My people and I took a little hike up to Devil’s Den State Park this past weekend. We laughed and we talked and we tripped on tree roots and we saw that God hides a little bit of Himself in everything He creates. (I posted this on my Instagram account. It’s my favorite social medium because pictures and no one talks politics over there. Come find me?)
Just a few little things that…
lighten my load
make me laugh
stir my heart
make me think
bring me joy….
I think you might like them, too.
1. Spicy Fall Tea
My affection for hot tea in the past has been passing at best. We might hold hands on a chilly afternoon if I’m feeling a little fancy or just out of creamer for my coffee for a minute. Now that I am getting serious about staring out the window or blankly at my computer for long periods of time (what some people refer to as ‘writing’)…tea and I?
We are taking our relationship to the next level.
Lately, I’m married to these two.
(does the one on the left remind you of anyone?)
They taste just like fall in a cup.
Sadly, I think about things like how being hydrated ensures optimal body function and how every cup of caffeine needs two cups of water to replace what it depletes. Also when I’m over caffeinated I swerve when I type and talk to people who aren’t there.
So the second best news?
It’s decaf so it’s basically water. Only it tastes interesting.
You can get these two intriguing, full-bodied beauties at your local neighborhood grocery store for around $3 a box.
Stay spicy, my friends.
2. Doing Good is Simple, Chris Marlow
It is my good fortune that Chris Marlow hails in part from Northwest Arkansas. Because of that happy geographical coincidence, his Doing Good is Simple book launched in the upper room of Tavola Trattoria in downtown Bentonville.
I entered a cozy room full of warm twinkly lights and people I didn’t know but recognized in that peculiar intimacy of kindred spirits. I’ve always suspected that good people know good people and the conversations I had before Chris came and welcomed us had me thinking I already recognized his heart.
Chris took the stage and in a halting and heart-cracked voice gave us the why behind this book.
He wiped the tears from his eyes and he did not cry alone.
His people took turns reading passages and telling old stories and I felt like I was invited in to a sacred space.
It was a soul-full night and I drove almost an hour home without the radio and my heart in my throat and my head somewhere above the clouds traveling at the speed of light.
And the why is beautiful and the how is so easy it feels hard and as it turns out:
doing good is simple.
Chris isn’t just handing us his story: he is giving us a fresh set of tools, shows us how to use them, reminds us why it is our good privilege and portion to do so.
Chris is the founder of Help One Now, an organization that mobilizes ordinary people to fight extreme poverty through simple acts of doing good.
Connect with him at Chris Marlow or at Help One Now on Facebook.
Guess what?? I have a signed copy to give away. To enter, leave a comment here or on the blog. If you share this post, I’ll count that twice.
3. Nature Plus Nurture, Rachel Stricklin
‘I’d rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.’ I say this to my kids regarding the deeply rooted kinship with the friends with which we live life.
This gal is clearly fifty cents of my dollar.
Sometimes it feels easier to dislike people with fresh-churned butter blonde hair and doe-eyed blues with 6 inch lashes and a complexion that probably made God Himself weep when He created it.
But this one’s outside can’t hold a candle to her insides.
And part of her heart’s beat is inside-out health and wellness.
If I’m headed to the grocery store and all I can remember is Taco Night, I thumb through her Insta feed for inspiration. She posts delicious photos with recipes, safe product makeup tips, and an honest glimpse into the life a young mama.
Rachel is on Instagram at Nature Plus Nurture. Go. Find her. Now.
4. House of Belonging
I have this thing for words and how they have the power of life and death. I stumbled upon House of Belonging in January and bought a sign for my family to put in the kitchen of our new house.
It might be my favorite thing.
But then I got one for my office that inspires me to be foolishly courageous and one for my girl’s wall that reminds her of how she is clothed in strength and dignity and they might be my favorite, too.
Each sign is handcrafted and custom-made at the time of order and every bit worth the wait.
Fairly regularly there is a 20% off sale and that’s when I strike. You should, too. You know Christmas is around the corner. And your friend is having that baby. And you need one, too, you know.
(Pssst: they also have this rug in the shop and I kind of love it:)
As a family of five ranging in age from eight to forty-four (I married an older man), it can be difficult to find a movie we can all watch that doesn’t include talking animals or conversations which we have to pause the movie to explain. We all five talked about this movie all the way home and it spurred good questions for days after. The true story of University of Arkansas’ Brandon Burlsworth is not like any other feel-good football movie you’ve seen.
You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll leave a better person if you absorb anything at all from Brandon’s life.
And….just some mind gum I found this week: