Step Into Brilliance

I lost a friend to death this week.  The poor and broken lost one who championed their wellbeing.  The world lost a dreamer who got out of the clouds and actually dug his hands into the mud of living.

The sting of death burns hot.  It sears into the depths of our hearts, piercing souls that were made for much more than what this broken world can satisfy.  We don’t have to pause long to know that we were made for more than this…

But we take heart, because we know that the hope of heaven, and the hope we have in Jesus is greater than the burns of this earth.

Make no mistake though, burns leave scars.

And as my friend Tim Willard says, “what if we view our life’s scars as beauty marks?”

If we live in a way where burns become the things that point to testimony of God’s goodness and redemptive power.  Where beauty isn’t defined by what we see, but by how we become.

I want to live broader than the way life seems so often.  To step into the things that are broken, but set my eyes on the things above so they don’t get dusty from looking at the dirt below my feet too long.

“We want to break free from the temporal and live from an eternal perspective…. Step out of the shadows and into the brillance… to meet the God of the mysterious.”

The God of the mysterious….the God who makes sense of the seemingly senseless.  The God whose wonders never cease.

There are things in this life that will never make sense, and I don’t want to die on the hill of useless striving to understand that which is beyond my understanding.

I want to step out of the shadows and into the brillance…into our Home Behind the Sun…. and I want you to step there with me.

My friend Tim has a book releasing next week that invites us into the brillance…into the sunlight…into the journey.  Grab it now and thank me later as we soak up the sun of a great God together.

Also, please join me in praying for and lifting up my precious friends at Pure Charity as we walk to find the sunlight in the midst of loss that feels so utterly cloudy.


Into marvelous light I’m running
Out of darkness, out of shame
By the cross You are the truth
You are the life, You are the way

I once was fatherless
A stranger with no hope
Your kindness wakened me
Awakened me, from my sleep

Your love it beckons deeply
A call to come and die
By grace now I will come
And take this life, take Your life

Sin has lost it’s power
Death has lost it’s sting
From the grave You’ve risen

*lyrics from “Marvelous Light” by Chris Tomlin

Curious Undoing


Naked trust
Floundering on tossing seas
Sun glinting in wide eyes
Blinded by what comes ahead

The unseen
Looming in the distance
The unknown

Curious following
Is my undoing
A passionate romp
Betwixt sheets of unfulfilled promise
Yielding elation
Of full living


Pathways stretching ahead
Opening into wide expanse
Possibility limitless
Beyond galaxies

I am

A friend sort of challenged me to try poetry…so slightly (ok very) terrified…I did.

I know it’s provocative… but if there’s one thing I’ve been learning…it’s that faith is provocative too.

Log Cabin Bedroom

I do love a good project, and revamping my boys’ room has been in process for awhile now.  It’s still not done, but we’re getting there.

I’ve seen the pallet wood projects all over lately, and I think it’s pretty cool, but it seemed so “everyone is doing it” to me, as well as, FOR REAL, who wants to really rip all the pallets apart and remove the nails?!  I wanted the rustic feel, but thought it’d be fun to find some color too.  So we loaded up our kids and headed to our favorite local salvage yard where we walked around a couple acres of property and unearthed one cool looking board at a time, just kinda guessing on how much we’d need.  I tossed it all together, offered the man $50 for all of it, and we put it on the van and headed home.

My good friend Daniel White had done a pallet wall before, and he suggested we first cover the wall with roofing felt to deaden the light in the cracks between. So that’s just what we did!

felting wallgridded wall


After we used a air compressor and some staples to get the felt onto the wall, we marked all of the studs with a white colored pencil so we’d know where to nail the boards.  We also marked level lines periodically so that we could make sure as we worked our way up that we weren’t getting wonky with our lines.

I don’t know what’s the best way to do this, but since all of our boards were different widths (I did try to choose ones that were pretty close in thickness), I had to figure out how they were all going to go together.  I measured our wall and then marked it out with sidewalk chalk on the driveway…pretty technical huh?!

wood layout

photo (9)Because we have dormers in the room, i made sure that the boards overlapped that line plenty so that we could cut the 45 degree angles when we got to each board. It was a pain…I’m not gonna lie!

