Lifestyle

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2017

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you are wrapping up a great week and have lots to look forward to this weekend. We don’t have much on the calendar, so I’m pumped about that!

For today’s post, I thought I’d put together a little gift guide for Mother’s Day. I always struggle to know what to get my mom on this day. I love and appreciate her so much, but it can be hard to find a gift that accurately portrays that. You know what I mean? I found a few things this year from small businesses that I’m excited about, so I wanted to share if you have the same struggle as me! Hopefully one of these fun gifts will show your mom how much she means to you. 🙂 (And if you’re one of my moms, don’t be surprised if you get something from this list, haha!)

  1. Gorgeous Custom Birthstone Necklace

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I think these necklaces are so, so pretty, trendy, and have a great meaning to them that moms seem to love. They are custom made, which makes them seem extra thoughtful! I love that it’s basic enough to be worn every day, but unique enough to get many compliments to make your mom feel special. 🙂

2. Natural Bath Bombs

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There is something SO relaxing about having time to grab a good book, fill up the tub with warm water, light a candle, and have some time to relax by yourself. Adding a natural, essential oil bath bomb to the mix is sure to make any mom’s day! And aren’t they gorgeous?!

3. Natural Shower Steamers

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I had never seen these before, but they could be the perfect gift for the mom who isn’t a big bath person, but still loves to take a few moments to relax and rewind. I mean, who wouldn’t want your shower to smell amazing?!

4. Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle

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If your mom loves to read then she’s bound to love this book. Melanie is one of my favorite bloggers because she’s hilarious and real, and this book is about motherhood and her time with her daughter. It may just bring a tear to your mom’s eye as she reminisces about your younger years!

5. Workout Tank from Cross Training Couture 

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If your mom loves to be active or loves a good tank for the summer, check out this site! They have incredibly comfortable and cute tanks that contain beautiful messages. This brand is definitely one of my favorites!

6. Messy Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover

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I haven’t read this book yet, but I really want to get my hands on it! As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that deep, lasting friendships can be hard to make and keep. I think this would be a great read for any woman and maybe a book that will speak to your mom’s heart.

7. Dear Mushka,logo

This is a new-to-me site full of beautiful jewelry, clothing, and art prints. I love so many things from it that I couldn’t choose just one picture to share! Each product has a matching Bible verse, making it intentional and extra beautiful. This would be great for the mom who loves Scripture and loves being reminded of it throughout the day.

 

I hope this list is helpful! What are YOU planning to get your mom this year?! Have a beautiful weekend!

In the Word, Lifestyle

You’re Not on the Struggle Bus Alone

One of my favorite things about community is that God allows  us to be transparent with one another. If you’ve been blessed with a community that allows you to share real life, you know what a treasure you have.

It takes time to build trust in order to be transparent, amen? As we all know, showing who we really are and the real things we’re going through isn’t easy. So how do we get over this hurdle? How do we open up to people who may judge us or see us differently?

From my experience, something magical happens when one woman decides to share deep. She shares that she isn’t perfect, she doesn’t have it all together… she has struggles and sin and brokenness. Once one woman does that, the rest of the group has freedom to do the same.

It’s a hard place to get to, but it’s freeing and biblical and beautiful.

So, today I want to share some of my struggle because I don’t want you to feel alone. I don’t want you to think you’re the only woman out there who feels like you’re not holding it all together in a Pinterest-worthy way.

Well, here we go.

Last night, I had a mini-breakdown and cried in my husband’s arms for reasons that I couldn’t quite communicate.

I believe Satan’s attacks are so real, and he loves to attack me through my thoughts. I’ve been riding the struggle bus when it comes to balancing all of the wonderful things God has put before me… marriage, church planting, health, blogging, work… and I came to a point yesterday where I felt broken and guilty for struggling in the midst of God’s goodness and faithfulness to us.

Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever felt so thankful for God’s great goodness, but also broken because you can’t handle it all perfectly?

