how your textbooks can help vulnerable children

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hey all you college students. I know ya'll just finished finals and it may be a four letter word to talk about the upcoming semester…BUT! I wanted to let you know of an awesome place to rent your books that is WAY cheaper than that bookstore you're about to walk into (like 40-90% cheaper to be exact).

Campus Book Rentals is on a mission to make college text books easier to get and give back (because let's be honest…no one needs to lug those around till they're 50.) There is free shipping both ways and flexible rental periods so you can ship them on your own time regardless of when you semester starts or ends. Aaaaaand you can highlight 'em. Great? Great.

Here's the best part: Campus Book Rentals donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented. That means, you get a chance to give new hope to a child just by renting your textbooks from them. Operation Smile provides effective and safe reconstructive surgery for children with little access to medical care and were born with facial deformities like cleft lip and cleft palate. Read more here.

Once your semester is over, you can take advantage of their new Rent Back program by renting your textbooks to other students and make 2-4x more cash than traditional buy back programs. Are you convinced yet?

Watch this video that explains more about the program.

Please consider renting your textbooks next semester from Campus Book Rentals to save money and help vulnerable children all around the world.

This is a sponsored post from Campus Book Rentals,
although all the opinions stated are my own.
Compensation was received for promoting their business. 

Leia Bryn | Are You a Grace Giver?

Monday, December 16, 2013

I am so excited and thankful for Leia's thoughts on Wife Life this week. She is truly a truth speaking light into my life and so many others on the daily. Today she's talking grace. And boy, could we all use an extra helping of that ourselves. Thank you Leia!

It was almost exactly a year ago, the weather was very similar to today. The temperature was
hovering near zero and a recent ice/snowstorm had just blown through town. My husband Guy
was on his way home from his men’s group a few towns away. I was snuggled up on the sofa
watching a favorite show, excited to have him back home. It was an absolutely normal night in
the Johnson home.

Not long after 10:00pm I heard my phone ringing and saw it was Guy calling. I knew something
was wrong. He rarely calls me when he’s so close to home and in the car. I answered and what 
followed on the other end turned into a far from normal evening. Guy and another car had hit a
patch of black ice, the other car left unscathed, but our car ended up taking out a light post.

Thankfully and most importantly, Guy was okay, not a scratch from the accident, but the car was
less fortunate. A few tow trucks, a rental car, and couple days later, we learned it was totaled and
we had a whole three days to pick out a new car before we had to start paying for our rental.
If you want to talk about a stressor point in marriage, and a growing point as a wife, let’s talk 
about grace for our men. 

When I received that phone call from Guy, I knew in an instant that I had two choices for how I
would respond. I could a.) vomit all my frustrations and worries onto Guy over the phone. Or I
could b.) take a deep breath, throw on my big girl pants, and encourage, love, and respect him in
a moment when he needed it most.

We all know we’d like to answer with the latter. But for me personally (and maybe many
women?), in moments like this, my mind races through the details – almost instantaneously.
How much will this cost? Are you okay? Who should we contact for insurance? How soon can it
be fixed? We as women, we are details people, especially in stressful situations.

But my husband, standing out in the freezing cold, with a busted up car, and a tow truck on
the way didn’t need me to run him through all the unanswered questions. He needed me to
encourage him. He needed to know we were on the same team. He needed to hear respect in
my voice for him as a man and as the leader of our home. He needed to know that no amount of 
damage to the car would damage my respect for him as my husband. 

It all comes down to grace ladies. Grace, is the free and unmerited favor of another. We didn’t
marry perfect men, and we ourselves are not perfect women. We all, men and women, daily
receive the unmerited grace of God. For by grace you have been saved by faith, and this is not
your doing, but it is the gift of God. (Eph 2:8) And we as wives can look to the truths written in
scripture to learn how to be grace givers in our relationships with our husbands.

I want to be honest and say in my short two years of marriage I am no expert on grace. I daily 
experience the internal tension of my choices; to choose to be a grace giver or to choose to take 
away grace. It has been one of my greatest challenges as a wife and one of the sweetest ways to
begin to grasp the grace I receive daily from Jesus Christ.

