Weekend Recap + Monday Morning Joy

You know those kinds of weekends that are so beautiful, you only come inside to shower and sleep?

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Yep, that was our weekend. After a week of dreary cold and rain, San Diego’s sunny-and-75 perfection was back!

After a half-day of work on Friday (#praisehands), Chase and I took a mini road-trip to North County to spend some time in our favorite towns, Solana Beach and Cardiff by-the-Sea, to log some miles for week 12 of the 52 Hike Challenge. Have you checked the challenge out yet? Opt outside and give it a shot! 

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Saturday was a loooong day well spent cheering on Chad and his teammates at his second competition. He worked so hard to accomplish new PRs (including 100 unbroken Double-Unders!!!) and I was so proud to watch him. Every workout that he and the other athletes crushed was seriously inspiring – but also enough to make you a little nauseous. I think I’d rather run a marathon than spend 5 minutes on the Assault Bike, wouldn’t you? Lots of friends and lots of sunshine…it was a really fun day! #crossfitwifecrossfitlife

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Checking out the new Nano 7s! Finally…we found a size big enough to accommodate Chad’s feet. 😉

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When you’re seriously inspired by your husband but also holding your breath and praying that he won’t break his neck…

 

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jumpman, jumpman, jumpman them boys up to somethin’.

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So.Many.Burpees.

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Sweet Kilo girl! Team pup.

 

Sunday was another perfect day well spent in the sun on steep trails with good friends and a beautiful church service.

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And before you head back to the office and give in to the temptation to be bummed out by the end of the weekend (so tough, I know!)…check out some Monday Morning Joy.

  1. My friend Abby’s inspiring message from this weekend. As if her words weren’t enough to convince you of her awesomeness already, did I mention she’s a marathoner AND a new mama? I love this girl – check out her great devos here.

 

2. Happy running news: Runners Assist Injured 73 Year-Old Man to the Finish Line

3. And just some good ol’ running inspiration:

It is a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable.:

I feel like this is something a villain would say ;):

Running motivation quote gift for runner by JenniferDareDesigns:

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Love you guys! Have a wonderful week, stay positive, and trust God with everything that comes your way. XOXO

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Chocolate + PB Protein Cookies (Gluten Free, Sugar Free, and Vegan!)

It’s Tuesday! I always love the fresh start of a new week and the chance to make better choices – especially when it comes to meal prepping.

Shiny New Week | Alexandra Snowdon - Testing out my new Micron Fineliners! #handlettering #handletteringpractice:

As you’ve probably heard me complain about a million times by now, San Diego got a TON of rain this weekend. The one plus side to cold and rainy days is that they always get me in the mood to bake. Chad and I have been drastically cutting back on sugar and processed foods over the past two weeks, but we’ve been craving sweets and desserts. The solution? Healthy cookies! These babies are gluten-free, sugar-free, and can be made vegan with slight variations – so they’re sure to please all dietary camps :).

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This recipe is so simple and just takes 5 minutes to throw together – and you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry. Give these Reese’s-inspired treats a try and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

1 cup of creamy peanut butter — make sure it’s a kind without sugar – we use Parker’s Perfect All-Natural Creamy PB and the only ingredients are peanuts and sea salt

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2 eggs — or flax eggs if you’re a veggie!

2 scoops of vanilla protein powder — I used standard whey for Chad’s batch, but like to use Orgain’s organic plant-based protein powder for my own. 🙂

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2/3 cup of natural sweetener – we use Truvia’s baking blend

2 table spoons of cocoa powder

and just a dash of vanilla extract

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Before going in the oven…

Preheat your oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Then, roll balls of dough together, pressing them down on a greased baking sheet into cookie shape. Bake for 12 minutes – and bam! You’ve got yourself some guilt-free, post-gym dessert. 🙂

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And fully baked!

Do you have any go-to healthy treats? I’d love to try them! Please share your favorites in the comments below.

Have a wonderful day, and stay great! XO

Training Check-In

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re resting today and taking time for things that you love with your people.

A Sunday well spent brings a week of content! Free Printable from onsuttonplace.com. Use for DIY Wall Art, cards, crafts, screensavers.:

Sunday is a pretty sacred day around here. Unless it’s race day, we don’t really workout or push ourselves with too much housework, chores, errands, or items from the to-do list. We rest. We slow down. To us, Sundays are for church, for slow breakfast, for longer walks with Chase, and for time outside exploring the beauty that San Diego has to offer. Oh, and for football! Always football. 🙂

Since I’m not running today (but I’ll admit – I want to be!), I wanted to recap this week’s workouts and check in on my training for upcoming half-marathons and a full marathon. I hope to be able to reflect on my runs + workouts each week and look back on how I overcame trials and struggles in pursuit of a goal.

