The Friday Five Vol. 7

Well hello there! It's nice to be back.  Between processing this pandemic (and lately the most recent ATROCITIES of justice that are ravaging the black community) as well as some losses and changes in my work community, I have been in my full introvert shell.  There have been a few weeks where we have barely been above water, but plenty of weeks of goodness too.  I am thankful to have a safe home, our health, and our jobs.

Anyway, here are a few things that have been an encouragement to me lately:
  1. The Rockettes Live Dance Classes: What a joy these have been! I got into such a dance slump when we were out of the studio for a few weeks, and it has totally rekindled my creativity to learn choreography from these lovely ladies.  What could be more cheerful than learning part of the "reindeer dance"?!
  2. The tiered dress: Listen, folks, summer in the Central Valley is not my most graceful time.  I don't generally want to wear clothes that touch my body in any way, so this summer's style of tiered dress is basically all I want to wear.  Also, let's be honest, no need to wear anything fitted right now.  I bought this one from J. Crew and this one from Gap to try, but I also think this one from J. Crew Factory is cute! 
  3. Lands' End Serious Sweats: Thick, soft, and they wash so well.  Tommy needed a new hoodie, so we ordered him one, and then if you give a mouse a cookie...I bought a black zip-up hoodie for going to and from dance this winter and then lost it, so when I replaced it, I added white and pink crewnecks, along with some pink shorts.  Tommy mocks my pink "sweatsuit" but I am happy living the mom life.
  4. Where Happiness Lives: Brittany recommended this on her Instagram the other day, and I was instantly charmed.  It arrived this week, and I love the story of finding contentment within your own circumstances (anyone else struggling with that lately?) and the reminder of what really matters. The illustrations are beautiful, and the pop-ups make it so fun.
  5. Lament: I'll end today on a serious note - the practice of lament is Biblical, but rarely practiced within the church, nor outside of the church.  Many of us are feeling the "roller coaster of emotion" of these past few months, but there are some specific ways to practice lament that can help.  In COVID-19, in the deaths of George Floyd and so many others, in our own personal losses, every grief counselor will tell you that you have to first acknowledge and allow yourself to experience the grief.  This is true not only on a personal level, but systemically as well.  There is certainly a time for righteous anger to propel action and calls for justice, but there must be space first to recognize and express our grief.

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