September Joys

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many…. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception.

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

I love this time of year. Here I sit, coffee nearby, outside my door listening to lullabies, watching the golden sun hit the top of September trees. The windows will stay open till the close of day, candles will stay lit and snuggles will be had on this cool, glorious day.

How are you enjoying your September day?

Love, coffee and blessings,


Coffee Jottings

The service of coffee in the living room is the perfect leisurely end to a good dinner and the perfect prelude to a pleasant evening. A silver coffee service is, of course, the most luxurious, but lacking one it is still possible to maintain an air of formality. There are modern coffee services in pewter, copper and wood-and-glass combinations which have all the dignity of silver. There are ceramic sets which run the gamut from severe simplicity to gay peasant designs. The coffee service, too, must have a tray, as well as pot, sugar bowl and cream pitcher. In addition, it may have demi-tasses and small spoons to supplement the regular coffee cups.

Woman’s Home Companion Household Book, 1948
There isn’t anything more luxurious to me then a cup of coffee and a visit with my Dear Man. Those times are always full of sweetness and genuine pleasure. Almost as nice is hosting a few gals who take cream, sugar and a cookie or two; those sort of days add a lot to my simple taste of happiness.
In our home, coffee is served very hot in dark brown mugs (a wedding gift) or an occasional bright colored cup, in case one is feeling festive. And though I take my coffee plain and black it is a special day when I happen to have cream or honey in stock and ready for guests.
How do you enjoy a sip or two?
With love, blessings and coffee,
(please click the picture above for credit)

10 Benefits of Marrying an INTJ

10 Benefits of Marrying an INTJ

If you’ve read Authentic Virtue very long there are at least three things you’ve discovered. One, that I really like hot, black coffee and visiting with family; two, that Jesus Christ is my daily Friend. And, three, that I have one handsome stud-of-a-muffin, blonde husband. 😉

Dalton’s personality type is the famous and lonely INTJ. He’s the calculating Architect and his people only make up about 2% of the population. INTJ’s are marked by there ability to value logic/truth over emotions. We couldn’t help but laugh as I read his profile to him — what a match! The Architect is a genius of sorts and because they base their lifestyle upon keen logic they can sometimes appear cold. Their dislike for tradition and social conventions lacking base in reason can make them appear to be the odd duck. INTJ’s make their way through life utilizing their love of logic and, as the 16Personalities writes, “People with the INTJ personality type are imaginative yet decisive, ambitious yet private, amazingly curious, but they do not squander their energy.”

I love it. I love my man and his mostly text-book INTJ personality. Because these guys are often misunderstood or misrepresented (Think Gandalf the Grey, Katniss and Professior Moriarty) I want to list ten benefits of marrying an INTJ. Because these folk are special and, like every personality, declare the glory of God.

1. You always know where you stand

This. IS. Awesome. I always know where I stand with Dalton; guile is not in his nature (or what little was left he surrenders to the Lord). INTJ’s are transparent, there is no need to pretend to feel what they do not. He says what he means and means what he says; there are no guessing games to play which is incredibly comforting to this feeling-oriented, sensing, multi-layered gal.

2. You can trust their opinion (because they’ve studied every possibility)

Naturally, Dalton and I have the occasional differing of opinions. We may never agree that Dr. Pepper is, in fact, the heavenly dew served to angels (how can it not?). And while I may not adopt them, I trust D’s opinions because he forms them with the most careful scrutiny of thought and observation.

I have the tremendous treasure of an INTJ who strongly believes in God’s written Word. And because of his careful, logical approach to life I rest easy knowing his principals and opinions (though occasionally different than mine) are founded on nothing else but on true wisdom. What a guy! 😉

3. You will be a lifetime-learner

INTJ’s are incredibly curious and become well-versed in their interests. Naturally, their interests vary to whatever grabs their attention. A few of my INTJ’s interests include: God’s Word, health and fitness (got my own personal trainer, ya’ll), me 😉 , anime (snicker, snicker) and food.

My Guy loves to share his interests with  anyone who genuinely cares; it is so fun to watch his eyes light up as he shares his latest discoveries in Scripture, how best to care for your body or to explain the  tastes and textures of a durian.

If you can appreciate your INTJ’s curiosity and interests you will never live a boring, stale life and you will be the better for it.

4. Your partner’s reactions will be based on logic

INTJ’s ability to react to life based on logic is a blessing often misunderstood. I love that my Man reacts to life’s troubles (and my own craziness) logically and with understanding. He isn’t emotionally dependent. The wife of an INTJ can trust that his responses to life will be balanced and logical. There will be little to no melt-downs, emotional crutches or feelings-based binges. When death, loss, disease or hurt come your way you can be certain that you will have a rock of a man next to you, ready to hold you as you cry.

