April 2023 Favorites

Keep close to your heart this one simple truth: there is still light, there always is. Embrace the healing hand of grief, bear its weight as long as you need to, but find solace in the knowing that the pain and sorrow you are feeling are proof that you have known something sacred; that the love you have shared together will live on through you always.” Beau Taplin

I was on a plane to D.C. this month when I stumbled upon a passage that stayed with me the rest of the month. The visual lingered, and I had no idea what it was preparing me for at the moment. There was a message in it that I would need to hold onto.

As a true C.S. Lewis fan, I have a devotional that is one year of Narnia and Aslan. (I mean, who wouldn’t love this?) The passage I read was the passage of that day, written by C.S. Lewis (the parts in bold were the ones that stayed with me):

“‘He’s steering us wrong. We’re going round and round in circles. We shall never get out.’ Lucy leant her head on the edge of the fighting top and whispered, ‘Aslan, Aslan, if ever you loved us at all, send us help now.’ The darkness did not grow any less, but she began to feel a little– a very, very little– better. ‘After all, nothing has really happened to us yet,’ she thought.”

A bird starts circling them three times, “But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, ‘Courage, dear heart.'”

Finally, the excerpt ends with, “And all at once, everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been.”

The journey of life is marked with loss, devastating losses, suffering and grief. It is our painful lot. I am inspired by the fact that we can always call on Jesus for help and peace in the midst of the storm. As the passage says, the darkness won’t grow any less, but something happens inside of us. We hear a voice whispering into our hearts, “Courage, dear heart.” The only one who heard the message was the one who had asked for help. Our circumstances do not change, but our awareness of the fact that God stays near does. And ultimately, what have we to fear if He is always near? We realize our fears are unfounded, as He has conquered it all. Oh how I wish to be like Lucy!

This month has been one full of grief. We lost my father-in-law. He was a person who was pure joy and love. A heart of gold if there ever was one. I hold onto the memories of his hugs and how when a flower bloomed on one of his plants, he would give one to me. He was a remarkable man of strength. Dearly loved. Incredibly missed. I haven’t written much because I have been at a loss of words to say. The month has felt numbing.

We try to keep conversation flowing and moods light, but it is undeniable that we are all carrying a weighty burden of loss. Even with the hope we hold as Christians, while we know a resurrection will come with eternity and joy, we sit in the present moment like Jesus did when He sat by the tomb of Lazarus. The verse is simple, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) It is the shortest verse in Scripture. Jesus knew He could and would raise Lazarus from the dead. And yet, He sat there in the very human thing that is human loss and grief. Death brings us face-to-face with everything we were never meant for. It shatters us because it is so wrong.

I have tried to hold onto the message of Easter: Life comes out of death. It is the victory we have. The light, the peace, the courage that inspires our hearts as we follow Jesus on this unpredictable journey called life.

A lot happened this month, on the global stage, in media (Tucker is out), in trials, and in politics. Feria de abril happened in Spain. None of it mattered. All that stayed with me was life comes out of death. Erwin McManus had a powerful Easter message with this title, and I leave it for you in this post.

I read a lot of Robert Greene, Jordan B. Peterson and C.S. Lewis. Here, I try to leave you with the things that inspired my heart and carried me through. I hope you find wisdom and hope here. I hope you leave this place hearing that whisper, “Courage, dear heart.”

This month’s top post was: Tradition.


The crown. Place it upon your own head and you assume a different pose– tranquil yet radiating assurance. Never show doubt, never lose your dignity beneath the crown, or it will not fit. It will seem to be destined for one more worthy. Do not wait for a coronation, the greatest emperors crown themselves.” Robert Greene

In their beginnings it is we who guide the affairs and hold them in our power; but so often once they are set in motion, it is they which guide us and sweep us along.” Montaigne, 1533-1592

The new reality is that the way of glory is down the road of suffering.” Darrell Bock

It’s generally better to over-communicate. If you wait to reply because you don’t have an answer yet (or because you don’t want to share bad news), the other party often ends up making assumptions about what the delayed reply might mean. Silence frustrates and confuses people. Better to communicate early and often.” James Clear

No time to waste. Of course there isn’t. Time is all we’ve got. Time is all there is. We can’t waste time because it’s not ours to waste. It’s simply the way we keep track of everything else.” Seth Godin

Never offer what you’d hate someone for accepting.” Tara Ploughman

The hardest thing to explain is the glaring evidence which everybody has decided not to see.” Ayn Rand

When we accept that the judicial system can be bent in ways we’d normally oppose just to hurt someone we fear, then no laws matter except for the passions of the people. Under such a regime, we’ll excuse the most heinous acts done by the ones we’re trained to adore; and virtually nothing will protect the people we’re groomed to hate.” Susan Dunham

