9.28.2015

Pumpkin Beer Guide

There are many things to love about fall: gorgeous foliage, cooler temperatures, boots and scarves, apple and pumpkin treats, holidays, and new beers. Seasonal beers have exploded on the market the past several years, and fall and pumpkin beers are the most sought-after of the group. With new brews released each year, it can be difficult to find one that suits your tastes. Luckily, Lindsay and I tested some of the most popular pumpkin and fall beers so you don't have to. It's a tough job, but someone had to do it:

Pumpkin Beer Guide
1. NEW BELGIUM PUMPKICK SPICED ALE. THREE out of FIVE.
This one was good, just not at all what I was expecting! It had hints of cranberries and lemongrass that definitely change things up when compared to other fall seasonals. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. I would definitely try it again.  

2. BOULEVARD FUNKY PUMPKIN SOUR ALE. FOUR out of FIVE.
Boulevard makes some of my favorite beers, so I was excited to try this sour. I'm sometimes a fan of sours, and sometimes not, so I was intrigued immediately. This beer has all the spices you find in a normal pumpkin beer but definitely carries the tartness of a sour. I tasted some toffee hints in this.  

3. O'FALLON PUMPKIN BEER. THREE out of FIVE.
This beer was pretty sweet with clear hints of vanilla and caramel. Definitely not something I would seek out, but not a bad beer overall.  

4. UINTA PUNK'N. FIVE out of FIVE.
YUM YUM YUM YUM YUM. But seriously, there are subtle hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove that always work really well with pumpkin. This beer has a great bitter finish that makes it unlike some of the other pumpkin beers I have tried.  

5. SCHLAFLY PUMPKIN ALE. FOUR out of FIVE.
VERY drinkable beer. This beer is on the sweeter side, which I don't normally love, but I really enjoyed how the spices balanced the sweetness so flawlessly.  

6. MOTHER'S OLD SCHOOL OKTOBERFEST. FOUR out of FIVE.
This medium-bodied beer has just enough hops with a good balance of sweetness. It's definitely super drinkable. I know I have had Mother's Mr. Pumpkin so I decided to try this one instead. Honestly, I prefer Mr. Pumpkin and would give that beer a FIVE. 

Pumpkin Beer Guide

7. BLUE MOON HARVEST MOON PUMPKIN ALE. THREE out of FIVE.
I wouldn't classify this as pumpkin-flavored beer which is why I gave it a three. It claims it's crafted with pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg but notes of citrus stand out more. A bit watered down tasting, but not bad.  

8. SHIPYARD PUMPKINHEAD. TWO out of FIVE.
Like the Blue Moon, I wouldn't call this "pumpkin-y"- instead, it's overwhelmingly cinnamon. It reminds me of gingerbread which would be cool if it were Christmas and it was called Gingerbread Beer. But it's not.  

9. CBC GREAT PUMPKIN ALE. FOUR out of FIVE.
Subtle notes of caramel, cinnamon, and clove that balanced beautifully with the pumpkin flavor. The most pumpkin-y of all the beers I tried. I'd definitely buy it again.  

10. SHOCK TOP PUMPKIN WHEAT. THREE out of FIVE.
A wheat-based beer that I found bland. It didn't taste of pumpkin and I didn't notice any of the traditional autumn spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, which I found surprising. Nothing exceptional, but easy to drink.  

11. KENTUCKY PUMPKIN BARREL ALE. FIVE out of FIVE.
It's pumpkin-flavored beer aged in bourbon barrels. Need I say more? I saw the year-round Kentucky Bourbon Ale in a few other states this summer, so you may want to check your local distributor for the seasonal edition. The bourbon definitely overpowers the pumpkin, but that's fine by me.  

We had such a blast putting together this post and we really hope that this guide will help you choose the perfect fall seasonal for YOU.

What's your favorite seasonal beverage? Share with us below!

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9.25.2015

Sage Synopsis v. 5 + Meet Rachael






//T H O U G H T S 

I'm still feeling so full from the Influence Conference last weekend. God has definitely been moving in my heart. It was great to finally connect IN PERSON with all of the lovely women I've known for years via the internet! 

We have had some exciting things starting to happen for our church lately and I'm so excited to see what the future holds. I know I'm being vague, but if you could please pray for us I would be forever grateful. In the meantime, can I insert a shameless plug for you to follow us on IG?! 