We started at the bottom left and worked our way right and up using an air compressor and brads to nail the boards into the studs (also, the brads are tiny, so they dont’ show up at all.)

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We didn’t cut the angle of the ceiling until we got to that point (working left to right), and it was better to cut them slightly too long and trim off the straight edge to get a tight fit than to risk a big gap.

Also, I’d found the gorgeously awesome plank that we used on the top (which amazingly had a bevel on the top so that it fit a bit more closely to the crown.) When we got close to the top, we went ahead and put it up there to fill in the spaces between the bottom level and the top one.  My husband had to rip a couple planks and then use a planer to shave them down when we got to that point.  This whole thing was like a crazy puzzle to fit all together.  My setup on the driveway worked pretty well, but there was of course some discrepancy once we actually got stuff on the wall.

photo (3)

It took us the better part of an entire day to do this, but it turned out pretty incredible!  We have plans to put it onto the low walls between the dormers as well, but have to gear up to get that done.

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So, here’s the before…in all it’s messy glory! It’s like a makeover photo…never put makeup on the first picture.

And now..

photo (2)

My sister knew I was doing this and so for Christmas she gave the boys a faux cowhide rug that I think she found on  It is fantastic!

And the wall, all decorated with some incredible vintage showshoes I picked up for a steal, an old map I just had, a fun shotgun made from old license plates we found at the Antique Tobacco Barn in Asheville, NC, and a random piece of leather I had and some ropey thing (no idea what it is) I got for free at the salvage yard. My son’s old bed was a convertible crib, and this wrought iron one was my great grandmothers that was mine when I was a kid.  I spray painted it (it was white) with an oil rubbed bronze Krylon spray paint and it looks totally refreshed now!  I love the way it all turned out!

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So there you have it!  And all total, I still have probably as much wood remaining as we put on the wall, so you’re looking at about $25 worth of salvage wood there (that had a minimum amount of random nails here and there to remove._  And for those of you wondering, I guess it might have lead paint, but since my kids aren’t eating it, and I sanded it and cleaned it off pretty well, I’d say we’re ok. I LOVE the way it turned out and think the boys will enjoy it for years to come!

Favorite Things

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens

bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

these are a few of my favorite things…

fav things boxes

Favorite things.  We all have them.  And let’s be honest, whether you were an Oprah lover or not, the best show of every season was always the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” show.  She would get crazy sharing her favorite things with everyone in the audience that day! Egyptian cotton sheets, cashmere sweaters, Hermes scarves, Apple Bottom jeans, and I really think I remember her giving everyone a car once too!  There is just something fun about sharing the things you love with the people you love.

My friend Julie told me about this thing that she and her girlfriends have done for years that they call, “Favorite Things.”  It sounded so fun that 5 of my closest girlfriends and I decided to do it together this year and make it an annual tradition.

The idea is that you gather a handful of your friends and all bring some of your favorite things, one for each other person.  There were 6 of us, so I bought 5 of each thing I gave.  The favorite things can be ANYTHING.  There’s no price range or limitation (just whatever each person is comfortable with doing), you can do as many or as few things as you like, and mostly just have fun with it!  Julie told me over the years the favorite things she’s gotten have ranged from a favorite chapstick, toothbrush, O-Cello sponge, art print, monogrammed tray, and the list goes on.  The possibilities are endless!

And as many of you know, after years of close friendship, there has been a fair amount of rough stuff that this group of gals and I have walked through together this year… from the death of one of our closest friends, Melissa, to our church experiencing major transition which deeply affected us all, to births of babies, loss of jobs…it’s been a major year for us.  And we just decided it was time to celebrate something together, to celebrate one another, and the fact that as hard as it’s been this year, we’ve made it through.

