I can't believe I'm doing this

I'm about do some more yammering about Jen Hatmaker and her book '7'. Just warning you.

I've been fighting with the idea of doing my own '7' experiment for a while now. And I've officially decided I'm going to go for it.

If you have no idea what I am talking about... go here.

I'm starting on September 1st which is this Saturday. The first month is food. So starting on 9.1 I will be eating these seven foods and only these seven foods for the entire month of September...

Sweet Potatoes
Whole wheat bread

I'll only be drinking water and the occasional Chai Latte from Starbucks. Don't judge me. Jen Hatmaker said it was ok.

Here we go folks. It's going to be hard but I think I'm up for the challenge.

Some of you are probably asking... what's the point?

To simplify. To strip down. To get by with less. To hear God in my hunger. The list goes on. 

The second month is CLOTHES. Seven clothing items allowed for the month of October.

I think that will be a piece of cake. Which I will probably be begging for in a week or so.

I plan on blogging through this experience. I'm sure there will be failures and compromises that I plan on sharing openly and honestly. Or maybe it will be a lot easier than I think. We'll see!

Who wants to join me? 

Five Minute Friday

This is only the second time I've done a 'Five Minute Friday' You check out the details here...

Five Minute Friday

The word for this week is JOIN. The challenge is to write for five minutes straight. Unedited and unrehearsed. 


Join is not the same thing as judge. To judge someone is to choose not to join them in their pain or their disappointment. We judge at all the wrong times. We judge the man on the corner who's begging for something to eat. We judge the single mom who uses food stamps to buy groceries for her family. We judge the divorcee for 'giving up' on his/her marriage. We judge the silent for having nothing to say. When we, when I, choose to judge in situations like these, I miss out on joining that person in their pain. I miss out on walking with them through a critical moment in their life. I miss out on being the person to help rather than hurt. There are appropriate times to judge those we have relationships with but usually, we miss those too. We cannot JOIN someone on their journey if we are too busy judging their past.


This one was a hard one to spit out. Thanks for reading, friends. And thanks for stretching my brain, Lisa-Jo Baker.

Some great reads

Hey friends. Just wanted to share a few reads that I've really enjoyed this week. They might make you laugh. Or cry, depending on what season of life you're in. Need to stretch your brain a little? Check one of these out. Or all of them.

Amy Sullivan // On Being a Generous Blogger and 9 Ways to Build Online Community

Lisa-Jo Baker // Why You Don't Have to Be Afraid That Someone Else Will Steal Your Dream

Jen Hatmaker // The Truth About Adoption: One Year Later

The Nester // Seven Signs You Might Be Decorating out of Fear

Have a great week!


You've probably heard me talk about this book already so sorry if you're getting a little tired of hearing about it. But... some exciting news just announced by the ladies at (in)courage is that they will be doing a '7' book study! Just go to the (in)courage website to get more information. There will be weekly discussion boards, videos including Jen Hatmaker, and guest posts by readers!

If you've been thinking about reading this book then now's the time to go for it! I have read it once and I plan on reading it again. It's simply life-changing.

This book even sparked a new idea for me on a way I can make a difference for those who have less. More details coming very soon!

Bloom Book Study Announcement
from Bloom (in)courage on Vimeo.

The never ending summer

I know it hasn't been that long since my last post but to me it feels like it's been FOREVER. I feel a little disconnected from all my blogger friends. While I've been slacking in writing, I've also been slacking in reading. There are so many blogs I want to catch up on but I feel a little overwhelmed! First world problem, right? I know. Feel free to slap me back into the "real world" where missing out on blog posts isn't a "real" problem. Thanks.

Why the absence in words? Well, we've been a bit busy. And we've been traveling. It all started with Omega, our high school camp. Omega took place July 25-29 in Baraboo, WI. We joined two other local churches and took a group of about 125 high school students and 20 adult leaders on a five day camp adventure. It was an amazing week. Expeditions Unlimited hosted us for the week and they did an incredible job. They have some of the best staff on the planet. Our week consisted of morning and evening sessions (teaching and musical worship) team competitions, canoeing and kayaking, rock climbing, our own version of the "Ironman", lots of camp food, ropes course, sand volleyball tournament (in which Caleigh Hill and I placed 4th, woot woot!), basketball, many conversations, dodgeball,  girl-filled cabins, and lots and lots of fun and laughter! Relationships were built, strengthened, and some tested. Our students were challenged to embrace a new life with Jesus and we sang our hearts out to Gungor lyrics night after night. Many memories were made that we will cherish for years.

It took a couple of days to recover from the lack of sleep and sore muscles. My body endured activities that it hasn't crossed paths with in years or maybe ever! I was sore for days in places I didn't even know existed but it was worth it! 

But... the train is not quite ready to pull into the station. Justin left this morning to speak at a camp in Lake Geneva, WI until Friday. We are mourning his absence. Mostly me. I figure as long as I can keep a steady stream of Starbucks iced chai lattes in my veins, I just might make it to Friday. 

I'll be doing my own fair share of traveling this week as well. On Wednesday I will be driving back up to Baraboo to pick up my new friend Niki. Niki and I met during Omega. She's 22, a stellar softball player, and someone who is allowing Jesus to use her brokenness for His glory. She's been interning at Expeditions Unlimited all summer and her internship is done this week. We hit it off right away and we're constantly laughing all week over how many things we have in common. Another long-lost sister added to my list of many:) I'm looking forward to spending more time with her and driving back from Baraboo with her on Wednesday. 

Thursday Cooper and I are hoping to drive up to Lake Geneva, WI to spend the day with Justin. Not sure what that will look like but I'm sure it will be fun:) 

Friday night I get to see Greta Jones!!! I am beyond excited about this! She will be in town from Charlotte to visit the TeSelle family and I am hoping they will let me come over to steal some hugs:) Greta's hugs are highly sought after so I may have to bribe them. 

There's still more....

Saturday morning I will be flying to Raleigh, NC with Justin's mom. She has an old friend who lives outside of Charlotte that she hasn't seen in years. This friend is nearing the end of her life (at the age of 95) so Gloria (my mother-in-law) would like to see her one last time. Gloria hasn't flown in years so I'll mainly be going to help her navigate the airports. Once I get her dropped off in Thomasville, NC on Saturday I will be doing some driving of my own to visit some of my favorite girlfriends. I can't wait! We will be flying back home to Chicago on Tuesday. 

Whew. Are you tired? Because I am. It will be a great week but I'm thinking I might need a sabbatical after all this. 

Hopefully there will be some fun stories to come.