Christmas at The Brockman House

It is officially The Most Wonderful Time of The Year! Oh how I love decorating for Christmas. I will be honest in admitting that I am one of those pre-mature decorators…you know, the one that decorates the week of Thanksgiving, and everyone judges for “skipping” Thanksgiving!! Trust me, I don’t miss out on the turkey, but no shame here in early decorating, because Christmas deserves as much time as it can get. After all, we are celebrating the birth of our Savior! I hope you enjoy a few snaps from around the Brockman house this season. I wish you a Joy filled Christmas!

Huckleberry Collective
Huckleberry Collective
Huckleberry Collective
Huckleberry Collective
Huckleberry Collective
IMG_2086.JPG
Huckleberry Collective

Featured Advent Calendar from my Friend The Pen + Piper

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7

One Year Blogiversary

I am about a month late posting this, but Huckleberry Collective has one year in the books! Boy, what a year it has been.  I've always had a desire in my heart to create things. From a young age I was constantly doing something to satisfy that creative itch within me. I'll be honest in saying that the four years prior to starting this freelance journey felt a lot like struggling down the aisle of a grocery store when it's packed after church on Sunday. I was shuffling through life, grasping at straws, attempting to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Lord, bless my husband, because I started two companies, and changed jobs three times, in the first three years of our marriage. One day, I was sitting in an office, and I started this website, without any clue what I was doing. I was talking with a friend the other day, and we both came to the conclusion that we built our blogs out of boredom. Lord, I am so thankful for it! I don't think you ever know for sure "what you want to do with your life", but what I can say is, I know God is faithful, and His hand has been at work through Huckleberry Collective. I am going to share 10 things I have learned over the past year, and I hope that if you are struggling to find your place in this world, that you will be patient, and trust that Jesus has a plan for you. Because, let's be honest, He is way better at handling it than we are!

Huckleberry Collective
Huckleberry Collective

1. When baking a pie, always cover it with foil for those last few minutes...trust me on this one. 

2. Tulips are the worst flowers ever. Don't get me wrong, I love them so much, but they are finicky and high maintenance. Vodka and sugar help keep them alive. 

3. A good glass of wine makes everything better. 

4. Connecting with like minded people in your area of expertise is everything! I have met some amazingly talented men and women over the past year. I am very thankful for their influence, direction and support. We were designed to have community, and without mine I would be lost!

5. Be thankful for the small victories, and don't forget to celebrate how far you've come, and that often calls for a margarita.

6. Instagram's algorithm is annoying.

7. Don't compare yourself or your blog to others. I heard this at church just yesterday, and it is so valuable. The devil trades in the currency of DOUBT.  The Devil is just waiting for you to doubt your potential or blessings... don't fall into his trap.

8.  Don't cram too much into a day. Rushed work always looks like rushed work. Still trying to follow this rule... don't judge me.  

9.  Exercise. Before I started this journey, and about half way through 2017 I hit a major rut. I got so busy that I fell off the wagon with exercise. Worst idea ever. Even if you only have 20 minutes, do it!

10. Lastly, there is always going to be someone that knows more than you, or has a different style. Be willing to learn something new everyday. 

Shauna Niequist's Crisp

I can't even begin to tell you the respect and love I have for Shauna Niequist. I've done her Bible study, read her books, and I've heard her speak at the Belong Tour. She is so real and transparent with herself, life challenges, and what it means to have a relationship with Jesus. Needless to say, I think we are kindred spirits (even though we've never met).  Her book Bread and Wine is near and dear to my heart. I've been inspired by her words so many times. She goes into detail about recipes and the connections she has had around the table. These moments, moments spent around the table, are ones that refresh and restore my soul. Food brings people together and my girl Shauna gets it. One of my favorite recipes from Bread and Wine is her Blueberry Crisp. I made a triple berry crisp for Father's Day and everyone loved it! I am sharing my crisp and details to hers below. If you haven't read her work I hope this inspires you to! Enjoy!

Huckleberry Collective
Huckleberry Collective
Huckleberry Collective
Huckleberry Collective
Huckleberry Collective

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 35 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 4-6

The recipe could easily be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Find this and other delicious recipes in Bread and Wine.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups blueberries (or almost any fruit), frozen okay
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped (walnuts and pecans work great)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together oats, nuts, almond meal, syrup, and salt with a fork.
  3. Pour berries into an 8 x 8 pan, and then layer the crispy topping over it.
  4. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or up to 10 minutes longer if topping and fruit are frozen, until fruit is bubbling and topping is crisp and golden.

Contentment

I have been struggling with patience and contentment lately. I'll be honest, I have always been impatient and rarely content although God has blessed me abundantly. The grass is greener on the other side right? I get so wrapped up in the anxiety of worrying over the future or moving to the next point in life that I forget I am wasting my current moments away and dreaming of the future doesn't bring fulfillment. I am usually thrown off course when I am wanting more or wanting him to speed up HIS timing... anyone else out there struggling with this? CAN I GET A WITNESS!?  I know I am not the only one out there battling patience and contentment, so If you are, know that I am walking alongside you whatever your circumstance! In Philippians 4:11, Paul writes, "Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content." ... Come on Paul, that is easier said than done. How do you get to this point? How do you totally surrender your worries, attitude, and desires to God? I am still figuring this out, but I think PEACE has a lot to do with it. I read some scripture recently that is reassuring and SO helpful.  We must pursue peace when we feel agitated or unsettled with where we are in life. There are tons of people in a season or waiting or desire, but God is FAITHFUL and He will provide. Until we see His promise fulfilled we need to pursue peace and remember that being patient and content will come if I fix my eyes on Jesus.

John 14: 27,  Peace I leave with you; My perfect peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. 

Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.

Luke 12:15, Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Galatians 5:22, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

Colossians 1:11, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.

 

Photo by:  Lucy Cuneo

Photo by: Lucy Cuneo