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Here’s this week’s must-reads (and listens!):

+ We’re praying the St. Therese of Lisieux Novena this week! Are you joining us?

+ “There are things in this world and we can’t explain them. And they’re heartbreaking. But we get through them and we learn from them. And we appreciate life more because of them.” – James & The Drifters on one of our favorite podcasts, hosted by the husband of one of my dearest friends.

+ “If You’re Doing It Really Hard You’re Probably Not Doing It Right.”

+ “We’ve all heard the phrase “adoption is an option!” but have you ever successfully helped an expectant mother consider adoption for her child? Today, Heather Featherston, the director of Lifetime Adoption, joins the show to help us understand common reasons women don’t consider adoption, the worst and best things we can say to a woman about adoption, and more!” — WeDignify Podcast (another podcast recommendation here — this is our favorite pro-life podcast, hosted by a friend of mine!)

+ The Crane Wife

+ How to deal with a dead loved one’s belongings: “It was clear to me that day that these were only things, and I didn’t need anything external to sustain my bond with my mother. Accepting this idea was a choice that I made, and that choice continues to comfort me. It powers me through the moments when I wish I could have access to my mom’s shoe collection, or when I wonder what happened to her oversized tie-dyed T-shirts…”

+ “Yes, there is an invitation. And it’s crucial that you answer it. It’s not once and done. It’s a constant renewal throughout the course of your life.” — Helen Alvaré

+ “God, remind me that today, I am more than what I get done. I am more than a to-do list to tackle or achievements to accomplish. I am more than a clean pantry, or a completed interview, or a timely invoice. I’m more than the cook or the childcare provider or the interviewer or the team member. I’m more than my wildest dreams + goals + plans. Remind me that all I do is to serve you. Remind me that I can do nothing if I’m not connected to the vine, and that 10 minutes of prayer doesn’t inhibit my schedule but actually purifies it. Remind me that your desire is for me to experience true joy, and that happiness isn’t a sin. Remind me that you are infinitely good + when I abide in you, I can be, too.” — The Catholic Feminist