The Wedding Nightmare

A few weeks ago I had my first wedding nightmare. Like all dreams it didn’t completely make sense-the wedding was based in Washington (at least I assume it was by the cliché abundance of pine trees) but the weather was like a North Carolina summer storm. I heard thunder in the distance as I was getting ready, and told people to hurry up so we could do the ceremony before it rained. Nevertheless, it started dumping down rain as soon as I said it, and to top it off I was doing my own makeup-and my eyebrows looked terrible. Ladies, you know what I’m saying. Rain and awful eyebrows-all the makings of nightmare wedding. Obviously.

Long story short, I woke up laughing at myself. Considering that we have almost two years before we say our official I Do’s, I would say that it’s a little premature for me to be having these types of worries. But, I’ve always been a stress dreamer (is that a thing? I’ll say yes) so it’s not really surprising. I often have bad dreams about work before a big presentation, and have trouble sleeping before big exams. Everybody has their quirks-and apparently stress dreams are mine.

All dreams and nightmares aside, I recently nailed down our engagement photoshoot, which has made this whole thing seem way more real. I know that once we see the actual pictures it will become even realer (is realer a word?) and oh man-once those save the dates are out, there’s no turning back. I love that we have almost two years to plan our big day, because it means we get to enjoy this phase even more. Some people may think we’re crazy for stretching our engagement out that long, but c’mon. We’ve waited seven years to get to this point, so a couple more years won’t kill us. As far as I’m concerned we’re not “waiting” for anything-we’re simply experiencing this next phase in our relationship, which includes getting to call each other “fiancé”. And it is awesome, and special, and something we’ll never get to experience again. And also it involves cake tastings and trying on pretty dresses, so I’m quite happy to stretch it out as long as possible, as is J. That makes it sound like he’s excited to try on pretty dresses, but I was actually referring to the cake. I think.

Needless to say, I will be having a rain plan in place when the real day comes because, let’s be honest, it’s Washington State. And I reallllllly hope that I will have enlisted someone to do my make up that will restrain from making my eyebrows look like two uneven caterpillars. Fingers crossed.

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
[When Harry Met Sally]

The Thief in Our House

I let a thief live in our house.

No, not the kind you think (although I know J is counting down the days until I eventually give in and bring home some poor soul I’ve bumped into on the street). I’m talking about the sneaky, conniving, seemingly little beast called…comparison.

Was that a big enough build up? Seems dramatic, huh. We’re taught at a young age to compare things-is that color blue, or red? Does that block go here, or there? Is that shape bigger, or smaller than that other one? We use comparison when we’re weighing choices in a big decision. What will the outcome be if we choose that? What will be the positives? The negatives? We use it at the grocery store. What ingredients are in that? How much will I save if I buy the other one?

I’m not really talking about that stuff. I’m talking about when we allow comparison to creep into our personal lives and steal joy and satisfaction from us.

J and I recently got engaged. Yay! I still haven’t gotten over all of the excitement. With that engagement, however, came a ring. This is pretty normal-standard, I would say-in our culture. My ring is beautiful. It’s sparkly, fits me perfectly, and it’s one J picked out for me all by himself (well, with some hints along the way). I LOVE this ring. Every time I look down at it, it reminds me of the promises J and I have made to each other. The sacrifices he made to purchase it. The sacrifices we have both made to make our relationship thrive. It makes me happy and grateful and full of warm and fuzzies.

But then, I go on Pinterest for wedding ideas and engagement picture inspirations and obviously for the funny cat jokes. And do you know what the Pinterest wedding category is full of? Wedding rings. Gorgeous, humongous, flawless rings. The kind celebrities wear that are bazillions of dollars, or the kind that are simply way too expensive for any normal human (especially those who just graduated college and moved across the country).

And they are gorgeous. I look at them, and I think about how much bigger, or prettier, or showier they are than my ring. I forget how special mine is because those ones seem so much better.

