Posted in relationships

“The List”…….?


So, the title of this blog post either got you excited or struck fear into your soul…..If the latter, you’re probably a guy, and if the former, you’re more than likely a girl. BUT, this post is for EVERYONE. And I’m about to debunk the LIST. 

In a Christian arena full of hormonal teenagers, what is one of the most buzzed about topics of this generation? “The List”. I’m not sure when this started, or really, why it started in the first place, but what I want to know so badly, is why  it caught on so quickly…And why in the world did it get so….So… Necessary?

Not familiar with the list? It goes something like this:

  1. Patient
  2. Kind
  3. Wise with money
  4. Great with kids
  5. Still a virgin
  6. Loyal
  7. Content
  8. Loves God
  9. Forgiving
  10. Sense of humor
  11. Wise
  12. Bold

And the list goes on and on and 0n…..

Now, I know what you are probably thinking…These “lists” are very key to praying and preparing for your future spouse, to plan out what you really need and have an answer when someone is interested in you. I get it! It’s totally legitimate. BUT, are the run-on lines needed to craft a Christ-centered marriage? If we don’t have a list, are we clueless as to how or what we’re looking for a mate? No. And here’s why:

I’ve come to the realization (after much pondering and thinking), that almost every single quality on these lists, can be made a whole lot more simple.

Pray that your future husband/wife will be Godly. That’s it. If someone is totally committed to the Kingdom, lives for nobody but God, and truly strives to be more and more like Jesus every day, I’m pretty sure that covers all the bases.

Now, like I said, making these lists and praying for certain character qualities is NOT  bad thing, as a matter of fact, I have a list…And I strive to grow in each of the things I’m praying my husband will have.

But I honestly think it boils down to this: Don’t get obsessed with lists, but pray daily that your future spouse will become more and more like Christ.

That’s it! Pray for patience and kindness, but remember, it’s all about being Christ-LIKE, NOT perfect.


Keep the conversation going! What do you think about “The List”? Do you think it’s a bit overrated? Let me know what you think in the comments, I’d love to chat with you! 

Posted in book reviews

Christy & Todd:The Married Years-Halee’s Bookshelf


Now that they have been married for almost two years, Christy and Todd are facing challenges neither of them expected. Everything that felt familiar in their relationship is being shaken. All they had hoped for in their future together is about to change.

When Christy shares her life-altering news with Todd, she doesn’t receive the joyful response she was expecting. Aunt Marti inserts a few strong opinions about how the young couple should navigate this difficult season and when Todd’s dad asks for help renovating his Newport Beach home it’s clear that nothing will ever be the same for them again.

As Christy and Todd’s relationship is radically altered will they continue to drift apart? Or will they come through the major shifts with a deeper love each for other and the One who brought them together in the first place?

This book is the continuing story after Christy and Todd:The College Years, which I actually didn’t read. BUT, I didn’t feel like I was missing something so this can be read without the college years.

Okay, now on to the review. :-)

If you are sensitive to a bit of romance or are a little younger, this book would probably be just a bit too much for you……It is the married years, after all…BUT, if you are good with it, the romantic moments are appropriately written so it’s nothing without innocence.

As for the other parts, it was so great! I zoomed through this book, and was actually pretty surprised with how this was plotted. There was a lot going on here, with several great plot twists.

Christy has several God-moments in this story….. Moments when her heart is softened, her mind is changed or God shows her something amazing….

Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the “forever friend reunion” that we kind of got, plus, the last few chapters of the book were the greatest and sweetest thing ever!

Lastly, the thing that seperates Christy and Todd from a lot of fictional newlyweds, is the fact that their life isn’t always romantic and lovely and perfect…And Robin Gunn doesn’t try to portray it isas perfect either! God puts the couple in some major trials at the first couple years of their marriage, and the Spencer’s came out of it the better.

Overall, this book wasn’t fluffy and perfect and romantic, there was a LOT of rough scenes with financial and housing issues, but I could see God in Christy & Todd’s relationship…And that was the most beautiful thing.