If you didn't notice on my instagram, my best friend welcomed a little boy into the world last Thursday and I seriously can't get enough of him. Let me tell you, it's really great when your friends do all the hard work of raising children and you just get to go over and hold the baby for a few hours while mom and dad sleep. Win, win- right?!

//P O P U L A R  L A T E L Y 

I shared one of my favorite posts on studying the bible over on In Due Time this week! Bible study is so important and something I can always use help with!  

Over a year ago, I shared a VERY personal post about purity and waiting. I shared it again on Twitter the other day and got some amazing feedback. Such an encouragement!

//G O O D  R E A D S

Craft coffee in the back-country?! YOU KNOW I'M ALL ABOUT THIS. Thanks, Outside.

You know I love Relevant Magazine. This post about the faith of millennials caught my attention this week. One excerpt stated: "According to David Kinnaman, we have good reason to think the millennials who are Christians claim a deeper, more rooted faith than Christians of previous generations." Definitely worth a read. 

//A U D I B L E S 

Right now I'm listening to Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan and OH MY GOSH AMAZING. It's a memoir about the author's experience with psychosis and it's SO fascinating. I love reading about mental illness and addiction (probably because that's what I'm in school for). 


Need some weekend jams? Try this:


//I N S P I R E  

Emily shared this video and oh my GOSH, my heart! Such wisdom in a little package.


//B L O G G E R  L O V E 

Well... I'm from Arizona so this post over on Shane's blog made me miss home so much!


I can so relate to Casey's thoughts in this post right now. I really admire her for doing what's best for her. 


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Hey there! My name is Rachael and I blog at The Rachael Way. I'm a middle school teacher, makeup lover, avid reader & wine drinker, and a travel addict. I currently teach in Shanghai, China, so I often write about my struggles and success as an expat navigating my twenties. My mission behind blogging is to share my heart and my story with my readers. Nothing is off limits in my corner of the internet. I hope you'll come say hi so I can get to know you!

Cassie's personal favorites from The Rachael Way: 


9.23.2015

3 Books to Read and 3 Books to Leave

I'm a tad bit book obsessed. I constantly have an audiobook and ebook going at the same time. I feel like I can never get enough! I have done an obscene amount of reading so far this summer, and there have been a number of books I would definitely read again as well as a few that I would definitely leave. Here's the scoop:




1. BIG LITTLE LIES BY LIANE MORIARTY
If you haven't heard of this book, you're hiding under a rock. It has been all the rave in the blogging world lately, so I knew I had to give it a shot. It definitely lived up to my expectations. I loved the style of the writing and how suspenseful it was. It didn't overlook creating realistic characters even in the midst of the suspense, which I really appreciated.

2. MAGIC HOUR BY KRISTIN HANNAH
This was a book I chose on a whim and I'm so happy I did. It's one of those "finding yourself after the storm" books, but in a way that hasn't been done before. Absolutely worth the read!

3. LEAVING TIME BY JODI PICOULT 
I'm a HUGE Jodi fan. I love how much research she puts into each of her books, how I never see the end coming, and how she weaves together seemingly unrelated character lines. I thinks she's a genius and this book is a great example of her talent. Plus it has elephants, and who doesn't love elephants?!


1. UNBROKEN BY LAURA HILLENBRAND
Maybe I shouldn't have seen the movie before reading the book because I found this really hard to get through. It's an amazing story, but it felt long and drawn out at times and I found myself hoping it would end soon. I'd say you're better off watching the movie.

2. EAT, PRAY, LOVE BY ELIZABETH GILBERT
UGHHHHHH. That basically sums it up.  I was warned that I was either going to love or hate this book, and I definitely didn't love it. I found the author annoying. She sounded like a martyr and something about that drove me insane. It kind of had the same undertones as "Wild," which I liked better, but still didn't love. 

3. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS
This was another one of those books that everyone in blogland has been talking about. I found it pretty underwhelming. There are a number of other books that have similar plot lines and I found the ending predictable. I think this could have been a really good book, but something about it just didn't do it for me.

Do you use Goodreas? Let's connect!



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9.21.2015

Three Lessons I Took Away From the Influence Conference

Influence conference 2015This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Influence Network Conference for the first time. The Influence Conference is a two and a half day event held in Indianapolis. You spend your days connecting with like minded women from across the country, hearing from amazing Gospel-oriented speakers, and making memories and decisions that will impact the rest of your life and the Kingdom of God.

I learned of the Influence Conference the first time it was ever held four years ago. Since then, a number of people have been telling me I NEEDED to attend. Sadly, the cards just never aligned for me so I was extremely grateful when I found out I would be able to attend this year.