5. You will have a sounding-board

As impressive (and possibly intimidating) as an INTJ’s logic is their open-mindedness is better. Dalton is always open to my suggestions and opinions; he is not too proud to believe his way is the best or only way. If given a better idea INTJ’s will gladly take to the suggestion and throw off their previous findings.

6.  You will never fear their compromise

INTJ’s are not swayed by their feelings, though they feel very deeply. Because of this INTJ’s are able to withstand temptation, feelings and situations that would normally disable the feeling-oriented man. (Of course, these folks are human and sinners like you and I … let’s not get carried away 😉

I love, *love,* love that I can trust my Husband. His character is unmoving (sometimes annoyingly so). His profession allows for a myriad of temptations to face him every day yet I know that my Man will remain steadfast and principled. It is a huge blessing.

Note: Your INTJ, though amazing, is still a sinner needing a Savior every day, so let’s be careful not to neglect prayer for our people and provide them with the same ample grace and love we need. <3

7. You’ll have a Jack-of-All-Trades

I mentioned earlier that marring an INTJ will encourage you to be a life-time learner. But it’s awesome to know that INTJ’s do  not limit their knowledge to their head. If you marry an INTJ you will marry  a jack-of-all-trades. Their determination, curiosity and independence  will ensure you a guy (or gal) with a mysterious toolbelt of experience and knowledge.

My Man was raised by a single mother who owned a hair salon and video store; most of D’s childhood was spent playing in a salon, organizing movies and listening to ladies gab with curlers in their hair. I knew that D had a lot of knowledge about a lot of things but when our tire went flat last Christmas in the middle of nowhere at 9 pm I was sure we ‘d have to wait till morning until tire shop could be found. He just isn’t a car guy. Imagine my surprise when my Man dug around, found the necessary parts and began the long, cold process of switching out the tires.

(Talk about attractive! 😉

Later, as we happily climbed into the repaired truck, I asked him how he knew what to do and if he had changed a truck’s tire before. His answer was no but that when he was little his dad had him rotate all the tires of his  tractor-trailer.

All I know is that being married to a jack-of-all-trades is a huge blessing. Oh, having a guy who happily changes a stubborn tire with a worn-out crank in snowy darkness is a great blessing too.

8. INTJs are fun

The quirks, frankness and vast knowledge of an  INTJ make them a lot of fun to be around. My INTJ is more quiet upon meeting new acquaintances but once he finds his place or niche he’s a riot. His unique personality allows for a lot of laughs and his desire to be making memories (a very logical thing) means he is very motivated to get people out and about doing something fun. His unique insight brings humor to hard, uncomfortable situations … something I have learned to appreciate and need.

9. Your INTJ will believe in you

Because INTJ’s base their life decisions on logic you can be sure their attention and love for their mate will be sincere and unrelenting. D chose to pursue me; his affection was not casual or hormonal. He honestly believed I would be an excellent choice. (Goodness me! 😉

Your INTJ will be a wonderful encourager and an avid support. D believes I can do anything I choose to do; an INTJ will encourage your interests (even if they do not share them) and you can count on their pride as you accomplish your goals.

10. INTJs are honest and frank

An INTJ will not waste your time with unnecessary tact (ouch!). This can be difficult to adjust to if you are a feeling-oriented personality (meaning you value folk’s feelings more than truth/logic). I know for me, an ISFJ, it has been shocking to hear my Husband’s frank opinions. Over time I have learned to accept and even appreciate his ability to speak plainly and without the buttering-up so often used by our culture.

I have also learned to appreciate the gentleness and kindness I so often see in my husband; it is important to remember that the Heavenly Father is always allowing the Holy Spirit to conform each of us into His image and that that looks different for each personality. My INTJ is purposes to speak the truth in love and to only share what he believes will benefit the listener. These are awesome qualities I greatly admire.

There you have it. Ten awesome benefits from marrying an INTJ personality. If you are so fortunate to have one of these special people in your life I encourage you to enjoy them fully. God’s imprint and handiwork is so visible in them that it’s too fun not to enjoy them.

Tell me your story. Do you have an INTJ? Have you taken the Myers-Brigg  personality test? Tell me who you are!

With love, blessings and coffee,


( If you are not familiar with this set of personality traits I encourage you to take check out 16Personalities and take the online quiz; I’ve undergone the actual pen and paper test and was surprised to see the online quiz agree with the results. It has been an awesome tool for diagnosing family members (with their permission, of course) and understanding myself.)

Serious Happiness

“There is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious.”

C.S. Lewis

The role of wife has given me so many wonderful blessings, happenings and memories. When you’re in love and in Christ there seems to be a sort of wonder and happiness which the worst days cannot wash away. I’ve noticed, however, that with the glee happiness brings there is a sense of seriousness. Eternity is in the making, folks, in our little home.