This has described me to the T lately. I’ve been battling with the enemy. I’ve been struggling with sin. I’ve let myself wallow in guilt and shame mentally, while physically trying to look like I’ve got it all together.

As I cried last night, unable to explain what was going on, Brady picked up a Bible from the coffee table and started reading me Truth. (I thank God for this man all the time!) After that, he brought us to the Lord’s feet, prayed for me, and prayed that the enemy would back off.

It was the perfect reminder that I needed. When I’m feeling broken, I HAVE to turn to Jesus. There is no other option.

We are not promised that life is going to be easy. In fact, Jesus tells us that it’s going to be hard. But in the midst of the hard, we have the Creator of the universe to turn to for peace.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Friend, if you are on the struggle bus with me, I encourage you to turn to Jesus. Open your eyes and mind to Truth so that the lies flowing around in your head become more obvious. Talk to the Lord. Bow down at His feet and cast your burdens on Him. Cry with a friend. Let it all out, and let those who love you walk with you on this journey.

When I opened up my Bible this morning it flipped to the exact Scripture my heart needed:

Purify 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 51:9-12

The Lord cares for us deeply and hates to watch us struggle. And guess what? One day, the struggle bus won’t exist anymore. HECK YES!

Lord, we praise you for your goodness, no matter what our circumstances are. You are always good, and you are always taking care of us. Please restore to us the joy of your salvation, and uphold us with a willing spirit. Use us to bring glory to your name, even when we feel broken. In your perfect name I pray.

Friday Faves, Lifestyle

Friday Faves Part 6

Happy FriYAY friends! I hope you all had wonderful weeks and are ready for a nice, somewhat relaxing weekend. Our weekend will be a little different than normal because Brady is going out of town today. It will be my first night at home without him, which I’m not super excited about, but I will try to make the most of it with a chick flick and face mask or something, haha.

Anyways, I haven’t done a Friday Faves post for far too long! Here are a few things that have been making me feel extra blessed and joyful lately. Feel free to play along and share your faves in the comments below! 🙂

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1. Experimenting with Watercolor

Guys, I am not an artist. But I love being creative and trying new things! I bought some watercolor tools with my monthly spending money (Dave Ramsey budget going on over here) and I’d love to grow some skills! I’ve already learned that it’s harder than it looks, but everything gets better with some practice. We will see how it goes!

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2. Youth Horizons’ Sun Run

I have become a mentor through Youth Horizons here in Wichita and have loved the opportunity to get to know this sweet girl, Emma! We got to participate in their yearly Sun Run and had an awesome time! If you’re interested in mentoring, please give me a shout and I’d love to give you more info!

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3. Spring in Kansas

In between the rain showers, Kansas has been absolutely beautiful lately! I was out on a run the other day and just had to stop and take in this view. I used to find Kansas to be ugly and boring (hello teenage years), but I’ve grown to appreciate the fields and blue skies!

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4. 1st Annual District Church Easter Egg Hunt

So clearly this was a couple of weeks back, but we had our first community wide event for the area of Delano and it was amazing! We had no clue what to expect, but ended up having a couple hundred people show up to find Easter eggs and to enter some raffle drawings. We hid 1,000 eggs and they were literally all found within 3 minutes, haha! We absolutely loved getting to meet some of the people in our community and left feeling encouraged and blessed by the new faces and by the servants who helped out from our launch team. God was so sweet to us through this event!

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5. New Podcasts!

I love listening to podcasts when I’m driving, working out, cooking, doing dishes, etc. So finding new podcasts is always a win! These have been my two newest favorites and I highly recommend them! Jenna Kutcher on the Goal Digger Podcast is sweet and sassy and you feel like she’s your new best friend. She has awesome business advice for entrepreneurs, loves Jesus, and is so fun to listen to! Jamie Ivey interviews various women on The Happy Hour who have awesome stories of faith to share. You feel like you’re sitting down with a couple of friends, coffee in hand, talking about life. It’s great!

