, but to be HEARD. There's a difference. I want you to know that you are heard. I'm not going to sit there thinking about what I will say next to contribute. I am focusing on you. Share your story. Your life. Your dealings. It's safe here.

5. We welcome you back, whenever you'd like.
Our door is open. But, please know that sometimes our house is messy and so are our lives. We love it and wouldn't have it any other way. Sometimes you walk in on the crazy. It just happens. We welcome you into our lives when we invite you over for dinner. We let you into the 'not-so-perfect' parts and our door is open for you. If you want the garage code, you just have to ask. We're vulnerable because that's what community is and does for one another. We open our door, our hearts, and our pantry to you! Enjoy.

I love having people over and I want to welcome you back.

Tell me about your Five Dinner Guests!

Friday, October 23, 2015

#FridayFive :: Five Smiles

I'm linking up with Mrs. Disciple again for this week's #FridayFive! Today, I'll be looking at Five Smiles and I couldn't be more excited!

Some of these smiles have changed over the years and others are constant in my life. As each season of life changes, so too do the things that make me smile.

This is a super precious one that joined our family several months ago. She has blessed our lives immensely and we are smitten. I have loved watching her learn and change and grow. I so look forward to what the Lord has in store for her life.

This handsome man makes me smile. He continually points me to Jesus and loves life. He reminds me to let things go, to catch sight of the bigger picture, and to try drinking black coffee. He loves well. Leads well. Lives well. Serves well. May we never forget where our blessings come from.

My community. These are my people. We do life together. And for that, I am eternally grateful. AND, I don't have a photo of all of us together. This MUST be remedied. I guess it's a good thing though--we are all so busy doing life together and cannot stop to take a photo. We are enjoying one another, confessing to one another, praying for one another, and loving one another...(at least, that's what I'm going to use as an excuse as to why I don't have a photo.)

My parents. What can I say about them!? They have helped shape me into who I am. They pointed me to the Lord, allowed me to fail, and helped me up when needed. I learned a lot of difficult lessons under their roof, and I am ever so grateful to have them love me unconditionally. It's been so great seeing them love their granddaughter, and I now recognize that they cared and sacrificed so much for me when I was a baby--I KNOW that they cared and sacrificed for me while growing up, but now that I have a child, I can TOTALLY see that and appreciate it at a new level of understanding. This photo is 7 years old, when they came down to Austin to run a race for a friend of mine that was battling cancer. THAT means so much. More than words can say.
I also find joy in a fresh cup of coffee--plus, peppermint mocha creamer can put a smile on this gal's face! Had you put a cup of coffee in my face a couple of years ago, I would have scoffed. Coffee is no longer a joke, it is a necessity. :)

Wanna join in on the #FridayFive fun? Check out Mrs. Disciple's page and share your Five Smiles!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Hello again! It is that time of the week: Thankful Thursday.

On this cooler, rainy Thursday, I am particularly thankful for a warm cup of coffee! I love waking up and having some coffee. Rather, I should say that I love to have a little coffee with my creamer.

I am thankful for early, but slow mornings with the babe. Sure they can be exhausting, but those early morning, slowly still waking up play sessions are just the sweetest. You can see her investigating and learning about every little thing.

I am thankful for lovely hikes. Nature is my jam. It is so rejuvenating. Hiking makes me so appreciative of all that is around me. It forces me to pay closer attention to details. It forces me to take a break and enjoy.

I am thankful for watching the sun set. Need I say more?!

I am thankful for a jogging stroller. Hard runs are hard, but jogging strollers make jogging with Harper so much more enjoyable. It is by no means easy! It's a good challenge, just what I need right now. I love it and look forward to running more with her.

I am thankful for high school football. Harper experienced her first football game tonight and she loved it. My high school football team was not good, so any opportunity we have to watch a team do well is a blast!

I am thankful for learning about sign gifts. In our life group this week, we discussed the sign gifts that are mentioned in the Bible. In preparation, I had to learn new things about speaking in tongues, healing, and prophecy. I enjoyed the challenge and I hope the students got a lot out of it.

I am thankful for long walks and talks. Long walks make for great opportunities to have conversations. I am not the type of person that can go on a 30 minute walk and not say a word, that is not me--unless I am forced! To this end, I cannot say that I have been forced to do so yet; however, I am sure there will be a time to come that all I will do on a walk is listen while Harper talks to me. That, I am so looking forward to! So, maybe it won't be 'forced,' rather I would enjoy listening to her thoughts and life-happenings.

