What I’m Reading – Bread & Wine

6 Apr
My Thoughts

Many of the most sacred moments in my life, the ones in which I feel God’s presence most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place around the table. Something extraordinary happens when we slow down, open our homes, look into one another’s faces, and listen to one another’s stories around the table.

Bread & Wine is an invitation to join Shauna at the table. To this place where people come to eat, but holds so much more than just a meal. Delightfully written, she combines wonderful storytelling with some of her favorite recipes.

I can’t imagine life without a table between us.

I so loved reading about the group of women she gathers around the table with – The Cooking Club. What began as a group coming together over a meal became a community of families doing life together.

I want my kids to taste and smell and experience the biggest possible world, because every bite of it, every taste and texture and flavor, is delicious.

I also loved reading about her adventures in traveling with her father which she is now experiencing with her own children. How she challenges them to learn and love differences along the way. How she encourages them to grab hold of life in every way possible.

Bread & Wine is a beautiful book that encouraged me to be a little braver in cooking and fed my soul with stories of the sacred space around the table.
I loved it and I know you will too.

You can purchase this book here:

About the Book

Bread & Wine is a collection of stories about life around the table–about family, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. It’s about Bacon-Wrapped Dates and Mango Chicken Curry and Blueberry Crisp. It’s about the ways God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us. It’s about recipes, entertaining ideas, and meals to share with friends and family, made by hand and with love.

About the Author

Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine. Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French Literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She is married to Aaron Niequist, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek Community Church and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Aaron & Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac. Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life–friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God. 
You can find out more about Shauna and read her blog at www.shaunaniequist.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Lost & Found in Jesus

5 Apr
Today I am joining Lisa-Jo and friends for Five Minute Friday.
This is where we come together writing for 5 minutes without editing or overthinking.
I love this community.

Check out what everyone’s is sharing on the word AFTER here.

Five Minute Friday

Today was one of those conversations with my mentor that was both encouraging and challenging. After I got off the phone with her, I couldn’t get one thing out of my head.

Am I pursuing ministry more than Jesus?

You see there are times that I get caught up in the “doing” and lose sight of the “why.”
I could rattle off to you the many reasons that I do what I do, but it all comes down to one thing. The most important thing.

Jesus loves me and I love Him.

Everything that I do from mothering to ministry flows out of that love.
He has to come first in all of it.
And sometimes I fail.
I try to do it on my own, inviting Him into the place where I am 
when all along it’s His invitation that I am responding to.
And then there’s grace. 
He gently reminds me that it is only by Him, for Him, 
and through Him that any of it is possible.

I want to pursue Him above all.
To stop striving for anything more than Him.
To be so lost in Jesus that there is where I am found.
That is my prayer today.

Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
Psalm 105:4


His Hands in the Dirt

4 Apr
Watching my husband work in the dirt is a bit of a spiritual experience for me.
Something about watching him prepare the ground for planting speaks to my soul.
He chooses the tools he uses with great care. He uses only the ones necessary to break it and turn it over. With each break and turn, my heart turns with it. 
I am silent and spellbound as I watch this man works his hands through loose earth. Carefully making sure not to disturb any of the little sprouts peeking through, 
he pulls the weeds that will try to strangle those flowers later.

I break the silence with a whisper, asking when the color will come. And he chuckles and says, “Patience, love. Soon.” He begins to weave words of beauty in tales of the flowers that will come and the ones he intends to add to complete the palate.
Always adding more and more shades of purple. For me. 
My heart skips a beat and I tumble head first for this man all over again.

You see what begins as his hands in the dirt becomes his love letter to me. 
With each flower he has planted that blooms, I am reminded that he has picked each one especially for me. With each moment kneeling in the flower garden, 
he is tending to my heart and soul.

How does your husband speak to your heart?


