What I’m Reading: Spring 2016

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I’m not ashamed to admit this: I am currently reading five different books.

Some of you may think this is crazy, and some of you might think it is totally normal. It’s just how I go about reading. I always have and probably always will. I’m actually reading four books and listening to one audiobook, but that totally counts as reading, so my total is at five.

Here’s what I’m reading, because they are all amazing and you’ll want to read them too…

Reading Spring 2016 Pin

Pride & Prejudice

This is my audiobook of choice for two reasons: I’ve tried to start reading it many, many times and always failed AND it was free to listen to from my library! It has been absolutely delightful to hear and I’m almost done with it. Audiobooks have won me over, so tell me your favorites!

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

I’m eating up Kristen’s words just like I knew I would because she writes real, beautiful, hard truth. This is my parenting book for the moment and it is really making me think about how we do life as a family. This quote jumped off the page at me the other day: “It’s our job to teach our children to be different from their natural bent toward sin.” AMEN.

Tales from Another Mother Runner

I’m training for my first marathon and I need all the inspiration I can get as race day approaches. The Hubby got me a signed copy and I’ve been intentionally saving it for these last few weeks leading up to the marathon. These ladies always make me want to kick butt with my training AND make me laugh at the same time. Just what I need right now.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

My reading of the Wingfeather Saga has begun and I am hooked. Andrew Peterson is a creative genius, both in music and in writing. I can totally see now why our oldest son is in love with this series. It is just so magical and I want to immerse myself in the books and not come out until I read all four. See you in a few months…

Wild and Free

I’ve known this book was in the works for quite a while and I’ve been excited about it ever since hearing the topic: this wild and free life we’re called to live as women of God. This JUST showed up in the mail last week and I’m part of the launch team, so I’ll be diving in right away so I can tell you all about it! Jess and Hayley are a gift and I know these words will be, too! Just go ahead and pre-order your copy now.

YOUR TURN: Talk to me about what you’re reading right now! My reading list is a mile long, but I always love good recommendations! And include those fave audiobooks!

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Friday Favorites

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I have been thinking about getting back to sharing some favorite things on Fridays and my friend Crystal gave me a little nudge in the right direction, so Friday Favorites are back and better than ever!

#thankful tee

thankful tee skirt

How darling is the #thankful tee?! It is absolutely perfect for this season, but really could be worn anytime! You can get this tee FREE! When you make a purchase of $25 or more from Cents of Style today only (11/13/15), you will get this adorable shirt free! No special code is needed, but we do have a few tips for making sure you don’t have trouble getting this deal:

  • Allow the items that are going to be added to your cart on the product page to fully load, then add to cart to trigger the pop-up. If you hit “add to cart” before the page is fully loaded, it may not trigger the free t-shirt.
  • The pop-up will NOT be triggered if you use the “quick shop” feature. It has to be triggered through the full product page.
  • This is limit 1 FREE t-shirt per customer per transaction.

If you’re looking for a way to get to $25 and snag this free tee, I love this #nofilter trucker hat and any of the tribe bracelets!

For the Love

For the Love book

Please, please, please tell me you have read For the Love. Jen Hatmaker’s writing is pure gold – hilarious, heartfelt, inspiring. I laugh out loud every time I open this book and at the same time, I get punched in the face with truth I didn’t even know I needed. The chapter on leggings as pants is the best ever.

Evy’s Tree #12DaysofThanks Sale

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If you’ve had your eye on an Evy’s Tree hoodie, now is the time to pay close attention because they have been offering AMAZING daily sales! The daily hoodie on sale is usually between $39 and $59 which is a huge discount from regular price! Every day, a portion of the sales goes to a designated charity – I love how giving they are! The only catch: stock is limited, so you have to act quick to grab the deal when it goes live at 10AM CST. I’m excited to see what goes on sale today!

The Ugly Sweater Run

I think it’s pretty obvious from this pic that my friends and I had a blast at the Ugly Sweater Run last year! We are already signed up for this year and the hats are even better than before.

Ugly Sweater Run Hat

I love this hat so much. Don’t judge me. It’s totally amazing.  The Ugly Sweater Run is a 5K for anyone – low pressure (not chip-timed), hot chocolate “fuel stations,” inflatables, fake snow…just pure fun. There’s one here in Omaha and several others around the country – sign up if there is one near you and we can have cool hats together! Use the code UGLIEST to get $5 off registration!

AWANA Advent Devotional

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I was so honored to be asked to contribute to this year’s AWANA Advent Devotional, 25 Reasons Why Jesus Was Born! The whole project is amazing and I can’t wait to read through it in the days leading up to Christmas. The best part: this devotional is FREE! You just have to sign up here to get your own copy!

What is on your favorites list this week?

 

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Longing for Paris

I received this book to review as part of the Longing for Paris launch team. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

I love to travel. I was fortunate enough to go to Europe for the first time when I was just 18 years old and I’ve been back twice since. I love getaways with my husband, road trips with my family, and traveling to conferences. New places and experiences are exciting to me.

Longing for Paris

When I heard the title and topic for my friend Sarah Mae’s new book, Longing for Paris, I knew I would relate. Because sometimes my soul just wants to wander to the newest place or experience or thing. I’m an ENFP who gets distracted by “bright, shiny things” and can sometimes miss what is right in front of me.