Don’t we do this in a lot of parts of our lives? I know I do. Just as I start to feel good about my eating habits (don’t mind that pizza I had for breakfast yesterday), I see a girl with a smokin’ hot body and suddenly my progress doesn’t matter anymore. I wash my car and feel grateful that I have such reliable transportation, and then I see people driving around in Mercedes SUVs that seem so much cooler than me. It’s exhausting always comparing ourselves to others. Because, let’s face it-there will always be someone richer, prettier, and smarter. But there’s still only one person on this Earth who is the best at being you-and that’s you.

Comparison steals joy from us. It steals our satisfaction, our happiness, our content with what we have. Or, even worse, it makes us feel better than other people for superficial reasons. On the first day of school I automatically sized up a few of my classmates, trying to determine who might be my friends, who seemed weird, and who was just super pretty.

And you know what? I was wrong about basically every person I looked at. Thankfully, I had opportunities to get to know these people and become friends with them. If it wasn’t for that, comparison would have stolen those friendships and acquaintances from me.

I wish I could say that now that I’ve put this all down on paper and had this huge breakthrough, I don’t compare myself or others anymore. If only. It just means that I need to make a point to take extra time to be grateful for what I do have. For my lovely home, shared with my amazing man and our big-boned cat, in a beautiful neighborhood, in an exciting new state. For this wonderful life God gave to me and only me.

Because that is pretty darn special.

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”

Welcome to The Charroin’s

I’ve always loved moving. Let me rephrase that. I like the BEING moved part. Finding a new house, making it a home-I love it! For the months before we moved I spent hours looking at Pottery Barn catalogs, pinning home decor on Pinterest, and scouring Southern Living magazines. When we got the keys to our new townhouse I was giddy thinking about the ways we might arrange furniture and hang pictures.

Then I realized that we didn’t have any furniture, barely any decorations, and very limited funds. Over the past month we’ve made trips to Hobby Lobby and discount furniture stores, to Goodwill and to Target. Okay, a lot of trips to Target. Our home is not yet finished, but it definitely feels like a home and not the empty house we moved into a few weeks ago.








We lucked out with an awesome patio area, and i have big plans for it-as soon as we pay down a couple of student loan payments ;) We also have an extra bedroom (looking at you, family that wants to visit!) with a bay window that I dream about lounging on while I read. In reality it’s super uncomfortable and needs a bunch of pillows to make it work. Baby steps!

Until then, I’ll be tanning at our pool and we’ll continue to settle in and make this new house into a home. And yes, by settle in I mean rearranging things and taking trips to Home Goods until J goes crazy. My most favorite purchase so far has been the simple sign hanging above our love seat that shows the phrase that serves as our motto during this new season of life.

“Wherever we are together-that is home.”

Posted in god

The Perfect Wedding

I’ve always loved weddings. I mean, what girl doesn’t? Growing up, I loved the movie The Wedding Planer. The opening scene of JLo in the headset (a la Britney Spears) effortlessly executing that gorgeous wedding had me nodding and smiling and bouncing on the edge of my seat. That part where she’s planning a pretend wedding for her barbie dolls? Precious.

My love of weddings continued into my teenage years when I helped out at a family friend’s wedding venue. I worked there for four or five summers helping set up, clean up, park cars, prepare snacks, cut flowers, and divert wedding crises (well, maybe not, but in my head I was totally irreplaceable and starring in The Wedding Planner 2).

Ever since Pinterest came along I have joined the thousands (millions?) of other girls planning their imaginary weddings, full of DIY projects that will turn out nothing like the pictures and $20,000 dresses no one actually buys. Except now, I AM planning my actual wedding. My real life, not pretend, it’s actually going to happen wedding. Um, what. Excuse me while I pinch myself a little bit and scream into a pillow.

Okay, I’m back. I’ve dreamed about marrying J for almost seven years now. That’s a lot of time to plan, dream, and scheme. But now that it’s become a reality and not just a pretend event happening sometime in the future, I’m a little bit…overwhelmed? Too excited? Not excited enough? Making way too many spreadsheets than any sane person should?