BYOU Magazine – Review & Giveaway

3 Apr
There are just so many reasons that I love this magazine for girls. 
The name alone – Be Your Own You – is fantastic encouragement for girls today.
BYOU Magazine speaks to the hearts of girls ages 8 and older by building self esteem through stories, advice, games, crafts, and so much more. What I love about this magazine is that it isn’t just about the celebrity role models. This magazine also shares stories of real girls making a difference in their every day lives.

I especially love the features that are included in every issue. One is the “What is means to me to be your own you” feature which asks girls what that means to them and gives them an opportunity to share a little bit about themselves. I also like the “Ask Cassie” feature written by Cassandra Perkins, a Teen Anti-Bullying Advocate. This is a section where she answers questions from girls about bullying, safety, and other topics. BYOU Magazine is fantastic encouragement for girls today and a wonderful resource for moms.

My friends at BYOU Magazine have graciously offered to give away
a one-year subscription to BYOU to one blessed Saved Sister reader.
You can enter to win below.

You can visit their website here:
BYOU Magazine – Website

You can connect with them on Facebook here:
BYOU Magazine – Facebook
and follow them on Twitter here:
BYOU Magazine – Twitter
and on Pinterest here:
BYOU Magazine – Pinterest

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Mommas are my tribe…my people.

2 Apr
When Holley asked us to share the “why” behind our God-sized dream, I thought I would share about my experience gathering mommas and loving on them. 
Then I realized it really all comes down to one thing.

Mommas touch something deep inside my heart.
I know them. I see them. I am them.
Mommas are my tribe…my people.
Stay at home or work outside the home.
Single or married.
Tinies or teens.
Expecting or empty nesters.
Potty training or teaching to drive.
Mommas in all stages of the journey.
They are my people.

I long to reach out to each one in every and any way possible to say,
“Me too. You are not alone.”

Sometimes that means gathering around a table leading a Bible study.
Sometimes that means sitting across the table over coffee.
Sometimes that means reaching through the screen and touching a heart.
All of it comes down to this dream of gathering mommas. 
The mommas who hide behind the busy and get lost in the laundry. 
The mommas who feel alone and long for community.
To grab hold of a hand and say,
“Me too.”
That’s my why.
God-Sized Dreams

My friend Holley Gerth invited me to join a group of dreamers that she affectionately calls her God Sized Dream Team. What a blessing to be part of this group. 
We will be gathering each week on Tuesdays at Holley’s to encourage each other to dream those God sized dreams.

Won’t you join us?
What is your God-sized dream?

Holley had written a love letter to dreamers. Her book You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream is full of words of encouragement and will speak to your heart.


Missions Monday – Forsaken Generation

1 Apr
It’s time for Missions Monday.

Every Monday I will introduce you to some great charities that you can get involved in. When I say get involved, I mean you can donate your money, time, and/or pray for these organizations who are doing amazing things to help people.

Today I would like to introduce you to
Forsaken Generation

From the website:

“Forsaken Generation is more than just an organization, we are a movement. We are made up of hundreds of volunteers from all across the country dedicated to ending domestic minor sex trafficking right here in the United States. 

According to the State Department 34 children every. single. hour. Right here in our country will be forced into the horrific world of child trafficking. Every year that’s 300,000 children.

The mission of Forsaken Generation is to prevent domestic minor sex trafficking from taking place through the implementation of our human trafficking educational curriculum which is aimed at educating middle and high school students nationally. We will work to create better policies on both the state and federal levels to provide better protection for child trafficking victims and significantly stronger penalties for traffickers. Our Oasis shelter project will rescue and restore domestic trafficking victims through an extensive Christ centered holistic program.”

You can learn more about this organization 
and how you can get involved by visiting their website here:
Forsaken Generation – Website

You can connect with them on Facebook here:
Forsaken Generation – Facebook
and follow them on Twitter here:
Forsaken Generation – Twitter

I Have Seen The Lord

31 Mar

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 

Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 

Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, 
“I have seen the Lord” and that he had said these things to her.
John 20:11-18 

He is Risen!
Happy Easter!