 

Ok, now it’s your turn! Please share something that has left you feeling blessed lately in the comments below. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Lifestyle, marriage

Roberts Adventures: Camping in Kanopolis

Growing up, I remember loving the INDOORS. I hated bugs (ok, I still hate bugs), hated scratchy grass, and didn’t like getting all sweaty. Maybe that’s a typical girl thing, but I’m so thankful my love for adventure and outdoors has grown over the years. Now I truly love being out in God’s creation and seeing new places!

Thankfully, I married a man who also loves the outdoors, and his love has only helped me appreciate God’s creation even more. Brady had us register for a bunch of camping gear for our wedding and we finally got to put it to use a couple of weekends ago at Kanopolis State Park. We had a BLAST and truly found a gem in Kansas! (I am so sad to report that the pictures I took on my camera somehow got deleted. I’m super bummed! So please enjoy these iPhone photos in their place. 😉 )

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We pitched our tent at the Rockwall campsite and loved where we ended up! The lake is beautiful and there are rock ledges surrounding it. I’m glad we went earlier in the season because it wasn’t too hard to find a spot that wasn’t surrounded by big groups. I imagine it gets pretty busy though in the coming months!

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On our first night we found one of the hiking trails and did some walking. It was incredibly peaceful, we saw some wildlife, and we figured out that I take 12 steps for every 10 steps Brady takes, haha. These are important things to learn! The further we got on our hike, the more unique the boulders and cliffs around us became. It was stunning, even with most of the plants being brown still.

We came back to our campsite, gathered some brush and wood, and managed to build a fire with the windy weather. Brady did an amazing job! We grilled some brats and made campfire cones. We filled waffle cones with marshmallows, Reese’s, and banana and then wrapped them in foil and put them over the fire. They were so, so good! It felt pretty awesome to make your food on a fire that you created!

When we woke up in the morning, we brought out our camping grill to make french press coffee, eggs, and sausage. We were able to sit by the lake and soak in some time with Jesus as we sipped our coffee and it was wonderful. Those are my favorite moments! We then packed up camp and headed to find some more hiking.

We ended up at Horsethief Canyon after seeing some great reviews. The trail definitely didn’t disappoint! There were so many points where we felt like we were in an old western movie and not in the middle of Kansas. The rock formations were incredible, and the sand that had fallen off of the unusually soft rocks was bright yellow and so fun to touch. We ended up getting off the trail and semi-lost for a bit, but we found our way back and had a great 1 hour hike!

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After our hike we headed home! It was a quick trip, but so refreshing for us to get outside and do something new together. We would love to go back soon and explore some other trails and camp sites. Kansas is so beautiful!

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Ok, your turn! Where are your favorite places to find adventure? Have you found some great things to do outside in Kansas? We’d love to explore more based off your suggestions! 🙂

 

In the Word

When We Forget Our Purpose

This past week was definitely one of those weeks. You know, the ones where you have your schedule mapped out and you prepare yourself each morning for all that needs to get done. Things keep popping up on the calendar and you go into autopilot mode to make sure you are where you need to be when you need to be there and it’s a victory if everything gets done each day.

This past week was full and busy with great things, but amidst the busy, I forgot about my purpose.

I went into autopilot when it came to helping Brady prepare for our church plant meeting. Instead of remembering the purpose to our actions and words, I was concentrating on getting things done in the most efficient way possible.

I went into autopilot with my high school small group girls, concentrating on getting to our end time without any major problems rather than soaking in what God had for us.

I went into autopilot when I went to work, crossing off my to-do list rather than nurturing the relationships I have.

Does any of this sound familiar? Do you have autopilot moments too?

I’m so thankful that God woke me up from this mode yesterday. First, He showed me the way I was living, then He forgave me for forgetting my purpose and the reason behind all of my actions. And now for the coolest part… He still wants to use me even after I messed up.

God has put you in a specific place for a very specific reason. You are called to a work that only YOU can do. He wants to use YOU where you are at, and He created YOU specifically for that roll.

I believe the enemy loves to distract us with busyness and to-do lists, because we tend to forget our deeper purpose and live in an autopilot mode that cripples our very specific calling.

