Monday, January 31, 2022

Hello Monday- a little bit of weekending and the books I read in January

I'm linking up with Sarah and Holly for this weekly blog post. 

The weather here was beautiful this weekend! Even though it was cold, it was sunny, which is way better than when it's dreary. I loved being out and about a little here and there. I didn't do much Friday night, but I went out with my mom for a little while on Saturday. We went to one of our favorite stores.

There's this beautiful home décor shop nearby called John Mark's. He's a floral designer and there are beautiful arrangements and décor in his shop. This was the doorway going in. Gorgeous, right? We had an amazing service on Sunday with a guest speaker—Jonathan Evans, son of Tony and brother of Priscilla Shirer. He was so good! Then I had choir practice and went to pick up pizza before coming home. 

It was a good weekend.

Now, onto my favorite thing to talk about—books! I love sharing the books I read each month, but more than that, I love to hear what you're reading and would love some more recommendations! I find out about books mostly through emails. I've subscribed to a lot of pages that allow me to follow my favorite authors, and I'm always getting special offers and advance copies because of that and through launch teams that I've been on in the past. 

I'm jumping right in! (You can click on each picture to be re-directed to Amazon.) 

1.

Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand. 

Here's the review from GoodReads:

Join New York Times Bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand on the stunning beaches of St. John's for the beginning of her thrilling new winter series-The Paradise. Winter Paradise, the first book in the Paradise series, has everything that readers have come to know and love about an Elin Hilderbrand novel, plus a healthy dose of intrigue. Irene Steele's idyllic life-house, husband, family-is shattered when she is woken up by a late-night phone call. Her beloved husband has been found dead, but before Irene can process this tragic news, she must confront the perplexing details of her husband's death. He was found on St. John's island, a tropical paradise far removed from their suburban life. Leaving the cold winter behind, Irene flies down to the beautiful Caribbean beaches of St. John's only to make another shocking discovery: her husband had a secret second family. As Irene investigates the mysterious circumstances of her husband's death, she is plunged into a web of intrigue and deceit belied by the pristine white sand beaches of St. John's. This exciting first book in the Paradise series will transport readers to a new beach locale-another world that Elin knows as well as her beloved Nantucket-and have them longing for winter.

I really liked this! I hope to finish this series in the next couple of weeks, since I'm waiting on them both from the Libby app I use from my library. 

2.

Share Your Stuff. I'll Go First: 10 questions to take your friendships to the next level., by Laura Tremaine.

Here is how GoodReads describes this book.

Part memoir and part guidebook, Share Your Stuff. I'll Go First. is the invitation you've been waiting for to show up with your whole self and discover the intimate, meaningful relationships you long for.

In spite of the hyper-connected culture we live in today, women still feel shamed for oversharing and being publicly vulnerable. And no matter how many friends we seem to have, many of us are still desperately lonely.

Laura Tremaine says it's time for something better. Openness and vulnerability are the foundation for human growth and healthy relationships, and it all starts when we share our stuff, the nitty-gritty daily details about ourselves with others. Laura has led the way in her personal life with her popular blog and podcast, and now with lighthearted self-awareness, a sensitivity to the important things in life, and compelling storytelling, Laura gives you the tools to build and deepen the conversations happening in your life.

Laura's stories about her childhood in Oklahoma, her complicated shifts in faith and friendships, and her marriage to a Hollywood movie director will prompt you to identify the beautiful narrative and pivotal milestones of your own life. Each chapter offers intriguing and reflective questions that will reveal unique details and stories you've never thought to tell and will guide you into cultivating the authentic connection with others that only comes from sharing yourself.

I thought this book was just okay and was a little let down, despite that great description. It was a lot to live up to and fell a bit short for me, but I'm still glad I read the book. 

3. The Honey-Don't List by Christina Lauren. (I would give this an R rating.)

GoodReads described this book as follows:

From the New York Times bestselling author behind The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

I have a love-hate relationship with their books. (Christina Lauren is the writing name for a pair of best friends.) This one was just okay to me and it seemed to go on and on.

