The One with a Vlog

Monday is finally here! I don't think I've ever been happy that Monday arrived, but I am today. Nicole and I are starting our blog Bible study today and we are SO thrilled! 

And to celebrate this day, I made a vlog! Who am I? Crossing another thing off my #twentysixwhile26 list! Well, I'll stop typing and let y'all just listen. 

                                        Vlog Post from Rachel Dillard Walker on Vimeo.

Thanks for listening to my awkwardness and I sure hope you're joining in with us for the Bible study! Xoxo

6 Things to Pray for Your Husband

I've talked a lot lately about the role of being a wife. It's a role that most people take lightly, and honestly, most people will probably just skim over this, but the task is so much more than we realize. It's a role that comes with a lot of privileges but also a lot of responsibility. Even if you're reading this and aren't married, engaged, or even dating someone, this still applies to you. So keep reading, friends, please.

As I was growing up, my parents prayed for my future spouse. I can remember days of despair after a breakup and my dad hugging me and reminding me that he's still out there, because he's been praying for that man since the day I was born. I thought it was sweet and sentimental, but never really thought too hard about it.

Until recently. 

We're fairly new at this whole marriage thing. It's a lot tougher than I expected, but a lot more wonderful, too. This world is hard and there is so much negativity that surrounds all of us, and I don't have control over many things, but I do have control over this. I'm able to pray for him. I listen to friends struggle with relationships or marriages and secretly think to myself how grateful I am that we do have it easy most of the time, but I also know that hard times will come, so the least I can do now is pray. Pray with all my heart.

I want to be all things for Andrew. I want to be his comfort and his support. I want to encourage him and uplift him when he's struggling or has had a hard day. I want to help him be successful with work and in other relationships. I can try to do that and succeed to some extent, but I'll never be enough. As much as I want to, I just can't. I'm not able.

But God is able. 

I've learned over the past few months to not just pray for circumstances going on around my husband, but also pray certain verses over him. He is the head of our household and the leader of our family and I so desperately want him to be equipped with the Holy Spirit and covered in prayer on a day to day basis. This world is too cruel not to do that for him.

I heard this quote the other day and it struck a cord in me...
"Determine to pray more words over your marriage than you speak about your marriage." -Lysa TerKeurst that's where I am. That's what I'm doing. Praying over him and our marriage.

Here are the 6 things I pray for specifically:

  • I pray for his leadership skills, for him to have courage in situations and not be afraid to stand up and be a leader. This translates into our marriage, into his work life, into our discipline with future children. I pray that he possesses skills that a leader needs to be respected and successful. 
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

  • I pray for the influence from the people around him. I pray that the friends he chooses and that the people he surrounds himself with are people who encourage him, lift him up, and help with him with his walk with the Lord. 
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 
If either of them falls down, one can help the other upBut pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

  • I pray for the influence that he is on the people around him. I pray that he encourages those around him and shows patience, compassion, and kindness with coworkers or others he comes in contact with throughout the day. I pray that others see Christ through him.
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

  • I pray that he seeks the Lord every day. I pray that he has the desire to know the Lord better and make Him known. I pray that he wants to grow in Christ.
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."  2 Peter 3:18

  • I pray over his mind, his body, his spirit. I pray that he resists temptations and treats his body as a temple. I pray that Satan's attacks are in vain and that he can stand strong in the face of adversity.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2

  • I pray that he seeks the Lord's will for our family, for our marriage, for his career. I pray that he is obedient to God's call and desires to follow His commands. I pray that he always puts God at the top of his priorities, and me second.
"And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." 2 John 1:6
Praying over Andrew is one of the biggest gifts I can give to him and to our marriage, and for now, that's what I'm going to keep doing. There are days when I'm too occupied with myself and my own happenings, and the Lord is quick to remind me that I'm not spending enough time in prayer. I'm nowhere near perfect, but I do have a God who is, and I pray that He pours out his blessings over this new marriage, today and for years to come. 

Do you pray over your husband or boyfriend? Single friends, are you praying for the man you're going to marry? Do you think it's important for your relationship or do you feel like it's just going through the motions? I'm eager to hear your thoughts on this topic!  

You Know It's a Good Day

Y'all, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I slept great and had 8+ hours for once, but as soon as I got up, the world was against me (at least I happen to think so.) My alarm didn't go off, t literally almost fell on my face as I got out of bed, then I realized I had no coffee creamer (PANIC.) And then my dog decided to get tangled up in my computer cord and send my Macbook tumbling to the ground all while knocking over a glass of ice water. I've only been up for 15 minutes.

