Happy Friday Friends! Hope it’s been a good week for you! Husband John has been out of town so it’s been quiet around here. As an extrovert I’ve been striking up conversations with any stranger I meet. If you have a cute dog, or a baby, or basically are breathing and glance my way, watch out! Hope you enjoy the soul food buffet this weekend.

Monday I posted on my boring One Word for this year. Many of you have shared your which is awesome! If you haven’t chosen a word, you may want to by next Wednesday. I have a little plan up my sleeve that I hope will encourage us all that I’ll be sharing next week!

This past Wednesday I wrote the first part of a 2-part post on how we can respond to the evil and divisiveness we see in our world, looking at 3 women in the Bible for ideas. In that same vein, I thought you might like this video shared by my friends at Telos that unpacks the meaning of Shalom.

Next, a couple of my favorite Instagram posts from this week to make you smile.

ANY good week must include puppies! I probably follow more puppy feeds on Instagram than people feeds 🙂


Also…want an easy family dinner? I got this recipe from daughter, Katy and when I made it recently for my small group, they all wanted it. It’s yummy and simple, so here you go!

Cider Braised Chicken Thighs Serves 6

6 (or more) boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 ts. Kosher salt divided

1/8 ts. black pepper

1 TB Canola oil

8 medium shallots thickly sliced

1 lg. garlic minced

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup apple cider

1 TB apple cider vinegar

2 ts. fresh sage minced

1 TB thyme

1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes cubed

Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in skillet. Brown chicken in batches, flipping once about 2 minutes/side. Set chicken aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add shallots and remaining salt. Cook, stirring frequently wil soft and brown – about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic to pan. Cook, stirring about 1 minute.

In small bowl combine broth, cider, vinegar, sage, thyme.

Increase heat to hight; bring to boil and cook wil mixture reduces slightly and flavor blends, about 5 minutes.

Add chicken and potatoes. Stir and reduce to low. Cover pan and simmer, flipping chicken, stirring, cooking 30 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs.


And last of all…

Thanks to those of you who have joined in on the Winter Warmup Challenge and posted responses on my FB page and Instagram! You gave me lots of book ideas 🙂  Here are the prompts if you still want to join in.

  1. Text friends or family what you’re grateful for today “We must always, always be on the lookout for wonder.” E.B. White
  2. Throwback Thursday – reminisce about a vacation or experience in a warm place! Post a picture and dream about a trip in the future.
  3. Buy some springy flowers as a contrast to the white and gray of winter!
  4. Put on a soundtrack or playlist (like The Greatest Showman) and dance around the house to warm up.
  5. Treat yourself to something warm and snuggly.
  6. Make a fire and curl up with a good book (Share your book suggestions!)
  7. Make a pot of soup and take it to a new mama or friend who could use a break.
  8. Get outside and do a winter sport – cross-country skiing, paddleball, broomball, ice-skating, build a snowman! OR…If you don’t live where it’s cold, curl up and enjoy the snow vicariously by watching a movie like “7 Brides for 7 Brothers”, or “Vertical Limit”, or “Everest”
  9. Put together care bags for homeless folks
  10. Make hot chocolate and give it to someone who works outdoors in the cold. Many of you have thermal mugs that have been given as promotions that you can give away. OR if you live someplace warm, maybe it’s ice tea or a water bottle!

Alternate Choices:

  • Pull out a craft project you’ve been meaning to do and DO IT!
  • Write a note (on REAL paper) to an old friend reminding them of a fun memory. Like cold water to a weary soul
        is good news from a distant land. Proverbs 25:25
  • Have an “It’s Chilly Outside so It’s Chili Inside” party – make chili and have friends bring toppings.

Here’s what Winter Warmup has looked like for me…

Have a joy-filled weekend!