A Better Way to Start the Day

I think there are a lot of us – especially in my generation and the generations that follow – that have our phones with us at all times. We’re connected to social media. We’re connected to email. The phone is right at our bedside, serving as an alarm clock.

I realized last night that when that alarm goes off (after however many “snoozes” it takes to actually start to get up), I tend to grab my phone as I come into the world for the day. It’s there as my mind starts working and as I subconsciously start to gear up for the day.

I check email to make sure I haven’t missed anything crucial overnight. I check social media or blog notifications to see if there are comments I want to reply to.

I realized last night that when that alarm goes off, I shouldn’t be starting my day with work. I shouldn’t be starting my day with seeing what new likes or follows have come in overnight. I shouldn’t be starting my day looking at the amazing work of the people I follow.

I should be starting my day looking at the amazing Word of the God I follow.

Nacogdoches photographer image of a rich-colored Lubbock sunrise through cattail plants

I recently started a daily devotional plan through an app (YouVersion – Bible) on my phone. I was reading it in the evenings or right as I climb into bed at the end of the day.

But I thought – how much better would it be to have his Word in my mind as I come into the day?! So I am starting to do my devotionals in the mornings in an effort to let it be more of a guide for my day.

The app is simple and convenient, and offers lots of plans you can choose for daily devotionals. Moving forward, I would love to try to get a devotional book and a journal instead of using my phone, but for now it works well!

Have any of y’all tried a mobile app for daily devotionals? Which one would you recommend? And which printed versions would you recommend as well? 

Yearly Bucket List Update – Books

I have slowly but surely been making progress on my Yearly Bucket List. I can already tell I need to get going on more items, but I have been doing well on at least one item – reading books!

I set the goal of reading at least four books this year: 2 recommended by loved ones, 1 non-fiction and 1 just for fun. At this point I have finished two books, and I am a little more than halfway through my third. I was planning on waiting until I had finished all 4 books before posting about them, but I have enjoyed them so much I decided I couldn’t wait to share!!!

First was one of my recommended books. My mom tends to pass along books she has really enjoyed, and they tend to then make the rounds through my extended family. I got first take of Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson and I really enjoyed it!

Book cover of Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson

It took a little while for me to get into it and get used to the tone of the writing, but once the story really dug in, I was hooked. It is such an appealing mix of history, the grim reality of life in a war zone, the pressure of society rules, and the power of love. This one ended leaving me wishing this was just book one of a series. I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to these characters!


Next was another recommendation, this one from a dear friend of mine. We have been fortunate to know each other for years and years, and we got to enter the wonderful craziness that is motherhood around the same time. She told me I HAD to read this book. That it had her crying happy and sad tears during a pedicure. SOLD! I ordered Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle right away and I’m so glad I did!!

Book Cover - Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle

I adored this book. The way her stories are laced with witty humor and raw honesty, but grounded in her faith in God was just perfect. I have so many pages earmarked, and I know Max got tired of me reading passages out loud to him… But it was just too good to not share! So to all you mamas out there, pick this one up. You can thank me later!


Now I am reading my non-fiction book, I Am Malala by the AMAZING Malala Yousafzai. Holy inspiring. This young girl is such an amazing person with the most astonishing maturity and clear understanding of the world she lives in – as it is now, and as it could be.

Book Cover of I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

It contains a lot of history which has reminded me of just how small my world is, and how ignorant most of us are about the realities people all across the world are living each day. Her way of thinking and her dedication to peacefully fighting for the right to education are most definitely worthy of her Nobel Peace Prize. I can only hope to be able to raise Peanut to be such a confident, kind, patient, strong, determined, wise and family-focused woman!

Tuesday Top 3 – Books

Tuesday Top 3

Today’s Top 3 is all about books!! I’ve always had a love of reading since I was little… I can remember sitting in my childhood bedroom crying as I read “Where the Red Fern Grows”. There’s just something about the way reading can totally transport you into another place and time. It connects you emotionally and in the end you’ve come to know characters that you never knew you missed. This list doesn’t begin to cover the books that I have loved, but it provides a snapshot into a few that I’ve read lately.

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I read this upon my mother’s recommendation, and I am so glad she suggested it to me!! It is told from such an interesting perspective, and once I got used to the narration, I was totally drawn in. This was one of those books I was sad to end, but I can’t wait to see the movie!!

The Book Thief

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth – Another book turned movie recently, and another book I enjoyed and movie I want to see! I will be honest and say that yes, I was one of those people who read the whole Hunger Games series in about a week. I really found myself wanting to read “just a few more pages” before bed with this one! Four is intriguing, and the idea of factions honestly got me thinking.  I mean, what if we really had to pick just one of our personality traits to focus on and live within for the remainder of our lives? Kinda makes you think of your own tendencies a little…


3. The Language of Flowers by by Vanessa Diffenbaugh – Such an interesting book! The concept of communicating through the meaning of certain flowers is really fascinating. I have to admit that I found myself checking to see what the symbolism of my favorite flowers are, including my wedding flowers! The struggle the main character goes through is gut-wrenching at times, but the book is so worth the read.

The Language of Flowers


What’s been your favorite read recently?