Hi, I'm Negative Nancy, nice to meet you. Well, this isn't how I want my Wednesday to start off, so I'm going to turn it around and join in with my blog bff, Brittany, for a little link up. I think happiness is all in our attitude, so I'm changing mine and going to share a little gratitude list.

You know it's a great day when... 

...your husband decides that tonight is date night and tells you to pick out a restaurant and an outfit.

...a cupcake is involved.

...the self timer of the camera is actually your friend for once.

...traffic doesn't make you want to hurt someone. get to help a family bring their first baby into the world and they tell you you're the "best nurse ever" (yes, I looooove my job.) finally find a perfect shade of red lipstick to wear...a little bright for my usual look, but fun for summer. #selfie think you're out of Coconut Creme coffee creamer, and then you find a bottle in the fridge (hallelujah!)'re convinced into going on a "hike" through the woods and then catch an unexpected glimpse of the lake.

...your DVR finally starts working again and all of the RHONY and RHOOC episodes magically reappear after you think you've lost them. legs are actually shaved for once.

...I get to watch my awesome little brother play baseball

...your coworker offers to pick up your Saturday shift so you can enjoy the 4th of July weekend a little bit.

...I get to sit on my back porch and enjoy a summer thunderstorm with a book in hand.

...I find a perfect spot in my house for my SheReadsTruth print. Isn't it pretty? 

...although I have to work tonight, I get to spend the afternoon in bed napping without anyone judging me! husband comes home with a bottle of wine (that's much better than flowers, in my world!)

=It's A Good Day Linkup

What makes your day great? Let's spread a little gratitude around and put some positivity out there, girls! Xoxo

The Company We Keep

As a 26-year-old, I often think that I have everything figured out. That I'm the woman I'm going to be when I "grow up." That I've reached my maximum point of maturity. That I know everything I need to know to be a successful adult. That the friends I'm friends with now will always be my friends. That the plan I have for my life is right on track and everything will go smoothly from here on out.

And then reality hits. How wrong am I? Oh, so wrong. There's something profound that I'm learning, slowly but surely.

I have brief moments of sanity in between all of these absurd thoughts of me "having everything together" and I see clearly. One of those brief moments happened a few weeks ago when my mom mentioned something profound to me. It's been on my mind ever since.

While I was talking about recent friend goings on with my mom..."Rachel, you know what? I think you may be outgrowing some of your friends. Not because they're not good people, and not because y'all don't love each other, but just because God has you on different paths."

At first I was defensive and disagreed. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it was true. 

She then went on... 

"I want you to learn something early in life that it took me a long time to grasp. Your happiness is what matters most, as selfish as that sounds. You can't base your worth on what others think of you. You can't let people walk all over you just so you can assure that they're happy with you and what you've done for them. You'll waste your life doing that if you don't learn it early. And these 'friends' of yours aren't making you happy. See that, please, and do something about it."

Sure, I've outgrown friends in the past. Those friends from high school that were never meant to last...the friend from a freshman class who you never saw again. But what about those friends who have been around for years? Can you really "outgrow" them? Or do they outgrow you? Maybe I'm just clinging to the nostalgia. It's something I've been pondering on a lot lately. And I'm not sure of the answer, to be honest with you. 

I really think these years in our life are important ones. They may feel meager and less than thrilling now, but I believe these years post-college shape us for our 30s, for the years where we settle down and become husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. The years when we learn who we really are, deep down. The people around us shape us, whether for the good or the bad--and I guess that's our choice as to which side we land on.

Maybe it's not that I'm outgrowing them, I'm just on a different path, like my mom said. it's cliche, but I see myself at a crossroads and am not sure which way to go. 

I do know one thing--I desperately want to make myself into the best version of myself, into a woman who loves the Lord and shows it through her life, who finds joy in the little things and is content with her life. The kind of woman who is uplifted and encouraged by the company she keeps. And I think that answers my question for me. 

A Day in the Life: A Linkup

There are 24 hours in a day. We spend a good chunk of that sleeping and then the rest is usually taken up by work, chores, and obligations. Sometimes we're able to sneak a little fun in, but it's all up to us to make that day worthwhile. 

I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again. My favorite part about blogging is getting to know other women--especially the real person behind the blog, not just the fancy, shiny posts.

Brittany and I have been so looking forward to this linkup because we both believe it's going to be such a great way to learn more about the blogger and what a typical day is like. 

