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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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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May Goals

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It’s Sunday night as I write this and I couldn’t let another day of May go by without focusing on goals – the ones I met in April, the ones I didn’t meet in April, and the ones I’m ready to tackle in May. April was a month that felt a little like it was spiraling out of control, especially towards the end, and several things on my to-do list were left undone. I need these goals – with grace, of course (thank you for that, Tiny Twig!) – to keep me moving forward, not in circles!

Here’s what happened with my April goals…


15-mile long run – Funny story, but I actually ran a SIXTEEN mile run! I still can’t believe it. Half marathon is this weekend! See May goal for more…

The newsletter, seriously – Um, I did work on it. I did. Launching it just got lost in those circles I mentioned above…

Get outside – We’ve been getting out there – walks, playing ball, watching storms and bunnies and soaking up some sunshine!

Keep on reading – I was a reading rock star to start the month, but I let it slide later in the month. I missed it. This is why reading will always be at the top of my goals list each month! Here are the books I DID finish in April…


Moving forward…

May Goals


Read (finish) three books – I’m currently in the middle of Heart Sisters by Natalie Snapp and Blind Spots by Collin Hansen, so those are both at the top of my list to finish. The second book of Lisa T. Bergren’s Remnants series will be my first fiction read for this month – can’t wait to dive in!

Half marathon PR – I almost didn’t write this one. I didn’t want to put it out there and then not get my PR and deal with that disappointment publicly…forget that. I want to PR at my half this weekend. There. I said it. I’m giving it my all and I won’t be ashamed if I don’t make it!

Finish the homeschool year well – We’re wrapping up school this month and I don’t want our school year to just fade off into the summer. I’m working on focus, finishing up subjects, and celebrating another year done! We’ll be doing a zoology focus the rest of this month as the unit is on bugs and, well, it is spring in Nebraska so we have plenty to study in person!

Focus on friendship – I have really great friends, but we’re kind of spread out, busy with kids and work and all the things and it’s easy to let the friend thing fall by the way. Not this month. I have fun girls’ nights planned, a road trip with The Hubby + a best friend, and my mind is stirring with other ways to reconnect with and bless the lovely ladies in my life!

Celebrate 12 years of marriage – We got married on the last day of the month of May 12 years ago! TWELVE! We’re currently plotting to do something to really celebrate – we just don’t know what yet. My goal is to make this celebration happen and make it fabulous because I love my man and this life we have together!

Your turn: what goals did you accomplish last month? What are you hoping to accomplish this month?


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