It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season. But it’s when we are most busy that our souls are most in need of refreshment and rest. This month’s links offer encouragement for your spirit as well as some intriguing new ideas to ponder.

The Uneasy Silence: Prayer for the Rest of Us // Micha Boyett

“What prayer does is reorient our arrows toward the presence of God. It reminds us what direction our true life comes from. It turns us from the darkness to the sun. It helps us shift and lift our faces from the anxiety or grief, the uncertainty or monotony, the desperation or maybe just the boredom of our lives, toward the One who holds life in its completeness, its fullness.”

The Guilt-Free Guide to Giving Back // Kendra Adachi

“Here’s where we start: invest in your community the way you’d invest in a friend. You care about your community and want to get to know it better, right? Then let’s approach this like a friendship.”

How to Beat Decision Fatigue: The Ultimate Guide // Stephen Roe

“It’s impossible to say exactly how many decisions we must make each day, but by one estimate, that number is 35,000. You’re making decisions all the time. . . and each decision is killing your productivity. Decisions—even ones that seem harmless—wear down our willpower and leave us tired and unmotivated.”

I’m a ‘Detachment’ Parent: Here’s What That Means // Jessica Rockowitz 

Sometimes our natural tendency as parents is to hold on fiercely to our children, because we love them so much and don’t want to see them hurting. If we hold on too tightly, though, we won’t be permitting them to spread their wings or learn to navigate the world. My fear is that this paranoia and micromanagement associated with helicopter parenting, which of course stems from a place of love, is going to create needy adults who are afraid to reach their true potential.”

3 Simple Ways to Finish Your Christmas Shopping Today // Amber Black

“Make it fun for you. You can’t control if someone likes what you get them, but you can control your experience. Pick places and things you like.”

Advent, Explained // Alissa Wilkinson

“But though Advent customs differ, they all circle back to adventus: the anticipation of something. Advent calendars are designed for anticipating the arrival of Christmas Day, in both its explicitly religious and more secularized versions.”

When You’re Walking Through More Than “Just a Season”: Perpetual Living in the Season of Chronic Dying // by Abigail Dodds

“Yet, there is great hope in knowing that while you may not be in “just a season” temporally speaking, this whole temporal life is a season. This life is the melting of winter for Christians. For some of us who have been set down in the shadow with little to block the bitter wind, we may weather this life with an ongoing chill in the bones. And for others, the sun may be throwing a bit more warmth as we perceive a centimeter of green on the tips of the trees.”

When the Holidays Are Hard // Crystal Ellefsen

“Just as we all have wildly different personalities and life experiences, we all grieve differently. Never assume that what you’d want in a situation is the same as what someone else would want. Just because someone is grieving doesn’t mean they don’t want to be invited to sing Christmas carols.”

Why Blogging Is An Arena For Me and How I’m Trying To Live Brave // Amanda Sanchez

“If we can listen to the people and messages in the Support Section more than the other sections in our arenas, we can overcome the feelings of comparison, scarcity and shame and find the courage to show up and be seen. But it takes practice. Every single day. And it’s hard and sucky sometimes.”

Read anything especially interesting or inspiring lately? Please share a link with us in the Comments! 

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