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Jun 12 2015

On Filling Up in Order to Cultivate the Lovely in Your Life

Filling up on lovely
Over the past few months I have been reading and ruminating over Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life.  In her book she so very clearly points out that if we expect to pour lovely things out of ourselves then we must fill up on lovely things first.

Now, I don’t want this to be confused with our cultural notion of “me-time” that is entirely mom-centered.  Rather, I want us to think of it as a shift in our focus, what we allow into our lives and what we choose to fill up on.  We all fill up on something, be it TV or radio or novels or blogs- somehow information is pouring into our lives but we need to filter what we allow in and make sure to choose the best. Our time is precious, let’s not waste it on subpar offerings.

As I also mentioned in my last post, scripture so clearly points out this principle.  In Philippians 4:7 Paul exhorts us with this-

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

At the core of our thoughts we are to be pondering and focusing on wonderful things!  Jesus even talks about this inner wellspring in Luke 6:45-

          The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil             person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart            his mouth speaks.

So, as the curator of what we allow into the museum of our hearts and minds, let’s discuss some of the ways we can be filling up.

Filling Up on the Word

This should be our first and foremost way of filling our souls with loveliness.  It is the most true, the most honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise!  If you are floundering with where to start right now then let me give you a few suggestions-

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  • She Reads Truth Daily Scripture with Devotions that allow you to easily access the Word if you are feeling spread thin or just want to be communing with other women’s hearts.  These are especially great to discuss with friends.  Try out an app like Voxer so that you can keep in touch with those friends easily and privately on a daily basis.


  • Journal Through the Bible Studies by Kari Denker at Stone Soup for Five- I really can’t rave enough about these studies!  Kari has become a friend of mine over the last couple of years but even if she weren’t I would be raving like a mad woman over the work and care she has poured into creating these amazing and deep studies of God’s Word!  If you are looking for something that will take you a bit deeper than a devotional and will help you make the Word personal then these are the studies for you!  I am currently working through her Galatians study right now and it is fabulous!

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  • Love God Greatly– Another well-done online study that is solidly founded in scripture and will take you deeper while also being in online community.  They have groups that you can sign up for to keep you accountable and provide you with fellowship, plus they have some well respected and solid Bible teachers at their helm.

Kristin Schmucker

  • Kristin Schmucker– If you want to be inspired by beauty right out of the gate then go to this gal’s blog and site!  She has some absolutely beautiful devotional studies as well as other products to inspire you to be in God’s Word!  You can see her shop right here or the page on her blog with all of her posts about being in the Word here.

Other Ways of Filling Up on Lovely

This next list contains many of the ways that fill up in my own life to bring me joy and inspiration.  I try to sprinkle my days liberally with them!


If you haven’t discovered podcasts yet then, girl, you have been missing OUT!  I adore me a wonderful podcast- so much so that I’m starting one!  I listen to podcasts while I cook, clean, shower, drive, put a baby down for a nap.  Podcasts are my frequent companions and not only offer me great information but also allow me to hear other adult voices throughout the day and can provide me with some much needed comic relief!  Here are my favorites:

read aloud revival

the art of simple



I love to read, although it has been difficult to really carve much time out for it in the last couple of years.  This summer, especially with my renewed passion to cultivate loveliness in our life, I am being very purposeful about finding or making this time.  I have my fingers in all sorts of books right now, and I am learning better how to hone in my book lists so that they are more nourishing and soul-filling.  I try to use the same principle as my podcasts and either have a book always with me to sneak in a few pages here and there or I download the audiobook for free from our library’s Overdrive system.  (Check and see if your library has it- it’s awesome!)

I am working on a page that will include lists of what our whole family is reading, but in the mean time these are some good places to start (affiliate links included)-

Own Your Life
Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson

The Living Page by Laurie Bestvater

Honey for a Woman’s Heart by Gladys Hunt

May B by Caroline Starr Rose



Having soul-friends who get right where you are, do life with you and encourage you in your walk with the Lord are essential to cultivating the lovely and filling up!  My friends inspire me in so many ways, give me big thoughts and ideas to chew on and provide that much needed place to vent as well as be kindly reproofed.

If you are having difficulty connecting with your friends in the midst of real life, let me encourage you to start using the Voxer app on your smart phone with them.  This app is magical!!  It has literally revolutionized my friendships with my closest girlfriends!  It kind of works like a walkie talkie combined with texting and images.  It’s a-ma-zing!  There is just something about being able to hear each others’ voices throughout the day that makes you not feel so alone and makes coming back together in real life even sweeter!

We also create opportunities to meet that are largely based around our children.  We started a weekly nature day which not only allows us to fit in that illusive nature study but also have that craving for girlfriend-time fulfilled.  We go on field trips together and meet at the library.  We all understand that our families have to come first but we make each other a priority as well.  We have committed to doing life together and it is beautiful!


One of my main go-to spots for inspiration these days in YouTube! There are some seriously great channels and even entire web shows out
there that can be informative as well as soul-filling.  Here are just a couple of my favorites-

the reset girl


Now, here I’m going to say something you may not expect to be coming out of the mouth of a blogger- only follow a handful of us! There are so many blogs that if you are having every one you’ve ever heard of delivered to your inbox, or even scrolling through your reader, you are going to get completely overwhelmed and probably not read ANY of them!

Subscribe to blogs that you resonate with down in your bones and move on when you don’t anymore.  I only follow my friends’ and then maybe five or six others that really speak into where I am at in my life right now. There, I said it.  Go do what you gotta do. :-/


Admittedly, a cheap quick fix on lovely!  But if you use it right, and don’t just jump to it as a distraction from overly-whiny children, then there is a ton of inspiration and connection to be gleaned there.  How about for starters you begin using the #cultivatingthelovely and #thesummeroflovely hashtags to connect with other like-minded mamas on the same mission as us?

How Do You Fill Up?

Is there another way that you fill yourself up with the lovely?  I would love to hear!  Please share!

4 thoughts on “On Filling Up in Order to Cultivate the Lovely in Your Life

  1. Amy

    Thank you so much for these lists! I’ve been a huge fan of the Read Aloud Revival Podcast for a few months, but some of the others I had never heard of and have now added them to my iTunes que!

    Love what you are doing here and am looking forward to your podcast as well!

    1. MacKenzie Post author

      Thank you so much, Amy! I am really enjoying putting it all together and have lots more fun things in store! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the other podcasts.

  2. Kelly S

    Thanks so much for this *lovely* list! 🙂 I appreciate that you didn’t just say, “cultivate lovely” but actually told us some ideas. I do some of these already but just opened about 12 tabs of the ones you recommended. 🙂

    I love your opening blog page. I wanted to let you know that the about page links to this page (and a few others) as start here, and some of them don’t work because they have the date in the URL… it just redirects to your most recent posts. I just took a gamble and deleted the date out of the URL and got this one.

    Your page is darling, so just wanted to let you know in case others encounter the same problem. 🙂

    Look forward to reading more! 🙂

    1. MacKenzie Post author

      Thank you SO much, Kelly! I found the issue with my speaking page but am not sure which other ones you were referring to. Hmmmm… if you get a chance could you let me know? If not, no problem! Just curious because I can’t find them. :-/


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