Monday, February 28, 2022

Hello Monday/ the books I read in February

 

Happy Monday, friends! I'm sharing all about the books I read this month. These posts are always my favorite to write and to read. I hope you gain some reading inspiration and if you have any for me, please share. I'm always looking for new books/authors to read! You can click on each image of the book to be directed to Amazon, if you're interested. 

What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand is the second book in a trilogy that I loved. 

Here is what Amazon had to say about this book:

A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a helicopter crash. But that wasn't Irene's only shattering news: he'd also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.

Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life—and death—of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they're about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures.

Lush with the tropical details, romance, and drama that made Winter in Paradise a national bestseller, What Happens in Paradise is another immensely satisfying page-turner from one of America's most beloved and engaging storytellers.

Next up was the third and final book, Troubles in Paradise.


After uprooting her life in the States, Irene Steele has just settled in at the villa on St. John where her husband Russ had been living a double life. But a visit from the FBI shakes her foundations, and Irene once again learns just how little she knew about the man she loved. 

With help from their friends, Irene and her sons set up their lives while evidence mounts that the helicopter crash that killed Russ may not have been an accident. Meanwhile, the island watches this drama unfold—including the driver of a Jeep with tinted windows who seems to be shadowing the Steele family.

As a storm gathers strength in the Atlantic, surprises are in store for the Steeles: help from a mysterious source, and a new beginning in the paradise that has become their home. At last all will be revealed about the secrets and lies that brought Irene and her sons to St. John—and the truth that transformed them all.

Here's the thing—I loved books one and two and this third one let me down. The book went on and on for far too long and the last fourth of the book was about the island and what happened after a storm. It had nothing to do with the rest of the story and seemed too much of an afterthought, so while I did enjoy the series, I was just ready to be done with them after this last book.

The next three books I read were in a set by Pamela Kelley, The Quinn Valley Ranch series. The three books were Ryder Revisited, Calling Charlie and Hannah's Home. 


This is a collection of Pamela Kelley's three sweet romances in the Quinn Valley Ranch series. This is a family saga series, set in a small Idaho town near a big lake and mountains. The books are tightly connected and feature a loving family and siblings.

You can click on the image to read more about the books, but they were all so good! I love Pamela Kelley and know that I can always count on her books to entertain. 

The sixth book for me was Chic Inspiration, by Fiona Ferris.

Do not let the title fool you! This was a great little book full of practical and useful advice about having a different and better perspective. Here's the description from Amazon:

I love how you can read something uplifting and it switches your mindset so you end up having a better day than you might have otherwise. What you focus on becomes more prevalent in your life, so why not choose to focus on something beautiful?

Chic Inspiration is a collation of mini-essays from my blog How to be Chic, focused on the topic of creating your own inspiration to live a magical life.

I bought another book by her as soon as I finished this one.

Next up was Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan.


When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford professor and the beloved writer of The Chronicles of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters.

Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, found a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

This was an excellently written book, but historical fiction is just not my thing. So while I did love reading about the life and love of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, I feel like I persevered my way through it at over four hundred pages. I wanted to love it so much! And I did love the style of writing and all that I learned, but I do feel that I checked off a certain type of book off the list of books that I need to stretch my reading repertoire. 

Lastly, I read another Pamela Kelley book, Plymouth Undercover.


Meet Emma McCarthy, a thirty-year-old failed actress that just moved home to Plymouth, MA.


And her mother, Cindy, a yoga instructor in the Pinehills, an exclusive golf community in Plymouth.


They’ve just inherited Court Street Investigations, a private detective agency.


And its one part-time employee, eighty-year-old Mickey, a retired police detective.


They expect typical cases like cheating spouses or workman’s comp, but quickly learn that the agency also has a reputation for solving murders when they are hired to find a local missing woman.


This is one of those books that I would consider a cozy mystery. So good! 


It was a good reading month, it was a good weekend with a great service at church Sunday—present world considered, I can't ask for much more. Thanks for reading my blog post, friends! I'm linking up with Sarah and Holly for their Hello Monday link party.


Love to all! 






