Thursday's Three: Books You Should Be Reading - Shauna Niequist

What is Thursday's Three?  During my break I thought long and hard about different aspects I wanted to bring to you all throughout the week. I wanted a way to share certain things I am loving, from beauty, to recipes, to books (always sharing books). Originally, I thought to do a Friday's Five - classic blog post used by many favorites of mine (example of a blogger doing it right here ). But my sister suggested to be a little a different and do Thursday's Three. The majority of our phone conversations begin with "Did you see what so and so posted? Have you done Lauren Kay Sims ab workout today? Do you think I need these Pjs?". She knows whats out there, so I took her suggestion. Ok, onto today's three picks. 

I was first introduced to Shanua Neiqust by my friend Brandi. And since that first book, I have become hooked. She has a way of telling stories that beg you wanting more. They are the kind of books where you get a little sad as you see the last couple pages approaching because you don't want it to end. The way I refer to Shauna in conversation you would think I was actually a friend of hers. That we regularly talk on the phone, I've been to her home numerous times for dinner and we have created countless memories together. But truthfully, I am only her friend through the stories she has shared with me and millions of other. That's what makes her a good author.

Her books dive into the good stuff. The hard stuff. The stuff that makes you think. And picking just three was super challenging because I honestly loved them all. 

Cold Tangerines - When I was six months pregnant we headed off to Scottsdale for our baby moon, and I brought this book with me. It was the perfect book to read for the season of life that I was in. Cold Tangerines holds little stories about God, and how He is here, everyday. And how He is present in everything.  Shauna writes "God is waiting to be found everywhere, in the darkest corners of our lives, the dead ends and bad neighborhoods we wake up in, and in the simplest, lightest, most singular and luminous moments." It is a beautiful book. If you haven't read any of Shauna's books, I recommend this one first.

Bread & Wine - It is exactly as it reads. Pages full of stories of friends gathering together to eat good food, and drink good wine and recipes for you to try on your own. You feel like you are at the table with her as she describes the items on the menu and the experiences that came with the meal. She makes the food come alive through simple black and white text. This book makes you want to cook, host, and cry all at the same time. 

Present Over Perfect - When Shauna came out with this book it was the summer I attended She Speaks. She kicked off the event with a powerful message. Then she signed books for a handful of us. I was a total fan girl when I met her. Didn't even get my book signed because I was too excited to even ask. I very much hope she has erased our first encounter from her memory. But that is one of the reasons why this book is one of my top three. Present Over Perfect reminds you to focus in on what is important. To press pause, to admit your mistakes, to accept that you are not going to have it all together. Read this book when you need to learn to give yourself some grace. 

If you are not really the reading type, these books are also a great listen on audible. Shauna reads them herself and her voice is just as welcoming as her writing. Hope you enjoyed this week's Thursday's Three. To shop ALL of Shauna's books click the links below. To read more posts about Shauna click here and here

Where to, God?


Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson 

Top: Amelia Styles || Similar style: here & here || Shorts: Nordstrom || Shoes: Converse

For the last thirty-one days I have spent more time in the word of God than ever before in my entire life. All thanks to Megan Miller, who had it on her heart to ask a simple question on her insta story one day, “Do you want to read the bible with me?”. And with that question brought a response of 208 people tapping “Yes” on the poll. One little question from her is all it took to totally change my relationship with God for the better.

Each day in this bible journey there is a reading from the old testament, new testament, psalms and proverbs. Then you pick one thing to pray over for the entire month. I picked three. Because I’m such an overachieving Christian. No, that’s not the real reason. I said a prayer for my husband, my daughter, and myself. The prayer for myself was this blog. I knew the second that Megan asked us to join in that I was going to take the next thirty-one days and pray “Lord what am I to do about this blog.”

God has been wrestling with my heart for a while. I mean really tugging and pulling at it. Almost to the point of frustration. I feel like I’m at the starting line, watching everyone take off in the right direction. While I’m standing there confused as to which foot I should put before the other to even began to walk. I have the drive. I have the passion. I know I am supposed to do something. 

I knew through the process that I didn't want to give up on this blog completely. I wasn't hearing that it was time to close the door. But I also wasn't hearing that it was time to reopen it either. 