So I booked a couple of rooms at our fabulous Allume hotel, The Hyatt Regency Greenville, and we spent nearly 24 hours together for a little stay-cation.  We kicked off the afternoon just puttering around and doing a little Christmas shopping, and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner together!  (There is just something super fun about getting ready with a bunch of girlfriends too…trying each other’s makeup, learning how to use the curling iron just so, and putting together outfits…it’s just fun, and not something a bunch of moms have the chance to do nearly as much as most of us could use the break. My pictures aren’t great…so bear with them!)

getting ready

After getting ready, we headed out for dinner and then grabbed dessert from another place to bring back to the hotel and enjoy in our jammies! (I’m totally doing an Advocare 24 day challenge right now, but I straight up cheated the whole night…super special occasion!)

sister friends

And then we got down to eating dessert and sharing our favorite things!  It was seriously such fun.  Scoot over Oprah…I’m betting women across the world are gonna get in on this train now!

We put our names on paper and drew to determine the order.  I was picked first, so I handed out my gifts which I had the best time just wrapping!  Check out the fun pile of presents…

I know you’re dying to know what our “favorite things” list included!  My first one was a baggie of my favorite sugar cookies (recipe included.)

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I also wrapped my favorite toothpaste (Aquafresh Extreme Clean), and my favorite dry shampoo (Suave Keratin in the gold bottle…$3.)  But my most favorite Favorite things are my Goody Goody Bon Bon slippers….seriously, I cannot get enough of them, and my friends couldn’t either!  Squeals may have been heard around the world.  Can’t believe I forgot to bring my pair with me! Doesn’t that lone bare foot look so sad?!

goody goody

Then the rest of the girls went…and it was such a hilarious variety!  I’ll show you a picture and do my best to list everything!

fav things

  • Fuzziest socks ever
  • Glass serving carafe
  • Body Shop body butter
  • Aerie underwear
  • Bvulgari soap
  • Wet n’ wild lipstick
  • purple nail polish
  • salted caramels and salted caramel mocha
  • button sized earrings
  • bird picture made from one of our friend Melissa’s old shirts (she loved birds and we loved her.)
  • mini prophetic painting for each of us
  • wooden cutting board with changeable plastic mats that nestle inside for different foods
  • teeny tiny gold cross necklace
  • golden bird ornament for “hope”
  • individualized prints our friend made because the saying reminds her of us: “She’s whiskey in a teacup.”

whiskey teacup

I fear that I’m leaving something out!  It was such a blast!  Julie said that among her friends, they’ve done a huge variety of things over the years too.  It’s so fun too because as I wear or use these things, it reminds me of some of the special people in my life.  I’m thinking it’s the kind of thing that long-standing traditions are made of!

Anyhow…just hysterical and fun and creative!  I liked the idea so much that my family is doing it this year as well.  My Hubs is buying his favorite things for the guys (dads, brothers, brother-in-laws) and I’m getting my favorite things for the girls (moms, sisters, sis-in-laws.)  Our kids are picking some of their favorite things for cousins as well!  It’s just a fun way to spice up the gifting!

Just had to share….too fun not to!  So grateful for this handful of friends who have walked through fire together over the past 6 years.  Truly, grateful for even more friends in my life than just these…honestly, as much as this past year has brought in the way of hard, it’s sure made me love the people in my life even more.


I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is this week. Truth be known, I’m still tired from Allume.  Not even sure how that is still possible, but it is.  One of my friends told me that for every hour you’re in surgery, it takes 1 week to recover from it.  So, if there is any equation that begins to be  true for conference planning, I’m gonna say it’s probably true too.

So, big deal in my house lately is that we got a puppy! If you follow me on facebook or instagram, you already knew that. He is seriously a cutie! His name is Titan, and because my family is a people of nicknames, he has already been called Titanium, Titanic, and Tights. I’m sure there will be more over the years.

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He is an English Mastiff which means he is going to be a beast of a dog.  Already, he has gained 5 pounds in just 10 days.  So if the same thing happens to you this holiday season, know you’re not alone.  Titan will be standing strong with you.