4. The Wish by Nicholas Sparks.


From GoodReads:

1996 was the year that changed everything for Maggie Dawes. Sent away at sixteen to live with an aunt she barely knew in Ocracoke, a remote village on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, she could think only of the friends and family she left behind . . . until she meets Bryce Trickett, one of the few teenagers on the island. Handsome, genuine, and newly admitted to West Point, Bryce gradually shows her how much there is to love about the wind-swept beach town—and introduces her to photography, a passion that will define the rest of her life.

By 2019, Maggie is a renowned travel photographer. She splits her time between running a successful gallery in New York and photographing remote locations around the world. But this year she is unexpectedly grounded over Christmas, struggling to come to terms with a sobering medical diagnosis. Increasingly dependent on a young assistant, she finds herself becoming close to him.

As they count down the last days of the season together, she begins to tell him the story of another Christmas, decades earlier—and the love that set her on a course she never could have imagined.

I rated this book with ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐! Maybe it was the year that the backstory takes place, maybe it's that I haven't read one of his books in ages, maybe it's because I was shocked at one point, who knows. I loved this book and was thrilled when I was able to skip the line through Libby to read it before I'd expected.

5. One by One by Ruth Ware. 

From GoodReads:

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.

I thought this one was really good. I love reading books set in whatever season we're currently in and throw that in with the fact that this one felt like an Agatha Christie, and I was smitten.

6. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. 


From Good Reads:

A murder . . . a tragic accident . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.
But who did what?

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

This book was another ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐! Now I'm going to watch this on HBO Max, which is how I even found this book. When I saw in the credits it was based on this book from this author, I quit watching and ordered the book.

7. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover. (Rated R.)

From GoodReads:

A troubled young mother yearns for a shot at redemption in this heartbreaking yet hopeful story from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover.

After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself.

The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them.

The two form a connection despite the pressure surrounding them, but as their romance grows, so does the risk. Kenna must find a way to absolve the mistakes of her past in order to build a future out of hope and healing.

I had heard this book was better than one of my favorite books of all time, but I have to disagree. It was really good, but no book that she writes will ever top It Ends With Us. I did really like this book, that being said, and I love how she wraps up a book. If you've never read a book by her, you should try one, but know they're all going to be rated R. I just skim over the parts I don't like to read.

8. In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. 

From GoodReads:

A striking, powerful, and moving love story following an ambitious lawyer who experiences an astonishing vision that could change her life forever.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

This was for sure another ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for me! 

It was a great month of reading. I'd love to hear from you! What did you do this weekend and read this month? I'm always open for suggestions on books! I have several already waiting for me. Thanks for reading my blog, friends! Love to all. 



Friday, January 28, 2022

Friday Favorites, 1.28.22


 Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with Erika and Andrea for this weekly blog post. Here are some highlights from this week. 

We sang one of my favorite songs in choir on Sunday. Have you heard the song For Thou O Lord by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir? I'm sharing the video from it from our church's YouTube page.

(Seeing myself on video and hearing myself sing is NOT my favorite, but the song is worth sharing.)

All of the worship was so good on Sunday! I'm excited for this week. I know the worship will be great as usual, but we're also having a guest speaker—Jonathan Evans, son of Tony Evans, is coming to preach. I can't wait! 

I'm such a girly girl these days, but it's okay with me. Getting my nails done in fun new colors is one of my favorite things ever. I decided to go bold once again and got them done like this, with Valentine's day in mind. I don't even like Valentine's day! But I love the fun nail color. 


Hopefully I won't tire of the two colors before my time is up to get them done again. 


Puppy hugs are always my favorite! Oakley literally puts her paws around my neck and hugs me. It's the sweetest thing I have  ever experienced! I love this dog so much it's not even funny. I love ALL the dogs, but she is definitely the sweetest pup we've had to date. She is always coming in to see me when I'm in the kitchen for a quick pet and a puppy kiss. 


My friend is one of my very favorite Bible teachers! This is my friend Dedee. I love to hear her teach!


