Stuff to Love in September 2015

 Sands Beach, 7:30am, in my attempt to embrace ordinary weekday mornings. Definitely a not-so-ordinary view.

Sands Beach, 7:30am, in my attempt to embrace ordinary weekday mornings. Definitely a not-so-ordinary view.

It's a lazy Friday afternoon. The kids are napping (even Anna!) and I'm listening to an odd mix of albums on Spotify along with the constant clanging of construction outside our windows. (By next fall over 1,000 students will be living just a stone's throw from our yard, joining the two HUGE towers of freshman dorms which already exist. Hello, UCSB!) We are loving our new home, kind neighbors, safe streets, and ocean air. And, as fall approaches, I've been asking God to give us a heart for Isla Vista. I'm excited about the loads of students who are moving back into our community this weekend, even if their lives look absolutely nothing like mine right now. I've been told that Halloween in our neighborhood is OFF THE HOOK, and if El Nino hits, we'll also get to enjoy some amazing bird and duck watching in the nearby pond. 

That being said...there is no water (yet) in these parts. It may be autumn everywhere else in the country, but besides the abundance of pumpkin items at our local Trader Joe's, it might as well be July. I can't wait for October, which is my favorite month in Santa Barbara. The beaches aren't as busy, the weather is perfect, and you can almost feel a hint of "colder" days to come. 

In the meantime, this guy and I are enjoying Wednesday morning bike rides together. Sweet boy still loves being close to me, and I can't get enough of his giggles. 

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you'll know that I'm really excited about a new NIV Women's Bible which releases in a few days. I've contributed several devotionals, along with many of my Redbud friends and my college roommate, Katie. Here's where you can buy a copy...but cool are these journaling bibles? Decisions, decisions. Anyone use a journaling bible?

I'm also intrigued by adult coloring books. I haven't purchased one yet but Margaret Feinberg just released a beautiful one with scripture passages. If you're like, "Wait. What? Adult coloring books?" then you should read this article: What to Look For in the Best Christian Adult Coloring Books. My college girlfriends and I are already planning a coloring sesh during our fall getaway next month. #nerdalert

So long as I'm discussing random things you can buy at Christian bookstores, I'll confess I just bought Stephen Curtis Chapman's latest album. And I like it. You guys. I like Stephen Curtis Chapman. I feel so...old. 

Here are some of my favorite reads from around the web this week:

Understanding the refugee crisis in Europe, Syria and around the world 

True Believer? Why Donald Trump is the Choice of the Religious Right — Let me assure you—I will NEVER, EVER vote for this man. Someone take the microphone away. 

A very funny spoof in the housing market in Santa Barbara. (She cries.)

Why Generation Y is unhappy and Why it doesn't matter how you feel about your friends

This (kind of) explains why some women develop new allergies after having babies. (I can't wear earrings anymore without getting a splitting headache. Weird, right?)

One of my favorite new blogs recently discussed 5 Prayers Every Mother Needs to Utter

Why Christians Should Paint, Dance, Quilt, Act, Compose Music, Write Stories, Decorate Cookies and Participate in the Arts

My newest contribution for Red Tricycle: 8 Baby Sleep Tips for Desperate Parents. I knew those sleepless nights would eventually lead to some good writing fodder. #notworthit #learnfrommysleeplessnights

I’ve forgotten how to sit and rest

Thought happiness was being busy

Prayed a thousand prayers

For strength to keep on moving

Turns out I’ve raced by a lot of beauty

So lead me to still waters

Let this be my new prayer

I want a...

A little more love,

A little less movement

A little more quiet,

A little less noise

A little more wide eyed wonder

Of the simple things I’m holding

Embracing ordinary moments
— Jenny Simmons: More Love, Less Hustle

Have a fantastic weekend, and tell me what you're up to!