Valentine’s Day is so soon! Team LSK loves all the love and we love that there is a holiday to celebrate it. No matter what your relationship status is: single, healing through a breakup, engaged, or married, Valentine’s Day is something that can be celebrated and enjoyed with a joyful heart!
To the single girls- look around at your family and friends, at yourself, and at your Creator on this day. See all the love there!? Hold on to it, savor, and thank God for it! Just because you are single doesn’t mean you aren’t loved!! You are so loved by so many and you have so much love to give. Celebrate that today however you want to: Galentine’s Day dinner, self care, or a night in with your parents. Whatever you want to do, do that! Keep the faith and keep loving yourself well.
To the girls in relationship- show your other half how much you care! This is such a fun day to do something special for him. Whether it be a gift, an experience, or even just a handwritten note, taking the opportunity to show your love is always a great idea. Give the love and receive the love today and thank God you two found each other; it something to celebrate! Don’t feel pressured to go out if you don’t want to, as some of the best nights are the ones spent in. Most importantly, enjoy your time together and take advantage of this day that gives you an excuse to love extra much!
This past week Jase and I went to New York for a work trip for him! He was promoting his new show- In The Room, which aired on E! this past week with an interview with Tom Brady. I am so proud of him!!
Whenever we spend time in NYC, I am so happy. After living there twice, something comes alive in me reminiscing on all the life-giving memories and experiences. We stayed in the coziest hotel, 1 Hotel, and I couldn’t of been more content! Plus we visited some of my favorite restaurants when we were there, including Springbone Kitchen + ABC Kitchen.
Trips With Jase Are The Best
Jase and I love traveling together. My happy place is definitely with him whether at home or away, but traveling together is always so sweet. We had just been in Idaho with our families before going to NYC, so we had two memorable trips back to back. Yay for the holidays! Traveling well together comes naturally to us which I am just so thankful for.
NYC This Time Of Year Is Magical
If you haven’t been to NYC during the Christmas season, definitely add it to your list of things to do! It is truly magical. There are so many bright lights in the big city as it is, but add Christmas decor and the entire city is glistening at all times.
The hustle and bustle of NYC is real, and during the holidays is even busier! But the energy is so special and really puts you in the Christmas spirit. The restaurants feel cozier, the shopping is exciting, and the Rockefeller Center is a must-see.
I am so excited to have a dear friend of mine, Audrey Roloff, featured on LSK today. Auj and her husband, Jeremy, have written a book that everyone should read ASAP! Married, engaged, dating, or single, A Love Letter Life is a read that will speak to everyone’s heart, encouraging all to pursue creatively, date intentionally, and love faithfully. Relationships are such a precious gift from the Lord and we are called to love others as Jesus loves us. We promise you that Audrey and Jeremy’s love story will display God’s love for His children and inspire you to love well, thanks to Jesus’ love for us and how He equips us in relationship.
*Let’s chat about the inspiration behind this book. Was it something that had been on your and Jeremy’s hearts for a while?
AR: I’ve always wanted to write a book, it’s definitely a big God dream for me. I’ve always loved writing, journaling, blogging and am so passionate about relationships, from dating to marriage. Jeremy and I definitely have a similar heartbeat for relationships and the idea of writing a book as a way to walk alongside others in relationship by encouraging creativity, intentionality, and faithfulness felt really natural and made us both really excited.
*I love the book’s description of “Pursue Creatively, Date Intentionally, and Love Faithfully.” This captures the journey of meeting someone, getting to know them, and loving them like Jesus loves us. From your experience, what would you say is the most important purpose of this process?
AR: To us, pursuit, dating, and loving aren’t so much a process (as in one stops and the other starts), but more so a package deal where all three things are part of the whole love story, from the beginning until forever. Jeremy is still doing all three of these things: pursuing me, dating me, and loving me. Just because we are married, doesn’t mean the pursuing and dating stops! That is what we really hope to convey to couples and individuals, that pursuing creatively, dating intentionally, and loving faithfully are core healthy aspects for a wonderful relationship. As Jeremy says, they are beautiful ingredients for a beautiful love story. The adjectives there are super important, too: creatively, intentionally, and faithfully. This is how our God loves us, so we are to love others in the same way.
*Let’s talk faith! Can you explain your point of view in the importance of being with someone who loves the Lord with all their heart? How big of a part did Jeremy’s love for God have in your attraction, interest, and love for Jeremy?
