Yesterday literally did not have enough hours in the day.
It was my first day back to summer classes. Boo.
So that meant pulling all the new text books out, going over syllabi, figuring out what needed to be done when this week, and jumping right in. The only bad thing about summer classes is that they are short and compact, so there is no easing in to them.
The dog had to be picked up from the vet after her spay surgery over the weekend. Poor baby.
There were meetings and a party to cook for and host.
Groceries for the week had to be shopped for due to an empty fridge.
The list goes on.
So by 10:30 pm last night when everything else on my list was done, I decided this post would just have to wait till morning as nothing I would have written last night would have made much sense.
But that is life right?
I am learning slowly but surely that the more I strive for perfection and control, the more I make myself miserable. The more I learn to relax and accept life as it comes, even the unexpected or unplanned for happenings in my life, the more serenity I am able to find despite how uncertain or crazy events might feel.
So with that, I am excited to share lots of voices with you this week that have challenged me, encouraged me, made me think, comforted me, inspired me, and so much more.
This is the heart behind these weekly link round ups.
I am creating a virtual table to gather around, where hearts and voices are shared with the hope that no one walks away unfed.
This week’s voices cover the gamut, from the headlines of Caitlyn Jenner and the Duggars, to Sheryl Sandbergs courageous and vulnerable words on grief, to a honest description of faith, to another’s journey with minimalism, to the benefits of journaling, and so much more! I hope you find someone here who speaks to your heart.
I know they all touched mine.
Here’s the thing: God has long been in the habit of changing people’s names. In fact, it’s a thread that stretches from the Hebrew Scriptures into the Christian Scriptures. All throughout our Sacred texts God changes people names. And it’s always done to highlight or reveal their true selves. God called renamed Jacob, Israel. Jesus renamed Simon to Peter, and the Twins to the Sons of Thunder. God renamed Saul, Paul. In every one of these moments a new facet of their identity was being revealed. They were being called to live into the truth of their identities and fulfill their callings in the world. One could make the claim that before they were renamed they were only showing part of who they were.
God is always in the business of helping people to become who they are. ~ Shannon T. L. Kearns
I think when tragedy occurs, it presents a choice. You can give in to the void, the emptiness that fills your heart, your lungs, constricts your ability to think or even breathe. Or you can try to find meaning. These past 30 days, I have spent many of my moments lost in that void. And I know that many future moments will be consumed by the vast emptiness as well.
But when I can, I want to choose life and meaning. ~ Sheryl Sandberg
Beliefs have consequences, and fundamentalism’s consequences are more than any child should have to bear. ~ Carmen Green
As far as I can tell, the big attraction of ATI was that it was sort of this holistic thing. It was a lifestyle; it was a religious belief; it was a homeschooling method. Bill Gothard promised you access to exclusive truth. So he presented fundamentalism in a pretty attractive way. He made it practical. Very black and white: here’s a problem and here’s a solution. I think that’s very attractive, especially for new Christians, because it’s so easy. They don’t have to think a whole lot. There’s not a whole lot of critical thinking there. It’s just all laid out for you. ~ Nicholas Ducote being interviewed by Jenny Kutner for Salon
Yet, horrifically, Jim Bob claims that, “This wasn’t rape or anything like that. This was touching over the clothes.” This perception that touching is somehow less traumatic that penetration is not only false, it is incredibly damaging to victims, and helps perpetuate a culture of victim-blaming and lack of accountability for perpetrators. The fact is that children who are sexually abused often face lifelong consequences, whether or not that abuse involved penetration. ~ Pamela Jacobs
But I won’t pretend to be something that I’m not. For a long time, it’s meant I won’t pretend to be more religious or certain or into Jesus than I really am. Now, I won’t pretend to be more disillusioned or more disinterested than I am.
Here I am, with my fresh tattoos and old scars and miles of baggage, with my familiar cynicism and my new and growing sense of wonder. Here I am with my worship music and my cross necklace and my prayer beads and my hands in the air. Here I am, with a thousand reasons I shouldn’t go to church, but here nonetheless.
I am reluctant, but I am a Christian. ~ Micah J. Murray
One of the reasons is that I’m afraid that if I tell someone no they will be angry. They will be hurt. They will shame me into saying yes or will demand I justify my no to them. That’s happened to me often. I’ve learned an interesting lesson about that though. If you tell someone “no” and they react in anger, they just confirmed you made the right decision. ~ Jon Acuff
The number one reason why I journal is to know myself better. This is the place where I unravel all my thoughts and emotions and begin to make sense of them. So often we live life on autopilot, never really checking in with how we’re doing or what we need. Journaling is a medical check-up for the soul. ~ Claire de Boer
I’m getting there…but at my own pace and in my own way. Because minimalism is not a competition. And when we strive for someone else’s definition of perfection, we will certainly fail. So I’m giving myself grace for the journey. ~ Alysa Bajenaru
I learned that I was not alone. At the very least, the songwriter—whoever he was—probably would understand my rage. I realized that angry, hateful, dark music existed because it was responding to real pain.
I realized that niceness did not cut the mustard for me anymore.
I learned that my feelings were real, and that I could give myself permission to feel them. ~ Heather Caliri
If a voice touched you this week, please feel free to leave me a comment below and tell me why. If you have been writing on something or have another link to share, please do!
What has challenged you this week?
Who has written something that caught your attention?
Look for part 2 of my new series to come out tomorrow!
Until next week!