I really took away a lot from this weekend, and I will share those things in time, but today I just wanted to give a quick "big picture" look at some of those things. Here are the three lessons I took away from the conference:

1. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE KNOWN TO BE ACCEPTED. Blogging and the internet are funny, funny things. This weekend, not only did I have a chance to meet some of my favorite bloggers that I have known for a number of years, but I also got to meet a ton of new people I wasn't familiar with or that weren't familiar with me.

One thing I learned this weekend was that just because I didn't know someone or they didn't know me, did not mean we didn't accept each other. Everyone woman I came in contact with this weekend made me feel heard, loved, and welcomed. Genuinely. That's the body of Christ in the flesh.

I also had the chance to talk with some of the women that I really admire in the blogging world. Ladies who I thought were "too big" to see or hear me. But you know what, I was completely proved wrong. They did notice me. And when I wasn't known, I was immediately accepted.

2. WE ARE NOT A LIABILITY.  I shared a bit about this on Instagram, but I wanted to say a little more. We often believe the lie that we are a liability. That we could drop the ball at any time. That we might be "found out" for the sinner we are at any time. Well, that really convicted me and got me thinking.

Lately, I've really been struggling with being in leadership in our church. Three years ago when I was saved, I never thought I would be qualified to be a leader in the church. Yet, God has put me there. And it's scary. But it's lovely. I have noticed that being in leadership tends to distance you from the body in certain ways (and draw you closer in others). People become scared to ask you the hard questions, assume you have it all figured out and they don't, and see you differently. I'm terrified that I will be put on some pedestal and that I will fall because of it. Because I'm flawed, I will inevitably fail them.

And it's true. If it wasn't true, I wouldn't need Jesus. So I've been thinking... how can I practically fight against being put on this pedestal? I think it comes back to authenticity. Sharing your struggle. Sharing your hurts. Letting those around you see that you too are flawed, that you too make mistakes and need to be asked about sin issues. I feel really convicted that I need to keep sharing my story with others, even if it is messy and hard. However, I'm not a liability because Jesus paid for that already. I sit at the foot of the cross along with everyone else.



3. IT'S NOT ABOUT ME. I came into this weekend with the prayer that God would refresh and renew me. I was feeling tired and broken and weak and I just needed rest in him. God quickly showed that it wasn't about me.

One of the first sessions I went to was on marriage. The girl that sat next to me was in tears the entire time. Tears, tears, and more tears. Instead of thinking about what God was doing for ME in that moment, I realized that he wanted me to be there for this. Not for myself. I saw hurting women all around me this weekend. I made the decision to surrender to God and follow his lead in this and let me tell you, it was weird and uncomfortable. I don't handle tears well and I definitely don't have all the right answers. This woman had been married 8 years and was a mother. I've been married ONE YEAR. All I could do for her was offer to pray. That's all I had to give. But God moved. I was faithful, and he moved because of it. Had I just chosen to be upset that he wasn't filling me up, I would have missed the opportunity to love this hurting wife.

It's funny, because I looked back in my journal when I got home and this is what I had written a few days before the conference: "I really want to open up my heart to you and all the women there." God answered the second part of my prayer, which then opened up my heart to Him more. God works in mysterious ways, but he is SO good.

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9.18.2015

Sage Synopsis v. 4



//T H O U G H T S

INFLUENCE CONFERENCE IS IN FULL FORCE. I've been praying all week that I would be open to these women ministering to my heart and even more open to listening to God. I can't wait to share more. Follow along with me on social media to keep up with me this weekend. 

//P O P U L A R  L A T E L Y

Have you ever visited San Antonio? This post on things to do in the area has been popular for a while now!

It must be engagement season because our wedding page has been getting a lot of attention! 

//G O O D  R E A D S

This post on how to reach your friends who don't believe was really thought-provoking. As someone that wasn't a christian only a few years ago, I can say this would be a much more effective approach than what some of us are used to. Especially the one about letting your life be a witness. So important. 

The secret enemy in your marriage. It's so important to attack the problem instead of each other. 

//A U D I B L E S 


//I N S P I R E  

How amazing is this wood art from Amber Thomas Makes?! In love. Make sure you keep an eye out as it will be available in her Etsy shop soon!



//B L O G G E R  L O V E

If you haven't noticed, I've felt like giving up on blogging a lot lately. This post from Nectar Collective about 4 things to consider when you feel like giving up spoke right to my heart. 

