Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How Do You Do It All?!

How do you do it all? That's probably one of the questions I get asked most in life. How do you love your husband well? How do you love your kids well? How do you work full time? How are you so involved in church life? How do you find time to get to the gym? You lead a Mentor Mom program too? How do you find time to post on social media without it ruining your life? Does quiet time with God fit in there at some point?

All of these questions can seem so overwhelming and when I look at my life, I think, how does that all get done? And if it is (NOT), is it getting done well?  For the Love!

I'm excited to write today while teaming up with the For the Love Blog Tour. Because honestly, if you are to scroll through any of these blogs today (which will all sing high praises of this inspiring, real, hilarious, honest book) you will find that the answer to the questions above is that something has to give. Jen Hatmaker gives you freedom and G R A C E to not be everything to everyone.

I think deep down I'm realizing that I'm a people pleaser. I want people to be happy and come to a better understanding of who Jesus is, the G O O D that He is, the Rescuer you find in Him. Sometimes that pressure I put on myself can become so overwhelming that I start sacrificing the stuff that's most important to me. If I could sum up my response to this book, you'll find it here in the endorsement I submitted (it's not in the book BUT my name is - shameless plug):

In a culture that insists that women do it all, Jen dismantles the illusion of perfection in exchange for grace and love. She lifts the burden with humor and authenticity. For the Love makes room in our lives for what matters most: our relationships—relationships with our God, families, husband, kids, friends, and neighborhood. It's a no-brainer—this book will change the way you live your everyday life.

I have so many favorite chapters and favorite quotes I could fill up a week's worth of blog posts. I've already read this book two times! Two times! And I'm not typically a re-reader either. I just couldn't get enough of the G O O D that is in these powerful freeing words. Jen mentioned that her dream for this book was to help take you "off the hook." We live in a world of impossible standards, and the more we place high expectations on ourselves, the more we lose the ability to love those that matter most. Just because, here are a few of my favorite quotes:

On Balance:
It's like a unicorn; we've heard about it, everyone talks about it and makes airbrushed T-shirts celebrating it, it seems super rad, but we haven't actually seen one. I'm beginning to think it isn't a thing.
On Cooking:
Cooking is not an affliction . . . Cooking isn't actually hard at all. It is the simple mechanism that nourished every generation in time.
On Telling the Truth:
When I present a fabricated version of myself - the self who knows all, is ever certain, always steps strong - we all lose, because I cannot keep up with that lie and neither can you.
Don't try to win over the haters; you're not the jackass whisperer.
On Marriage:
Lean honestly into every hard place, each tender spot, because truthfulness hurts for a minute but silence is the kill shot.
On Jesus Kids:
Good behavior won't guarantee anything. If they don't love Jesus and people, it matters zero if they remain virgins and don't say the F-word. We must shepherd their hearts, not just their hemlines.
On Community:
If you can make a pot of chili and use a cell phone, then you can create community. 
Instead of waiting around for the church to assemble a perfect group dynamic of People Who Can Meet on Tuesdays, maybe just invite some folks over. A shared table is the supreme expression of hospitality in every culture on earth.
Final Thoughts:
Be kind. Be you. Love Jesus. 
I'm walking away from this book with a desire to be more present in my relationships, slow down a little, give grace unconditionally, and cheer for the woman sitting next to me. We've got a big job to do, and as we each play our part, we'll be able to accomplish it together.

Get your copy today!  Find more goodies on her website as well:

**Comment below with an area of your life that you need to give yourself a little more grace in for a chance to win your own copy of FOR THE LOVE! I'm giving another book away today. Share this post on facebook, twitter, instagram or pinterest and let me know and I'll give you an extra entry! Announcing the winner on August 20 when my copies of the books get in!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Favorite Things!

I always love seeing what other people are into at the moment, so I thought I'd share with you what's been on my mind and in my hands lately! I would love for you to share your favorites back too.

1. The Happy Hour Podcast with Jamie Ivey
I've never really listened to podcasts before, but I seriously can't say enough good things about this one! I can't stop listening. It's as addicting as your favorite show on netflix. I've got this great drive into work & the gym these days with our new move, so it keeps me fed with all these great resources and inspiration. She even gives you a "how to" if you've never listened to a podcast before and need to learn how to get started. She's friends with some of my favorite authors, and I love the behind-the-scenes everyday life picture you get from listening.
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2. Serial Podcast
Literally this is the second podcast I've ever listened to and I couldn't stop. I love a good murder mystery and this is based on a true story with a reporter that tries to find out if the convicted-for-life felon is truly guilty or innocent. At the end of the show, you get to decide. I still don't know what to think about this particular case, but it's fascinating (and addicting). Warning, it's not kid-friendly content due to language and some graphic details. Listen at your own risk.

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3. Audible Book Downloads
Honestly, I can't say too much about this cause I just downloaded my first FREE book. Joe and I are going out of town this weekend and I got a book I thought we would both enjoy listening to on the drive. Again- I think I'm just learning about this whole "listen in your car" thing and I'm LOVING it. In case you are curious, I downloaded "Through the Eyes of a Lion" by Levi Lusko (I mean have you see Joe's back tattoo?) Levi is a pastor in Montana who lost his daughter at the age of 5 to an extreme asthma attack 5 days before Christmas. He's a wordsmith and I just can't wait to hear his story. I'll tell you more about it after this weekend.

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4. Hello Fresh
If you know anything about me you know how much I HATE cooking. So, in good fashion, I heard about "Hello Fresh" on The Happy Hour Podcast, and decided to try it out. Your first week you get 3 meals (which I only ordered enough for 2 people, cause Lord knows my kids eat like birds right now) and I got $30 off. So the total was only $39 for 3 farm-fresh meals. I'm going to try it out and see how it goes. I also got really enthusiastic and made a recipe binder that's still sitting in my car, ummmm ya. It was a good thought. Plus, I heard about this book "Devotions for a Healthier You" by Katie Ferrell and I stuck it in my Amazon account that Joe and I share, and he surprised me and bought it. I'll let you know how that read goes later. It has yummy recipes, it's just designed cute, and it was on sale, plus it's a hardcover. I love hardcovers.

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5. For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
Speaking of cooking and inspiration. I really, really love the writings of Jen Hatmaker. I think she just speaks my language. She shared about a time in her new book "For the Love" when she decided to start to enjoy cooking. She was a macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, peanut butter and jelly kind of cook, and then shifted her thinking. Started watching the food network, kicking the kids out of the kitchen while cooking if they were whining and complaining, turned some good music on, and created a process and love for the kitchen. I'm a work in progress, but it really inspired me. PS. I bought 5 copies of the book to giveaway. Let's start today! If you want a chance to win a free copy of the book (Guys, my name is in the back credits, gah!) comment below (on the blog or facebook) with one of your current favorite things! I'll randomly select a winner on Sunday 8/9. The books are shipping on August 18 (the release date of this little treasure.) Pre-order a copy today too! PSS. If you're extra interested, listen to Jamie Ivey interview Jen Hatmaker on the Happy Hour podcast. It's a good one.
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I've got a lot more favorite things to add to this list right now, but I'm going to stop with this and continue next week! Cross your fingers for some more goodies.

Thanks for reading and comment for your chance to win a book!