Is it just me, or are women, in general, really good at sharing things they love with their friends? Most of the women I know love to swap recipes, lend books, teach their favorite tips and tricks, and just generally share the things they know that make life a little easier. Maybe it’s the natural nurturing side most of us have or the instinctual desire to take care of others. Whatever it is, I love it, and I absolutely adore gathering with other women to talk about life and learn from each other.
That’s why I keep writing my monthly “Fabulous Finds” series. I get a little giddy every time I’m able to share something awesome that I’ve recently read or tried, and this series gives me a larger platform from which to do that. It’s pretty cool.
This month, my Fabulous Finds are going to look a little different. For as long as I’ve been doing this series, I have included five blog posts or articles and about 3-5 products. Recently, though, I’ve made some really cool discoveries that didn’t fit that mold, but they were too fabulous not to include.
So I’m changing up the format a bit this month. We’ll see what next month looks like, but for December, instead of sharing blog posts and products, I’m breaking my finds up into Fabulous Reads, Fabulous Podcasts, Fabulous Facebook Groups, and Fabulous Products. I hope you enjoy the change of pace. Let me know what you think in the comments when you’re done!
**Links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that if you click that link and purchase the product, I may receive a small compensation. I am, however, committed to honestly assessing the products mentioned. Please read my disclosure policy for more details. **
December Fabulous Finds
A Letter to Jesus From a Mom of Five | deniserenae.com
I think we can all agree that motherhood is hard. At this point, it seems completely unnecessary to even write it. But it is, and I, for one, can use all the help I can get. And the greatest help I have ever gotten in my motherhood journey is the strength, wisdom, and peace of mind from the Lord.
I cry out to him often, sometimes multiple times a day. In fact, I so often pray “God, help me” out loud around my children that Aidan has actually started praying it himself. At first I wasn’t sure what it would do to my kids for them to hear me pray for patience and wisdom as I struggle to parent them. I was concerned it might hurt their feelings. But the first time I heard my 3-year-old pray, “God, help me listen and obey,” all my uncertainties vanished. I saw that my prayers were not only helping me, they were modeling a reliance on Jesus to my kids.
However, as much as I realize I need the Lord’s help, I don’t always know exactly what to pray. So I absolutely love this post from my friend Denise of deniserenae.com. These prayers are powerful and grounded in promises from God’s Word. Not only have they given me words to pray, but they help me focus and intentionally seek the Lord’s guidance in everything I do as a mom.
How to Align Your New Year’s Resolutions With the Bible | Messy Tired Love
New Year’s Eve is just a few days away, and we’re at that point in the year when everyone is thinking about their resolutions for the next year. There’s something exhileratingly hopeful about the new year. It’s a fresh chapter with pages unmarred by mistakes or regrets and ready to be filled with realized potential. The thought alone makes my head lift and my chest swell.
But, if I’m honest, my New Year’s resolutions too often focus on my goals, my dreams, and my desires. I absolutely do not think there is anything wrong with setting goals, pursuing dreams, or following desires … when they’re aligned with God’s will for my life. And this post from Kristina of Messy Tired Love opened my eyes to the fact that my goals and resolutions (though I don’t set resolutions, per se, anymore), sadly, are often more about my own plans, wishes, and vanity than accomplishing God’s Kingdom work.
With a focus on being the best “me” God created me to be, goals are a great thing. An awesome thing. A necessary thing, actually. But when the focus is on “me” for the sake of “me,” then all my striving comes to nothing.
I highly encourage you, as the new year approaches and we’re all thinking about how we want to improve in 2018, to read this post. Let it speak to you, motivate you, (yes, even convict you), and encourage you as you align your New Year’s resolutions with the Bible.
Brave Moms, Brave Kids by Lee Nienhuis
Over the next couple months, I’m going to be talking about some books that I have the privilege of being on a book launch team for, and the first one is Brave Moms, Brave Kids, by Lee Nienhuis.
This book has been just the kind of book I needed. There is so much fear in the world, but becoming a mother has introduced me to a whole new realm of it. If I’m going to raise heroes, though, I’m going to have to learn to be a hero. And that’s what this book has been teaching me — how to be a hero of the faith and train my children to live for Jesus.
I received an advance reader’s copy for participation in the book launch team. Brave Moms, Brave Kids comes out February 1, but you can pre-order your copy now anywhere books are sold!
Related Post: 5 Prayers to Combat Mom Fear
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
This is book launch book #2, and it. was. incredible! I just finished it yesterday, so I’m still processing exactly what I want to say about it. My full review will be coming in the next week or two. But guys, this book is amazing. It is literally changing my life, and I know that sounds so cliche, but I do not say it lightly.
This book is the heart’s work of Rachel Hollis, online personality and founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com. (I’ll talk more on her in a bit.) The subtitle is Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant To Be, and with raw honesty and hilarious energy, she led me to do just that. It spoke to lies like, “I’m not good enough,” “I’m a bad mom,” and “I am defined by my weight.” It spoke to voices I knew I’d been believing but felt powerless to silence, and it spoke to lies that I didn’t even know I’d been believing about myself.
Rachel’s LA ways and style (which come out more in her online presence than in this book) may not be for everyone, but I think this book is for everyone. While she is a working mother running her own multimillion dollar company, everything she says is relevant and beneficial for all women, whether they’re stay-at-home-moms, working moms, or not yet moms! This is a book I would recommend to anyone I know, because God put too much care and thought into you for too great a purpose for you to waste it on these lies.
I received an advance reader’s copy for participation in the book launch team. Girl, Wash Your Face comes out February 6, but you can pre-order your copy now anywhere books are sold!
