I think it’s safe to say that we all plan on having a happy marriage, otherwise, if we were planning on fifty years of matrimony misery, none of us would even bother saying ‘I do’. Am I right? Sure, we know it’s going to be work, but when we have a true and lasting love like ours, well, it will never really be work.

Until…

it is work, like more work than love, and you’re more miserable than happy.

Then, being single seems a whole lot better, or maybe being married to someone better would make you happier. Maybe you really do love the person you’re married to, but you’ve grown apart, and happiness seems like a far off fantasy. This is a scary and hopeless place to be in a marriage, well, do not be dismayed, because I have a secret that can change it all around for you!

This was Matt and I several years ago, except I was too afraid to admit it, and it took the explosion in our marriage for me to figure how to be brave and find myself, but what I discovered during those dark, dark days is the secret to a happy marriage. I know it sounds cliché, but I’m serious, we can all have a happy marriage. A perfect one? No, but happy one, yes! You can find happiness right now in the marriage you’re currently in, with the person you’re currently sleeping with (or not anymore). Or even if you are looking to get married, this is for you, too, because this secret will give you an edge on your future marriage.

The Secret to a Happy Marriage ebook @charitylcraig

I wrote an e-book that I’m giving away to you for FREEEEEE! (*cue Adam Sandler in Bedtime Stories*), called, The Secret to a Happy Marriage, so if you want to know the secret, you’ll have to download it, and after you read it, please leave a comment here or email me and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.

If you’ve already subscribed to this blog, then the download link will magically appear in your mailbox soon. *happy dance*

I’m super excited about this e-book, and I know you will be too, so please download it, and share it with everyone you know!

Happy Marriage!

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There's no such thing as a perfect marriage, but here's the secret to a happy one! Downloaded your free e-book now!

A little over a year ago, I was in the middle of my #GoodEnoughMom campaign, and looking to connect with other mommies I placed a small sponsored ad in a Mom’s network (that I can’t remember the name of), and when the newsletter came out, there was my ad right next to an ad almost identical to my own. Intrigued I clicked on the little box, and it took me to Crazy. Simple. Love. blog. Everything about the blog mirrored my own blog, from the message of Love to the same color scheme. We were even using the same exact blog theme that we purchased from the same designer. It was like I was staring into the eyes of my soul sister. I knew Ashley and I were destined to be friends.

Homemade Salad by Charity L Craig

This past year, she has since changed the look of her blog, but we’ve stayed connected through Instagram, and a few weeks ago she asked me if I would be a guest on her blog, and write about my health journey (oh, the irony that I, the biggest couch potato, would ever be asked to write about health). Well, I’m so honored to be over on her space today, sharing my imperfect journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Here’s an excerpt,

I think most of us live on a proverbial teeter totter, bouncing between our culture’s definition of a beautiful body image and the real world we live in. We curse the magazine racks with their perfect Photoshopped cover models, but we lament when our cottage cheese thighs won’t fit in our jeans any more, and to make ourselves forget that we don’t have a size two frame we order another Starbucks grande Caramel Macchiato, and as we sip liquid heaven we wonder why God made all the bad foods taste so good and exercise hurt so much?

Be sure to read the rest here. I also share how to make The Most Amazing Spring Salad. See, you should totally go check it out, and while you’re there check out an amazing Christian conference giveaway she’s a part of, and follow Ashley!

… … …

Thank you so much for taking the time to write the words I write. You can also find me at some of my favorite places: Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and now Youtube! Come by and let’s chat.

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Close your eyes. Now, take a deep breath — deeper. Feel your chest expand until you feel the pinch of capacity. Hold it there for just a moment, then with steady control exhale. Feel the air rush out of your body. Relax. Repeat five or six times. Focus. Feel your body breathe. Feel this moment (Go ahead, I’ll wait until you’ve finished).

Do you know what that is?

Life.

It’s your life.

