Tuesday, January 31, 2023

books I read in January (1.31.23)


Happy Tuesday, friends! I'm so excited about today's post! I read some great books this month. I'd love for you to leave me some recommendations at the end of this post in the comments, if you have them. I will say that I am definitely on a nonfiction kick right now, but I like fiction at night. I am always looking for a new book to read and can't wait to hear what you suggest. (Click on each picture and you'll be directed to Amazon.)

I'll jump right in with the first two books. 

I'm starting with these because they will be ongoing for the year and for an undetermined amount of time, since they're both for my morning quiet time. One will be a year long, but the other will be as long as it takes me to get through the book of Psalms in the Bible. 

1. First up is this amazing devotional by Bob Goff, Live in Grace Walk in Love. I have mentioned this book a dozen times already this month, at least. I can't tell you how relevant this is for my life right now as I prepare to go love on little kids everyday with my new job. I open it up each morning and that day is always exactly what I need to hear as a reminder from the Lord. 


I'm giving it five stars, because each day has been exceptionally good. Everyday there is a Scripture for the day and something to read by Bob Goff pertaining to the Scripture for the day. I usually read the passage in context, or between subtitles in my Bible to help me know exactly what is going on for the place where I'm reading. Even though I'm not finished, I'm giving it five starts, because Bob Goff is wonderfully loving, practical, and highly relatable man of God. I love his personality, which shines through the pages of this book. You should buy it and read it for yourself.  

2. Second on my list is Sing a New Song by Lydia Brownback.


I am reading through the book of Psalms slowly in my quiet time each morning, and journaling thoughts as I read. After I do that, and read it several times, I read a page in this book, which gives insight into each chapter in Psalm. This is such a great book! It's appealing to me because I love to sing, and it's a lyrical book. (These first two books I linked are in physical book form, but the rest will be for your electronic device, which is what I use the majority of the time.) 

3. Next up was a book by Angela Thomas (now Pharr), titled 52 Things Sons Need from Their Moms.

⭐⭐⭐ & 1/2

This was a really good book for moms with sons of all ages. I will say, most of it is geared for moms of younger sons than what I have, but it was still full of wisdom and insight. She talked about things like making the right priorities, teaching them what is important, and leading by example. There's a version of the same book for moms with daughters. 

4. Next is a book called When You Don't Know what to Say: Words of Caring for All Occasions by Discovery House Publishers. 


This book was EXCELLENT. I am faced with situations all the time when I don't have words to say to someone. I took notes as I read this and have referred back to it several times already, and it's January 10th, when I started writing this post. There are words for every occasion—birthdays, holidays, marriage, births, deaths of loved ones, new neighbors—you name it, it's there. I highly recommend this book if you're a friend to anyone. 


5. I loved reading about Billy Graham's exceptional life, and while I loved the concept of this book, the actual writing left a lot to be desired. I am struggling with my 3 star rating, because I loved the parts about Billy! I just really didn't love how it went on and on unnecessarily. Have you read anything about Billy Graham before? He was an incredible man and even in death, he made it known to the world that he loved people almost as much as he loved the Lord and his family. The coffin he chose to be buried in was one made by people who were part of a work program in prison. They had served their time and were working on skills to be able to make it in life after their sentences. I love that even in his death, his life spoke into people about the love of Jesus and Billy's love for people. I want to be like him with my own life. 

6. Next up was a new author for me! I read Set on You by Amy Lea.


Like I said already, this was a new author to me, and I really liked the book. It's about a curvy girl with thousands of followers on Instagram. She's an influencer for workout inspiration and videos that encourage everyone to love themselves just as they are...and after she meets a cute guy at the gym, she starts to realize some things about herself that aren't the healthiest, none of which have to do with looks. I really liked this book for several reasons: first, it was laugh out loud funny; secondly, it was inspiring to me and true in how we view ourselves; lastly, who doesn't love a good romance? It did not get five starts from me only because of language and some scenes that were steamier than they needed to be and I can do without that in a book. I'll try another book by this author, because her writing pulled me in immediately and I really enjoyed it overall. 