I am thankful for this season of life. I want to always and forever be thankful for whatever season of life I am in. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes it is easy. Whatever it is, I love it and want to be thankful for it.

What are you thankful for this week?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

#FridayFive :: Perks of Being 27

27 is an odd age. In between 25 & 30. Not a big milestone so to speak. Nothing new that you couldn't do when you were 26. BUT, I will say that there are a few perks to being 27...

-When you're 27, you're not in your 30s yet. You can still claim that you're in your 20s for a little while longer. Hold on to that while you can because 30 is coming for you soon! :)

-When you're 27, you have some wisdom to share. What you have experienced in these short 27 years of life might be worth sharing. You've enjoyed sharing this married life with someone for these past 6 and a half years--wouldn't have it any other way. Life has happened, and that's worth noting. God has shown up in big ways in your life in these short years on Earth! Boy, are we thankful! Share it. What good does it do you to experience things in life and not share what you've learned?! You've been given a story. Tell it.

-When you're 27, you've grown up in a generation that has a lot of information at your fingertips. You have the power to impact so much! The power can be used in different ways and you've seen it go both ways--to rip others apart and build others up. What are you doing with social media? Are you building others up with your influence or not? This really brings to light your heart in each post. Are you doing it for yourself or for others? It is for good or not? Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

-When you're 27, you realize that you're part of a great generation that has experienced life before social media advances and with these advances. In all actuality, it's pretty sweet. You can document life in a brand new and exciting way; however, the face to face communication is a dying art. Practicing genuine face to face communication is key and it's crucial to this life. Do more of this and there will be great reward--it builds community, trust, and love. You also have the opportunity to build your social media relationships and turn it into face to face ones! Just do it. It's wonderful and beautiful. Grab coffee. Go for a walk together. Write a letter even. Yes, a real handwritten letter--not just an email. These advances are wonderful, but we must not lose sight of the beautiful things that got us here.

-When you're 27, you've grown significantly in causing others to feel seen and known and loved. You're not perfect, you're only 27, but you realize that this is important. Because in these 27 years of life, you have needed, craved, and longed for these things. You've received it and are working to habitually do the same for someone else. Let them know that they are seen, known, and loved above all. You are learning to truly be there for people. To embody community. To embrace someone and live life with them. To stand in their corner and fight for them and love them.

PS-When you're 27, you can still do risky things! You're young and have time to recover if anything crazy happens. You only live once. You'll only be 27 once--make it count. Run your race. Make decisions and stick with your gut--you've lived life well thus far. Finish 27 strong. Before too long, you'll be 28. And then a whole different adventure begins.

What are the perks of being your age?

I've linked up with Mrs. Disciple for this week's #FridayFive. You can too!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Woohoo! Another Thursday is here!

I'm thankful for community & accountability. Sometimes your feet are held to the fire to bring about growth and purification. Sometimes (most of the time, perhaps all) it sucks, so you need someone there to stand with you and bandage your feet after the wreckage. Yes, I'm thankful for those lovely people in my life.

I'm thankful for tithing & giving. Tithing and giving are important disciplines, but they aren't just disciplines--they are a delight! Once you let it become a habit, it truly is easier and you can then be the cheerful giver you are called to be. Also, I love that you can tithe 10% of pretty much anything as long as your heart is in the right place. I spend a lot of time on the computer or phone, for every hour I spend, 6 minutes of that needs to be given back to the Lord. I can send an encouraging text to a friend. Read a few verses of scripture. Even turn off my phone and pray for that time. Scroll through my contacts and pray for those people. Six minutes isn't much.

I'm thankful that there's progress being made on containing the Bastrop fires. I'm praying for those that are affected by the fire!

I'm thankful for a Texas win against OU. The few wins we've had this season are hard fought. I will relish in it! Hook 'em. Also, Bevo has been diagnosed with cancer--so that win was really for him.

I'm thankful for cooler weather and walks in the neighborhood. The weather is finally getting to an enjoyable point. I so enjoy it. Running can commence.

I'm thankful for learning. I attempt to learn something new all the time. I want to keep those synapses firing and grow my neuro-plasticity! Challenging myself. Furthering myself. What are you learning?