AR: Huge part! I had a very high standard for who the person I was going to be with would be. Loving the Lord with their whole heart was a must when it came to a potential relationship. I met Jeremy at a time when he was in a slight season of spiritual complacency, so friendship first for us was definitely the Lord preparing us and protecting us to love one another better. There was no pressure when we were friends before dating and we are both so thankful for that season, because the season of friendship allowed us to follow Jesus so strongly individually, and then come together in a romantic sense and love one another intentionally and purposefully.
*You two discuss friendship as the basis for a love relationship a lot in this book which is so amazing. Jeremy puts it so beautifully in the book: “We were careful with one another because we didn’t want to mess it up. The friendship we were nurturing allowed us to build the foundation for a love story without getting lost in a cloud of emotions from physical intimacy.” Yes and amen to that! Can you elaborate on why you and Jeremy felt called to be careful with one another and why you believe this truth to be so key when dating? Immediately it makes me think of Proverbs 4:23- “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.”
AR: This goes back to the question above and just how important the friendship season was for us. As I said, it was definitely preparation and protection from God which I am so thankful for. We were careful with one another and took it slow because we didn’t want to mess it up. We both messed up before with previous relationships and we didn’t want to go there. Friendship truly was our solid foundation for our relationship and allowed us to stay grounded and patient as our love story took root and then unfolded.
*When I think of your and Jeremy’s love story, I think of a seed being steadily nourished, growing into a delicate sapling, then strengthening into a blooming, healthy plant; one that is thriving and flourishing as you are nurtured through each other by the fruits of the Holy Spirit. How would you describe thriving and flourishing in marriage?
AR: Oh man, great question. I would say thriving and flourishing in marriage for Jeremy and I looks like us pursuing one another constantly, pushing one another to follow Jesus steadfastly, connecting with one another regularly, communicating well, and believing that there are always more ways to love and serve one another. Back to your plant reference, plants need different things at different times of the year, so knowing that thriving and flourishing for us is going to look different at different times of the year really brings us peace and keeps us going.
*Last but not least, we gotta hear what it is like to work and write a book with your husband!
AR: I absolutely love working together with Jeremy and wouldn’t trade it for the world. We get to do life together, completely, and we both love that. Of course we have challenges to work through together and we do that, but it might look different compared to couples who don’t work together. It definitely puts us in a place where we can’t avoid conflict, so we are quick to address it and quick to resolve it! It is such a blessing though to be on mission together and working toward the same goal, it is the best thing for us as a husband and wife team and keeps pushing us to grow, both individually and as a union.
Thanks, Auj! xo
Shop their book, here:
To read more faith posts on LSK, click here, and for more interviews, click here.
Hey guys! As you know, #MarriageMonday is a thing, so I thought I’d celebrate with a little love list of some of the reasons why I just love being married to Jase. Some may say it is cliche to say how being married to your best friend is literally the best, but it is TRUE! See below as I love on love and love married life! xo
*I love living together. It makes every day extra sweet, and I really enjoy the little routines we create.
*He makes me a better person. He challenges me in the most loving ways and is my biggest cheerleader.
*I love learning more about him every day + it is so special to grow together with time.
*I love learning more about myself through him. Being married reveals more than I thought possible! It is so growing.
*I cherish making decisions together. His perspective on life is one I will forever look up to + his trust in the Lord is so attractive to me!
*I love encouraging each other in our passions. It is such a joy to celebrate the areas where we each flourish and thrive!
*I love watching him live in his skill. He is the most attractive host, in my opinion 🙂 And I love seeing him stretch and challenge himself in so many areas of life.
*I love to see how he loves his friends and family so well. The way he develops and sustains relationships is so natural to him, and it amazes me every day!
*I love encouraging each other in the deepest ways. I feel like we know each other to the core, so it allows us to encourage each other deeply!
*I love date nights, which are sometimes just early movie nights in bed! Nothing gets better than this!
*I love traveling and making memories together.
*I love praying together. It is so vulnerable, brings so much peace, and makes me feel extra connected.
*I love growing together in our faith! This sets the ultimate foundation of our marriage.
*I love getting to know each other’s hearts better by the day!
*I love dreaming together and planning for the future. It is such a gift!