7. Last, but not least, is one by an author I love.

Katherine Center never disappoints! I was talking about her books with a friend from work last week and we agreed that she's always a favorite because we know all of her books are phenomenal. The book starts out a tiny bit slow as she fills in some information for us with a little backstory of the main character, but it quickly takes off from there. One reason I love books by Katherine Center is because she's funny, engaging, and she "speaks" to us through her characters as if we're there sitting beside her. I think because of that last reason, it feels like I've been talking to a friend after I've read one of her books. This book had all the great things that I love in a book—wit, humor, chemistry, banter between the characters, humor (I know, I mentioned that twice). I think that if you've not read either this book or any book by her, that you should add her to your list of books to be read soon. 

I prefer to read on my Kindle these days, so the links that take you to Amazon are for books to be purchased for that device. I use Kindle Unlimited to read books for free or for very inexpensive, though I do sometimes pay full price for the new books of my favorite authors. I also like to borrow books through the Libby app that is connected to my library card. Before I started reading on a Kindle, I would frequent the library or one of my favorite used book resources, Thrift Books, where the books are cheap and the shipping is free. 

I'd love to hear from you now! What have read lately that you loved? I'd love to hear some of your book recs. Thanks for reading my blog, friends! Love to all. 🖤

Monday, January 30, 2023

weekending/Hello Monday 1.30.23


Happy Monday, friends! I'm linking up with Holly and Sarah for this weekending recap and Hello Monday post. Can you believe it's already the end of January? Did this month fly by or drag slowly for you? For me, I usually feel like it's extremely long, but that's not the case this year with how I was getting ready for my job. Mine flew by with lightning speed! 

I hope you all had a great weekend! My weekend feels a little differently now that I'm working full time, but I'm okay with that. My Friday was good, albeit a little strange and unpredictable. Due to necessity, I was briefed very quickly on what to do in emergency situations, but all ended up being okay in spite of having the daylights scared out of me for two minutes. The rest of the day went on uneventfully, thank the Lord, which you know I don't say lightly. 

I love how inspirational elementary school classrooms are! I forgot to take a picture of my corner in the room, so I'll do that sometime this week and share them here. If you're like me, I love seeing things like that, and to get a feel for where people spend their time. 

You all know that before I started working full time, I spent every Friday with Dad. Well, he called me last Thursday night (right as I was about to call him) and when we started talking, I asked him if we could meet up for dinner Friday night. I offered all the options—to pick him up, to meet him and Sandy (my stepmom), or for them to come here, either to Collierville or to my house. They opted for the third option and came to my house to pick me up for dinner out. It was a wonderful dinner, but it wasn't about the food. I loved seeing them both and spending quality time with them! Most of you know that quality time is my top love language. 

I never really share heavy and serious things here on my blog and I'm not starting that now, but most of you know that Memphis was in national news this week, regarding the death of a young man by five police officers. The media outlets kept saying that there were going to be riots all weekend long, and they basically tried to scare us into submission by making us stay home. But God—I could stop right there with those two words—answered many of our prayers, and the weekend was a peaceful one. I'm so thankful for this, for a million different reasons. The first reason is that rioting and violence never solve big problems. Another reason is because many people I know and love are in law enforcement. 

That being said, I'm thankful we had extra people here to help our city in a very troubling time. I'm thankful that the protesting that did take place was very peaceful. The young man's family was honored in that and promises had been made to his parents that things would remain peaceful, and that is exactly what happened. There was some vandalism in certain spots, and though that is never warranted, it's to be expected when a large group of people are together. There are always a few in every crowd that are doing things for the wrong reason. My husband and oldest son were in the downtown area of Memphis all weekend, and Drew doesn't live too far from that area, so they're the other reasons I'm so glad things turned out as peacefully as they did. As I write this, it's Sunday night and they're all safe and sound. I am still praying for the young man's family and that justice will be served. 