I’ve mentioned in my posts and on social media before that I’m a big fan of podcasts. I listen to them on my commutes, while I get ready in the morning, and when I’m doing housework. I subscribe and follow quite a few, and I try to mix it up so that I don’t get stuck on any one area of life or one person’s views.
Here are three that I’ve recently gotten hooked on:
Dais Podcast with Rachel Hollis
I started listening to this podcast after I joined the Girl, Wash Your Face launch team, and I love it. It’s a podcast devoted to women in business, but the principles are often relevant to all woman desiring to build their platform or even just be the best version of themselves they can be. I love listening to this podcast when I need a little motivational kick in the pants and practical advice for achieving my goals.
As with much of what I read or listen to, I listen to this podcast with a grain of salt. Though I love following her and gleaning from her wisdom, I don’t always love or agree with everything she says. But I’m okay with that. That is why I listen to a variety of podcasts and follow a variety of people. I take what I like and disregard what I don’t. And I’m learning not to take any human being’s word or opinions as gospel.
Sorta Awesome Podcast with Meg Tietz
I first heard about the Sorta Awesome Podcast last year when one of my favorite bloggers was on it, but I only listened to a few episodes. I recently decided to give it another go, and I’m enjoying it more this second time around, for some reason. I love learning new things, and the randomness of the show totally appeals to my wide range of interests. Each week, Meg and a variety of co-hosts chat about various things that make life awesome, and it is highly entertaining and often quite helpful.
As with the previous podcast in this list, not everything mentioned or discussed appeals to me or lines up with my worldview, values, or beliefs, and that’s okay with me. I’m just in it for the awesome discoveries.
What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel (aka Modern Mrs. Darcy)
This one appeals to my nerdy book-lover side (can you call it a “side” when it’s 90% of the essence of your being??). I have casually followed Anne’s blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, for a couple years, so I’m surprised that I’m just finding out about her What Should I Read Next podcast. Better late than never, though!
Although I don’t read a lot of fiction (not because I think it’s a waste of time, but because I have a REALLY hard time being productive when I do), and I’m actually not really big into “literature,” I enjoy listening to those who do and are. Half the time I don’t know who or what Anne and her guests are talking about, but it’s just fun to listen to other people who love books as much as I do. If you love books, I know you’ll love What Should I Read Next.
I’ve never talked about Facebook Groups in my Fabulous Finds before, but I joined a couple new ones this month that I really love.
If you enjoy the Sorta Awesome Podcast, then you will love the Sorta Awesome Hangout Facebook group. It is full of people seeking and giving advice and recommendations on every possible topic you could even imagine and sharing ALL KINDS of awesome things. I absolutely love it.
This is a wonderfully supportive, encouraging, and uplifting group of Christian moms of young children. This is a safe and open space to seek advice and learn new tricks for motherhood from a Christian perspective. So far I haven’t participated much, but I have been a world-class lurker, learning and growing from all the advice I’ve read.
For the past few years – since Aidan was born, probably – my makeup has been very minimal. I didn’t want to spend the time or energy on it when I could be spending it on other things that I felt were more important.
Recently, however, I decided that I wanted to devote a little more time and effort to it. Not because I’m vain or shallow, but because it makes me feel good to look good. And because I’m learning that I deserve to spend a little time on myself every day.
In my new quest for good make-up, here are a few of the things I’ve tried and loved:
- Bite Beauty Creme Lip Crayon Mini (Red Velvet) – I got the mini version because I wasn’t sure what color I wanted and whether I could pull off a red lip, but I love it!
- Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Set – These lip stains are TINY, but again, I wasn’t sure what colors I wanted, so I got this little set to try out a couple different ones. My favorite is the vintage rosewood for an everyday look.
- Younique Lucrative Lipgloss (Nude) – This nude shade pairs nicely with the lip crayon. It adds gloss without conflicting with the red velvet color.
- Huda Beauty Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette (Smokey) – I am completely in love with this eye shadow palette! The colors are fabulous, and I love all the different color and metallic/nonmetallic options. It makes this palette a great value for the money.
My lips get crazy chapped, especially in the winter, and I’ve tried all kinds of chapsticks and lip balms. This is my favorite one that I’ve tried so far. It has aloe, coconut, and shea butter, and it is made from 99% natural ingredients, which I like. It is unbelievably moisturizing, and my lips stay moisturized for a really long time after using it, which means I don’t need to use as much.
My final fabulous find is Stash Organic Chai Black & Green Tea. You may be reading this and not know me very well, but it’s a pretty big deal that I’m including any kind of tea in a list called “Fabulous Finds.” I am a die-hard coffee lover, but I am not much of a tea drinker. I pretty much only drink it when I’m sick.
But I discovered this chai tea and I am addicted! I add a little milk and honey to it, and it really hits the spot.
As I looked through the selection of chai teas in our grocery store, I was disappointed to find that the vast majority of them contained artificial ingredients. The Stash brand, I was happy to discover, did not. And since the organic version was only slightly more expensive, I got it.
Sharing things we love and that make life better for us is a beloved pastime for most women, and I am definitely no exception. That’s why I love my “Fabulous Finds” series so much and look forward to it every month. Beyond the obvious fact that most of us need all the help we can get, there’s something special about the solidarity and camaraderie that comes from women banding together to swap stories and share advice.
I hope you feel that from this series and that this month’s installment was no different (even if it was a different layout). Life is too short and too hard to hoard awesome life hacks. They are definitely meant to be shared, and that’s what I aim to do — one Fabulous Find at a time!
More Fabulous Finds: