Thursday, May 27, 2021

things I love on Thursdays


Happy Thursday, friends! I thought I'd share a few things I am loving right now that are new to me. I always figure that if something interests me, it might interest others as well. This is a previously unmentioned and very random assortment of things. 

First up is this rainbow colored handle for my water bottle. My husband laughed at me for buying this, but I couldn't comfortably carry my water bottle with me when I had lots of other things in my hand at the same time, like when I'm leaving for church or to go somewhere with my mom and sister. This strap is cute, affordable and is bright enough to remind me of summer. I love it and don't regret the purchase. 

Next on the list is the show that one of my best friends told me to watch MONTHS ago, but that I'd forgotten about until today. It's so good! I've never heard of Coffey Anderson and his wife Crisilla, but they're the cutest couple ever. He's an independent country music singer (or was, at least) and she's colon cancer survivor and professional dancer. This is just a show about their lives, but the thing I most love about them is how they parent their three kiddos and that they love Jesus.

You could watch this with your kids or your husband, and both would love it. 

I'm still on a reading kick and finished another book today. It wasn't a favorite of mine that I've read, but I am loving going back and reading some of her books that I've missed over the years. 

Like I said, this one wasn't my favorite by her, but it was still really good. I have another one to read by her soon that I've not read yet, but I will probably wait a few more weeks before I start on that one. I'm seeing my mom today and hanging out with her, so I plan on asking if she minds if we stop by the library on our way out.

I picked up a new bottle of nail polish while I was at the grocery store on Tuesday and gave myself a pedicure yesterday. I love this color, but I don't love the brush that you use to apply it, so Mom gave me a brilliant idea—to use a brush from an old bottle of polish after it's been cleaned really well. Isn't that a great idea? I love the polish and how it goes on, but I never buy this brand because the brush is too wide. Also, I never wear lighter colors like this on my toes, so I'm shocked that I love it as much as I do. 

Y'all—I will ALWAYS love weddings. Also, I did not take this picture but shared it to my phone from the bride's page. Todd and I went to this wedding last Friday night and it was so beautiful! I will always love weddings and I will always cry at them. Graham has been friends with the groom Jared for several years now and I've enjoyed getting to know sweet Madison over the last year, when we met at my house and talked for two hours and I painted her fingernails. Like I said, this is all such a random post and random little facts. 

Wasn't she a beautiful bride? It was a fun night, even if my husband did stress me out by almost making us late. 🤣 Somehow, he did manage to get us there on time, but I won't mention how fast he went to ensure that happened.

I bought and love this new body lotion! 

I am very particular about lotions—I want it to smell good, but the scent can't be too strong or my skin breaks out. This is thick and creamy without being greasy and it has a very light and refreshing coconut smell. I like it so much that I went ahead and subscribed to it on Amazon to save money and set it up to deliver every three months. I usually use the Bath & Body Works brand in the summer, but it's expensive and the lotion isn't that great. This brand is really good and it's cheap! 

Well, that's about all I've got. I could probably sit and come up with more, but it's late on Wednesday night and I need to hit the sack. Thanks for reading! Love to all. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

what's up Wednesday


Happy Wednesday, friends! I'm linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for this blog link-up. I'll just jump right in!

What we're eating this week:

Well, I don't know what all we're eating this week, but last night we had some of the best hamburgers we've had in over a year. My husband is the grill master here and he is still loving the Blackstone Grill we bought last year when we redid the deck on the back of our house. We will be enjoying the leftovers for a few days, because I made five pounds worth. I used a packet of French onion seasoning and then he sprinkled on some BBQ seasoning on the tops of them. We're pretty basic and don't mess too much with our burgers. 

What I'm reminiscing about:

I don't have pictures of this, but I keep seeing snippets of our lives last year when everything had been shut down. Just this week I saw when I posted about our church being open again and how I promised to never again take for granted the fact that we had the freedom to attend church services. I will never forget how that felt! We thought we were getting over it all this time last year, but the tunnel just kept going and going. I still have a hard time believing we lost an entire fifteen months of our lives! And that we so willingly believed every word that we listened to on all of the news outlets. I know so many people who no longer watch mainstream news to be informed.

