ENNEAGRAMS: THE REFORMER

Move over Myers-Briggs Personality Test; there’s a new kid in town – The Enneagram Test. I’ll have to admit that I am a little (ok, a lot) late on jumping on the enneagram train. I’ve heard my friends and other people often talking about what enneagram they are, what wing they might be and everything in between. With that being said, I wanted to see what the hype was truly about after all this time. Like Myers Briggs, the Enneagram test is meant to allow you more information on your personality and to build on what you already know. After I took a test just this week and discovered I was an Enneagram One, I have been reading nonstop.

Let me make it clear that I am no Enneagram expert by any means, but this is this blog will be a way as us to delve into what makes each type tick.

TYPE ONE IN BRIEF

Ones are conscientious and ethical, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They are teachers, crusaders and advocates for change: always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake. Well-organized, orderly and fastidious, they try to maintain high standards, but can slip into being critical and perfectionistic. They typically have problems with resentment and impatience. At their Best: wise, discerning, realistic, and noble. We, as type ones, can be morally heroic.

Fun Fact: “Ennea” means “nine” in Greek.

FAMOUS TYPE ONES

Martha Stewart / Ruth Bader Ginsburg / Michelle Obama / Nelson Mandela / Tina Fey / Mahatma Gandhi / Captain “Sully” Sullenberger

  • Basic Fear: Being corrupt or evil, defective
  • Basic Desire: To have integrity, to be balanced
  • Enneagram One with a Nine-Wing: “The Idealist”
  • Enneagram One with a Two-Wing: “The Advocate”

Key Motivations: Type ones want to be right, to strive higher and improve everything, to be consistent with their ideals, to justify themselves, to be beyond criticism so as not to be condemned by anyone.

9 ENNEAGRAM TYPES

I. THE REFORMER: The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic
II: THE HELPER: The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
III. THE ACHIEVER: The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
IV. THE INDIVIDUALIST: The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
V. THE INVESTIGATOR: The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
VI. THE LOYALIST: The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious
VII. THE ENTHUSIAST: The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered
8. THE CHALLENGER: The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational
9. THE PEACEMAKER: The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent

TESTS

Below, I’ve listed just a few options that you can to find out what Enneagram you are if you haven’t previously.

If you are interested in reading more in depth about the history of Enneagrams or are wanting to get that perfect gift for that special Enneagram lover in your life, I have linked some books and cute products that will help you with just that!

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If you haven taken the Enneagram test, what are you and what have you learned about yourself after taking it, if anything? If you haven’t, what is stopping you? Let’s chat in the comments!

XO,

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AT-HOME COFFEE BAR

Like most people over quarantine, I developed a never-ending caffeine addiction. Along with my new found caffeine addiction, I became very fond of both Starbucks coffee and often caught myself parked in the drive-thru without realizing it. Who else has been there?! No shame!

With that being said, getting coffee out two or even three times a week can quickly add up and can drain your bank account in the blink of an eye. As my husband and I went into the month of March, we wanted to see it as a way to be disciplined and to save money with the intent of setting it aside for other expenses and savings.

However, this girl still needs her fuel. With all things else aside, I found that you can save major moolah with making your coffee at home. In this blog, I delve into what are some of why favorite coffee machines, mugs and accessories are.

MACHINES

There are many options in how you brew your coffee at home. Who knew?! With that being said, I personally use a Keurig that my parents recently gifted my husband and I. It is simple to use and you can make just about anything. You can buy pods by the bulk at your local Target, Walmart or supermarket store.

If you are feeling bold, however, try out some of the products I have linked below. The French Press, Pour Over and Cappuccino machines are all great ways to achieve the same end goal.

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ACCESSORIES

We all need some accessories to keep our lives a little more organized. With the Keurig, keeping pods together can also be quite a challenge. There are tabletop and more of a pantry-style option and //. I’ve also found out that you can buy Starbucks syrups and other sweeteners online. How cool?! There are also milk frothers and coffee bean grinders that make great additions to have in your arsenal.

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MUGS

Mugs are an important part of drinking coffee, am I right? hehe I’ve listed some of my favorite coffee mugs below! All are great options and all keep your coffee hot or cold, depending on your preference. Some are for more travel and on-the-go purposes with lids and others are for the leisurely enjoyment at home. Pick a mug, or three, that suits your style and get to sipping some of that homemade coffee.

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What are some of your favorite at-home coffee recipes, both hot and iced? I would love to hear from you in the comments below! Until next time!

