For Your Weekend

Today’s reads are for the weary multi-tasker, the small-talk awkward and the hopeful writers. It’s for those who are grieving and anyone longing for home. Enjoy your weekend, friends.


Multitasking is Killing Your Brain by Larry Kim for Medium

“When we complete a tiny task (sending an email, answering a text message, posting a tweet), we are hit with a dollop of dopamine, our reward hormone. Our brains love that dopamine, and so we’re encouraged to keep switching between small mini-tasks that give us instant gratification.

This creates a dangerous feedback loop that makes us feel like we’re accomplishing a ton, when we’re really not doing much at all.”


Quiet Revolution

It’s Not Small Talk, It’s Social Ritual by Sarah Jones for Quiet Revolution

“The answer is to replace dreaded small talk with enjoyable social rituals. Once you incorporate social rituals into your everyday life in place of small talk, you never have to make small talk again.”

Christie Purifoy

For Everything There is a Season by Christie Purifoy

“I can’t tell the whole story yet. We are still living it. Also, so much of that story isn’t mine to share. And yet I can say this: when you observe suffering from the outside all you can see is the suffering. Despair can feel like the only option.

Having sat, for two weeks, on the inside, I want you to know that despair doesn’t feel like an option. Peace is too real. Hope is too bright. God, the Ancient of Days, has drawn close.”


Flower Patch Farmgirl

Ecuador Through 10 Year Old Calvin’s Eyes by Calvin Martin

“The people that were there were severely poor but what I thought was that the poorer the person the larger the heart because the whole time they were laughing and singing and talking. It’s almost like people who have less maybe have more, in the spiritual side of life.”


The Rabbit Room

In the Light of Home by Jennifer Trafton for The Rabbit Room

“When that house, standing empty now, is finally sold, a character in my story will die. And that is necessary, and as it should be, but the change of setting carries a grieving with it. Though I have lived in many places in my adult life, there is no other place in the world—yet—that is home for me in quite the same way, in the very deepest sense.”

Write a Book Proposal

How to Write a Book Proposal

Over 1500 people have already signed up to join Brian Dixon and me for these free live webinars where I teach you how to write a non-fiction book proposal. We’ve already done one and have 2 more coming!

Join us from the comfort of your own sofa on Monday night, February 8 at 8:30 pm EST. And because we had so many respond, we’ve added a 3rd date if Monday doesn’t work:Friday February 19 at noon ESTSimply sign up here to reserve your spot.

Trina says: “Love this. Best webinar–reaching to the heart with the practical info.”

Rachel says: “I just discovered my target audience by listening to this- so much clarity!”

Welcome to Chatting at the Sky. I’m glad you’re here! If you would like to receive regular reminders to create space for your soul to breathe, sign up here for my monthly notes from the bench, where I’ll share books I’m reading, favorite things, and encouragement for your soul you won’t find anywhere else.

For Your Weekend

Today’s reads are for the weary, the wandering, the one who feels too-busy, and anyone who would like to write a book. Enjoy your weekend, friends.

Cara Meredith

When We’re All Doing the Best We Can by Cara Meredith

“We did it.

We got out into nature and we ‘hiked’ with our littles.

We conquered the Great Outdoors as best we knew how, even if we didn’t make it that far, even if a sweat was far from broken, even if it sometimes felt like there were more tears than smiles.

And isn’t this true of all of us? Aren’t we all merely, simply doing the best we can?”


What Happened After We Got the Diagnosis by Ann Voskamp

“You can feel like everyone else is mapping out their future, mapping out a new year — and you’re standing there with the map, looking for the red arrow that indicates where where in the world you even are now.”


Winter Woods

Notes from a Week in the Winter Woods by Parker J. Palmer for On Being

“Last night, someone asked if I liked being alone. ‘It depends,’ I said. ‘Sometimes I’m my best friend. Sometimes I’m my worst enemy. We’ll see who shows up.'”


New in the Mail

New in the Mail this Week!

Here’s a few newly released (or soon to be released) books on my nightstand including affiliate links to the books because of course!

I Am Strong: Finding God’s Peace and Strength in Life’s Darkest Moments by John Dickerson

Design Your Day: Be More Productive, Set Better Goals, and Live Life on Purpose by Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Roots & Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons by Christie Purifoy (I can’t wait to tell you more – I actually offered endorsement for this one.)

Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington This one releases next week – if you order it before January 26, you’ll get the Breaking Busy Guide for free which is fun – I contributed!

Breaking Busy Guide

Have you ever thought about writing a book?

One of the most common frustrations I hear among writers who want to write a book is they don’t know where to start. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to write more words with less worry? I’d like to help you do that.

Join me live for a free one-hour webinar where I will teach How to Write Your First Book Proposal (even if you’re clueless about publishing)You’ll have two options:

  • Tuesday January 26 12:30 pm EST
  • Monday February 8 8:30 pm EST

This is a live online webinar you can watch from the comfort of your own home. We will be recording so if neither time works for you to attend live, you’ll be able to watch the replay. Live is more fun, though, because it’s kind of like being together and you’ll be able to ask questions.

Simply click the image below to register for free and reserve your spot. Can’t wait!


