Things I'm Loving Lately (Homebody Edition)
Well, how was your week? If it was anything like mine, you were hunkered down at home, doing all the social distancing and trying to avoid cabin fever.
I don't know about you, but it has been a little unsettling how quickly all of our lives have changed. How has your life looked different? I'd love to hear in the comments!
Funny fact: I was supposed to be in Big Sur, California right now. You know, the part of California that looks like THIS:
And the parts that look like this:
Don't get me wrong --it's okay. It's almost comical how this Louisiana gal can't seem to travel anywhere across the Mason Dixon line -- I won't list all the things that have come up, but Colorado forest fires and a pandemic top the list. I'm glad I believe in providence, otherwise I'd know I'm a traveling jinx!
I received a major reality check while texting with a friend this week. She's a nurse, and she's engaged to be married soon. They're having to cancel their plans for her dream wedding because of the restrictions of this pandemic. Her wedding day will now look different than she always planned. But her response? She repeatedly turned my comments away from her situation and asked me to pray for her patients, concerned that they would be at high risk for this virus. "Just please pray for my patients," she said. "I'm really fine. God is in control."
Vacation plans aren't such a big deal when you think about it.
So, instead of our West Coast AirBnB, I'm snuggled in my own nest, with a few of my favorite things around me. I thought it would be fun to share some of them with you -- maybe you'll discover a new happy that can make staying at home more enjoyable!
1. Rachel Allene Coffee Mugs
If you have been in my kitchen, you know I'm obsessed with coffee mugs. My goal is to replace all of the white mugs that came in our wedding set with one-of-a-kind colorful ones. And... they're starting to overflow the cabinet now.
My absolute favorite source right now is small shop owner Rachel Allene -- this gal is incredible! She just dropped her spring product line, so be sure to check her out here! Supporting a small business is always a good idea, and her hand-crafted personal designs are so worth it! Click through this slideshow to see the ones I own.
Lately I have started listening to podcasts more often, and I love growing my mind and feeding my soul this way while I'm driving or doing laundry. My most recent listen was Work and Play with Nancy Ray episode 045, How to Journal.
Listen to it HERE! As a lifelong journal-keeper, it was a refreshing reminder of why journaling is important and helpful -- and how it can work differently for everyone!
3. Morgan Harper Nichols
Her artwork, her poems, and her Instagram feed are all so encouraging. I'll be reviewing her newest book here on the blog soon, and you won't want to miss it! Find her here, and prepare to be blessed.
Kidding not kidding. It has been so fun to have all things Disney in one streaming service, even the vintage stuff. We've been having a blast reliving our childhoods with Sean.
5. My Music Playlists
They range from Andrew Peterson's soulful lyrics, to Peter Bence's rendition of "Africa", to Shane and Shane, with a healthy dose of Thomas Rhett and Russell Dickerson country. I love the way country music lyrics boil life down to the common denominators. (Things You Do for Love, Live Like You were Dying, or It Won't Be Like This for Long, for instance.) You don't have to wear cowboy boots to love good country. :)
In the meantime, enjoy this goodness by pianist Peter Bence -- it's the best cover of Toto's Africa that I've ever heard!
6. Beholding and Becoming, the Art of Everyday Worship by Ruth Chou Simons
If you have noticed me using the term "everyday worship" more lately, it's all Ruth's fault. Seriously, though, I can't wait to share all about this gem in a blog post next month!
"I’m saying that God is giving you a life and breath today. It doesn't mean that it's all going to be beautiful – the birds aren’t always going to be singing. It means, simply, that He is present, and He can be known.”
- Ruth Chou Simons, speaking of this book in a podcast interview
7. More Than We Remember, by Christina Suzann Nelson
Surprise! Review time! I didn't know when I chose this book how appropriate it would be for today. It's a story about coping with sudden life changes -- sound relatable?
One night changes everything...
When Addison Kilbourn's husband is involved in a car accident that leaves a woman dead, her perfectly constructed life crumbles apart. With her husband's memory of that night gone and the revelation of a potentially life-altering secret, Addison has to reevaluate all she thought she knew.
Emilia Cruze is a deputy bearing a heavy burden far beyond the weight of her job. After a traumatic brain injury, her husband is no longer the man she married, and Emilia's determined to prevent others from facing that same hardship. When she's called to the scene of an accident pointing to everything she's fighting against, she's determined to see justice for those wronged.
Brianne Demanno is hiding from reality. She once thrived as a counselor, but when tragedy struck a beloved client, she lost faith in herself and her purpose. When her neighbors, the Kilbourns, are thrown into crisis, Brianne's solitary life is disrupted and she finds herself needed in a way she hasn't been for too long.
As the lives of these women intersect, they can no longer dwell in the memory of who they've been. Can they rise from the wreck of the worst moments of their lives to become who they were meant to be?
This book rattled me for some reason, in a good way. I read it on a road trip, and I actually caught myself getting snippy at interruptions because the characters affected me so much (and I felt like shaking one of them)! I felt such a need to solve their problems. :) So, if you already tend to get completely wrapped up in stories, consider yourself warned!
It may shake you up a bit if you have personally dealt with loss, been betrayed, or know what it's like to have a loved one who suffers with deep depression.
But in a good way.
My favorite novels are the ones where simplicity allows the intertwining threads of real life to shine. This one gently pulls back curtains to point a finger at the fears we all harbor, and reminds us of hope.
Don't read this book for mystery, or adventure, or romantic suspense. Read it to be reminded that although life is uncertain, God is in control. (And lest you think it sounds too heavy for recreational reading, it has its light, sweet moments, never fear!)
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher and happily provided my honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own, and I was not required to give a positive review.*
Other life things I'm loving:
- freshly washed newborn clothes, ready and waiting
- springtime walks with my baby boy who's growing too fast
- working side by side on the couch with the man I love... laptops and coffee and dreams
- open windows
- burning candles
- La Croix sparkling water
- bath bombs
- Joanna Gaines' brownie pie recipe in the Magnolia Table cookbook (Seriously, go try it. Now.)
What are YOUR favorite things right now? If you have something good, don't keep it to yourself! :)