It’s time for another round of what I’m loving. Since I haven’t recommended anything in quite a while, this round-up is a collection of things I’ve discovered or enjoyed over the past several months. I hope they inspire you to try something new and enjoy the little things in life!

Books

“Lost and Found” by Kendra Fletcher
I heard of this author on a podcast and immediately ordered her book on Amazon. (Apparently there’s a slew of books out there with the same title, so I’ve linked to the correct one here.) Her story is different from mine, but I could resonate well with it. It’s the story of a home school mom’s journey from self-righteous religion to freedom in Christ. She just published a second book called Leaving Legalism, but I haven’t read that one yet.

“The Gospel Comes with a House Key” by Rosaria Butterfield
This is an incredibly convicting book. I devoured it in a day and a half and immediately felt compelled to buy a large house with a large dining room table for the whole neighborhood to squeeze around! Then I took a chill pill and realized Rosaria’s point is not to do hospitality the way she does, but simply to do hospitality. Taking the principle of extending Christ’s love to the stranger or anyone in need, I’m re-evaluating my priorities, budget, and calendar and deciphering what that should look like for me in this particular season of life. I (and the author) would encourage you to do the same. Pick up her book if you need some convincing. :)

The Kingfountain Series by Jeff Wheeler
I started reading this six-book series over a year ago per a friend’s recommendation. I’m working to expand my reading list to include more lighthearted “easy reads”. It’s good for the brain and the soul. This series fit the bill.

Entertainment

Psych

If you’re looking for a good laugh without a lot of crude humor, Psych is a great show to watch. I never watched it when it was on TV, but I made up for lost time and zipped through all eight seasons in 2018. You can watch it for free with Amazon Prime Video.

Blue Bloods, Season 1

I guess I’m unintentionally on a murder mystery kick. This is another great TV series on Amazon. It’s nice to watch TV shows like this in the winter months when I’m stuck inside while doing things like cooking or folding laundry or working on a project. I’m only partway into season 2, so I can’t vouch for the rest of it, but so far so good. I wouldn’t exactly call it family friendly, but only because of the intensity and violence in some scenes.

Mary Poppins Returns
As I heard it said, if you’re not smiling the entire way through the movie, you have no heart! I’m a huge fan of the original and I absolutely loved this sequel! The music was catchy (though nothing beats the original) and I love how they hinted at the original all throughout the film. I don’t know if it’s still out in theaters, but if it is you should go see it. It’s worth the price of the ticket.

Codenames

This is a really fun group game. I was first introduced to it about a year ago and recently bought my own set. I love words, and I love games, so word games are the best!

Tools & Gadgets

Waze Travel App

My cousins let me in on this little secret and it has revolutionized my road trips! So that’s a slight exaggeration, but it sure does come in handy. It’s a GPS travel app that alerts you to upcoming traffic, construction, speed traps, or other road hazards. I give it two thumbs up!

NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp

A fellow southerner introduced to me this lifesaver. It lets you gaze into the warmth of the sun in the middle of Michigan winter when there is no sun. It claims it can “alleviate the nagging symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)” as well as balance your body clock, “leaving you feeling rested, refreshed, and nourished all over.” My friend and I both can testify that the light and negative ions truly do lift your spirits when you’re living beneath a gray perma cloud six months out of the year!

Food for Thought

Women of the Bible Podcast

It’s been a long time coming but Revive Our Hearts just released a new podcast! Season 1 hosted by Erin Davis is on Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) and talks about dealing with disappointment. There will be six episodes in this season, and each week corresponds with a chapter in this bible study on Elizabeth based on the teachings of Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. You can find the podcast on iTunes, the Revive Our Hearts app, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

I leave you with a quote from Timothy Keller. A couple of friends and I were discussing the (universal?) struggle to say “no” to things, to not over-commit, but to do it for the right reasons. One of those friends the next day read the following quote from Jesus the King and passed it along. Enjoy.

There are many of us who look unselfish and dutiful, simply because we can’t say no: we say yes to everything, and people are always using us. Everybody says, “Oh, you’re so selfless, so giving of yourself; you need to think more about taking care of yourself.“ But think about those of us who don’t have boundaries and who let people walk all over us and use us and can’t say no—do you think we’re doing that out of love for other people? Of course not, we’re doing it out of need—we say yes to everything out of fear and cowardice. That’s far from glorifying others. To glorify others means to unconditionally serve them, not because we’re getting anything out of it, just because of our love and appreciation for who they truly are.

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