~Until next time,



Posted in Uncategorized

Request content from this blog….

Hello everyone!! I’m just popping in here real quick to ask if ya’ll could take this survey!

I want to know what needs to change, what posts ya’ll want to request, and overall how I can change for the better.

Thanks, guys! Also, if this survey doesn’t work, PLEASE let me know. I totally new to this, so I’m a bit clueless about creating surveys.


~By His Grace, 


Posted in 2017 Reading Challenge

The January Reading Challenge


Hello everyone! I’m back again with a wonderful surprise!

I’ve put together a series of reading challenges for every month in 2017. For many people, 2017 is the year everyone is attempting to read more, expand their knowledge, and push themselves to get out of their regular habits. And still others, like me, are just trying to read more variety!

I recently saw Jami Balmet’s (reading challenge for wives and mothers) and also Tim Challie’s (reading challenge for Christians) and I actually was debating between the two, but I quickly realized both reading challenges held certain genres I didn’t really care to spend time in personally. (Although I encourage you to check them out if my challenge seems a bit different then what you’re hoping for!)  So, yes, I decided to make my own, and my friend gave me the idea to just do one monthly that way people could slip into this anytime of 2017 they want to….Anyway, let’s get on to the information!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a graphic for you to use because I do NOT know how to make one…But if any of you decide to make one, let me know and we’ll use it for future months!

There are 3 different levels, you can choose one level, or start for the beginning and progress through to the end….

The Busy One: 3 books

This level is for those who can only read 3 books in a month…..Or maybe those of you who haven’t quite gotten into the habit of reading a lot so you can start off slowly.

The Balanced One: 5 books

This level is for the one who has a bit more free time or maybe wants to challenge themselves a bit more!

The Bookworm: 8 books

And lastly, this if for the obsessed!! I figured some people did have time to read this many, so I wanted to have this option.


Now, choose your level! I personally will be attempting The Balanced One level, because I don’t have enough time to read 8 books, but I do want to challenge myself to put down social media and TV time and read to grow my mind this year.

Next, here are your genre(s) to choose from this month. The categories will vary every month, so if you don’t see one here you like, make up your own or wait until February to join in!

  1. A book on prayer

  2. A book recommended to you by a friend

  3. A book you haven’t finished

  4. A book about purity

  5. A book of your choice

  6. A Christian novel

  7. A hobby book

  8. A book of your choice


Choose any of these, double them up to maybe 2 Christian novels or 3 books on relationship….Play around with it, because this reading challenge is solely to get you in the books!

Reading is sooo important not only to stretch your knowledge, but to also grow closer to God and spend some time with yourself to re-energize.

Lastly, where would this reading challenge be without a hashtag to stay connected with? Use #2017wrandtreadingchallenge (my blog initials) on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with fellow readers progress, and I’ll be stalking all the reading lists and such!


I can’t wait to see what you guys are reading, and I can’t wait to share my favorite books of 2017 with you all! If you have any questions, leave a comment below.


~By His Grace,







Posted in life updates

hello 2017, let’s get things done.


I wrote a post today telling America to stop hating 2016. Read that here.

2016 WRAP-UP: 

So, although I didn’t have any true resolutions for this year, I did have some goals and mindsets I wanted to implement.

  • I read more non-fiction-dabbled in around 3o books!
  • I read 82 books overall this year.
  • I participated in #NaNoWriMo for the 2nd time in a row! And no I didn’t win this time…
  • Our family is visiting a new church…
  • I started high school.
  • I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone a bit.
  • I started some new hobbies. (crochet!)
  • I started The Modern Abolitionist blog for teens.
  • I wrote two first drafts!


Etc, etc, etc, and the list goes on. But to not bore you with the unnecessary details, let’s get on to the resolutions!

