VS Fleece Romper (xs)
Let me start this out by saying I’m not typically one to open a book and read in my free time. A year ago if you asked me what I did in my free time I’d say: ‘what free time?’ 🙈Ever since I stepped away from being a workaholic (more about that here) and started living a life with more space and balance, I started to learn how to slow down, enjoy more, let go of the things that don’t matter, and live more intentionally.
Creativity is crucial when you work in the creative industry, and in order to nurture creativity, you have to be inspired. To exercise the imaginative side of my brain, I’ve been leaning into old and new hobbies: re-learning piano and reading. Stepping away from the never-ending cycle of deadlines and crossing things off a to-do list has given my mind the little refresher it’s been needing. Ever since I started dedicating quiet time in the mornings to prayer and devotionals and time before bed to read something interesting, I’ve noticed a huge shift in my work-life balance and ability to be more original and innovative in my work.
My mom is one of the smartest people I know and has always said her knowledge comes from reading so many books. I swear she reads a book per week. I’ve noticed the more I read, the more curious I become..which leads to more reading. And – the more piano I play, the more eager I am to learn new songs. It’s the exercise for the imaginative part of my brain that gets the ideas flowing.
So, if you’re going through a season of life where you’re lacking creativity and balance, take it as a sign to revisit some of your hobbies you’ve pushed to the side and pick up a new book! Here’s what’s been influencing and impacting me during this season of life:
(on Amazon here)
I’m putting this one first because it’s my favorite book I’ve ever read, written by my favorite author. C.S. Lewis does an incredible job of rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity’s denominations and provides an opportunity for believers AND non-believers (he was an atheist) to hear a powerful, rational case for the Christian faith. When it comes to my faith, I’ve always had a million questions and wanted answers to all of them. This book does an amazing job of answering so many of those questions. I love it so much I’m reading it again right now for the 2nd time. He’s witty, wise, logical, and such a talented writer. He has the most comforting voice in this book (similar to the way I feel about Morgan Freeman’s voice when he narrates a movie 😅). I REALLY want you guys to order this one today and start reading it if you haven’t already. And if you have – leave a comment on my instagram post tonight with one of your favorite quotes from the book!! Leaving you with a few of my favorites here:
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
“And that is precisely what Christianity is about. This world is like a great sculptor’s shop. We are the statues and there’s a rumor going around the shop that some of us are someday going to come to life.”
“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be a word without meaning.”
“When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”
“…it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
If You Can Keep It
(on Amazon here)
I recently became really interested in the details surrounding the foundation of our country and what originally made America ‘the nation of all nations’. After a long discussion one night about the history of the United States, a friend brought up this book and said it would answer the questions I had. I’m not all the way through it yet, but Eric Metaxas does a great job of reminding us that America’s greatness can’t and won’t continue unless we embrace our own crucial role in living out what the founders entrusted to us. Leaving you with a few quotes to spark your interest:
“In 1787, when the Constitution was drafted, a woman asked Ben Franklin what the founders had given the American people. “A republic,” he shot back, “if you can keep it.”
“The Promise: Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.”
“A government in which the people would govern themselves would be fragile and would require the people’s attention in a way that no other government would.”
On the Constitution – “It held great promise in many ways because it was itself a promise to every American, present and future, and to everyone in the world beyond America too.”
Born To Impact
by Joel Marion
One of my best friend’s introduced me to this podcast. It’s designed to move you further towards the life you were born to live and every episode gives you clear and actionable steps to help you live a more impactful life. A life where you’re making difference in your family, in your relationships, in your career, and in the world around you.
I’ve posted a few of The Porch podcasts on Instagram before, but I really love this one. It’s a young adult ministry in Dallas, Texas. The Porch addresses challenges that face twenty and thirsty-somethings and what the Bible has to say about them.
- A Thirsty Woman, Celebs, & Soul Care
- The Entire ‘Fantasy Love’ Series (Girl, Guy, Marriage)
- King of Hearts
This 30 day devotional changed my life. It’s what pushed me to realize that I needed to slow down. It came at the perfect time too. I love to go back and re-read some of these pages. It taught me to slow down and be more mindful about the hours I have in the day. Manda (the author) and I went to high school together and it’s been so awesome to watch God work in her life. She has a real gift. You will love reading this every day.
If you’re looking for an everyday devotional that you can use throughout the entire year, this is the one you should get. Every single day I always find the messages to be so relative and spot on to what I need to hear. I love how the message is always paired with bible verses that pertain to it so you can reference them. This is the book I’m always posting pages from on my story that you guys ask about!
Tip – replace this app with where you normally have the Instagram icon on your phone 😉. This is an awesome app I use for little weekly bible studies with my friends. You can be friends with people on the app and select weekly study plans that work for both of you. I’m doing this with Conner and two of my friends right now and I love it. It’s a great for holding each other accountable.
Let me know tonight in my post on Instagram if you’ve read any of these or ordered them! I’d love to know what you think. Thanks for reading 🙂