Also, this week, I purposed to make quinoa that would taste really, really good.  You will be pleased to know that if you saute carrots, onion, garlic, and celery in some flavored oil (I used Harissa Olive Oil) and then cook the quinoa in chicken broth, it’s kinda fantastic.  As in, move over rice, I like this stuff better now, and my entire family agrees.  I felt a sense of pride this morning when my 7-year-old asked me to load him up on it to take to school for lunch.  I feel like I might have just earned the stripes to shop at Whole Foods without feeling like a poser.

I’ve been thinking lately too a solid amount on Thankfulness.  Tis the season I guess.  But the thing is that it should always be the season if you think about it.  Not like November is a better time than April to celebrate gifts.

If you haven’t read the book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, you really should. It’s a beautiful and poetic shaping of how to cultivate a lifestyle of thanks.  Perhaps one of my favorite things though, is that Ann shares about how the Greek word for “thanks” is the word “eucharisteo.”

I went to an Episcopalian boarding school in high school.  Having grown up in a community church, we always called “communion” well, communion.  But in the Episcopal church they called it “eucharist.”

And the thing that keeps coming to mind over and over as I ponder this season, and the thousands upon thousands of things that I’m thankful for, is that the thing I am most thankful for is the invitation to participate in the body and blood of Christ.  That it is the place from which the capacity for all thankfulness is rooted.  The very word is a partaking…a sharing in the Kingdom of heaven, and an outward expression of that co-laboring.

Thankfulness is a really big deal…for me to practice it, to share it, to walk in it, and to be of a people who are rooted in it…rooted in the blood of Christ.

So this season, as you sit around tables, and gather in the name of thankfulness…be reminded that the root of thanks is found at the foot of the cross….even in the very origin of the word.

The Campout Party

7 years old

My son turned 7 on Monday.  I’m not sure when or how 7 years just passed, but somehow they have. And, the pictures of that baby beside the doorway above have evolved into a really handsome, clever, and spunky young boy.

I’ve had some “moments” this week…he’s 7, this year we’ll celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, and I’ll also turn 35. Suddenly I’m settled into my 30′s, my parents are getting into their 60′s, and life is very much not ruled by my own youth anymore.  Interesting…maybe I’ll leave it at that and just sashay back over towards denial.


Anyhow, the boy wants to have a campout party.  I decided last year that after age 5, we’ll just do birthday parties every other year.  Mostly I think last April I was exhausted after just having lost a baby.  The truth is that I really like having parties.

So I got to work thinking about what makes a campout great and of course, without much time pondering, I realized that no campout is complete without…


I thought that a fun and easy favor would be s’mores kits.  So I snagged some boxes and bags from Hobby Lobby, used an old tent stamp that I had, and got to work stamping!  They turned out pretty cute! Each box has 2 graham crackers, 4 marshmallows, and a full sized Hershey bar.


I_know_that_boys_don_t_care_about_pretty_s_mores_kit_packaging_for_a__birthday__party__but_I_do_I realize that 7 year old boys don’t care one iota about pretty packaging or tent stamps, but I do, and I’m throwing this party for my kid, so by golly, I’ll have fun doing it.

I created the boxes for the boys, and since we’re having a cookout before the campout and families will be invited, I made bags with the same contents for the siblings.  It doesnt’ show in the picture because I couldn’t figure out how to get a decent picture of it, but each s’mores kit also includes a roasting fork (which I found in packages of 4 for $1.60 at Walmart.)

And since the number of kids coming is pretty small, I created really fun additional bags for his buddies.

_Campout_birthday__party_essentials_Each bag includes a camping mug, a flashlight, a fork/spoon combo, a mini slim jim, a box of raisins, a chinese finger game (mostly because they were cheap and cute), and a toy snake or insect.

I’d been keeping an eye out for a neat lantern for a long time but didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg. I finally found a cool one on sale for 50% off so I scooped it up and used it as a centerpiece in the dining room where we’ll have all of the food.


Between some moss, old boy scout books, a giant army man and some other random boy toys and figures I found, I created the centerpiece.  The candle was just a cream one that I wrapped in a piece of bark we found hiking in Montana a couple of summers ago.  Most of the time when I’m creating centerpieces, I just start wandering around my entire house looking for little items that could be included that make sense.  My mom affectionately refers to this as “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”  And for boy stuff…check your yard! Rocks, sticks, sweet gum balls, whatever seems interesting.

I brought out baskets and bowls that are mostly wood and more natural looking to create the entire set up too.



Just happened to luck out and find camo napkins too!

So, that’s what we’ve got going on so far!  Hopefully the rain will hold off and my little man and his friends will actually be able to camp out!  Thought you might all enjoy seeing a few pictures in the meantime though!

I’m off to make a carrot cake ( And, I’ll definitely have to share the recipe for that with you! It’s amazing!)


Renovations…Kitchen Love!


Our house didn’t sell.  Which is ok really.  In the past week however, after almost 2 months of silence, I’ve had 6 calls to show our house.  It’s off the market now though since another neighbor is buying the house we’d wanted just 2 doors down.  I’m not moving just to move!  We love our house and our neighborhood, so we’re staying put!

But that brings me to what our next plan is….


We’ve met with an architect and I’ve done some rough sketching on graph paper to give him a starting point for “the plan.”  The most exciting thing to me is taking our current kitchen above, adding some significant space off the back of the house, and hopefully ending up with something akin to this dreamy situation!

One thing I’m most excited about is putting large drawers in the base cabinets instead of standard cabinet doors.  It’ll be so nice to open a drawer to get out pots and pans, sippy cups, and the dreaded tupperware that currently falls on my head from an upper cabinet at least 4x a week.

And I’m wondering if you lovely readers would help a sister out with planning this beaut?! In addition to the lower large drawers, I’d like to include some upright baking rack storage to make it easier to get cookie sheets and whatnot out. Sort of like so perhaps…

So, for all you clever thinkers out there, and for those of you who have renovated a kitchen before (or have grand plans in your mind to do it), what would be the thing that you would most want to include?  Or what is the little detail or storage solution that makes all the difference for you?  I’m wanting to collect ideas here to make this kitchen into a high beauty, but highly functioning and efficient place!

Share your thoughts and ideas with me in the comments below?  I’m excited to take you all on this journey with us! (Remind me of this later when I’m griping about our 85th microwave meal down the road mkay?!) :-)

Thanks friends! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and ideas!  And if you’re curious to see more of mine, follow me on Pinterest and check out my Renovation Ideas board to see what’s inspiring me!

Vintage Made Modern…And A Super Fun Giveaway!

So friends, after being a totally sparse blogger, I figured I’d show back up in the blogosphere with a fun giveaway today!

Ya’ll know I’m a giant fan of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint by now. I’ve refinished lots of pieces and love the way a can of awesome paint can totally transform something!  Here are a few of my most favorite transformations!




My friend Jennie was my source for all things Annie Sloan, but after a couple of years in the biz, Jennie made the tough decision to stay home with her littles full-time.  But… NEVER FEAR Upstate SC chalk paint lovers!  Just because Jennie is gone, doesn’t mean that chalk paint is too. Lucky for us, Jennie passed on the business, and there’s a new shop in town! (And by town, I mean Greenville, SC.)

Jennie Leigh Designs is now Vintage Made Modern!!!   Vintage Made Modern is the exclusive distributor for Annie Sloan, and my new friend Lindsay Oehmen, who is a blast and a half, is running the well-painted show now!


Check out the new studio! It is so awesome ya’ll!



It’s in a brand new location!  She ditched the small booth at Palmetto Home and Garden and instead, Lindsey opened a full service store to better serve  us, the customers!  This new studio/boutique of course includes the wonderful Chalk Paint®, wax and Fabrics by Annie Sloan, but also has a great custom color table where if you can’t find the perfect color already, Lindsay can help you create the perfect color.

Also, there is a dedicated area where Lindsay holds workshops ranging from beginner to advanced techniques.  UM…can we say, “Grab a group of friends and make a night of it?!”

