I don’t know if there is anything quite as spectacular as the Tokyo skyline.
Living here for the past three years, has given me memories that will last a lifetime. This week involved yet another round of goodbyes, as I said farewell to my adult Japanese students I have been meeting with now for over two years. They are all breaking for the rest of the summer for a holiday, and then will start up classes again in the fall with new teachers. I have truly never met kinder, more giving, and genuine people. I never knew just how much I would fall in love with this country and it’s people, but I now know a part of my heart will still be here when I leave.
In the midst of the goodbyes, and usual summer activities around here though, I still found plenty of treasures this past week worth giving a place in the spotlight.
Come and see what I found…As always, please click on the Titles for links to the various sites, and remember that all Townhall Posts can be found under the Menu Tab above titled, “About This Site.”
Words Worth Reading:
All of today has been like one slow remembering. I realize that grief has kept me from noticing like I used to notice. When you are trying to simply put one foot in front of the other, you don’t often bother to spend time studying vapor trails or listen to the way grass stretches as each drop of dew slowly evaporates. You just seem to focus on the next thing. ~ Holly Grantham
This piece touched me, as Holly shared her journey with grief and how that has affected her life and writing. How could it not? Grief and loss are such tangible, painful, and difficult parts of life. Finding words to share from that space are perhaps some of the most vulnerable and courageous a heart could ever utter. Beauty, truth, and wisdom found through the painful realities of life. Let us listen.
And that’s when I realized that I had this definition of what generosity was in the world. That if you give of yourself but it is “expected”, if it’s part of your “role” in life, then it isn’t really generosity. Generosity can only happen when what you give is over and above anyone’s expectations of you. ~ Lisa Byrne
Lisa’s words this week struck a chord with me. I identified with her struggle to overlook any part of her life that was expected of her, anything that fell within her natural and chosen roles as mundane or somehow less worthy of recognition. How often have I done this? Reduced the purpose and beauty of something I am doing as off-limits for any recognition or inspiration, because it is something “I have to do” and something “expected” of me.
I am trying a new way of prayer.
I am trying to look for God and keep a record of all the places I find him.
I am trying to take my eyes off of what I want and instead put them onto what is already.
Onto God and all the ways he makes himself known. ~ Jerusalem Jackson Greer
This woman’s blog is a favorite of mine to read. Her words call to my soul. I have been in this season for awhile now, where prayer has become foreign and difficult territory, after years of it being a very familiar and comfortable practice. Now that I know how easy it was to slip into prayer “production” and prayer “performance,” I struggle to with how vulnerable and skeptical I often really feel. Sometimes I feel angry and that feels irreverent, so I just am silent, not knowing how to move beyond this gaping void. Jerusalem gives me hope and a different way to look at prayer.
I value transparency and vulnerability but I have trouble finding the line.The line between over-sharing and being real. Or the line between nice and abrupt. And the other line between honesty and politeness. ~ Deborah Hudson
This month over at the SheLoves community, the link up theme is Authentic. This post and the next are just a few of the treasures you will find there. This post is a beautiful description of how hard it often is to find that sweet spot, that healthy balance of genuine vulnerability. Vulnerability and authenticity are not about just blurting out every thought and feeling without any forethought or filter. It is much more intentional. It is chosen. It involves risk and honor. It considers the audience and recipients, knowing life gives us the people we trust to be filters, and people beyond that inner circle. However finding and learning that art is definitely a process. I think this next author has some great thoughts on where to start.
So authenticity has to start somewhere, and I believe it starts with telling just one truth. One scary but necessary truth. ~ Jessie Nyland
One truth. One simple step. One risky choice to brave the worst and speak. This is where the road to authenticity and a lifestyle of vulnerability all starts, and where we should return over and over again.