I'm thankful for fall. Fall is the marriage of football, pumpkins, apples, browns, reds, oranges, yellows, and ciders & soups. I love it and I now want to go bake while watching football!

I'm thankful for listening. Listening is such a key element to life. We get so hung up on talking and don't spend much time listening. I often am guilty of this. I want to be there for others and part of that is just showing up when necessary and LISTENING. This is a challenge for me--listening and truly soaking those words in, not listening and thinking about what to say next.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thankful Thursday :: Belated!

I know it's Friday, but I still want to express my gratitude, so here's my belated 'Thankful Thursday' post!

I'm so thankful for forgiveness and grace! It's truly freeing when these things are given out, and in turn, I want to throw it around like confetti. Try it!

I'm thankful for a date night to see Leon Bridges at ACL Live Taping. Here's his song 'Shine,' enjoy! Tyler and I had a great time together! Leon has fantastic stage presence, and though I doubt we were filmed since we were in the balcony, we definitely shouted for him. I'm sure our neighbors loved us.

I'm thankful for worship. We discussed worship with our junior class and it was honestly a lovely experience. I love that worship is a response of the heart, not just a set time for corporate worship on Sunday mornings. I needed the reminder of what worship truly is and how I am doing it day in and day out.

 I'm thankful for hard conversations. Though they may not necessarily be pleasant, we all need these types of conversations. You know the ones, they may step on your toes some but ultimately bring about grace, truth, and allowing the Holy Spirit to change your life. Yeah, those!

I'm thankful for Petra. There's one song I continually sing over Harper, that I will force her to learn one day. The song 'I Love You, Lord' is a short, sweet, and honest song. I love singing it over her while she's being fussy because it ultimately alters my perspective on the issue at hand. Of course I do what I can to get her to stop crying, but there are times that she won't. It is those times that I like to think that she is singing to the Lord. He hears her cries. He loves them. After having two miscarriages, the cries are a reminder of God's faithfulness in our lives. I pray that my heart would continually be reminded of that sweet truth, rather than get upset over Harper being expressive in this way.

I'm thankful for photos. Memories sealed in a capsule. Printed and enjoyed. I need more printed photos in my life. Reminders of the blessings in my life.

I'm thankful for Amazon Prime. 2 day shipping is the BEST! I can get real paperback/hardback books in my hands in two days and I don't even have to leave the house. Lazy, perhaps. Amazing, definitely! I can also find other things to order too, of course.

I'm thankful for the restorative time with family in Oregon. It was truly beautiful last weekend and my soul desperately needed that time in the wilderness, surrounded by His creation.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Today I'll be writing, as I hope to every Thursday, about what I'm thankful for! I'm writing in hopes of altering my perspective and enjoy each blessing.

I'm thankful that I get to watch Harper learn and grow. She is currently learning to roll over and we're working on crawling!

I'm thankful Tyler has been able to be home for some time now! I know it doesn't sound like a big deal but with all of his job sites, he has had to travel quite a bit. We've enjoyed this time together.

I'm thankful for LifeGroups! I love having the Juniors over at our house. I am so blessed by our time with them and have loved watching them grow and allowing them to grow and change me.

I'm thankful for Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey! I recently learned that I am going to be on her Launch Team. I have downloaded the book and so look forward to starting it! Book launching has become somewhat of a hobby for me and I LOVE it.

I'm thankful for community. I love that the Lord has provided these ladies for me to live life with. Everyone needs a tribe, your people...those that are in your corner, fighting for you, praying for & with you, and loving you.

I'm thankful for a Run for the Water 5K on Nov. 1! It will be my first race post-Harper--and I am pretty pumped! Anxious, but ready to get back to it.

I'm thankful to visit family. We are about to head out to see Tyler's parents in Oregon! They haven't seen Harper in several months, so I know it will be a good time with them.

I'm thankful that Harper is getting better. We are so humbled by this journey with her health; and it creates a deeper trust in the Lord, as we are not in control of her tiny body. God is faithful!

I'm thankful for having the opportunity to celebrate my Grandpa's 80th birthday this previous weekend. I have learned many things from that man! He taught me how to shoot, how to hoot & holler at football games, and most importantly how to truly care for others. He is a light to those around him and because of him I know what a percolator is. When I call and ask how he is, he says 'I'm percolatin' pretty good for an old fella!' Love him.

