Monthly Mashup

Welcome to my monthly mashup! These are some of the things I’ve enjoyed or pondered this month:

A Devotional I’m loving: Igniting Faith in 40 Days by Steve & Wendy Backlund

If you are open to a new perspective, check out this little devotional. Igniting Faith is a mere 44 pages, but it packs a punch. Some of the illustrations from the Backlunds helped shift my focus to a much more positive and faith-filled expectation. Their notes on Romans 4:17 (God calls the things that are not…) and Ezekiel 37 (bringing life to dead places) are absolute fire. This is my fourth time through Igniting Faith and it’s still an inspiring way to start the day.

A video I enjoyed: “An ER doctor on how to triage your busy life”

 If, like me, you have fallen out of love with TEDX talks, this one may win you back. It’s not that I dislike TEDX talks, I just got tired of wading through ones that didn’t apply. But Darria Long’s talk as an ER doc was fun, inspiring, and practical. Her presentation helped me to rethink some ways I was organizing my life and also be more thoughtful about how I talked about my life. Check it out: https://youtu.be/Fe1z22_Qd9E

A cookbook/insta account I adore: Half Baked Harvest

I tend to get stuck in my cooking creativity, making the same tired meals each week. My daughter Miranda offered to cook for me when she was home. She came in with Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp in Coconut Milk and proceeded to Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar. I was practically licking the pan as I asked, “Miranda, where did you get these fabulous recipes?” She laughed, “Aren’t they great? And they are so easy!”  If you have an insta account, look up @halfbakedharvest.

 A young gal named Tieghan Gerard started creating fabulous recipes at a young age and founded Half Baked Harvest. She is a NYT best-selling author of HBH Super Simple cookbook. Her insta account @halfbakedharvest provides daily inspiration for dinner and desserts. I thought I knew how to make tacos till I made her Crispy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Ranch! Check out Easy Greek Sheet Pan Souvlaki and Potatoes or Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes with Whipped Mascarpone. So good! Try it out and let me know your favorites!

A Quote I’m pondering:

“Stop trying to get from people, what you will only ever get from God.” – Christine Cain

Thanks for reading! I always ask for feedback on the blog and recently a friend mentioned that she was not able to leave comments. Has anyone else had trouble commenting or sharing it on their social? Please let me know! You can sign up to receive my blog in your email every Monday at www.MargaretAllen.org at the bottom of Monday’s With Margaret. And, if you are reading through my book, Gracious Living, I would love to hear what resonates for you. Have a beautiful week everyone!


Monthly Mashup

Welcome to my monthly mashup! These are some of the things I’ve enjoyed or pondered this month:

Book I’m reading: When, The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink. This was a book that I read quickly. Then, when I realized how important the information was, I went back and read it slowly while taking notes. The research in this book is shaping when I approach certain tasks in my day. My efficiency, as well as my overall satisfaction with how I organize my time has increased greatly. From chapter one, The Hidden Pattern of Everyday Life: “Across continents and time zones, as predictable as the ocean tides, was the same daily oscillation—a peak, a trough and a rebound. Beneath the surface of our everyday life is a hidden pattern: crucial, unexpected, and revealing.” (p 11)

Music I’m listening to: www.MaverickCityMusic.com Sometimes during the day I want to connect with God but I don’t really want to read scripture. I might have ten minutes in between meetings and that’s when I play a song from Maverick City to help connect my heart to God’s…instantly. Check out Temple on Vol 3 Part 2 or The Story I’ll Tell. From the Maverick City website: “What brings us together, and that sound that is vivaciously smacking you in the face the first time you hit play on a Maverick track, isn’t the sound of a community that centered around their deprivation, it’s the audacious sound of true belonging. The beautiful harmony of long-lost family. Maybe now more than ever not just the Church but the world needs a plurality of strong diverse voices carrying messages that can help reshape the world.” Their music is truly something to be experienced.

Toy I’m enjoying—The Revolution FIT 3-in-1 Balance Training System. It’s a balance board with 3 interchangeable bases-the rocker, the air cushion, and the roller (my fav). From their website: “The FIT balance board is designed to add a whole new dimension to your workout. Harnessing balance as a fitness tool, the FIT will maximize the burn and add excitement to your exercise routine.” With our entire family working from home, it’s a fun little exercise tool we keep out in the living room for those five-minute breaks in between meetings and calls. I noticed a total difference in my balance on the first day snowboarding this season.

What I’m celebrating—We asked our kids to be in charge of a portion of our charitable giving this year. We gave them a designated amount of money and asked that they collaborate on finding non-profits to receive funds and how much. We have four kids, ages 19 to 25, plus a son-in-law. Together they researched groups they had interacted with at some point in their lives. They contacted many non-profits to discover if there were any special projects or needs at the moment. The kids made presentations on their findings, much like a TedX talk to decide how to designate the funds. Through this, we all have become quite excited to share our time, talent, and treasure with some fabulous non-profits doing heroic work. Giving, as a group effort, is actually a lot of fun.

Quote I’m pondering–“What if instead of calling people out, we called them in?” Prof. Loretta J. Ross

As always, please give me feedback on the blog. What do you want more or less of? I would love to hear how God is at work in your life. You can sign up to receive this blog in your email every Monday at www.MargaretAllen.org at the bottom of Mondays With Margaret. If you are reading through my book, Gracious Living, I want to hear what resonates for you! Tag me on insta @margaretallen.gl