Gracelaced: A Review

Gracelaced Ruth Chou Simons

I was excited to receive an advanced copy of Ruth Chou Simons' book, Gracelaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart. I eagerly sat down to read the first chapter, "Dwell" and it hit me right where I needed encouragement.

The scripture was from Psalm 91:1-2: 

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

In that chapter Ruth asks, "What are the false shelters in your life?"

I immediately knew the one I was struggling with the most.

Over this past summer two of our children were diagnosed with learning disabilities. My emotions have been a mix of grief, relief, disappointment, as well as seeing a new path forward.

But what was also revealed to my heart was that I have a false shelter of education. 

Don't get me wrong, education is important. And I already knew I struggled with this in my own life. I'm aware I have a driving desire for productivity and accomplishment. This propelled me to be on the Dean's List every semester in college, to graduate magna cum laude, to enjoy a job in an academic institution, and to continue my creative pursuits after having children. Nothing is wrong with any of that! But my default is to feel "less than" when I'm not being productive.

I didn't think I'd put this on my kids. But I had. Even if only in my own mind. And this summer definitely revealed that I'd made a false shelter out of academic accomplishment. And it's been a good journey to let that go.


I interviewed Ruth back in 2015 for my Women Who Create series. You can read that interview here. I have long been a fan of her writing and beautiful art work. So I was super excited to get ahold of an advanced copy to review. 

I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from the book. I knew it would be beautiful, but what would the content hold? I more than pleased to discover it is an exquisite book with 32 short devotional readings arranged by season.

Ruth encourages readers to become deeply rooted in God's faithful promises by:

resting in who He is
rehearsing the truth He says about you
responding in faith to those truths
remembering His provision to sustain you, time and time again

It's definitely a book I'm going to come back to again and again. Because I know my journey in getting rid of false shelters isn't over yet.

Gracedlaced Ruth Chou Simons


Ruth's book releases September 1, 2017 (this Friday!).

If you are interested, pre-order today and you can register to receive some wonderful pre-order goodies right here.

You can get your copy by going to
Amazon book link
Barnes and Noble:

Ruth Chou Simons is an artist, writer, entrepreneur, and speaker. As creator of the popular GraceLaced online shoppe, blog and Instagram community, she shares scriptural truths daily through her hand painted artwork and words. Ruth and her husband, Troy, live in New Mexico and are grateful parents to six sons- their greatest adventure.


What I'm Into Right Now (July 2017)

Bruschetta Chicken

Summer is slipping away but I've been listening, reading, and watching such great content I'm really excited to share with you last month's What I'm Into post! A favorite podcast is back, I've read my favorite novel of the year, and found a new-to-me show on Netflix.

Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell is back for season two! This is one of my favorite podcasts, winning for thought-provoking content, stellar production, and length (hour long weekly podcasts are just too much, people!). 

So far my favorite episodes have been The Road to Damascus (explores the tensions between the press and the CIA), Miss Buchanan's Period Of Adjustment (a civil rights victory has an unintended fallout and legacy), and The Foot Soldier of Birmingham (how a famous photo is more complicated than it looks).

Technically I listened to The Summer Before the War, but I'm sticking it into the reading category (but let me just say the reader was excellent on audiobook!). I've already gushed about this book on Facebook, but seriously, this was my favorite novel of the year thus far.

I've not been so captivated by an array of characters in a long time and was hooked from the first chapter. If you like witty banter and loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this book might be for you. Check out my full review over on Goodreads.

We were looking for a new show that contains our favorite elements (mystery, stunning views of the UK, and fabulous storytelling) and we stumbled upon Shetland. Josh and I immediately fell in love. Set on the Shetland Island the actors have fabulous Scottish accents and there's stunning scenery. Series 3 was especially good and I'm excited they are planning to make a Series 4!

I just love DI Perez. Unlike most detectives who have such disastrous personal lives, Perez has a loving relationship with his daughter and is a stable person. He does have his share of heartbreak, but he is overall a kind man who is a great boss to his team.

We've been eating some summertime favorites. Grilled Bruschetta Chicken (pictured above) and and cold Asian Chicken and Noodle Salad are two meals I always look forward to. 

What are you into right now?

Finding Our Place | Grace Table

Have you heard of Grace Table? It's a beautiful website that focuses on food, faith and community. I'm privileged to be sharing there this week and I hope you will check it out.

Image Credit: Grace Table

Image Credit: Grace Table

It was just a few weeks before Thanksgiving and we didn’t have a table.

Well, technically we did have table. An old one we had bought through Craig’s List that fit the small space in our old house perfectly. It was distressed cream and snuggly seated six.

But we’d moved into a blessing: a spacious house that boasted a huge dining room. We were hosting our first Thanksgiving and were expecting eight guests to add to our family of five. We didn’t have enough room around the table for everyone to have a seat.

We wanted our first official holiday hosting experience in our new home to be welcoming. I don’t think we were motivated to impress, but instead to nourish. We wanted everyone to have space, to find their place.

Continue reading over at Grace Table.