Welcome back to the Townhall Post!
There are going to be some changes going forward, but I have put a lot of time and thought into what the Townhall post should look like from now on and am excited to share them with you.
The purpose of the Townhall was to create a post where I could share voices and stories I come across throughout my week.
I wrote in the beginning that my vision for the Townhall posts were to create space for communion, give honor to others, and to share how life happens.
Along the way though, I have discovered that my problem is never finding enough material. There is always so much out there worth sharing. However I did begin to notice a different problem start to creep up. Maybe no one else saw it, but I was starting to feel it every time I began to compile the list of voices and links to share.
The issue was I often found myself wanting to turn the Townhall post into a pulpit.
Instead of sharing with the Townhall vision in mind, I struggled with my motives for each voice or story I found. I struggled with how much I just wanted to share only on topics, or voices, or issues that I felt were right or needed or superseded all else.
I soon realized how easy it was to take all my filters and issues and emotions that drive what voices and stories I read or am drawn to and project them on to everyone else. Perhaps it is impossible not to, given we all are human and thus we all have underlying motives–but I do not want my own filters and issues to circumscribe the vision for the Townhall.
I want to be aware of my own motives and do my best to share and elevate voices for their own merit, not mine.
I also want to challenge myself to start writing more from my heart.
I tend to rely a lot on planning, lists, and series. While some seasons of writing that has served me well, right now I am being inspired to consider my writing more of a purposeful and creative practice.
For both these reasons, I have decided to reduce the frequency of the Townhall posts and make a few changes.
New Posting Schedule
The Townhall posts will now go up on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. I will reshare them via social media on the following Sunday, so if you don’t get a chance to catch them one week, you will have a chance to the second week.
In terms of format, the posts will remain the same in that I will still share the voices and links according to broad categories of topics covered. It will change however in that I will not be offering personal commentary like I was on every entry in the past. I think this will help me in checking my own motives for sharing, and instead put the focus on the voices and stories themselves where it should be. This will also allow me to devote more time to the original pieces I hope to put out separate from these posts.
If you however want to know more about why I chose a particular piece or story, please feel free to comment on it below and I would love to discuss it more!
I know in the past most people just peruse the Townhall posts for links at their own leisure, clicking on the ones that most interest them. Feel free to continue to do so, but for those of you who are interested or frequent readers please consider contributing submissions or ideas.
You can comment via your favorite social media outlet, whether it be FB, Instagram, or Twitter. You can comment below. It can be a link to someone else’s writing or it can be something of your own. In hopes to hear more, I am going to start putting a call out for links and requests the week prior. This is another way I hope to move beyond just what is touching me or speaking to me, and to find a way to connect and interact with any one of you that take the time to come here and read.
I know that I am just one of a gazillion places you can give your time to online throughout your day. Know that I am grateful for each and every one of you that stops by and that I truly value what you have to share.
So without further ado, here are the voices I have been slowly gathering over the past few weeks!
On Interactions in Today’s World
It seems social media has become less about connecting and more about activism. Where it once was a place to talk about an issue, it has become a place where definitive statements are demanded. Where it once was about connecting with people, it has become about changing people’s minds. Where it once was about the exchange of ideas, it has become a place to enforce conformity. ~ Nate Pyle
I spend less and less time these days being baited into verbal public battles, as those rarely do anything for the dignity of either side.I do not feed those who thrive on confrontation, as it takes my time and energy from those who need me; those who are so often forgotten, ignored, or drowned out by the din of social media shouting matches and endless culture wars. ~ John Pavlovitz
Sometimes, not interacting is the most loving choice. ~ Caroline McGraw
There are some people whose good opinion we should stop craving. There are some people whose words are like dirty rice, and we have to spend ages separating out the wounding falsehoods from that which is nutritious and true. We need to painstakingly spit out each lie spoken over us, surprised by how small it looks once it’s out in the open. ~ Tanya Marlow
On Matters of Faith
Judaism taught me that no one is immune to suffering; that there is often no conceivable reason for it, and to give credit where it is due: to doctors, rescue teams, people in public service. Christianity is teaching me empathy for those who are lucky enough to have never suffered too deeply, and for those who process pain differently than I do. ~ Sarahbeth Caplin
A lot of times our theology is so poorly constructed that we’re looking for ways to get God off the hook—we’re so caught up in this idea of omnipotence and sovereignty that we can’t help but make him the causal agent of “dark” things in our lives. We avoid really difficult and dark situations that are actually part of the brokenness of this world—we don’t want to deal with them. We have disengaged our heads from our hearts and largely created these mythological places of refuge within our own minds. ~ William Paul Young, Author ofThe Shack
I think that God is interacting with all of life. I think that God is present. And I think that God breaks open our lives in moments we don’t anticipate before, in moments that we don’t expect. And I think that God’s working into our lives inevitably leads us to be more compassionate toward one another, more loving to one another. I think that Christianity provides an opportunity to have a discussion about what that means. We look to Jesus as an example of that being lived out. ~ Matt Morris in interview with Jesse James Deconto
You wonder if anyone else hits this wall. The wall of too much. The hard unforgiving place of feeling crowded and tired and overwhelmed. Of knowing you simply cannot accomplish all that needs to be done. Or make good on all the promises you’ve made to others. Or live up to the expectations you’ve set for yourself. ~ Katrina Kenison
On my Nightstand
Bird by Bird
Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs: our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong. ~Anne Lamott
Learning to Walk in the Dark
This faith will not offer me much to hold on to. It will not give me a safe place to settle. Practicing it will require me to celebrate the sacraments of defeat and loss, but since the religion I know best has a lot to say about losing as the precondition for finding, I can live with that. I think I can even live inside this cloudy evening of the soul for a while longer, where even my sense of God’s absence can be a token of God’s presence if I let it. Because I do not understand a thing about this, does that mean I understand God? I do not know. All I know is that there is no place I would rather be. ~ Barbara Brown Taylor
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking
Introversion- along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness- is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living in the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform. ~ Susan Cain
For the Love
Wise women know what to hold onto and what to release, and how to walk confidently in their choices—no regrets, no apologies, no guilt. ~ Jen Hatmaker
Please leave your thoughts, comments, or new suggestions below!
Until next time,