I’ll be honest – I’ve been running for a long, long time…but I’ve always felt very insecure about sharing my journey with running. Some of that insecurity has sounded like, “but I’m not that fast and haven’t accomplished much compared to other runners…why does it matter?”…and it’s also sounded like, “documenting your running is self-focused and self-seeking…why do you think you matter and why would you think that anyone cares?”. So I would run…and not tell anybody about it. Or I’d finish a race and accomplish a goal, but I wouldn’t share it with anyone at the risk of sounding selfish or conceited. I’m so thankful that over the past year, God has changed my negative thought patterns and has instead encouraged me to share my running – to be a good steward of my health and the body that He’s given me, to celebrate what He’s doing in my life, and to encourage others to dream big and pursue their goals, no matter how daunting they may seem.

Running brings me joy. And just because I’ve never been the fastest girl on the team, or because I’m worried of what other people may think – I shouldn’t hide. Running clears my mind. It helps me feel closer to Him. I learn more about myself and who I really am with each mile. Running reminds me that I can do hard things. That I am enough. That skinny is out and strong, healthy confidence is in. I am so thankful for all that God has done through running to restore and heal me – body, heart, and soul.

So, as you read this, please know it is never my desire to earn praise or to be popular or cool in the eyes of others. God has simply given me a love for running and fitness, instilled in me at a young age, and I’m just finally ready to share it with others. It’s my prayer that through documenting my running journey, my faith will grow deeper and I will inspire others to walk (or run!) with God and trust Him with their lives.

With all that being said…let’s get to that recap, shall we?

Monday: 7 mile tempo (2 mi warm-up @ 9:30, 4 mi tempo, 1 mile cool down)

Tuesday: 4 easy miles + strength

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 2 miles + strength

Friday: 10 miles @ 9:22 pace

Saturday: 3 easy mile run + 2 mile walk with Chad

Sunday: Yoga + long walk with our pup 🙂

Total: 26 miles 

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My best friend gave me the Compete Training Journal (from Lauren Fleshman) and it has been such a great accountability tool!

Thanks so much for joining me here and reading along. Whether you’re a runner or not, I hope that you’ll feel brave in pursuing the things you love and the things that make you come alive in the week ahead. I pray that you will never be ashamed of who you are and how God made you…but that you’ll be bold to share your faith with others, for His glory.

bible verses about confidence - Google Search:

 

Friday Five 1.20.17

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Checking in for a quick Friday Five! San Diego has a big winter storm coming this morning and I’m off to attempt to run outside while I’m able to. 🙂 As always, I’d love for you to comment + let me in on your Friday Five!

What I’m Loving: Pinterest inspiration! Pinterest used to have a way of making me feel inadequate. Can you relate? I’d scroll through my feed looking at the beautiful pictures and think, I’m not a good enough cook to make that, her hair is so much cuter than mine, I’ll never be able to afford decor that nice, and, should I also be doing those 10 Daily Moves to have a bikini body by summer?! It became really unhealthy, and I had to take a step back from pinning for a while. Now, I’ve fallen in love with Pinterest again, but for totally new reasons – faith and encouragement. I’ve changed my settings so I’m not seeing girls in teeny tiny yoga pants with perfect bodies, but instead, I’m seeing Bible verses and uplifting words of encouragement. I’m finding realistic, affordable recipes (#crockpotlove) and body-positive messaging and tips for trips that we want to take. It’s made all the difference and you know what, friends? It reminds me that I’m enough and that I don’t have to keep trying to improve, improve, improve, and do more, more, more to be the perfect woman. Here are a few of my favorite pins that I’m loving lately:

Tranquil, Comfortable, Modern Country Living:
And I’ve learned that life is anything but full when we’re comparing ourselves to others. Guilty.

 

Today's note to self ✍🏻 both for writing and for life. | Instagram @samteich:

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1 Peter 4:8 "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.":

What I’m Reading: Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes

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So, so good. I haven’t sacrificed sleep to keep reading in a long time, but this book made me do it. Dean is absolutely crazy and captivating at the same time. If you’re wondering the same thing my husband asked, “Does this mean you’re going to run an ultra now?” the answer is heck no…not anytime soon at least. But the book is so good, I can’t make any promises. 🙂 If anybody want to read it afterwards, let me know! I scored it on Amazon for $1 and I am all for book clubs. I’ll gladly send it to you.

