Petra, prayer groups, and personalized journals

A few months ago while I was praying for deeper friendships, a dear friend asked if I'd be interested in starting a Prayer Group with her that just met one evening a month.

You know I jumped at it.

We knew we wanted it to be small and intimate. We didn't want it to be a clique of our closest girlfriends...but rather a group of ladies who were open to being authentic and raw and real with each other.

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We've met for a few months now, and are learning more and more about one another as we humble ourselves and allow the things that are uncomfortable to come to light and be prayed about.

I'm truly honored to be a part of this group of incredibly loving girls. They inspire me so greatly.

We didn't really have a name for awhile, when I sent emails out, I just referred to us as "Nourish | Prayer", after the Evening to Nourish dinners I have each month. But it didn't seem right...this was different. Though I always create an inviting table for our prayer night, there wasn't the...I don't know...grandiose effort, perhaps.

 I look at it more as setting the table for family, rather than guests. And we all bring food, just something small and easily munched. Appetizers and snacks. Sometimes there's a big bowl of popcorn, sometimes brownies, sometimes bacon wrapped dates or spanikopita. Nothing that takes longer than five minutes to personally prepare.

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Because it's  not about the food, right? It's not about a beautiful presentation.

It's about sitting together. It's about a group of Jesus loving women who feel the deep need to pray over their families and over one another as we grow together in Him and with one another.

It's about approaching the Throne on behalf of one another, in both petition and thanksgiving.

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After our May gathering, I posted this photo and caption on Instagram...


Just finished our Prayer Group. As my sweet friend closed us in the most beautiful time before the Throne, I felt God whispering..."These girls. They're your Rock. They're your Peter. Trust them. Love them. They're Mine."

So thankful for reaching out to a bunch of Godly women I didn't know well...but wanted to know better. Ladies I knew love Jesus deeply.

I had no idea if they had a community of women they already embraced in prayer. And you know what?! They didn't either. So now we are. Two months in and HE is so very present.

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After that night and that deep feeling in my soul about the importance of this group, we renamed ourselves Petra (Greek feminine for rock. Not to be confused with the 90's Christian rock band, haha).

I had these beautiful Prayer Journals made over at Tiny Prints for each girl (they have tons of gorgeous styles, fyi). Aren't they fantastic? I mean, watercolor and chevron and ombre?! And a chalkboard-ish looking square for personalizing?!

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We're all so excited to have a place to write everything down so we can continue praying throughout the month. And thrilled to be able to look back and see God's goodness in answered prayers, and remember that hindsight truly is 20/20 as our eyes are opened as His "No" or "Not Yet" begins to make sense.


Don't wait for one to find you, don't wait to be invited. Form your own as we did. Pray about whom to form the group with...and reach out even if you don't know some of them well. Because God will bring the specific ladies into the group as He knows best.

He is a great God...and He does great things.

take joy-signature-new-pink


Evening to Nourish - June (menu + recipes)

Earlier this week I shared our Evening to Nourish table I'm sharing our menu and recipes!

Don't forget to subscribe to the blog via email so you have access to the printable menu (both the above version as well as a blank one) and printable place cards, as well!


I'm SO sad I didn't take photos of the food! Y'all...TOTAL blogger fail.

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Baby Elsabet ended up having the flu that day and my sweet friend Kendra came over to help prep but just held Baby Girl for a few hours while I cooked, instead. I think they both were in heaven, savoring all those cuddles.

As you can imagine, the day ended up a lot crazier than planned! Especially being summer and having all six kids home anyway. Woo! Insanity.

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Since I don't have photos of our food to show, I'm linking directly to the recipes I found online.



(click here to see the Pin Board)

Street Tacos Pinterest

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Barbacoa Beef Street Tacos (in the Crockpot!)

(I used Chicken instead...but still used the beef broth, etc.)

It was amazing.

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Instead of doing another meat taco, I wanted to make sure I had enough for my veggie loving friends.

So instead I used black beans, freshly sliced avocado, and chopped pineapple.


(Managed to take this photo before adding the chopped pineapple)

The incredible looking Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette on the below photo is every bit as good as it looks.

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Street Tacos

All my friends wanted the ladies, here it is!

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After blending the yumminess up, I poured it into little jam-jars, placing several on the table so our guests could put it onto whatever tacos they wanted.

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Mexican Chopped Salad

Mexican Chopped Salad

Oh.My.Gosh this was good! Totally making it again soon.

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I always like having a fun little cocktail for dinner parties.

Margarita Sangria

When I found the recipe for a Margarita Sangria (we called it a Sangrita), my mouth instantly started salivating, I knew I'd found a winner!

I forgot to add the cilantro at the last minute, so we had it without. Next time though, I'd love to try it with that beautiful herb!

If you make it, let me know what you think!

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Everyone hated the food. Obviously. haha.

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There really wasn't a leftover to be seen.

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For dessert, we had blood orange sorbet with a touch of Whipped Cream Vodka on top.

It was simple and yet a touch fun and decadent.

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Think you might host your own Nourish event?

If you do, I'd love to hear about it!!

take joy-signature-new-pink

An Evening to Nourish - June (table decor)

Last Thursday night was June's Evening to Nourish!

And ohhhhmygosh it was amazing.

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The theme (if you want to call it that) of the evening derived from finding this gorgeous wrapping paper over at Tiny Prints.

And...get's editable.

I realize the paper is supposed to say something like "with love, the Anderson Family". Or "Happy Birthday" since after all, it is gift wrap.

But instead, it lended itself perfectly to displaying the name of our evening..."An Evening to Nourish" and repurpose it as a table runner.

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 The paper is thick and glossy and I really think if it hadn't rained (actually poured + thunder stormed) at the end of our night, I'd have been able to use it as a table runner again another time.

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Once again, I lucked out in finding some great flowers in the Clearance section at our neighborhood grocery store.

Do you ever look there?? I find the best deals!

Using this technique, I bunched the flowers together into old soup cans that I've been saving.

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I didn't have enough silverware to set the table for all the ladies coming (I swear my kids are throwing them in the trash or something), so my sweet friend AnnMarie brought over hers to mix in.

I love that it all looks a little mismatched yet coordinates because it's like in color and style.

Just like my plates!

I'm collecting vintage floral china and have been frequenting antique markets, garage sales, and thrift stores looking for random one-offs. I have far from a collection, but I now have enough to mix in with my regular China.

My most recent find was this week at Goodwill (for 25 cents)!!

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Several months ago, Joss & Main showcased a great collection of wedding tableware and I couldn't resist getting a few things, like these laced (painted) tea lights and wooden place card holders.

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Aren't they so fun?! Though truthfully anyone with a branch and a saw could probably make them.

(If you do, tag me on the photo...I want to see!)

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I absolutely love pairing polkadots and stripes so I had so much fun playing around on Illustrator making our menus and place cards.

We had Street Tacos and Mexican chopped salad, and blood orange sorbet for dessert.

And yes...don't worry...I'll be sharing those recipes (and more!) later on in the week.

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I will send out both blank menu cards as well as one with our menu on it, in case you would like to use the same recipes we did!


Caviar Dreams, Bebas Neue - Menu Cards

Coneria Script - Place Cards


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take joy-signature-new-pink