With five days left in this study I had made peace with the fact that I might be waiting for a while. God might not answer my question in the thirty-one days I had planned for Him to do so. He is not on my timetable. I am on His. A truth I am forever having to remind myself of. 

And it wasn't until the last day of the study and the very last verse that I got my answer. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." 

This has been my life verse since high school. The one I have always resorted back to in every type of life event. And it was God's way of answering this prayer. Great is His faithfulness. 

I am still waiting for exactly what I am supposed to do with this answer. I know now to keep writing. The blog, the book, it all still needs to happen. I'll continue to write about all the things - just maybe a tad more about Jesus, and a tad less about fashion. 

I don’t know where you are at. Maybe the path is clear, the directions are laid out and you are off on your way. Or maybe you are sitting in the waiting room, listening for your name to be called. But I do know that whatever path you are on, or trying to discover, you can’t step away from Him. Stay in the word. Stay in the truth. Know that God is the one pulling your hand in the right direction while also the one holding it still as you continue to figure it out.

And if you feel Him telling you to step out of your comfort zone. Do it. You never know what might happen. 

“The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your request to God.”       – Philippians 4:5-6

In the Waiting & SheIn

Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson 

Dress: SheIn || Boots: Target || Suggested Earrings: Kendra Scott || Suggested Handbag: BP

One of my go-to places to shop lately has been SheIn. It is an online shop with seriously low prices. I'm talking SUPER low. For example, this velvet dress was a total of $20. That is a price you can't beat. What I have learned when shopping at SheIn, is you need to read the reviews. They help a lot in determining the quality of the fabric and how it might actually fit. I also like that the prices allow you to play around with different styles without having to make a huge financial commitment. 

Velvet is one of those styles you might be scared to embrace. So picking up a piece from SheIn would be a great way to see how you really feel about the style. Me, on the other hand, can't wait for the weather to velvet ready. I think it is such a fun detail to add to a look. 

Wearing velvet at just the right time isn't the only kind of waiting I have been doing these days. The week my daughter was born I had been having different levels of contractions for days. Some were mild, others would be a little more intense. With each increase in strength of contraction my hope of potentially getting to meet my girl that day would also rise. So after about two days of this and the contractions coming to a stop, my patience was starting to wear on me. 

That Sunday we went to church and a card with the verse "Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14) was laying there on my seat. Which of course lead to a powerful message on the importance of trusting the process of His plan. It was one of those moments where I looked up and said "ok I get it Lord." As if He had finally gotten through to me that I wasn't in control. 

Later that night my daughter made her arrival into the world. So the waiting process wasn't what I expected at all. In fact, I remembered thinking that if He was trying to teach me to wait, I didn't really have to wait that long. So what was I going to be waiting for? Or was God just trying to teach me a quick lesson? 

It would be in the coming weeks where the joy and stress of a newborn can cause you to feel completely overwhelmed with emotions. Don't get me wrong, being a mother is the greatest gift in the world. But those first couple weeks of trying to figure out how to adjust to this new world is a waiting process. Not to mention you are waiting to just feel like yourself again. The baby blues are a real thing, y'all. 

I think when I heard the message on waiting it wasn't about waiting for her arrival, it was about waiting to realize that I was going to be able to be a good mother. It was about getting through those first couple weeks where you a smiling through the tears because you are so tired and so incredibly grateful all at the same time.

The part I thought I was waiting on was really just the first step into a whole new waiting game. A game where I would find myself wishing for her to reach the next phase, while praying for time to slow down. Realizing somewhere between feedings and the diaper changing that I needed to live in the now and trust God with the steps towards the future. I had to find the courage to hand over that control to Him. 

What are you waiting on today? Is it a new job, a new house, a new relationship, the next step in a relationship, or maybe just for the weekend? While you wait for that next moment I hope you will see the beautiful steps God is taking in your life. Use the strength He provides in you to just wait. It's hard. But it's worth it. 

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord." - Psalm 27:14


This post was sponsored by SheIn. Opinions are my own. All products were selected by me. Thankful for partnerships like these that make a TAD more faith possible