About not living in fear, which I mentioned earlier, I thought I'd share one of my favorite Bible verses, 2 Timothy 1:7. 

I refuse to live my life in fear, which is one of a million reasons why I don't watch the national news outlets. I don't watch the news at all, truth be told. I rely on emails and a few podcasts to keep me informed, but I honestly don't want to be too informed for my own mental wellbeing. 

Moving on to lighter topics now....

Have you seen this movie? I watched it Friday night on Prime TV. 

I love both Jennifer Lopez (as an actress) and Josh Duhamel. This was so good! Again, not good as in clean, but good as in highly entertaining. (It was rated R for language and for one scene that was risqué.) This ended up being the only movie I watched this weekend, because I spent the rest of it reading. Todd worked Friday night, Saturday in the day until six p.m., and Sunday from noon to seven p.m. 

I was up early Saturday morning, and left at eight to go pick up my grocery order from Kroger. I also needed gas in my car, so since my order was going to take an additional thirty minutes to be ready, I made the fifteen minute drive to Costco to fill my car up, then made it back right in time to pick up my groceries. Todd helped me put everything away, then I got dressed for the day and met my mom and Trish for some errands. We ran to Target for all of us (we all needed something from there), then we had lunch at a favorite local restaurant (Huey's), then we ended our time together by going to Home Goods. It was a beautiful day! 

I resisted the urge to buy a candle, but did make it home with a baby toy I need for a shower I'm co-hosting on Saturday, a Valentine's set of potholders and this rug you see Oakley lying on. She approves of it, by the way. 

Here's a sneak peak of what I've been reading...come back tomorrow for the books I read in January! 

I picked out a new screensaver for my phone by browsing on Pinterest, I made myself some dinner, then I read some more. By the time I finished all of that, Todd had made it back home and we wrapped up the night by watching Big Brother on Netflix.

Jonah's girlfriend got a puppy this weekend! They ended up back here with Sadie, and this was her hiding under this little table from the big and curious Crash. 

I was up early on Sunday morning, as usual, so I enjoyed my coffee while reading some more. I really want to finish the book I'm currently reading! It's so good and I can't wait to find out what happens next. I love how lazy our dogs are every morning. I took these pictures and sent them to the boys later on in the day. Callie (the German Shepherd) is on this small couch right below. 

And below is Crash, Chip in the middle and Oakley. 

I had my quiet time before I got dressed for church, which I loved. I've been camping out on these verses in 2 Corinthians 4 for the last few days. 

I love to read passages in different translations in the Bible and I love how the Message version says it—not a day goes by without His unfolding grace. I got dressed right after this and left for church. 

It was kind of rainy and warmer yesterday, so I wore this, which is one of my favorite tops. Here's a better view from up close.

I am loving color right now, especially this magenta color. Our church service was excellent yesterday! We had a guest speaker, which I don't always love,  but he wasn't just a speaker—he is a preacher and he preached a phenomenal sermon. I was taking detailed notes the entire time, and it spoke right into my heart. I love it when that happens! After church, I was at home for the rest of the day. Our dryer isn't working right now, so I didn't do laundry, but I did get to catch up on that Saturday. I'm so thankful for that, because it may be another day or two before it works again. If not, I may be coming to see you, Mom and Bill! 😉 I read, I prepped for lunches and dinners this week, I meal planned, I got my bags ready for work today, and my outfit was all ready to go after I changed out of it from the morning at church. Thanks for that great idea, Jen

And just for fun and because it's so beautiful, look at this picture from a Saturday last year. My mom and Trish love to go to this home décor shop nearby called John Mark's. This was the entrance into his store last year at this same time of year—he is such a talented young man! You can check out his Instagram account here if you're interested. I love to follow people like that for inspiration.

I also love this reminder for myself. I am so thankful for my husband! Our marriage seems stronger than it's ever been before. I don't take that for granted.