Friday, February 25, 2022

Friday Favorites, 2.25.22

 


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

I don't post a lot of heavy content here on the blog, but I always feel the need to hesitate before starting with the frivolity that this blog usually is, when newsworthy things are happening in the world. You'd have to be living under a rock if you don't know that Ukraine is at war with Russia. I have been following along for the last few weeks and have been praying for them since then, but they especially need the prayers of believers now. I think it's wise to pray and then prayerfully consider what else we can do to help. One article that I read today that said if the church is not relevant during crisis, it isn't relevant in times of peace. I love to listen to podcasts for information regarding daily news and one that I like is The Daily Wire. There are websites as well, but it's best if we get our information from sources other than those that are considered mainstream media like NBC and CNN. 

I wanted to share that before I got started on the rest of this lighthearted blog post. Moving on to much lighter topics, now...

I made the best pizza for lunch Wednesday! It was my favorite lunch of the week and Drew was here to share it with me. I bought a cauliflower crust from the grocery store last week and finally used it on this day. To the crust I added a little bit of marinara mixed with alfredo sauce, then spinach, artichoke hearts, green onion and two different types of cheese. I baked it at 425 for 15 minutes, but it got a little too crunchy, so next time I'll take off two minutes. I bought two more of these yesterday at the grocery store, it was so good!

Drew loved it as well and it was plenty for me and enough to get him by for a couple of hours before needing more food. ;)

One of my favorite things is to see my husband serving in the tech ministry at church.

This was me waiting on him last week after the service. I'm amazed by someone who knows what all those buttons mean! He was showing me some of what they did as he closed it all up for the day before we went home. 

This one is going to seem really random, but this reading journal is my favorite thing right now. I love that there are so many more things to consider about each book on each page, things like genre, length, publisher, quotes, thoughts and inspiration. Also within this book are recommendations of books to read in every genre and books to read during certain seasons. Reading the book I just finished yesterday was something this little journal inspired me to do. It was a genre I don't usually love and even at over FOUR HUNDRED PAGES, I persevered and finished the book.

Do you know who Anne Bogel is? She's also known as Modern Mrs. Darcy and I've been following her blog for years and years. She always gives great out of the box book recommendations and I like the books that she has authored as well.

It's no secret that pens are one of my favorite things. I was using some pens that were the brand Amazon Basics, but I went back to my old favorites.

These have been my old favorite and go-to for years, the Papermate Flair pens. I even use the black ones for everyday writing in my journal.

I've shared this before, but my new favorite blog organizing hack is scheduling my blog posts way in advance. I don't know why doing this makes such a huge difference, but it does and I've been consistently writing here everyday (unless I was sick or out of town) since I started last August. 


Who knew such a small thing would be such a huge game changer?! I have blog posts planned through May. 

All the rain we had this week was NOT my favorite, but thankfully it was just rain and not freezing rain or sleet.

On the day I took this picture, there was a river forming in our backyard. It's rained since Sunday night and it's finally done today. 

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

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Thankful Thursday

 


Happy Thursday, friends! I'm joining Rebecca Jo and Leslie for our weekly link party. We would love for you to join us! Write your post, link back to us and join in on the fun!

I don't have pictures to share and a list of things this week. I do have a story. I've talked about Bible study on here a lot recently and I have to tell you again how thankful I am for this group of small ladies that I get to see each week. We've been together since August and each week we have more and more fun. This particular week of homework wasn't one that we loved (I think we all agreed on this), so today our discussion went a whole other direction. I was surprised by it, because it wasn't what I'd planned, but I ask the Lord to lead us each week and I know that He did that today. 

I love these ladies and love that we can all learn from each other. I am one of the youngest in the group, with my friend Brooke being younger than me, and that was something I told them at the beginning, that we were there to learn from each other and that I was just there to help guide the discussion each week. I love that these ladies have walked life ahead of me and I love that a friend from my old church is in my group for the second time. I told her today that her voice is in my head about something she said to us a few weeks ago, but in a good way and it's changed my perspective. Again. 

Isn't that a beautiful picture of us living life alongside one another and the example that Paul teaches Timothy in Titus 2:4-6? 