What I’m Inspired By: Patriots’ Day

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Guys, I can’t even begin to explain how good, beautiful, haunting, heavy, and uplifting (yep, all at the same time) this movie was. You just have to see it.

Also – Shout out to my mom for our favorite Christmas gift to the fancy pants new theater! Thank goodness the movie was action-packed, or I definitely would have fallen asleep because those seats were the COMFIEST. It was a perfect date night – thank you! 

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What I’m Thanking God for: His provision for a full-time job – one with incredible flexibility and very frequent days off. This week, I lucked out with TWO full days off and it’s been refreshing. It means more free time for friends, longer walks with Chase, running outside, and tackling chores/errands early so the weekend ahead can be fully enjoyed. While there is no such thing as a perfect job, mine is such a gift to our little family, and too often I take it for granted.

Weekly Highlight: Ok, it’s taken me way too long to choose from three so I’m just going to give you all three. It’s my blog, there are no rules here, right?

  • Having breakfast on the OB pier with two of my old roommates who I haven’t seen in almost 5 years!

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  • Having a play date with Chase and Jill’s new puppy, Cope.
  • Spending the day at the Safari Park with Chad. It was amazing and I was so impressed with how well they care for the animals!

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Off to run — I think I’m starting to hear a few raindrops on my roof (nooooo)! Stay dry and have fun wherever you are this weekend. 🙂 XO

 

 

Stay Safe, My Girl.

Good morning, friends. Today I’m chatting about a subject very near to my heart – safety while running.

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I’m sorry to say that staying safe on the run hasn’t always been a priority for me. And maybe this is true for you too…when we are so caught up in mileage that we want to cover, times that we have to hit, and new routes that we want to try, safety might not even be a blip on our radar. I hate to say it, but as women, we are especially vulnerable while running alone and we only increase that risk when running solo on trails or isolated areas.

I’ve been running alone and outdoors since I was 13, and only recently have I prioritized making smart, strategic decisions to ensure safety on my runs. Here are a few tips, tricks, and tools that have worked for me to stay safe – while also still having a blast and enjoying my love of running.

Run Fast, Run Far, Stay Safe:

  • Join a running group! Not only will running with friends help the miles fly by and increase your speed and endurance, but it will also provide some extra protection. There’s strength in numbers. Most running groups are totally free and have varying meeting dates and times to work with your schedules. Find the perfect group for you by inquiring at your local boutique running store, or online at Meetup.com.
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The San Diego Track Club is one of the most popular groups here in SD. I can’t guarantee that every running group has Meb in it, but you might get lucky. 🙂
  • Join a gym (or get a treadmill). If you work a typical 40-hour week like me, most of our runs have to be done in the early morning dark hours, or after sunset. Having access to a gym with a track and/or treadmill provides an opportunity to run at all hours, without putting yourself at risk. Hate the “dreadmill”? Try some 400m/800m repeats, or test out these treadmill workouts to get faster and have so much fun, you’ll forget you’re inside.

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  • Use a safety app. Glympse and RunSafe are two popular safety apps to give you more confidence while running alone. With Glympse, runners can share their location with a select group of recipients for up to four hours. The best part is, your recipients don’t even need to have the app to track you. RunSafe is similar, and has the capability to notify your trackers at the start and end of your workout. In case of extreme emergency, RunSafe also has a Panic Button feature, which not only alerts your friends and family when activated, but also sounds an alarm, flashes a strobe light, and records several minutes of audio that will be sent to your recipients. Using both of these apps are free and will allow your mind to be at ease while you accomplish your goals.

