Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women

{This book was provided by BookLook Bloggers for my honest review}
It’s a rainy day here. Quiet, gray, begging for quiet time with my Bible and an English Breakfast Tea Latte.
I’ve been needing a new everyday Bible. My old one is literally from elementary school and falling apart, loved as it is. The only other Bible I currently have is a travel version with my name on it that was a gift, and I cherish it, but find it a bit cumbersome for regular reading. So when I saw this lovely edition with real-life devotions by Lysa Terkeurst and the team at Proverbs 31 Ministries, I was super excited. I adore Lysa and Proverbs 31 Ministries. (you should SERIOUSLY follow them on Facebook…their posts are always timely!)
This NIV Bible is a Compact size, which is the size of a larger paperback book, bigger than my travel version but small enough to tuck into my purse. The embossed leather and smooth leather in lovely robin’s egg blue and a deep turquoise are stunning. The pages have silver edges and blue pages for the devotionals. There are 365 devotionals throughout the book, one for every day. The devotions are focused on family and children, but the lessons are applicable to everyone. 
This Bible would make an absolutely lovely gift or a gift to yourself. It’s a real beaut, and so is the box, a perfect box to keep cards or notes in.
Do you have a hardcover or softcover Bible? 
This is actually my first softcover one!
xo
Natalie

Book Review: Once-a-Day Chronological Bible

provided for my honest review by BookLook Bloggers
The NIV Once-a-Day Bible, Chronological Edition, is one of my new favorite things! 
My boyfriend and I had been talking about reading the Bible chronologically for awhile now as a way to refresh our reading of the Bible and bring new perspective. We’ve also been looking for a devotion to do together, so when I had the opportunity to grab this once-a-day version, I knew it would be perfect for his birthday. We’ve been greatly enjoying reading together nightly. 
I will admit the readings can be a bit long each day, but you’re reading the whole Bible in a year, so it’s to be expected. I particularly enjoy the “reflection” section after each daily reading. 
It’s fascinating to be reading the Bible in chronological order, so if you haven’t tried this, I recommend it so far for sure. The once-a-day version makes it easy to stay on track. And the readings are merely numbered, not dated, so no need to feel guilty if you miss a day. I do wish they had a hardcover edition, but that’s a minor detail. Overall, a great Bible to have in your house because of its useful and unique set-up. 
Have you ever read the Bible chronologically? What did you think?
Happy Reading, 
Natalie 

Cliche Race-Running Analogies

I get to that point, mid-way through Week 2 of the Olympics where I think, “Is this over yet? ‘Cause I kind of have some other important things to get back to…” Do you? Am I the only one? It feels terrible to admit it. But I couldn’t let the past two weeks go by without thinking about how it related to my relationship with Christ. It seemed almost too much of a metaphor, at times.
And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This, too, is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 
~Ecc. 4:4

These Olympic athletes strive for perfection in every area of their performance, going to great lengths chasing after an elusive “edge” over their competitors (Michael Phelps’ hyperbaric chamber, anyone?). I don’t want to downplay their amazing achievements, and even how cool it is to see young athletes like Gabby Douglas using their platform for God’s glory. But I notice a bit of myself in these athletes. I see my own drive and dreams, and how, sometimes, I get caught up in finding my ‘edge’ and chasing after the wind for…well, yeah, I admit it… that “perfection” thing.
Let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
~Hebrews 12:1,2

Chasing our OWN perfection is meaningless. We will never achieve it, and it only hinders us from serving God whole-heartedly. When we chase our own perfection, it’s usually because we are unsatisfied with Christ alone. Ouch. It’s so easy to become entangled with sin and selfishness that takes away from the security of who we are in Christ. But when we run our race with Jesus’ perfection in mind, striving to be perfected more and more into His image, we can run with perseverance and hope. 

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. 
~Prov. 14:30

Don’t look over to see how fast or far the person next to you is running because you might trip on something in your own path. There is no life in keeping tabs on the person in the other lane. I don’t know about you, but a “heart at peace” and “life to the body” sound much better than rotted-out bones. Like vinegar poured on a wound is envy to our souls. It eats away and only creates a deeper hole. 
 For the Lord takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with victory. 
~Psalm 149:4
God has His eye on you. He has His hand on you. When you are following His path for you, He will help you every step of the way. I have no doubt you you’ll find innumerable blessings along the way. And when we cross that finish line in Heaven, you can bet we’ll be perfected. Isn’t that exciting?
Instead of getting a gold medal, we’ll get streets of gold {Did I just take the analogy too far?} 

This Body Brought to You by Sour Patch Kids

{girls! I finally pulled up the hideous weed in all of my photos! it wasn’t technically mine to pull up, so I had to wait for the exact right timing to obtain permission. permission obtained. weed gone. lightning bolt on picture. yes!}


Sour Patch Kids. Those wonderfully chewy, sour, sweet candies. The boy and I ate FAR too many of them at the drive-in movie this past weekend. And then we both decided we were going to quit eating processed sugar {seriously}. But I snuck (what?! is that not a word?! it’s underlining it! what is the past tense of ‘sneak’? help a sister out!) the rest of the Sour Patch Kids into my purse. 

Then yesterday, while editing this photo, I noticed that my thighs are practically STUFFED into these pants. And quite obviously, I needed to start exercising. So I grabbed a handful of Sour Patch Kids for energy, and did 50 jumping jacks in the kitchen. No lie. 
Then I went for a loooooooong walk. Uphill. And on my way back I realized I had a dribble of mocha-fudge frozen yogurt dried down my arm. 
I think I need a sugar intervention. Like, seriously. I’m not even kidding. 
Style Secrets
Hairclip: H&M
Sunnies: Local boutique
Necklace: Gift (my name in Hebrew)
Cami (under tee): Walmart
Tee: Old Navy (thanks, S!)
Cardi: Marc Jacobs
Ring: Local store
Capris: Gap, thrifted
Flips: Havaianas