Y’all, it snowed three times in the last 10 days. Three times! The weekend before last, it snowed so hard and the wind blew so fierce that our son got stuck in a snowdrift covering the entire road. He wasn’t the only one to do so. Thankfully, he did eventually make it home safe and sound.
I don’t like spring snow, but moisture is moisture, and we’ll get the payoff with a green summer– something I’ll never complain about. I just need to remember that sometimes, the pain comes before the gain. Thankfully this past weekend’s weather resembled the picture above rather than than a blizzard. Glory.
This latest compilation of good things have been immeasurably helpful in getting me through our spring, or winter part 2. Not just the weather part of spring, but also during these divisive times in our church and culture.
I hope these good things bless you as they’ve blessed me.
We Saved You a Seat: Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships by Lisa-Jo Baker Look at me talking about another project by Lisa-Jo! (If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, read my last Good Things post here.) Lisa-Jo wrote this Bible study complete with video sessions and work book. The video sessions are fun because they are set up like the View–five women sitting ’round a table and talking about the highs and lows of friendship. Yours truly here participated in the videos along with Alia Joy, Aliza Latta, Deidra Riggs, and of course Lisa-Jo. (You might remember I originally talked about this here.)
Within our sessions, we discuss how friendship takes showing up, vulnerability, encouragement, service, action, and sometimes walking away wisely. We learn from the ultimate friend, Jesus, and how his life is an example of what it means to be a friend. The videos are fun, and the workbook is really the anchor of the study that helps you dig deep into God’s Word and your own heart.
Watch the trailer, video excerpts and find ordering information at wesavedyouaseat.com. And bonus: there is a *teen edition* book (pictured above with the flowers) for the study as well! Lord knows I would have saved myself a lot of tears if I’d had that 25 years ago.
The Accidental Empress by Alison Pitaki My fiction read from this last month! While this book was recommended to me by a dear, smart friend, I almost didn’t get it because of the cover. Not a fan. (I often *do* judge a book by its cover.) But I had a big ol’ Barnes & Noble coupon and was desperate for a fiction book and too impatient to wait for it at the library. So, buy it I did.
The Accidental Empress is about Elisabeth, better known as “Sisi,” the infamous Austro-Hungarian empress who reigned during the Victorian era. It’s historical fiction, but as author Allison Pitaki explains, she fictionalized minimally because Sisi’s real life was chock-full of drama. Great day, she isn’t kidding. The story begins in the year 1853 when Sisi’s older sister Helene is engaged to be married to Franz Joseph, emperor of the Habsburg empire. But Franz fell in love with Helene’s younger sister Sisi instead, so at the tender age of 15, Sissi became a member of Europe’s most powerful ruling family.
The writing isn’t oh-my-gosh spectacular, but it is very good, and the story has strong narrative drive. If you’ve watched all of PBS’s Victoria and Netflix’s The Crown and miss a little royal intrigue in your life, this is your book. Affiliate link included.
This post: 1 Real Cure for Burnout by Ann Voskamp. “The only way to lead a symphony is to turn your back to the crowd, the critics, the court.” I have breathed this beauty in and out for the last couple weeks.
This post too: Make Christianity Great Again by Scott Sauls. “What would it look like, as pastor Tim Keller has said, for us to live so compellingly and lovingly in our neighborhoods, cities and nations, that if suddenly we were removed from the world, our non-believing neighbors would miss us terribly?” I can’t get this post out of my head.
Chris Pratt’s instagram page: Generally speaking, Chris Pratt endears the heck out of himself to me, and his instagram feed is such a delight! He does throw in a little language from time to time, but it pales in comparision to his joyful, humble spirit and self-depricating sense of humor. And at the risk of stating the obvious, it helps that he ain’t hard to look at either. Amen.
A new blog design! Many thanks to Erin Ulrich of Design by Insight for working her wonder with my online home once again. Erin is equal parts mind reader and magician, and I love her eye for design and aesthetics. Some fun changes with this new design include a new tag line, a landing page, and headers that will change with the seasons. This is the spring header, and all four of them were designed by the mega-gifted Jenn Tucker. My blog logo and name you see on the landing page were designed by my talented (in)courage sister and We Saved You a Seat filming buddy Aliza Latta. I think it’s all the best things: whimsical, snazzy, and beautiful.
A Mother’s Day Post from the archives: For All the Women Who Mother (Whether They Have Children or Not) by moi. “To all those mothering women who are arrows pointing toward a safe place, I love you. To those women who reach across the branches of their own family tree to help support a straggling limb from another, I honor you. To those women who meet teary eyes with smiles and tired hearts with atta girl encouragement, I thank you. And for every time you listen more than you talk and sacrifice more than you receive, God bless you.”
Pansies. Flowers. Hanging Baskets: On the one hand, they are saving me on the days it looks like Narnia in springtime. On the other, I think I’m becoming the crazy flower/plant lady because I can’t say no to the $5 flowers at the grocery store.
Have a great weekend, friends, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there! xo