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's my favorite to see our sons so happy in life. Drew has made lots of changes to his truck since he first bought it. He has replaced the chrome things with black, he had the roof wrapped, he's had tint added to the windows, he took the steps and bed cover off, he had something done to it to make it louder and the latest is that he and Jonah installed a leveling kit Wednesday night. 


Sending him home with goodies to get him through his night shift at St. Jude is also my favorite. All of these things you see pictured are things he likes to eat while he works from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Because of the overnight hours, he doesn't like to eat a meal, he prefers to snack. He likes something spicy, something sweet, something salty and energy drinks. He lives like a vampire and his eating habits leave a lot to be desired. He does stay fit by working out a lot and he only eats this and one meal per day. 


Last but not least is this sweater I wore yesterday when I went out with my mom—I love the tan color and the pinkish polka dots all over it. She and I ran a couple of errands together and we ate our favorite lunch—sushi! I love days like that and we always manage to have fun even if we did get spooked at Costco. Right as we were about to get in her car, we noticed a man one car length away looking in people's cars! I threw my purse in and we jumped in and locked the doors immediately. People are brave! We didn't even buckle up before I backed out and left. 

My point in mentioning that is that it doesn't matter where you are or what time of day it is, people are brave and things like this could be happening all around us. Be observant! I always walk out of stores with my phone in hand, ready to dial. I look in the cars around me and I look at the cars around me as I park. If I'm out at night, I park under a light and I am not ashamed to ask for an escort to my car, if I ever feel like I need one. I won't tell you what my husband said when I shared this story with him. I'm about at the point that I'm agreeing with him. 

Another important thing is to pay attention to how you feel. I can't tell you how many times I've had a sinister feeling come over me as I was at a store or out in another public place. One time one of my older sons was with me at Walmart and I had the most terrifying sense come over me that we left our basket and fled the store immediately. Pay attention to those feelings! They're there for a reason and God grants wisdom and discernment in the lives of those of us who are believers. I don't want to invoke fear in your heart, but I do want to urge you to beware. We're living in strange times and people are mean! You know that's true when the city you live in always has people shot while driving down the interstate. 

I just wanted to share that with you...be mindful! So how has your week been? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! ❤

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Thankful Thursday

 


Happy Thursday, friends! I'm joining in with Rebecca Jo and Leslie for this week's edition of Thankful Thursday. 

I've been talking about Bible study a lot lately because it is really, really good. I'm dedicating today's post to what my friend taught on yesterday. 

I am so thankful for Bible study every week! Our small group is so much fun and we've all gotten to know each other really well. It's fun to laugh and catch up and share stories of times gone by. This semester may just go down as my favorite ever. Last week in Bible study we studied the difference in how God created men and next week we'll talk about how He created women. My sweet and beautiful friend Dedee taught the main lesson yesterday and I thought I'd share what she said. It was so good and resonated with me and I always think if it resonates with me, chances are it'll also resonate with someone else. 

Most of this is dedicated to being a wife and how we can support our husbands. This could also be used on how to pray for your daughters, future daughters-in-love and granddaughters. I am talking to myself here! 

These are ways we can be supportive of our husbands (or ways daughters or granddaughters can be down the road) as their helpmate. 

1. We can love and help our husbands.

2. We can let our husbands lead and we can resist the urge to stifle him. 

3. Embrace the differences in the personalities of men and women. In a moment when you could argue, ask the Lord to teach you something in the moment when you're frustrated the most. 

4. Guard your heart against bitterness. (Proverbs 4:23)

5. Be an extender of grace. I'll add onto this one—I think we should all be aware of how we speak of or two our men. Our words should build others up, not tear them down. (Ephesians 4:29)

There was a sixth one, but I don't think I wrote it down right. It was such a great lesson today! I don't know about you, but I know that I need lots of reminders of all of these things listed. I am guilty of all of them! I don't always willingly let Todd lead me, I don't always feel like extending grace and sometimes I don't receive things very well. I read way too much into things he doesn't say and what he could possibly mean. Basically I'm a big work in progress and I am thankful for godly teaching friends who pour into me like my friend Dedee. I am so thankful the Lord brought us together as friends! 

Well, thanks for reading my blog, friends! I hope you join in with us this week. Love to all! 





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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

what's up Wednesday

 


Happy Wednesday, friends! I'm linking up with Shaeffer and Shay for this monthly blog post on all the things from this month. I'm jumping right in!

What we're eating this week:

Monday night we had things leftover from the weekend, which is so strange and doesn't go together at all, but this is what we do sometimes. We ate taquitos and rice. (Insert emoji with palm over face.) Last night we had beefy rotel and tortilla chips, tonight we're having leftovers, tomorrow night we're having a chicken casserole that my boys love with Doritos. For lunch I've been having things like raw nuts, beef jerky, cheese sticks and a Kind bar. I'm sure we'll get pizza at some point this week or weekend and tomorrow my mom and I are eating sushi for lunch. Side note—have I mentioned that I make lunches for everyone here that works? Which is everyone, by the way. I make them full lunches, reminiscent of when they were in school! They get sandwiches, chips, a dessert and a drink. My hubby gets two protein drinks, peanut butter crackers, slim Jim's if we have them and an almond butter bar from Costco each day. They also gets waters and coffees to go. 

What I'm reminiscing about:


I'll tell you why in just a minute, but I thought about this just last week as I watched a show while I ate lunch. I laugh about this with Todd all the time. Remember these days? I can remember being SO MAD when I would get home and find something didn't tape that I'd set up on the VCR.

What I'm loving:

Wednesdays! I go to Bible study in the morning and facilitate a small group, then I go back at night for a class on chronological Bible reading. I love our small group time each week on Wednesday mornings! Most of them are back from last semester, but it's just fun to catch up.

What we've been up to:

We've been dealing with vehicle issues! I hate vehicle issues. Thankfully mine has been okay and I am so grateful for this, because at one point, mine was the worst. Todd has been having problems with his battery dying, Graham's truck is having something done to it, Drew's transmission went out on his old truck (so he bought one that's new to him and he's loving it), Noah had brake issues last Friday on the way to work (it may not be the brakes, they've ordered a part to see if they can repair it) and Jonah's truck is also doing something weird. Like I said, I'm grateful that mine is good. I've been sharing it with everyone and their brother! 


Drew's new (to him) truck is above, Jonah's is below. I love that they love their vehicles! Funny story, we have a community page on Facebook and people are so mean about teenage boys and adult males with their trucks. I've literally been waiting for them to make it onto that page and all my worst nightmares came true last week and it happened. I'm guessing the admin removed the post because SHE POSTED PICTURES OF THEIR TRUCKS AND LICENSE PLATES and that's not allowed. I also know this person and she's a bit intimidating. She called the cops on them and the officer was really nice and told them to have fun that they weren't doing anything illegal and to be careful. (They were doing donuts in the snow at the back of an empty church parking lot on the pavement. I think it's funny that he told them to have fun! I'm sure she was fuming.) I may have stalked this woman to see if she'd shared it on her personal page, and sure enough, she had. She turned off the comments because people were telling her (with very colorful language) to mind her own business. 😮 People are so mean! And I do actually believe in minding your own business unless someone is in danger. 


There have been other things, but I've been without a car on a lot of days this month, so I've been hanging out with the dogs at home. I am not complaining about this, I promise!

What I'm dreading:

I can't say that I'm dreading anything in particular, but there are a few things I'm dragging my feet on. I'm a really good procrastinator! These are projects that I need to finish, both personally and for our home.

What I'm working on:

Currently? I'm working on blog stuff for this week, I'm making notes for a meeting with a friend I have tomorrow, I'm looking at my calendar and I'm waiting on Jonah's new comforter to finish drying. Our dog Crash accidentally ripped his new one from Christmas over the weekend, so this one is a replacement. All the dogs have now had their nails trimmed. 

What I'm excited about:

I have a women's retreat coming up in March and I can't wait! I also have a trip scheduled in April and maybe one in June that's in the works. 