Xo,

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WEEKLY WISHLIST: SPRING EDITION

Who is ready for the spring and more warm weather? I know I am! We could all use a little more time outside and more Vitamin D in our lives. With that being said, I put together a list of the essentials in what you would need on a sunny, Spring day for a picnic or out on the town. If you are thinking about investing any of these items, make sure to save these posts for when you need ideas of any kind: gifts for others or as a way to treat yourself.

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All of the pieces on this wishlist are linked according to number to make it easier in case anything sparks your interest. There are other items I’ve listed that aren’t pictured above, so make sure to check out each number. I hope these items channel your inner Reece Witherspoon, Elle Woods or Martha Stewart, so get to shopping and update that wardrobe of yours!

As y’all can see, I had major wicker vibes going on this week. I’ve always been a fan of all things wicker, but my love has definitely grown here recently.

With that being said, pick out a new dress, slap on some nail polish, grab your picnic basket and get to enjoying the beautiful weather, all socially distanced of course. I, personally, am ready to get experience the beauty of the western North Carolina mountains and the fresh air!

XO,

What are your favorite “spring time” essentials, including clothes, bags, shoes etc? What are you looking forward to in the upcoming months?

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GIFT GUIDES FOR MEN

Finding the perfect gift for the men in your life isn’t easy. Before settling for yet another boring gift (cue the ties), take some time to really think about what the guy you’re shopping for would love to unwrap. This list of gifts for men, which is full of thoughtful ideas to match any budget, takes care of any guy on your shopping list — grandpa, dad, son, husband, boyfriend, brother, friend and so on. 

While you can’t go wrong with classic options (a trusty pair of socks), these unique gift ideas range from personalized picks to Amazon’s best-selling finds (freezable beer glasses).

BEARD KIT

For those men in your life who have facial hair, I would highly recommend looking into purchasing a beard kit. Included in the beard kits are shampoo, balm, oil, comb, boars hair brush, stainless steel scissors and storage bag. A clean beard is a happy beard!

BEER BOTTLE MAP

For those beer drinkers in your life, what could be better than a beer bottle map? I got Chandler this a few years ago and he loved it! There are also state options as well, which gives you plenty of options to fit the beer caps. With the map of the USA, it would be great for that special someone who travels and checks off breweries as they go. If your spouse is more of a wine connoisseur, there are also wine cork options as well.

FOUNTAIN PEN

My dad is a huge guru when it comes fountain pens. Pens can be more of a personal /, but surprise that special man in your life with a fountain pen. They glide across the page with no effort at all!

HAT

Swap out his dingy high school cap for this vintage-inspired option that looks more sophisticated without sacrificing comfort. Carharts offer plenty of styles and colors that offers you plenty of options when picking out one for that man in your life.

SOCKS

How can you go wrong with socks? My husband personally LOVES Happy Socks, so pick out a customized pair or look out into getting a box that have three + pairs. Look for one with patterns, solids or some of both.

REUSABLE CUP

His nightcap will survive his next camping trip thanks to this insulated cup. He can also use it in the morning to guarantee a warm cup of coffee, even if it’s freezing outside.

Both Yetis and Hydroflasks are great options in keeping water cold and coffee hot. I, personally, have both and love them equally. They both offer plenty of color and size options for that special person in your life. Get to shopping to find that perfect cup!

What have been some of your favorite gifts to give your spouse, boyfriend or brothers for friends? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Shopping!

XO,

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HOTELS VS. AIRBNBS: WHICH IS BETTER?

No one wants spiders crawling on them or to sleep on a hard mattress, as we all know that finding somewhere to stay is just as important as picking your destination. When booking accommodations, we often find ourselves deciding between staying in a airbnb or a hotel, so I thought we would compare both in this blog.

Airbnb

Airbnb came onto the travel scene over twelve years ago. Coined from the term ‘air mattress Airbnb,’ Airbnb hosts list many different kinds of properties—single rooms, a suite of rooms, apartments, moored yachts, houseboats, entire houses and even a castle—all on its website.

Guests can search the Airbnb database—not only by date and location, but by price, type of property, amenities and the language of the host. They can also add keywords (such as “close to the Louvre”) to further narrow their search.

To me, Airbnbs offer many different “off-the-wall” types of places, like tiny homes, clamping tents and tree houses. Just last month, my husband and I took a trip to Dahlonega, GA and stayed in the cutest tiny house, courtesy of Airbnb. It was the cutest thing!