Last evening I kissed my Darling Man and snuggled into bed beside him; my heart melted as I watched his fading smile as he entered the beginning stages of sleep. Despite my grumpy moods, lonely spells and ability to forget my blessings he was happy. And that realization made me abundantly glad and a tad more serious then I am used to.

We women have a serious undertaking.

We can make or break the men, families, work environment and church body in our lives.

 How well we love, or don’t love, will impact our little worlds in profound ways. How well I submit, respect and care for my husband will affect him; no, I am not responsible for his decisions or walk with Christ but I am responsible for how my life affects his.

And that can be a scary thought!

There have been days when I’ve made our little lives hard. I have been ungrateful, disrespectful and worldly minded. It’s a wonderful blessing that I have such a heaven-minded man but it would be a mistake to depend on his character to make up for my own.

(p.s. Thankfully, I married an Awesome Guy who loves me, he prays for me and understands that I am human and flawed … but now we’re sidetracked by sappiness.)

I am seriously happy. Serious enough to know that my wife-hood does affect eternity. Happy enough to know that all good love stories take time and that there is enough grace for me to walk victoriously.

With allota love, blessings and coffee,


// those darling succulents were our wedding favors + captured by the beautiful Amelia //


Flee and Follow // Coffee Series

Flee youthful lusts but follow ...

I love this passage of Scripture. It’s message is to the point: flee! Flee youthful lusts. Run away from sins that tend to ensnare us younger folk, things like anger, lust and greed. Paul not only instructs Timothy not play with sin but to race away from it.

I like simple, practical lessons like that.

I also like how it doesn’t stop there.

Have you ever noticed that telling someone no isn’t enough? When we’re young it’s important to know that obedience, without explanation, is necessary. But as we grow and mature we need to gain understanding; as Christians we need to know what to replace youthful lusts with. Maturing in Christ isn’t about avoiding sin but replacing it with good works.  

“Follow righteousness”

Let’s make this practical. In what ways can we, the Christian Body, follow righteousness? More acutely, how can Believers who subscribe to different creeds, denominations, dress codes and conduct follow righteousness in a way that says we are unified in obeying Jesus? How can we make this more about Jesus than rules?

Simply, let’s follow Him.

For me, that means to do what He says, live holy and drop the rules I mistake for righteousness and follow my Righteousness. It means that I can believe in wearing a headcovering while fellowshipping with those who don’t. Following righteousness means loving God’s people and following Jesus without trying to be the standard, the measuring stick, for it.

“Follow faith”

Faith is something we have to follow every day, something that needs to be pursued and fed. Admittedly, faith hasn’t been my strong suit this last year. I had forgotten that I need to follow after faith, to encourage it. I have struggled with fear and doubt because I left off that pursuit.

Thankfully, my Heavenly Father is working gently in my doubting heart through simple means.

He helped me “follow faith” through Sunday morning worship. Instead of focusing on my fears and doubts the Lord encouraged me to focus on truth. Words like these reminded me in what and Whom I believe.

“Follow charity”

Do you ever feel like a failure? Like you do not love enough?

Don’t worry. If Paul had to instruct Timothy, a model New Testament leader, to follow after love then I think it’s safe to say that he failed sometimes.

Let’s follow after charity. Real charity, not the fake, superficial kind I tend to favor. For me, I need to follow after the hard kind of love; the kind that speaks truth meekly and prays earnestly. To follow after love means we get to love the dickens out of the people God brings our way.

“Follow peace”

I love this encouragement.

Lately, my Lord has been reminding me how sinful my flaring temper really is; how He died for my sly tongue and rose to redeem me from it. Following peace isn’t easy … especially when writing scathing comments on Facebook seems to be the only way to get our point across these days (on point, eh?).

But it isn’t right.

Following peace means following Jesus. How would our Savior wants us to respond to irritating people and situations? How can we follow peace? Maybe by asking ourselves if our actions are all they need to be … do they reflect righteousness? Faith? Love? Peace? If not then perhaps it should be put in the category of a youthful lust?

For me, following peace can be as practical as letting my husband’s occasional quirks go without my getting irritated or flustered. It means choosing to pray for family members who hurt me instead of stewing over their offense. It means consciously and daily forgiving others because I have been forgiven myself.

I love that Scripture is incredibly practical and down to earth. God is pretty amazing like that. One of my recent favorite quotes comes from the book Stepping Heavenward. “God is just as willing, and just as able to sanctify, as He is to redeem us.” So incredibly true; so, sweet Reader, let’s allow God to make 2 Timothy 2:22 a beautiful reality in our lives. he is more then willing and able.

With love, coffee and alotta blessings,