Since you mentioned spreadsheets (oh wait that was me) I should probably say that I love excel, and lists, and charts, and organizational apps…and since we got engaged last month I have gone a little bit crazy with all of the awesome tools out there to help plan THE perfect event.

But as much as I want our wedding to be perfect, I know it won’t be, and I also know that somehow that will make it even more perfect. Imperfectly perfect. Because I’m not perfect. J’s not perfect. We’re not perfect. And I’m sure that some auntie will get way too drunk and say something ridiculous, that we won’t order enough chairs for everyone, that we’ll lose some important RSVPs, and that a table will collapse just when all of the food has been put on it. But that’s okay. Because that won’t make our day any less special. Because when it comes down to it, aren’t weddings simply about joining together with the one you love, surrounded by loved ones? Yes, all the stuff that comes with a wedding is pretty awesome, but I know that when the day comes (and no, we don’t have a date yet, so stop asking) all that will matter is that I’m finally marrying the man of my dreams.

Also, will you please help remind me of all of this (with a few slaps if needed) when I’m worrying about using sunshine yellow versus sunflower yellow in a few months?


“Love can’t always be perfect. Love is just love.”
[The Wedding Planner]

Our ‘Hood

As you know, J and I recently moved to NC! The neighborhood we are living in is seriously gorgeous. I mean buy a rocking chair pour yourself a glass of sweet tea and sit on the front porch smiling at all of the neighbors as they stroll on by gorgeous.

Forest Hills is one of the oldest and prettiest neighborhoods in Wilmington, just east of downtown. Most of the homes were built in the 1920’s-1950’s and are colonial style, with large lots and huge, green, sprawling front lawns. There is a relatively small amount of traffic-probably because there are speed humps every 20 yards. And yes, they do blend in with the road, and yes, I have gone over them a wee bit fast once or twice. There’s even an elementary school a block from our home, with a playground we may or may not swing at on a regular basis.

I still can’t believe that we get the privilege of walking around this quaint and friendly neighborhood every evening. During tonight’s power walk (everything feels like a power walk in this humidity) I sneaked in some pictures of my favorite homes.



IMG_7616Yall. Beautiful, right? There’s one house that’s my favorite, just a block over from our townhouse. It’s a newer brick house, with a huge front lawn, an even bigger back yard, a front porch with a swing and rockers, wooden shutters, and quaint landscaping, directly next door to the elementary school. It’s the kind of house that triggers daydreams of drinking homemade lemonade with your friends on the porch while your kids play tag in the yard. The house that just has to have a big, open kitchen inside with an island, where your family sits on stools and samples freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, while the old yellow lab drools nearby. It’s the place that stirs up thoughts of cozy movie nights, with all of your loved ones piled on big overstuffed couches, snacking on extra buttery popcorn and laughing at whatever film is on. It’s the home that makes you smile as you think of tucking in your family, kissing your other half goodnight, and drifting off to dreamland without a worry in the world.

Every time we jog past this house (or sluggishly walk by, depending on the weather that day) we look at each other and say “someday”.

“Home is wherever I’m with you.”

Road Trip

I LOVE taking trips. Weekend trips or long vacations; drives to the beach or flights to Europe. There’s something so exciting about going new places. That being said, I was never that fond of road trips. I don’t exactly enjoy sitting still, so being stuck in a seat for hours seems pretty awful.

And all that being said, I just finished a 10 day (yes, TEN day) road trip-and loved it.

J and I recently moved to North Carolina. And by recently, I mean a few days ago. Since we needed to bring my car over anyway we decided to make the drive across the country ourselves. If you look at a map, Washington State and North Carolina are basically at opposite ends of the US. It takes about 3,000 miles to get from here to there if you take it in a straight shot, but of course that’s not what we did. We are blessed to have family and friends scattered across the country, so we decided that this road trip was the perfect opportunity to see a bunch of them. So, the 3,000 mile trip quickly became 4,000, and the 4 days became 10 days long, bringing us through 14 states (!!!) until we reached our new home.