For Your Weekend

Today’s reads are for the new year hopers, the limit makers, the Internet writers, and the Downton Abbey lovers. Enjoy your weekend, friends.Ruth Haley Barton

Epiphany: In Celebration of the Journey by Ruth Haley Barton

“Might we learn that our bodies have wisdom that our minds know nothing of, telling us when it is time to drop to our knees and give our allegiance to something small and humble rather than something large and impressive?”


for your weekend

Saying No In Order to Say Yes by Stephen Smith for Conversations Journal

“A limit is understanding what writer Wendell Berry calls ‘your carrying capacity; knowing your own bandwidth.’ How much can you work? And not how long can you work, but how long SHOULD you work? And it’s not just about work. Limits are important to understand regarding most aspects of our lives. How much can you carry before something is dropped?”

How I Plan to Stay Sane on the Internet

A Look Back: How I Plan to Stay Sane on the Internet in 2015

I wrote this last year in January and shared why I started writing on a blog and why I think it is still important. It’s an applicable re-read, especially for those of us who write on the Internet. At the end, I include a free download, A Writer’s Manifesto, 15 reminders to keep next to your computer including:

  • I will tell stories.
  • I will be myself.
  • I will remember it’s “better to write for yourself and have no public than write for the public and have no self.” (Cyril Connolly)

The Lazy Genius Downton Style

Because We All Need to See Downton Abbey People as Regular People by Kendra Adachi

“There’s nothing more fun than seeing a period-piece actor in skinny jeans and a sequined cardigan, especially if it’s Mr. Carson! ::knee slap:: The final season of Downton Abbey has started so we’re going to counteract our sob faces with some side-by-side photos of our favorite characters. Let’s celebrate the Crawleys and try not to cry into our coffee.”

Welcome to Chatting at the Sky. I’m glad you’re here! If you would like to receive regular reminders to create space for your soul to breathe, you can sign up here for updates.

For Your Weekend

Today’s reads are for the hurried, the homebody, the writer, and the woman who needs a bit of hope for herself and her family in the new year. Enjoy your weekend, friends.

For Your Weekend - Emily P Freeman

// Christ in You: God’s Hospitality by Carolyn Watts for Hearing the Heartbeat //

Because this might be my most favorite piece I’ve read about Christmas and the gospel and what it means for our everyday life. No really.

The Daily Discipline of Rest by Kendra Adachi

// The Daily Discipline of Rest by Kendra Adachi for The Lazy Genuis //

Because I’m feeling it (and maybe you are too), the tug of war between my longing to slow down and my need to get stuff done. Kendra reminds me to rest in the way only a fellow lazy genius knows how to do. Read it and exhale.

Gifts for Homebodies

// Gifts for the Homebody from The Nester //

Because if anyone knows about how to give great gifts to homebodies, it’s the woman who makes her living from being one. Check out my seestor’s gift guide for those of us who love to stay home!


A Gift Guide for Writers

// Great Gifts for Writers by me //

Because I made a list of my current favorite writerly things and perhaps you would like to add some of them to your list as well.

3 New Books!

// Three New Releases on the Shelf This Week //

Here are three new books I received in the mail this week, all written by women I know, love, and trust.

I’ve already read this one and can tell you it has lingered with me long after I closed the book. I’m ever grateful to Mary for writing down Sara’s story – a woman who chose joy in the midst of grief.

This one will be one of my picks to read between Christmas and New Years. I cannot wait. And you know I’m partial to white books with gold lettering. Isn’t this one simply beautiful?

The good news is this one has already released and the better news is, it’s a lovely hardcover book that would make a great gift. Filled with colorful pages and lots of space to answer intentional questions about your time, stressors, and learning your own limitations – a good read for a new year.

If you would like more regular reminders to create space for your soul to breathe, sign up to receive these posts in your inbox as well as my monthly letter filled with exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else.

For Your Weekend

Today’s reads are for the wanna-be rebels, the single among us, the artists, the writers, and those who are waiting. Enjoy your weekend, friends.

Christmas 2015

//Skinny Tree by Shannan Martin for Flower Patch Farmgirl // 

Because Christmas comes with certain traditions you want to hold onto even when you’re trying to figure it out and do things differently; this is for the ordinary and “inspired cynics” among us.

the longing

//The Longing: On Being Single at Advent by Annie F. Downs for (in)courage //

Because when you’re single in December, celebrating Advent feels like a family thing. And why would you want to make the season feel longer by observing Advent every single week? But Annie issues this gentle invitation: “Don’t miss the beauty of Advent because you fear the longing.”

Jakub Szestowicki / Flickr
Jakub Szestowicki / Flickr

//God Has a Surprise for You by Micha Boyett for Her.meneutics//

Because “God’s surprises are almost always complicated” and they don’t always come as good news of great joy. Sometimes they come as a phone call from a doctor with words that will change your life.

Big Magic and A Million Little Ways

//What to do When Someone Else Already Wrote Your Book by me//

Because my site was down most of the day yesterday and maybe you missed this post, the one about why I felt relieved listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic. In a world where nothing is new, not really, it’s important to keep saying true things and learn to do your own thing well.


And finally as a reminder, today is the last day to get a free book when you join hope*writers + be entered to win our entire library of books. All the details are here – if you’re a writer who wants to write more words with less worry, we’d love to have you join us.