PROS

  • Full house and/or apartment: When staying in an Airbnb, you can rent the full house/apartment, which includes multiple rooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, garden and more.
  • Cheaper: Airbnb is notably much cheaper than staying in a hotel, especially for long stays.
  • Rewards: You can get rewards for recommending Airbnb to others.
  • User friendly: The Airbnb app and website is easy to use and navigate around.
  • Unique: Airbnb’s are usually unique and have a lot of character.
  • Groups: Perfect for group holidays

CONS

  • Book up fast: Popular and affordable Airbnb’s usually book up very QUICKLY.
  • Nightmare host: Sometimes upon arrival hosts are not very nice or accommodating, additionally hosts can cancel last minute.
  • Nowhere to leave your luggage after checkout: Hotels usually have a room where you can leave your luggage, allowing you to explore the city a little more before your flight. Airbnb’s do not offer this however you can find luggage lockers in popular cities.
  • No extra features: There is no reception desk or food service, Airbnb’s are usually self-service- so don’t expect a lovely maid to clean your room or change your towels while you are out wandering. 

    * If you are looking into trying Airbnb for the first time, make sure to use this my code to get up to $65 off your first qualifying booking.

Hotels

Hotels offer many great accommodations, like continental breakfast, laundry amenities and business centers.

If you have been wandering how to accumulate points without the extra hassle and or any hidden fees, I highly suggest applying for an American Express Hilton Honors card to use for basic spending, like for grocery shopping, gas or other basic everyday spending. I applied for a card just last year and have already have over 130,000 points. I would always preface with the usual “be smart with a credit card” speech, but you get the deal.

PROS

  • Location: Hotels are normally located in close proximity to key sights, which is easier for tourists. 
  • Amenities and staff: The staff in hotels are well-qualified and you can use the amenities on offer at the hotel such as pools, gyms, spas, restaurants, shuttles and high-speed internet. 
  • Stars: Hotels can range from luxurious to budget, from ☆ to ☆☆☆☆☆, depending whatever your budget is, you will always find a hotel to meet your needs and budget.
  • Security: There is often concierge or security guards in hotels, which can give you an extra sense of security during your stay.

CONS

  • Price: Some hotels can be very expensive, especially if located in a great location (rather ironic that this is a pro/con). Additionally, it can be expensive when booking for multiple people.
  • Large: Hotels can be huge and you can find yourself walking down long corridors for what feels like eternity just to get to your room. 
  • Noisy: As hotels have so many guests at one time, it can often be noisy- especially at night. 
  • Generic: Hotel rooms include a basic bed, side table and bathroom, without much character.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy traveling!

XO,

Which one do you prefer – Airbnbs and hotels? Let me know in the comments below!

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10 LOW CALORIE STARBUCKS DRINKS

Who doesn’t love a good coffee (or two) in the morning to help get you energized? I know I do! With that being said, sweeteners and added syrups, etc. can quickly add up. Are you wanting to enjoy the same drinks, but don’t want all of the added calories? I’ve got you covered!

While we’ve canceled a lot of summer trips and plans because of the new coronavirus pandemic, there’s one summer staple we’re already enjoying: Starbucks’ summer menu. Most Starbucks locations are now open after closing for safety reasons, and we were first in the drive-thru line to get our iced drinks (following proper social distancing guidelines, of course).

Although there are plenty of indulgent concoctions available, especially on the secret menu, there are actually quite a few beverages that are lower in calories to help you enjoy a guilt-free treat.

There are several java drinks on this list, but for those who prefer other caffeinated beverages, there are a variety of low-calorie teas available, too. (And no, not just your basic English breakfast. Some of them are infused with delicious flavorings such as blackberry and lemonade). No matter your preference, these tasty beverages will give you a boost without weighing you down.

1. French Vanilla Cold Foam Brew – 60 Calories

Ask for:

Grande Cold Foam Cold Brew
1 pump Hazelnut Syrup
Three pumps Sugar-Free Vanilla
Light Cream
Sugar-free Vanilla Cold Foam

2. Chai Tea Latte – 60 Calories

Ask for:

Grande Organic Chai Tea
Two packets of stevia
Steamed Almond Milk
Top with Extra Cinnamon Powder

3. Caramel Iced Coffee – 60 Calories

Ask for:

Grande Unsweetened Iced Coffee
One pump of Carmel syrup
Three pumps Sugar Free Vanilla 
Light Cream

4. Low Carb Pink Drink- 35 Calories

Ask for:

