AJB Recommends: Five Sweet Gifts That Delight

AJB Recommends five sweet gifts text overlay on a picture of a white cup with coffee on a white plank surface
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This week I stumbled across three essays, a podcast, and a video that each brought me deep delight and gratitude. I wanted to share these gifts that delight here with you in case they can bring you the same joy:

  1. The Teacher Who Never Spoke (by Maureen Swinger for Plough) is an essay about a young man who grew up with significant disabilities. I loved the way the author (his sister) was able to describe their experience without glorifying or objectifying her brother. I also loved the way their community finally found a way of giving and receiving with Duane. This is the best essay I’ve read about disability in a long time.
  2. How to Practice (by Ann Patchett for the New Yorker) is a funny, elegiac, interesting meditation on the objects that make up our lives. Patchett is a master of non-fiction, and her prose sings. As she describes her recent process of going through closets and drawers and cupboards and giving away all sorts of items, she also describes reflecting on the goodness, the sacrifice and gain, of our lives.
  3. The Breathtaking Ingenuity of Incarcerated Artists (by Leslie Jamison for the Atlantic) is yet another beautiful essay in and of itself, but in this case, the topic is also fascinating. Jamison describes an exhibit at the MOMA of art by incarcerated artists, and in so doing, she is able to give a different angle on the world of incarceration. Even if you don’t read the essay, take a look at the photographs of the artwork. It’s stunning.
  4. Kate Bowler and Anne Lamott (Everything Happens podcast). I mean, these two women talking together about what it means to be loved and chosen by God? What could be better than that?
  5. Thistle Farms video. This is just a short video to introduce people to the work of Thistle Farms, a social non-profit that offers housing, employment, and loving care to women coming out of abuse, addiction, sex trafficking, and prostitution. I was poking around on the Thistle Farms’ website because I had the honor of interviewing Dorris Walker-Taylor for my podcast (you’ll get to hear that next week), and this video was a picture of grace. 

Continue reading with Amy Julia for more gifts that delight through books, podcasts, etc.:

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Hi, I’m Amy Julia.

I write about faith, family, disability, and privilege.

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