What I'm watching/reading:

Okay, back to what I wrote above about reminiscing—I am re-watching Friends in order. I don't think I've ever done this except for when it was out in live time. I watched an episode last week that left you at a cliff hanger and I remember watching it when I was in high school and screaming, "Noooooooo!!" just like Monica screamed in all those episodes back in the day. There has only been one other show that has made me laugh like I laugh when I'm watching Friends, and that is Parenthood. I've seen all the episodes a million times and I can often say a lot of their lines simultaneously, but I've never watched them again in order. 

I also watched Maid on Netflix, which is not for the faint of heart. I watch the new Hallmark movies every weekend and have loved some and not liked some and I watched I'll See You In My Dreams on Prime tv over the weekend. 

Here is one book I read this month. I'll share more with you next week when I post about the books I read in January. 

What I'm listening to:

The two youngest dogs are fighting/playing.


Oakley just stopped to come say hi and give me a "kiss".

What I'm wearing:

All things warm and cozy, because I've been staying home a lot and because it's been cold out. I love the cold weather! I'm not going to share a picture.

What I'm doing this weekend:

I feel certain that I'll be home alone some and I think I may go see a movie with my best friend. I'm not sure on that yet, though we did discuss it briefly when we talked yesterday. I really would love to go on Friday night and have movie popcorn and a diet coke for dinner.

What I'm looking forward to next month:

There isn't one thing that's standing out over anything else. All the days and weeks are running together. Oh, wait, I just remembered something. A young lady I know is getting married next month, and I'm helping out at her reception. I don't actually know her, but I know her mom and my best friend is taking me as her plus one. The fact that I'm helping out helped get me an invite, but I've been living vicariously through her romance since day one. She met a soldier through a friend and they are head over heels in love and are the cutest little couple I've ever seen. I can't wait to see them get married! It'll be at a pretty church that is local to us and I'm also excited about seeing the inside of the church. I've admired it since I first saw it being built a few years ago. Aside from that, maybe my hubby and I will go out on a pre or post Valentine's date. ;) We're too cheap to celebrate on the actual day.

What else is new:

I'm meeting with a friend today about an upcoming project and I'm excited about talking and going over thoughts and ideas. I'll share more as I find out more details, but things are finally starting to move forward! It involves me writing. ;) 

Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

share four somethings, January edition

 

Happy Tuesday, friends! I'm linking up with Heather for this month's edition of Share Four Somethings, a monthly blog post where we share what we have loved, gleaned, braved and achieved all throughout the month. 

Loved:

I have loved the three times that it has snowed this month. If it's going to snow here, I prefer that it happen in the month of January. Two times it happened on a Sunday and once on a Thursday. It's always so beautiful! 



Once February arrives, I'm usually over the season of winter. It's strange how fast it happens, because I love winter. I love the cold, I love the shorter days and the cozy nights. Sadly, there are years when February and March are our snowiest and coldest times of year here in the good old midsouth. This is proven by the fact that we've had to cancel birthday parties for the boys, because of being snowed in. Graham, Jonah and Noah are all March birthdays. Graham is the eleventh and Jonah and Noah are the tenth. Another thing I've always loved about the month of January is that the whole month feels like a giant time of rest. After the bustle of the holiday season, this always feels good to me. 

Gleaned:

I'm loving our Bible study right now! 

Each week we're studying things like why God made creation the way He did and we're learning about the biblical male and female roles in life and in marriage. When we started this last week, I gleaned some new information about God's creation right at the beginning as we looked at Adam and how he got his start in life. This is a great study and I'm thoroughly enjoying the time I spend doing homework each week. I love our small group time and I love talking about what we all learned throughout the week. I am just a facilitator and we all learn from one another. 

Braved:

Over the weekend, I braved being in a large crowd while out shopping with my mom and sister. I say this like it's a new thing—it's not. I just couldn't figure out what else to say for this word. I will say, I don't love being in crowds very much anymore. People feel a little meaner and more unfriendly than they've ever been before. I usually don't let that stop me, though. I know that people need people to be kind, so as much as I'm able to, when the Lord gives me an opportunity, I try to make the most of that moment. I greet people by name in stores that check me out, I smile, I make conversation, I try to mention the name of Jesus somehow. I don't always do all of those things, but I try to always extend kindness, grace and mercy. 

