We’ve arrived at another Friday in this strange world we are living in. I hope you had a good week and that your weekend ahead is filled with fun, relaxation, and perhaps a dose of hope. Today’s reads offer some education, inspiration, and encouragement. Enjoy!

Why Healing Is So Hard, by Celia Fuller

“It feels like a tornado is passing through every day. If it’s not actually happening, it must be coming, so we can’t take our eyes off the weather report. Living among devastation is the new normal.”

50 Astonishing Facts You Never Knew About the 50 States, by Juliana LaBianca

“The phrase ‘Don’t mess with Texas’ originated in 1985 as the slogan for a campaign meant to combat littering. It has gone on to be a very famous line within the state and even appears on the crest of the USS Texas submarine.”

These Three Irrational Thoughts Keep Tugging on My Mind in the Age of COVID-19, by Gretchen Rubin

“I have the feeling that we’re in a temporary alternate universe. It’s very interesting to watch everything play out, but at a certain point, a giant finger will push the ‘rewind’ button, and we’ll all zip back to the time before everything changed, and we’ll resume the previously scheduled programming.”

When We Listen, We Hear God, by Lucretia Berry

“Beneath the lukewarm desire for diversity in our nation was a broken foundation — its falling pieces stoking and feeding the embers of a fire that had never been extinguished. We’ve been inhaling the toxic smoke of racism for four hundred years, and we can’t breathe. I had adjusted to this limited capacity to breathe, and now God was saying, ‘No more!’ It was time to listen and hear God! I was being invited to wholly participate in cultivating and manifesting God’s dream for us.”

Why Midlife is the Ideal Time to Embrace Your Body (And How to Get Started), by Maryann Jacobsen

“Hillary McBride interviewed midlife women who not only survived menopause but felt they did really well with it. These were women who accepted and embraced the changes in their bodies and somehow felt better for it. ‘The participants believed that doing well did not mean having perfect physical health or making drastic changes to their lives to maintain a certain physique,’ she said. ‘Rather, they experienced doing well as both accepting their aging bodies and paying attention to their physical health.'”

The You That Never Showed Up, by Charlie Park

“Know that you’re allowed to grieve for the ‘you’ that never showed up. It can really hurt to have plans that don’t work out. It’s a very real sense of loss. When we discover that we’ve lost someone we care about, we mourn and grieve. You can treat this ‘lost you’ in the same way.”

Justice and Freedom, by Tony Evans

“Biblical justice encourages freedom through affirming accountability, equality and responsibility by linking the spiritual to the social realm. That is, freedom and biblical justice must be founded upon spiritual truth from our vertical relationship with God and expressed in our horizontal relationship with each other. In other words, biblical justice is all about loving God and loving others.”

In Search of Lost Time, by Mary Laura Philpott

“In the most wishful part of my imagination, I picture America’s reopening as the triumphant final scene in an asteroid movie, when citizens stream out of their homes and into the streets and fields, clapping and embracing, faces turned toward the sky, now clear of the deadly shadow. In reality, trying to restart the parts of life that have been on hold because of the pandemic feels more like doing a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle while the picture on the box keeps changing.”

If you’ve read or written anything especially link-worthy lately, please share in the comments!

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