Wow, I can not believe next week is Thanksgiving!
This fall is flying by and that actually makes me happy because I LOVE the holidays…
This past week I have found some new voices to share here on our Townhall. I love bringing around voices old and new, as the purpose of these blog gatherings are to be just like a beloved Thanksgiving meal — a gathering of friends and family sharing stories, laughter, and more.
So along with the holiday spirit of remembering family and being grateful for what we have, I’ll start this townhall with this post on remembering where we came from.
Regardless or your history, the story of your source matters. The good and the bad of it. The hot and the cold of it. The magic and the mayhem.
The stories you were taught in your childhood,
and those you wrote for yourself in your teens.
The beliefs you held when you came of age,
and the hard lessons you learned in the decades that followed. ~Rachel Mee-Chapman
I loved the reminder Rachel gave me as it helped me to remember that appreciating who I am, who I was, and where I came from are all important. No I don’t have to paint it all good and perfect, but neither do I have to be ashamed of it for being different, abnormal, or difficult in its own way. It is what is was and I am who I am becoming. It is all a process and I am learning daily how to better embrace it for what it is than what I wish it was or would be.
But I am inching, and I’m learning so much, and the awkwardness is worth it and the fumbling is worth it and the growing pains are worth it, because every once in a while I feel something inside myself that I haven’t felt for a long time, and it feels like peace. ~ Shauna Neiquist
Along the same lines, I also really identified with Shauna’s words this week as she shared about her journey into a life of more vulnerability, authenticity, and finding a healthy balance of involvement and rest. I know all too well the pull to get busy, to say yes before I ever say no, and finding myself buried and overwhelmed yet again. I appreciate both her honesty and her persistence to keep trying.
I’m humbled by the reminder that (contrary to worn-out teachings) a strong faith is not a reactionary faith. How incongruent would I be to lash out with the sarcastic criticisms that took place in my head? ~ Ryan Taylor
Ryan’s piece captured me this week. It’s short but powerful and simple truths spoke volumes. I am and have been going through my own period of a faith crisis. Sometimes it feels like I will never find a steady place again. Just when I start to feel on solid ground in one area another opens up with even more questions and doubts. However that may be, I am learning along the way. Like Ryan warns against there have been so many times where I just want to lash out with new found fervor against someone that often reminds me of an older version of myself. He is right — a reactionary faith is not a stronger faith.
I know what it feels like to fight for an education in a culture that thinks girls shouldn’t get one. That believes girls should be married off young with no skills and little education beyond primary school. I know what it feels like to want more and to feel the weight of everyone around you writing off your dreams as a silly fantasy. ~ Kathryn Elizabeth
This piece touched me to my core. I was that girl growing up longing for a world I had never known and opportunities girls like me were told to be impossible or definitely not the best aspirations a girl should dream about. I also was fortunate however to find a way to move beyond that world and to begin to learn. My voracious appetite for books gave way to a never-ending appetite for learning. College came and passed far too fast. Now I am working on my Masters. As much as I relish the thought of finishing this degree, and getting a chance to gain some active work experience, I already know my appetite for learning well enough that this journey is not over. I have been hooked. I want to be a life long learner, participant, and advocate for education. It has given me more than I ever could have imagined possible.
Reading Malala’s story myself was humbling and a sacred reminder of work around the world that is in vital need of our support. Investing in education for women and girls has proven to make communities a better and safer place. I appreciate so much, the work Kathryn and others like her are doing to speak up about our experiences in communities and churches here at home that greatly limits female value to only childbearing and motherhood. We need to love women for who they are as individuals, grateful and appreciative of all the multiple roles they can and often carry, not limiting them to a select few as if their very worth and identity depended on them.
So what about you? What are you writing about? Have someone else you want to share in the Townhall this week?
Post your links in the comments below.
Thoughts for Discussion
- What are some of your roots you want to remember? Good, bad, or anything in between? How do they make up a part of who you are?
- Have you ever struggled with saying no and later finding yourself overwhelmed or overextended? If so, how have you learned to counter that?
- What constitutes a strong faith for you? Do you ever find your faith more reactionary than genuine? How do you resist that?
- For those of you who grew up in the homeschooling/conservative world, what other lessons does Malala have for us? For any other lover’s of Malala’s work, how can we further support it not only around the world, but here in our own communities as well?