Monday, November 10, 2014

Brave Generosity

I’m a hypocrite.
You see, I read books about simple living and generosity and yet I have a LOT of stuff. I basically live like a king.
Then Debbie Savik comes to our last MOPS meeting and reminds me that my messy house and mountains of laundry are merely more indicators of my obvious excess. I have so much stuff that I can’t even handle it.
Throw in some Ann Voskamp quotes from friends, plus entering the season of thankfulness, and here I sit counting my BAZILLION blessings.
But shouldn’t all this thanksgiving result in generosity? ...
Find the rest of my post over at Bigfork MOPS. 
I'll be back in a few days (or weeks, maybe) with a giveaway. So, don't forget about me. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Brave Friendship

Catch my guest post over at the Bigfork MOPS page...

if you are still here.

It has been almost 6 months since my last post.


Rachel, are you still my only reader? If so, thanks for the sweet card in the mail! :)

Someday I will be back. For reals.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: When We Were on Fire

I was thrilled when I received When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman. This book has been on my "to read" list since it released. You see, I love a good memoir. Addie's sweet story is a book that chronicles her coming of age. From zealous teen, to jaded young adult, and back to the heart of faith.

Addie's journey hits it's stride during the years where Christian culture seemed more about what you were listening to, wearing, or avoiding and less about who you actually were in Christ. With it's emphasis on looking right and avoiding the masses (or at least offering a Christian alternative), it was a prime time to set up a young girl for heartbreak, failure, and hope.

My favorite aspect of When We Were on Fire is the idea of relationship and community.

 How we get it right:

"You who had learned to disappear were suddenly seen, and the world was entirely altered...You were an odd shaped piece and in one swift moment of kindness, you felt yourself click into place" (p. 22)

How we get it wrong:

"How could they know that it had taken only two girls to welcome me into the evangelical world all those years ago... That just as easily, two girls could push me away from it." (p.105)

And how ultimately, with maturity, most of us begin to realize that yes, Christians do "suck", but:

"Some of them don't suck. Some of them understand what Jesus is all about. Some of them will love you without a thought." (p. 176)

Addie's story isn't extraordinarily remarkable, but that is what makes it special. She is relatable. She is honest. She is brave to share her story.

***"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this honest review. If you like my reviews, please boost my rating here. :) 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Book Review: Sisterchicks Do the Hula

You know what makes the long grey days of winter in the Rockies better? A book about two friends jetting off to Hawaii. SisterChicks do the Hula , by Robin Jones Gunn was just the answer to those winter blues.

Sisterchicks Do the Hula!, Sisterchicks Series #2   -     By: Robin Jones GunnSisterChicks do the Hula follows two lifelong friends, now in their 40's as they search for where they fit as life transitions. One is surprised by an unexpected pregnancy and the other struggles with embracing her natural gift of photography. As these two faith filled women spend time on the island, they find a renewed sense of purpose and faith in a good Father who gives good gifts.

The book is filled with laughter, sincerity and left me longing for a trip to Hawaii! It helped me appreciate the dear friendships I have and look forward to a time when I can meet up and celebrate the joy of friendship with my own bestie.

If you are looking for a light, fun, inspiring read, pick up a copy of Sisterchicks Do the Hula, or any of the Sisterchicks books, by Gunn. You won't be disappointed.

In partnership with the Blogging for Books program I was provided a free copy of Sisterchicks in return for my honest review. I promise, I really did like the book. 

P.S. This book is on sale for a whopping $2.99 right now. It's a smoking deal! 

If you like my book reviews, please go rate them here

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The one I wrote about how conflicted I am about church.

So, I confess.  I've been kind of a whiny baby about church lately.

Yep, I am one of those cliche people that sees all the things that American church is doing wrong.

We run it like a business.
We make it a show.
Why are there so many dang programs?
Why does everyone think we need to volunteer for everything, but doesn't even notice we've been gone for 6 weeks?
Is it really a "community" or just a club?

Am I just a spoiled rotten American brat? Pretty much. 

Frankly there are a lot of things church does right.