If you need a good laugh, please read Helene's post. Not at all what I was expecting but totally awesome nonetheless. 

What are you up to this weekend?

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9.16.2015

Taking Stock / 05



Making: progress in my PhD program. PTL. 

Cooking: I don't know that this counts as cooking but this Sriracha lime grilled chicken salad is MY JAM lately. 

Drinking: PUMPKIN BEERZ. I'm so excited for a little collab I'm working on related to this topic!

Reading: I just finished "Eleanor & Park" which was lovely and now I'm about to start "My Month of Madness."

Wanting: tomorrow to come so I can head to Indy for THE INFLUENCE NETWORK CONFERENCE! Will you be joining me there?!

Looking: forward to how God moves in my heart at the conference this weekend. And to hugging all my blogging friends.

Playing: ALL THE AUDIOBOOKS. My name is Cassie, and I have a problem. 

Wasting: time scrolling IG. The usual. 

Sewing: I should really just delete this one... 

Wishing: I could just teleport to Indy so I don't have to drive. Realistic, yes? At least I can feed my audiobook obsession. 

Enjoying: the fact that the weather is finally cooling down.

Waiting: to see what this next season holds for our marriage. 

Liking: the fact that we have a TON of vacations coming up. INTERNATIONAL VACATIONS. HALLELUJAH. 

Wondering: if I'm going to survive this semester. But really. 

Loving: how God has really been encouraging me since starting a Hospitality Team at church. He is so faithful. 

Hoping: my blogging break next month will leave me feeling refreshed. I love sharing my heart with you all, but the pressure lately has been breaking me down. 

Marveling: at how God has moved in our church lately. Church planting is hard, but SO SO good ya'll. next week we are baptizing a BUNCH of people! So cool. 

Needing: a massage. Like a 3 hour one.

Wearing: SCARVES! It's not Fall in Missouri yet but I refuse to believe it. 

Following: along with the refugee crisis everyday. Heartbreaking. 

Noticing: that I'm starving right now. RUN FAST BEFORE THE HANGER COMES!

Knowing: God is faithful always. Even when we don't get our desires fulfilled. His desires for us are always better. 

Thinking: about all of the cool opportunities I have had so far in graduate school. I really love what I do. 

Feeling: like I need to RELAX

Bookmarking: the She Reads Truth study on Hospitality

Opening: SO MUCH HAPPY MAIL LATELY. 

Giggling: at myself and how easily I get wrapped up in worldly things. WHY MUST I BE HUMAN?! 

What's going on in your life currently? 
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9.14.2015

Fit Snack August Review


 
I always love reviewing my Fit Snack boxes every month. I'm going to be taking a little break from these posts for the next few months in order to recharge, but let me tell you: WE ARE STARTING THIS BREAK ON A HIGH NOTE. I know I say every month that I loved my box, but this month, that was especially true.


Hands down my favorite item from this month's box was the Purely Elizabeth Granola. It was pumpkin spice flavored and this time of year, I'm all about that. I took to to lunch one day for work and added it to some granola and I know my life was CHANGED. I love that it suggests you add milk directly to the package.


One of the other items I was really excited about were the Trophy Nut Almonds. I love almonds and it was really awesome to keep this package in my purse for when hunger strikes (and before it turns in to hanger.. amen?).

Other items included in this month's box included a Kutoa nutrition bar, Don't Go Nuts Dips, Runa energy tea, Morning Sunshine cookie, Balance Nutrition bars (took these on a hiking trip and they ROCKED), Love Grown Foods ceral, Yummy Health protein chips (I couldn't get on board with the cheese crisp ones, sadly), and the MRM Veggie Elite protein.

Have you tried Fit Snack yet? Be sure to enter the giveaway or sign-up today and get a free gym bag with your purchase.
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9.11.2015

Sage Synopsis v. 3



//T H O U G H T S

We went camping last weekend for a few nights and it was amazing. We did a bunch of hiking, swimming, and even canoeing. I'm feeling so grateful for my husband lately. He has really been making this stressful season much easier to deal with. I lucked out.

Although I'm not glad that PSLs are back (like, really?! get a REAL coffee drink that doesn't have a million chemicals in it!!!), I'm STOKED that pumpkin beer is back!! Look out for my pumpkin beer guide coming soon!

I know I've been really absent from this place mentally lately, so thank you for sticking it out with me. I'm going to continue blogging through the end of the month and then hopefully take a much needed break. I'm not sure what the break will look like yet, but I'm hoping to eventually return to this place renewed and refreshed!

