Townhall – On Faith, Race, and Things that Matter

Posted By Kallie C on Apr 21, 2015 | 0 comments


 

 

Hey Readers,

Tuesday is here and almost gone. I am sorry this post is coming out so late. Every week I set a goal to have most of this post written by Monday, and then the week flies by and its Tuesday, and I’m like “Oh Crap the Townhall!!”

This past week has been a busy week for the blog. First there was my homeschool series running over on Homeschoolers Anonymous. Then I spent time updating the Untold Stories logo, and I also managed to launch an Untold Stories Instagram account. Make sure to click the button in the right margin and follow US, if you are on there. 🙂 (Or click here if you are on the mobile site)

So needless the traffic on the blog has been a little bit more than normal. 🙂 So welcome to all the readers, old and new.

For those of you who want to know the story behind the Townhall, these are my link up posts where I gather all the voices and stories and words and videos and images that impact me throughout the week to share with all of you. My inspiration came from that small town tradition, where everyone gathers around to share their needs and concerns, along with all the happenings and going-ons in the community.

The heart and story behind Untold Stories is to create just that, a space for community and a place for us to all come and share our untold stories. So please enjoy all these wonderful finds, and as always feel free to share in the comments below a link to what you have been reading or writing about this week.

 

On Faith and Church

I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun. I am smiling the entire time. I’m laughing, talking, and making jokes. We’re cheering each other, we’re waiting for each other, we’re talking about life, marriage, and jobs, and I’m thinking why isn’t church like this more? People covered in mud and grime and nobody cares, in fact, we are encouraging it, it’s like the ultimate equalizer, one trail, all stains. ~ Mihee Kim Kort

I loved this post by Mihee. She managed to eloquently and uniquely blend her thoughts on what church should look like into the reality of her daily life and her experience with running. All things which I can relate to. Such a good read and some profound wisdom there worth pondering.

We grew up in worlds where we were told, over and over, that our roles in the church and in life were set and defined by God before we were even born. We were to be wives and mothers, and virgins until the time we could provide children. And many of us, raised in a post-sexual-revolution world, with women in careers outside the home and examples of powerful women on TV every week, found the predestined roles restrictive and chafing. ~ Dianna E. Anderson

Dianna always challenges me with her writing. I can relate to her journey out of fundamentalism. I too encountered feminism and needed challenges to my small worldview through higher education, and I will forever be grateful for the freedom both have brought me. I remember the mindsets all too well of how limited a woman’s role in the world was, and with that the constriction I know I and many others felt at not quite fitting into the mold.

Wisdom, unlike knowledge, comes as a byproduct of lived experience. Something happens, and as often as not, we screw up. Then we reflect, learn and change our attitudes or behaviors moving forward. Christianity, however, too often teaches us to entrench ourselves in self-righteousness, seeking instead to change others to be more like us. (God forbid we would be changed by someone who isn’t a Christian.) But true wisdom means we learn and are affected by all of our experiences, and use that wisdom as an opportunity to do and be better in the future. ~ Christian Piatt

This piece made me think of some of the most beautiful and generous and kind people I have ever met — my Japanese students and now friends. Before going to Japan, I am ashamed to say that I thought I knew what Buddhism was, and I am even more ashamed that at one point in time in my Christian certainty of “having all the answers to a life of faith” that I thought “those poor people they must be so lost, so void of any real meaning in life.”  How arrogant and wrong I was. These people truly loved me and gave to me and served me and genuinely wanted to know more about me. This included wanting to hear about my faith and my religion, even though they already knew it’s traditional expressions and teachings excluded them if they did not first convert. I learned first hand a very needed lesson in humility, because it was a country that primarily identifies as nonreligious and Buddhist that became a safe haven for me to allow my faith questions to surface, which led to my oh-so-secure faith falling apart. Japan was just the home I needed at just the right time. It’s serene and exquisite gardens were a balm to my soul, its people overwhelmed me with their kindness and generosity, and I know deeply now that I and my burgeoning faith have much more to learn from Buddhism and it’s people. Growing up I was taught to fear and ridicule people of other faiths. Now I know that, that defense mechanism is what shuts us off from learning and keeps us blind to our own inconsistencies and weak spots. I also know that it takes greater understanding, patience, and true value for someone else to want to learn about them and learn from them even if they are of a different faith, then it ever does to demand they change to be just like you in thought and belief before you deem them worthy of true friendship and equal respect.

When the going gets tough may I look for a door to step through rather than a wall to hide behind.~Katrina Kenison

This poem is utterly beautiful. It took my breath away with it’s simple and yet piercing truth.

