let's talk // january favorites

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These are the words + products + ideas + jams that had me at hello in January:

My Name is Hope, by Alyson VanCleave // I cannot adequately describe my love for this piece. I have shared it all over the place. Aly's words about making it out of the woods are some of the most beautiful I have ever read.

How I Learned God Cares About My Fear, by Donald Miller  // I'll readily admit: I am not the world's biggest fan of the object lesson, but this one had me locked in. The Lord has been so kind to reveal (through some tough situations) his thoughts towards me throughout these past few weeks, and he has done it through simple lessons like this one.

You Make Me Brave, by Bethel Live // This album has been on repeat literally all month long. Especially the first two tracks. I cannot get enough.

Simply Tuesday, by Emily P. Freeman // I cannot remember the last time I cried while reading a book. Emily's voice is a breath of fresh air, and reading her words is like talking to a trusted friend. She makes room for you, creates space for your soul to breathe. In Simply Tuesday, she kindly invites me to celebrate my smallness, to find freedom in the truth that I can only do what I can only do and to trust the Lord with the rest. She introduces me to a Jesus who does not condemn me when I do not know the answer, but rather takes my hand and gently reminds me that he is the answer (can you tell I just adore this book?).

This hand cream is the best. Also, this foundation. In the beauty blogging world, they call this kind of stuff holy grail. 

This is not a Flower Year, by Jess Connolly // Because I am starting the year in a new place, with a new job, and new people, and I want to know where the roots are. I want to discover within the rhythms of my everyday life what to water, where to prune, and what to dig up because it is dead.

My friend Leah has an entire section of her blog devoted to Bible journaling, and I am in love.

Hannah Brencher's writing intensive // Seriously, what is a list of monthly favorites without Hannah in it? I took her intensive on January 9 and came away absolutely changed. Though we've never met, and our lives look very different on the outside, Hannah is a spiritual mentor for me. Sure, this is a class on writing a good story, but even more than that, it is about living a good story.

I keep coming back to my friend Sarah Beth's words about the anti-hustle and Jess Connolly's words about disappointing people.

I'd love to hear about some of your favorite things in January. Share them in the comments below!

let's talk // 2016 goals

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First, allow me to recap:

In December, I shared eight goals with you all, and I'm happy to report I completed or made progress on five of the eight. I found a morning/evening routine that I really like (check it out here), I treated one of my nursery volunteers to lunch, we ate out less on the whole, I tried out a habit tracker (didn't end up liking it, but I tried!), and I prayed through my word for the coming year.

Secondly, some goals for January:

+ Complete The Bible in a Year plan by She Reads Truth.  // I'm so grateful that I have a couple of friends to do this study with. I'm a little bit embarrassed to say that even though I went to bible college, I have never read through the entire book. I'm hoping the pretty journaling Bible I got for Christmas will make it super easy and enjoyable.

+ Start cooking my way through The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook, which my sweet mama-in-law kindly got me for Christmas (because when you become an adult, you ask for a new set of sheets and a cookbook from your parents for Christmas).

+ Foster these super helpful habits. // Because one thing I was really striving for in 2015 was rhythm, and I believe that healthy rhythm is created through the fostering of healthy habits. I also firmly believe that habits help to cultivate roots.

+ Read three books. // Specifically, Big Magic by Liz Gilbert, Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, and Emily P. Freeman's Simply Tuesday. Because let's start 2016 with a bang.

+ Analogue hours between 6:00 and 10:00 pm. // Thinking about buying a zillion piece puzzle for this.

+ Get on the treadmill (carry over from December). // Because I want to be healthy and treat my body well.

+ Write four blog posts. // I want to try out some new link ups in January as well.

+ Treat another nursery volunteer to lunch, and go to lunch with at least two other friends. // Because I love the community this simple act has created.

Some things to cultivate in January:

+ Confidence. + Contentment. + Laughter.

Lastly, some words to live by in 2016:

“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.”

-- Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines

What are some of your goals for the month of January and beyond? I'd love to know how I can encourage and pray for you.

*This post contains affiliate links. 

let's talk // december favorites

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These are a few of my favorite things:

This journal from Paperchase and these notebooks from Caroline Gardner make my heart supremely happy.

Vain & Fruitlessby Taylor Schumann // Here is someone who has lived through one of my worst fears. I felt like she straight up took my hands in hers and said hey, I know our hearts are weighed down, but Jesus is inviting us to live in the light. 

Audrey Assad's album Fortunate Fall has been on repeat 24/7. Specifically: Help my Unbelief, I Shall Not Want, and Good to Me (which you can see her perform live at Relevant here).

A Prayer for the People in Joy and in Griefby Emily P. Freeman // This prayer rang so true in my heart, especially when she writes about dissecting the mystery of a neighbor and the fear of losing a gift we were hesitant to accept in the first place. Also, I could listen to Emily talk all day long -- check out this interview with her.