Influence Conference is NEXT WEEK!!!!! Who will be attending?!

//P O P U L A R  L A T E L Y

I really believe in Adproval as a company so I'm glad to see that this post on being an Adproval Influencer has been popular lately! They offer so many great opportunities!

Back in June we visited San Antonio, Texas. This post on the top things to do while visiting the area has been blowing up on Pinterest in the last week!

//G O O D  R E A D S

Outside Magazine shared this story about a murder on the Appalachian Trail and it was so good. The author is someone that actually knew the victims and met them while on the trail. It was a really unique perspective on a tragic story.

Amber's newsletter this week had me really emotional yesterday. There's so much goodness in it and I really needed to be reminded of the truth she spoke. You can subscribe to her newsletter HERE. You won't regret it.

//A U D I B L E S 

ALL THE WORSHIP MUSIC. My heart has been craving it lately.

//I N S P I R E 

//B L O G G E R  L O V E

I always get a good laugh from Taylor and this post was no exception. I'll leave the snarking up to her.

I'm a big fan of supporting small and local businesses, so this post on the topic really jumped out to me this week.  

Have a lovely weekend!
 
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9.09.2015

UV FULL BUFF Review + Meet Caroline

Disclaimer: I received the UV HALF BUFF to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Remember when I reviewed the UV Half Buff last month?! Well, this month I got to try the UV Full Buff and I'm so excited to tell you more about it! This Buff has all the same features I loved about the Half Buff, but it also has a few additional things I really love.

Since I have been so sick the last few weeks, I haven't been running very often. Thankfully, we went camping over the weekend and I was able to try my Full Buff out in a variety of new ways including canoeing, hiking, and swimming!

Here's what I love about the Full Buff:

1. IT KEEPS YOU COOL. I loved being able to dip my Buff in the lake and then wear it around my head or neck. It retains just the right amount of water so that it doesn't feel wet but still cools you down.

2. IT PROVIDES SUN PROTECTION. The Full Buff provides even more sun protection than the Half Buff! It was BLAZING hot this weekend and I loved being able to add an extra layer of protection to keep from burning.

3. IT'S LIGHTWEIGHT. It's important to pack light on long hikes, so I really appreciated how lightweight the Full Buff was.

I have to admit, I think the Full Buff will become more practical during the cooler months of the year when I want to cover more of my face and head. It's a lot of material that isn't super necessary when it's so hot outside. During the warmer months, I definitely prefer the Half Buff!


How do you keep cool while doing outdoor activities this time of year? 

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Hello Sage readers! I’m Caroline and I blog at “The Little Things” where I talk about running, biking, my chronic illness (POTS), traveling, the little things that impact my life, and my continual progress to a healthier and more resilient life! I'm a counselor by day, I love reading in the evenings, and I look for any opportunity I can to be outdoors! I’m a big believer that what really makes up our life and our health isn’t the big moment things, but instead it’s a combination of lots of little choices and things that make a big impact. I believe that the journey of health is best done in community, so come introduce yourself and join me on the journey!

Cassie's personal favorites from The Little Things: 

9.04.2015

Sage Synopsis v. 2


It was so great to hear that everyone is excited for my new Friday series! I always love hearing your feedback when I try new things, so thank you!

//T H O U G H T S

Ya'll I am S T R E S S E D lately. Sometimes I think I'm super woman and that I can do it all, and then God kindly knocks me on my ass and reminds me how much I need Him. I've needed SO MUCH of Him these last few weeks. 

I'm really looking forward to the Influence Network Conference in a few weeks! I just ordered my business cards yesterday and I can't wait to meet all of my blogging friends in real life!

The last few weeks were a little hard on our church, and especially our leaders, but lately God has really been demonstrating his faithfulness to us, even in the midst of the challenging times. So grateful for a savior that meets us in the dark places.

//P O P U L A R  L A T E L Y

This week my sweet friend Amy wrote a guest post on the waiting room in life. I feel like it's such a relatable topic and I'm so grateful that she was able to come share her heart with all of you. 

Cooler weather is right around the corner so it makes sense that this post on the 9 best crockpot meals has been popular on my blog lately. 

//G O O D  R E A D S

I'm so intrigued by the Pope. He is radical in the way that Jesus was. This week, he decided he would allow priests to grant sacramental forgiveness to women who have an an abortion (there's much more to the story, but that's it in brief). One of the statements he made really stood out to me:

"I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision. I know that it is an existential and moral ordeal. I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. What has happened is profoundly unjust; yet only understanding the truth of it can enable one not to lose hope. The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father."