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  • If you must run alone, be strategic about where you go. I totally get it that sometimes, we don’t always have the luxury and availability to run with a group or at the gym. When you have to run solo outside, be sure to pick a place that is well-lit and well-populated, and always go during peak hours of the day when plenty of people are around. When I was home on the East Coast for Christmas, I set out for a run in the mid-morning on a bright, sunny day near my in-laws’ house. I ran in their neighborhood park, which has baseball fields, playgrounds, and a 2-mile track. A few miles in, I ran past the parking lot and there was a white SUV sitting by itself. As I approached running past it, a large man got out, called out to me, and motioned for me to come over towards him. Immediately, I knew that something wasn’t right, and I turned around and sprinted towards the playground, where I told a family what had happened and asked for their help. They allowed me to use their phone to call Chad, and then walked me back to my in-laws’ house to ensure that I got home safely. I am so thankful that I had this wake-up call, because it reminded me that anything can happen – even on a bright, sunny day in a nice, safe neighborhood during the holidays. Because I ran in a public park with lots of people around, I was able to find someone and get help quickly. It could’ve been nothing, but it really could’ve been something. I have no idea what I would have done if it was just me and the man alone in the park.

I hate to have to talk about a heavy topic, but staying safe is truly important to runners. Let’s not let a few bad eggs in the world keep us from enjoying the sport that we love, but instead, let’s just make smart decisions and have more confidence while tackling our goals and logging miles. If you have any favorite tools or tricks for staying safe on the run – please share them with us in the comments below.

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Thank you for reading along! I wish you a wonderful week ahead and whatever goals and distances you are going after – stay safe, and stay great. XO

Friday Five 1.13.17

It's finally Fri-YAY! What plans do you have this weekend?:

We made it, we made it! It’s Friday, friends, and I hope you’re making it a good one.

Today I’m checking in with a quick Friday Five. How has your week been? I’d love to hear your answers to these same prompts!

What I’m Loving: I’m currently staring at this beautiful centerpiece of hydrangeas, gerbers, and baby’s breath that my coworker Ashley put together and sent home with me after a party yesterday. She’s the nicest and they’re the prettiest…they brighten the whole living room!

These three flowers together are my favorite, and they give me all the feels. We had them all over the place at our wedding!

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What I’m Reading: Shaken by Tim Tebow

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Roll your eyes if you want to but I love this man and everything that he stands for. I read his first book in 2010 and this one is even better! I especially loved hearing how he dealt with rejection after rejection after rejection in the NFL all while keeping his heart and faith in tact.

Speaking of rejection…remember when he was an Eagle for a hot second? I hardly do. But you can read about that in the book!

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Regardless – his heart is golden and his message is one that I think all of us need on some level.

I’m Inspired By: Kinuerly and Joel, the children that we are fortunate to sponsor. (Chad calls them our “flat kids” because we have their flat pictures on our fridge. Oh, that man makes me laugh.) We received sweet letters and artwork from both of them on Monday, which is always highlight of the week! Kinuerly is six years old and lives in Guatemala. It really means a lot to me to sponsor a girl my sister’s age. And Joel is 9 (turning ten next month!) and lives in Uganda. Click here and here to learn more about partnering with Compassion and Food for the Hungry. We are lucky to play such a small, teeny tiny part in their stories and to learn about their lives – the real impact is made on the ground thanks to selfless and dedicated workers who devote their lives to investing into these kiddos’ hearts.They are incredible!

What I’m Praying For: Chad – he’s been battling some minor health issues over the past two weeks and it’s set him back a bit. I think he’s just now turning a corner though. 🙂

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cute bud.

 

Highlight of the Week: Learning some basics about my new camera. Though I still have SO much to learn! It’s quite intimidating, but I’m determined. Any photographer friends willing to help a sister out? My highlight this week was finally uploading the photos that I took from our trip back to the East Coast over Christmas. I was basically just shooting and pointing on auto at this point, but hey, it was fun! Here are just a few of my favorite shots of our beautiful family:

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Hope you have a beautiful weekend full of playoffs and the people you love, while all of us here in San Diego are mourning the move of the Chargers. I’ll miss good ol’ Phillip – and I’ll REALLY miss the fact that the Eagles were supposed to come to San Diego this year. What are we supposed to do now?

Love,

Charlotte

The Best Coffee Date You’ll Ever Have

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The best coffee date you’ll ever have won’t be with that cute boy who sits down the hall from you at work. It won’t be with your old friend from high school that you’re catching up with after lost time (although those kinds of reunions are the greatest, right?!), and it won’t be with your spouse or your kids or your best girlfriend, either.

The best coffee date you’ll ever have will be with the one who made you, who knows every terrible thing that you did and loves you anyway, the one who created you on purpose and for a purpose, the one who longs for alone time with you.