For truth to exist someone has to be trustworthy. The only way truth exists is because God can be trusted.” Erwin McManus (One of my favorites)

It is for this reason that every good example is a fateful challenge, and every hero, a judge. […] When you dare to aspire upward, you reveal the inadequacy of the present and the promise of the future. Then you disturb others, in the depths of their souls, where they understand that their cynicism and immobility are unjustifiable. Jordan B. Peterson

The truth should not be confused with the majority opinion.” Jean Cocteau

Judas’s betrayal of Jesus was not spontaneous. He had been stealing from Jesus, so this was the culmination of a pattern. It’s a sobering reminder: the ‘death’ that results from sin is not always visible at first. Very often, the first thing that dies is our conviction about it.” Sharon Hodde Miller

We tend to spend far too much time grieving what ‘could have been’ if things were different. But what we don’t actually know is what God saved us from; the pain, the sorrow, the regret He spared us from if things actually worked out the ‘way we think they should have.’ Don’t waste your time regretting what only God knows. Believe that if you could see what He sees, you would be at peace. Rest in that.” Debra Fileta

I am not a ride or die chick. I have questions. Where are we riding to? Why do I have to die? Can we get food on the way?” Unknown

Rudeness and woundedness are often the same person in different clothes. Bitterness often has a backstory.” Lisa Whittle

On the cross, God leveraged all He was for all that we could be.” LB

When we feel stressed, God’s peace actively knits us back together and makes us whole again. In other words, you don’t have to do it all. You can lean on God. You have a soft place to land, friend.” Bonnie Gray

Know your worth girls. You’re not lucky to be at the party; the party is lucky to have you. Apply as needed to relationships, jobs and family.” Paris Hilton

I am never uncomfortable.” Robert California (The Office)

Communism, in particular, was attractive not so much to oppressed workers, its hypothetical beneficiaries, but to intellectuals– to those whose arrogant pride in intellect assured them they were always right.” Jordan B. Peterson

Experiences do not eliminate ego, character does.” Erwin McManus

Sweat more during peace to bleed less during war.” Unknown

Every good thing about America came as a result of Chrisitans who did not keep their beliefs in the walls of their churches, but realized that the gospel has implications for all of life.” Jack Mooring

The future belongs to girls who refuse to do as they’re told.” Paris Hilton on what she hopes people take away from The Simple Life

These are evil actions. No excuses are available for engaging in them.” Jordan B. Peterson on why the Nuremberg trials were considered the most significant event of the 20th Century

Everything is hard for people who want life to be easy.” Erwin McManus

We are silent early in the morning because God should have the first word, and we are silent before going to bed because the last word also belongs to God.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The first thing about the Bible is that it’s a comedy. And a comedy has a happy ending. That’s a strange thing because the Greek gods’ stories were almost always tragic. Now, the Bible is a comedy. It has a happy ending. Everyone lives. There is a heaven.” Jordan B. Peterson

God doesn’t give the hardest battles to His toughest soldiers, He creates the toughest soldiers through life’s hardest battles.” Chervin

If you don’t care enough to talk to them, don’t care enough to talk about them.” Erwin McManus

Deceitful, inauthentic individual existence is the precursor to social totalitarianism.” Jordan B. Peterson

If you say no to your boss, or your spouse, or your mother, when it needs to be said, then you transform yourself into someone who can say no when it needs to be said. If you say yes when no needs to be said, however, you transform yourself into someone who can only say yes, even when it is clearly time to say no. If you ever wonder how perfectly ordinary, decent people could find themsleves doing the terrible things the gulag camp guards did, you now have your answer. By the time no seriously needed to be said, there was no one left capable of saying it.” Jordan B. Peterson

When honest people say what’s true, calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful.” Tucker Carlson

Jesus reserved some of His harshest criticisms for the Pharisees (religious leaders), and then appointed a Pharisee to be one of his greatest leaders (Paul). In other words, Jesus’ rebukes were marked not by cynicism or contempt but hope. Would that be true of us.” Sharon Hodde Miller

It is deceit that makes people miserable beyond what they can bear. It is deceit that fills human souls with resentment and vengefulness. It is deceit that produces the terrible suffering of mankind; the death camps of the Nazis; the torture chambers and genocides of Stalin and that even greater monster, Mao.” Jordan B. Peterson

If you have no privacy, you have no freedom.” Tucker Carlson

Articles and Stuff

The Good Life

The magic of NAC

Book of the month: Paris: The Memoir

Movie of the month: Tetris (Apple TV+)

People Who Intrigue Me

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Author of The Gulag Archipelago

Mauricio Umansky: Founder of The Agency

“Courage, dear heart.”

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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