Venti Passion Tango Iced Tea Unsweetened
Strawberry Infusion
Light Coconut Milk
1 Scoop of Strawberries
2 Stevia or Splenda

5. Blonde Vanilla Cappuccino – 100 Calories

Ask for:

Grande Blonde Cappuccino
Substitute Almond Milk
Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
One Stevia
Light Carmel Drizzle

6. Doubleshot on Ice – 40 Calories

Ask for:

Grande Blonde Double Shot on Ice
No Classic Syrup
Three to four pumps Sugar-Free Vanilla
Almond Milk

7. Berry Hibiscus Refresher – 40 Calories

Ask for:

Venti Iced White Tea Unsweetened
Splash of Berry Hibiscus Refresher
Splash of Lemonade
Scoop of Berries
One Stevia (other zero cal sweetener)

8. Black and White Mocha – 110 Calories

Ask for:

Grande Americano with two shots
One pump White Mocha Sauce
One pump Skinny Mocha (or half pump normal mocha)
Two pumps Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
Light Half and Half (cream)

9. Salted Caramel Mocha – 100 Calories

Ask for:

Grande Cafe Misto
Add 1 pump Toffee Nut
Add 1 pump Mocha
Substitute with Almond Milk
Add 1-2 0 cal sweeteners

10. Caramel Brûlée Iced Latte (Cold Brew) – 80 Calories

Ask for:

Grande Cold Brew
One pump Caramel Brûlée Sauce
Three pumps Sugar Free Vanilla
Splash of Cream

If you guys have any favorite healthier Starbucks drink orders of your own, leave a comment! I would love nothing more than to hear what your go-to drinks are.

xo,

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THE EPISTLE PROJECT

With COVID’s end nowhere in sight, we all know what toll guaranteeing has done on people’s mental health, physical well-being and general livelihood.

STORY

The word ‘epistle’ comes from the Greek word epistole, meaning letter or message. Epistles were primarily written communications during the time of the New Testament. For example, Paul, Peter, and John wrote epistles or letters to churches or individuals (Timothy, Titus, Philemon).

Jesus has given His people His love letter, which is His revealed Word. The apostles sent letters to churches to instruct the people there.

With the premise of loving the Lord and loving handwritten letters, the idea of The Epistle Project came about.

For those of who know me, I LOVE receiving mail from family or friends that’s something other than bills. Letters are a great way to allow the elderly to feel included and loved on during this pandemic.

COVID-19 UPDATE

COVID-19 UPDATE (accurate to-date): I am still accepting letters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is a better time than ever, I feel like, to support those are often times forgotten.

The CDC, World Health Organization, and Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail. hehe

Thank you for supporting our elders during this critical effort to fight loneliness. Physical isolation is important for public health right now, but our elders deserve to feel supported, too.

I’d love it if you’d write a handwritten letter today to support what I am hoping to do – bring joy who need it the most.

HOW IT WORKS:

LETTERS THEY LOVE:

In anticipation of Letter to An Elder Day on February 26th, I are collecting cards and mailing these to elders in a local Asheville senior community.

Take a few minutes, sit down and write a letter to an elder (a stranger). Tell them about yourself, tell a joke or a riddle and include a picture if that’s something you feel comfortable with. The biggest thing is to let them know how loved they are.

If might feel difficult at first to be writing to someone you don’t know. My advice: pretend like it’s a normal conversation. What kinds of things would you want to talk about with a stranger?

GUIDELINES:

  • Letters must be legible (large print) and handwritten. Don’t fret if you are not artistic – make your card as what you’d like to receive.
  • Exclude the date (date/month/year).
  • Embrace creativity! Recipients love it when the letters are personal. We encourage you make your letters colorful an fun – photos, crosswords and drawings are great!
  • Be kind and thoughtful. This is a one-way letter exchange, so you will not receive a letter back. Receiving nothing in return is part of the beauty of your act of kindness, and recipients aren’t burdened by feeling obligated or unable to respond.
  • Envelope your letters if you can! It’s so much nicer to receive an enveloped card. If you’re sending more than one letter, leave your enveloping letters unsealed and unstamped to send them in a larger envelope or box.
  • Share your act of kindness! Tag us @theepistleproject, #theepistleproject and #lettertoanelderday.
  • Send as may cards as you’d like! We accept letters year-round, so there’s no deadline for when you must send them by. If you’re cards are holiday-themed or seasonal, send them a month before that holiday or the end of that season. (If your letters are late, we’ll definitely say them for next year)
  • Ready to mail? Yay! Send to:

    The Epistle Project

    8 Timber Court
    Apt. D

    Asheville, NC 28803

If you have any questions at all, PLEASE feel free to message me. I would love nothing more to include your cards with mine and to enandate them with hundreds of letters to read. Help me to jumpstart this “idea” of mine and join me in this journey to see where it goes and how it grows.

