Winter Favorites 2016

9:07 PM

The snow has started to fall here in Michigan, which means a lot of things, but it also means Winter Favorites!

Favorite verse:

Galatians 1:10 -

"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."

This last year has been a season of great transformation, from a life of little meaning and thought to one of great complexity and growth. I've realized along the way that I cannot people please or placate as much as comes naturally to me. When I do things, I need to ask myself whether it's for others or for God.

Favorite food:

Raspberry chocolate chunk cookies. I make them and they are delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. Maybe I'll share the recipe on this site soon :) 

Favorite memory:

This feels tough for me to think about right now. I've just gotten home from college for Christmas break, and looking back on this semester it all seems a haze of good and bad moments. 

Sometimes the good moments are hard realizations. What's really important. Who your real friends are. What you believe to be true in the world. I've had a lot of these hard moments this semester, and they've both worn me down and built me up. 

This season I have enjoyed the simple things: making things for loved ones, eating warm food, long drives home, grace, patient and helpful people. 

Favorite book:

As mentioned in my previous post, Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist has been a very transforming book for me this season. Holy cow am I grateful for that piece of writing. 

Favorite quote:

"In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." 

Favorite song:

Currently Reading: 

Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys: A story of a girl and her family taken away by the Soviet army during World War II. So far, it hasn't been bashful or shy on the horrors of this war. It shows a side of WWII that most people don't hear about, the other side of the evil. It's one of those books that you just can't put down. 

Thanks for reading! I'm hoping to make a few more blog posts while I'm home for the holidays, see some friends & family, and take some visits to others around the state. 

books and reading

"Present Over Perfect" by Shauna Niequist / Book Review

9:04 PM

A friend of mine gave me Present Over Perfect last week as a gift. She knows me well; I don't even have to tell her when something is wrong, she just knows. She knows my deepest struggles, which is why she bought me this book.

The struggle with having it all together, trying to please everyone but those who I truly love, and not having enough time in the day for God is very near to me.

I picked this book up at the perfect moment. I'd just finished having a meltdown, thinking about next semester and all that it will bring. I teared up, but I didn't let them drop down on my cheeks. I simply blinked the pain back until I could contain it, numb it.

Little did I know that this book would hold the answers. Or maybe not the answers, but a path. A path that I believe God wants me to be on. I've been paving a way for myself that I thought met His needs, when I actually didn't have enough time for the most basic thing God asks of me: to walk with Him, to talk with Him, to have a relationship with Him.

I haven't been doing that.

Shauna Niequist wrote the book that tells people how to slow down, how to appreciate life for all that it is and not all that we want to make it. She shows us how to focus on our body, soul, and relationship with God. She emphasizes relationships with our family and friends versus a "busy" life that prevents us from cultivating meaningful relationships.

This is a book about living life the right way, they way that I've struggled to pinpoint for so long.

I highly recommend it to anyone who feels like their life is too hectic, who regrets not creating meaningful relationships with those who matter, or anyone who just wants to slow down.

It's not going to be easy, that's for sure. And not everyone is going to agree with the decisions you make regarding making peace in your life. It's not about them, though. It's about you and God.

The one thing I didn't like about the book was the unorganized feel it had to it. I understood the goals of each chapter, but not necessarily how they were interconnected within each part of the book.

Besides that, I give it 5/5 stars. What a great way to start the New Year.

And yes, that is my mermaid blanket underneath the book in this photo.

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