I've been looking for the words to adequately describe how heavy this month has been, but none have proven to be nearly enough. The storms billowing on the world's stage and the ones in my own heart have left me feeling angry and depleted and constantly on the verge of snapping -- which is, of course, the space where I most need to recognize the gifts for what they are.
In the words of Shauna Niequist, "when life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow."
HERE ARE A FEW THINGS THAT HAVE HELPED TO CALM THE STORM IN JULY:
THIS CANDLE LIVING ON MY COFFEE TABLE
This candle smells amazing even when it isn't burning! I catch a whiff walking through my living room and somehow, it manages to make me feel peaceful and energized at the same time.
KRISTA TIPPITT'S PODCAST ON BEING
Particularly this interview with Mexican American author Luis Alberto Urrea on the meaning of borders. His calling to bear witness is all of our calling.
The whole documentary was beautiful, but towards the end, Mr. Rogers said something that I found especially profound: "we are called to be tikkun olam." It's a Hebrew phrase that literally translates to "world repair." We are called to be repairers of creation, bridging gaps and carrying each other's burdens. I cannot imagine a more beautiful way to spend my life than that.
READING ABOUT THE WOMEN OF THE BIBLE
In the wake of reading some words about how men prefer to marry virgins who have no debt or tattoos and have never voted or sought higher education and whose sole ambition is to stay home and be quiet and make babies, I've been digging into the stories of women in scripture to get a better idea of what biblical womanhood actually looks like. Basically, they were badasses. If anyone suggests otherwise, I'm inclined to go full on Taylor Swift when I write about them.
31 THINGS IN 31 DAYS
What started as a strategy to fight depression and anxiety has truly been the loveliest little revelation about creating meaningful, soulful goals. I tend to think that goals are for people with more exciting lives than mine, and I worry a lot about being a failure -- so I usually just avoid making goals altogether. That being said, the 31 items on my list are mostly geared towards caring for myself and others better, and as an Enneagram 2, that's the kind of stuff I can get behind.
BARACK OBAMA'S SPEECH IN SOUTH AFRICA
This speech was phenomenal, and my admiration and respect for this man knows no bounds. He challenges that the desire to always have more is actually a form of poverty, and that the greatest ambition is living generously.
THIS LIP BALM FROM SHEA MOISTURE
This was an eleventh hour find for me this month, but I couldn't not include it! I stopped into my local Ulta yesterday looking for something else altogether, but I picked this up and I have not been disappointed. It isn't sticky, but it managed to stay put and leave my lips feeling moisturized for a surprisingly long time. It's vegan and cruelty free if that's your jam, and it is only $3.99!
ALL THE YOGA
I started going to yoga a few months ago because I needed to prove to myself that I could try new things and embrace self-discipline, and I honestly fell in love with it. I go on Saturday mornings and occasionally through the week. My instructors invite the Holy Spirit to class and pray to be a blessing where blessing is needed (ahem, everywhere please and thank you) and always remind me that as long as I keep breathing, I will be okay.
THESE BLACK-EYED SUSANS IN THE YARD AT WORK
It's silly how much joy they bring me every time I see them -- but they also remind me of the rhythms of nature. Everything is being born again and again all the time. That's something we can put our hope and trust in.
There we have it. What are some things that are saving you these days?
I'd love to hear all about them in the comments below. Sharing is caring, you know.