So, grab our button, snap some pictures (of anythingreally!) and come link up with us. It'll be fun, we promise! 

Rachel Rewritten

You may not know this, but I'm a L&D nightshift nurse. So my typical day consists of me sleeping from 9am-5pm and then working from 7pm-7am. I didn't think you'd want a post on that (although I do have some fantastic stories, that's a whole post in itself!) so I'm going to give you a little glimpse into one of my days off. Those are more fun anyway!

My husband leaves for work around 6:30 every morning, so I wake up, kiss him goodbye, and then roll back over and sleep until around 8 or so! Some days I'm up earlier, some days later. I'm all for sleeping in when I can--the joys of being a nightshift nurse!

I usually eat breakfast, grab a cup of coffee (or two!) and head out to my back porch to read my Bible or watch a little Today show, while the dog watches me.

Some days, if the public is lucky, I'll put on some makeup. My bathroom always looks like a Sephora exploded.

If I have no plans or errands to run, I'll usually spend an hour or so reading blogs and checking Instagram. If I'm organized, I'll try to get a blog post published if I haven't already. And let's be honest, the whole time I'm sitting here, I'm side-eyeing the chores I need to be doing around the house.

After a little morning unwinding, I suppose it's time for me to be a little productive. In our house, my husband is in charge of dishes and I'm over the laundry, then we share other chores. Let's just say, he's good at his task, and I am not, so I usually have no less than 3 loads to fold at any given time. Why do I hate it so much?

Nena and I usually play outside for a little while in the afternoon if it's not too hot. That dog has some energy, so I try to run her around for a little while. And today, I noticed our crepe myrtles are finally blooming! I just asked Andrew the other day if it was dead. 

Am I the only one who LOVES to check the mail? This day was a good mail day--Amazon loves when I get in the mood to buy some books. My husband, not so much. I think I literally jumped up and down when I opened this package...too bad I can't read them all at once! Have you read any of these? 

I had to run an errand on the Square (which I hate during the day--so much traffic and I'm always yelling at people. Yes I have road rage!) but today was gorgeous so I snapped this picture while I was out. If you ever want to come visit the quintessential Southern town, Oxford is your place.

And I'll usually sit down and enjoy another cup of coffee at some point in the afternoon, while watching Friends, Grey's Anatomy, or my favorite--the Pioneer Woman! Can I just be her already? I want her hair and all of her kitchen skills. 

Nena sits right here and waits for Andrew to pull in the driveway.

Andrew gets home around 4:30 or 5:00, so we usually hang out for a little while, take Nena for a walk, or I make him go to Walmart with me (because I hate grocery shopping alone.) Tonight we're having spaghetti squash spaghetti--it's healthy and delicious, and most importantly, husband approved! I love CrockPot meals and simple, throw-together recipes.

After dinner, we'll catch up on our favorite shows and just relax. I'd like to say we live an exciting life full of social outings, but for the most part, we're home bodies and love having people over in lieu of going out. And that's perfectly okay with me. Of course, the best part of the day is when the wine bottle is uncorked. 

Well, that's a normal "off day" for me. What does a day in your life look like? I can't wait to see!

Your Hosts

Brittany @ Happy Is A Choice   ||   Rachel @ Rachel Rewritten

Link up Rules:

1. Follow Your Hosts
2. Write your "Day In The Life Post"
3. Add your link
4. Go check out what a day in the life of the other participants looks like 


Brittany and I have also teamed up to give away an amazing prize pack that I wish I could just win and keep for myself! Here are a few of our most favorite things of the summer that could be yours. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter...good luck, ladies!

summer giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finding Your Passion to Blog Again

There was a time back in the fall when I said with ease, "Oh, I'll never blog again." I wanted out of this blog world and planned to never look back. The negativity surrounding this "hobby" was getting a little too intense and blogging just lost its sparkle. I wrote on and off for a couple of months, but my heart just wasn't in it anymore.

I eventually threw my hands up in the air and said good riddance to it all. See ya, {simple.little.joys.}

Several months passed and I was feeling empty, lacking motivation, and struggling to figure out where to go next. I realized how much time I had wasted creatively in the meanwhile and didn't want to keep living a life of "what ifs." I had to admit--I missed blogging.

Over a month or so, I decided to step back, reevaluate what I wanted this space to be, and start fresh. I really had to do some soul-searching and try to figure out what pushed me away from the blog to begin with. In the end, it all really comes down to where my passion lies. Was it with my blog? Did I need to close this chapter and move on? Or was it time to get my priorities in line and get real about blogging?

