Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bread and Wine: A Review

It's easy for cooking and mealtimes to become a chore. I love to cook, but after three years of balancing school with work and family, coming home exhausted every day just to spend hours studying, I lost my love for it. I just wanted to find something quick and easy that would get everyone fed each night. After my graduation in May, I was determined to rediscover the joy I once found in cooking. Then I found Bread and Wine. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time.

 Shauna Niequist perfectly ties together faith, family, and food in a book that is part memoir, part cookbook, and entirely wonderful. This is not a book to read in one sitting or even in a couple of days. It's a book to read a snippet from, then mull it over (and try the recipes) before moving on to the next portion. It will make you fall in love with food, cooking, and sharing meals with the ones we love.

This is the perfect book for "foodies," but it's about so much more than food. Shauna openly shares her life and faith, including her infertility and miscarriages, her struggles with weight and body imagine, and the struggle to really, fully be where you are.


As I finished this book, it led me down some other trails, pointing the way to other books already on my to-read list. I'm following it up with The Hour That Matters Most by Les and Leslie Parrott (a books bout the lost art of family mealtimes) and The Unwired Mom by Sarah Mae.
I highly recommend this book!  I rarely give a book five stars, but this one makes it onto that list.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A New Way To Journal

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that journaling is a huge part of my Bible study time. I've also written about it here on my blog and guest posted about it on Inspired To Action. It has become a way to deepen my faith and get more from my time with God.

A few weeks ago, I started feeling that something was still missing. I knew there had to be a way to get even more from my journaling. Around this same time, I found myself on a scrapbooking kick, checking out Project Life (which I really want to start) and smash books at Hobby Lobby. The morning after my trip, I had a light-bulb moment, and my journal got a makeover.

It wasn't a big budget change. I spent $3.00 in the craft department at Walmart for some scrapbook journaling cards, found some smash book supplies I bought on clearance a few months ago (for a project I never got to), and printed off some quotes I love from Pinterest and my Instagram page. What did I change? I just decided to highlight some things that were playing a small part before, and added a little scrapbooking flair.

For example, I decided to add more of the quotes and Scriptures that inspire me:

So many times, I refer to songs or books when I journal, so I added lists of what I want to read and what I'm listening to this year.

I also decided to start doing a monthly "currently" feature. This goes back to the influence of what I'm reading and listening to. It's a short list of what I'm reading, listening to, writing, and loving the most that month. (For August, I love Ann Voskamp's post How To Live Through Anything: The Fish Principle.)

The final product is a book that is part journal, part Bible study notebook, part smash book, and all about my faith. It's counting gifts and heart wrenching prayers, dreams and whispers of truth. It's gratitudes, fears, successes and failures. It's snippets of my life. More than snippets, because its about my faith - and my faith is life itself. It's all that I am, and journaling is growing my faith deeper every day.