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. -Leonardo da Vinci quote

Your life is a journey. A journey that you are worthy to travel, and even though it seems like the life’s happiness comes with some mystical destination, you know, like when you’re skinnier, or richer, or have kids, or get married to the right man, or get rid of your current man, but just like the pot of gold, all those ‘somedays’ will leave you always searching, and never finding.

How should you live on this journey? Your past? Well, it’s past. There’s nothing for you there. You can never return, so now all you can do is accept it. Try it. Breathe in slow and begin to practice accepting the life of your past, because it’s on that broken road that you’ve arrived at this beautiful moment.

Your future? Tomorrow isn’t promised, and it will take care of itself. So, let’s not focus on something that is not yet in our hands.

But this moment? This very second is where life happens. It’s this moment that we must be present, breathe, and be fully alive, for it’s in this moment that all is right in your life. It’s just the way it’s supposed to be —  yes, every single broken part, and for that you must practice gratitude. You must not wait for someday to live your life. You can’t wait until everything is perfect, because life is not a destination. It’s a journey, a journey that you are responsible to walk down. Now fall in love with this journey.

Breathe in all that is good in your life. Use your voice. I am grateful for this life. I am grateful for…

Breathe out with a heart of gratitude. I am grateful for all the broken pieces of my life, for it’s in those pieces that I found my wings to fly.

Beautiful dove, you are meant to live this life wide open and with gratitude. You are meant to soar high, now it’s up to you to make it happen, because once you do, you will never be satisfied in your cage again.

… … …

I’ve added this to Holley Gerth’s weekly link-up.

Also, be sure to come connect with me through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Come by and say hi!

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When the wounds come from the unknown, when there’s no one to blame for the stabs to the heart, it can get muddy when navigating those difficult waters. This month we hear from a wounded dove who recently walked a dark journey of a loved one and cancer.

Christa and I have become online blogging friends sharing some of the same passions, like photography and writing. Even both of our roots come from Southern California. I love Christa’s honest and vulnerable words, and I know you will too.

Things Not To Say (When My Mom Gets Cancer) @csterken

 

The Wounded Dove

My phone chimed and the message read, Could you call me, please?

I immediately called my Mom. Something felt off.

Is everything okay Mom?

No, but it will be.

In that moment my world changed forever. My mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

I would like to say I bravely spoke words encouraging and wise. Words of hope and comfort. Instead, my body shook with silent sobs as the tears rolled down my cheeks.

As I tried to express my heart and share the news with friends, a few comments stood out. They quickly comprised the list of Things Never To Say To Someone Whose Loved One Has Cancer.

  1. Well, there are no guarantees you know. People could die anytime
  2. Well, it’s not about you, it is about your mom
  3. Well, how old is she anyway? My _______ was _____ when they died. Your mom is young.

Most words were caring and full of compassion. Those were the cradle that gathered me in when these comments stabbed through the cracks. The other comments? Not so comforting.

I wanted to scream. And scream.

The Things Not to Say @cskerten via @charitylcraig

Why would ME having feelings render me incapable to express them, without sounding like a jerk? Like they meant I don’t put my mom’s well-being first?

Empathy overtook me. It’s crushing during these trials. For all of the people I love and for how this would impact them. Wishing, desperately wishing, I could shield them somehow.

Yet, I am the one huddled alone on the closet floor; feeling guilty for daring to express my heart need of wanting to go home. To my mother. To do something practical to help and keep my sanity.

I am from her body. I am her daughter. We are forever connected in a way possible only by that bond.

It is unique. And it matters. It is not either/or. My needs vs. someone else’s. This or that.

There should be no tsk, tsk for a grieving daughter. For if her mother wasn’t her primary concern, there would be no tears at all.

No fear of what her mother would soon endure.

No sorrow for what she, as a woman, will lose.

Every mile feels like broken glass. Impossible to navigate safely, but necessary to come out alive. Surviving the crash of cancer.

Just hug me and let me express. Don’t offer words that are meant to encourage but fall flat or make me feel like a selfish jerk.

