Apr 152014

2 weeks ago, I decided to take a little break from writing. It was a good time to think, pray, talk, and write things that weren’t going to be shared with the world. The results of my time away are a couple changes for this site.

Change #1: no more comments. I love comments. I really, really love them. And that’s why I feel the need to turn them off. Since that probably doesn’t make sense, let me give you a peek at a conversation that has taken place many times in my home:

Me: “Nobody’s commented on this post! But people are reading it – why aren’t they commenting?!
Jonathan {aka husband/psychiatrist}: “Do you comment on blogs you read?”
Me: “Pretty much never.”
Jonathan: [silence]
Me: “That’s not the point!!!”

Needless to say, I place too much value on comments. And if I get none, I assume I wrote a lame post. When in reality, I rarely post comments to blogs I read, so why should I expect people to post comments on my site? I shouldn’t. But I do anyway. So I’ve decided for the mental health of myself + my patient husband that I should turn comments off. As always, if you ever want to reach out, know that you can contact me here. Just remember that I have 3 incredibly cute + needy kiddos, so my email time is quite limited.


Change #2: Grace. for myself. AKA less posts. I’m pretty motivated by goals. And when I made a goal over 3 years ago to post 3x/week, I stuck with it. It was a challenge I enjoyed & my husband encouraged me to pursue.

Now, I find myself in a different season of life. I have 3 kids as opposed to 1. I’m planning to begin preschool with my oldest in the fall. Those 2 facts {along with some other things} mean that I’m just a bit busier than when I first began blogging. Just a bit.

Over this last week, I considered whether I should stop blogging. And in talking with my husband about it, we decided that I really do enjoy writing. And it’s something I want to continue. But maybe 3x/week is a little more than I should expect of myself.

So I’m going to cut back. My goal is 1 post/week. Some weeks I’ll post more. And some weeks {like when my schedule gets crazy in the summer due to being a youth pastor family} I may not post at all. If you’re interested in reading, the easiest way to stay current is to subscribe by email. That way, you don’t have to keep coming back to check the site.

And that’s a wrap. I’ve gotta say, it feels a little bit like the end of an era. I mean, 3 years is a long time for anything, ya know?

But I’m excited about it. Already, there are things I’ve been able to do with my extra time and I love it. 

us I mean, when would I have had time to take ridiculous amazing pictures like this?

Thanks for your part on this journey with me. It really would not be as fun to write if I didn’t have you to write to. How ’bout a big, squishy internet hug?
oh nevermind, we’ll just leave it at ‘thanks.’


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Apr 032014

There are some times when I don’t have very clear thoughts. Actually, that happens a lot. And I feel like I’m just throwing out a bunch of thoughts all at once – some of them true and good; others not so much. I call these my ‘throw up thoughts.’ Forgive the expression.

For the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, talking, and praying about this blog. There’s no way I can write out everything I’m thinking. But I kind of feel like I owe you all an explanation. And at the same time, I don’t exactly know what to say. Because it’s all still in the thinking mode right now.

So instead of writing out all my ‘throw up thoughts’, I’ll just say this: I’m going to take a little break from posting. So that I will have more time to pray. and think. And I will come back – probably in a week or two – because I really do love writing. In the meantime, thanks for your patience.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full! I will send an email out to the 2 winners next week. {you can also read the first chapter here for free!}

Thanks, friends.


Mar 312014

Several weeks ago, I received this book in the mail:Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full by Gloria Furman

Crossway asked if I would consider reading Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full by Gloria Furman. While I planned to look it over, I wasn’t planning to share it with you unless I really loved it.

Let me tell you – I really loved it. Many times, I found myself reading, underlining, and then thinking about the truths later on during the day. This book is not broken into devotional segments {such as the devotional booklet, Gospel Meditations for Women}, but the chapters are relatively short and very easy to read which makes it perfect for busy moms.

The author, Gloria Furman, is a mom to 4 and a pastor’s wife, so she is no stranger to busy times. I found her writing style to be refreshingly practical but very much Gospel centered. This book will refocus your attention on Jesus and encourage you to parent with a focus on eternity. If you are a mom who is feeling overwhelmed but wanting to treasure Christ in your every day tasks, I highly recommend this book to you.

I underlined/starred/drew arrows to many portions of this book. But I’ve chosen some of my favorite quotations to share with you below so that you can get a taste of what this book is all about.