The Intro Workshop is the most popular and is really for anyone who has never touched Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, all the way to people who have been using it for a long time.  In this workshop you will discover the versatility  and ease of application of Chalk Paint®.  (It’s SUCH a great product!)  You will learn 5 different painting techniques and finishes with clear and dark wax. It’s a hands-on workshop where you learn modern, rustic, two-color distress, lime washing, and color washing techniques.  You will also get up close and personal with both the clear and dark wax, mixing the two and learning how to apply and appropriately take off the excess wax. You will experience the different ways to obtain a soft, beautiful, durable finish. This is a 4-hour workshop and all the materials are provided.  Just bring yourself!



And to celebrate Vintage Made Modern and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint’s new Greenville home, Lindsey has agreed to give away a private Intro Workshop for 4!
Did you get that…a private Intro Workshop for FOUR! (Valued at nearly $400)  Meaning, one of you wins it and grabs some friends to make a night of it!  You can thank me later.  And if you want, I might even pop by to join you and help Lindsey out!  So yeah, I just confessed that the chances of me crashing are pretty decently high. (Unless of course you’d prefer that I didn’t! No offense taken…no worries!)

So pop by the store to scoop up some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and tell Lindsey that I sent you! And enter below to win the workshop for you and 3 friends!!!  You don’t have to live in Greenville to enter, but it’d probably be easier unless you want to drive in from out of town since the workshop will be held at Vintage Made Modern.  The giveaway runs til this Thursday, 4/11/13, at midnight!


Vintage Made Modern
1322 E Washington St, Ste C2, 
Greenville, SC.
(864) 385-5004

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stains…Adventures in Egg Dying

Easter Eggs

Seriously, isn’t that precious?  Look at my cute kids happily concentrating on decorating Easter eggs.  The time-honored tradition that has absolutely nothing to do with the true celebration of this season, but we participate nonetheless.  It’s a delightful craft filled with joy and creativity.

And GADS of stress!

I’m having a moment of confession here.

I hate dying Easter Eggs.

Really….in an “I would rather have to clear my yard of dog poop than dye eggs” sort of relationship.

I’m a crafty mom.  I’m into collages and crayons, paints and playdoh.  We bake cookies and go on nature walks to get crafty with later.  But the truth is that Easter egg dying makes my insides almost physically cringe.

Egg Dye

5 cups of lovely colors in a group.  And a small hand begging to get started creeps into the photograph from below.  It’s a dance really.  The “WAIT!!!, Mommy MUST help you” with the pulling back to allow small hands to create for themselves.

And every tiny bump of a cup or brush of a carefully rolled up sleeve sends my heart racing.

It’s the beckon of a spill… the welled-up potential of catastrophe… the lingering feeling that this will be the year that the carpet is stained beyond repair or that their matching shirts will become a smattering of ill-intended tie-dying.  But the joy in their faces between the shoving to use first the blue dye and then the red one somehow keeps me coming back annually for more.

Despite the fact that a mere 45 seconds in, the unthinkable happens….

Dye Casualty

And it’s the red one….pouring over the edge of the table onto the seat of a chair that thankfully needs to be recovered anyhow.

But still.

I’m thankful in that moment that 3 layers of protection separate my 3 year old’s clothing from the streaming liquid.  Two layers soak through with hot pink vinegar-tinged water.  I rush to stop the trail to the floor…and then I do what any reasonable person does…I snap a picture!

We finish with the 4 remaining colors, and I feel my chest pumping hard until all of the dye is where it rightfully belongs…down the sink.

And I remind myself most thankfully that this isn’t what I’m celebrating now anyway.  That the fresh red stain on my chair has more to do with a blood soaked brow on a cross for me than it does a stickered and colorful egg.  And despite the stress of this horrid craft, I find my mind lingering on the stains of my own life, that because of my Jesus have been wiped clean.

Suddenly, I’m struck by the thought that the huge stains of my life are easier to wipe away than the ones on my chair.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; 
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 
Let me hear joy and gladness; 
let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 
Hide your face from my sins, 
and blot out all my iniquities. 
Create in me a clean heart, O God, 
and renew a right spirit within me. 
Cast me not away from your presence, 
and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, 
and uphold me with a willing spirit. 