When we are all together, singing with one voice, a truly meaningful song - we worship Him.
When my kids come out of their class I know they heard the truth of the Word.
When people get to exercise their gifts in the service of the church, God is glorified.
When we are truly together, it is good.

I am free to worship publicly.
I have the privilege to own a Bible.
I have the right to complain and not fear of repercussions.
I have so much more than I deserve.

Yes, maybe I have an vague idea of how my perfect "church" would work, because it is easy to create this mythical place in my brain, you know, without all the people.

I've asked myself the questions:
"Is this where God wants me to be?"
"It this the right fit" (Whatever the heck that means.)
"Do these people even know me?"
"Is this church on the same path that God is leading me toward?"
"Am I using my gifts here? Is there a place for me to serve, without trying to fit this square peg into a round hole?"

And the final question - "Well, where else would we go?"
That question is always answered in one of two ways -
 a) I have no idea - every church has it's issues.
 b) I have no idea - it's not like we even have a real problem here.

Image borrowed from Relevant 
I think I've finally boiled it down - that elusive question - Am I at the right church? - with these two follow up questions: (Disclaimer - there are other questions you should ask. The obvious ones like - Are these people crazy? Do they believe in God and preach the Bible? Are we safe here? I just assumed you already knew those ones.) 

1. When I look around my church, is it filled with people I admire, respect, and trust as people who love God and seek to do His will?  
I'm not asking if you think the pastor is the next Billy Graham, or if your children's ministry is cutting edge, or if you have the best band in the world. Today, I looked around my church and one after one, I turned to Norse and said something like "I sure appreciate him." or I thought to myself, "She is such an amazing woman." My church is filled with people I admire, not because of what they do, but because of who they are. I bet yours is too.

2. Is there someone in this church that I know God has put in my life to walk along side, whatever may come? 
We have seen conflict come and go in our congregation. Some things ended well, with reconciliation, some things did not. Every time we have sought out truth, from the source(s) and prayed for wisdom. Every time God has shown us families that have come into our lives during that time, ones that had just started coming to church, or just moved to town, or people we had just become friends with,  that we felt committed to walk with, through whatever were to come. Every time, it was worth it and obvious that we did the right thing.

When it all boils down to the nitty gritty, church is the people and my commitment is never really to our "church", but to people. It is a commitment to the people that God has put in my heart, to love. Wherever those people are, that is the church that I will attend, regardless of the band, or the building, or the programs, or the pastor.

And I promise I'll try to stop being a whiny baby.

P.S - If anyone from my church's staff reads this, take note - I know you are working your fanny off, you're doing the best you can, and I will not admit to being the best parishioner. My heart has got nothing but love for you, even if sometimes our methods would be different. Thanks for all you do! 

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Giveaway from Habits & Novelties!

Once upon a time I met a fresh faced girl from Idaho. We'll just say that a few years have passed, not enough to make me old, but enough for her to grow into the beautiful, intelligent, passionate, creative soul that she has become. Laura, has more talent than is fair. Perhaps, secretly I may hope she grows a giant disgusting wart on her perfect little face, just to balance the scales a little... No, I kid. She really is amazing - as a person, a mother, a writer and an artist. Thankfully, because as I have mentioned before, I know truly incredible people, Laura is offering you the chance to win one of her lovely pieces.

This month, the Habits & Novelties shop is giving away one of its lovely, handcrafted wood pendants!

This is the Geometric Triangle Pendant. Handcrafted from gorgeous spalted Maple wood, this pendant has a raw top edge to give it a unique, natural look and is attached to an elegant, gunmetal chain. If you love, natural-looking jewelry pieces with bold shapes and lines, this is a polished and stylish way to accessorize your wardrobe. The Geo Triangle Pendant is valued at $40, and we're offering you a chance to win it this month! The giveaway begins TODAY and ends 9/15, so get your entries in and tell a friend or two!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You know I love supporting people and especially mamas. So, go check out her shop and pick up something beautiful. She makes all sorts of gorgeous stuff - bags, purses, cowls, collars, headbands... just go look! I hope you win!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Music Monday

I am confessing that I am among the masses that have been in love with The Civil Wars for some time now... judge me if you must.

This is my current fave off the new album!