The Week in Words (Jan. 14)

Happy new year, y’all!

It’s taken me a little longer than I thought it would to get around to writing this year’s first blog, but in between the last one and this one, a lot has happened.

Well, I say a lot has happened, but in reality, it was just a lot of little things that add up to a big feeling.

Y’all, for the first time in quite a long time, I am at peace.

I’m not sure when exactly that feeling overtook me—and it leaves whenever a Lady Vol game comes on—but I am feeling an amazing sense of peace and calm and joy.

I think maybe it started when I went home for the holidays. And by home, you know I mean home in the Smokies, not home at my house.

When I headed home, I had full intentions to get in regular workouts and to write a bunch of blogs for a client to catch up. But I was this _ close to burning out, even if I didn’t quite realize it.

So what I actually ended up doing during Christmas break was just about absolutely nothing. It was glorious.


• read three books and a magazine
• spent a ton of time playing with auntie’s baby
• ate my weight in some sort of chocolate, marshmallow, peanut creation 
• watched many episodes of odd families choosing homes on HGTV with my mama
• sat at my office desk for 0 hours and 0 minutes
• moved my body very little
• slept for more than 7 1/2 hours EVERY SINGLE NIGHT

Along the way, I started really diving in to what I want my future to look like. For the last two years, I’d chosen the word “joy” as my word/mantra for the year. And in both 2017 and 2018, I felt like that word was a total failure for me.

Those two years were not good ones for me, and finding joy was hard. But a friend pointed out to me that perhaps I had found joy in 2018—because 2018 gave me discernment about what brings me joy and what does not.

So for 2019, I decided to do things a little differently. I’ve chosen a mantra, rather than a word, for the year. Here it is:

Lean in to joy and Jesus—and stop getting stuck in the overwhelm.

Now mind you, I’m aware we’re on day 14 of a new year. And I definitely considered not sharing this at this point. But I’m truly embracing this mantra and striving to live it into reality every single day.

And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m finding joy in the smallest of things—and I feel just plain calm.

Here’s to hoping that 2019 brings more of the same…and joy for you and yours, too!

Best bite


Each week, I’ll drop in a pic and description of my favorite sip or bite—and a recommendation, too!

There was so much good food during the holidays, but this one’s the overall winner. My dad’s love language is cooking, and he cooked this prime rib on New Year’s Day. It was amazing.

And of course I ate a piece of Aunt Chris’ chocolate-peanut-marshmallow stuff as dessert.

Favorite Reads

I read The Greatest Gift Advent devotional by Ann Voskamp for the fifth year in a row. I cannot describe just how powerful her words are, but they amaze me every year.

This year I decided I didn’t want to stop reading her words just because Advent was past, so I purchased her One Thousand Gifts devotional, which I am currently reading. Unbeknownst to me, a good bit of it focuses on finding joy.

I’m also diving in to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Gmorning, Gnight, which is little pep talks to read each morning and night. So clever and fun—and on point!

I read several books during the holidays, including Shonda Rimes’ Year of Yes. That may be the most impactful book I’ve read in a long time. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. I think there’s a takeaway in there for everyone.

I’m currently reading Charles Frazier’s Thirteen Moons, which is a beautifully written and complex novel set back when the Cherokee lived in the Smoky Mountains, before they were forced to leave. It was a $.50 find at McKay, but it’s a good one!

I finished Michelle Obama’s Becoming on my way home from the Smokies. Her book touched me in so many ways—and since I scored tickets to see her in Atlanta in May, I can’t wait to hear her talk about it in person!

My next audiobook is Lysa TerKeurst’s It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, which is about how to wrestle our way through the muck that we so often find ourselves in during life. Have just begun this one, but am looking forward to it.

Auntie’s baby

Now surely, you didn’t think I’d create a blog without my baby love in it, right?! There were so many to choose from during the holidays, but this one may be my fave.


Something I’m pondering…

This section is a little different this week. Instead of questions, I just have something that’s been sitting on my heart.

During the holidays, two families I know lost loved ones.

The first, a family we had known for years in Collierville, lost their mom, who had been my sister’s childhood nanny. She passed away in a house fire the night before Christmas Eve that also took the lives of three missionary children who were staying with them. It’s so hard to understand why God takes us when he does—and while it’s something we always ponder, it’s not ours to know. What I do know is that Kari had long lived her life in a way that showed Christ to the world, and she spent Christmas with her Lord.

The second was the dear mom of a beloved former coworker. If you know me, you know that I love and treasure my mama beyond measure. Liz does, too. And for reasons we don’t understand, her mama was taken to heaven a couple weeks ago. Now her family is working to find a new normal.

From both of these deaths, I take the same lesson I always do—and one that I hope shows in every bit of my being. It’s been my mantra for years: Never take a day for granted, because you never know if tomorrow will come.


So hold your loved ones a little tighter and tell them that you love them. Always. I know I will.

Quote of the week


Wrapping things up

These words gave me pause in this morning’s devotional, so they may speak to you, too:

Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry.

But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing… Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.

See you next week.


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