What I'm loving:

That nothing pressing is on my horizon. I will forever love the promise of summer and the lazier, laid back days. Last night after dinner had been cleaned up, I was outside watering the flowers and Todd was tinkering around with the flower beds and all the guys were gone—I asked him, "Is this who we are now?" His answer was short—"Yup. It's nice, isn't it?" I couldn't agree more, honey. And side note—how gorgeous are our hydrangeas?

Do hydrangeas wilt pretty easily? We've noticed ours drooping, but they always seem to perk up after a watering. I really hope we don't kill them. 

What we've been up to:

Watering, grilling, working, binge watching, being responsible dog owners, playing catch up, weekend tripping, reading a ton, cooking, cleaning out, selling, playing tennis and rehearsing to name a few. These words describe the six of us in a nutshell and what all we've been doing since the beginning of the month. 

What I'm dreading:

I don't think I'm really dreading anything, but I never look forward to the hottest part of the summer. We live near Memphis and our humidity is ridiculous! One reason I'm not a fan of summer is because I can't breathe all that well when it's hot.

What I'm working on:

We're still in the process of writing our next Bible study at church. We're almost finished, but it's been a little bit of a struggle with this one more than any of the others. I'm not sure why—but our editor friend is making his way through each of our weeks and he's about to have mine. I love meeting to talk about the edits that he suggests, I always learn something valuable from him and almost always accept what he recommends. It's a fun process! 

I'm also about to be helping my friend with the revising portion of some of our previous studies. We're about to be featured in a Christian publication that goes out and we need to start revising and updating the older studies and get some onto a shelf in case anyone wants to order one after reading the article. 

What I'm excited about:

I have a fun day trip planned soon with two of my dearest friends. I can't wait! We always have fun on these days.

What I'm watching/reading:

I'm not watching anything new right now, but I've been on a bit of a movie kick when I'm here alone at night. I am currently reading a Karen Kingsbury book called, To the Moon and Back. I wrote about books last week, though, so feel free to scroll down.

What I'm listening to:

Right this moment—a playlists on Spotify called Summer. The music is light and easy. I have and follow all kinds of seasonal playlists on Spotify. I also love instrumental music right now and have been listening to "wedding music" played by strings.

What I'm wearing:

Cropped jeans and shirts on repeat.

What I'm doing this weekend:

All of my weekends look the same—I'm alone a lot of the time, which I never mind. I watch movies, eat something yummy that's leftover from the week, I see my mom and sister on Saturdays for shopping (or browsing), we go to church on Sunday. 

What I'm looking forward to next month:

Swimming in a pool often and just enjoying the days and nights of summer. 

What else is new:

I think I've covered all the topics! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

four somethings- May edition


I'm linking up with Heather for this blog post, where we share things loved, read or said, treasured and ahead. 

Something loved—

Hydrangeas! I don't love the summer months, but I do love the beauty these warm months bring. Hydrangeas are my favorite flowers/bushes and I'll never grow tired of looking at them. 

I also love the other things warm weather brings—swimming, more time spent doing something relaxing like reading, cooking out, lightning bugs, seeing my sons enjoy time with their friends. 

I had my first swim of the summer on Saturday and it was glorious. I look forward to many more times like that.

Something read—

All my favorite books have been by the most loved authors I've ever read. I am making a trip to Nashville one day soon to go visit my favorite used bookstore, so I look forward to finding more books. 

Something treasured—

Time with my dad, time with my mom, whom I don't have a picture of. I was fortunate to see my parents last week and spent part of two days in a row with them. My mom and I laugh so hard when we're together sometimes and this week was no different. She did something so funny that I almost spewed my drink. I do not take these times for granted! I took this picture of Dad because the way Callie was laying beside him. She is always his protector when he's here and adores him. 

Something ahead—

Lots of fun things, like cookouts and swimming and fireworks and a day trip with girlfriends are all things I look forward to when the weather turns warm. Like I said, I don't love the summer, but I love all the fun it brings. Fun times ahead! It's good to have something to look forward to. 

Thanks for reading along! Love to all.  