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

I was feeling extra grateful for this as I sat and talked with my friend for a little longer after our study ended yesterday. This is why I love a small group setting and encourage friends to find one they can become involved with. It's so refreshing and encouraging! I dearly love them and I treasure our days of Bible study together. I never want it to end! 

I am also grateful for the gift of prayer. When I (or someone I love) am overwhelmed, I pray either for the situation in my life or in theirs. I've been doing a lot of that this week for people that I love! The Lord knows and He hears every single word that I utter. I'm so glad for that! Life is just hard sometimes and the burdens can be debilitating. I take such comfort from the Bible during these times, like this passage from Isaiah 43:1-2.

Now this is what the LORD says -- the one who created you, Jacob, and the one who formed you, Israel -- "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and the rivers will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, and the flame will not burn you.

I am also thankful for the word of God.

What about you? Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all. 


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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

what's up Wednesday

 

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

What we're eating this week:

We had a charcuterie type dinner on Monday night, because it was just Todd, Noah and me here to eat. This consisted of smoked sausage, cheese cubes, shrimp cocktail and sautéed cauliflower. Also on the menu are nachos, some sort of chicken dish and pizza for the weekend. Nothing too inspirational there.

What I'm reminiscing about:

All the snow we had last year at this time! It was so much and lasted for over a week. I was so ready for it all to go away after a few days of the stuff, but it lasted and lasted. That reminds me of this picture I took of a picture that hangs in my old bedroom at my dad's house. 

This was my stepsister, stepmom and me standing on my dad's lake that was frozen solid! He chopped through one part of it with an ax to make sure it was solid enough for us, and this ice was several inches thick. I remember this like it was yesterday. 

What I'm loving:

Currently, my first cup of coffee for the day and a cleaned up kitchen. I spent some time on Monday cleaning, organizing and rearranging an area of my kitchen counter. Do you do this? I have one spot in particular that I always change. It's where our coffee pot sits and I change it from either a back corner on our counter or to far left side of the counter near the refrigerator. I moved it back to the left side and it looks uncluttered now. I love to re-purpose things as well and have plans to do this today on the bookshelf in the living room.

What we've been up to:

All the guys are making plans to go to Nashville in two weeks. They're all going with a group of friends, for Alex's basketball tournament. I love that Alex (my bonus son) is at a school he loves, having an amazing basketball season and the best senior year. This is much improved over his other years of high school. I only wish he'd ended up at this private Christian school sooner! Here's a picture from his social media:


(My friend Jerry took this picture recently at one of his games. I used to go to church where Alex goes to school now.)

As for Todd and me, we are up to the same things. He has to have some minor surgery soon and is waiting to hear about all of that and I manage to fill my weekdays with lots of things. I did enjoy being out with my mom and two of my sisters recently, since one was here visiting here from Denver. 

What I'm dreading:

I can't think of one thing right now, except for all the rain we're supposed to have this week. 


There's a river forming in the middle of our back yard as I write this on Tuesday.

What I'm working on:

I'm still trying to work on my writing portion for our next Bible study at church this coming fall. It's not going all that well. I'm also working on this blog for weekly posts.

What I'm excited about:

Birthday season begins in two weeks! All of our sons have birthdays in March and April, and so do other lots of other family members. It's a busy spring for us Goodwins.

What I'm watching/reading:

Todd and I are watching The Voice from last season every night. We've also been watching Cobra Kai episodes of Survivor and Fear Factor. During the daytime while I eat lunch, I watch Friends. I'm on season eight, when Rachel is pregnant and when Joey was in love with her. Did anyone else really want them to end up together?! I loved those episodes. I'm about to start watching Cheers on Netflix, thanks to a podcast I'm listening to right now, but I'll write more about that in a few minutes. 


This is what I'm currently reading. This book is so good! Come back on Monday next week to read more about the books I read in February.

What I'm listening to:

Currently I'm listening to The Besties Breakdown podcast, where they're breaking down the nineties. It's so good and that's what inspired me to want to watch Cheers. I love this podcast! It's so random, but it is one of my favorites.

What I'm wearing:

Comfy clothes right at this moment!


Black lounge pants, a black flowy shirt with a hood and my UGG slippers that I got for Christmas. I was going to go grocery shopping, but I don't have to have anything pressing and am staying home since it's pouring out. I am going to ask one of my sons to stop and buy bread later.