I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to this week. We have some possible snowy weather headed our way, so that's kind of exciting to think about. I hope to have a family dinner tonight, too, so that's always fun. It's so hard to get us all together because of different work schedules for everyone. What are you looking forward to this week? I'd love to hear! Don't forget that tomorrow I'll be sharing about the books I read in January, and on Wednesday I'm hosting the month's Currently post for February. I hope to see you back here! As always, thank you for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! 🖤

Saturday, January 28, 2023

share 4 somethings- January, 2023


Happy Saturday, friends! Thank you for joining in with the first share 4 somethings of 2023. I'm so glad you're here! I want to give some love to Heather for starting this fun link party...I am continuing it for her this year, but if she ever wants it back, I will gladly give it to her once more. This month and all year long, we'll share the things we loved, read, learned and ate. We'll do this on the LAST SATURDAY of every month, so make plans to join us today and for all the other months this year. I'll get started! 

I have loved working on memorizing Scripture again. Here are a couple I've been working on.

I have loved my cleaned out closet! I use this little space to lay out my outfits for the next day before I go to bed each night, even down to the jewelry. 

This served me well, since I just started working full time again. 

I read some great books! 

This devotional book that I stumbled on by accident is fabulous. Have you ever read anything by Bob Goff? He's an excellent writer and motivational speaker. 

You should come back this week! I'll post the books I read in January on Tuesday, January 31. This one above is a sneak peak! 


I learned that I can do hard things. I don't know if you read my Currently post at the beginning of January, but it turns out that it was a bit prophetic, for lack of a better word. In that post, I shared how this would be the year that I am resolving to say yes to new things, to things that scare me. Well, shortly after that post was written, I was offered a new job, a full time job that I was not looking for! I wrote a post about how this all came about on Wednesday, so click here if you'd like to read it for yourself.

This was me walking into work early Thursday morning. I'll share more about that day next week, so come back and visit! I'm still writing blog posts everyday, in spite of my busier schedule. 

I ate some things that were new to me! Todd and I  tried Vietnamese food for the first time, and both of us loved it. We found out it was healthy and delicious, and we were hooked. We tried a very authentic restaurant the first time we ate this food, and I may or may not have killed a bug on the wall beside me. The second we tried was one that was much more our speed and where we the staff people spoke English. 🤣 

We ate this delicious pizza one night recently, made with a cauliflower crust.

This had buffalo chicken that I'd made one night in the crock pot, spinach, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and provolone cheese. It was amazing! 

Just a reminder:

1. Use the Link Button to leave a link to your  #sharefoursomethings post. 

2. Share some love by visiting one or two other posts and leaving a comment. (We all love comments!)

3. If you do not have a blog post, please leave your #sharefoursomethings with a comment below.

4. Please link back to this post in your #sharefoursomethings post.

5. You can follow me on Instagram...if you do, I'll tag you in my stories each month. Here is my profile for you to follow.

I can't wait to read your posts! If I don't see you before the next Share 4 Somethings post, I'll see you back here on Saturday, February 25th. Thanks again for joining up with me today! Love to all. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, January 27, 2023

Friday Favorites, 1.27.23.


Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika for this favorite weekly blog post. Well, now that I'm working full time again, Friday is definitely my new favorite day! I love my new job, and I even love the good tired feeling after a long day...but I will be glad for a weekend that is easy and low key. And on that note, I'll get started with my favorites from this week!

My favorite thing from this week started when Dad and I went on a mini road trip last Friday. Traveling is our favorite, no matter the distance! I had to go to a nearby town for some paperwork for my job, and when we passed Dad's favorite BBQ place named Bozo's, we knew that we would be eating lunch there when I was done. It was delicious! 

Saturday was also a favorite, because I spent quality time with Mom and my sister Trish. We started at one of my favorite places—this amazing local bookstore, Novel. 

And my favorite guy and I went to midtown for date night that same night. Time with him is always a favorite! I loved the look of where we were. It's such a cool area in our city, with murals like this beautiful one below, made out of hundreds of large sequins that flutter and glow in the breeze. 