  1. Re-Heal my body. (Which I’ve already started this month.)

  2. Continue to read more non-fiction. 

  3. Step out of my comfort zone. (more!)

  4. Start a better prayer life. 

  5. Read through the  Bible in 2017, which I’m doing with friends. 

  6. Complete my 2 first drafts.

  7. Read 50 books. 

  8. Write consistently on The Modern Abolitionist.

  9. Hone my cooking/baking/cleaning skills. 

  10. Invest in relationships. 

  11. Learn how to drive. (This is a must!)


I also would LOVE to learn how to sew this year, but eh, I don’t know.

But yes I am so excited for this year, for the friends, the food, the books. YESSSSSSS…

~By His Grace,



P.S. What are your 2017 resolutions???

Posted in book reviews

Culture by A.W. Tozer


We have done nothing until we have left the world and set our faces toward the city of God in hard, practical reality.” —A. W. Tozer

Readers love Tozer the way we love friends who tell the hard truth. The truth is often bitter, but if we are wise we will drink it down, and we’ll be thankful we did. In Culture, A. W. Tozer tells it how it is: to follow Christ toward heaven is to invite trouble in this world.

Within these pages are reflections on the true nature of the church, the cost of following Jesus, and the blessed hope of the heaven-bound.

Read Culture to be made sober, determined, and bold in a world that would rather you quietly blend in.


This is my first A.W. Tozer book to read, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I knew he was considered a “classic” Christian author, but I had no idea how difficult and mature his writing style was!

I started this book very, VERY excited, and ended…Well, relieved. Hahah! It was good, but hurt my head to read his proper style.

Tozer discusses those culturally controversial topics that most people avoid, and while he’s very bold about his convictions, he’s Christ-like about it and doesn’t shove it in your face.

I enjoyed reading his perspective of the modern-day culture, and was constantly wondering how he’d react to 2016! After all, he died in the 60’s; MUCH different from now.

If you want a challenging, convicting book for 2017, one that will make you reconsider your habits and highly motivates you, check this book out!

*This book was sent to me for free by Moody Publishers, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!*


~By His Grace,


Posted in book lists

My Favorite Non-Fiction Books For Growth


love reading….Ya’ll know that! And I love reading fiction! But sometimes my mind and spirit needs refreshment, encouragement and wisdom that only Godly role models can give. There’s a time and a place for both genres, but today I’ll be sharing my favorite non-fiction picks! Honestly, these are great for Christmas gifts for the girls/women in your life so maybe keep that in mind too. Well, you guys don’t want to hear me ramble, so here we go! I’ll order these books from shorter to longer, as I know some of you might not want a gigantic intimidating tome to conquer!!! Lol

  1. Girl Talk With God by Susie Shellenberger 

(161 pages) This is actually quite the tear-jerker. This little book packs a punch of interesting conversations with God like eating disorders, pop culture, dating and more. For a personal and feel-good read, check this one out! Amazon.

      2. Answering The Guy Questions by Leslie Ludy

(154 pages) Oh my goodness, guys. If you saw my copy you’d see all the pink sticky         notes popping out the sides of the pages, marking the endlessly amazing quotes        stuffed in           this one!! Leslie Ludy is a wonderful and biblical author, and I have yet to      find a fault in her writing. This book gets me excited for marriage, makes me want to pray for my brothers, dad and guys, and taught me a lot about biblical manhood. Check it out….Probably 14 and    older.  Amazon.

     3. Perfectly Unique by Annie F. Downs

(200 pages) While I’m not sure about her theological beliefs and I cannot account for her other books in the biblical sense, this book was so great! It was hilarious, convicting, and made me want to treat my self-esteem a bit better. Annie is honest, and will certainly make you laugh! Amazon.

     4.  Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy

(220 pages) Whoa! This is rough to read, it’ll convict! Leslie dives into culture, media, fashion, and biblical womanhood. I’m telling you, read this book, and you’ll never be the same!! Amazon.