SHARE:

If you aren’t ready to write a card just yet, help me in getting the word out. Share this blog or the Epistle Project’s Instagram below.

XO,

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Black History Month actually started as Negro History Week in 1917. Author, journalist and historian Carter G. Woodson, now appropriately recognized as the “father of black history,” lobbied vigorously for the national recognition of black stories and perspectives. Woodson believed deeply that equality was only possible with the acknowledgement and understanding of a race’s history, and dedicated his life to the study of African-American historical research.

Black History Month should be viewed as an opportunity to spotlight contributions by African Americans, like musicians, artists, writers, poets, inventors, explorers, scientists, business people and soldiers, etc. It should be an opportunity for us all to learn from others who have a different and diverse viewpoint, all with the intent of uplifting and highlighting those who are all unique.

Allow this month to be one where you to educate yourself. I, personally, haven’t done the best in researching in the past, but I want to aim to do better about inclusion and my thinking from now on.

If you live in the Western North Carolin area, below are some options for you to support those who are like neighbors to you. If not, do more research into how you can support black-owned businesses in your area.

Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.

Author Unknown

READ BOOKS

If you are a reader like me, I love to sit on the couch curled up with a good book. Take this time to read a new book that offers insight to one you might not have had before. Target offers a Black History Month section with books by many talented black writers. Below, I’ve listed a few of my personal favorites. There are hundreds to choose from, so get to reading!

  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • A Promised Land by Barak Obama
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
  • Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

WATCH MOVIES / DOCUMENTARIES

Regardless of your background, we can all stand to watch more diverse films, so let Black History Month be the catalyst for committing to taking a look at your movie nightfare. Diversifying our consumption doesn’t just broaden our worldview, it also shows Hollywood that we want to see better Black and BIPOC representation onscreen. It’s all about aligning media with what the world actually looks like. Also, who doesn’t love Remember the Titans?!

  • Hidden Figures
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
  • The Hate U Give
  • The Help
  • Remember the Titans

SHOP / EAT LOCAL

  • BLACK MOUNTAIN CIDER + MEAD
  • SPICE + TEA MERCHANTS

This month, do your own research. Find companies owned by African Americans in your area and make a conscious effort to not only support them this month, but in the coming months and years ahead. We are put on this Earth to learn from one another and to have different viewpoints. The Lord made no mistake in His children precious in His sight.

  • Make an ongoing, monthly donation to an organization 
  • Consciously buy from Black-owned businesses and restaurants 
  • Continue your self-education.
  • Sign petitions online, send texts, make phone calls and attend local events.

How do you plan to support black owned businesses around you? Let’s chat in the comments below!

XO,

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HE WILL HOLD ME FAST

Coming off of a tumultuous 2020, it came more apparent to me that the Lord is truly the ONLY sustaining thing in our lives. No parent, spouse, sibling or friend can fill a void that is only meant for the Lord is fill.

With that being said, my journey with the Lord hasn’t been perfect. It has been far from what I wanted it to be if I’m being completely transparent. Between COVID shutting down most church services two months after we moved to Asheville and not being the most diligent in my personal time with the Lord, my faith has taken a hit.

Those He saves are His delight, Christ will hold me fast;
Precious in his holy sight, He will hold me fast.
He’ll not let my soul be lost; His promises shall last;
Bought by Him at such a cost, He will hold me fast.

Sitting in a local coffee shop on my day off not too long ago, however, ‘He Will Hold Me Fast’ happened to scroll through the Shane and Shane hymns playlist I was listening to at the time.

Hymns have always been my speed of worship and I have loved the amount of truth packed into each song. The minute I stopped to listen to this particular song, however, I stopped what I was doing and just listened, simply in awe of how much the Lord’s nurturing nature.

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain. – Hebrews 6:19

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.

JUDE 24-25

‘He Will Hold Me Fast’ reflects on the wonderful truth that God continuously watches over and sustains our faith. Scripture is clear about this saving grace:

‘He Will Hold Me Fast’ proclaims a hope that surpasses our weakness. 