 IMG_7321||We stopped in San Francisco to see my auntie and uncle and toured the Redwoods||IMG_7346||We stopped at Disney and took cheesy pictures in Minnie Mouse ears||


||We made the obligatory stop at In N Out for burgers||IMG_7381||We swam through waterfalls and tubed the lazy river in Phoenix||


||We drove through thunder storms, then reveled in the beautiful aftermath in Texas||


||And we took A LOT of selfies||

Finally, last Friday, we ended up at our new HOME! We are living in the gorgeous neighborhood of Forest Hills in Wilmington. The houses around us are absolutely gorgeous-brick, pillars, shutters, sprawling lawns, and covered front porches. Our adorable townhouse is also brick, with a bay window, fenced in back patio, new flooring, and updated cabinetry. I am in love!


Since we made the trip in just my little Kia, we were limited on space and therefore limited in what we brought with us. We were basically starting fresh-all new furniture, new dishes, new pots and pans, new rugs, new sheets-you name it, we needed it. The first night we blew up our air mattress, set out our Costco beach chairs, and ate dinner on a moving box.


In the past few days things have come together remarkably fast, and we already have almost everything we need! It has been so fun being able to pick out everything for this exciting new chapter in our lives.

Speaking of new chapter-did I mention that we got ENGAGED?! Yes, after seven years together we decided to make it official! But more about that in another post.


For the next two weeks before I start school (I am starting the MSW program here in North Carolina) we will continue getting settled, start applying for jobs, get new licenses, and orient ourselves in our new surroundings (which really just means going to the beach). I can’t wait to update y’all on all of our new adventures as #teamcharrointakesnc!

“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
[The Wizard of Oz]


Well, the week has arrived-it’s moving week! It’s a little bit misleading when I say ‘moving week’ because really we have two-the week we moved from The Burg and the week we move to NC. Today is the second one, but I’m reflecting on the first. 

I’ve known for over a year now that I would be moving to NC for grad school at this time of the year. What I didn’t know was the exact date, if J would be coming with me, what our future home would look like, and how hard it would be to say goodbye to this place that has become comfortable and familiar over the years.

It’s not exactly a secret that I wasn’t a fan of The Burg when we first moved here. I was coming from the heart of Waikiki, where I was living with my best friend, working at an awesome job with amazing coworkers, pouring myself into an incredible church, and soaking up the sunshine every single day. The Burg, on the other hand, is…not exactly that. But over the past three years I’ve come to enjoy the small town feel, the big, open, sprawling hayfields, the expansive view that comes after the murder that is the Manastash ridge hike, the oodles of fresh veggies and fruits at the Farmer’s Market, and the genuine love of the people that live there.

Because that’s what it all comes down to in the end, isn’t it? It’s the people that make a place a nice place to live. It’s the people that make a town inviting, a morning drive pleasant, and a grocery trip not feel like a chore. It’s the people that make a place home.

Yes, I miss the cornfields and beautiful mountains of my hometown. Yes, I miss the breathtaking beaches on Oahu. Yes, I miss the sunsets in The Burg. But mostly, I miss the family that comes with where I’m from. The friends that turned into family in Hawaii. And now, I will miss the wonderful people I have been able to call my friends and surrogate family here in The Middle of Washington.

Moving is a bittersweet thing. On one hand, it’s an adventure-and there’s nothing I love more than a grand adventure. But on the other hand it’s a bit shocking-you leave behind the familiar and the routine, you leave the people you love, and you just start all over.

Gone will be the days of relaxing in the comfort of The Yellow House. No longer will the local sandwich shop know my order (turkey on wheat with cranberry and cream cheese and extra onion, if you’re wondering). And no longer will I feel completely comfortable at work and feel like I’ve finally gotten into the groove of things.

