I apologize for the week late Townhall. This past week swept me up in a whirlwind of work, thesis deadlines, and a fun little getaway weekend to Washington DC. I am actually posting this today from the airport while traveling home. The Potomac river in the picture above is nearby to the Air Force Memorial and the Pentagon, where I had the privilege of running in the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon 10K this weekend. It was great fun and beautiful to see all the fall colored trees!
I have gathered several great reads for you all though over the past few weeks. I hope you enjoy looking through them and find some treasures. I know I did!
On Our Mind: Our emotions, thoughts, and expectations…
I hate to say it, but I haven’t busted out of my room yet. This escape plan is still in progress. I really, REALLY didn’t want to write about depression while I was still in it. I wanted to write about it as someone thoughtfully looking back on a tough season, not someone in the thick, clumsily plodding through the trenches. But I have a feeling that maybe I’m not the only one in this trench. Maybe when you’re in a trench, you need to hear from someone who’s in it right this very moment. Not from someone who was in it ten years ago, and has since written an inspiring devotional. ~ Megan Gahan
I find joy when I open myself to the presence of people grounded in joy. They need not always be cheerful. But they radiate a security in the knowledge that of all the forces in this world, love is the most powerful and the most permanent. ~ Lindsey Paris-Lopez
Right now, I’m working really hard on both having goals and accepting the reality of uncertainty. In fact, I embrace the uncertainty and say to myself, ‘Given that goal, and given the uncertainty, what’s to be done next?’ I repeat this process over and over. Every once in a while, I stick my head up and say, “I still want to head to that goal. Yes, I’m uncertain I’ll get there, but for now, I think that’s where I want to go.” Then, I put my head back down, figure out what’s to be done next and go do it. Whatever the goal, we can learn to trust ourselves and deal with the reality of uncertainty. And for me that’s become the definition of true freedom. ~ Carl Richards
Having floundered in her prescribed roles, Eleanor Roosevelt seemed to have made a decision as her husband’s political star ascended: she would reinvent herself as a public crusader for a multitude of causes, regardless of her introversion.
She once said about confronting one’s fears: ‘You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.’ ~ Andy Hinds
Personal responsibility implies that there’s something to take responsibility for. You don’t take responsibility for being raped or losing your child. You take responsibility for how you choose to live in the wake of the horrors that confront you, but you don’t choose whether you grieve. We’re not that smart or powerful. When hell visits us, we don’t get to escape grieving.
This is why all the platitudes and fixes and posturing are so dangerous: in unleashing them upon those we claim to love, we deny them the right to grieve.
In so doing, we deny them the right to be human. We steal a bit of their freedom precisely when they’re standing at the intersection of their greatest fragility and despair. ~ Tim Lawrence
So here’s what I want to know: Can we lighten up a little?
Can we draft a joint resolution to drop the crazy-making expectation that we must all be perfect friends and perfect mothers and perfect workers and perfect lovers with perfect bodies who dedicate ourselves to charity and grow our own organic vegetables, at the same time that we run corporations and stand on our heads while playing the guitar with our feet? ~ Liz Gilbert
On Faith: It’s impact on us and others…
I have friends who have lost their faith. I did not do faith better then them. Frankly, I’m bewildered why I still have this niggling feeling that Jesus is Lord. It’s not because I studied more (I didn’t), because my initial conversion was more sincere (it wasn’t) or because I know something they don’t (I really, really don’t). ~ Heather Caliri
Someone can be a non-practicing Jew, or a fallen-away Catholic, because a life of faith in these communities doesn’t demand perfection for participation. You can live the life, in the midst of a faith crisis or dark night of the soul. You can keep showing up, even when you’ve lost your way. ~ Anna Keating
The gun is almost an invitation to give into the temptation of fear,” he said. “And fear should not be a controlling element in the life of a Christian. ~ Rev. Rob Schenck in a report by Sarah Pulliam Bailey
On Current Events: Issues of the day…
Some Americans are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of celebrating Columbus Day. However, when you are a citizen of a nation that believes in its own exceptionalism, you can only celebrate. There is no room for mourning and admitting the fact that you, and your founding fathers, were wrong. But that is exactly what the United States needs to do. Schools in Germany are required to teach the holocaust, so that they will never repeat it. If America does not keep its unjust history in front of itself, it will never learn, never grow, and never mature. If America merely replaces the celebration of its racist roots of discovery, with another celebration, it is destined to repeat its failures. ~ Mark Charles
We need to educate young men long before they arrive on campus. We must stop the idea that just because she didn’t say “no” meant that her body was available. We must stop the idea that women are objects and are responsible for whatever violent behavior is acted upon them. This starts in elementary and middle school, when young girls are sent home from school because their collarbones or shorts are too distracting for young men. This is victim-blaming our girls and teaches our boys that they are not responsible for their own behavior. And beyond not participating in victim-blaming myths, we need to actively teach about consent. While some are hesitant about discussing consent in elementary school, this is a public health issue, and we can talk about consent in an age-appropriate way. ~ Annie E. Clark
It’s scary to be vulnerable. To open yourself up to the knowledge that you don’t have any idea what you are doing is one thing, but to let others in on that fact is a completely different beast. But we are vulnerable, each and every one of us. We all have questions that keep us up at night, or nightmares that jolt us awake, covered in sweat and reaching for the other side of the pillow. We do. No one has a life that is Instagram perfect. It just doesn’t happen. ~ Lauren Harbury
Until Next Time!