What I'm doing this weekend:

The only two things I'm sure of are something fun with Mom and Trish on Saturday and church on Sunday.

What I'm looking forward to next month:

I'm excited about a women's retreat we're having for the ladies in my church! It's been YEARS since I've been on one and I can't wait. Who doesn't love a sleepover?! 

What else is new:

I can't think of anything else! 

Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! 



Tuesday, February 22, 2022

share four somethings, February edition


 

Happy Tuesday, friends! I'm linking up with Heather today for her monthly blog post, where I share things I've loved, gleaned, braved and achieved throughout each month. I'll jump right in!

Something Loved

I was surprised at how much I loved decorating our home for February. I'm not a Valentine's day type person, but apparently this year I was. I had more than I remembered too and I kind of added touches throughout the downstairs, adding to our "winter" décor. I shared a post about it earlier in the month, but here are a few pictures.







See what I mean?! I had several things sitting out that I loved. I'll take it all down and start fresh when March comes next week. I have plans for my mantle involving a gift card I was given for Christmas, so I'm excited! I want to do something new there that will last through fall of this year. 

Something Gleaned

This isn't anything new, but in a book I read last week, the author gave several pieces of advice that are brilliantly simple. I gleaned a lot from the book, even if some was what I already knew, but I love books that inspire and motivate, don't you? I'll share some pictures from my phone with a quote or two.


"If we believe in magic, we'll live a magical life." -Anthony Robbins

I applied this philosophy to our sons as we raised them. Their childhood was nothing extravagant with vacations to fancy places, I assure you, but everyday was an adventure. We went on picnics all the time, we had friends over all the time and not just for special occasions, I made them their favorite meals, we had fun times amidst the ordinarily mundane. 



"You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine." - John Maxwell

Is that true or what? I believe this can be applied to changes we need or want to make in our lives and also in our attitudes, which is what the book was about. (I'll share about the book next week, so come back on Monday when I post about the books I read this month!)


"The key is not to look at the obstacles ahead, but instead to the route ahead. The human brain is hard-wired to look at the problem, but we must look away from the problem." - unknown

This one is also true both literally and figuratively. Do you remember learning how to drive and being taught not to just look at the road right in front of you, that if you did, your steering wheel would be unsteady? When you looked ahead at the road in front of you, the steering wheel became steady again. That is exactly what this reminds me of. I am a positive, upbeat, glass-is-half-full type person, so this is easier for me than for some. I used to be the complete opposite, but thankfully that is no longer the case.

Like I said, come back next week when I post about all the books I read this month.

Something Braved

I can't say too much about this, because it's not mine to share, but someone I knew and dearly loved throughout my entire childhood died at the end of January, someone I was very close to. When I found out that he had died and a memorial service had taken place with only three people in attendance, I braved sharing my feelings about that and my childhood with him on his online obituary. It was a small thing, but I sincerely wish his loved one had let other people know about his passing. He was very significant in my life and I am still processing the emotion of knowing he died.

That was such a small thing to brave, but it's very uncharacteristic of me to share anything that could be considered confrontational. I wasn't unkind, but I expressed my true feelings as I wrote about who he was and what he meant to me. 

Something Achieved

Unfortunately, I haven't achieved as much as I'd hoped. I have been struggling with motivation lately and have no idea why. I have been keeping up with the minimal of things to get by, but everything else I have let slide. I was somewhat productive yesterday, which was good. I took down the last of the wintry décor I mentioned at the beginning of this post and I straightened up some of kitchen cabinets that had gotten messy again. Anyone else have to do that on a regular basis? I'm certainly not complaining, I promise. I'll miss the phase of life we're in right now someday. 

What about you? Anything you'd love to share about that you loved, gleaned, braved and achieved this month? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Hello Monday

 

Happy Monday, friends! I am linking up with Holly and Sarah for this weekly blog post about all things involving the weekend. Speaking of, how was yours? 

Mine started with Dad coming over on Friday. 

