friday chats || jan. 18. 2019

Hello, my friends!

I hope you’ve had such a beautiful week!

Ours has been sweet, though a bit of a blur as sleep has continued lacking and we are still trying to catch up from last week. Thankful, though, for the ways we’ve seen grace multiplied. We were able to get little man into the doctor and discover he had his first ear infection — poor buddy :(, but praise the Lord for medicine and seeing our boy get on the mend! Honestly, I was so thankful it wasn’t something more intense and the doctor said it was an earlier on ear infection, so God was so gracious in that way!

And oh my goodness, I’ve continued to just feel so loved by dear ones even days after my birthday. Surprise gifts being handed to me or showing up on my doorstep. The kindest words in cards or texts. Being taken to dinner by some of the best. Just feeling so encouraged, so loved, and so very grateful for the people that fill my life up. They are the loveliest, wisest, kindest, most thoughtful, generous, loving, and beautiful souls.

grateful, grateful, grateful.

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Onto MY FAVORITE THINGS from this week:

  • For my birthday dessert this year I wanted to try the chocolate roll recipe from the Magnolia Table cookbook. So on the afternoon of my birthday, J, Little, and I set to making it. It’s actually quite a simple process and the cookbook has step by step pictures of how to achieve the “rolling” portion which is helpful if you’ve never done it before! The batter is heavy on the egg whites with much less flour and this makes the cake so light and fluffy. The texture and weight is perfect when it’s not only filled with cream, but topped with a drizzle of homemade hot fudge and a spoonful of homemade whipped cream! It was the perfect ending to the day. I would buy the cookbook just for that recipe and Joanna’s homemade whipped cream — it’s my favorite.

  • We cleaned out our basement a week or so ago and are on our way to turning it into a playroom. I can’t wait to have that space set up for AK, Jack, and their friends to go disappear into for hours and imagine, create, make messes, and have a space all their own. I’m trying to piece together my ideas for storage, decor, and the larger pieces of furniture that we’d like to have in the space to make it delightful and comfortable for the kids, and a teepee has definitely topped the list. This sweet one I found on Amazon looks is a great price and looks like the perfect thing to encourages little dreams and adventures.

  • It is quite possible that I’ve mentioned this book to you all before, but Every Moment Holy is a book that I’d like to add to our bookshelf soon. It is a collection of liturgies for the everyday moments and make-ups of our lives. Such things like “a liturgy for the ritual of morning coffee” and “a liturgy for experiencing laughter” and “a liturgy for a husband & wife at close of the day”. It’s bound so beautifully and is something that just encourages a recognition of how profound and meaningful life, in all its various forms and parts, is meant to be, and how present our God is in it all.

  • Jack in these overalls from H&M. When we got them they were a bit too big for him and I have been waiting with bated breath to put them on him. :) They did not disappoint. oh my goodness. He is all sorts of heart-melting goodness in them! I want him to wear them every single day. I find that clothes from H&M seem to fit him well and last us well, too.

  • These Salted Chocolate Snack Bars from Pinch of Yum have become a decent staple for us. They are gluten-free, diary-free, and naturally sweetened. And so so good! I made them once when Meg and Zach (our sister and brother-in-love) were over and they have become a favorite for them, as well! I made a couple of batches for us all to take on our road trip to TX last Thanksgiving and they were the perfect accompaniment to our afternoon coffee pick-ups. I’m going to make another batch when Momma Coobs comes to town next week!

  • My sweet parents gifted me these mixing bowls for my birthday and I was giddy when I opened them! In the last 2 years my two largest mixing bowls had met sad ends so my bowl collection was sorely in need of increasing. These bowls are beautiful, so sturdy, my favorite colors (much more grey tones in there than the picture shows), and with the most helpful little spout on the end of each one. They have already been broken in and are just making my baking all the more happy!

  • This year I’ve begun using a journal my sis-in-love gave me for my “one sentence a day” writings down. I’ll share more on this later, but I’d wholeheartedly encourage you to purchase a simple journal like these and begin doing this for yourself. It’s already been a sweet rhythm for my days.

    Happy Weekending, lovelies!

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the contentment challenge

I think every single day that week I had made a comment about our carpet; and not the “oops, there’s some crumbs I need to vacuum up there” type of comment, but the “oh my gosh, I hate our carpet” type of comment, accompanied by extra-loud sighs or eye rolls for good measure. All of this pleasantry was followed by the thought, “Gosh, I can’t wait until we can get new flooring……it’s going to be forever, though.”

Now, it is true that the first time we walked into our now home we both thought, “yikes, cream carpet.” Not our first pick of flooring and we were moving in with a dog and a kid and, well….me, who is known for the greater amount of spills in our home. We knew this carpet was going to quickly gain the look of well-worn. Yes, it’s been impossible to keep fully clean. Yes, we can’t wait to change it one day. Yes, there’s nothing wrong with excitement in that plan.

This attitude, though. This attitude was springing from a much deeper place in my heart. A place where I wasn’t satisfied. A place where gratitude was not even a fleeting thought. A place where I told myself that changing our flooring was a key to contentment in our home.