I am a 44 year old woman. Who leads and manages a life; reduced to a whimpering terrified little girl who doesn’t want to lose her mommy.

Helpless.

My husband incapable of offering me what I need; I see it in his discomfort. My kids unsure of how to approach me, when their strong mother suddenly has tears streaming down her face during a family game— that was full of laughter but a few minutes prior.

My necessity to be broken, conflicts with my natural role as protector.

Agreeing with the internal conflict that has always been there, of feeling like my mom’s protector.

She does not want this from me, never asks, but it is there nonetheless.

I feel furious that I am not free to shout, I AM SCARED.

I LOVE MY MOTHER. I NEED TO EXPRESS THIS. I AM NOT THINKING OF MYSELF OVER ANYONE ELSE.

But of course, in the dark moments, I am.

Thinking of her soothing arms around me, whispering “sweetie pie”. And worrying I will never feel hat comfort again. The comfort of my mother.

No one tells you how to cope with your mom having cancer.

When she has two sisters. One lived. One died. Both had breast cancer.

I called her a week later. Two sentences in, she stopped me, Christa, you aren’t ok!

The dam burst and I became a daughter. Free to cry to her mother every fear and frustration and hurt feelings of being misunderstood.

And her words felt to me reminiscent of my childhood. Remembering being sick and her hand rubbing the hair off my forehead, smoothing.

Her voice smoothing. Soothing.

And it felt better.

Like we could be in this together.

I am a terrible liar. My emotions are raw and visible on my face for the world to see. Pain and joy share space and it are impossible to hide, or fake my way through life.

And that is ok, you know?

Life has pain. We need to allow ourselves, and people in our world, space to feel it. Knowing that after every storm comes the promise of a new morning.

I am smiling today. Soon, I’ll go home to help care for my mother during her recovery. It will be hard and surely the tears will come in the darkness when I know she suffers.

But the sun will rise and we will too. Fighters rising from the ashes of heartache; our tears having washed clean the smudges of yesterday.

She is my mother and I am her child. Age and time and distance never alter that. So I will go, and this time? When my mom feels sick, perhaps I will gently smooth her hair back.

Reminding her she is stronger than she knows. And God will remind me, as He always does, that I too am stronger than I know.

Because He is the giver of morning mercies and the life preserver that brings us through the storm.

… … …

Christa Sterken has a passion to  encourage others  to live with intentionality and CS14b sqgratitude.Noted for being a gentle truth teller, she is honored to be motivator, challenger, and co-traveler with readers. Created to learn lessons as an active participant, she shares the journey transparently with others.  Christa is wrapping up her last years of homeschooling, and excited to see where God leads her next steps.  She blogs at www.christasterken.com and loves to hear from readers at writeme@christasterken.com

The Wounded Dove

Thanks for taking the time to read this guest post. I’d love to stay connected with you through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Come by and say hi!

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There’s a holy hush over the earth. Christians and non-Christians, alike, are darkening church doors to pay reverence for the most famous death in history, a death that split time and created a new religious movement. Every year, thousands travel a pilgrimage to a Holy City, just to experience that sacred moment in their hearts. Sure, only days following there will be a celebration of a resurrected life, but there’s something about the death of divinity for the sake of mortals that brings a wave of hushed awe.

I think most of us feel guilty about the death of Jesus, as if, after thousands of years dealing with screwed up humanity, God decided he’d had enough, and in some passive-aggressive sense of obligation, he came to earth to clean up our debauchery and filth.

God, The First Godfather + Good Friday @charitylcraig

Then, to his bad kids, said, “There, are you happy now? I made a way for you to grace my presence. Now get it right.” Sigh. Eye roll.

Except there’s more to this love story. There’s a foundation of love in this story that’s as strong as death. A love that burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame, and this passionate love is established in ancient times with a bloody pagan ritual and a man named Abram.