We stayed in on this day, because it was COLD. I made us clam chowder and cheesy garlic biscuits for lunch. It was delicious! We had strawberries and a cookie for dessert. I took him home, ordered a pizza and watched the most boring Sarah Jessica Parker movie I've ever watched, All Roads Lead to Rome on Prime tv. Save yourself the time and don't watch it—I fell asleep somewhere in the middle. Todd worked that night and all the guys went to Alex's game. He's playing in a tournament, so they did the same thing Saturday night.

I had an easy Saturday. Todd left early for something with the sheriff's department and I had quiet time and did Bible study homework. I had made plans to eat lunch with a friend here from out of town. We went to a place that's new to me and it was so good! We sat and enjoyed lunch for a couple of hours and getting caught up with each other. I haven't seen her in ten years! After that I came home and Todd and I ordered sushi for dinner. We watched episodes of The Voice from last season and I read on and off all night in between times of them singing. 


Oakley sits in my lap and watches me while I read. Isn't she cute?

You know how I love to wake up early on Saturday mornings and watch a movie? I could never find one that I like or could get into, so I ended up watching Friends and reading for most of the time. I did get up and watch one Sunday morning and it was so good! Have you watched The Wedding Veil movies on Hallmark? They've been so good, but the second and third movies were the best, by far. Every once in a while, they put out really great movies with excellent acting. I actually enjoy almost all of the movies, but sometimes the quality is better with certain ones. 

When I came home from choir rehearsal last night, I ate some leftover pizza and watched a show and worked on blog posts for this week while Todd watched a movie. Today I am catching up on things I didn't do in the house over the weekend and figuring out dinner plans for the week. It's supposed to be rainy here for the first half of the week, so I don't have many plans to get out in a downpour. How was your weekend? I'd love to hear from you! 

Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Friday Favorites, 2.18.22

 

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

I feel like these posts that I've written have been so boring lately, because I've been lazy about finding actual products that I love and that are my favorite. That being said, I put some more thought and effort into what I'm writing about this week, so I hope you enjoy! 


All of you know that nail day is my favorite kind of day. I love having pretty nails and I love that it helps me to leave my fingers alone. I'm a picker, so when I get a snag on my cuticle, I'll pull it and it's downhill from there. I've said this before, but this is the dip powder that I have done at the salon and it lasts from 3 to 4 weeks. I really could stretch it out to every 4 weeks, but I hate when they get too long, because I can't type. This is an OPI color called Just Lanai-ing Around from their Hawaiian collection. The dip powder of that version is not the same as the regular polish version, but I love both. Here's the one I used on my toes this week.

It's more pink, but from afar, it looks the same. I like to give myself a pedicure each week that I get my nails done, just like a good Southern girl does. And yes, I keep them polished every month of the year, because that's what Southern girls do. (I'm laughing and making fun of myself all at once.)

When I do my own, this topcoat is my favorite.

This stuff makes the polish dry in ten minutes or less. It's almost immediately dry to the touch, though it can still smudge if you bump or scrape them. I've been using it for years and it's the same price on Amazon as it is online, but you cannot buy this from a drugstore. There's a hair salon near me that I go to for this and new bottles of OPI nail polish.

Years ago, I realized that I love having special hand soap in our bathrooms. I used to just buy exclusively from Bath and Body Works, but now I buy this brand from Target or something from Home Goods.

I like to keep whatever seasonal scent is available and if the season passes and I still have soap left, I just store it under that sink in the cabinet. This scent is one of my favorites! It was from their fall collection, but it just smells like apples.

All of you know that a pretty screensaver for our tv is my favorite. 


This one is a current one I just found by Calmed By Nature on YouTube. It's called "relaxing beach waves" and it lives up to its name! I turned this on when I didn't feel well Wednesday and I kept it on until it stopped three hours later. 

I wrote another dinner inspiration post this week and it was one of your favorites, according to my blog stats! These linkup posts are also your favorites, particularly this one with Amazon Prime and Hello Monday being a close second. 