This cozy living room, and this pretty bedroom.

I heart everything about Kate Bryan at The Small Things Blog.

A State of the Blog Address, by Rachel Dawson // Rachel talks analytics, scheduling, and embracing her unique voice. Mad, mad respect. Really, I love everything she does.

I discovered Katherine Jury's blog, and it is so, so homey.

I have been rocking the dark chambray all month long (similar, similar, similar).

When a blog turns 5by Hannah Brencher // Because sometimes I get tangled in the belief that as a writer, I must always be inspired and inspiring.

I'm never using another nude lipstick ever again. This one is the best (I promise, it is more nude than the picture makes it appear). Also, if you're in the market for a "my lips but better" pink, I highly suggest the Rimmel Kate Moss 08 (its in the black tube).

52 habits that can literally change your life, by Chrissy Halton // Hello, morning routine. One of my goals for 2016 is to have more rhythm in my life (high five if you can spell rhythm right on the first try, cause I can't).

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What are some of your favorite things to come from December? Sharing is caring.

let's talk // december goals

decgoals I cannot believe that today is the first day of December. This year has literally flown by, and it has been a hot minute since I posted some monthly goals. Well, in reality, life has been so crazy the past couple months that my only goals have been to breathe and unpack the mess in the spare bedroom in our South Carolina apartment.

In case you missed the memo, the man and I moved to South Carolina in late September to answer the call for him to work in ministry at our much loved church. There was no hesitation whatsoever when the phone rang and our friend Dave asked if we were interested in making the move. What began as one job for C turned into a job for me as well, as I accepted a position coordinating the nursery. We found an apartment and, blessedly, my in-laws helped us move all of our furniture and boxes.

If there's one thing I can say, its this: the Lord is faithful. He has been working long and hard and tender on my heart over these past couple months. There have been some hard conversations about life in the woods and what it looks like to be wide open on the operating table, and I am learning the meaning of vulnerability. I'm learning how to be honest about who I am and who I want to be in light of Christ. I've been thinking about it a lot lately, but it is time to put the thoughts to action.

So, without further ado, here are some goals for the month of December:

  1. Work out a morning and evening routine. Because there have been too many nights that I've stayed up late and crashed into bed with a face full of makeup and too many mornings that I haven't started my day by digging into the Word. I'd like to complete at least one SRT study in the mornings during the month.
  2. Finish 3 books. Right now I'm reading Lara Casey's Make it Happen. 
  3. Plan out time to go analogue. I have spent way too much time on Facebook and other social networks lately. A couple weeks ago, I started this process by turning off the push notifications on my phone so I'm not always reaching for it, but I want to take this a step further and say no social networking between the hours of 6:00 and 9:00 pm.
  4. Get on the treadmill. Ya'll, my blood pressure is too high. Hypertension runs in my family, but I want to stave it off as much as possible by maintaining the healthiest lifestyle I can.
  5. Eat out less. Because money and health and money.
  6. Take one person from my nursery team out for lunch. Nothing can happen without these volunteers, and I want them to know how much their hard work is appreciated. Plus, I want to work harder on putting down roots and building strong relationships here.
  7. Start a habit tracker. I need some accountability when it comes to doing life.
  8. Pray about my word for 2016. I have a couple of ideas, but I want to move into 2016 with clarity of vision and wisdom that can only come from God (join me in praying for this?).

So there you have it. What are your goals for this month? I'd love to know how I can pray for and encourage you.


PS: Looking for some sweet holiday cards? My friend Kercia just opened a shop and her work is ahhmazing.

let's talk // november favorites.

novfav Some of the very best of the web, IMHO: 

You're Not Alone via Levi Lusko at Fresh Life Church // I listened to this sermon four times in one day. I could not get enough. It was a tangible example that God hears my prayers and knows what I need before I ask. I needed this.

Until That Day Comes via Sean Carter // This song made the man and I cry, so you know it has to be AMAZING.

The Importance of Saying You Are Welcome via Amber Thomas // Again, an answer to prayer. I have been grappling with this idea of making room for God, and Amber makes me feel far less alone. Her words speak life.

Why No & Yes are BFFs via Myquillin Smith, aka The Nester // Because I want so much more for 25 than what I settled for last year, and harvesting takes courage and intention. Most importantly, I want to say yes to God and who he created me to be.

I'll Hold You in the Light via HB // This girl's honest conversations with God mirror my own. Make me want you. 

All the deep truths to come out of HB's writing intensive, but especially this, this, and this.

I could not be more thrilled with what I chose to get on my 25th birthday. Hashtag rebel.

These are my supremely comfy post-turkey pants.

Sharing is caring. What was your favorite thing to come out of the web in November? Leave it in the comments below. ♥