    5. Guys Are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti by Chad Eastham 

(200 pages) Oh my goodness. Want to laugh? Want to get angry? Want to read a book in a day?? READ. THIS. BOOK. AGHHHHHH. I LOVED this. So funny, so insightful, so…..FUN. I recommend this for older teens as it does deal with mature issues….So this is certainly not for the 11 year old. ^_^ Amazon. That being said, it’s the PERFECT present for any teen, boy or girl.

    6. Girl Defined by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird 

(226 pages) I was actually on the street/launch team for this lovely book when it released in the summertime. I was amazed at the honesty, thoughtful-ness and overall genuine-ity of these two sisters. The sub-title for this is God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. Yes, they deal with gender, sexuality, and yes, certainly some things that challenge and convict us all. Their (or rather, God’s) message is NOT popular, but it’s best. This is the most ideal gift for teen girls on this list. It encourages, it motivates, it’s a big deal! Amazon. Also, check out THIS post for my review on it.

    7. Growing Up Duggar by Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger Duggar. 

(231 pages) I am not near obsessed with the Duggar family as I was when this book came out 2 years ago, but it’s still very good, biblically sound, practical advice! It really is all about good relationships and I enjoyed how they executed that message in this book. I highly recommend it to any age girl! Amazon.


    8. Joyfully At Home by Jasmine Baucham (now Jasmine Holmes) 

(231 pages) Yes, this book was written by the author of my favorite pastor, Voddie Baucham. Nope, I didn’t fangirl when I found out about it. Not at all. Hahaha! Seriously though, I love this family! I love their beliefs (firmly grounded and built on nothing BUT Scripture) and I love their daughter’s talent in writing. She knows how to relate, how to make you laugh, and how to share ideas in a way that makes you want to implement them right away! I wish every young girl would read this, as I’m highly convinced it would change lives. Amazon. And Here’s my very old book review, but I’m not sure what good it’ll do! #bloggerregrets :D

     9. Chucking College by Melanie Ellison 

(250 pages) Well, I never said this list wouldn’t be controversial!!! Hahaha. You should check this one out, even if you think you’ll disagree with it. It’s changed my thinking, opened my eyes, inspired me to swim against the staus-quo of the after high school current. Amazon.

     10. Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally 

(260 pages) I think this book kind of speaks for itself….Sarah tactfully deals with purity for any age, and any stage for girls. I believe  this message is a must-read, must-apply thing. I actually read this after a Bright Lights conference back in 2012 or 2013 and I also received the study guide (thanks, momma!) and I LOVED it. It’s exactly what I needed as a young (almost teenage) girl with raging hormones. Yep. I needed it! ^_^

       11. Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris 

Hmmmm…..I think ya’ll know what this is about! One thing I’m VERY passionate about is abolishing low teenage expectations. I HATE how teenagers get such a bad-rap, and we kids just accept it! Want to get inspired to change the world, get into politics, start a business, do better in school, become involved in your community or overall have a better and more fulfilling young adult life? Read. This. Book. NOW. Amazon.  And while you’re at is snag their Companion guide. P.S. If you were wondering, yes. They ARE related to Josh Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye.

      12. Dream To Destiny by Livy Jarmusch 

Whew, guys! This book was amazing! I was so inspired after reading this. It’s very short (actually 60 pages or so….Guess it should’ve gone higher up on this list. Whatever!) but it is filled with study questions, real-life examples and will encourage you to pursue your God-given talents, dreams and plans. Check out the e-book HERE.



One more thing I’d like to note, this list is ever growing because I’m reading new non-fiction daily! So, I’ll probably release another, brand new list of books in 2017!!!


Well, I hope your shopping carts are full and brains are spinning with new book and present ideas! I am tired. I shall go take a nap now. Bye!!!


By His Grace, 



P.S. What are YOUR favorite non-fiction reads? Have you read any of these books? Let’s chat in the comments!


(blog post requested by @dear.abby.rose  on Instagram. Thanks! Keep those post recommendations coming!)