A few days later I was scrolling instagram and came across a post by Nancy Ray which began, “Well friend, here we go again. It’s been over 5 years since God put the Contentment Challenge on my heart for the first time…….on January 1st, I’m doing it again!” This caught my eye, for obvious and humbling reasons. I clicked a bit more to get to the post on her blog and discovered the definition of her Contentment Challenge:

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This portion:

“More than just a bad habit, it’s an underlying spiritual issue. I’m lacking in self discipline. I’m finding my joy in material things, not in the Lord. I’m straight up distracted from the precious souls in front of me, and I’m tired of it.”

This portion brought the tears to my eyes because I saw it’s truth ringing loudly in my own heart. I saw all those moments of complaint about our carpet, the moments of comparison to those around me, the moments of making more of a material thing than the ones who the Lord has gifted me to live my days with, the moments of making much more of the undeserved graces He’s provided for me than of Him, the One who has given me my very life.

I needed this heart check. I needed this accountability. I needed this purposeful set-aside time to not just have a spending fast of sorts, but to plumb those heart depths a bit and consider what sat under those discontented thoughts, those moments of annoyance, that reasoning of why I needed to purchase that particular thing.

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So here I am, 17 days in, and loving it. It has been so freeing, friends! More than I imagined it could be. Freeing because I’m just not thinking about purchasing new things, but freeing because I’m seeing the Lord purge those sinful pieces of me and redeem them into what is better. It’s freeing because I’m learning to slow down and consider every single purchase. It’s freeing because I’m excited about staying within those budgets set up. It’s freeing because I’m learning how much is actually needed and how much is purely just for want. It’s freeing because I’m learning all the more to find beauty in simplicity. It’s freeing because I’m learning more of what is lasting joy, of WHO is lasting joy.

This has been the best way to start my year.

There have absolutely been moments of struggle. I will share more of those soon. But it has been far better than it has been hard, and the timing of it is so beautiful, in that way that only the Lord can do. I’ll also share on that, too.

I’m grateful. Grateful for Nancy and her vulnerability in this, her stepping out in this way, her welcoming others in it with her. I’m grateful for what I’m learning, for the stretching and redeeming that’s happening, for the joy I’m finding, for the sweetness that’s marking this season, and for how I know I’ll move into the next season with such a refreshed and renewed heart

It’s a marker in my life.



turning 31

A friend asked me this past weekend how I felt about turning 31.

I’m excited about it. Thankful. Eager for what my 31st year will hold.

30 was a sweet year, one of the best I’ve lived actually. There was so much growth, so much needed change in the life of our little family, so much beauty found in simplicity, so much joy found in what the Lord has given us to fill our days with. I’m so thankful for what 30 was.

I also told my friend, though, that I feel like I should be wiser than I am to be turning 31. I have a feeling of almost slight intimidation that I’m now beginning the 2nd full year of being in my 30’s. But I know that wisdom will continue to come and, as I’ve thought about it, I think I feel the lack of it because I’ve lived so much of my life clinging to the opinions of others and attaching my value to their thoughts and approval of me rather than to the Lord. 30 was an Ebenezer year for me because it was the first year of my life that I’ve ever experienced the F R E E D O M and come to know the wisdom of the Lord in a true and right way because I’m finding it in Him. Yes, I am always gaining — and cherishing! — wisdom from those my life is filled with, but the difference is……..they are not my end all.

Grace continues to be received and growth continues to happen so, rather than be ho-hum in a rather Eeyore-ish way about feeling as though I should be further along than I am, I choose instead to rest in the knowledge that the Lord is sovereign over my seasons and is not standing over me with a checklist, spectacles perched on the end of His nose, telling me I should have been better. He has gently prodded my soul, revealed what does not honor Him, and is working out His grace within me to produce that wisdom, that fruit, that greater reflection of Himself.

I pray that 31 makes Him known all the more.


— Some hopes I have for 31 —

To practice piano weekly || To take more walks || To consider more and make wise changes in caring for my body || To wake before the kids || To read what I own now before buying any new books || To continue building margin into our days || To hit those financial goals we’ve set || To use those 15 minute moments I have wisely and well || To write more || To read more with AK || To fill our home with music, books, creativity, warmth, and beauty, even in simple ways || To make the tv the rare thing || To take specific social media breaks || To continue chipping away at home projects, even if the chips are tiny || To be brave, to push myself || To be honest, with love and grace || To give full face attention to whomever is talking || To celebrate others well || To call out growth in others and encourage them || To grow in patience || To ask myself: why am I eating this? || To be ever more my husband’s helper and greatest source of encouragement || To look for beauty || To fight for joy || To soak up the moments and thrive in this season, even when it’s wearying || To speak life-giving words to my littles || To help AK be brave, too || To take steps toward those dreams || To pray without ceasing and in faith || To send cards || To play more games and have more adventures || To love where I am || To be grateful for what’s been given to me and for who the Lord has made me to be, and stop looking to the right or the left || To pour into what is lasting

It’s nothing profound. It’s all things grounded on the desire and hope to be

I N T E N T I O N A L

in everything I do, in everything the Lord has called me to, seeking to make much of Him, even in the simplicity of my everyday.

I want to live marked by joy, loving as He loves, with such eager hope for all He will do.

Hello, 31. I’m very much looking forward to you.

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