The Friday Five: 07/17/20

  1. On Wednesday, my district made the big announcement about back-to-school plans and instruction. As a teacher, I knew I would feel the weight of the pandemic when the new guidelines were published, but I wasn’t anticipating anxiety. I pulled my planner out, not to write down start dates, but to fill the day with prayer. If you peeked at what I wrote on July 15, you’d also see a quote that Carolyn McCulley shared on a recent Revive Our Hearts program: “Jesus says, ‘Sufficient is today’s trouble.’ We don’t need to start borrowing trouble from the future and worrying about it because when we get there, we will experience grace.” Thank you, Lord. (As for today’s planner-prayer? I’m celebrating how God has provided four years of Friday posts—thanks for hanging out here with me!) 
  2. “What should a wife do when her husband, who professes Christ as his Savior, does not take the initiative to cultivate a solid spiritual environment in their home?” In this episode of He Restores my Soul, Ray and Jani Ortlund offer a biblical response from Romans 15:7. “That situation is not easy,” they say, “but neither is it impossible. And when the Lord calls a woman into that difficulty, He always goes with her into the difficulty. She’s not alone—she’s not alone, and she has a strong ally in the living Christ.”
  1. Last Friday, Jackie Hill Perry tweeted that she didn’t foresee how much this pandemic would affect her writing: “I have more time on my hands but less imagination,” she posted. If you can relate to this (me too!), don’t miss this interview with Andrew Peterson about life and art and creativity. (And if you haven’t heard his music, discovered his adventure novels, or read his nonfiction book about the writing life, I would highly recommend you dig into all of his works this weekend!) 
  1. To anyone who has lost a child: “Leaving the hospital with empty arms. Putting an empty car seat into the trunk. Walking into an empty nursery. It’s not supposed to be this way,” writes Vaneetha Rendall Risner. “Don’t let this pain pull you away from God. Hold on to Jesus. Let your tears flow freely. Lament your way through the Psalms . . . When everything in us wants to turn away, we must intentionally turn toward God. His promises and his presence await us.”
  1. “The sun is shining, the beach is calling . . . but you read all the books you had while stuck at home—during the longest spring you’ve ever experienced. What’s a bookworm to do?” When I read these lines from Hayley Mullins’s post, I laughed out loud. I definitely haven’t exhausted my shelves yet, but it does feel like we’ve read all the books these last few months. Ready for a refresh? Step #1: Check out this list of beach read recommendations from our bloggers. Happy reading!

Listings here do not imply endorsement of all writings and positions of the individuals mentioned. 

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About the Author

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep was working as a hospital teacher when God called her to join Revive Our Hearts as a staff writer. She serves remotely from Texas, where God sustains her through saltwater beaches, Mexican food, and Scripture. Her website,, is a record of the Lord’s faithfulness in chronic illness, for even in suffering, He is good.

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