If you’re not willing to invest, if you’re not willing to truly be a friend and begin the journey of living life together, then you aren’t in a place where you have an ability to confront. If you’ve never had an interaction with this person before, then it is not your place to confront. If you haven’t talked to this person in many years (and didn’t have a friendship to begin with), then it is not your place to confront. If you don’t have anything but a genuine, true, loving relationship with this person, then it is not your place to confront. ~Matthias Roberts
This blog was a new find this past week. It was one of those sites that was both beautiful in design and in its message. Matthias is one of those writers that draws you in, makes you laugh, and makes you think. I found myself reading post after post, as I only wanted to learn more. This particular post touched me, as right now I am so new to the world of listening and learning to truly love my friends and members within the LGBT community that I greatly appreciate genuine and heartfelt advice coming from one of its own.
Because in the time it took you to take a selfie with a sign declaring that the world doesn’t need feminism (about four minutes) two more American women were sexually assaulted, nearly 100 American women were abused, four women worldwide died giving birth, eight little girls were trafficked for sexual exploitation, and 6,781,920 people looked at naked women online.
Because feminism celebrates the freedom of women to choose to enter the workforce or pursue homemaking and to make decisions that best suit the needs of themselves, their communities, and their families. Feminism does not oppose homemaking, marriage, and motherhood, but acknowledges them as among the many vocations of which women are capable.
Because feminism is the radical notion that women are human – equal in value and dignity to men – and that vision has yet to be fully realized. ~ Rachel Held Evans
Be still my heart. Rachel is truly gifted when it comes to writing. These realities women face around the world are so heart-wrenching and heavy to bear. But how can we ever make this world a better place, if we don’t remember? If we don’t stand up and speak? As I have been sharing over the past few weeks, my journey with Feminism has been a long one. I see the arguments, many men and women like to throw up in response to these ideas and need for Feminism in today’s society, and my heart aches as I hear echoes of my doubts, my fears, my judgements, and the self-hating lies I once believed. I also remember how quick I was to paint everyone with the same brush, never taking the time to actually listen or consider the other side’s perspective. Where I grew up, we were given the pros, the cons, all the possible rebuttals and counter arguments, and what to say to defend our answers. True consideration was never an option, as we must always come up with the same conclusion. So from one recovering legalistic-feminist-hater, consider listening and studying what countless women before us have struggled and worked to give to us — treasures like compassion, value, purpose, dignity, equality, and humanity.
A Video Worth Watching:
My Daughter, Malala
People ask me, what special is in my mentorship which has made Malala so bold and so courageous and so vocal and poised? I tell them, don’t ask me what I did. Ask me what I did not do. I did not clip her wings… ~ Ziauddin Yousafzai
This video is powerful, as the father of a girl the world has stood back and watched in awe, perhaps shares the greatest secret for why this girl is so special and so brave — she has a father who believes in her.
A # Campaign Worth Following:
This week on Twitter authors and writers across the globe are linking up over at http://www.faithfeminisms.com to encourage, to speak up, and to share their story with faith and feminism. Make sure to go check it out the website and the hashtag feed on twitter. You will be sure to find RT treasures like these…
There’s room for anger. There’s room for joy. There’s room for hurt. There’s room for healing. There’s room for you. #FaithFeminisms
— Jes Kast-Keat (@JesKastKeat) July 21, 2014
— Alanna Joy (@alanna_joy) July 22, 2014
Faith is intrinsically about feminism. Because it’s about having enough love to view everyone as a person. #FaithFeminisms
— Анастасія (@heresybythought) July 21, 2014
Untold Stories Worth Reviewing:
Oh the irony of ironies, because it was women of the church, who found feminism in the life and words of Jesus, that showed me the freedom I had already been given.
The freedom to be me.
The freedom to be a feminist and a Christian.
This post went viral this week, as it was shared by one of my favorite ministries and resources on women in leadership and teachings on marriage roles within the church, The Junia Project. This post is a part of my Finding Feminism Series. Join us again tomorrow as we continue that journey.
- What treasures have you found this week?
- What have you been writing about? Post a link in the comment section below!
- Which of the above spoke to you?
- What does Feminism mean to you? Do you believe our world needs Feminism?