On this particular occasion, by only the shear power of the Holy Spirit, I choose the latter. And
that picture you see above, that’s my husband in our rental van. Did you notice something about
his face? He’s smiling. Giving me a big thumbs up, because rather than dragging him down with 
my worries and fears, I shrugged my shoulders, hopped in our minivan and had a good laugh. 
Oh and this was about the moment when Guy decided minivans are maybe the greatest invention

Thanks Erin, for inviting me hear to share a bit today. Your Wife Life Series is a beautiful and
encouraging reminder to take our role as women and wives seriously. You can find me over at
BecomingBryn and on Twitter and Instagram @leiabryn, We have a beautiful community of
women and wives in these spaces and I would love to meet each and every one of you!

phone free mornings

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lately, with all the things going on, my mind has felt a little tousled. There is always a million and one unread tweets on the feed, emails to read, and lets not even talk about instagram -- it's unending. 

Being connected on social media fuels me. I love the community I have on the web and the many women who are willing to speak truth into that medium. However, I realized lately that I have a limit. I crave flesh and blood time with the people in front of me and sometimes I need to step away from the screen. Anyone else?

I've started making a habit out of not checking my phone before I've leave home for the day. A sort of, "take back the morning" if you will. I want to lay in bed and watch the sun peer through our lace curtains. I want to get one last snuggle in before getting ready for the day. I want to drink a cup of coffee in peace and quiet. Just me and the mug. Maybe it's the season of advent or maybe this is just a phase. Either way, it's happening. And I love it. 

How about you? How do you deal with social media overload? 

new print in the shop

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hello hello! Wanted to let all ya'lls know there is a brand spankin' new print up in the shop today. 

This verse is one of my absolute favorites (I really mean that) and has been a source of strength through several seasons of my life. It's a reminder that the Spirit is really truly in and through us all of our days. We have a rock to stand on. A firm place to set our hope. 

This high res 8x10 print on white card stock is available in the shop right now. First five people to order get an extra free print of their choice. Go check 'em out! 

on not doing #allthethings

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Dear you,

You do not need to do #allthethings.
We were not meant to do all the things.

You who are running around frantic trying to cross off everything on the to-do list. 
Deep breath.
Your worth does not increase with those check marks.
And the world will definitely keep spinning.

You who can't hold a crying baby for one second longer.
Deep breath.
God is in the midst of you. He upholds you and gives you strength.

You who are convinced your eyes will fall out from social networking overload.
Deep breath.
Step back. It is okay to rest. It is okay to put down your phone. 

In the spirit of advent and in the spirit of really truly where I'm at in my heart, let's step back together. Let's take a deep breath together. Remember that we cannot do all the things. We don't have to. We are not superhuman. We are not meant to run at a fast forward pace all of our days.

Lets help each other step back. And breath.
My soul needs this. Anyone else?

Ps, Jessi at Naptime Diaries has lots of good words on All the Things. Just FYI

December Goals

Monday, December 2, 2013


Yeah so we all know my November goals turned out…
Let's just say I'm giving myself some major grace and points for making goals in the first place.

There is still one more month left of 2013 and gosh darn it, it's gonna be a good one. Regardless of the measured success or lack there of last month with goal setting, I'm back at it again. Since next year's theme is going to involve simplifying and taking risks, December's goals are a precursor to that. 

Business // Make long term goals and set strategy plans to reach those goals for the next year. I know it's ironic to make a goal to write goals but there it is.

Physical // 1 date night a week at the Y. This way we both go and it's not so painful.

Spiritual // Read our advent devotional from Heather (thank you!)

Fun // Spend some time reading a book. I've come to the conclusion that I need a non-creative "hobby" since so much of my work involves mental and emotional creative energy. Reading is just reading. I can sit and relax and dive into someone else's story once in a while.

What are YOUR December goals? I wanna hear about 'em!

PS: You have until 10 AM Central Time tomorrow to order some 8x10 prints for only 5 bucks each with the coupon code MONDAY over at the shop. Check out the inventory over at 

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