Long for Paris Architecture

Before I get to the book, I have a confession: the first time I visited Paris, I wasn’t really crazy about it. It was beautiful and interesting, but overwhelming as a new high school graduate. I wasn’t too excited about going back five years later. But the second time was different. I was with a similar type of group, but this time I was a chaperone and was with my husband. We were able to make our own plans. We wandered and visited some smaller, lesser-known places. We searched out a great loaf of bread. We sat outside of Notre Dame and watched Parisian life happen in front of us. And this time, I really loved Paris.

Longing for Paris Notre Dame

Had I not gone back to Paris the second time, I think I may have avoided this book. I wouldn’t have known the beauty of just sitting and watching and soaking in the culture. I would have only know the hustle and bustle of a whirlwind tourist visit. I would have felt no connection to Paris. But I’m so glad I picked this book up, because it’s really not about Paris, but about what Paris represents.

My longings are the reminder that there is more – another world, another place where I am meant to be.

Longing for Paris is about what our souls long for: beauty, passion, confidence, light. These are all things I witnessed firsthand in Paris, but as Sarah Mae points out, they are not only found in Paris. We can find the things we long for right here because they are all found in God. And when found in God, they will satisfy like nothing in this world.

Paris will leave me thirsting for more, and it will ultimately let me down, because I wasn’t made for Paris. I was made for all the things that I long for in Paris: beauty, art, culture, romance, light, and joy.

Sarah Mae talks about how our longings and reality meet. This can be a tricky place full of discontentment when we are not surrendered to God’s will.

I want to know how to not shut out my longings, while at the same time giving myself to the daily work of raising my children well and not being so divided to neglect them.

I was deeply impacted by the way she has searched for the beauty God has placed around her right where she is AND included her family in these discoveries. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, but our longings do need to be directed and filled by our wonderful Creator.

Longing for Paris Courtyard

Longing for Paris touches on so many aspects of our life that I can’t possibly mention all of them in one post, but I know that it has helped me open my eyes to the wonders surrounding me in my home and community. God has given me an appreciation for beauty and discovery. I don’t have to travel far and wide all the time to fulfill this longing. I just need to look to Him, then look around.

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This weekend, I tried a salted caramel macaron from a French bakery in my hometown and I thought of God and beauty and Paris and Sarah Mae. This is where my life is happening and He is leading me to everything I need and long for in His perfect way. This is beautiful.

Today is release day for Longing for Paris! Hooray! The paperback is less than $8 on Amazon right now! Grab your copy today!

What are some things you long for more of in your life? What longings has God fulfilled in your life right where you are?

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Great Gift Books for Your Guys!

I received some of these books to review. I was not compensated in any way for writing about them, and all opinions are 100% my own. I have also included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

As you know, I’m surrounded by guys. Add in grandpas and uncles and nephews…the number just keeps growing! I’m always looking for unique gifts to fit the interests and personalities of these guys and every year, books are a great option that don’t disappoint!

Gift Books

There are plenty of new great gift books for your guys this year and I wanted to share a few of my favorite with you! If you have Amazon Prime, you can order them today and still get them in time for Christmas with free two-day shipping! If you don’t have Amazon Prime, grab the free 30-day trial now and use it for your last-minute holiday shopping!  {Have I mentioned how much I adore Amazon Prime? So many reasons…}

And now for the books…

For the little guys

Diggit

Diggit Saves the Day and Tipper Tells a Lie are part of the brand new Building God’s Kingdom board book series by Andy Holmes. The stories center around a crew of construction vehicles who learn lessons about character and godliness. My little guy loves the trucks and I love what he is learning! I can’t wait for more book sin this series to share with him.

For the school-age boys

Action Bible

The Action Bible is a favorite in our home because it tells the stories of the Bible in comic-book style and my boys are totally enthralled by it. I’ve seen it capture their attention and, after reading it, they want to look up more about each story in their own Bibles. This is a definite winner with visual learners and comic book lovers alike!

Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide is a brand new book about this new series on Disney XD. Our boys love the show, but they love reading about the characters and settings just as much as they do watching the show! They checked this book out at the library and were so sad when they had to return it, so I think they’ll be thrilled to find it under the tree this year!

Star Wars 100 Scenes

Star Wars in 100 Scenes is one of my favorite finds because it covers the whole Star Wars saga in one book. I’m a big fan of the original three movies and my guys like the new ones, so this is a book we can all enjoy!

For the comic book fan

Marvel

Marvel Comics: 75 Years of Cover Art could be enjoyed by Marvel fans of any age thanks to the movies introducing a new generation to characters such as Captain America and Thor. I love that my guys can see the characters as they were originally imagined in this fabulous collection of cover art!

DC Comics

DC Comics: A Visual History is another great find along the same lines as the Marvel Comics book. Whether it’s a dad or uncle who has always loved Superman or your kids who are currently obsessed, this visual history is fascinating and a great gift!

For the athlete

Running & Being

Running & Being is known as the book that really got people running again. George Sheehan’s thoughts on running are applicable to newbies and veterans alike. The Hubby was so excited to receive this from his parents this year for Christmas!

For the traveler

Great Maps

Great Maps will captivate those who love to travel and those who have always dreamed of it. This book from the Smithsonian is not along informative, but also a fine work of art and a great conversation piece. The well-traveled man in your life would appreciate this handsome book.

What books do the guys in your life love? Are you gifting any books to the guys in your life this Christmas?

 

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