We all understand promises. We’ve all made one or two in our lifetime. I’m sure we’ve even signed a contract that states that if either party betrays their part of the contract, legal action will take place, like a repossessed car or a lawsuit, but there’s a greater commitment between two parties, one that’s more than a promise and a handshake. It’s an ancient and bloody pagan ritual called a covenant. Now, when two men decided to go into covenant with one another, they committed the rest of their lives to the other person, as in, they were united as one, serving one another — death being the only release from the covenant. The best way to think of a covenant is our modern day Mafia. Once you’re in, you’re in for life. Except, if I’m going to trust you to have my back for the rest of my life, then I’m gonna need more than a, “I promise, dude.” Ancient people understood something, “the life of all flesh is its blood.” So, to prove your commitment for life, you were gonna have to put some skin in the game — like blood.

There are ancient documents that tell accounts of when two men who decided to go into covenant with one another, to make the covenant binding, they would each cut their forearm, take a quill, drink the other’s blood from the incision, and then write his name in blood on a document. Once both had drank and signed, they would each wear an identical copy of the covenant in an amulet around his neck for the rest of his life. They would live the rest of their lives in service of one another, and committing to shed his own blood if he broke his covenant.

God, The First Godfather + Good Friday @charitylcraig

Many times animal sacrifices would be used. They would slit the throats of animals until their blood flowed together, and each party would walk through the blood, calling on pagan gods for blessings. Curses would be declared on the one who ever betrayed the covenant — the curse declaring, just like the animals shed their blood for this covenant, so the same would be required of the one who broke his end of the deal.

Today’s Italian Mafia be like, Fo’get about it.

When the Sovereign God called a pagan man to represent all humanity, and promised this childless man children that were too numerous to count, and He would call them His people, Abram said, “prove it.” So, when God asked for the blood of animals, Abram knew exactly what was about to go down. Abram was familiar with the custom of a blood covenant. This covenant pretty much established God as the original Godfather (Hahaha. Yeah, I cracked myself up on that one).

Abram laid the animals across from each other, the blood from their sliced throats flooded into one stream. Abram was ready, 100% committed to walk the bloody path. He waited, shooing away the vultures. As night came, Abram felt a dread come over him. I can’t prove it, but as he slipped off into a troubled sleep, I’m sure Abram’s heart thought God wasn’t not going to show up. God wasn’t going to keep his end of the bargain, and put some skin in the game (Genesis 15:8-21).

Only, this Sovereign God’s pause in the darkness of the night was a pause of compassion, because “He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Ps 103:14). God knows our weaknesses more than we do. He formed our humanity, and understands our limited capabilities. He understands.

As Abram slept his troubled sleep, God walked that bloody path alone. God sealed the commitment of the covenant with himself. Alone. God declared that night standing alone in the sticky heifer blood, Whether I break this covenant, or whether you — humanity, break this covenant, it doesn’t matter, I take full responsibility for both of us. I accept the curse. I will pay for the broken covenant with my own blood.

Thus, he placed the required payment of blood for betrayal on himself, establishing that we have never been responsible. There’s no letting us off the hook, because we were never on the hook to start.

This Easter season, listen to the Sovereign God whisper to your heart:

“Do not be afraid, Abram (humanity).

I am your shield,

your very great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)

So, as you stand in your quiet reverence, as your heart ponders the death of the Son of God, let your heart ignite with the same burning passion He has for you, let yourself feel the beat of his heart pound incessantly for you. Let Love be your shield, your great reward, because Jesus’s death was never your responsibility. You were never the one who was supposed to walk that bloody path.

… … …

Thank you so much for taking the time to write the words I write. It means a lot. You can also find me at my favorite places to hang out: Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and now Youtube! Come by and let’s chat.

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It’s one more Chai with Charity! I’m actually putting my video series on hold for the time being, so I can focus on the next chapter with The Wounded Dove. I’ve decided to write a book. Even though some people seem to be able to spit out books like it ain’t no thang, but for me it’s a big deal, and it’s taking up all my brain capacities, so I’m taking time off this video series.

