10 Books to Read for Black History Month

10 Books to Read for Black History Month

When Mr. M and I were in Memphis two weeks ago, we had the opportunity to go to the National Civil Rights Museum. It was an awe-inspiring afternoon, and we could have spent so much longer than the 3 hours we spent working our way through the museum.

The older I get, the more I am conscientious and appreciative that we take time to commemorate black history. It is unfortunate that we a) have to make a conscious effort to do so and b) that we relegate it into one month when it all should be integrated into America’s history. Although my husband was not born in America, he shows a deep understanding and appreciation of acknowledging the pain that encompasses the black community in American history, which has helped open my eyes to do so as well.

So what do you do if you don’t live an area of have any African-American/black friends? You can read! This is why I love books. It has helped open my eyes to to worlds that I would not have known otherwise. Today I’ve compiled 10 books to read during black history month. And let me make a disclaimer: I have not read all of these books yet. Almost all of them are on my bookshelf at home, and I am halfway through several of them. A few of these recommendations came from Mr. M, and a few of them came from NPR (because Fresh Air is my jam!)

10 Books to Read During Black History Month (2)

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 The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas

I just started this book last night and already got tears in my eyes during the first chapter. This is the perfect book club book – especially if everyone in your book club is white. This book is so important to read – especially during this era.

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.”

Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston

I fell in love with Zora Neal Hurston in my 20th century American literature class in college. Her short story, “Sweat” introduced me to her strong characters and the nuanced way she weaves love and life and insecurity amongst her characters.

“Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.”

Beloved – Toni Morrison

This is a book I have picked up several times and never finished, but it is on my list of books to read this month during Black History Month. Toni Morrison is such a praised author, and her protagonist – who used to be a slave, brings us into her world of living post-slavery but still struggling with her identity.

“Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.”

Between the World and Me – Ta Nehisi Coates

This is also on my list to read this month, and I’m already bracing my heart. I got this book for Mr. M a couple years ago, and I have listened to several interviews and podcasts with Ta Nehisi Coates since. He speaks in such a raw and vulnerable way; I can understand his cynicism, but it also hurts to read if you’re a sensitive soul. 

“In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.”

Any and All Maya Angelou Autobiographies (Letters to My Daughter Listed Below)

I am really jealous because my husband lived in Winston-Salem once and heard Maya Angelou speak at the library before she passed away. I fell in love with Maya Angelou’s poetry and autobiographical works in college, and I think she intertwines pain and beauty in the same sentence in such a spectacular way.

“Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that taught Angelou lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son.

Whether she is recalling lost friends such as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a “lifelong endeavor,” or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice, Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family.”

The Color Purple – Alice Walker

It’s hard to think of the Color Purple without thinking of Oprah, but this is a classic in African-American literature. 

“Published to unprecedented acclaim, The Color Purple established Alice Walker as a major voice in modern fiction. This is the story of two sisters—one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South—who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic novel of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.”

Letters from Birmingham Jail – Martin Luther King Jr

Did you think I was going to list books to read during Black History Month without mentioning Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr? This is a short, but deep read from the profound MLK.

“The Letter from Birmingham Jail, also known as the Letter from Birmingham City Jail and The Negro Is Your Brother, is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism. It says that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. Responding to being referred to as an “outsider,” King writes, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.”

The Color of Water – James McBride

I picked this book up last year, intrigued as I will be a white mother to black children one day. I loved reading about James McBride’s life and how he struggled with his identity, but was enveloped by the love of his mother. 

“Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared “light-skinned” woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother’s past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother.

The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in “orchestrated chaos” with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. “Mommy,” a fiercely protective woman with “dark eyes full of pep and fire,” herded her brood to Manhattan’s free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades, and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion—and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain.

In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother’s footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents’ loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned.

At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. “God is the color of water,” Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life’s blessings and life’s values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth’s determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college—and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University.

Interspersed throughout his mother’s compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self- realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.”

The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander

Mr. M recommends this book be put on the list. While it is not a novel, this is another must-read for white people in the 21st century. I haven’t read it yet, but it is also on my to-read list.

“By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a “call to action.”

When They Call You a Terrorist – Patrice Khan-Cullors

I heard about this book from an NPR segment a couple of weeks ago. It just came out last month, and I am anxious to get my hands on it. Although I have not heavily followed the Black Lives Matter movement, I do believe in standing in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters in a nonviolent way. I am curious to read more on Patrice Khan-Cullors and how she co-founded the Black Lives Matter movement.

“From one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors’ story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and Asha Bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.”

10 Books to Read During Black History Month

What books would you add to the list?

5 Little Ways to Say “I Love You” [for her]

5 Little Ways to Say "I Love You" [for her]

Happy Friday!!

I am so PUMPED for the weekend – it’s gonna be low key and chill and I am ready to embrace that. Quite literally – it’s chilly outside! I love marriage, I love my husband, and I love to show him my love. When yous study the ways women and men love each other, you see a lot of similarities, but a lot of stark differences. Of course every single person is different, so there is never going to be a one and done formula on how to love. Rather, you study your person, get to know who they are, what makes them tick, and what makes them swoon.

A couple weeks ago, I shared a few tips for the guys to woo their girl, but this time I’ve got 5 inexpensive ways to say “I love you” to your man.

5 Little Ways to Say "I Love You" [for her]

Give Him a Guy’s Night

I love spending every moment I can with my husband, but I know there are moments when we both need to spend time with other people. Especially when you’re married, it’s easy to be cooped up at home in the evenings. When you think about how much time you spend at work and how much time you actually spend with your significant other, it’s enough to make you want to quit your jobs and try to get paid to travel. Despite how much time you want to spend with your lovah, he needs his dudes. Kick him out of the house every now and then for wings and video game night.

Cook His Favorite Meal 

I adhere to the good old Southern saying that says “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Interestingly enough, Mr. M grew up not admiring food as much as we Americans do. I would ask him, “What do you want for dinner?” and he would always say whatever. Luckily, his favorite American meals are also my favorite American meals (chili and potato soup), so on the cold fall and winter days, he comes home a happy man when there’s chili with lots of meat stewing in the crockpot.

We like to take turns on date nights, so when it’s a special occasion, I’ll whip up a fancier meal than normal, kick him into the living room for some quality FIFA time, and I’ll prepare a candlelit dinner and dress up in something nice.

5 Little Ways to Say "I Love You" [for her]

Let Him Play His Video Games

Speaking of FIFA, you can absolutely love your man by letting him play his video games. I won major points last year for Christmas when I got Mr. M the only thing he wanted off the wedding registry (that I knew he definitely wasn’t going to get) – a playstation 4. We spent the winter months of marriage cuddled up on the couch under blankets – he played FIFA and I read my book. I didn’t always understand it before, but video games can be a necessary part of unwinding for millennial guys. When your man works hard all day and helps around the house in the afternoon, he deserves a solid hour or two to zone out with some online competition.

Be Respectful 

Husband’s love to be praised and respected, especially in public. I have to take a page out of my own book some days. While I love to consciously uplift and honor my husband, I don’t always keep control of my tongue on the bad days. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m a bit sassy. While the sass chills out the older I get, sometimes my sweet husband still gets the brunt of it. There are still many times when we are “discussing” something and I let my emotions take control. When I’m in my rational mind (aka I’m fed), I look back and think “Oh no!” It’s something I’m still working on in every moment of conflict. The longer we’re married, the less I want to have those “oh no!” moments, and the more I want to be respectful and honor my husband in every situation – even when I’m hungry.

Say Yes Even When You Don’t Want To

In the past 9 months of marriage I have learned how selfish I am. There are many times I would rather read my book or do my own thing than do whatever it is Mr. M wants to do. It’s so easy to say “Not right now” or “Later” when your husband wants to go work out, talk, be intimate – whatever it is he wants to do that interferes with your schedule. Remembering that time is precious and we don’t have a lot of it keeps things in perspective. I’m learning to say “yes” even when I have things I want to do. The neat thing is, when I am willing to sacrifice whatever it is on my schedule in the moment, I find that saying yes brings a blessing into that moment.

5 Little Ways to Say "I Love You" [for her]

What are some things you like to do to say “I love you” to your man?

 

August Adventures

August Adventures

August felt like the longest month of my life. With a lot of things going down at work and personally, I was ready to see the calendar turn over into September.

