Because I love words, I have always been a sucker for quotes. Whenever I start to feel stuck, I always go back to some of my favorite words for inspiration. I compiled some of my very favorite quotes right now below. These words move me or help remind me about an attribute of God. All of these pictures are from our incredible trip to the Amalfi coast about a year and a half ago. I am constantly inspired by Italy’s beauty and culture, so it just made sense to include some of that beauty with these beautiful words. I hope they help serve or inspire you today.

“It is better to be loved than to be admired. It is better to be truly known and seen and taken care of by a small tribe than adored by strangers who think they know you in a meaningful way. We know that’s true. But many of us, functionally, have gotten that math wrong in one season or another.” – Shauna Niequist “Present Over Perfect”

“Fidelity to grace in my life is fidelity to simplicity, rejecting ambition and analysis and elaborate thought, or even elaborate concern. A breath of Zen blows all these cobwebs out the window…I have been absurdly burdened with the illusions of ‘great responsibility’ and a task to be done. Actually, whatever work is to be done is God’s work and not mine, and I will not help matters, only hinder them, by too much care.” -Thomas Merton

“To make living itself an art- that is the goal.” – Henry Miller

“The sinful twist on us glory-chasers and pleasure-seekers is that we chase glory in ourselves and seek pleasure in the things of this world. We’ve gotten the object wrong, not the verb.”
– Jonathan Parnell

“The hill of Zion yields a thousand sacred sweets before we reach the heavenly fields or walk the golden streets.” – Isaac Watts

“If you’ve been sitting quietly hoping that someone might start speaking a language that makes sense to you,may I suggest that you are that person? If you have been longing to hear a new language for faith, one that rises and falls like a song, may I suggest that you start singing? If you want your community to be marked by radical honesty, by risky, terrifying ultimately redemptive truth telling- you must start telling your truth first.” – Shauna Niequist

“All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
—L.M. Montgomery

A tavola non si invecchia. – (Italian proverb- “At the table with good friends and family one does not become old.”)

“EL Doctorow once said that “writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. You don’t have to see where you are going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see 2-3 feet ahead of you. This is right up with the best advice about writing or life I have ever heard.” – Anne Lamott

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing to find the place where all the beauty came from.” – CS Lewis

“You are worthy of beauty and taking the time to create it.”

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”- Psalm 91:14-16

“Good art speaks to people outside of its tribe.”- Michael Gungor

“I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.”- Isaiah 41:18

“Beauty speaks of heaven to come, when all shall be beautiful. It haunts us with eternity. Beauty says, There is a glory calling to you. And if there is a glory, there is a source of glory. What great goodness could have possibly created this? What generosity gave us this to behold? Beauty draws us to God.” – “Captivating” by Stasi Eldredge

Reading is my very favorite activity. There is nothing better than getting lost in a good book. I would read forever and ever if I could. I do, however, hate when I start reading a not-so-good book and just start dragging through it.  Ain’t nobody got time for that! Now I just stop reading and never finish. My time is just too precious for boring books. Recently, though I have read some really riveting books that I just could not put down. Even though book recommendations are so personal, I still feel like they are a really good starting point when you are trying to figure your next read.

Wabi-Sabi Welcome” by Julie Pointer Adams.

I ordered this book when I saw that my all-time favorite photographer, Olivia Rae James, posted about how she was totally inspired by this gorgeous work. Man, was she right! This book is part art and part essay. The book inspires you to live a more authentic, gentler, laid back life with stories about the wabi- sabi culture present in Italy, Denmark, France, Japan and California. The pages exhibit simple, natural beauty. I loved her essays and will most certainly try all of the recipes. Even though I finished the book a couple of weeks ago, I keep coming back to its beautiful pages.

Garlic and Sapphires” by Ruth Reichl.

Ruth Reichl’s memoir about her tenure as the food critic of the Times is impossible to put down. I love Ruth’s voice and her perspective on her life and work. Her stories entertain and her words mesmerize. Ruth’s talent for writing about food totally captivated me from start to finish.

Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng.

Oh man, where to start! I wrote a little bit about this book in my recent post about things to do when Chicago is in the midst of the deep freeze, but everything truly bears repeating. Celeste Ng is a complete and total genius. The story focuses around the story of two families who live in a picture perfect suburban town. The crux of the novel surrounds the interactions between the two families during an adoption custody case which has enthralled the town. Through the story Celeste subtly critiques race, class and the definition of family. The surface story is fascinating enough, even without the genius of the underlying critique. This would be a great book for a book study.

When People are Big and God is Small” by Edward T. Welch.

I finally read this Christian counseling classic and it did not disappoint! For years, it felt like people constantly talked about how this book is a must-read. And now I am here to tell YOU that this book is definitely a must-read. I learned and grew a lot from the Biblical knowledge delineated here. This book will help you re-center your focus and energy on what is truly important in the coming year.

The Sound of Gravel” by Ruth Wariner.

OH man this is another MUST-read. I could seriously not put this book down. I finished it in a couple of days, I just could not stop reading. I just read everywhere and anywhere I had the chance. “The Sound of Gravel” is a memoir about Ruth Wariner’s childhood when she grew up in rural Mexico as the daughter of polygamist leader. Ruth details the harrowing events of her childhood and what led to her escape from the cult. There were moments when I literally could not breathe I was just so horrified by the terror that Ruth lived through and ultimately triumphed over. This is a true survival story and also an important read about the harrowing underbelly of religion gone bad.

I would love some new book recommendations from you guys! What are you reading now? What have you read recently that you loved? Comment below!