With our weaknesses continually before us, it’s easy to believe that one day they will certainly nullify our faith. We need to drill it into our hearts and minds that God is the one who sustains our faith. Habershon repeats the phrase “Christ/He will hold me fast” over 18 times to emphasize this truth and lodge it into the deepest chambers of our hearts.  

When we settle our souls on the truth that Christ alone keeps us, we can believe the doctrine of justification by faith alone more fully. It’s one thing to agree with Paul that God saves us, not our works (Eph. 2:6). It’s another thing to believe it’s also God who keeps us. If we don’t do the saving in the first place, why would we think we do the keeping? 

Verse one fixates on Christ keeping us through our fears, the turns of life, our temptations, and the weakness of our desires for God:

I could never keep my hold
Through life’s fearful path
For my love is often cold
He must hold me fast

Verse two tackles the question of the security of our souls:

He’ll not let my soul be lost
His promises shall last
Bought by Him at such a cost
He will hold me fast

The bedrock of our eternal safety is Christ’s sacrifice. As the logic goes in Romans 8:32, how will God let us go if he paid for us with his own blood?  

Verse three moves further still into the realm of Christ’s return and His safekeeping of our souls until that day. It also features the hope of the finished work of Christ and the closed case of our righteousness through the One who bore our guilt and paid our penalty.

For my life He bled and died

Justice has been satisfied
Raised with Him to endless life
Till our faith is turned to sight
When he comes at last

Take a moment today to truly listen to the lyrics if you haven’t before. It is a powerful hymn that has reminded me more times than not that the Lord is constantly fighting for us. Let it resonate with you as you go about your day today and rejoice in His goodness.

‘He Will Hold Me Fast’ is a reminder that God is in control, is trustworthy and will keep His children in His arms into endless life.

For anyone who is struggling with navigating their faith or have endurance through trials, this song can be used today as it was originally: to encourage the believer with full assurance that what God starts, He finishes.

Not only will God keep his people, but he delights in doing so. Not only does he hold us fast, but he does so with great joy. There is no safer place to be in the universe than hidden with Jesus in the heart of God’s delight.

He began a work in you and is looking to complete that work. Our sins may be many but His mercy is more. He is persistent in pursing His children and keeping us accountable. Rest in the fact that He is fighting for you, always. Taste and see that the Lord is good, y’all, because He is the ultimate sustainer. Happy Sunday!

Do you have a favorite hymn? If so, let me know in the comments below! ♡

XO,

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REVIEW: THE TURN OF THE KEY

AUTHOR: Ruth Ware
GENRE: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Psychological Fiction
# OF PAGES: 352
STARS: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

From the minute I picked up this book, I was instantly hooked. My husband originally me the ‘Woman in Cabin 10’ for my birthday last year and getting me hooked with Ruth Ware was the best and worst mistake he’s made.

Ruth Ware’s latest suspense novel has a lot to measure up to. Its predecessor, “The Death of Mrs. Westaway,” was one of the best mystery novels of 2018, brilliantly repurposing just about every cobwebby prop in the Gothic warehouse, including a disputed inheritance, a crumbling ancestral mansion and a terrified-but-plucky young heroine. Ware sets expectations even higher by burdening her new novel with a brazen title: “The Turn of the Key.” What kind of suspense writer would be so reckless as to invoke Henry James’s masterpiece of terror and ambiguity and expect to see her own work do anything but suffer in the comparison?

We readers know that 27-year-old governess Rowan Caine is in torment from the very first pages. Ware introduces her through a series of letters she’s writing to a renowned barrister from the prison cell where she’s languishing. Rowan has been charged with the murder of one of the four children who’d been under her care. Rowan’s story unfolds in halting fashion through these letters, in which she describes how she came to take the position at Heatherbrae House in the remote Scottish Highlands and how things turned ghastly as soon as her employers — a posh couple with their own architecture practice — depart the premises to attend a faraway trade show

As the story unfolds, we see that Rowan is not who she originally says she is and is constantly finding herself feeling like she has to watch over her shoulder. In a modern meets Victorian house, she discovers secrets in this house and feels like something or someone is out to get her. Over the course of this suspense novel, Rowan gets involved in a predicament which ultimately ends her up in jail.

If you are into suspense fiction, buy this book immediately. You will find yourself hung on every word until you are regretting reading it too quickly. I was dying to know what happened next and finished this book in the matter of just a few days. I was NOT expecting it to end in the way it did, but was pleasantly (poor choice of wording?) surprised.

What are you currently reading? What genres are you typically drawn to? Let’s chat in the comments!

XO,

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