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Friday Favorites, 5.21.21


Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Andrea for this weekly blog post.

I have to start this post by saying that my favorite twins have been at the beach with their friends all week and I have MISSED THEM! It's been so quiet here at home with them gone all week. Drew has been home in between his morning and afternoon shifts at work, but he doesn't talk to me in the daytime hours. 🤣

I have loved seeing the pictures from this week. They've had the time of their lives and their second mama took all of these and texted us each day. The weather hasn't been cooperative for them all week, but everyday except for two, they were able to ride jet skis all day long. They also drove these little buggies all over the place and would take it to go eat or just to drive around.

Their favorite meal came last night—Jonah ate lobster mac and cheese and Noah had a pan full of shrimp. My mouth watered a little as I wrote that sentence! 

I am so grateful for these friends—it's not been the easiest year or two for any of them and these friendships were born out of that. If that's what it took to gain these sweet friends, then it was worth the price they paid. I'm so, so grateful to my friend Amy and her husband Al for being their beach parents all week long as they invited them on this trip. They've had the time of their lives! 

Reading has been my favorite past time this week and I've had loads of time to do so. I wrote a blog post about each of the books I've been reading and loved lately, so scroll down to read it if you're interested! All of these authors are my favorites.

Welcome to your mid-forties when your prescribed glasses no longer work, but these readers from Amazon do. I bought them over the weekend last week and they came on Monday. They work so good! They came in a four pack, believe it or not and they're readers AND blue light blocking. Below is a link, if you're interested.

Weddings are my favorite!

Their best friend from childhood, also named Drew, was married to this beautiful lady on Sunday afternoon and one of the prettiest wedding venues I've ever been to. The whole wedding was beautiful and so thoughtfully planned, down to the very last detail. For some reason, I reacted strangely to this and cried so easily that whole day. Drew walked his mom down the aisle and before she sat down he hugged her for so long and in such a tight embrace. She was on the verge of blubbering and so was I. I can't hardly write that without getting teary. I borrowed this photo of the married couple from my friend Marcia, because I didn't get one.

Church notes are my favorite thing to journal. The sermon my pastor preached on Sunday was phenomenal! It was on how to have a radical prayer life. 

I love our home all year long, but she may just be my favorite when it's warm outside. Our flower beds look good, our house looks good, I'm just thrilled that we have such great curb appeal after almost eighteen years of being here. 

I'm leaving you with my new favorite song by Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music. I keep all of their songs on repeat right now. 

Here's three more songs I love by them—Talking to Jesus, Jireh and Names of God. 

How was your week? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

a repost of marriage advice, in honor of wedding season

 I thought I would share this post that I wrote a few years ago again, in honor of it being the wedding season.

Marriage isn't always easy—it's not all hearts and flowers and bliss.  It takes work, it takes commitment, and sometimes it takes us remembering that love is also a verb and a choice.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending my first ever prayer dinner for a couple who is about to get married.  I had never even heard of this before, so I thought I'd share with you how the night went and what we talked about.  I hope to someday bless a young couple in this way.

It's a dinner, so as the couples arrived, flutes of sparkling cider were handed out, and we mingled.  Once everyone had arrived, we prayed, blessing our dinner and the night that was to come, and we sat down to eat.  Dinner plates were served as we waited.  I will say here that this is something you don't want too many people at, and you invite only the people whose marriages you might look up to.  There were nine couples invited that night, including the couple's family members, where three marriages were represented.  Family sat in one area, and friends sat in another area.  We ate dinner and after about thirty minutes, phase two of the night started.

The ladies and the men split up for this part.  In our area, we sat in a circle, and we showered the bride with advice.  It could be serious, silly, or it could be scriptural.  I would say that in our conversations, we had a good mix.  Todd said on the men's side, it was more serious.  I have to stop here and tell you about the dear couple that hosted the dinner.  Mrs. Theresa is the mom of my friend whose house the dinner was held at.  This dear lady has been married upside of forty something years, and you should see her bible!  It is literally falling apart.  Here is the back page of her bible, though, that she used as a reference for this portion of the night.

I did ask for her permission before I took this picture, and yesterday, I asked her daughter if I could share it on this blog post.

It's a little hard to read, so I'm going to write out what all this page says, adding some other advice I heard that night of the prayer dinner.

1.  Women are the emotional barometers of the home.  The old saying is true.  "When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  If you walk around miserable in life, your family will do the exact same.  If you walk around joyful in all things and circumstances, chances are your family will reflect your attitude.

2.  Make it hard for your hubby to leave every morning, and make sure he looks forward to coming home every evening.  And look forward to him coming home!

3.  Welcome him home gladly.  Food helps this.  (I know for me, I always have dinner ready or simmering on the stove when Todd gets home.)  Greet him with a kiss and good smells.  Don't jump on him the minute he walks in with complaints or issues, give him time to get in, and to decompress a little.

4.  Celebrate your differences.

5.  Encourage him in his hobbies, and do not try to guilt him out of doing something he loves, or manipulate his time.  (Without ever having thought of this, I do this for Todd with his second occupation as a volunteer of the Sheriff's department.  He loves working shifts each weekend, and I hardly ever say no to him doing that.  My friend who gave this advice has a husband who hunts all the time.)

6.  Pray for him without ceasing.  (Be his safe haven, allowing him to speak freely to you.  And then if he vents about a really hard day, pray over him.)

7.  Endure.  Some days are just hard.  Don't ever, ever, ever joke about divorce, or throw around that word.

8.  Study him, learn what makes him happy, and work on that.

9.  Tithe.

10.  Join a church and be faithful in attendance.  (Todd and I have never viewed church going as an option.  We just go, faithfully, having a good reason when we miss.  Our kids know this, and now that they're older, they actually WANT to go all the time.)

11.  Entertain regularly!  Having company over forces you to do things around your home that otherwise might not have gotten done.

12.  COMMUNICATE.  I cannot stress this enough.  Our husbands are guys, y'all.  They are not good at reading minds, and don't assume that they "know" what you mean, or even what you'd like as a gift.  Most men need it laid out clearly to them, in black and white.  I think simple, short, and sweet is the best way to describe a good way to communicate your needs, or even what's going on.

13.  Read The Five Love Languages.  Figure out yours, figure out his, and both of you love each other in the ways the other needs to be loved.  Here are the five different love languages: physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, gift giving.

14.  Laugh!  And sometimes, agree to disagree.

15.  Don't let the sun go down on your anger.  (Ephesians 4:26)  Try to resolve your argument before you go to bed, but if you cannot do that, sometimes it's okay to sleep on it.  Just kiss, tell one another you love each other, and then agree to continue in the morning.  Things always look better in the morning light, and lots of arguments happen when we're exhausted.  (Lamentations 3)

16.  Make your family the most important thing in your life, aside from God.  If you're in ministry, your family should always come before anything else.

17.  (This is one of my biggest pet peeves, and something I was once called out on by my dad.  I am so glad he did that, because I've not done it since.)  Do not ever talk bad about your man.  (We are all human, and of course we sometimes think not so nice things about the ones we're married to, but it is best if we keep that to ourselves.  And when you think it, confess it God, and ask Him to forgive you and to change your heart.)  Don't talk bad about him to your girlfriends, your mom, or anyone else.  Don't hang around with friends who talk bad about their husbands.  Bad company corrupts good character.  (1 Corinthians 15:33)  Do not belittle him in front of people, do not make him out to be a "baby" to anyone, do not even ever joke about him in a negative way in front of others.  Do not do this.  DO NOT DO THIS!!  If you talk about him at all in front of people, make sure it honors him.  Build him up with your words about him (or TO him), brag about him, encourage him.  (Ephesians 4:29)

18.  Be subject to your own husband.  (Ephesians 5:22)  I know this one gets a really bad reputation, but the bible tells us wives that we are to submit to our husbands.  We are to let him lead us, and he is to be the spiritual head of our house.  If your husband is not doing this, do not nag him, or guilt trip him into being this way.  Just pray for him.

19.  When you're wanting to have a heart to heart, pick the time carefully, and be wise in your approach.  If you know he is tired, that may not be a great time to talk.  Chances are he may not remember it.  And don't come into the talk with guns blazing.

20.  Be considerate of him and his feelings.

21.  Be humble, kind, gentle, patient, and loving.  And forgiving.  Always, always forgiving.  (Colossians 3)

22.  Always consider him before making plans.  I never agree to any plans without first making sure Todd is okay with it.  It's not exactly asking permission, but it is similar.  Some nights he wants me to stay home.  Some nights, he encourages me to go out for dinner with a girlfriend.  Some nights he's okay if we eat dinner without him, if he's running a little later than usual.  Last night he let me know that he wanted us to wait on him before we ate.

23.  Look for ways to serve him, and do that gladly!

24.  DON'T NAG!  Several times the night of the prayer dinner, this verse was quoted: "Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife."  Proverbs 21:9  Nagging has never in a million years accomplished anything.

25.  Do yourself a favor and make your husband your second priority.  The order should be God first, spouse, kids, everything else.  Also, don't try to make your husband God.  He is a person, and he will fail you.  The Lord will not.  It's not fair to place unrealistic expectations onto your husband, I promise you, he is not able to live up to them.  And we cannot live up their unrealistic expectations of us.  It does go both ways.

Most of these came from the pages of Mrs. Theresa's bible, but I did add some others that we discussed that night.  I'm sure there's lots more, but these are good to ponder when being married is a struggle.  

Keep in mind as you read this, that no marriage is perfect—and there are days that are just hard. There are seasons in life that are hard and sometimes it's hard being married. It's a daily thing that we must work at for the rest of time and if yours if feeling off, it's probably because your relationship with the Lord is not right. Check that first and work on that, then your marriage will start to change. And don't worry about changing your spouse, chances are it's YOU that needs the changing. So, work on your heart problem that is between you and God, and then He will start to change you. I promise, this is true.

Thanks for reading! Love to all. 

Monday, May 17, 2021

a few book recommendations


Give me ALL the books, please! I'm on a reading kick at the moment and finished my third book of the weekend today. I thought I'd share them with you on here, in case we're not friends on social media. (If we aren't, you should come find me on Instagram—my username there is JenLloydGoodwin. I love to share all things Jesus, books, inspirational and having to do with food.)

I tried to start off the year by doing a monthly "what I've read" post, but that just doesn't work for me. I'd prefer to just share randomly every so often all the books I'm loving. 

I purchased this book back in April while I was on a mountain writing retreat with the ladies on the writing team from my church. It came highly recommended and though I'm not consistent at reading every day's worth of readings, I do love all that I've read so far. There are devotions for your morning and for your evening. 

I purchased this from That is my go-to website for purchasing books that I'm not sure about or that I need to fill in gaps of missing titles within the series books that I have.

I started AND finished this book on Saturday. I love Karen Kingsbury and this might just be the best she's ever written. I don't want to give anything away, but this is a stand alone title and it has to do with the sex and drug trafficking industry that is rampant all over the world. It'll make you cringe (though she was careful not to put images into your mind and she leaves out the gritty details) and think about a lot of what you've possibly seen over the years of your own life. If you've never read anything by her before, make sure and do your homework before jumping in. A lot of her books are books within a series, so this pays off. I should mention here that all of these books are Christian fiction/non-fiction.

I am currently re-reading one of my all time favorite series of books,  the Yada Yada Prayer Group books. This is the third book in the installment that I'll start today. There are seven books in this series, then another series that spins off this one and one last series that I've yet to read. I'll be investing in these over the summer so I can fill in the gaps I'm missing! A bonus about these books are that they inspire my prayer life. 

Please, please, please do yourself a favor and start reading books by my all time favorite author to have ever written a book, Robin Jones Gunn. I've read her books since I was a teenager, when she first started writing a young adult series of books called The Christy Miller series. She wasn't finished writing them by the time I was grown, so I bought them all as an adult and read every single one of them, plus every other book she's ever written. Other series of books of hers are the Sierra Jensen series, The College Years, The Married Years, The Baby Years. the Sisterchicks series, the Glenbrooke series and a few stand alone titles. This book pictured above is her memoir, of sorts and I started it and finished it yesterday. It was SO GOOD and I was brought to tears several times. I love reading memoirs about my favorite authors. She and I have had correspondence over the years and someone from her marketing team has sent me copies of her books to read and review on my blog. I feel like she's another mom to me, because throughout my life she has discipled me and inspired me in my personal walk with Jesus. Nobody paints a word picture quite like Robin Jones Gunn, in her lyrical and rhythmic way of writing.

