“You’ve been cast aside, overlooked, and the world has often been unkind. But look at how much softer you are for it. The pain that should have hardened you made you smooth, instead. You catch the light. You shine it full and bright in my face. You show me a better way, a quiet redemption.You show me Jesus.” – Shannan Martin

Along with the good reads for the weekend, today I’m also sharing some news as well as one of my favorite new books.

Next week I’ll send out my first Note From The Bench since July and would love to share it with you. It’s behind-the-scenes narrative, a list of what I’m reading now, and a little more help to create space for your soul to breathe, sign up here to receive that once-a-month-ish letter in your inbox.

(If you’re already signed up, you don’t have to do a thing to get it.)

Alright – here are a few great reads!


When I’m Unsure of What’s Ahead by Jennie Allen

A Live Coal in the Sea by Carolyn Watts

Head, Heart, Hands, and Hustle by Austin Kleon

Lighter Days: On Letting Go by Nikki Thompson

What it Feels Like by Shannan Martin – Her first book released last week and I am giddy about it. She takes what is regular, ordinary, and small about our story and carries it though the lens of God’s invisible kingdom, reminding us that the more we often long for might actually be found in less. 

Falling Free

I’ve been a fan of her writing (and her person) for so many years now, it’s a gift to finally have her book in my hands. I loved it so much that I gladly endorsed it and if it would have helped, I’d have endorsed it twice. Read her post she wrote about the day it released and then grab your copy of Falling Free.


what we learned

What We Learned Update:  For those of you who join us at the end of each month for What We Learned, I’ve decided to change the format.

Instead of sharing what we learn at the end of every month, let’s share what we learn at the end of each seasonThis matches up better with my slow-processing self anyway, so we’ll do a link up four times a year.

If you continue doing once a month, awesome! Then you can choose highlights to link up with us each quarter.

Mark your writing calendars so you don’t forget to join in:

  • Wednesday November 30, 2016
  • Tuesday February 28, 2017
  • Wednesday May 31, 2017
  • Thursday August 31, 2017

hopewriters podcast

The Hope*Writers Podcast Season 2, Episode 2: How to Never Self-Promote Again

If you’ve ever felt weird about sharing your work or telling people about something you’ve made, written, or created, I hope you’ll download this podcast and listen in. It’s all about that weird feeling and how to get over it.

create and complete

Finally, I just opened enrollment for my first ever online class. It’s called Create + Complete and its designed to help you start and finish projects that matter.

It’s perfect for you if you:

  • Have an idea for a project but aren’t sure where to start
  • Know you’ve got something in you that wants to come out but aren’t sure what it is
  • Have already started working on a creative project but feel stuck

We’re closing the doors in a week and won’t open them again until sometime next year. Enrollment gets you lifetime access – here’s everything you need to know about the course, the price, the free bonuses and the community.

Would love to have you join us! If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments below.