The Friday Five – 12.07.18

  1. A few days ago, one of my high school students stuck in his head in the doorway of my hospital classroom and asked if he could come inside and talk. As he shared some of the painful circumstances he’s faced for the past few years of his life, he asked if I’ve ever felt hopeless. The short answer? Yes. As I answered his questions about the hope I’ve found in Christ, I was reminded of what it was like to be his age: a teenage patient facing pain and chronic loneliness, left to wonder if God really was good—not just to others—but to me, too. Tune into Revive Our Hearts radio program today(!) to hear my story of God’s faithfulness in the midst of chronic pain.
  1. While you’re snuggled up in a wool blanket, sipping your warm beverage of choice, reading through the latest First Songs of Christmas post, what Christmas music do you have playing in the background? I would love for you to leave a current favorite in the comments. I have had “Advent Hymn” by Christy Nockels on repeat because the lyrics capture the sense of longing for Christ so beautifully: “Joyless is the evening sun / Until Emmanuel has come!”
  1. Happy Book Release Day, Christina Fox! I loved Christina’s book, A Heart Set Free, and I am excited that this new one, Idols of a Mother's Heart, is now in the world! In the book, Christina shares how the years of raising children and helping them grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord provides an opportunity for moms to grow in Christ-likeness as well. Check out this special sneak peek of the book, and then sign up for the chance to win a free copy!
  1. At the beginning of every class period, my students come inside and read independently for thirteen minutes, and when they read, I read, too! This week, I’ve been bouncing back and forth between The First Songs of Christmas devotional and the book of Isaiah. If you’ve scrolled through Twitter recently, you might have noticed #IsaiahChristmas, a hashtag-tradition started by author Tony Reinke. He created a reading plan that will take you through the whole book this month. It’s not too late to catch up, so print out the plan and come join the conversation on Twitter!
  1. Have you met Maggie Ward? If not, let me introduce you to one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram! Maggie’s an incredible letterer, watercolorist, and illustrator, who uses her gifts to worship her Creator. When you’re checking out her account, look for the gorgeous free wallpaper she’s designed—it will remind you of Christ’s love every time you unlock your phone. (This design by Maggie is my current lockscreen photo!) And right now, she is sharing her hand-drawn gift tags for you to print out to give your Christmas presents a personal touch. Happy wrapping!

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About the Author

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep is a hospital teacher, a seminary student, and a Lyme patient living in Texas, where God continuously sustains her through Scripture, dry shampoo, and Mexican food. She blogs her journey through medical treatment at with the hope that her words will be a picture of the Lord’s perfect faithfulness in chronic pain; for even in suffering, God is good.

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