During August I participated in The New Wifestyle’s 31 Days of Kindness. While I unwittingly tapered off at the end, the intentionality of doing something kind every day of the month was such a great reminder to not only see good in the world, but be good in the world.

august adventures

Mr. M’s birthday was at the beginning of August, so I spent a Saturday afternoon baking a homemade cheesecake. I’ve tried twice before to make a homemade cheesecake and it never turned out. This month, the Good Lord must have been smiling upon me because 3 hours of baking and two hours of setting later and voila, the perfect cheesecake appeared on our plates. And we ate cheeescake every day for the next week. Yumm.

august adventures

Perhaps the coolest event of August was of course, the solar eclipse. Mr. M and I took our little much needed  mini vacation the week of the eclipse and we visited friends and family in North Carolina before we ended up on Wrightsville Beach. I was so obsessed with the solar eclipse and I didn’t think I would be. Naturally, I dedicated a whole post to that experience. Mr. M and I spent the few days at the beach unplugged, enjoying our books and each other. It was like a little mini moon, which I highly encourage every married couple to go on if they can. 🙂

august adventures

This month’s book of the month book club was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was quite the experience. We picked book titles based on the book Tequila Mockingbird so we could have the literary cocktail book club of our dreams, but One Flew Over the *Cosmo’s* Nest maybe was a bit of a stretch for all of us.  Either way, we ate lots of good snacks, watched Jack Nicholson’s stellar performance (because if you read the book, you have to watch the movie, right?) and had a great time discussing mental health.

august adventures

August Favorites:

This post from the New Wifestyle concerning white privilege and the Charlottesville Riots. (note: there is some strong language.)

Some seriously girl boss inspo from Apron Strings & Sticky Fingers.

When Taylor Swift drops a dope(y) new single, When Life Gives You Rubi brings it to millennial perspective.

This Instagram Hashtag Hack from The Confused Millennial because I’ve been doing it all wrong.

And speaking of Instagram, I discovered In Search of Sheila this month and her blog has been MAJOR insight into the blogging world. I love her post on authentic strategies to grow your engagement on Instagram.

What was the highlight of your August?

Finding Your Place of Rest

Finding Your Place of Rest

Hello! Got some Monday motivation comin’ at you on a Tuesday because after a Labor Day Weekend, Tuesdays are Mondays. Mr. M and I spent 18 hours in a car this weekend which meant we got in some major quality time. I only snapped once towards the end when I was tired, grumpy, and craving some flamin’ hot cheetos. It was great, though, because I got to listen to the entire album of Hamitlon, Wicked, and Something Rotten and he only complained once. . . about Hamilton because it’s 48,000 tracks long. We also got to ask each other some roadtrip questions and learned some new things about each other! My personal favorite question was “What song could you listen to on repeat for 8 hours straight?”

After spending an amazing weekend with Erica and her husband Jamie, exploring Philly and eating the best food, I’m gearing up for a full week. Even 3 day weekends still require some recovery time, so I’m pushing for a 4 day weekend. Who’s with me?

Finding Your Place of Rest

When I get really stressed out and overwhelmed, I find myself saying anytime I break down, “I’m just so tired. I’m so exhausted.”

It’s not exactly that I need a nap, but I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. What I need is rest.

Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m not the best at rest. I’m the type of person who struggles to relax when there are things that need to be done. Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sure this sounds a lot different from the girl who you grounded because I spent my time reading instead of doing my chores. Look! You raised me well!

The caveat to this “not being able to rest” thing is Netflix. I can Netflix binge surrounded by mountains of laundry, not because I’m resting but because I’m pacifying myself and avoiding my responsibilities.

The busier I get, the more I realize how vital rest is.

I’m entering into my busiest work season where I will be on the go and traveling quite a bit. At the end of October I usually crumble onto the couch in tears with a pint of ice cream. It’s during this season where I most need rest but I don’t always get the type of rest that I need. So I have to find rest on the go.

Resting on the go is a matter of finding the mental space to rest and reset. While  I would much rather have time to actually rest, we don’t always get what we want, so we have to work with what we got.