When you're just walking through life with no direction, you're essentially missing out on all the good things that could happen. That's exactly what I was doing with my blog--I had no direction so it was so easy to get distracted and lose interest. It took me a while, but I slowly found my passion to blog again. Here's how.

The first step for me was easier said than done. Slow down. Stop just posting to post. Quit trying to "become popular." Blog for yourself--write what makes you happy. Don't write for what  you think others want to hear, because you're probably wrong to begin with. The big things aren't what matter--I was missing all the little things in between that makes it worthwhile. Slowing down helped me find my voice. 

I'm a self-limiting person. I make excuses for myself and limit what I'm capable of--which only hurts me in the end. I realized in order to find happiness in blogging again, I needed to change my story, hence the name of my blog. It was time to rewrite. When I let go of those excuses and started with a blank slate, I was able to start writing my story to be one that I was proud of, to be the story I wanted to tell all along.

When you enter the blogging world, you are handed a list of "rules" and expectations on how to blog. Sure, it may work for some, but I've learned that in order for me to be content and find my passion again, I had to let go of those expectations that I held for myself. I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself, and that was causing me to suffocate my creativity. Blogging became more of a chore than something I enjoyed, and it was the unrealistic expectations that had to go. Write what you want to write when you want to write it, and that's all there is to it. Authenticity takes you a long way.

Not only am I self-limiting, I doubt myself too easily. I have a voice and I have a story to tell; it all comes down to if I'm confident enough to tell it. I may not be a blogger with 10,000 followers and tons of endorsements or sponsors, but that doesn't mean what I have to say isn't just as important. Believing in yourself will get you far in life, and I've been applying that to this space, too, and it's made such a huge difference. It seems like a no-brainer, but when it really came down to it, I was my own worst critic. 

In the end, the writing is what matters. Some days, I have nothing to say, but if I just sit down and try to write, the words will come. I've learned that writing without an agenda is when I write my best posts--inspiration is all around and you never know when it'll strike. 

I found my passion again. Writing is my outlet, and although I'll never be Pulitzer-worthy, I still enjoy it. It took a big step to put myself back out there, but I think that's the case with anything that matters in the end. I found my passion again and I'm glad I did. 

As I've been writing this, I realized that I may as well just delete the "to blog again" out of the title because this is SO applicable to other areas of my life, too. Passion takes a lot of strength and a lot of risk, but it's so crucial to living a life that is truly worth living.

Have you ever lost the passion to blog? How do you keep yourself motivated? How do you stimulate your creativity/inspiration? X0x0

P.S. The winner of our Bible study book is Claire Voss--I'll be emailing you to get your address! 

If I Could Tell Her Anything

The other day, I was cleaning out a box of junk and came across one of my old journals from my freshman year of college. It's hard for me to remember the Rachel from back then, because it was so long ago. She seems like a different person than the person I am now...I feel as if I'm reading a letter written by a stranger instead of myself.

There were a lot of excerpts talking about my experiences in the dorm, how my classes were going, the new friends I had met, you know, the usual stuff. Then I came across a prayer that I written down, pleading for God to send me someone to love me. 

The desperation in my writing was completely obvious and completely heartbreaking--I was 18 years old and had never really had a serious boyfriend, just a few dates here and there. Going off to college was a different world--guys and girls were constantly intermingled and my friends were going on dates left and right, and there I was, still single and still alone. 

All I wanted was to be loved by someone.

It took me back to a place of insecurity. A place that's so easy to remember.

If I could tell my 18-year old-self anything, I'd tell her to be patient. Even through all the heartache, God had a plan for me all along. And even though, deep down, I knew that, I should've tried a little harder to really believe that. And I should've trusted in Him more.

If I could tell her anything, I'd tell her to enjoy my friends a little more. Say yes to more plans. Studying isn't always the most important thing. Those girls that you are spending time with will still be your best friends almost a decade later. Those relationships matter, too.

If I could tell her anything, I'd laugh and tell her, "you'll never believe me, but you've already met the man you're going to marry." 

If I could tell her anything, I'd tell her that she is beautiful and fun and smart, even though she doesn't have a boyfriend. Guys don't define who you are, I know that now; but back then, it was all that mattered. 

If I could tell her anything, I'd make sure she knows that happiness is ahead. 

If I could tell her anything, I'd tell her that even at 26, life will still be confusing and you'll still have doubts and struggles, but life will be beautiful, too. Xoxo

A Blog Bible Study!

