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The Loveliest Essentials for #LoveYourLifeFriday

Loveliest Essentials for growing your faith and everyday life by Summer Saldana. #LoveYourLifeFriday at karenehman.com.

On today’s #LoveYourLifeFriday, Summer Saldana is sharing her loveliest essentials for spiritual growth, and a few essentials just for fun too! 

Last fall, after about a year (maybe more!) of prayer, I decided that it was time for me to take a little sabbatical.  I just needed a moment. Apparently a long one, because I’m still quite enjoying that moment.

It’s nice to just be. To just live. To not have an agenda in sharing online other than to truly share what I really really love and what’s really really changing and growing my faith and walk with the Lord.

I’ve made some changes to how I share and what I share, and I try to be intentional in what I post and what I’m putting out there. Maybe it’s because I lost my dad suddenly when I was in my early 20’s, but there are a few questions I ask myself when I’m about to post online, whether it be for friends or followers, or both.

Is this something I’d want to leave behind for my kids to see/read/know? Is this how I want them to remember me?

and the more important question…

Does this glorify, serve or shine the spotlight on God? Or does this mostly glorify, serve, or shine the spotlight on me?

I always think of this quote by John MacArthur: “Like Paul and every other believer, my life is no longer my own. The focus must not be on me, but on Christ. When someone hears from me publicly, I want it all to point to Him.”

And so, with my online break going strong, this will be my final post for Love Your Life Friday. I wanted to keep in mind those questions and leave ya’ll with a list. A list of things I truly love, things that have changed my heart and soul and walk with the Lord……but also things that have changed my skin, and health and body and taste buds.

Changed into His Image: God’s Plan for Transforming Your Life
by Jim BergChanged into His Image: God's Plan for Transforming Your Life by Jim Berg. #LoveYourLifeFriday Essentials at karenehman.com.

I almost don’t even know where to begin with this book, except that I wish I had read it long ago. BUT, as they say, better late than never.

It’s a life changer. In fact, I was joking at my last women’s small group, that as I was reading through it I was like…”Wait, I think I just got saved again!”

It’s just that things, your faith, your view of God and life and sanctification…it all makes so much more sense. It’s like you’ve been reading a really interesting but complicated story all your life, but all out of order and so you’ve been trying to figure out what goes where…and this book just puts it all into place. The story make sense. And it’s oh so lovely.


While it’s not a parenting book, per se, I think it’s probably the best book (other than the Bible) for wisdom on how to parent and disciple our babies/teens/adult children. In fact, Jimmy and Taylor are going through it — a chapter a week — each reading on their own, and then meeting at Starbucks on Saturday mornings to go over what they’ve learned. There’s questions at the end of each chapter, and a helpful layout (print outs too) for how to use the book in discipling.

Get a pen, get a notebook, make sure to have your Bible…and then get this book.

When you’re done with that book, I’d suggest these two books by A.W. Tower:

The Attributes of God Volume 1: A Journey into the Father’s Heart 

The Attributes of God Volume 1: A Journey into the Father's Heart by A.W. Tozer. #LoveYourLifeFriday Essentials at karenehman.com.

The Attributes of God Volume 2: Deeper into the Father’s Heart

The Attributes of God Volume 2: Deeper into the Father's Heart by A.W. Tozer. #LoveYourLifeFriday Essentials at karenehman.com.

Then, there’s this one:

The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God
by John Piper

The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God by John Piper by John Piper. #LoveYourLifeFriday Essentials at karenehman.com.

Use these books and this year or years or better yet, all of your life to know better and fully fall in love with who God is — it’s only then that we truly reflect who He is in the life we live.)

Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. #LoveYourLifeFriday Essentials at karenehman.com.

This year I started a Titus 2 women’s group in my home to take a year and study through Titus 2.
We’ve been using this book, which is amazing and convicting and encouraging, and we all just love it so much. Definitely up there in my top 10 books.

IBCD Resource App

IBCD App, one of many #LoveYourLifeFriday Essentials at karenehman.com.

One of the reasons behind taking a break from the online world, is due to wanting to spend more time in my studies towards a Biblical Counseling Certification. Again, I listen to the messages and my life is changed.

The app is amazing. And free. And loaded with so many incredible messages to help provide wisdom and insight and counsel, all straight up from the Bible. No psychology or new age or personal opinion. It’s just God’s word applied (in context) to our lives.

I love how God really did give us everything we could ever need in one single book.
*tip: go through the training audios, even if you’re not getting certified. They’re so good. And then there’s also an option for IBCD Resources, where you can click through to All Audios and search by topic. You’ll find tons of audios on every single topic you could possibly think of. It’s like your own personal counseling center!

And now for a few less spiritual things, but still fun and lovely, and maybe even necessary?

Ever Skincare
It’s been 2 years, and I still can’t believe the changes in my skin from using this line.

Ever Skin Care, one of many #LoveYourLifeFriday Essentials at karenehman.com.
On a budget? My can’t-live-withouts: Daylight, Overnight Facial and the Peel Pads. I share more on what I use and why I love the ingredients in this video.

Best Mascara

Just one of the several loveliest essentials by Summer Saldana for #LoveYourLifeFriday at karenehman.com.
Best Tinted Chapstick (who needs lipstick when you have this?)

Just one of the several loveliest essentials by Summer Saldana for #LoveYourLifeFriday at karenehman.com.

Best Invention if you hate always asking your spouse for a back massageJust one of the several loveliest essentials by Summer Saldana for #LoveYourLifeFriday at karenehman.com.

Best All Natural Laundry Products

Just one of the several loveliest essentials by Summer Saldana for #LoveYourLifeFriday at karenehman.com.

Best Chocolate (if you’re avoiding sugar…which I am. Thank you Thyroid.)

Just one of the several loveliest essentials by Summer Saldana for #LoveYourLifeFriday at karenehman.com.
Best Cauliflower Pizza (if you’re avoiding gluten…which I am. Again, thank you Thyroid!)

While I have many more faves, I think starting with God & ending with Pizza, kind of wraps things up in a way that feels most like my life.

Well, I guess it should be more like…

Begin with God. Enjoy pizza. End with God.

“The only way you can be saturated with the thoughts of Christ, is to saturate yourself with the Book that is all about Him.” – John MacArthur

Thank you so much for allowing me to share my #LoveYourLifeFriday ideas with you. I hope that maybe a few of these things will make your smile a little bigger, your faith a little stronger, and your life a little lovelier!

I’d love to keep in touch on Instagram! In my profile, you’ll find a link to my loveliest essentials that I try my best to keep updated.


Summer Saldana is one of those women who certainly isn’t trying to hide anything — except maybe what is behind her beloved bangs. She is refreshingly open about her mommy meltdowns (she has 2 children, but one is strong willed, so it’s more like 4), her faith, and her obsession with bargain shopping and makeup/skincare hauls. But whether it’s through writing, speaking, or the missions work she & her family do, Summer’s greatest passion is connecting with others. Connect with Summer on Instagram,

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  2. Thanks for your suggestions on what and how to improve different areas in my life. I sort of have OCD on books. Every book I’ve gotten sounds like my life could benefit from it. The only thing is I’m a terrible reader. I’m trying to take this reading class now to improve in that area. If I never bought one more book I would still have enough to last me quite a while to read. Enjoy your time off. Sharon

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