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?

On My Reading List

I don’t know about you, but I generally don’t jump to make a book purchase. I’ll let it hang out on my Amazon wish list for a while, and then take the leap after thinking it over. I think because I want whatever I’m reading to match the season I’m in, and accurately speak to where I’m at. No need for it to collect dust on the shelf, and not otherwise get cracked open.

I reviewed my list the other day, and these four were the prominent choices for various reasons. Mostly because I’ve read these authors before, or currently follow them online. I think they will provide a great rotation this spring!

Nothing to Prove
I was a big fan of Jennie Allen’s “Restless: Because You Were Made for More.” Her voice is gentle, encouraging, and helpful. Her writing is relatable when you feel like you’re the only one experiencing the pressure of being enough. “Nothing to Prove” looks like it also provides an exhale of relief from carrying the burden of worth through accomplishment.

Wild and Free
This is the first book by these two author friends who are around my age. I found Jess Connolly on Instagram, and I adore her continual encouragement of staying in God’s word and loving the people around us. I’m looking forward to diving into this one, as it’s a “hope-filled anthem” of embracing who God has made us to be.

She Walks in Beauty
This has been on my list for years! It’s time to commit. I love how poetry opens your soul and sparks creativity. I love how much meaning is packed in and new understanding is formed. This will likely become a coffee table book. Easy to grab in a quiet moment, and helpful that is matches my living room anyway.

Becoming Myself
I’ve read and enjoyed both John and Staci Eldredge’s books for a long time. I loved how Staci’s personal stories in “Captivating” showed God’s transformation in her life and identity. This recent release further shares her testimony of God’s restoration, and how He ultimately shapes us, and shows us who we are.