This is a link up with my girl, Jen, at JVKom Chronicles. I love you, Jen!

Also, check out Jeremy Cowart’s inspiring video here.

 

JVKom Chronicles

Thanks for taking the time to watch this video. I’d love to stay connected with you through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Come by and say hi!

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“Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:17)

As a Christian, this verse has always left me a bit squirmy in my seat, I mean, we have Grace, the free gift of eternal life from God. We don’t have to do anything to earn a clean slate. We just receive it. So, to read the word works in the New Testament, sort of sends Christians into this paradox of, if we don’t need to work for the gift, then why is our faith dead if we don’t work? I know, for me, it’s always been one of those, “it’s not works for your salvation from hell” kind of works, it’s more of, “if you love God, then you will do the good deeds” kind of works.

It leaves us in this limbo of what are we working for, then?

September_14-0042 BLOG

This past year, Matt and I have been on a journey to change the essence of our lives. We’ve spent most of our lives wandering in poverty, depression (me!), and fear (me, again!). We’re so over that miserable life. Been there. Done that. Burning the T-shirt. With that, we’ve read quite a few books, watched countless YouTube videos, and listened plethora of audio books on how to change your life. We’ve began to study the lives of successful people, and we’re listening to what it takes to create that same success in our lives.

There are many things they’re telling people to do, but I’ve boiled it down to three basic things it takes to live the life you desire:

1. You are Not a Victim in Your Life.

You are responsible for your life’s outcome and state of being. So, whatever state you are in, the only person you can blame (or congratulate) is yourself. I’ve been the queen of victim. I believed life happened to me, thus causing me to hate my life and live under depression. Realizing I’m the one to blame for my plight was a bitter pill to swallow, because it feels so much better pointing fingers at every Tom, Dick, and Government for all the bad, instead of myself, but accepting personal responsibility has given me so much power and freedom to change my life. My favorite scripture that reminds me that it’s all up to me is, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12) It’s up to me. It’s up to you.

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2. You Must Believe First.

If there is something in your life that you want to happen, you must first believe it has already happened in your mind. It’s this sense of painting the picture in your mind, believing it is already reality, and then living as if it is already established. This has been the biggie for me, because my thoughts have always been filled with negative and fear driven thoughts, and as long as I thought of myself as a victim, I never took responsibility for my thoughts, so I always allowed my thoughts to run amuck, thus manifesting a life gone amuck. The same is true for a beautiful and successful life. For instance, if you’d like to start a business, you must first see yourself starting the business and being successful at running it, before you can ever start the successful business. The same goes for any other life changes. You must first believe you can, you must “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) before you will see it happen in your life.

3. Then, Make it Happen.

Get off your duff, and do the work it takes to make the desires of your heart come true. Again, this puts the responsibility on yourself. Do the research to learn how to start a business, and then go out and do it. You believe you are debt free? Then, you must start practicing healthy financial decisions. You can believe all day long in your mind that something is going to happen, but like the quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry says, “a goal without a plan is just a wish”.

I am at this stage right now. I’m passed the needing to take responsibility for my life, and I’m in a good place with my thoughts, now I just need to do the work to make it happen. So, last week, I started writing a book (Eeek! It’s happening!). To make things happen takes work… hard work… hard work everyday, and you keep doing the daily hard work long before you see the vision from your mind come true, but everyday you must go back to number 2 and renew your mind. Then, you will see what already exists in your mind exist on earth.

This is the stage that is the hardest for most us, me included, because this is part of the curse of Adam, the “you will make your dreams come true by the sweat of your brow” (I may have paraphrased a bit), but it’s through hard work we manifest the lives we desire.

Change Your LIfe with Faith and Works @charitylcraig

Now back to the original scripture that I mentioned — faith without works is dead. I think we’ve over spiritualized this scripture. I think we’ve made it something way more complicated than it really is. Could it be that Paul was simply defining a universal law set in place by God, you know, like the law of gravity or the law of inertia? It’s a principle on how to live the life you were meant to live — the law of faith and works. Works are just the tool to manifest your faith here on earth.

