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joanna gaines

Favorite Things Women

My Favorite Things {Vol. 1}

November 1, 2017

Did you ever watch Sound of Music?

I watched it so many times I’m pretty much banned from watching it again in the Connell Casa. Whenever I’m in the US and ask the family if they want watch Sound of Music, it is always met with a resounding “NO!!!”

But I love the Sound of Music! Julie Andrews can sing a song and I may or may not have acted out the opening scene, with arms stretched out, spinning in circles on top of a green mountain, singing at the top of my lungs “The hills are alive…” (No, I will not film that and post it for all to see. Sorry, not sorry!)

However, I think my favorite song from the movie is “My Favorite Things.” (or “16 Going on 17” or “Something Good.” Okay, okay, I’ve watched the movie too many times.)

So I thought why don’t I share of few of my favorite things with you. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, these things are sure to make you feel better…

  • She Reads Truth Bible. Y’all, this Bible is visually so inviting and beautiful. It includes key verses, reading plans, devotionals, maps and charts and large(r) margins to take notes. The translation is Christian Standard Bible which I’ll be honest, I was not familiar with but I like it. For me, I enjoy reading different translations of the Bible because sometimes I’ll read a verse in one translation and then read it another and it breathes a whole new life into that verse.

  • SoloHope’s Wednesday Specials. Of course, you know I’m all about some SoloHope but I LOVE our new Wednesday Specials that we’re doing. Each Wednesday we’re featuring one of beautiful handcrafted items at heavily discounted price but it’s only for one day so you have to act fast to get the special pricing. This week’s Wednesday Special is earrings–ALL our earrings for just $8! (Reg. $10-12). Can we say stocking stuffers?! Each pair of earrings are handcrafted from pine needles and thread (yes, it’s true!) by our artisan team in Honduras. They are light-weight and beautiful and as our artisans say “Made with lots of love.” That’s definitely a favorite of mine.

  • Fair Trade Friday. Since I love businesses/organizations supporting women and men all over the world to rise above the extreme difficulties they are faced with such as extreme poverty, human trafficking, abuse/neglect, war, I am a big fan of this subscription service. Started by blogger, Kristen Welch, this organization truly cares for the hearts of the people who handcraft the products featured in the Fair Trade Friday Box. They also have an Earring of the Month Club, a Bracelet of the Month Club and have recently introduced a new subscription service called Girl Boss Box. You should check them out. Plus they have been known to feature SoloHope’s products so that’s a win-win!

  • Magnolia Journal. I know I’m not the only person saddened to hear that Joanna & Chip Gaines’s hit HGTV show is coming to end but there are so many other places to still find the Gaines in action–books, Target, and their magazine! Which can I just say I LOVE! It’s a quarterly magazine rich with great articles, decorating times, recipes and so much more. Last quarter (pictured below) even featured an article from Bob Goff so to me, the Gaines have nailed it with this magazine.

  • Gilmore Girls. You’re probably thinking, “wait, you’ve just heard of the Gilmore Girls?! What planet have you been living on??” Well, I had heard of it but honestly just never had the desire to watch it until I began to be left out of conversations or worse when I thought my friends were talking about real-life people and felt totally out of the loop. So I caved and began watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix and y’all, I gotta give credit where credit’s due and you guys were right. Gilmore Girls is pretty good. I’m in Season 6 and I believe Loreali and Rory have drank 15,434 cups of coffee thus far, but my count could be off by a couple thousand.

Bonus: The soundtrack of Sound of Music. Need I say more?

So those are some of my favorite things that on the many rainy days we’re having right now in La Esperanza, that serve to brighten my days and then I don’t feel so sad…I get it, enough with the Sound of Music references and song lyrics.

What are some of your favorite things this fall?

Tell me in the comments below.

Growth Journey Life Missionary Life


August 10, 2017

A farm house.

That had always been my dream house. You know, Joanna Gaines style. A dreamy farm house with an enormous front porch. That was the dream.

When I got married and moved to Honduras, I did so because I knew that’s what God was saying to do. But I also did so thinking that one day we would return to the States to live in my pretty farm house.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about Ruth lately… I’ve been thinking a lot about “everything.”

The realization of giving everything had already started to hit. And then I read a blog by Kristen Welch who I swear reads my journal. She is currently writing a new book. She said in her blog, she was telling someone about the topic of this new book. Once she took a breath, they responded with “Oh so it’s a book about giving back.” And she said, “No, it’s a book about giving everything.”

And that’s where Ruth comes back into the picture.

Ruth gave everything.

She left everything she knew to go to a place where she had nothing. Her whining mother-in-law even insisted that she turn back. Insisted that she not give up so much. That she not give up EVERYTHING.

But with a determination that could be nothing less than God-given, she said,

“Wherever you go I will go,

and where you stay I will stay.

Your people will be my people

and your God my God.”


And I know too that God is also calling me to give everything as well.

But it’s not easy. To lay down your dreams. Your plans. Your decorating ideas. It’s a steep sacrifice. One that ultimately to serve Christ is required but how it hurts.

For me, it’s realizing that my farm house may never happen. I may have to settle for the Spanish-style adobe house instead. For me, it’s realizing that home may never again be the US. It may always be this place called Honduras. For me, it’s realizing that most of my conversations will be in Spanish for the rest of my life. Even though my heart speaks English. For me, it’s realizing I won’t even share the same skin color with my babies and that I’ll always have to field the question, “Is he/she yours?”

In February, a wise woman told me to mourn the loss of those dreams so I could pick up the new ones. This path truly wasn’t what I expected. I had told God, “never.” Hilarious, right?

But am I willing?

Are you willing?


To sacrifice EVERYTHING.

To give up your dreams for His plans. To lay down your will to pick up His. To love so deeply you’ll go wherever He says go and stay wherever He says stay.

Are you willing?

To make every sacrifice necessary so His name may be known knowing that yours may never be. To give until hurts. To lay aside pride to give forgiveness. To delay that new car or phone to sow more into kingdom work. To open your home to a child knowing your heart may very easily be broken when his social worker comes. To remember hope in the midst of fear.

We live in this world where we’re told we can have it all. But that’s a lie. And the Christian version of that worldly belief now tells us we can serve Christ without having to sacrifice. But it’s a lie. We can have it all and have nothing at all or we can give everything and have the All in All.

Just being super real for minute, I have fought hard this year. Not to give everything, but to hold onto it. I have clung to old dreams and missed out on seeing the beauty of the new ones the Lord was laying before me. But it’s been exhausting. It’s been tiring and frustrating. And I can honestly say I don’t want to hold onto everything anymore. I want to give Him everything so that He can be my EVERYTHING.

Will you join me in giving everything?