A Few of My Favorite Things

August is the best. It’s the perfect reason to splurge on a final beach trip, the double scoop of ice cream with sprinkles, and an evening chasing fireflies. August smells like sunscreen and stargazing. As we squeeze the last sweet drops out of this glory-stuffed summer, may the God who delights in our delight open your eyes to the joy He’s planted all around you.

Some August gifts to point you toward

Store: Altar’d State

I recently stumbled into this amazing place at a mall in Oklahoma. The home decor and clothing were adorable, and get this: the saleslady asked if there was anything I needed prayer for. What? Yes, this is apparently a thing. In fact, a portion of the website has a dedicated space for prayer requests. How cool is that? So you can pick up a cheeky compact mirror (my favorite says, “I did not wake up like this”) or a chic boho tunic and leave knowing you’ve been lifted up to the throne room of heaven. Also, 10% of their proceeds every Monday are given to local and global charities. Their online selection is spot-on, so check them out!

Message: Seeing Jesus in All of Scripture by Ted Sinn

If you’ve ever felt turned off by the Old Testament, this video is for you. Ted explains how people east of the cross are to engage the first half of the Bible. You can bring your fears, questions, and hangups and get a refreshing perspective on Genesis through Malachi. Spoiler alert: Jesus is there in all of it. It’s time to fall in love with the entirety of God’s Word.

Blog Post: Shannan Martin’s These Are the Glory Days

“I was made for summer.” Can you relate? I think at least half of New England might. Shannan pens beautiful sentiments that will make you want to hunt for a swimsuit as she ponders motherhood and her place in God’s story.

Non-Profit: Sole Hope

Honestly, going barefoot is one of my favorite things about summertime. But in Uganda, thousands of kids and senior adults are suffering from a lack of shoes. Sole Hope scrubs feet by hand (how can you not think of Jesus at the last supper here?) and gives out shoes so that the very young and the very old can be free from bugs that burrow into exposed skin. (I know—it’s not a pretty picture.) $10 will protect 10 toes with a pair of shoes. As you begin hunting for back-to-school sales, consider sending hope across the world.

Family Idea: Hawaiian Night

Every so often, Riley and I like to theme a date night. Why not gather up your people and throw a luau while the weather is gorgeous? Grill some shrimp kebabs, sport a grass skirt, play Hawaiian tunes, and have a wide array of exotic fruits available—kiwi, papaya, coconut, guava, mango, banana, ugli fruit, dragon fruit, and pineapple. Challenge one another to a hula dance-off and finish up with a good movie (Lilo and Stitch, anyone?).

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