Quiche is one of my favorite things to make every few weeks. It refrigerates beautifully and is so good to have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This was me as I ate it one night this week while I read. I shared the recipe on Tuesday's post. You can see it by clicking here

I love to listen to podcasts, though I don't do this everyday. I have a few favorites that I love that I thought I'd share with you. First is the one put out by Revive Our Hearts ministry. You can find that app and listen from there on your phone. It's free! These are podcasts that inspire me in my walk with Jesus and are always so very encouraging. I love all the ladies who share within this ministry and they're doing a series on love right now that is phenomenal.


Next up are the "fluffier" ones that I also love, starting with this one below, The Bestie Breakdown. They share about all kinds of fun things from personal to pop culture and I always laugh along with them each week.

And finally, this is my all-time, original favorite.


Melanie Shankle and Sophie Hudson are my favorite bloggers/memoir authors. I've followed them ever since blogging first became a thing and I've had the privilege of meeting them both. Nobody makes me laugh quite like them! I am so happy that they both planning on writing books this year. I think Melanie is working on hers and Sophie has plans for one, I think. If you double check me on this and I'm wrong, forgive me, but I think I remember Sophie posting about that on Instagram or in her newsletter. 

Other favorites from the week include this fun date night Todd and I went on, even if I did get sick later that night and all the next day.


We did not go to drink, we went to eat and sat at the bar because the wait was so long. I loved sitting at the bar, though and I loved that we were next to the kitchen. It was fun getting in on the action!

Super Bowl night was also one of my favorites, because we were together. I read through the whole game, which is also my favorite.

I think that's about it for this week, friends! How's your week been? What is one favorite thing that stands out to you from your week? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog. Love to all! 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Thankful Thursday

 

Happy Thursday, friends! I'm joining in with with Rebecca Jo and Leslie for this week's thankful Thursday blog post. Before I go on with this post, I have to tell you that I don't ever want to take this blessed life I have for granted. When I say "blessed", I do not at all mean monetarily or with any physical thing. I mean that I am so thankful for this life I have with Jesus. He is my everything! He saved me, He changed me, He cares for me and even when things are hard here on earth, I take comfort in Him and the fact that He sympathizes with every situation I walk through, because He Himself was tempted, hated, mocked, beaten and killed (and resurrected three days later). Nothing I ever go through would ever compare to what He went through and the most amazing part of that to me is the fact that He went through that while we were still sinners. 

But God proves his own love for us in that while were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Do you know Him? Are you walking with Him? If your answer to either question is no and this resonates within you, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. You can email me at allboys@gmail.com. I love to write about fun and "fluffy" things here, but more than any of that, I always want to make it a safe place for you to reach out to find out more about Jesus. I am a great listener, so I am here if you ever want to "talk". 

Moving right into this week's gratitude list, now...

I am thankful to feel better today. I had to miss Bible study yesterday and I got up to get dressed, but I could never finish I felt so sick. I think it was the food I ate on Tuesday night when Todd and I went out for dinner. The food that I had was nothing unhealthy (I had one parmesan crusted chicken baked chicken breast and a sweet potato), I think that it was just a little too rich for my sensitive stomach. It was delicious, though and I thoroughly enjoyed it while we were out. 

I'm also thankful for my friends whom I texted that morning to let them know I would have to miss. They all prayed for me, but my friend Amy was very gracious to lead my group along with one other group since their leader was out as well. Thankfully she was already up when I texted her at five something that morning. I wanted to give her plenty of time to prepare! 

I'm thankful for the night out that we had. My husband and I are not great at dating each other and I really want to get better at that this year. I know it's important and even though we're here alone a lot, it's not quite the same thing as "dating" one another. I keep hearing that phrase in podcasts that I've listened to that were talking about something unrelated, so how ironic is that? We went to a favorite steak place and used a gift card that my sister Lisa gave us for Christmas. Wasn't that sweet of her? We sat at the bar in the restaurant because the wait was so long, which was a first for me. I loved watching the bartender do her thing! We were in the corner and close to the kitchen, which was also fun to be able hear and see. As we were finishing our meal, they texted me to tell me our table was ready. I'm really glad we sat where we did so we didn't have to wait.

