Happy Good Friday! I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you are soaking up this first day of the Christmas season. Luke, Charleston, and I are in California this week, and today we are headed up to the mountains for family camp. I can’t wait! For those of you who are snuggled up in front of a Christmas tree today, here are some excellent links to keep you busy.

The Joyful Discomfort of Motherhood, by Beverly Chao Berrus

“As a Christian, I’ve grown in comfortable seasons. But I’ve grown even more from the uncomfortable ones as I’ve rested in Christ. As we receive comfort from the gospel, our desire for joyful self-sacrificial living grows as well. It’s a life directed towards God, imaging Christ as we are stretched for the sake of God’s glory. It’s costly and tiring, which is what makes it seem so uncomfortable. But in the end, we receive more than we ever gave up.”

31 Ways To Find the Best Book Recommendations in 2018, by Kathleen Keenan

“There’s their page called, literally, Recommendations, which will show you books you might like based on the books you’ve already listed on your Goodreads shelves (the magic of algorithms!). You can also find user-generated lists on all kinds of topics: books set in Scotland, career advice for women, speculative fiction by authors of colour…Anything you can think of.”

To Anyone Spending the Holidays Alone This Year, by Jeannette Johnson

“I will not compare my suffering to others this year. I won’t deny my feelings. . . . This year, I will sit in the dark with my hurt and let the tears roll down my cheeks and do what I should’ve done years ago – mourn. Let my heart have its ache, let my soul cry out in pain, and let myself grieve.”

12 Signs That You Have an ‘Introvert Hangover’ (Yes It’s Real), by Jane Granneman

“When you have an introvert hangover, minor annoyances have the power to completely frazzle you. Under normal circumstances, you’d react with only mild irritation to misplacing your keys or your significant other’s snarky comment — but not now. An introvert hangover might throw you into a full-blown meltdown, complete with tears, biting sarcasm, insults, and raising your voice.”

And, since today is the biggest shopping day of the year, I wanted to point you towards the various gift guides I’ve shared over the years—because a little extra guidance and inspiration never hurts when it comes to checking off those Christmas lists! 

FROM 20014: Gifts for the Healthy Home Cook, History Buff, Book Lover, New Mom, World Traveler, and Newlywed // Gifts for the Academic, Coffee Enthusiast, Health Nut, Pampered Baby, Homebody, and Disney Diva

FROM 2015: Gift Inspiration: Young Family Edition // Stocking Stuffers and Subscription Gifts 

FROM 2016: Gifts for Mama // Gifts for Dad // Gifts for Toddlers // Stocking Stuffers for the Whole Family 

FROM 2017: Seasonal Christmas Gifts // Gifts for Mama // Gifts for Dad // Gifts for Preschoolers // Stocking Stuffers Galore! 

FROM 2018 (EARLIER THIS WEEK!): Gifts for Her // Gifts for Him // Gifts for Preschoolers

I hope your weekend is filled with spirited Christmas jingles, amazing Black Friday deals, copious amounts of Thanksgiving leftovers, and plenty of yuletide cheer! 

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