“The greatest problem a mother has is not a lack of creativity, accomplishment, or skill, but her inability to love God and others as Jesus loves her.” [page 20]

“We need to remember that God is no less good to us when we find ourselves in a battle of wills with a preschooler … than he was as his Son dragged a cross up a hill that Friday two thousand years ago.” [page 55]

“We must boast in the gospel, because in it God mercifully gives us Christ to be our valued treasure. Things like “mommy guilt” cannot crush us because Christ was crushed on the cross in our stead.” [page 64]

“What if God wants to fellowship with us right where we are – even in the commotion of ordinary life? Most assuredly he does” [page 74-75]

“There are times when we are not motivated by the love of Christ, and we fume at our children, not because they break God’s law but because they break ours.” [page 89]

“Ironclad faith is not forged by considering how much more pleasant my earthly circumstances are than someone else’s. “It could always be worse” cannot sustain my fragile heart. Only hope in God’s enduring faithfulness is a shatterproof assurance.” [page 90]

“We need to humbly rend our heart before we rend out Internet search engines searching for answers.” [page 102]

“By his grace, God forces our frustrating circumstances to bow to his gospel purposes in our life.” [page 107]

See why I’ve loved this book?

I contacted Crossway to see if they would be able to give away a couple copies to you and they happily agreed. There are 3 options for entry below: {you might need to wait 2 seconds for things to load…}
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Monday, my friends. Stay near to Jesus today.


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Mar 262014

 I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own. As always. Carry on.

how to stencil a doormat via BrownSugarToast.com

It was about time I updated my doormat. My old mat just celebrated its 4th birthday and is beginning to feel the effects of aging. When I saw this mat at Ikea for a whopping $4.99, I decided to make it my own. A plain mat + graphic stencil from Stencil1? Winning.

Love this happy stenciled doormat via BrownSugarToast.com

Originally, I thought about using these 4 colors on my mat. But then decided the pink was brighter than what I wanted, so I stuck with Eggplant, Parchment, & Look At Me Blue. AKA purple, white, & blue.

Love this happy stenciled doormat via BrownSugarToast.com

I grabbed a few styrofoam bowls for the paint, my stencil, mat, & paintbrush. Then I headed outside during this amazing spring weather we’ve been enjoying here in the south. {silently breathing a prayer that I will always live in a place with mild winters…}

Love this happy stenciled doormat via BrownSugarToast.com

First, figure out how you want your pattern to look. Personally, I think this stencil would look amazing on a wall. But I voted against that since we’re renting. How good of me, right?

I decided it would be safest to start in the bottom left corner:

Love this happy stenciled doormat via BrownSugarToast.com

Since I’m smart-lazy, I didn’t tape down my stencil. Because that would mean another trip inside. Not cool. So I just held it down each time. No biggie.

Also, I was planning to tape lines for my rows of stencils. But then I realized there were already lines ‘built in’ to my mat. See here?

how to stencil a doormat4

I used those lines as my guides, started painting, and here’s what things looked like after a few minutes:

how to stencil a doormat5

Also, because I love you & want you to have a positive DIY experience … if you decide to stencil on a doormat, I do not recommend using a soft paintbrush like I initially did. That brush would be perfect if you choose to use the stencil on a wall, table runner, canvas, etc. But because of the coarseness of the doormat, I eventually started using a little sponge. And that worked much better.

Here’s the fun spring-y addition to our porch:

how to stencil a doormat6

I love how the stencil reminds me of flowers – definitely perfect for spring! You can find these reusable stencils at Jo-Ann Fabrics or at your local craft store, so if you’re in the mood for a fun little project, definitely check out the lovely selections for some inspiration.

how to stencil a doormat7

I still have some paint left, so I’m debating what to use it on. I had no idea the FolkArt multi-surface paint was even dishwasher safe!? Ever since I read that on the bottle, I’ve been scheming about painting the outside of our coffee mugs. mwahahaha…nothing is safe from being painted with me around.

Anyone else making a springy stenciled doormat?

For more lovely inspiration, check out the Plaid Palette on their social media sites below:

The Plaid Palette blog


I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own. Of course.

Mar 242014
the sweetest name

“Jesus – the name that charms our fears. That bids our sorrows cease. ‘Tis music to the sinner’s ears, ’tis life and joy and peace.” What other name will give hope when you’re hopeless? What other name can bring peace to your storm? Jesus. Jesus. I know of no other. When sin leaves you hurting. Choices [...]

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Mar 212014
links i love

Why make your own butter? I don’t really know, but I want to find out. Because it sounds delicious. This Peanut Butter & Caramel Chex Mix…yum. This would be dangerous to have around the house. My family is a big fan of bread. Toasted and piled with good things? Even better. I like these suggestions. [...]

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Mar 192014
homemade bagels recipe

I love carbs. Carbs love me. We’re a happy family. Make these bagels. You won’t regret it. Thanks to Pennies & Pancakes for the yummy recipe! Unfortunately, I totally left out the sugar when I boiled my bagels {which, as Diana pointed out, would have resulted in a browner bagel}. However, my forgetfulness did not [...]

Mar 172014
homemade bagels

These homemade bagels put store bought ones to shame. Shame, I tell you. I really want to make some more. But seeing as I ate the majority of them last time, I keep resisting the urge. I’ll share the recipe with you on Wednesday. Until then…dream of carbs, my friends.