On that note, I noticed that though there were tables open, there were lots of people waiting and it's because every place is short staffed right now. What in the world is up with that and what is wrong with people that they don't want to work? Don't answer that, my question was rhetorical, because I know what's wrong with people. This is very alarming for our country, my friends and it's such a good reminder for us to pray faithfully for our nation and our leaders, both over our states and the ones residing in and around the White House. Believe me, I am reminding myself of this, because I often forget to include this in my prayer time. All too often, I don't, but we should all be faithful in this. I'm not worried about this, because I know how it's all going to end someday, but it is concerning to see the path that our nation is headed down. I cannot imagine how we must grieve God as a whole! The things that are allowed and celebrated are in direct defiance to His Word...and someday we will have to face His judgment, just like the people from the days of the Bible did. 

Like I said, it's a good reminder to pray. I need to watch my favorite movie to be inspired in my prayer life again. Do you need to be inspired in yours? The movie I'm talking about is The War Room and I like to watch it every so often to be motivated again. We all go through such doldrums, do we not? If you have anything that inspires you, feel free to share it with me! A book that inspires me is one by Stormie O'Martian, titled The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children. I've recommended that book so often recently! There are also books in that series by her for wives, husbands and parents. You should check them out, if you haven't already! 

Alright, well, thank you for reading my blog, friends. I didn't necessarily mean for this to take a turn, but one thing I pray often is for the Holy Spirit to lead me. I believe He does that, so I don't think this was coincidental. Maybe someone needs to read these words today. I pray for you often, friends.

Love to all! 


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Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Wednesday in the Word

Happy Wednesday, friends! I thought I'd share a little bit more from where I've been reading lately. I am finishing up in Exodus as I write this and I've been reading about when God met with Moses on top of Mt. Sinai to give him the ten commandments. In the class that I'm going to on Wednesday nights, my friend challenged us to practice saying them—can you say all ten? I've been working on this since last week, because I'd forgotten a couple of them. I used to know them when my boys were little, thanks to a fun song they loved to listen to. If you don't know them, I'm passing that challenged along to you! It's important that we know them. I'm looking forward to reading a book about these that a friend in the class that night recommended to me by Jen Wilkin, called Ten Words to Live By. 

(If you'd like to read them now, click here to be re-directed to Bible Gateway.)

I read about those and I read about how the Israelites got impatient when Moses was on that mountain for so long, so they made an idol to worship, because they just couldn't wait. Aaron encouraged them in this and he even made an altar in front of the golden calf. Moses came down at God's urging and became so angry that he smashed the stone tablets that were inscribed with the ten commandments. God was mad too and wanted to destroy them as a people and make Moses into a great nation, but Moses begged Him not to do that and God was merciful. (As He has been and will continue to be all throughout the Old Testament and today.) 

The other thing I've been reading and that has stood out to be was the part about God giving Moses instructions to build the tabernacle. There were so many very specific details about the tabernacle and the gifts for the tabernacle. God instructed Moses on building the ark, the table, the lampstand, the incense altar, the altar of burnt offering, the washbasin, the courtyard and then they took inventory and moved onto the priestly clothing and garments. Each piece and plan was specifically laid out by God and it was important that His instruction be followed to the letter.

My point in sharing all of that is to remind and encourage you that God is a God of details. I love a couple of verses from 1 Corinthians that say this: 

...since God is not a God of disorder but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

But everything is to be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40)

(I'm not considering those verses within their context, but they remind me of characteristics of God.) Even though those verses don't say the word "detail", that's what they remind me of, because it seems like that where there is order, there is much attention to detail. I want to encourage anyone who may get bogged down in the details of life—even though such times may overwhelm you, they do not overwhelm our Father in Heaven. He knows, He sees and He cares. Isn't it a great comfort to know that? It's one thing I often thank and praise Him for, the fact that He is a God of peace and order and that He is trustworthy. 

I'd love to hear from you now. Do you have a daily Bible reading plan that you're following? Where are you reading right now? I love hearing where people are in their quiet times and I love hearing what they're getting from reading daily. Isn't that a beautiful thing about the family of God? I love that we can all learn from one another as we walk through life together, whether in person or virtually. I'm appreciative of the ones who are faithful readers here, but more than that, I pray you're a faithful reader of the Word of God. That should be our number one goal and priority, as believers and followers of Jesus.

Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all.  ❤

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

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