When we move, all of those things will change. We’ll have to find a new favorite restaurant and a new favorite coffee shop to study at. We’ll begin the terrifying process of applying for jobs and going through interviews, and eventually have to learn the routine of whatever work place we end up at. I’ll have to put up with piles of boxes and unfinished rooms, of unorganized cupboards and too many junk drawers.

But that also means we GET to try a bunch of new cafes and eateries. We GET to find new opportunities and meet new people. We GET to start from scratch and turn an empty house into our home.

Moving is weird. It’s new. It’s exciting. It’s sad. It’s adventurous. It’s stressful. And although it means leaving precious things behind, it also means there’s a new opportunity coming to discover new precious things, experiences, and people.


“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.”
[Carl Sandburg]

Holding Out for Something Better

When I first moved to The Burg I couldn’t find a job to save my life. I’m talking application after application. Job search after job search. A lot of money spent printing resumes and cover letters. I mean…even Taco Bell didn’t want to hire me. Taco Bell!! (I love me some 7 Layer Burritos, but that’s beside the point). I never realized how much worth we (or at least I) put into having a job. It seems to be the ‘American Way’ to have a ‘good job’ and be able to ‘provide’ for yourself and your family. When I couldn’t even get an interview at a fast food restaurant, I felt my morale hit a low. What was wrong with me? Why didn’t anyone want to hire me?

I’ve always been blessed with work in the sense of having nice, comfortable, supportive jobs. Growing up I had a network of family and friends that enabled me to work at different places that I enjoyed. When I moved to Hawaii I got hired at Starbucks right after applying, and I grew to absolutely love it there. I was promoted to a shift lead at my six month review (I say this not as a brag but to illustrate a point). I’m not the most business savvy or incredible butt buster (is that a term?), but I work hard and I like to think I have a good head on my shoulders.

That being said, for the first year in The Burg, I was jobless. When summer rolled around and I had no new job prospects, I bit the bullet and called the lady who my friend had been cleaning for. Needless to say, cleaning disgusting college apartments in the 100 degree heat of summer was not a high point for me.

As I kneeled on linoleum floors and scrubbed toilet after toilet (seriously, the number was high. Maybe triple digits. I don’t really want to think about it) I felt my ‘job morale’ sink even lower. I joked that the cleaning job was a good example to ‘stay in school, kids!’ (I was about to enter my last year of college) but really, I felt ashamed and worthless.

During those months of cleaning I would listen to a variety of music, radio stations, and podcasts. I started subscribing to some awesome sermons, including ones from my old church in Hawaii. One evening in the middle of this joblessness/cleaning despair, K told me something along the lines of “God must have something really awesome saved up for you if He’s keeping you from every other job”. I think I laughingly agreed and another topic came up, but later that night, her words really hit me deep in my heart

So, the next day, as I scrubbed toilets and bathtubs and kitchen sinks, I listened to a sermon, and I said a simple prayer. Basically, I asked God to show me where He wanted to put me. And yes, I asked Him to show me NOW.

Now, we know God works on His own schedule. He has His own timing. And yes, His timing is always WAY better than our own, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. And this is no exception.

As part of my undergrad degree, I needed an internship revolving around something social work-y. In my countless scours of the internet I found a job posting for an AmeriCorps position at a place in my town. Upon further website investigation, I found that there was a volunteer application WITH a spot to check if you wanted to intern. So, I filled out yet another job application, dressed up, dropped it off at the office, and…nothing.

A think a week or two went by, and I stopped by again. Yes, they had received it. No, they didn’t have any further questions. Then, I stopped by again. Or maybe I called. I don’t remember the exact details-I think my brain blocked out this soul sucking time of my life. Just kidding. But really.

Long story short, the HR manager finally called me and set up an interview. Not hours after the interview, she let me know that they wanted me! I could practically hear the angels singing. SOMEONE WANTED ME! No, they weren’t paying me, and no, I didn’t really know exactly what I would be doing, but still! Someone actually wanted me.