So, if you are in a similar place as I was, I encourage you to do a few things.

  1. Talk to God. Tell Him how life has been lately and ask Him to forgive your lack of purpose.
  2. Seek Truth. When we forget our purpose, it’s always great to brush up on who Jesus is and why He’s worth living for. John is a great book to go to!
  3. Refocus. Write down who God has called you to be and the purpose He has given you. What did He save you from? How does He want to use you today?
  4. Start new. Praise God that you still have purpose and a calling, even when we forget about it sometimes. Today is a new day. Have grace for yourself and start fresh.

 …that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…

Ephesians 3:16-17

(emphasis mine)

Sister and friend, you aren’t in this alone. Today is new, grace is wonderful, and you are loved. Don’t forget it!

Lifestyle

Whole30: Week 4 Review

Well my friends, after 30 days, my Whole30 journey is officially over! (cue streamers and confetti, please) This is a Week 4 review, but I’m going to add in the last 2 days and make it my final recap.

Here are my previous recaps if you’d like to see how the journey has gone!

Why I’m Doing the Whole30

Week 1 Review

Week 2 Review

Week 3 Review

And now for our last review…

The Good

The last days went better as far as meal prep goes. We created some delicious recipes and even served some to guests! I love that Whole30 compliant food is truly yummy, and I didn’t have to feel bad at all about making others eat a compliant meal. Recipes from this week included Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken with Butternut Squash (MY FAVORITE!), Spinach Artichoke Twice Baked Potatoes, mini and large frittatas, Shrimp and Sausage Skillet, steak fajitas, and this super tasty Sweet Barbeque Pulled Pork. They were all recipes worth trying! IMG_8466.JPGIMG_8521.JPG

My energy levels and sleep were great, and I busted out 4 workouts (I think!) that felt good for the mind and body. I did weigh myself on Day 31 and lost a few pounds, but nothing substantial. I’m thinking this is because I still need to work on portion control, especially with sweet potatoes and fruit! I was a little bummed I didn’t lose more weight, but I’m thankful a bit is gone and I’m going to put the scale back in the closet so that it isn’t my focus! I’m liking the change in thinking as far as weight/being healthy goes. I’d rather focus on being healthy and treating my body well rather than being at a certain weight. It’s hard (anyone hear me?!), but worth it!

The Bad

So I have to be honest with you guys. I ended my Whole30 one meal early. I know I know… but I’m honestly at peace with it. It was a special occasion with family. I prayed about it. Felt okay about it. And now it’s over! And the funny thing is that it didn’t taste absolutely amazing or anything like that and I could totally tell a difference in my stomach minutes after consuming part of a breadstick. So crazy! So yes, your body definitely reacts differently to the different foods you eat.

Another thing that started to get to us was the amount of DISHES Whole30 requires. You cook a lot on this program and our sink always seemed to have a pile of dishes somewhere in it. Brady has been wonderful and loves to help with them while I cook, but the constant need for dish washing definitely got to us! IMG_8513.JPG

I have been a little frustrated with my digestion, as my system still doesn’t seem to have any rhythm. I had hopes it was getting better in Week 3, but that only lasted a few days. Maybe someday I’ll find the cure, but Whole30 didn’t seem to do it. I’m bummed!

 

So, if I did Whole30 again, here is what I would do differently:

  1. Have someone do it with me. It would’ve been great to have a buddy! Especially for the times we ate with others or there were treats around.
  2. Prepare a budget ahead of time. We spent a lot on groceries and I would’ve loved to have been more prepared for that! Even saving a little extra ahead of time if the budget is tight.
  3. Work on portion sizes ahead of time. This is super mental for me, and I wish I would’ve set better expectations for myself here, especially with carbs in the form of potatoes and fruit. These became my go-to and a place where I would overindulge.

