In Faith, Trials on
21 February, 2017

Victory Comes From Surrender

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Today I have the pleasure of introducing you all to my sweet friend Amy from Cosentino Living. Amy and I connected on Instagram awhile back, but only recently discovered how similar our paths have been! I hope you will be greatly encouraged today as Amy shares her story of God’s faithfulness in her life. Plus, when you’re finished, you can head on over to her blog to read a guest post from me! -Jen

One Sunday back in 2014, I had the incredible opportunity of sharing my testimony before my church family. To this day I’m not entirely sure how the Lord made that happen; it’s not as though I have some drastically crazy testimony. (Although for the record, I think any testimony of the Lord changing someone’s life is a testimony worth sharing! And if you have Jesus in your life, then you have a testimony, my friend). Somehow, God found a way to have our pastor hear my testimony, and decide it would be meaningful for our church body to do the same. Crazy, I know!

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In Faith, Marriage & Love, Trials on
2 February, 2017

Trusting in God When Our Plans Fall Apart

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As much as I love Jane Austen, I have to admit that Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is my most favorite of all the novels I’ve read.

The story of Jane Eyre is both touching and memorable. I first read the book in high school (more than a decade ago), and have seen the movie a number of times, but it wasn’t until I reread the novel as a 26-year-old that I realized how much of an faith-encourager this story truly is.

In my most recent reading of Jane Eyre this January, I was completely captivated. Perhaps it’s 10 years of life experience – 10 years of life, love and loss – that has made all the difference in how much it affected me. And, honestly, it was not because it is some great romance. I mean, it is a wonderful love story, but more than that it is a story of God’s faithfulness and how we can trust him when things fall apart. I really think that’s what Charlotte Bronte would want us to take away from the story – above all else.

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In Lifestyle on
25 January, 2017

10 Books to Read if You Love Jane Austen

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If you have been following me for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that I love Jane Austen. I have loved her since I was first introduced to her by Rory Gilmore more than a decade ago. Do you remember when Rory told Dean to read Emma, and he admitted he liked it? Pretty sure I set out the very next day to purchase my first Austen. (My Gilmore girls love runs deep. Just being honest.)

I have noticed on Instagram that many of you also love Miss Austen. And since I read a lot of novels (and since Austen only wrote 6 of them) I’ve compiled a short reading list of other great works – both new and old – that any Austen lover would adore. Most of them are set in England in the 1800s, but a few of them are set in Canada in the 1900s.

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In Faith, Trials on
28 December, 2016

The Kindness of a Stranger

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It was December 20, 2016. I was walking around the mall with my cousin, trying to focus on the joy of the Christmas season and get some shopping done. We had just come from a visit with our declining grandfather; we knew his time was coming quickly, but little did we know that visit with him would be our last.

We walked into Macy’s, and I approached the makeup counter. At first I was a little annoyed that no one was there to help me – until a kind voice came from behind me.

“Can I help you with something?”

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In Faith on
20 December, 2016

Life is Not a Hallmark Movie

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I have a confession to make. One of my favorite things about the holiday season is sitting down with a cup of hot tea and a cozy blanket…and, of course, watching the Hallmark channel. I’ve always loved those sappy, Christmas-themed RomComs they play throughout the holiday season. I can’t help it; I just get sucked in. (Surely, I’m not the only one!?)

But this year, as I’ve watched countless Hallmark Christmas movies (to the dismay of my patient husband), I’ve realized something more than ever before: life is nothing like a Hallmark movie. And it’s easy to feel like it should be.

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In Lifestyle, Wellness on
1 December, 2016

New Years Goal: Keeping It Together in 2017

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I don’t know about you, but I cannot believe it is already December! With the end of the year being just around the corner, this is the time of year I start to think and plan for the new year ahead. This coming year, I’m planning to be a whole lot more organized and purposeful, and I’m doing it with the help of my new Kitlife planner.

When I stumbled upon the Kitlife website, I was immediately taken in with the bright colors and pretty patterns of these sweet planners. I knew I had to have one.

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In Home Decor, Lifestyle on
14 November, 2016

The DIY Wreath You Need This Christmas

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It’s been a crazy busy few weeks, but I am glad to be back to writing today and super excited to share a fun holiday craft!

I’ll start off by saying – as I have said before – that I am not a crafty person by nature. I attempted my first Pinterest project in 2012, and it took me two tries, at least four trips to the store and a good five hours of my life I’ll never get back. It was supposed to be a simple project, but for me it turned into a nightmare. After that, I decided crafts just weren’t my thing.

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In Home Decor, Lifestyle on
27 October, 2016

One of My Favorite Ways to Decorate (+ Free Printable)

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When my husband and I were first married, we lived in a really cute little rental condo. Being that it was my first time having my own place to decorate, I had so many ideas for how to make it our own. But let’s be honest, we really needed to recuperate from the cost of our wedding. So naturally, I didn’t have much of a budget to work with. I ended up waiting on a lot of things that were on my wish list. I just kept saying to myself, “In a year, when we buy our first house, I’ll decorate it the way I want to.”

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In Food + Drink, Wellness on
18 October, 2016

My Best Ever (Accidental) Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

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Sometimes things just don’t go as planned, ya know? Like when you set out to bake 24 delicious, fluffy pumpkin muffins and you accidentally add six tablespoons of cocoa powder to the mix.

Uh, yeah. Whoops.

One might wonder how this type of accident happens, so let me explain it to you. First of all, keep in mind that I had been sick for over a week when this incident occurred (I just don’t think straight when I’m under the weather). And secondly, also keep in mind that I had already been preparing freezer meals for three hours that day when I decided it would be a good idea to do some baking (bad idea, very bad idea).

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In Faith, Marriage & Love on
10 October, 2016

When Marriage is Less Than Perfect

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I thought I had it all figured out. Before I started dating, I thought finding a spouse was a simple process. I had read a ton of Christian dating books, so I figured all I had to do was guard my heart and make sure I found a guy who loved both God and me, and I would find my “Happily Ever After.” After all, I was pretty sure God wanted me to be happy.

But things got pretty messy for me a few years later. I got my heart broken, and suddenly the whole dating thing wasn’t so simple anymore. Through the pain, however, I found healing for my brokenness as I found my identity in Christ. I truly began to bloom. And after a few years of painful yet blissful singleness, I was ready to dive back into the dating world.

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