Finding Your Place of Rest

Surround Yourself with Encouragement

On my desk at work I have a sticky note that I put up 2 years ago. It’s a Scripture note that says “My Presence will go with you and I will give you REST.” (Exodus 33:14) It’s the perfect reminder that first of all, I am not alone. Secondly, I don’t have to strive by myself. When I find myself dependent and resting on God, I find that I can carry rest with  me throughout my day.

Finding  Your Place of Rest

Make the Most of Your Morning

Since I got back from our amazing mini vacation last month, I’ve made some lifestyle changes. I don’t wait until the last minute to get up anymore. On a good day, I wake up early, sit on the couch in my robe with my coffee and read my Bible and journal. On a late day, I wake up earlier than I used to and spend time getting ready for the day. I can’t believe it’s taken me 2 years in the working world to realize what a precious commodity slow mornings are.

Stay Blue

OK don’t actually stay blue in your mood, but surround yourself with blue things. As an adult, my favorite color has switched from purple to blue. I love the blue walls in our house, my blue planner, my blue pens – you get the picture. I found out a couple months ago that blue is a relaxing color. It all makes sense. I used to keep a picture of Santorini, Greece that I found on Pinterest as my desktop background in college because it was so soothing. Go figure, it’s blue.

Take Care of Your Body

When we hear “take care of your body,” we often think, “eat right and work out.” We need to do both, but we also need to take care of our skin. As soon as I got home last night, I loaded the bathtub with bubbles, lit my candle, carried with me a bowl of watermelon, and enjoyed a nice soak with my good friend, Jane the Virgin. (You guys, the screenwriting for this show. . . but that’s a tale for another day.) After my bubble bath, I lit candles in our bedroom, put on a face mask, and proceeded to put away laundry. Even though I was doing a chore, I felt completely relaxed because I had taken care of my body for the evening. New rule for myself? Once a week bubble bath and face mask.

Take a Nap

I am SO bad at this one. If I take a nap, it’s usually accidental and it’s because I am truly exhausted. But you should do as I say and not as I do. There are studies that show napping is actually pretty good for you, as long as you stay within the 30-40 minute range. When I was in college I would take deep naps and wake up with a nap hangover, proving myself to be completely unproductive and useless the rest of the day.

Do Something for YOU

We women are so bad at doing things for ourselves, especially those of us who are married and those of you who have kids. Our minds are constantly running with to-do lists and errands and everyone else’s problems. At the end of the day, we realize we haven’t taken one moment for ourselves.

Things to Do for YOU:

Work out
Read a book
Go on a walk
Journal
Take a bubble bath
Sign up for a Zumba class

Do whatever it is that makes YOU happy – even for just 20-30 minutes a day. When you find that you’ve taken time to be still and rest even when your life is running in circles around you, you will find that you are a lot happier and nicer of a person. I know that I am.

What are some things you like to do to find rest on the go?

 

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Week

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Week

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have all the skills, the knowledge, or the know how. I don’t want all the answers. Because if I did, then I wouldn’t need anyone else.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: the COMMUNITY is one of the best things about blogging. We’re all reading each other’s how-tos, online diaries, and learning more about each other and ourselves as we do so. There are so many amazing women out there who are killin’ the game, and today I wanted to highlight some amazing ladies writing some powerful things.

The amazing thing about perspective is that even though we have our own, we get to learn from each other. You see the world differently than I do, and that is why we need to highlight, encourage, and listen to what each other has to say.

Below you will find some oldies and some more recent posts from 4 bloggers with wonderful and full of life-giving sentiments that you can carry throughout your day and throughout your week.

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Week

Perceive Your Opportunities


Erica from Coming Up Roses is all about positivity, style, and coffee (and her cats) and I always appreciate it when she serves some straight truth.

“It’s an opportunity to grow, or an obstacle to keep you from growing.” 

How many times do we feel like we triumph over one thing and are faced with a big old rock in the way? I had a friend who recently completed a Spartan race on the hardest course in the country. I listen with awe as she talks about the obstacles and challenges she faced and overcame. It is so easy for us to see a bump in the road and want to sit down or turn around. But that’s not why the obstacle is in front of us. The obstacle is in front of us to give us an opportunity to make us stronger. As Mandisa says, “You’re an overcomer.” Read more from Erica’s perspective here.