"THE FORGIVENESS OF GOD CANNOT BE DENIED TO ONE WHO HAS REPENTED." AMEN. 

//A U D I B L E S 

I'm slightly obsessed with Rend Collective radio on Pandora. Between that and the Bon Iver station, I'm set for life!

The Redemption's Hill Podcast keeps me on top of our lessons from each week and I love being able to go back and listen to the week's sermon again as I process it throughout the week.

//I N S P I R E 


//B L O G G E R  L O V E
 
If you don't know by now that I love community, I think you're living under a rock. This post on community within the blogging world by Emily from Ember Grey on Heaven to Betsy's blog is my whole heart.

I have recently had a hard time with understanding that some friendships are only meant for a certain season, so this post by Annie really spoke right to my heart

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend! I'll be taking Monday off myself so I'll meet you all back in the space on Wednesday! 
 
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9.02.2015

My 2015 Word: An Update

forgiveness


At the beginning of the year, I wrote about my "word" and back in March I gave a little update. My word for 2015 is "forgive." Before I chose this word, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to apply it. For me, the application of forgiveness looks like prayer, reading books, asking friends to keep me accountable, and being more vulnerable. You'll see shortly how I have been doing with that.

Now that we are more than half way through the year (HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN?!), it's definitely time for another update. I would be lying if I said that the application of this word has been easy. It hasn't. Sometimes I forget about it completely and other times I pray passionately about it. Currently, I'm in a stage of needing forgiveness desperately, but I'm truly struggling with it and needing a TON of grace and Jesus.

In an effort to stay consistent and keep this a positive experience, I have added to my old list of the things I am doing well to apply my word and the things I might be able to do better in the last quarter of the year.

How I am Applying FORGIVE so Far:  

1. I have the recording from the "Finding Freedom Through Forgiveness" class through the Influence Network that I plan to watch once life slows down a bit. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm ashamed that I still haven't watched this...

2. I have been more honest and straightforward with our small group about my struggles with forgiveness, something that I didn't always talk about as much as I should have.

3. Prayer has been playing a large role in this journey. I know I cannot apply forgiveness on my own, and I pray that the Holy Spirit works in me to make it possible.

4. I have started making a list of the books related to forgiveness that I would like to read over the next year. Suggestions are welcome! I haven't touched one, nor have I received any suggestions. I'm still open to recommendations!

5. I'm working on staying more cognizant of when I have an unforgiving attitude or say unforgiving things. This one is a work in progress.    

Update:
6. I have become painfully aware of my failure to forgive people on a daily basis, and I'm trying to seek God prayerfully in those moments instead of feeling bad about it.

7. I have asked others to keep me accountable to this goal. A number of close friends know this is something I'm working on this year and they aren't shy to ask me about it. Accountability is key, ya'll.

8. I have been journaling about my lack of forgiveness on a more regular basis. It's always helpful for me to look back on journaling and see if I have made any progress or not.

How I Can Do Better at Applying FORGIVE in the Future: 

1. I need to ask more people in my life to keep me accountable. I want to go outside my comfort zone and ask people to help me carry this burden so I don't have to do it alone. Thankfully, I know I have a community that will be glad to help. Thankfully, I feel like I have been able to do this and I have definitely seen the positive benefits.

2. More apologies need to be offered to those around me. I have been in contact with people from my past that hurt me, but I have not been able to come straight out and apologize yet. I really hope to do this more. I have been trying to do this more, but there are still a few people that need to hear sorry from me.

3. I would like to be better about writing my thoughts on forgiveness in my journal. I'm not always great at seeing God move in my life while it is happening. Usually, I realize His works in retrospect, and I know that journaling through this process will be an encouragement to me. I've really been trying to increase my journaling about this goal and I can't wait to look back when 2015 is over and see how things have gone over the last year.

Update:
4. I really need to read some books on forgiveness. Often times, books are really helpful for me because they offer an outside perspective. It's also helpful in reminding me that I'm not alone in this struggle.

5. I want to learn more about the balance between being forgiving and being a pushover. I don't want to be prideful but I also don't want to become a stepping stone because I am overly forgiving. Anyone else still trying to figure out this balance?

6. I need to lay down my pride and realize I don't DESERVE anything from people and it's up to me to forgive them for the things that have hurt me. Holding grudges is prideful and unhelpful.

How are you living out your 2015 word? How can I encourage you?
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