A Few of My Favorite Things!

I have a lot of favorites. (This is why I dislike "What's your favorite ______?", unless it's "What's your favorite animal?" Then the answer is cats. Always cats.)

Today, I picked up a few of my favorite things that were laying around the apartment and I decided to share them with you. Maybe one or a few things will become your favorite(s), too!

Let's start with the "Autumn in the Park" Yankee Candle. 
My original favorite Yankee Candle scent is "Autumn Leaves", but Michael wanted to choose the scent since he unexpectedly let me get one even though we are trying to save money.
SO, since he was emotionally invested in this decision, he chose this time. Ha.
I am totally okay with his choice because it's a mix of "Autumn Leaves" and something ending in "Spice". I don't remember what the Yankee Candle lady told me. 
But it's amazing and fills the room with all the happy anticipation of fall that one could dream of. 
Yankee Candles burn for-ever. That's also why I love them. 

Alright, skipping over the decorative flowers and moving on to the perfume!
It's called "Happy" by Clinique. 
It's very citrus-y, but it's more of a deep and lingering citrus scent than a light and airy citrus scent. 
I have alternated between "Happy" and "Happy Heart" by Clinique since high school. 
I just realized that I used to wear "Happy Heart" more often, but "Happy" is still great - just more citrus-y.  
"Happy Heart" is deep and floral with a touch of citrus. It truly is a "happy" scent. 

The first book I'm reading is entitled Unstoppable by Christine Caine!
First of all, Christine Caine is an amazing woman of God. She seems to waste no time or effort on living in light of eternity. She is a consistent powerhouse of energy, positivity, and heart. 
God definitely used her to communicate to me that there are 27 million slaves in the world who need to be rescued. As soon as she spoke about this reality, my heart instantly echoed "Okay... what can I do? Here I am, send me! Send me!" 
And yes, my heart strongly resonates with Isaiah 6:8 in light of human trafficking.

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'"

Unstoppable is about what Christine Caine does in her own life - running your race in light of eternity. It's about making your time on this earth matter.
More specifically, she underlines the importance of every person's unique calling - not one is greater than another. 
I may be ultimately passionate about therapy and human trafficking and you may be passionate about serving the homeless. 
Or you may be passionate about your entrepreneurship.
We have different track lanes. 
As long as we are committing our work to the Lord, our lanes remain parallel.
She talks about how this race is hard - we will get knocked off our race horse plenty of times. But what God's kingdom needs is people who will persevere. 
She also talks about how important it is that when our time has come (in a different phase of life or even in death), we pass off our batons to the next generation. We must be careful in how we live and how we execute our work so that we try our best to set up the next generation for success.
Go grab one. You won't regret it!

This next book, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans is amazing.
I am almost finished reading it - I have about 15 more pages to go.
*makes mental note to get on that*
Rachel makes it clear that this book is not about having the answers to our generation's questions about the shortcomings and hurts that stem from The Church.
It's more about her effort to communicate the right questions our generation (including herself) is asking about the shortcomings and hurts that stem from Church.
One word to sum up this book? Honest.
This book is also very reassuring because of Rachel's honesty about her own personal life and her personal struggles with Church. 
You can tell that she is a well seasoned writer with an impressive vocabulary. As someone who loves words and their meaning, this kept me entertained.
There is also much humor in this book. Based on the seven sacraments, she beautifully articulates her own cynicism and balances it out with Truth so as to not make her cynicism contagious, but relatable. It is apparent that she battles with cynicism and Truth throughout the whole book.
Don't we always struggle with that, though?
There are a few things I disagree with regarding some of her personal beliefs, but that does not and should not make me like the book any less. 
I could write a whole lot more about this book because it contains so much substance, but I'll stop here. 

Lastly, we have Boundaries in Marriage by Drs. John Townsend and Henry Cloud. 
I read this book a long time ago, but it's a book that will forever stick with me (physically and figuratively). 
One word to describe it: Practical.
It's not practical in a boring way, like a "how-to" book or something like that. 
It's practical in that it's extremely easy to understand and it's to the point.
Every word matters and there is no fluff - just truth about how to feel totally free in your marriage by learning and respecting your spouse's needs and individualism.
Boundaries breed freedom.
This seems like an oxymoron because of how we initially think about boundaries. 
We think about boundaries as if they are meant to hold us down and confine us.
They are moreso meant to define us.
Boundaries are less about walls and more about a fence. 
There's an analogy that comes from Drs. Cloud & Townsend regarding how to think about boundaries.
A fence is meant to define what's mine and what's yours. It's short enough to allow for relationships with others and you could say it has a little gate for this purpose.
Your fence separates you and your neighbor. Your fence sets a clear line that shows others the area you are responsible for tending to and the area your neighbor is responsible for tending to. 
So now, if your neighbor decided to plant different fruits in your area, you'd get a little frustrated. Maybe more than a little - maybe you're allergic to strawberries.
Why though? 
Because it's your area and not theirs. 
Your neighbor did not respect your area which is a part of you. 
This boundary was violated and now you feel that an injustice has been committed against you.
We are meant to tend for ourselves because we have been given what we own. We have not been given what others have - that's theirs. 
And when we respect one another's boundaries, 
we feel the freedom to be ourselves.

We are meant to live with boundaries not because God wants us to be confined,
but because he has a specific design for us and how we live.
It's about His beautiful and fulfilling design.

This analogy is what the "Boundaries" series is based on. Drs. Cloud & Townsend have many "Boundaries" books. I recommend every one! I am very passionate about boundaries, marriage, and relationships in general.

Alright, this post might as well be a Thoughtful Thursday post. Haha. 

I hope this post was helpful & insightful!



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