I'm hoping this new bit will create in me a spirit of gratitude, even in the smallest of things! What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What I Learned | September

I would love to start linking up with Emily P. Freeman at the end of each month for a 'What I Learned' series.

During the month of September, I learned some simple things and some hard truths. Looking forward to all that October has in store!

1. Booking flights to New York on a whim can be SO much fun.

I caught Tyler trying to surprise me...and now I am pumped! We plan to go to The Lone Bellow show, and I'm not sure of what else, but it's going to be great! It will be our first trip together since Harper has been born. I'm so looking forward to some time together! Here's to finding some awesome things to do in New York!

2. I cannot control everything that happens to my child.

Parenting is humbling in this regard! I know in my head that I cannot control her and that she is in the Lord's hands; however, sometimes my heart doesn't want that. My heart wants to control all the details, the small and big things. I continually remind myself that she is His, she's never been mine, and I TRUST that!

3. I love The Lone Bellow band.

AND, we are going to see them in November. I could not be more excited! More importantly, listening to them during my work day creates such a beautiful marriage between output and enjoyment! Keep that music pumpin' and the work gets crankin' out. That is how my mind operates.

4. My soul needs rest.

A weekend, or even a few hours, away can be truly restorative. My heart needs rest. My mind needs rest. My body needs it too. I cannot tell you how beautiful it was to have a weekend away with some of my girlfriends. I'm so grateful that my husband was willing to take care of little Harper for the weekend, this mamma needed it!

5. I'm addicted to helping launch books.

I've taken part in four launch teams now. I so look forward to diving into the next book. This has been a beautiful opportunity to explore new authors and create a sense of urgency in reading a book in a timely manner. Plus, I'm so grateful for the community that has been built as a result of the launch team. The Lord has used these books in many ways in my life. And now I have more great recommendations, if anyone is in need!

6. Jen Hatmaker is awesome.

She invited everyone on her launch team to her house in September. Mind you, there are 500 people on the launch team. Bless her. There were over 200 of us that were able to make it & it was truly an incredible time! The discussions that were had while there were amazing! I'm praying that the Lord continues to use those relationships in my life.

7. Exercising is hard.

Goodness me. Working out after having a child (+ not working out much while pregnant) can be pretty stinking challenging. I signed up for my first 5k post-baby and I am so excited! I know it will be hard, but I need a goal. I need something to work toward, and Run 4 The Water 5K is it! Game on.

8. Blue Apron is a great thing.

We've been using Blue Apron for a few weeks now and it wonderful! With a very young babe, having a predetermined menu sent to your doorstep is a beautiful thing. I often don't have the capacity to think about things like dinner, or showering for that matter. The meals are delicious and healthy. Currently, it is worth it in this season of life.

Friday, September 25, 2015

An Open Letter...To Me

You often have a million sticky notes everywhere to remind yourself of things. The importance of each of these events varies.

Rather than keeping a running record on old, crumpled sticky notes, I thought I could compose a letter to myself (or bullet points, if you will). This letter will be continued. My life will change and the things I need to remember may change upon the season of life I'm in.

Remember these things in this season...
-Let it go. Let the LORD take control of that which is already His. And that's everything. No one wants to be an Indian giver, so let it all go.

-Enjoy each giggle and coo. You never know when the last coo will be, and soon enough she will be into boys and may never want to talk to you about things. Cooing is the best. The best way to wake up is the cooing in the monitor, truly. Enjoy it.

-Sleep...some other time. It's okay. Your body will eventually tell you when you're in need of more than what you are giving. Sleep is often overrated as it is.

-Enjoy a bath. Umm, yes please. Bath salts, candles, fruit, wine and a good book. Relax, because this American life has taken its toll. We're taught 'hustle & bustle' early and it never stops. Rest. I'm sure the family won't fall apart while you are doing this. Life moves on, and you can step away to enjoy some 'you' time.

-Pray more. Prayer doesn't always have to take shape as one thinks. Prayer can take the form of hiking and running. Reading and singing. Playing and working. When viewed in that light, prayer is easy, amazing, and enjoyable! Do MORE of it.

-Let yourself off the hook. Jesus freed you from unrealistic expectations, don't put them back on. Don't look back. Enjoy it.

-Grace on grace on grace. Do it. Accept it. Show it. Give it. Love it. Practice it. Repeat previous steps until it is a habit.