I like to pretend that I have it all together. There are days when I feel like everything is going just fine, then there are days when I feel like everything is falling apart. In those desperate days, I cling to the Lord. But in those good days, I often push Him to the back burner. 

There are days when I read my Bible and do my devotion out of the desire to worship. Then there are days when I do those things to just go through the motions, to check it off my "to-do list" of the day. But still, there are days when I do neither. It's a shameful thing to admit, but oftentimes, I'm just going through the motions.

One of my prayers lately has been for God to pull the focus back to Him in my life. For God to give me the desire to learn His word and actually apply it to my life. He's been gracious in answering those prayers, and slowly, I'm getting back into a routine of making His word part of my day to day. I've also prayed for Him to help me blog with a purpose in this space...and He has answered.

The biggest way He's answered that prayer is putting Nicole in my life. We've been texting back and forth about Bible studies and she had the wonderful idea of starting a little blogger Bible study, a community for some ladies to study God's Word and fellowship with each other in the meanwhile.

...which brings me to the best part of this post!

Nicole and I are hosting a Bible study for the next 6 weeks and we want you to join in with us! Nicole chose this study and I couldn't be more pleased with it so far. 

Lord, I Want to Know You is all about learning who God really is, how He works in our lives.  Have you every really realized what His names mean for us? Creator, Healer, Protector, Provider, Redeemer, etc. I am so ready to jump into the Word and learn what those names translate to in my life!

How this works:
-We want you to join in with us by purchasing this Kay Arthur book at any Christian bookstore or on Amazon, etc. I believe it's around $12.00.

-We'll start on June 30th, so you have two weeks to decide if you want to participate and then buy your book!

-The book is broken down into 42 days, so it'll be a 6 week study. Each day's lesson is fairly short. Every Friday, Nicole and I will post about the 7 days we just finished. We want y'all to comment and discuss things with us, tell us what you learned, show us your favorite part, etc. It can be as little or as much as you want to post! If you write your own post, we want to see your link!

-If you don't blog, but want to participate, we have a hashtag to use on Instagram or Twitter, too (#namesofGod2014)! Just tag us and share with us. You can find us at @nicolevcole and @mrsrachwalker. 

We want this to be easy and enjoyable. No rules or requirements, no judging if you don't finish a chapter or haven't done all 7 days...we just long for a group of women who want to learn more about Jesus. My prayer is that we can encourage each other, fellowship together, and get to know one another better all while studying the Bible. Nicole and I both feel like God has already put this into motion and He has big plans for this, and we pray that you want to be a part of it! 

We also encourage you to find someone in your community or grab a friend and do it together.

If you plan to join in with us, comment below! One lucky commenter is going to receive this book as a gift from us, to hopefully encourage you to be bold and join us. We don't have it all figured out, but we know that when God pulls people together to worship Him, He will bless us! 

So, will you be a part of this with us? Please say yes! I'm so thrilled to see where the Lord leads us. Xoxo

A Day in the Life

There's a certain thing that I enjoy about my favorite blogs. It's not the outfit posts, the free perks, the "perfect" lives they live. It's the realness behind the blogger. It's the "lifestyle" aspect of her space that draws me in and makes me want to read more. I love getting to see glimpses into her everyday, because it makes me feel like I really know her, that I'm not just reading about her.

I think that is so unique about blogging--it's so different than reading a book or an article because there is really no interaction with those. Blogging is near and dear to my heart because of the relationships that are cultivated through it.

Today, I have a special announcement- one of my very best blogging friends Brittany and I have teamed up to host a really fun link-up! We want to share with you what a day in our lives looks like-and we want you to join us! Next Thursday, June 19th, we will be sharing moments from our days with you in a blog post. We want to show you what a typical morning looks like for us, show you our favorite spot for a lunch break, share with you what we might be wearing that day or what we're up to after work. We might let you into our favorite place in our home and share moments that made us smile. It really can be anything you want to post about your day. We want to let you into our lives a little more, and we want you to play along too! Let's get to know each other a little better!

So, before next Thursday, keep your phone or camera handy and snap pictures throughout the day! Pictures of anything you want to share with us what a day in YOUR life looks like. Then, get ready to link up your "Day in the Life" post on Thursday the 19th so we can all see what a typical day looks like for each other. We can't wait to get to know you a little more, and to share a real life look into our lives as well!

PS: We may be giving away a sweet prize pack next Thursday as well, so make sure you stop by and link up a day in YOUR life! 