~ Psalm 51:7-12


And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”  - Luke 23:33-38


Ok, So I have a fun tidbit to share today!  And can I just say that I’ve been wanting to share this with you all, but the way that my life has been lately, I’ve been doing pretty well to keep my head above water.

A couple of months back, I got an email asking if I’d be interested in giving the Restore program from Christian Care Ministry a shot.  The Restore program is a faith-based health coaching program.  I’m not a giant New Years resolution gal, but there is something about a new year that does make you want to get yourself together.  This year started off pretty crazy for me with my trip to Bangladesh, so to have a coach help me along the way was a super appealing way to get motivated.  I mean for real, sometimes we just need a hand to hold!

So I started the program almost a month back and it has been SO great!  I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t sure about the whole thing entirely, but really, who doesn’t want to be more emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy?!  What have you got to lose!?  For me…nothing… but a few extra pounds!

I had my first call with Stephani, my health coach, a few weeks ago and she was so relatable and honest even that very first conversation.  I shared about how I’m in perhaps the busiest season of my life maybe ever.  Between being wife and mom, there’s been a lot of hard stuff going on lately, and I’ve been hard at work planning Allume!  What I loved most was when she said to me that if we can set goals that are doable for this busiest season, then when life slows down, it’ll be really easy to maintain.

She even helped me make my goals really simple.  They’re so simple that I’m almost embarrassed to list them for you.  Something about saying them out loud and making them actual goals though has made them very doable.  So here they are:

1. Add a vegetable! – I knew that I wasn’t eating enough veggies mostly because I feel like I’m always in a hurry just to get sustenance at all.  Stephani said that anytime I’m eating something, just add a vegetable.  It’s been so easy to do, and easy to remember.

2. Take a walk! – Due to some nasty weather and everything going on with Melissa the last couple of weeks, I haven’t been great about this one, but I have been trying and as it’s been nice, I’ve gotten out for a walk or a bike ride with my kids.  It’s small, but ya gotta start somewhere.

3. Reduce sugar intake! – Other than eating nothing but a giant ice cream cone on the day that Mel passed and a couple of Krispy Kreme hot donuts, I have been doing better on this one.  I’m a total sweets gal, but I’m really thinking hard every time I get a craving.

Stephani also said something that I’m not sure why it hasn’t occurred to me before.  I have a tendency to be an emotional eater.  AWFUL…I know!  She suggested that when I’m tempted to eat something just for an emotional reason, just submit it to the Lord just like I’d do in a fast.  It’s just recognizing where I am, and that what I need isn’t something sweet to eat!  I told her about the full-sized ice cream cone last week…which I did give extra thought and prayer to, but even she said that sometimes, we just need to cut ourselves some slack!

Anyhow, it’s been great to have the accountability, encouragement, and wisdom that she offers!  She prays with me at the end of our weekly call, and honestly, I’ve really enjoyed it, and feel like it’s making a big difference for me so far!  I have a couple more months to keep trying the program, and this coming week we’re going to talk about a health risk assessment that I took to find out more about where I fall with all of that.  We’re adding strength training soon, and since I just signed up to join CrossFit today, I’m sure that’ll fit right in to the plan!

Don’t expect me to be taking any before and after pictures right now…or at least not the before ones!  Let’s just say, as I told my girlfriends today, that right now, I feel like someone peeled open my leg skin and poured a carton of cottage cheese down in my thigh.  And if that’s not motivation, then I don’t know what is!

I’ll keep ya’ll posted on my progress, but really, if you’ve been thinking you need something that helps you set attainable goals with encouragement and spiritual benefit as well as physical, this is your program!  I’ll check back in about it in a few weeks and let you know how it’s still going!

To learn more about Restore or to sign up, you can click on the banner below to be directed to their website, or you can click HERE to go to their blog, or pop on over to their facebook page HERE!


*Disclosure: I have been given a 3-month trial of the Restore program in exchange for posting about it. All opinions though are completely my own and I would never recommend anything that I didn’t truly believe was worthwhile. I can wholeheartedly recommend this program though!