Unsubscribe from that Negativity

We had our book study earlier tonight. It’s always funny to see the glances or side-eyes people give me when they see the title of the book I’m reading. “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” Part of me wants to place a label on my head that says, “NO. MY MARRIAGE IS NOT IN JEOPARDY.” But part of me is also slightly entertained by the funny looks people send my way (especially when the look is coming from my husband himself!). . . One of the 4th year spouses started a book study because she’s seen firsthand how medical school can break apart some of the strongest marriages. We’re only on Week 2 and Chapter 5 in the book. But, I’ve been loving the discussions I’ve been having with these wonderful people. . . Before we moved here, I was given a lot of advice and warnings from family and friends who have been through similar experiences. They said I would never see Ankur. And that I would be sacrificing so much. And that I should suppress my feelings and never share my problems or concerns with him for fear that it would distract him from his studies. It took me some time to tune out the well-intentioned advice. Because our marriage doesn’t operate like that. I think the reason we ARE so successful is because we are able to put our pride aside and successfully communicate what we need without feeling guilt or shame. . . But another big reason we are able to make it through medical school is because of this amazing support system of spouses. Checking in with one another during an exam weekend or hanging out with one another while our husbands and wives are buried in the books has been a LIFE. SAVER. It’s like therapy. But with people who ACTUALLY get what you’re going through. Because they’re doing it right there with you. By your side. Every step of the way. . . Feeling especially grateful for these friendships and our book study today. ❤️

A post shared by Divya Budhraja (@eatteachblog) on

If you’re like me, you may be a little bit of a clutter bug. We stayed at our friend’s house this weekend and I looked around with amazement (and slight jealousy) of how clean everything was. Where were the drunk drawers?! Someone needs to teach me minimalism, because I have so much STUFF.

But stuff doesn’t have to be physical, it can also be mental. Clutter can be what we listen to, the relationships we have, the job that is bringing us more pain than joy, etc.

I know minimalism is a thing for the millennials right now, but we could all deal with some clearing of that negative energy. I love how Divya from Eat, Teach, Blog removes the clutter from her life specifically by hitting that “Unsubscribe” button. How many of us need to unsubscribe from the things that leave us joyless? Need more encouragement? Check out Divya’s post.

Treat Your Marriage with Honor

I’m pointing you back to another old post today… my 30-by-30 list! Search for it on the blog and see how far I’ve come ?

A post shared by Joy Lynn | Lifestyle Blog (@joylynnlifestyle) on

You may not be married yet, but this is still a great read from Joy at Joy Lynn. I’ve been following this lifestyle and minimalist blogger for a couple of years, and I have learned so much from her posts!

Earlier this summer, Pai and I were at a Longhorn Steakhouse and talking with someone about how wonderful marriage had been in the first four months. A man overheard us at the bar and said, “Well just wait, it gets worse. I’m on my second marriage.” To which I thought, “Well duh. You seem like a Rumplestiltskin.” With that kind of negative attitude, of course you’re on your second marriage.

It’s important to me that we treat marriage and our spouses with honor. I love how Joy brings the house down with this truth bomb: We have to stop treating marriage like damaged goods. 

Even if you are not married yet, you can treat your friendships and relationships with those around you with honor. Without honor,  we do not value and respect the goodness that we have in each other.

Stop Those Insecurities and Love Yourself 

Megan from Apron Strings and Sticky Fingers is seriously a little corner of sunshine in this dark world. I have so much respect for her bravery, vulnerability, and I freakin’ love her New Zealand accent. (That’s an added plus.)

Have you ever met someone with so much confidence that you wonder what/where their flaws are? I have. It’s those type of people that you are gravitated towards, but then go home feeling one of two ways. 1) I can be like them and change the world. 2) I wish I were like them, but I have too many flaws. No matter how the person treats you, you sometimes feel that way.

I am just as insecure as the next girl, but I want to stop. I want to fight my insecurities and walk out in confidence and bravery like Megan does. So here is a great life lesson and exercise you can learn from her.

There are thousands more bloggers I could and would love to highlight. If you have a particular blogger friend with an inspiring post (or if you have a great post you wrote yourself!) leave it in a comment below so we can meet more amazing people!