You see, faith simply is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). It’s believing before seeing. Faith is seeing yourself healthy and fit in our mind, while you’re 40 pounds overweight. Faith is being sure you live a debt free life in your mind, while a mountain of bills pile up. Faith is you being certain you live a life of love and service in your mind, while you lose your temper. The perfect example is the building of a house. A house never exists on the land until first it is made reality in the architect’s mind. Then, it’s up the the builders to take that plan and make it a reality. It doesn’t take much to paint this picture in your mind, Jesus said it only takes the size of a mustard seed.

The problem with us is we reverse numbers two and three. Going back to the house example, we look around the empty plot of land and say, “God promised me a house, but I don’t see a house. So, we lament and cry and pray for God to provide us a house. We ask for more faith or patience or something, but all we need to do is form the house in our minds. See it, believe the future house exists now. Then, we work to make that house become a reality. Meaning we live as though it already were. This is why Paul tells us, “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” (2 Corn. 4:18) He’s telling us the secret to living the life we so desperately desire to live. He’s telling us how we can be the light of the world. He’s telling us how to live an abundant life. It all starts in your mind.

Get the picture firm in your mind. You are to see yourself living debt free, healthy and fit, strong, courageous, starting a business, loving your neighbor as yourself, traveling the world, whatever it is. You must have faith first!

Then, don’t let your faith die there. Go, get your shovel, and move that mountain.

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Whew. I was long winded today. Thanks for sticking with me on this one. You must really love me, and if you haven’t already, come find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and now Youtube!

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We are human.

We can feel. We can see. We can touch. We can laugh. We can love.

We are these amazing creatures of self-awareness, and yet we cut each other down, we cut ourselves down. We slash ourselves to nothing. We reject ourselves and we reject others all because we feel like we’re not good enough.

I don’t know why we feel this way. We have these amazing bodies that do amazing things, and amazing minds that do amazing things. Yet, we still sit here and say we’re not good enough. We say we don’t have what it takes to do amazing things.

The truth is we are supernaturally made. We are made in the likeness of God. God, himself, has opted to dwell within us. He desires us — humanity.

We Are Human @charitylcraig

Somewhere along the way, in our journey as humans, we’ve gotten this idea that when God created us, he made this cosmic mistake. You know, like, He said, “This is very good”, and then freaked out because Adam and Eve decided to eat the fruit. We get this idea that when they chose the knowledge of Good and Evil, God gasped and shook with wrath, but if you read carefully, God was never angry by this decision they made. In fact, he made them beautiful clothing out of the finest furs and leathers, and then escorted them from the garden before they ate of the Tree of Life and lived forever.

From that moment, God has spent our entire existence showing us his desire for us, his love for us, his pursuit for us — humanity.

We need to stop looking at our humanity as this negative, demonized, cosmic mistake that God wishes he had never made. It’s quite the opposite. He says he’s going to allure us and speak tenderly to us.

It’s not about being perfect or even being sinless. It’s about being human — human made in the likeness of the Infinite and the Infinite living within us.

We’re on a journey, a journey with Love, and he takes so much delight in us on this journey with Him. He’s enjoying us, even in the middle of our mess, even in the middle of our inadequacies.

It’s so much better if we embrace ourselves as humans, and stop looking at ourselves as a disgrace to God, and begin to live a supernatural life that reflects the likeness of the one who lives within us.

Take some time to embrace your humanity. Embrace who you are, and let Love take great delight in you.

… … …

You and I really should be friends. Here are a few of my favorite places to hang out: Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and now Youtube! Come by and let’s chat.

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I’ve made it clear that I hate to cook, but there are a few things I can whip up that don’t require much work, and I nail it like nobody’s business. I call them #GoodEnoughMom recipes. Homemade kales chips are one of those things.

