Aside from realllyyyy loving this space, in its newly remodeled state, I've got a little list of loves for ya that mostly revolves around encouragement through words. But first, can I just say how it's so nice to finally have an online space that truly feels like me. It's no longer a back-burner space to toss up family photos just so they are somewhere safe and it's not a place where my work gets clouded up with my thoughts. Hopefully this will turn into the space that matches the all over the place way I do life. Recipes here, gardening there, some quilting efforts, lots of words, loads of books and a little place to archive images of our family that we can look at regularly.
As usual, I'm LOVING podcasts. I clean to them, do dishes, cook dinner, ride in the car, take showers listening - perfect encouragement for when I'm home with a toddler while my hubs travels. I LOVE how the iphone automatically has a podcast app - makes listening so easy. Here are some highlights of my fave episodes, take a listen to at least one and I know you'll feel encouraged.
God Centered Mom has been a fave for a long while. I nearly hate that it's called got Mom in the title, because sooo many of the episodes are so rich and not just for Mommas. My top episode faves of hers are by two older ladies....think 80's. Surprise? I think not....I love me some wise women.
First up is a two-part episode featuring 87-year-old Vickie Kraft. You can find episode one here and episode two here. I love that Ms. Kraft went to seminary in her 50's, chats about how she's studied the bible in her years and how she's encouraging, leading and mentoring young women in her church. What I most love that she talks about how great it is when friends just stop by instead of calling first. Love how she brings up so many things that were an integral part of her life, growing up in another time. Since the podcast was recorded Ms. Kraft has gone to be with the Lord - I love listening to it with a sweet gratefulness for the legacy this woman has surely left behind.
Next up? 80-year-old number two: Doris Howard, lovingly referred to as Grammie. She covers everything from her fruitful marriage that left her a widow, taking in an adult girl as her own to praying for chairs at her church in Asheville, NC. She's just as sweetly wise as Vickie, but perhaps a bit more frank: which I super love. She's such an encouragement - even to Mom's of little children - from which she is far removed, but remembers so well. "We just need to obey and leave the consequences to God."
There are so many solid - I mean, excellent - parenting episodes, but I especially love this strong dose of parenting wisdom she served up to celebrate two years of the podcast. So many wise folks contributed to this episode - it's a must-listen if you're knee deep in loving and guiding littles.
I go back and forth and round and round with Around the Table's Podcast. I love their Friday lunch break interviews and really enjoy the episodes where Jacey and Maggie chat about food and life around the table, but the filler convos can turn me away from time to time. That said - give it a listen - it may be your perfect cup of tea! And definitely roll through some of the Friday interviews - they're neat little windows into others. Best Friday lunch, hands down, is spunky Rach Kincaid's episode where she covers everything from her transforming encounter with grace to her experiences in caring for hospice patients. You will cry and your heart will be pulled on in the best way. Love Rach's perspective and love her character that so clearly shines through.
"Grace was for people who were worse off than me and I couldn't be bothered to ask for any of it. So I just went after this striving, accomplishment, success thing - this life - which is funny, because I've never been stellar at anything ... And then I got smacked with his grace when I became a mother and was absolutely terrible at it ... And that's when I fell in love with his grace for the first time as a twenty-something. Ever since then I have wanted to walk this line that is right smack-dab in the tension - in the middle - of grace and works because it is his grace that compels us to do good works It is his gift that asks us to celebrate what he's given us by striving - I don't want to be scared of that word - but we're striving after his kingdom, not after ours. And we're pushing and we're moving forward into his calling for us and not into our own goals and dreams." - Rach Kincaid
If you're a reader, Anne Bogel's podcast, What Should I Read Next will be right up your alley. It's always a refreshing conversation where she listens to her guests (usually authors, wish there would be more 'normal' folks) share a handful of books they love and books they didn't. She then comes back with suggestions for them, notices characteristics that link the books that they love. I'm always hearing about new books, enjoying deeper reviews of books I'm considering and just love this easy listen each week. Take a listen right here.
I saved my current holy grail of podcasts for last:Jamie Ivey's Happy Hour. I've binge listened to every last one of these and have been enjoying them since little Tru was born. Jamie has such a deft hand as an interviewer - she graciously and lovingly gets to the heart of her guests. She's so respectful, approachable and never talking over her folks or leaving me with questions, unanswered about her guests. She's the real deal. Ran into her on a curb at a conference and she's just the same in real life. Love it. Listen to them alllllll.
My most favorite episode - and possible blogger/internet personality - is Jami Nato's episode. Listen to her chat with Jami, go sit a spell on her website and see if the grace in her marriage and family and words don't just cover you like a heavy knit blanket on the coziest of days. Jami remains one of my most favorite encouragers on the internet.
If you want a sweet couple instagram accounts to follow, look up Stephanie Holden and her husband Nick's accounts. I so LOVED this episode where she talks about how the Lord redeemed their teenage pregnancy, a host of family 'traditions' that you long to see an end to and just the most wild transformation of her family coming to faith. So good. Nick also recently did a line of insta posts about marriage. Look em up.
Jen Wilkin's episode was another fave, wisdom-rich episode of the happy hour that I just loved. She wrote a wonderful book that walks us through how to study the bible and she just has soo many lovely and smart things to say.
Now pick one, and pop that phone in a wide-mouth mason jar to make an easy speaker and enjoy the wisdom, fun and encouragement these ladies have to share.