Again, if you read her books, make sure you don't pick up with a book mid-series.

I love when Scripture is all throughout the book. 

Last but not least isn't a book I've read, but one I write in. This is my journal and church notes from Sunday. The message was titled Praying with Radical Faith and it was phenomenal. My Pastor hits them out of the ballpark week after week after week, and I am so grateful to be able to sit under such godly preaching. I really look up to him and value every word that comes from his mouth, because he is wholly guided by the Holy Spirit.

I recently finished a Wednesday night class he was teaching on the topic of prayer and he challenged us to start writing in a journal every time we read in the Bible. It slows our minds and brains down to be able to really comprehend what we're reading and it's one other tangible thing we can leave to our kids as a legacy someday. I don't do it every time I read the Bible, but I'm re-training myself to get in this habit and to really slow down. It takes time and patience to do this and combined with prayer, it means that I've been able to have extended quiet times each morning. Even if I don't always have this kind of time, I will at some point during my day. I'm also trying to be more disciplined to read books that are important and to not turn on the tv when I sit down during the day. (I can quickly get sucked into shows!) 

It's your turn—what are you reading right now? I'd love to hear from you! Do you have a summer reading pile yet? I can always give you recommendations if you're in need. Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

P.s. I'm linking up with Erika for Tuesday Talk for this blog post. 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Friday Favorites, 5.14.21


Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with Andrea for this blog post. 

It's been a good week! I hope yours has been. Here are a few of my favorite moments from the past seven days. 

Seeing Jonah and Noah graduate was definitely a favorite moment from the week. Nobody ever prepared me for how emotional graduation ceremonies are. Especially with these guys being our lasts. 

Their very low-key party after graduation was another favorite moment. They just wanted family and their friends and even with just that specific group, we had a house FULL. It was a fun night with lots of laughter and good food. I'm so glad my best friend and her hubby came, too —I am always appreciative of her being there for me and I love that Jonah and Noah included her in the people they expected to come. 

Seeing them search for us in our seats will always be such a special moment. Graham and Drew did the exact same thing and it melted my heart every single time. I was born to be a mom of sons! I'm also very grateful for the relationship they each have with my husband. I definitely feel like it's a rare thing.

My sister Trish and me—she is going to KILL ME for posting this first one, but it cracks me up! The sun was in our eyes and she was saying let's turn around so we don't have the glare in our eyes, but the way I'm looking at her just makes me laugh. The one below is more our normal. 

Some other favorite moments from the week are below, but without pictures—

I got to meet with one of my favorite people on earth this week as we talked about the Bible study we're helping write. I loved going to her house and catching up, even if it was just for a few moments.

I was able to be at home all day long on Wednesday and I cleaned and organized some things in the downstairs of our home. Books are my favorite, but be that as it may, they'd overtaken every surface area downstairs and I did some much-needed putting away, sorting, purging and organizing. I gave some away and yesterday I took the rest to our used book store here inside of our town library.

I spent Thursday with my mom-in-love to celebrate her birthday and we had the BEST day. We ran a couple of errands, we went to Hobby Lobby, we had a delicious taco salad for lunch, then we got pedicures. 

My favorite class at church ended this week, the one my pastor was teaching on the topic of prayer. I finished the book, the class is over, now is time to put all that I've learned into practice, which I've already been doing. I'm thinking on what I'd like to do over the summer, as far as studies go. I love a good summer Bible study! 

My dad comes over today and that's also a favorite. We missed last week because I was busy with graduation errands and shopping for the cookout after. How's your week been? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog. Love to all! 

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

  Hi, friends! As you can tell, I'm forcing myself to be here often, because my life needs to resume some sort of normalcy right now; th...