About seven years ago, when I started to explore what a real relationship with God looked like – I had a lot to learn. And that learning curve was STEEP. The fact that God not only knew everything about me, inside and out, the good and the bad and the really, really ugly – but that in spite of all of my brokenness and the mistakes that I made, that he actually loved me, too?! That just blew my mind. It took me years to wrestle with and I truly doubted it at first. But during those years of wandering and wondering about my faith, I started to hear two words quietly passed around church halls and bible studies. Quiet time. Up until that point, the only instance that “quiet time” was ever in my vocabulary was when I was laying down the law to the two rowdy, rambunctious little boys that I nannied for.

I didn’t fully understand what quiet time was yet, but I knew one thing was for sure: the people that talked about it, the people that carved out quiet time during their every day…they had so. much. joy. And their hearts were SO full. To be honest, their joy weirded me out first. Could a joy and a love like that even be real? But once I saw that they had the sense of hope and fulfillment that I’d been desperately searching for for a long, long time…that’s when I knew I needed to try actually spending time with God. One on one. Just me and Him. No church pews, no music, no pastors, no rules. It was just raw, sincere time with a dear friend who I wished I had known all my life.

Since then, I try to have quiet time every morning. And I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect at it. There are some days when I sleep late and wake up frazzled and rushed and I run out the door, and there are some days when I believe the lie that other things are more important to tend to than spending time with Jesus. But on the days when I sleepily stumble out to the kitchen, turn on the coffee pot, and plop on the couch with a Bible open or hands folded…that’s when I find that hope, fulfillment, and that same joy that totally weirded me out at first. There’s nothing else like it, and it’s all because of Him. Friends, I so desperately want that for you, too.

Life isn’t always easy. The world is a broken place and it makes me weary. Some days are long and challenging and require every bit of strength I can muster up just to get through it. But when I give the first moments of my day over to Jesus and surrender to His love and guidance – there is nothing that the day ahead could throw at me that I can’t handle. 

Quiet time doesn’t look the same for any two people – and that’s the beauty of it. The best thing about a relationship with Jesus is that He loves you for YOU. He loves you for who He created you to be and He doesn’t expect you to look or act or think or pray like anybody else. There’s nothing to get right. There are no rules to follow, no dress code, no right words to say. He doesn’t care if this is your first time meeting with Him in your life, He won’t push you away if you’ve pushed Him away or doubted Him before. He simply just wants you to come as you are (messy bun, morning breath, and all) and lay your fears down at his feet. All He wants is time with you to show you how much he cares for you.

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If you’re looking for some quiet time inspiration – I’ve got you covered! When I first started trying to implement this in my daily routine, it was a s t r u g g l e. I didn’t even know where the Gospels were and the only Bible stories I knew were the ones that we watched in elementary school cartoon movies. I felt unqualified and unprepared – but luckily our sweet God doesn’t demand perfection or prerequisites. 🙂

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Pretty sure we watched this during every Indoor Recess, ever. #glorydays

A relationship with Jesus is constantly evolving and strengthening. Intentionally pursuing time to know Him is not always easy, but my gosh, it is always so worth it. In building a relationship with him, I’ve found some great friends and wonderful resources along the way. I hope these books, blogs, tips, and tricks will help guide you to the start of a purposeful start to your day. Or if it’s been a while since you’ve talked to God (no judgment, I’ve been there!), I hope that some of these resources will help you fall back in love with time spent with Him. Remember – there is no right way or formula – just be with Him in a way that works for you.

Getting Started

Be Still and Know That He is God…but How?

How to Have a Quiet Time

Brighten Your Bible Study

You Need Your Own Space

And if you really don’t know where to start – try this video from Caroline Williams. If you love to be active in the morning but still want to prioritize quiet time, she’ll easily guide you through a relaxing, uplifting Christian yoga session to connect you with God. This is one of my favorites!

Books + Blogs

Savor by Shauna Niequist

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A short devotion for every day. This book lives on my coffee table and I’ve been reading it (almost) daily for the past two years.I never grow bored or tired of it and it always makes my day much brighter.

Live with Purpose: SOAP Studies from Abby Ecker – entertaining and encouraging!

 Jesus Today by Sarah Young – quick and simple!

Proverbs 31 – awesome daily emails!

She Reads Truth – so helpful if you want to read the Bible but don’t know where to start.

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I hope you’ll join me in taking some quiet time with Jesus today. Before you hit the gym or race to work — just sit and be still first. You might be surprised to see how much your heart needed the rest and refuge, and how much better your day will be because of it. If you have any favorite prayer/study resources, please share in the comments below! Wishing you a beautiful day. XO