Some good reads for you this week (as there are every week!):
First, did you know that practicing gratitude can have long-lasting neurological effects? Not only is it a good thing to do for its own sake, but “practicing gratitude seems to kick off a healthful, self-perpetuating cycle in your brain — counting your blessing now makes it easier to notice and count them later. And the more good you see in your life, the happier and more successful you’re likely to be.” (h/t Modern Mrs. Darcy)
Along those same lines, Heather Hernandez, up at (in)courage this week, encourages us to seek and to accept the invitations to joy in our lives, “to let all of those things, reasons, excuses go. Because if I want to have joy, walk in joy, then I need to be present. I need to enter into it.“
I loved this reminder from Addie Zierman over at Soujourners that introverts (that’s me!) have unique and important gifts to add to the Kingdom. “And maybe, in the end, this is how we help usher in justice: not by trying to be someone else, but by owning our particular hearts, by accepting our limited capacities, and by letting God’s endless love pour from the fragile, earthen vessels of our bodies — bit by ordinary, revolutionary bit.” Yes.
I don’t know about you, but I often feel as though the Christian life is one of constant striving, of continually pressing forward. Tanya Marlow, writing for SheLoves, reminds us that there is a time for everything – including rest: “When our outlook is too linear, too goal-focused, the cycle of the seasons can speak divine truths to us. We are dependent on the grace of God, and sometimes going forward looks like a lot like boredom and waiting. To the person who feels everlastingly behind, behind, behind—you are not forgotten. You don’t have to catch up. This is just Winter. Spring will come. You’re doing just fine.”
And finally, this (somewhat difficult) piece at Mockingbird was published on the same day as my own post about grief and adoption, and it speaks to the great complexities and difficulties surrounding the practice. “This is the math of reality, that, completely out of the bounds of our control, even our right deeds can be wrong, and even our wrong ones can be right–that our greatest accomplishments can simultaneously become our greatest regrets.”
How about you? Read anything good this week?