My favorite meme of the week was went to my sister Trish and to my best friend for a good laugh. 

My favorite author sent me a free copy of her book for my friend who is a first grade teacher! If you have kids from 8 to 12 who love to read, or if you're looking for a great book to read together with them, I highly recommend this book. I read the first two chapters and loved every word that I read! I tagged Karen and her son Ty on Instagram with this picture, and he thanked me for sharing about it there. I love it when authors correspond with you! I have read every book that Karen has ever written and have loved all of them. I highly recommend her! This genre would be considered Christian fiction. 

My morning time with Jesus has been my favorite this week. Everyday I've opened up His word to read, it's been something that spoke directly into my heart. I love it when He does that!

Did you read my post from yesterday? I shared about my favorite pullover there, but I do love this happy piece of clothing. It always makes people talk to me. 😉 I love that it's warm and cozy, which was needed on this particular day. I have it on at school today! It's cool again, and very windy, so I figured it would be a great day to wear it to work. 

My family and friends have been my favorite this week. My bonus son sent me this over social media this week and it made me cry like a baby. I love him so much! My family has also been so kind and were genuinely interested in how my days have been going. I had so many sweet texts from my family and friends when I started on Wednesday, that I sat in my car and shed a few tears of gratitude over them. I thanked God for them before I walked into the building, because I literally could not imagine life without them. I am so thankful for all of them! 

On a lighter note, this new color is my favorite for the month of February! 

And this moment when I got my badge this week is a favorite! It's been a minute since I've had to wear one of these and it felt good to be back in a school setting once again!

This verse from the book of James is one of my favorites and was an excellent reminder to me on my first day of work! The topic of my quiet time that day was on loving my neighbor (people) and it was perfect for me to pray over my day as I started work.

This quote from Charles Spurgeon is one of my favorite things I found on Pinterest this week! It really means something special to me, because the Lord Himself put me in my new position at this elementary school. 

All of my sons are my favorite! This is Drew when he came over Wednesday night as he sat and bonded with the dogs. I'd already let my worship pastor know that I wouldn't be at choir rehearsal that night, because I knew I would be exhausted from my first day at work. It worked out perfectly that I'd already planned on that and Drew told me he wanted to come over. I was able to feed him and sit with him while he ate, which is always a favorite for me to do—nurture and love my family through food. It was so good to spend some time with him! He had to go use the lint roller after Crash deposited his white and wiry hairs all over Drew's black pants. 

I thought I'd leave you with a few favorite tips and sayings that I found on Pinterest, followed by an important reminder about God and how He always works everything out for us. 

In case you missed them, here are my blog posts from this week! 

Also, here's a little bit of blog "business" I want to share, in case you're interested in joining me for some fun link parties. The first is that this Saturday January 28th, I'm hosting the Share 4 Somethings link party. This is not original to me, but it's something that Heather Gerwing began and was going to end. I offered to take the baton from her, so I'll be the new host of it for the unforeseeable future. I hope you'll join us! The link will go live on Saturday January 28th and will stay open for three weeks. We'll be sharing things we loved, read, learned, and ate in January. Those prompts will remain the same all year long and this will always be on the last Saturday of every month. I hope you join us! (Originally, I had thought of using the present tense of those words, but I changed my mind to keep it original with how Heather started the whole thing.)

Then, on Wednesday February 1st, I'm hosting another link party called Currently. (Here was January's Currently post, in case you want to check it out. I think the link is still open.) This link party will always be on the first Wednesday of the month, and the topics we'll be writing about in February are things we're currently loving, feeling, posting, receiving, and seeing. 

*The topics for March will be what we're currently loving, starting, finishing, trying, and (where we're ) going. *April will be what we're currently loving, hoping, playing, needing, and feeling.

Tell me something great about your week—I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends! I hope to see you back here next week. Have a great and fun weekend! 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...