Just Be Kind

The last few months I have been reading Generous Justice by Timothy Keller with some friends. This book has been such a good read and has been really convicting in the ways that I think of and treat people. There is value in every single human life and there is no reason at all to assume that my life is more important than anyone else’s. There is a quote in the book that says “when God put His image upon us, we became beings of infinite, inestimable value.” The book then goes on to say that “we must treat each and every human being as a way of showing due respect for the majesty of their owner and Creator.” Ouch. That definitely stings because I know that I do not respond to others that way all the time.

Furthermore, everything we have has not been gained by our own works but has been given as gifts from God. If that is true, which it is, then everything we have is essentially not ours and should be shared with others. Generosity, sharing, and kindness go a long way and everyone, in any season or situation in life, can practice these things.

10 Ways to Be Kind:

  1. Acknowledge someone when you pass them and offer a smile.
  2. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee who is in the same line as you.
  3. Offer a hug to someone having a hard time or day.
  4. Make someone a meal.
  5. Send an encouraging text message, email, or a hand written note to a friend, family member, coworker, etc.
  6. Practice active listening when someone is talking to you or sharing something important.
  7. Donate items that you don’t need to others.
  8. Put someone else’s needs before your own, even if you have to go out of your way.
  9. Leave a gift for someone else to find.
  10. Forgive someone who acted against you or said wrong things about you.

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My Summer Reads

For as long as I can remember, summer has always been associated with reading. When I was a little kid, my siblings and I would all do the summer reading program at our local library–and sometimes we would even try to race each other as to who would finish the quickest. The librarian must have thought that we were some of the most well-read children with how competitive we would be, haha! (What the library didn’t know, though, was that sometimes we read a bunch of kids board books and books that were honestly too easy for us to read–oopsies)

This summer, there are a few books that I really want to read and, like always, I’m going to try my best to have these read by the end of summer.

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Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

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This novel is set in London during 1939–1942. It was inspired by the letters written between the author’s grandparents during World War II. This novel focuses around the stories of three characters and it is written “with dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion…a powerful portrait of war’s effects on those who fight and those left behind” (People, Book of the Week).

Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup

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 After going through the home-buying process, this book is especially appealing to me! I’m excited to learn more about life, organizing, finances, etc., from a Biblical perspective.

Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good For You and Avoid Those That Aren’t By Henry Cloud and John Townsend

2dadd0e5-7e5f-4ad5-9339-dc9d1b73dc39I heard about this book a couple of years ago and really wanted to read it. Based on the title, I think that this is a really important lesson to learn when it comes to relationships in your personal life, social life, and work life. This book will help to identify those who aren’t relationally trustworthy and also those who are relationally safe.

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider

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This book seems to be right up my alley. A book about adventure, traveling, and making it meaningful? Yes please!!

What are you reading this summer? Do you have any recommendations for my fall reading list?

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Blogs I’m Loving Lately

This month I have been focusing on different kinds of things that I love and I hope you have been enjoying those posts. I think it’s fun to write themed posts during certain months (i.e. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc).

Today’s post is going to highlight four different blogs that I have loved reading lately. You should definitely read and subscribe to these blogs! I also really like how crisp and fresh all of these blogs look.

Jenna Kutcher


www.jennakutcherblog.com

Jenna

Jenna Kutcher’s blog is for the #girlboss! This blog is really helpful for building a brand, navigating the various forms of digital influencing, and for learning tips that are instrumental for everyday life. Jenna has also offered some free online webinars for things like email lists and Pinterest.

The Refined Woman


www.therefinedwoman.com

Refined Woman

I love thing blogs because it’s centered around real life issues, work, encouragement, wellness, and style. The Refined Woman was founded by Kat Harris and she is such an inspiration for the creator and adventurer at heart.

Straight A Style


www.straightastyleblog.com

Straight A

This next blog is for the fashion lover! Straight A Style is written by Amy Ann Arnold and she is a blogger in my hometown–and she’s killin’ it! Amy Ann’s posts are so helpful for styling and shopping for your every day needs–wether it be casual to formal. Amy Ann’s photos are also so great and inspire me to take better photos. Go check out her blog!

Lauren Scruggs Kennedy


www.laurenscruggskennedy.com

LSK

I have loved following Lauren’s blog for a while because of her faith in Jesus, her strength in recovering from and overcoming a traumatic accident, and her dedication to health/wellness. Lauren’s blog is always so encouraging, uplifting, and relevant for every woman.

I hope you enjoy reading more of these blogs! What are your favorite blogs right now?

