Here & There

A few things I’ve read or listened to online lately.

Sarah Bessey’s recent essay on why she stopped drinking blew me away. She so articulately described the gentle way God convicts us of our habits. I don’t have a particular hang-up with drinking daily as she described, but could completely relate to the way God spoke to her heart about reliance on something outside of Him. In this way, drinking could be replaced by an activity that blocks our dependence on God as our ultimate source. So good!

For fellow writers, I’ve really enjoyed the Hope Writers Podcast featuring author and blogger Emily Freeman, her sister Myquillyn Smith (blogger behind The Nester), their author dad Gary Morland, and their marketing friend Brian Dixon. They chat about all kinds of writerly topics, based on their background and provide a great source of encouragement and inspiration. Bonus that their dynamic together is pretty fun and entertaining.

Speaking of Emily Freeman, she recently posted a great piece on “8 Things Whole-Hearted Creative Women Do Differently.

If you are anything like me, you might struggle with regularly cracking open the bible. To help with this, I’ve used the YouVersion Bible App since my church provides a reading plan on there. I recently discovered though, that there are tons of free devotionals, even by famous authors. Two I’ve loved lately are “Wait and See” focused on waiting for God’s timing, and the “Without Rival” devotional by Lisa Bevere. Once you download the app, just tap the Discover tab and there are so many to choose from, all divided by life issues and topics. It’s awesome!

I was so inspired by this Everygirl article, a first-hand account of what it was like to work out every day for 30 days. I’ve held this goal for a while as well, and to see a journal-style tell-all made it seem much more attainable and completely worth it.

What about you? What have you been reading or listening to online lately?

Savoring Spring

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The weather these past few weeks has felt like such a treat! Here in Southern California, it’s cool and sunny with a delicate breeze, and flowers are blooming everywhere. I love this season’s transition, and how the time change makes the sun stay out longer. Does this make you as happy as it makes me? Here are a few ways I plan to enjoy this time, before we head into summer’s heat.

Lingering Outside

After work I go on a walk just about every other night. This greatly helps my mental state as I can clear my head and pray, or just listen to music for about 30 minutes. It’s something I truly missed during the winter months! I moved to a new area last year that is surrounded by hills, and they are all gloriously green from a heavy rain season. Also, watching the sunsets – they offer a breathtaking sight in what can feel like a very ordinary day.

Spring Cleaning

I’m busting out the cleaning supplies as I’ve noticed some cobwebs in corners and dust gathering on window sills. It’s also time to turn my mattress around and do some closet organization. I keep my seasonal clothes in containers under my bed, so I’ll be swapping out the winter sweaters for spring dresses. I also love when there’s a slight breeze, I’m starting to open windows and sliding doors more often to get some nice air flow.

Thoughtful Giving

Each season I like to collect a few items and arrange them in a basket to give away. It’s perfect to surprise someone who is going through a rough time or needs some encouragement. For this basket I’ve so far collected a candle, journal, devotional, nail polish, and lotion. I’ll add some fresh flowers, and a hand written card. I gather these items one at a time, as my budget allows, and then deliver the surprise. Brightening someone’s day is always a happy thing!