Rachel Rewritten

Bread and Wine: Why You Need to Read This Book

There's a deep cord of comfort that runs through the dinner table, especially here in the South. It seems as if all social gatherings, family reunions, parties, and such revolve around food. My life is often dependent on what the next meal will be, where we should try dinner next, or what to buy at the grocery store. It's no secret that I love to entertain, and when my house is full of people and laughter, my heart is full, too. 

If you've been around the blog world the past few months, you've undoubtedly heard of this book.

Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist. 

This book has rocked my world and made me fall in love with a book like I never have before. It has taken me a long time to realize what about this book is so different than any other book, and I'm still not sure if I've really grasped the extent of it. This is one of those books that I'll always have handy, a book that I'll just open to a random page and reread over and over again, finding a new passage to love or dog-earing another page I want to remember.

If you're sitting behind your computer wondering what in the world I'm rambling on about, here's a snapshot of the back cover of the book, which sums it up beautifully. 

Pardon the scratches, it's definitely been used. This quote is what drew me in to this book.
Are you tired of me talking about Bread and Wine just yet? Well, I'll talk 'til I'm blue in the face, because I want you all to read it that badly. I'm telling you--it's incredible.

The thing about this book is that it isn't just short stories. It isn't just recipes. The way Shauna intermingles these two things is mesmerizing; she makes you feel like you're sitting across the table from her, sharing a bottle of wine, as she's chopping onions and prepping dinner. You can almost smell the ingredients.

This book made me realize that although I barely know my way around a kitchen, that doesn't mean I can't pull out my knife and start chopping.

The simple ways that she relates food to memories and food to life lessons is inspiring.

I'm working my way through this book, rereading the short stories and attempting to do justice to her recipes. It's an experience, for sure, but I'm enjoying every second.

More than anything, I love that she is a Christian and finds a beautiful balance of weaving Jesus into this book. Niequist mentions that she finds God through food and then questions us as to where we find God. Even if it isn't through food, like me, this book motivates you to find God where you are or in what you love doing. 

This book isn't all happy stories. Each chapter tells us a different part of her life, a different memory. Some are happy, some are sad. She shows us struggles and tears and some make your heart hurt. Some make you want to hug your best friend, tell your family you love them. It made me want to connect and have deeper relationships.

Bread and Wine made me think long and hard about the connection between family, friends, and food. 

“The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved.  It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.  Part of that, then, is honoring the way God made our bodies, and feeding them in ways they need to be fed.”

I long for my table to be a place where I can feed the ones I love, not only with a warm, delicious meal, but also feed them in every other way they may need, too. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I want to be the kind of person who welcomes and inspires, who opens up my house not out of obligation or to show it off, but out of love and out of desire to serve others and love them like I'd want to be loved. 

After all, isn't that what life is all about? Xoxo

A Whirlwind Weekend

I'm a planner, by nature. I've never been one to enjoy spontaneity--the thought of "flying by the seat of my pants" just gives me hives.

I vowed at the beginning of the year (a resolution, I guess) to enjoy life a little more; to not let the fear of spontaneity hold me back from doing things I want to do. I'm learning slowly to just say "yes" and then see what happens, but everything always falls into place, and I look back and am thankful I said yes.

I've been in Missouri since the middle of last week to help prepare for my uncle's wedding. Due to an overlapping in schedules, I was unable to be a bridesmaid in one of my dearest friends weddings that was Saturday night in Louisiana. After a mild breakdown early in the week, I realized that I could essentially do both--spend half of the week in Missouri with my family, and then drive to Louisiana on Saturday to make it in time for the wedding and reception.

Crazy? Yes. I spent more time in the car than I did in Louisiana, but I'm so thankful I did it and never looked back. I was able to be with my best friends as we married off our next Bride, but still spent most of the week helping my family prepare and getting to spend time with them, too. Best of both worlds.

Something that I'm learning day by day--life is just way too short to say no to things. I'm realizing that I need to stop worrying about mileage put on my car or the number of hours spent traveling, because in the end, the memories and moments are all that really matter. 

This group of girls are my girls who got me through college--my friends since Freshman year who have stuck by me for almost a decade now. We've had our ups and downs and drive each other nuts, but love each other like sisters. We're a dynamic group, to say the least, and getting to see them for only 12 hours was just a tease.

Dannah was a gorgeous bride, as we all knew she would be. It was so good for my heart to spend the day with her and watch her marry Chris, because she deserves all the happiness in the world.

And then my camera died, so all I have left are high quality iPhone pics.

What a weekend! I'm tired as can be but my heart is full, so I can't complain. Xoxo