With gift giving season in full effect, we are preparing for the festivities with an excited heart, clear mind, and grounded feet! Meaning, we want to enjoy all the fun while keeping the true meaning of the season in mind. This means gift shopping with intention, quality over quantity, and refraining from getting swept up in the gift shopping craziness. Turning into a crazy-lady chasing down the next deal isn’t our best look, and we say that from experience 🙂
When gifts are guided by the heart, we believe they serve to bring joy, comfort, peace, and happiness to the person on the receiving end. The gift will be useful instead of another “thing” to add to their collection of “things”! Something that helps me gift well is to keep track of when I think of or see the possible “perfect gift” for someone. Writing these ideas down throughout the year helps with intentionality and purpose when it comes to gift shopping.
This year specifically, we are focusing on wellness gifts for everyone on our list. For example…a juicer to promote celery juicing, linen bedding sets that last, skincare from Primally Pure, cleaning sets from Branch Basics, a cookbook for baked goods made healthy, and so much more.
The LSK Wellness Gift Guide will go out to email subscribers this Friday and will be live on the blog next week! We hope that it will help guide you on the gift shopping journey and make for a calm, healthy, happy experience for all! xo.
Who else can hardly believe that the holiday season has arrived? It is so exciting, yet it is almost alarming how quickly this year has passed by. I also notice that this time of year has an interesting flow. It feels as though the majority of people (including me) are hurrying up to slow down in the career aspect of things, are trying to balance calendars with event invites coming into your inbox daily, and are planning + prepping for homes full of cooking and family.
I would like to preface and say that this time of year may be my all time favorite. It seems as though the cozy days that surround the holiday celebrations are focused more on community, which only heightens the sweet reminder that the people we love are the most fulfilling priority. Yet, for fellow introverts, this can feel quite overwhelming, yet at the same time really joy-filling depending on the freedom you feel in your relationships.
So let’s get to the point, shall we? The holidays are bustling with plans and travel and people galore, but how can we continue to balance our schedule amidst all of the hoopla? The holidays should be deeply enjoyed, yet sadly so often, they are filled with strain and emotional heaviness. Circumstances aside and for those who experience this, I have hope that a change can be made.
Scroll down for some tips that I have learned and am still learning to incorporate!
1. Space out your yeses.
My husband is a full on extrovert, so I always notice a bit of stress well up in me as the holiday season approaches. Spontaneity around this time seems to steal from my rest rather than bring extra adventure to our days because it seems to happen too often for my wellbeing. Not to mention, this week I received three invites for work related events just for Thursday night. I am so thankful, but in the same breath, #sos. When making decisions, I try to be open-handed while also remembering to shamelessly prioritize my own needs first. This may sound selfish, but I always want to bring my full self to anything I say yes to.
2. Space out your yeses / part two.
For those of you who are super driven, I feel like this will hit close to home. Currently life has been so project-full on top of this blog, LSKF, and Stranded, but in the sweetest of ways. We are in the midst of creating some much needed on-the-go wipes, I am interviewing contractors to renovate our new house so I am dreaming and planning for reconstruction plans and design, and am also working and editing The Clean Sweep, a three-month subscription program and hand-help guide on how to clean up your life that will be launching in January. My close friend came to me with a new project, and although I am dying to jump right in, I had to postpone starting until the Spring. These decisions are tough, but so freeing in the end!
3. For you people pleasers, it’s okay to say no.
This has been a big one for me. I have learned over the past few years that saying no is almost always well-respected from the receiver. Often the anticipation of saying no and the assumption of the response is the most nerve-racking part. Attached to most holiday seasons is the angst to make sure everyone is happy: family, besties, and your significant other. Although it is so important to care deeply for others, it is not our responsibility to hold the burden of their emotions or carry the weight of everyone’s needs. Let it go. You will feel so much freedom, and I have noticed that as you practice saying no, it only gets easier. Doing this will actually allow you to love others better day after day!
4. Schedule time for yourself and plan ahead.
For me, I have to block out times in my calendar for myself, such as a facial, a massage, a walk, coffee with a friend, free time to read, otherwise, I will never do it. Also, for all of you gift givers, planning ahead is key. I start making my gift list in early November and try to have all of my purchases made by the end of November. It is the most freeing feeling, gives me time to think of thoughtful presents, and it also makes such a special thing so stress free and extra meaningful.
So to all of you, I am wishing you the happiest and most-freedom filled holiday season. Try to make some changes this year for your own well-being. I guarantee that even if it feels hard, you will feel so rested and content in the end.