A month and a half into my internship they wanted to hire me. Yes, with pay! And awhile after that, I shifted roles again. And now, after almost two years at the glorious place that said yes to me, I am fully reflecting at the goodness God had in mind making me wait and placing me there.

The experiences I have had are priceless. I have no doubt that they and the learning I was able to write about in my narrative got me into my #1 choice grad school. The interactions I have had with clients have reaffirmed that I am in the right field. The people I met there have become near and dear to my heart. My first manager and his family have become huge sources of joy, and their little ones have lit up my life each week. The man I used to share an office with has become like an uncle; the girls I work with became confidants. That HR manager that finally gave me the time of day has become a positive role model of both a girl boss and a woman of God-and her precious daughter makes my heart smile time and time again.

And you know why? Because God made me wait. He looked over my begging and rolled eyes and pleads of getting hired at Taco Bell, and saved my time for a place that needed me-and more importantly, that I needed.

And it has been one of the biggest blessings in my life so far.

“When God tells you no, tell Him thank you. He’s holding out for something better.”

The End of an Era

Sooo it’s mid-June. CWU graduation is tomorrow. Which means that I’ve already been graduated (from COLLEGE nonetheless) for an entire YEAR! Holy moly. Where did the time go?! I still feel like I should be in middle school. But here I am, twenty-two years old, a year after undergrad and two months away from starting grad school.

Tomorrow I will watch J and K (that has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?), two people whom I hold extremely close to my heart, say goodbye to the past 17 years of school and hello to real life. Okay, so maybe it’s not that dramatic, but still. It’s the end of an era.

It’s the end of nights spent drinking Big Gulps and watching bad Netflix movies. It’s the end of family dinners and How I Met Your Mother marathons. It’s the end of Taco Tuesdays, Wednesday Wine Nights, Friday Happy Hours, and Cartoon Saturdays. It’s the end of an era that was spent stretched out on the carpet, chatting and laughing while getting ready for a night out. The end of having to walk only ten feet through the house to get an outfit opinion or gossip update; the end of having twice the closet and clothing options. The end of sharing the belief that the most important thing to always have stocked in the kitchen is k-cups and creamer. It’s the end of The Yellow House.

But it’s also the beginning of an era. An era of risks and big moves, of leaps of faith and putting our trust in ourselves. The start of stepping out of our comfort zones and beginning a life that doesn’t revolve around happy hours and homework deadlines (well, maybe half of that is true ;)) with new jobs and new homes. This is the start of something new.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a bit of a tickle in my throat as I wrote this. Okay, it’s more of a lump. Okay, I’m crying. But I think what makes it special is that they’re not sad tears, although it will be hard to be so far apart from those we love and each other. They’re happy tears. Proud tears. Thankful tears. Blessed tears.

I didn’t realize how special it was as an adult to still be close to the people you loved growing up until I moved away. I didn’t realize that usually your high school ‘BFF’ isn’t really forever. That usually your high school sweetheart isn’t ‘the one’. I am forever grateful for having shared my home for the past two years with two of the people I love most in the world. As J and I move to North Carolina next month and K moves to Australia (!!!!) the month after that, I feel confident that our relationships won’t waver but will only get stronger. They say that a true friend is someone you may not see for months, but when you meet again, you pick up right where you left off, drinking mojitos and eating nachos (okay yes I added in that last part).

Congratulations, J and K, for conquering this huge milestone. And thank you, Lord, for giving me two amazing people to share my life with from day one.


“When you’re young, everything things seems like the end of the world. It’s not. It’s just the beginning.”
[17 Again]

April Showers Bring May…Showers?

Eastern Washington has been oddly rainy the past couple of days. For those of you who aren’t from Washington, you may be surprised to find out that we actually have two very different sides of the state with drastically different weather. The weather over here is actually dry and desert-y and not at all like the Seattle rain depicted in every Washington movie ever (I’m looking at you, Sleepless in Seattle). While I love the occasional rainy day when I can bundle up on the couch with blankets and hot soup, I’m not a fan of it when I have to try and be an actual functioning adult. However, one thing makes it much more bearable-which brings me to my first favorite!

