Sitting in my living room, I watched the fog descend like a slow curtain after the final act of a play. Removing distant characters from my view, it reminded me to focus intently on those right in front of me. The close-up, high-up pines. The columbine pushing through the ground (too soon, probably). While I couldn’t see many of the far away objects, I could still hear a few, like the woodpecker performing an exercise in futility by persistently pecking at the metal roof of our shed.
During the foggy times of life, we may not be able to see, but we can hear and trust that what we can’t see is still there.
In light of this, I have some good things (with affiliate links) I’d love to share with you. Some of these good things are helping me see through the foggy times of friendship, parenting, and well, life as I settle into trust rather than fear. Others I included simply because because they’re recently discovered favorites of mine. May you enjoy investigating all of them!
Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships by Lisa-Jo Baker This book, releasing April 4th, is available for preorder right now (with many *free* preorder goodies including a super cute clip frame featured in the pic above!) and is for anyone who has felt on the outside and wanting to be “in.” In today’s social media world where a simple touch of the finger can mean we’re “unfriended,” it’s easy to question our belonging-ness more than ever before. Never Unfriended is written by Lisa-Jo Baker, one phenomenal writer whose kind, I’ve-been-there words will make you feel like she is sitting next to you on the sofa as you read. Still this book offers more than an understanding friend who can identify with your friendship struggles. Lisa-Jo presents personal stories and practical tips to help you make the friends, and be the friend, that lasts. Lisa-Jo is a dear, treasured friend of mine, and I know she’s a woman who lives the truth she shares. She walks the walk in every sense.
Everyone is on the outside of something, but the good news is we’re all on the inside of something–often without even realizing it. This is the hopeful message Lisa-Jo shares within Never Unfriended. Read more about Never Unfriended right here.
The Jubilee: Poems by John Blase As an author I get many books sent to me, but I paid for this book with my own money because I adore anything John Blase writes. Heck, even his facebook posts are some of my favorite things to read, and I’ve told him as much. John is known as the cowboy of the internet, and any cowboy who writes poetry is a winner in my book!
One endorser of The Jubilee writes, “In Jubilee, the poet’s vision is rooted firmly in ordinary life: cashmere and cleavage, a jar of olives, the “mobile home” of our flesh. His gentle, winsome poems, laced liberally with a lifetime of Scripture, offer his readers a refreshing glimpse into all things God–and good.” ~ Joy Roulier Sawyer.
John’s poetry has a way of clarifying the world for me, and I’m so thankful it’s now bound in a real deal book.
Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls by Gary Thomas Two of my babies will be graduating high school in 2018. Y’all, I can barely type the words and not feel my emotions well-up over it. To be sure, this season of parenting is a tender, bittersweet time. It’s also a time of prayer and anticipation and trust for what the Lord has in store for their futures. And as I pray for them, this book has been a sweet companion as I think about the marathon that is parenting and how to continue running the race well.
Whether you have big kids like me or littles running around, Sacred Parenting will help you see the big picture of what the Lord is doing in you and through you as a parent.
First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower My Grandma Rea used to love reading political biographies and other nonfiction works, and my favorite books of hers to borrow were those about America’s First Ladies. I cannot overstate how much I love a good backstory, and First Women provides excellent backstory on the first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama. I especially appreciated how the author shares the strengths and weaknesses of each First Lady in a way that isn’t sensationalized or stereotyped. I finished this book seeing these women as women who like the rest of us are flawed but by and large did the best they could where they were. And the reality of where they were was in a highly pressured, heavily scrutinized public role that few can relate to. Still, I felt I could identify with parts of the personalities of each of these ladies. I loved First Women, and I think my grandma would have too.
Shop Fancy Free: I don’t know how I first discovered this darling online shop, but I’m so glad I did. Owned and operated by a Texas mom and her 3 daughters, clothing here is super cute and more affordable than any online store I’ve found. Plus their stuff looks as great on 40+ something gals like me as it does on the young’uns. Plus shipping is free all the time! Yeehaw! And if you follow them on instagram, you’ll find out about their sales which (lucky for us) happen frequently!
Boxwood & Barn Doors: This link kind of favors the local folks as Boxwood & Barn Doors is a brick and mortar store in Castle Rock, Colorado. I confess I have yet to visit the store, but oh how I want to visit! In the meantime, I’m happy getting lost in the store’s instagram feed. It’s heavy on vintage farmhouse style with a side of Colorado living, and I. love. it.
The Strongs are on spring break, so I’ll be spending the next several days largely offline. As always, you can still find me on instagram, the only part of social media that doesn’t deplete or drain me. (I’m especially looking at you, facebook.) Amen.
God bless and keep you dear ones! Much love.