Achieved:

I'd love to say I've achieved a lot this month, but it wouldn't be true. I did clean out and organize the pantry yesterday! That counts for something, right? Seriously, I've achieved things like reading books, watching movies and seasons of shows on Netflix and HBO Max. Remember how I said this is the month that reminds me of rest? That's a small part of what rest looks like to me. I am updating this to add something my friend Maria suggested and that is writing. I've achieved a lot of that this month, both here and in my journal. I've written here regularly since October, I'm not sure if you've noticed that or not, but since I started my blog calendar in a notebook, I've written one post (sometimes two) every day since then. Before it was more hit or miss. I write them and work them throughout the week and then I schedule them to publish at midnight the next morning. Many of you are early birds! I'm looking at you, Maria! Thanks for your encouragement.

Well, that's about all I've got today, friends. What are some things you've loved, gleaned, braved and achieved this month? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

weekending

 


Happy Monday, friends! I'm linking up with Holly and Sarah for this blog post. 

I had a good weekend! It was pretty laid back, but it was good all the same. Dad came over for a while, then Sandy picked him back up because she had stayed here in town visiting her friend. That night, we kicked off the weekend by Todd staying home from work all day. He had the worst migraine he's ever had (this is only the second one he's had) and was sick all day long. Finally around almost three in the afternoon, he started getting some relief. I felt so bad for him! He was scheduled to work that night, but he ended up canceling the shift to stay home. We had lots of food leftover from the week, so that's what we had for dinner. By the time we ate dinner, he was completely fine again. We watched Survivor and I read at the same time. 

On Saturday, he and Graham had maintenance day at the sheriff's department, so they left here before eight thirty. I woke up and watched a great movie on Prime TV—I'll See You In My Dreams. Have you seen it? It's really good! I went out with Mom and Trish, for the first time in WEEKS. We started at Target per my request, then we had Mexican food for lunch. We went to a couple more stores, then called it a day. It was good seeing them! It feels like it's been ages. I read the rest of the day and finished the book I'd been reading. Todd worked that night and I finished the show The Maid on Netflix. It is not a feel good show, but it was very good. It's based on a true story and is about a girl trying to escape an abusive relationship, then when she does, she goes on to clean houses. Have you seen this? 

We had church on Sunday, choir practice that afternoon, then I came home to have dinner and get comfy. Todd and Graham worked last night and after my dinner, I watched the new Hallmark movie, Don't Forget I Love You. It was one of the really good ones! I like the girl who played in this movie, she's one of my favorite actresses that they use. Earlier that day, my sons were in Memphis and Jonah took this picture of his truck. I love this picture!

So that's my weekend. How was yours? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends! Love to all. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Friday Favorites, 1.21.22

 


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

How has your week been? Mine has been good, even if it started out kind of blah. Fellowship and getting out of my house helped tremendously. I do have some favorite moments from the week that I thought I'd share with you. 

I love waking up to snow on Sunday morning! Lots of area churches closed here, but I was glad that ours did not. I rode to church with Todd early and then sat in an empty room and had my quiet time once I was there. Choir was canceled, so I sat with Todd during the service, in this room where he does the livestream. I love supporting him in the ministry he serves in.


This room above is our choir room where we rehearse. I went up there because when I first arrived, choir was still scheduled to sing. My choir family is my favorite and I missed us singing last week.

I got a few inches cut off my hair on Monday. Hair day is always my favorite day! It feels better and looks healthier. I hope to go back in a few weeks to get fresh blonde. 

This moment pictured below is one of my favorite moments from the week. A sweet friend of mine has breast cancer and she underwent surgery Wednesday morning. A group of her friends from church (mostly from her Bible fellowship class and a few of us from choir) met at her house Tuesday night to pray over her before the surgery. Thank you for your prayers! She is awaiting results and we're praying for clear margins. 

Look at the crowd! We all wore masks while we were inside, except for the few seconds that her hubby took this picture and we all just held our breath. 


I love this image that my friend shared on social media this week! I would be willing to say that 95% of what we walk through when we're going through hard times is a spiritual battle. One of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible talks about this in Ephesians 6. 