It’s good to understand that we train people as to how they should interact with us, just by how we allow them to relate. When you respect yourself, when you value who you are as a person, you automatically impart that confidence and people respond accordingly. Often the exhaustion, the draining, and thinness we feel is symptomatic of our own lack of personal value which has caused us to push further than we should, and into areas we don’t even belong in. We have trained people to take advantage of us, and then we wonder why we end up feeling so drained and broken. ~ Bev Murrill

If Bev was writing to anyone this week, she was writing to me. A long-confessed people pleaser, I know all too well that thinness of soul and body she describes from not having enough left to give, and yet giving still for the fear that someone will discover and confirm the worthlessness you feel. Realizing how much I play a role in letting others have this kind of power over me is hard to think about, and yet it is so true. I needed this post this week. This reminder and shared wisdom are always good to hear.

 

On Race

The following links are the kind that you watch or read with a lump in your throat. You can’t help but feel it no matter how many times you swallow as you feel the utter enormity and importance of what is being said. Yet if you are also like me then you find yourself thinking, “but what can I do or ever say?” For me, it is easy to go from there down the road of “never good enough” because that feels more comfortable than sitting with the heart ache, the embarrassment, and the feelings of helplessness in a world that says we are free, but yet many still struggle for the same rights that I never even question having. For so long I othered people on this issue. I said race was something others ignored or were bothered by or saw or dealt with — but never stopped for a moment to see how afraid I was of even just stopping for a moment to learn from someone else about it, to hear from someone who had actually been “othered”  for the color of their skin. I couldn’t even see where my own fears, my own prejudice, or even just my discomforting worry of being misinformed or too ignorant or too lacking in any experience were also keeping me silent. Silent on issues like Fergueson, because all the voices speaking either hurt with how ignorant and hateful they all sounded on one side or they hurt with the pain of regret and acknowledgement of how far America still needs to come on this issue. I didn’t think my voice or thoughts mattered, as I figured there was someone out there with far more experience who needed to say more. So while my own thoughts and opinions might be limited in experience on this subject,  I can still do something. I can give this space to honor some voices who do have experience and who are challenging us all to better understand the reality of race in our nation today. It may be hard, but they both need to be heard.

Our system isn’t just being shaped in these ways that seem to be distorting around race, they’re also distorted by poverty. We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent. Wealth, not culpability, shapes outcomes. And yet, we seem to be very comfortable. The politics of fear and anger have made us believe that these are problems that are not our problems. We’ve been disconnected. ~ Bryan Stevenson

 

My skin is the deep brown of a well-worn penny. My eyes are the same shade as my complexion, but they light up amber in the sun, like a glass of whiskey. On a good day, I like the way I look. At other times, particularly when people point out how dark I am, I want to slip through a crack in the ground and disappear. ~ Desmond Cole

 

On My Life Right Now

These links below spoke to me right where I am at this week.

Pain is not a sign that you’ve taken a wrong turn or that you’re doing life wrong. It’s not a signal that you need a different life or partner or body or home or personality. Pain is not a hot potato to pass on to the next person or generation. Pain is not a mistake to fix. Pain is just a sign that a lesson is coming. Discomfort is purposeful: it is there to teach you what you need to know so you can become who you were meant to be. Pain is just a traveling professor. When pain knocks on the door—wise ones breathe deep and say: “Come in. Sit down with me. And don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know.” ~ Glennon Doyle Melton

First and foremost Glennon. Oh man does Mama G ever not have something I need to hear, and read right now? Probably not. When it comes to books, and words, and speaking straight to my heart in that mom voice that I need to hear — G does it. Every. Time.

This week? Embrace the pain. Embrace the heartache. Embrace the hard stuff and sit with it. Be still……. I don’t know how in the world to get these truths from my head to my heart, but with some prayer, some time, my therapist I have started seeing, and G to remind me all the time I hope to get better at this.

Not only do I look better, but I feel better. The clutter I cut out of my life has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. Decluttering expert Marie Kondo says there are two types of people: Those who can’t put things away and those who can’t throw things away. I am both of those people. This experience has taught me that no organizational system will help me organize my space—the only solution that will last is to dramatically cut down on the number of possessions that I own. ~ Denaye Barahona

This post is exactly what I have been looking for, some inspiration. The last two areas in my house that need some organizing and simplifying are the master bedroom and the office. It is where the last clutter holdouts are currently. A large portion of that are my clothes, shoes, and scarves. I might as well as confess it now, I am a scarf addict. I have one for every season in every color, style, and pattern. I can never wear them all and yet I am still obsessed with buying another one when I find one. It also didn’t help that for three years my husband traveled all over the south pacific and that was his go to gift to bring home. And I would melt every time! Anyways, where was I … oh yah buried in the mountain of scarves. I need help. Obviously. I think though that I may have found some timely advice in this post. This whole wardrobe capsule idea has definitely intrigued me.

 

Well that’s it for this week friends. Hope you enjoy the links.

 

Until Next Week,

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