Before IF:Gathering engulfs me completely next week, I wanted to link up with Leigh Kramer and point you toward all kinds of things I loved reading and experiencing in January. I hope you find something here that inspires and encourages you to skip expectantly into February. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end for your chance to win a pretty Violette Lane scarf and bracelet to sport as you do. I will contact the winner first thing Tuesday morning.

Until then, enjoy your weekend and, “Gooooo Patriots!” (She says sarcastically, pretending to give a rip.)

link loveIf You Only Read One…

I’m a White Woman Trying to Raise a Black Woman by Amber Jones

My ever classy Ethiopia travel group friend Amber Jones opened up last month about what it’s really like to be a white woman raising a black woman, and I was on my feet applauding the guts and grace it took for her to pen this beautifully important post.

But Also Check Out These…

Seeing a Woman: A Conversation Between a Father & Son by Nate Pyle

A woman, or any human being, should not have to dress to get your attention. You should give them the full attention they deserve simply because they are a fellow human being. On the other side, a woman should not have to feel like she needs to protect you from you. You need to be in control of you.

Why Go to IF:Gathering? by Jessica Mueller

This is an opportunity for you, for us to move together. To let Him transform our lives, not just in our homes or our churches, but to grasp hands across our cities and say, “Let’s do this together.” We are not individual units, but one whole.

How to Leave Normal by Jennie Allen

There is not a right way to pioneer new territory. It is step-by-step journey, completely dependent on God, who usually only gives you the next step.

[Love Looks Like] 2:07 A.M. by Sarah Bessey

Lifelong love is actually most built throughout the hours of the day, all twenty four of them, in the ordinary moments of our humanity.

God’s Not Looking for Heroes from Relevant Magazine

Christine Caine on the call to be faithful right where we are.

Watch Children React to a Realistically Proportioned Fashion Doll 

This is priceless, precious, and perfect.

In Case You Missed It (From Me)…

IF:Gathering 2015

This is all too weighty, too wonderful, too wild to be wrapped in my words. I’m sorry for that but, at the same time, I’m not. Because this IF thing? It’s that special.

Beyond Charity: How our Adoption Story Began

I didn’t know the first way to go about knowing the poor from my suburban, middle-class perch, let alone do it with two toddlers in tow, but God wouldn’t let me let it go.  

Yes: Where our Adoption Story Got Real

You aren’t going to be 100% sure about any of it, ever. The best you can do is start with what you know, and take a little step. Then another. Then another. 

Get Into These Books…

las vegas engagement photos_0289

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

After Visiting Friends by Michael Hainey

An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor

Good Eats…

No Bean Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili

A Paleo-friendly crowd pleaser (If you are into that sort of thing. We are trying to be, save the tortilla chips I refuse to stop eating ever).

Eco & Ridge

Las Vegans, this new steakhouse/butcher shop in Tivoli Village is so legit. All the goodness of a steakhouse on the Strip without the hassle, outrageous prices or tourists. They even serve you meat that was raised and fed right. Fancy that.


Tell me what posts, books, products, etc. you loved this month for your chance to win this Violette Lane scarf and bracelet in time for Valentine’s Day! Register to attend an IF:Local gathering in your city next week for extra entries!

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