Here is a list of things that make me happy (in no particular order):
1. My family
(picture from my birthday last week; notice what makes Luke, my serious kid, smile--CAKE)
These are my people. I can't imagine life without them. Ben is exactly who God led me to when I was all messed up. (http://the-roach-approach.blogspot.com/2012/01/mawage-that-bwessed-awangment-that.html) Our 2 boys have been SO much fun and SO hard at times. I can't imagine not having them in my life. With all the frustration, also comes immense joy.
(Photos from Facebook)If you're looking for good coffee, go to The Foundry in downtown Tyler. They also have "Friday pie day" where they have Emporium pies, which are just amazing, especially on a bad day. I don't get it often, but when I'm having a splurge day, it's the best. If you want to make your coffee at home, we are so blessed to have the best coffee roasters right here in Tyler, Porch Culture Coffee Roasters. You can pick up a bag at the Rose City Farmers Market or at many other retailers around town. M+K Provisions makes the best paleo treats! Cookies and donuts and paleo crunch...it's all SO good.
We got to travel to Belgium and France the summer of 2013. That was the first international trip we had taken with Noah and we had so much fun! (Luke was technically there, too, but he wasn't done baking.)
I lived in Japan from 2005-2007 and did a ton of traveling while there. I have been to 15 countries (and more if you count ones I just stopped at the airport, but I don't count those). Traveling is a way to disappear into another world. I have traveled alone, with friends, and with my family. I love it all. I still have a list of places I want to travel one day. The top of my list is Africa. I have wanted to go there for many years, and God-willing, I will visit one day!
4. Prayer & Social Media
This probably should be first on my list. I generally hate the way social media/facebook makes me feel about myself. It's so easy to feel sorry for yourself when you see other people having fun and living what looks like a perfect life. I remind myself constantly that most people are only showing you the best part of their day. They aren't showing you a video of them losing it with their kids. However, do you know what facebook is so good for? Prayer warriors! If you are struggling, or having a bad day, there are always people there ready to go before the Savior on your behalf. The other day, I asked for prayer and within 4 hours over 50 people had prayed for my family. I had several people text me asking how they could help and letting me know they were praying. I felt a peace knowing that even if things didn't go the way I had planned or wanted them to, God is in control. In fact, He already knew what I was fretting and crying over would happen. He was not surprised at all. It doesn't make the process any easier, but knowing He knows what is best for me and my family makes it all more bearable.
5. Jen Hatmaker
(picture from Facebook)
I'm positive that we would be best friends. I mean, maybe she would think it's crazy that I tried to find her house when driving through Buda, but that's normal right? I'm not a stalker, ok? Here's what I love about her:
- She's honest. She doesn't hold back and she's real.
- She loves Jesus so fiercely and you can see it in all she writes.
- She loves orphans. She takes care of the poor. She doesn't just talk about it, she is living it.
- She is doing exactly what Jesus has called her to do. It's just so obvious.
- She's hilarious. She writes in a way that draws you in and has you laughing hysterically.
- She sends out regular e-mails to her "EF's" (E-mail friends) and they are awesome. I mean, who doesn't want to be her friend? This makes it possible...in a dream world, but still. Haha!
Ok-I'm stopping this list, but only because I have other things to write about and this isn't all about Jen Hatmaker!
6. Love 41, Saddleback Leather and The Munson Family
Dave, Suzette, Sela & Cross Munson with Ben, Jennifer, Noah (and Luke in utero)
Can I tell you how much I love this family? These people love orphans, widows and street kids so fiercely. They have adopted several boys from the streets in Africa who now proudly bear the Munson name. They have been rescued and changed forever. Ben became mildly obsessed with Saddleback Leather years ago. This is how we first learned about the Munson family. After Saddleback Leather, came Love 41. Love 41 got it's name from Psalms 41:1-3: “Blessed is he who considers the poor; the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness, You will sustain him on his sickbed.” 100% of the profits from Love 41 support the work of Africa New Life Ministries. I just love their hearts. Ben, Noah and I went to visit San Antonio a few years ago and Suzette, never meeting us prior to that, invited us to stay in their home. It was so neat getting to meet people who had successful, mission-minded businesses. I highly recommend shopping at Saddleback Leather and Love 41!!! You will NOT be disappointed!7. This is one of my favorite quotes:
"I'm thankful for all the things I wanted and never got. As it turns out, sometimes I have a small minded understanding of my true need, and anyone else's for that matter. I tend to demonstrate blind judgement more often than blind trust. As much as I love to dream and scheme, I'm grateful for Providence and the lovely way she moves with reckless precision through all my wills and ways. I'm thankful for all the things I can't afford. I'm thankful that I don't pen my own story. And that my needs are not hinged on my asking."I'll stop for now, even though I could keep going...maybe I'll continue it another day :)
I'm participating in a blog circle with some amazing and beautiful women. Click here
to see what Danielle has to say.