The North Face

Like every PNWer, I live in North Face attire for three quarters of the year. One of my favorite two pieces is the women’s ‘Venture’ jacket. It fits over a sweatshirt and is super lightweight (I literally stuff it up and put it in my purse) and works great to keep out wind and rain. I am currently coveting the yellow one, but due to my funds (or lack of) I am making myself stick with the plain black version I have had for the past three years or so. Let me tell ya-best $100 I’ve ever spent on clothing. Ever!

My other NF favorite (do the cool people call North Face NF? Probably not…) is the puffy vest they have (I think it’s the ‘Nupsete’) in black. In the winter I wear it literally every day-over sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts, jerseys, sweaters, flannels…the list goes on and on. At $150 or so it’s definitely an investment, but considering I wear it at least four times a week fall through spring it is money well spent. See below pics if you don’t believe me about it’s versatility!

Vest Pic


Okay, so remember last week I told you about how much I adore Nordstrom’s free shipping? Well…I have another shopping confession. I LOVE freebies. I mean who doesn’t, right? But it can be a serious problem. I will pop onto a website with no intention of buying something and end up with $50 of it in my cart because, FREE GIFT! This may or may not have happened recently. I can neither confirm nor deny that if you spend $32 on Clinique at Nordstrom you get an awesome make up bag stuffed with goodies. Okay, it’s true. And okay, I did it. I am actually stoked because the bag contains a few travel size products I’ve really been wanting to try. But honestly (you have to believe me!) I’ve been working on restraint when it comes to impulse purchase just because it’s on sale or because you get a free gift with it. Yes, the item may be on sale and you’re saving $20, but if you weren’t going to spend that $20 in the first place, is it really saving money?

Jesus Calling

My last favorite for now (because you’re probably already sick of hearing about my latest shopping escapades) is the devotional book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It’s not new by any means (I think it was published in 2004) but it’s new to me-I got it in the fall of last year. And seriously, if you get just one devotional book in your life, make it this one!

Basically, the book contains a short devotion for each day of the year along with corresponding Bible verses. What I love the most is that I can spend as much or as little time I have reading it and still get something out of it. On the Saturday mornings when I wake up early and do my devos on the porch while drinking coffee (ahh, can it be the weekend yet?) I can easily spend 45 minutes reading and writing and praying. And on the flip side, on the mornings that I wake up late or have trouble getting out of bed, I can spend 5 minutes reading through the day and saying a quick prayer. Now, I’m not proud of the fact that I don’t regularly carve an hour out of each day to spend doing my devos, but the reality is that some days I will spend more time and some days I will spend less-and this book works for both.

I can’t even begin to tell you how dang relevant they are either-a few weeks ago I had several meetings for work that I was particularly anxious over, and the devo for the day was “Do not be afraid for I am with you…No matter what happens, I will never leave you nor forsake you. Let this assurance soak into your mind and heart, until you overflow with Joy. Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, you need not fear!” Um, what. It was like God handpicked that just for me. Anyway, long story short is that if you are a person just starting to test out your faith and need a good devo book-this is for you. And if you have been a Christian for 45 years and want something to read every day-this is for you. No matter where you are at in your journey of faith, I think you’ll love this book!


Well, that’s it for now! Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments, or if you have a devo book that you love, please share a recommendation with me! And PS, all of the pictures in this post are from my Instagram-follow along with me at @coteatracy (or don’t-let’s be honest, I usually just post pictures of my coffee and fat cat). And PPS, I’m not sponsored in any way by Nordstrom/North Face/Jesus Calling/etc.-the stuff I ramble on about is actually what I’m loving. Although, if someone were to want to give me free stuff, I wouldn’t be opposed. Wait, no-that’s supposed to be something I’m working on! Life is hard, friends. Happy Tuesday!