I made my favorite soup for lunch today and doubled the recipe so that I could share it with my friend who has covid. This soup tasted so good to me when I had that, and I've made it many times since. It's chicken and rice soup, but most of the broth is homemade. I also took her a bunch of books to read while she recovers.


It was FREEZING here yesterday (which I love) and I was so cold last night that I snuggled up under my favorite blanket. Isn't this beautiful??? My mom made it for me for Christmas, and it's one of those gifts that made me burst into tears the second I opened it. I've been wanting a quilt for so long and didn't want her to ask for one from her, because I know it takes forever. Also, Mom has a terrible time with vertigo because of the Meniere's Disease she was diagnosed with several years ago and I don't know how long she will be able to continue to do things like this. It was just a very special and meaningful gift. 

My last favorite moment from the week was on Wednesday. I'm sharing my car again and my best friend has been picking me up for church the last two weeks. We don't see each other a lot these days, so it's been nice to have extra time to catch up with her. We went to grab a bite to eat afterward and had the most fun just sitting and laughing our heads off together. Moments like that are so good for my soul and are my very favorite. ❤

I'd love to hear some of your favorite moments from this week! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

thankful Thursday

 

Happy Thursday, friends! I'm joining in with Rebecca Jo and Leslie for this week's edition of Thankful Thursday. How's your week been? My week has been good. I've had several things to be thankful for this week and can't wait to share them with you. 

After a weekend that was blah, I was not in a great place on Monday when I woke up. I probably should have gotten out of my house more than I did, but I was scheduled for a haircut at eleven thirty and it kind of ate into my day. Anyway, I was kind of just sitting and wallowing in a bad mood when my best friend called me. I am so thankful for her! She called me at the exact moment that I needed to hear from her and I felt immensely better after our conversation. She pulled my own trick on me and basically wouldn't get off the phone with me until we were laughing.


I shared this on social media about it on that same day, because this is really what she is for me. I also need to say that she isn't my only friend who is like this, the Lord has been faithful in giving me some very godly friends to walk alongside in life. I know if they ever all meet, they would all be good friends. 

I am thankful for the fact that Bible study started back! I am enjoying our Bible study so much this semester. It's refreshing to do a study that I didn't help write. 🤣 I am also thankful for a faithful small group of ladies to lead in conversation. I told them yesterday that I am only there to get or keep a discussion going. I love that we're already friends and that we are getting to know each other and that we're all there to learn from one another. I love discussing something we've studied in the Bible with friends, because usually their answers are a different perspective that I would never have thought of. 


(This was us this morning, and this is my friend Amy who did the teaching for today.)

I am thankful for the gift of prayer. On Tuesday night a bunch of ladies from church met at my friend Wendy's house to pray over her before her surgery Wednesday morning to remove the cancer in her breast. 

This was a mixture of her friends from their Bible fellowship class and choir. What a blessing for her and for us this night was. We got to meet her sweet parents who were here in town to help out for a few days while she recovers. I know they were deeply moved by witnessing this that night, her dad told us so and was emotional as he thanked us. He's a retired pastor and I know both Wendy and her husband Zack are glad to have them here. 

Other things I'm thankful for:

Finally getting into a book! I've had to quit THREE of them this month, because you know that my motto is that life is too short to read mediocre books.

Cold weather. I love it so much!

My husband and the things we do to enjoy being together. One night this week I was working on my computer as he sat and listened to 90's anthems (it's a Spotify playlist). We laughed like crazy at my ability to remember every single lyric to the song Two Princes by The Spin Doctors.

My best friend for picking me up for church. We're still vehicle sharing over here. #storyofmylife

Anti-inflammatory medication for my arthritic knees. Why yes, I'm on the verge of ninety.

My worship pastor at church for leading us in worship on Wednesday morning Bible study! This has been my responsibility for the last year and a half and we needed something new and fresh. I sang with him yesterday, which I never mind doing, but he led. 

Like I said, it's been a good week. It's your turn! Leave a comment or join our link party and tell me what you're most thankful for this week. Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! 







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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...