 

And what’s my plan from here? My goal is to stick to a mainly paleo diet and continue to work on portion control and listening to my body. These things sound so easy, but for me they aren’t. I do think Whole30 helped me understand that I can live without sugar, it’s just getting my mind to remember that when cookies or ice cream are sitting in front of me. 😉 I’m going to allow some flex though, and I’m sure this plan will continue to develop as we go along! I don’t miss grains or dairy too badly, so I’d like to continue to stay away from those when possible. The journey only continues from here! 🙂

I can’t thank you all enough for following along! Like I’ve said before, please reach out if you’re in need of support or if you have questions about starting your own healthy lifestyle. I am here for you! And you’ll never regret taking care of the body God gave you. 🙂

Lifestyle, Recipes

Whole 30: Week 3 Review

If you’ve been following along with my Whole 30 journey I want to take a second to thank you. You’re a rockstar for reading about my sugar cravings and digestive problems. 😉 I have heard of one friend who is starting her own Whole 30 journey which is SO exciting, and I hope a few other people can look at these posts and form a belief that it’s something they can do, too. You are SO WORTH taking control of your health, and I’d love to support you along the way! Shoot me a message over on Facebook or Instagram and I’d love to chat. 🙂

Now it is time for a Week 3 review! This was definitely not my strongest week, but I still learned a lot through it! I’m also getting to the stage where I need to form a plan of what will be next once these 30 days are over. I failed in this area the last time I tried Whole 30, and I’m not going to let that happen again! I will share my plan with you on the next recap.

If you’re new, here are the previous posts from this Whole 30 mini-series:

Why I’m Doing It

Week 1 Review

Week 2 Review 

And now for Week 3…

The Good

During Week 3 I saw an improvement in my digestion, HALLELUJAH! This was one of my biggest goals that I was hoping to accomplish. There is still room for improvement, but I’m grateful for every small step forward. For this week I slept great again, my skin is staying pretty clear, and my energy levels were normal. I’m learning more and more how to be in-tune with my body and give it what it needs. I’m learning how much I need to eat for breakfast in order to be full until lunch time and that I don’t need as much fruit as I’d like to have. I’ve been noticing a huge JOY in not having to focus on losing weight. I love the fact that my scale is hidden. I feel more beautiful because I know I am taking care of myself, and if I’m doing that, who cares what I weigh… ya know? I have noticed a little more room in my jeans which feels great along with a confidence in who God has made me to be. I love knowing that I’m taking care of the body He’s given me! This is an area where I’ve always struggled to honor Him and I’m super thankful that I’m growing and changing.

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A new recipe we tried this week was Pesto Baked Chicken with homemade pesto and it was great! I also got 4 workouts in (1 less than my goal), but I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I have grown a love for T25 the past couple of weeks! Nothing like crazy sweet for 25 minutes and then being done. 🙂

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The Bad

You will notice that I only shared one recipe up there because I failed at meal prepping this week. Our schedule got crazy on Monday, which threw off my meal prep, and then, well, you know how that goes. Thankfully another batch of buffalo chicken helped the week not turn into a disaster, but I did end up eating some random combinations! (not recommend)

I have been missing things like gum and Shakeology, and I had to turn down delicious looking cake balls at a birthday party. On Day 15 I had thoughts of “I’ve done fine… I’ve learned my lessons… do I really need to keep going?”, but thankfully I talked myself back to reality and kept pushing. Otherwise, I’m becoming more and more ok with saying no to things I don’t need which feels pretty amazing.

Another struggle I’m having is afternoon snacking. Yes, I’m still eating compliant foods, but I’m usually not super hungry for dinner because of it, and then I overindulge because I want the nutrients dinner is going to provide. This is my next giant to tackle with self control!

Week 4 Goals:

  • Less snacking in the afternoon
  • Figuring out how much I need at lunchtime to fuel me until dinner
  • Workout 5 times
  • Make a plan for Day 31 and beyond

It’s crazy to be on the final week of this plan! It truly has gone by quickly. Like I said earlier, don’t be afraid to shoot me a message with questions or if you’re needing support in your own journey. I’d love to walk beside you in it! Have a great day my friends!