They also happen to be my kid’s favorite snack. Weird, I know. They squeal and dance around, kind of how I used to squeal and dance around when my mom brought home chocolate cake. Even Christian, my pickiest eater, can’t stop once he starts. Now, before you get the idea we’re a crunchy organic family eating only things that grow from the earth, this is a new journey of eating healthy for us.

In fact, about 6 months ago we were at a friend’s house for a dinner party, and her appetizer was homemade kale chips. What kind of appetizer is this?! I’m sorry, but green and appetizer should not be used in the same sentence. Where was the Velveeta? I struggled to disguise my horror, and I would’ve used our safe word and left, but I couldn’t get Matt’s attention. Then came that awkward moment when my friend held up the plate of green crispies. Not wanting to end our friendship just yet, I took an obligatory piece. A couple of minutes later, she asked if I wouldn’t mind letting the other guests have some.

The Amazeball Kale Chips @charitylcraig I made a lifelong friend when I asked her how to make them. Now, I share the recipe with you. I’ve named them

The Amazeball Kale Chips

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

2. Wash fresh kale and cut off the stems. I leave the pieces as big possible, because they shrink in the oven.

3. Place a single layer on a baking sheet. (Baking tip: place a sheet of foil to keep your pan clean.) Sprinkle olive oil and salt over the kale.

4. Bake for 20ish minutes until crispy.

5. Enjoy with squeals and dancing!

Feel free to explore with other seasonings as toppings. Then, let me know what other yummy flavors you come up with.

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There's no such thing as a perfect marriage, but here's the secret to a happy one! Downloaded your free e-book now!

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post.
I received a sample of the product for review purposes.

You Are Loved No Matter What by Holley Gerth @holleygerth

One of the longings of every human heart is to be intimately loved without shame. It’s in our DNA; we’re wired this way, but somehow through our broken human relationships, we’ve received the message that our human heart lacks what it needs to receive such a perfect love. We believe the lie that we’re not good enough, worthy enough of intimate love. So, we learn to build a fortress around our hearts, a fortress of perfection. If only we can BE perfect, then we can receive perfect.

Enter Holley Gerth and her book, You’re Loved No Matter What. As soon as I read the title of her book, my heart began to sing, because learning this very thing, was the key that unlocked the cage I lived in most of my life.

From the back of Holley’s book:

“Holley Gerth is a bestselling writer, certified life coach, and speaker. She loves connecting with the hearts of women through her popular blo and books like You’re Already Amazing, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream, You’re Going to Be Okay, and more. She’s also cofounder of the popular website (in)courage and a partner witih DaySpring. Learn more at www.holleygerth.com”

Can you say soul sister? I love her so much already. Like my last review, I’m going to share small tweetable nuggets from Holley’s book, but to get all her gooey goodness, go get your own book to highlight. Mine’s already taken. Then, go subscribe to her blog and follow her on all social media channels.

You Are Loved No Matter What by Holley Gerth @holleygerth

And her chapter, What Your Heart Really Needs is Perfect Love. Gaw, be still my beating heart! And her section, God Loves You Like a Perfect Husband, you know, is going to make me do an extra dance, because it’s Love’s perfect desire for us that trumps the imperfect love of our human husbands.

“We all want the fairy tale — the happily ever after with a perfect husband. There’s nothing wrong with that desire. It’s just that we misplace it sometimes.” -Holley

That desire is met in the One who already loves and accepts us, just the way we are.

Another way of letting go of perfect is understanding who you already are and embracing that freedom. Holley dedicates an entire chapter to understanding who you are. She gives practical resources for you to explore your strengths, skills, love language, and personality. Then, she encourages us to stop apologizing for who we are.

See? I told you she’s my soul sister, and you’ll probably feel the same way.

She ends we book with seven practical steps to letting go of perfection, an open heartfelt letter, and a guide for you or a group to ponder and answer. It’s more that a great read, it’s a practical resources to help you take the messy imperfect journey to Love.

Now, go buy your own copy.

You Are Loved No Matter What by Holley Gerth @holleygerth

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post.
I received a sample of the product for review purposes.