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Books I Want to Read: 6th Edition

It’s been a while since I’ve written a book-related post and thought I would do that today. Do you like to read? It’s one of things that I love to do in my down-time and while traveling. I like to read books about history, fiction, Christian living, and mystery. While I always have a list of books that I want to read and a stack of books that need to be read on my bookshelf, I try to just have a few books going at a time so that I finish them.

Also, this is totally unrelated but I’m just curious–have you ever started reading a book, decided it wasn’t for you, but then still read the whole thing? Or do you just stop reading? I’ve encountered this a few times but then felt guilty for not finishing it, haha!

These are the books that are currently in the rotation to read in the next couple of months. If you need some reading inspiration, I hope this helps you! What are you currently reading?

Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel 

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I can’t wait to read this book! I like to think that I’m good at “people reading” and having good instincts–but I’m so curious to know what’s inside of this book! I think learning about different personality types is fascinating.

Courage: Fighting Fear with Fear by Wayne Mack & Joshua Mack

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This book was recommended to me by my dad, after learning what some of my goals are for this year. I’m looking forward to reading this and the insight it will give to help in my journey of worrying less. A big shoutout to my dad, also–he’s one of the biggest supporters of my blog and comments on every single post that I publish. Love you, Papa!

Dance, Stand, Run: The God-Inspired Moved of a Woman on Holy Ground by Jess Connolly

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I love hearing Jess Connolly speak and encourage women in their walk with God. I’m really looking forward to reading this book!

Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy by Emily Ley

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I have heard a lot of really good things about Emily Ley’s books and wanted to give this one a read. The title seems like it would be something that would really speak to me in the ways of “embracing simplicity and celebrating joy.”

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Declare Conference Haul

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Declare Conference in Dallas, TX. Declare is a conference for Christian communicators and I learned so much! The conference was both challenging for my blogging life and for my spiritual life and I came away very encouraged. I also came away with a ton of loot, haha! Some of the things I brought home were given to me and some were things I purchased with my own money. I also have a couple of giveaways at the end of this post, so keep reading to find out how you can be eligible to enter!

Simply Bliss Boutique

I love this t-shirt! Simply Bliss Boutique had some of the cutest clothes and they are based in Texas. If you are in need of some items for fall, go check out their site!

Save the Storks

Save the Storks is one of the most amazing ministries I have ever heard of. The ministry was founded on love and continues to minister to any women. Save the Storks has several buses, nationwide, that reach out to women who are facing unplanned pregnancies, providing them with an ultrasound of their baby, and loving them through their next steps and decisions.

Embrace Grace

Embrace Grace is also another amazing ministry available to women who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies. “The primary goal of Embrace Grace is to empower churches across the nation to be a safe and non-judging place for the girls to run to when they find out they are pregnant, instead of the last place they are welcomed because of shame and guilt.” –Embrace Grace Website. I love this t-shirt for the simple design and the reminder that women can still be made whole in Christ–even in the midst of a very difficult situation.

Books

Deeper Waters: Immersed in the Life-Changing Truth of God’s Word by Denise Hughes. This book can be found here.

Submerged by Dani Pettrey. This book is part one of a novel series and it looks like it might be a fun read. I didn’t realize the titles of both of these books next to each other until after I took the photo–but the placement made me chuckle.

Make Your Mark: A 40-Day Devotional by Gateway Women. I love devotionals for specific challenges and I think this book will be a good one for me to read.

Thirty One Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer by Jenn Sprinkle and Kelly Rucker. I really like to read books about prayer because that is something that I’m always eager to improve. I like that this devotional is a challenge for a month and I’m excited to read this one too.

Cards by Andrea Howey and Co.

How adorable are these greeting cards!? Having cute cards on hand to send to someone for a special occasion or just because is something that I really like to do–and it makes me want to write more of them! If you would like to purchase some of these cards, visit Andrea’s website or check out her Instagram handle @andrearhowey.

Desert Creek Honey

The theme this year at Declare was “Sweet as Honey” and I thought it was really cute that we were also given honey bears. I can’t wait to use this honey during the colder/tea months. I also like that this honey is a local product of Texas–if you would like some, visit Desert Creek Honey’s website.

***Giveaway Items***

Oola Find Balance in an Unbalanced World by Dave Braun and Troy Amdahl. This book can be found here. I think we can all learn something about balancing life–can’t wait to read this!

Walk it Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time by Tricia Goyer. Tricia is going to be one of the key speakers at Declare next year and she has written over 70 books–wow!! This book can also be found here.

Now the fun part…

I have an extra copy of these two books (Oola and Walk it Out) and I would love to give one to you! I am only shipping to the United States at this time, so if you would like one of these– leave a comment in the Contact section of my blog and include your name, email address, mailing address, and which book you would like to receive. Your comment will be made private so your information will not be public online. I will let you know if you were the first to comment on each book and if you won the giveaway!

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