A Few of My Favorite Things

“The coming of spring after a hard winter is almost too glorious for a soul to bear.”

(John Eldredge)

Do you remember how Peter Pan crowed over his enemies after an epic battle? Pure, defiant, jubilant, completely lacking in self-consciousness: this is the heart of May. It buzzes happily into green-tipped ferns druzy with dew. It charges the air with joy, kicking off shoes and digging out the picnic blankets. These are the days of Huck Finn, all water and friendship and pirate kings. Of Christopher Robin and his thousand adventures. May we awaken to the childlike awe that can’t be helped when standing on the cusp of something grand.

Some May gifts to point you toward

Gospel Website: The Daily Grace Co.

How did I not know this was a thing? Bible studies, journals, home decor, magazines, totes, jewelry—all with a discipleship focus and feminine flair (except for the man corner, which is suitably beard-friendly). What a fabulous treasure trove of resources, and just in time for Mother’s Day, wedding season, and end-of-year teacher gifts! Need a pretty way to memorize Scripture? How about an adorable campfire mug? Or a list of recommended reading (on motherhood, theology, spiritual growth, you name it)? This is the place to look!

Blog Post: You Don’t Have to Hide Your Scars by Jennifer Dukes Lee

Honestly, if every woman in the kingdom read this piece, the church would be a freer place. Jennifer argues that there is beauty in the redemption Jesus works in us, but that the “after” picture requires a “before” picture, one which typically comes with embarrassment and discomfort. We long for plastic surgery to erase any hint of damage. But that’s not how God works. He tells us to pick up our mat, our constellation of scars, as a reminder of His goodness, which is such a kind calling. “It doesn’t mean you failed. It means you were healed.”

Motherhood Ministry: Mercy for Mamas

In Uganda, more than 20 women die every day from pregnancy complications. Hospitals often turn mothers away if they don’t bring their own birthing supplies. Mercy for Mamas pours into these precious ladies as a rebellion against the numbers, assembling $7 kits which “contain everything needed to help provide a clean and safe delivery.” In honor of your favorite mama, consider helping a sister across the globe bring forth new life.

Summer Prep Chapter: ‘Swimsuit, Ready or Not’ from Shauna Niequist’s Bread and Wine

This tiny chapter (all three pages) profoundly impacted me, so much so that I’ve marked my calendar to reread it before donning the teal fabric of my one-piece for the first time the temperature breaks 80. If you too have been blessed with the deluge of emotional baggage centered around body image passed down from generations of mothers, listen:

I want to do something risky. I want to dare to exist and, more than that, to live audaciously, in all my imperfect, lumpy, scarred glory, because the alternative is letting shame win … I’m going to live in the body God made me, not because it’s perfect but because it’s mine. And I’m going to be thankful for the health and for the ability to run and move and dance and swim. And this is what I’m not going to do: I’m not going to hide. I’m not going to bow out of things I love to do because I’m afraid people won’t love me when they see my underbutt.

And all God’s daughters said, “Amen.”

Semi-Crazy Idea: Personal Reading Program

As a self-proclaimed nerdy bookworm (though I slightly prefer book dragon), one of the best parts of elementary school was the reading program. Gold stars on charts, books with crackly plastic dust covers, little prizes, comprehension tests, and a big pizza party if the whole class met its goal. Why let such a fun tradition die just because we’ve aged out? This is the perfect time to update your summer reading list, grab some friends or family members, set some goals, and work toward an incentive. I mean, pizza parties shouldn’t be out of the question, right? Read so many pages in a month, get an ice cream. Read a book in each major genre, have a movie night. Read every classic on a specific topic, go on a (window) shopping spree. Read every work by a single author, enjoy a beach day. Let your creativity run wild!

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