Weekend Reads – Episode 17


It’s Friday y’all, and according to the calendar, it’s the first official Friday of the summer.  Although I don’t know about you, but here in Mississippi it’s already been summer (read: 80+ degrees and ThankGodforAC) since the beginning of May.  Calendar-shmalendar.  But in the spirit of things, I hope this weekend finds you sipping lemonade, dipping your toes in the water, eating something grilled, and all manner of summery fun!  Here are a few good reads along the way.

1 Real Cure for Burnout by Ann Voskamp

“All except One will assess your performance.  Only One will accept you before your performance.  Pillage and loot the world for all it’s worth, but only in Jesus is there 100% acceptance before even 1% performance.”

Get Off Your Porch by (in)courage

“I’ve always felt that I deserved people to move toward me to create community, especially when I’m the new girl in town.  The problem is that we’ve moved a lot and I’m almost always the ‘new girl.’  Some of us need to get off of our porch and stop expecting people to come to us.”

Ouch, yeah, I needed to hear that.

Why We Need to Start Calling Each Other Names – For Real by Ann Voskamp

“With the richness of the party draped still over my shoulders, I thought once again about how one of the great tragedies of our Western culture is that we have a nasty habit of waiting until we’re standing at someone’s funeral to speak the very truth about them that we saw all along, the truth that most made them who they are and the truth that, perhaps, they most needed to know if they were ever going to step into the person they were created to be.”

The Best Question to Ask When Things Are Going Hard by Katie Ganshert

“We may never know why something happens – why this circumstance, why this outcome, why this dratted, discouraging setback.  Those aren’t answers easily found.  But whoWho is all around.”


Confessions of a Contributor by Alia Joy for (in)courage

“Sometimes we think to make room for someone else in our circles we have to reach out.  But really, more often, we just need to step back.  Isn’t that always how the kingdom gets things done?  Backwards and upside down.  Because when we all step back, the circle widens.  The gaps become apparent and the silence in between begs for us to hear each other.”

Happy First-Weekend-of-Summer!


Weekend Reads – Episode 16


Summertime is almost here, can you smell it?  Well, let’s be honest, here in Mississippi there’s no ‘almost’ about it.  Thank you God for the blessing of air conditioning.  Here are a few good reads for your summery, holiday weekend.

Rename the Days by Trista Payne

“We are story in process, telling of all His purposes.  We matter because Jesus gave everything for us and His story is repeated through every tiny life – mine and yours and all those estranged from the life of God.”

 From Good to Grace by Martha Kimball

“Sometimes we have to lose everything we’re clinging to in order to see and know and experience how held we are.”

The 19 Best Children’s Book Quotes

This one is just plain fun…there were definitely more than a few of my childhood (and still!) favorites here, including this one:

“And so for a time it looked as if all the adventures were coming to an end; but that was not to be…

How to Survive in a World of Loud Critics and Judgers – Including the Repetitive One in Your Mind by Ann Voskamp

This line – “Jesus unsettles the comfortable and He comforts the unsettled.”


Happy Memorial Day, friends!  May there be barbeque and swimming and cold drinks and lawn chairs and friends and family in abundance.

10 Must-Reads for Your Summer Book List

Summertime.  Longer days.  Warmer temperatures.  BBQ.  Lounging by the pool.  Afternoons on the porch reading a thick book, sipping sweet tea while the dog snoozes at your feet.  If you’re anything like me, you love and long for the slower pace of summer, and at the same time thank the good Lord for the genius who invented air conditioning.

Because those lazy days of sunshine are just around the corner, here are 10 books perfect for your summer reading list…


This post first appeared on Flourish, the Noonday Collection blog.  Continue the reading party with us over here…

On Being Willing to Go First

Can I be completely honest with you? Friendship is hard for me. It didn’t used to be. At least, I don’t remember it feeling that way. But since I’ve been married and moved to a new-to-me state and town, I’ve found myself fumbling with the intentionality that it takes to really make friendships work. In my single days, I was placed in positions where I had no choice but to be intentional in my friendships and relationships. I lived for four years in Beijing, China, where I was part of teams that did life together on a daily basis. Those were ready-made friendships – for better or worse. When I moved back to the States, I taught elementary school and had roommates who shared life and shoes and jewelry and late-night snack attacks. You have to be intentional when you live with someone.

Read more here…

This post first appeared over on Flourish, the Noonday Collection blog, last week.

Weekend Reads – Episode 15

Well.  I don’t know about you, but I’m over here pinching myself with the realization that March is already over.  It has been full, in a good way, for us (this is actually my first weekend home in a month).  But I am also tired.  My soul has been refreshed in so many ways this month – soul-searching conversations, coffee with friends, reconnecting my mind and heart through worship and time with Jesus – and now, I think my body is trying to catch up with the rest of my soul.  That, and trying to get used to the blessed Daylight Savings Time.

So, for those of you who may also be feeling tired, or in need of quiet, or who may be facing uncertainty or battles that have made you weary or challenging relationships, here are several encouraging reads for your weekend.

On Making Plans and Hearing God’s Voice by Emily P. Freeman

“That still, small voice is the voice of God as he is united with me in the deepest part of who I am.  He often speaks in such a regular and familiar way that it’s almost too normal to point out.  We look for fireworks or signals or confirmation from somewhere other-than us.  But he keeps on reminding us that he has made our heart his home.  And that’s the place from where he’ll make his voice heard.”

Sunday Scripture by Annie F. Downs for (in)courage

“God goes before me.  God fights for me…That means a lot to my little warrior heart-the one that loves to fight for what is true and right, but often feels deeply tired.  And He will fight for me?  Okay, I hear that.  But when I don’t feel better and I don’t immediately see a change in the battle before me, I wonder if He needs my help.”

Facing Hard Battles? Here – You’ve Got to Know the Enemy’s Secret Strategy by Jennie Allen for Ann Voskamp

“If I were your enemy, this is what I would do:  Make you believe you need permission to lead.  Make you believe you are helpless.  Make you believe you are insignificant.  Make you believe that God wants your decorum and behavior.  And for years these lies have been sufficient to shut down much of the church.”

If the World Feels Too Noisy by Aliza Latta for (in)courage

“When the world is noisy and feels like it’s emptying us, God meets us in the quiet and slowly fills us back up…In the quiet, when I meet with God, He tells me who I am, not who I should be.”

The Unexpected Blessing of Loving When It’s Hard by Melissa Anderson for (in)courage

Everybody has a story.  We hugged and cried together in the hallway, and suddenly, it didn’t matter if the table settings were ready or if the cheesecake was thawed.  This is what it is about.  And I almost walked right past it.”

The Friend Who Exceeds Expectations by Mindy Larsen for (in)courage

“Absorbed by my longing for perfect depth, discontent settled like a fog over my relationships.  Instead of focusing on what they offered, I could only see what they lacked.”

The Superpower That Every Woman Has by Lisa-Jo Baker for (in)courage

“Sometimes we’re so busy wondering if we’re getting it right, so busy worrying we’re not measuring up, so caught up in thinking we need to be just like her that we forget she loves us just the way we are.”

*Side note – Lisa-Jo has a new book coming out on April 4 (just a few days!) called Never Unfriended.  SO GOOD.  You NEED to read this book.  I’m giving myself time to marinate on it…and then I will probably start all over and read it again.*

When Everything About Life Feels a Bit Up in the Air – How to Make That the Best Kind of Life by Ann Voskamp

“Who knows if signatures will happen in time, who knows if people on the other end of phone calls will say yes, who knows if things are just going to up and fall apart and who even know if…what looks like it’s falling apart – is actually falling together?”


Happy weekending, lovelies.