-Encourage more. It's a spiritual gift after all. Enjoy it and enjoy all that it brings others too! Encourage your husband, your daughter, your friends. Encourage the community you have. Encourage others because you never know what people are going through. One simple expression of encouragement can change someone's day--whether or not you see it. No one will turn down an encouraging word. If they do, that's just plain weird...and it's not your problem.

-Savor each cup of coffee and meal with others. Community is life. Start a supper club or coffee dates. Just do it--you won't regret it.

These are reminders in my life to ENJOY life more! The LORD has come that we may have life and life to the FULL--John 10:10b. Just do it.


Friday, September 4, 2015

#FridayFive :: Five Re-Reads

Good morning!

I'm linking up with a few other #ftllaunchteam ladies for this #FridayFive! Today I'll be sharing my five favorite books to re-read...and it's going to be tough! I have had the chance to read so many great books lately.
5. The Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne. After reading this in high school, I was wrecked! Reading about the radical lives of Christians in other parts of the world, I was floored with how selfishly I was living. I hated it and wanted change EVERYTHING--thank you hormonal, teenage brain for thinking that I could do this all on my own! I have previously owned two copies of this book...I cannot find them currently. If you are someone that I lent this great read to, I'll take it back now. :) Click here to snag a copy today!

4. The Reason for God, Tim Keller. This book is phenomenal. For every doubt that I've had and every question that non-believers and believers alike ask, it is addressed! Though it can be a little dense and difficult to read at times (eg--when it's bedtime and your brain is no longer functioning), it is packed with great truth. Working with students, I find that this is a great resource to have. He addresses the complexity of the Holy Spirit,  I am encouraged by Tim Keller and the response to doubt. If we learn further into the truth through doubting and questioning, we will find it. Check out the book for yourself!

3. Redefining Beautiful, Jenna Lucado. I LOVE using this text with middle and high school girls! Jenna discusses what God sees when He looks at us--His Son! The world is quick to put labels and expectations on us in all areas, Jenna writes about the Lord freeing us from that. I'm glad that I've been able to read through this with a few girls as it forces me to re-read it as well and I love it! Maybe it's because I wish I would have had this book while in those years of horrible hair and awkward dress, but I want each girl to own this book...or at least know the truth! Song of Songs 4:7, "You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you." Click here to purchase a copy!

2. The Road to Becoming, Jenny Simmons. I so look forward to re-reading this book. I was blessed to take part in Jenny's launching of this book. No matter the season, her words meet you there. That being said, I know that I will be able to read this book over and over. I've already dog-eared and highlighted a bunch! Jenny invites you in to the personal stories of her life, her hardships and heartache, and shares what the Lord has done in her life through those things. It is comforting, encouraging, and funny. Grab your copy today!

1. For the Love, Jen Hatmaker.  I'm not just adding this because I am on her launch team. I am adding this because no matter what season of life I am in, I KNOW that I will be able to glean something from this book. It's a great and easy read, filled will truth bombs--both heart-wrenching and hilarious. Your heart needs the words in this book, as does mine. I will make a point to re-read For the Love often and I hope you do too! Purchase your copy here!


Bossypants, Tina Fey. Hilarious, again and again! Naturally, Tine writes in a way that will have you laughing out loud. While reading this book on a flight, read with caution! Hilarity will ensue and it could result in removal of persons on plane. Even better than reading it is listening to Tina read it!

Matilda, Roald Dahl. Probably my favorite book as a child. I always wanted to be Miss Honey. I despised the Trunchbull and definitely wanted a slice of that chocolate cake!

The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin. I cannot tell you how many times I read this novel as a kid. I loved catching new clues each time.

Nancy Drew Series, Carolyn Keene. Because I grew up reading these books, I naturally felt like I could protect myself and punch out the taillight of someone's vehicle if I ever got nabbed. Obviously I was a 5th grade bad ass.

Stephanie Plum Series, Janet Evanovich. Goodness, Stephanie gets herself into some crazy tales as a female bounty hunter and I love it! I read these on my iPad and devour them--though, I do not like the way Janet gives a synopsis of each character at the beginning of the book. If I'm reading the fifteenth book in the series, I'm fairly certain I know the characters and I'm invested in the story line. No need for the intro, Janet, Stephanie and I are BFFs.

Do you have any favorite books you like to re-read or want to?

After writing about all of these great books, I'm off to cozy up with a cup of coffee and book in hand!