Things I Actually Like, 2-15
One of the things I'm really really good at is getting excited.
When I love something or believe in it, it shows. I'm a cautious person and don't take my commitments lightly, but when I'm into something? I am all kinds of into it.
I like finding out the best thing or idea and then running with it, cheering all the way. For example:
This is my super ferocious soccer cheering face. And that's my friend Alli. We're wearing tiaras because it's New Year's Eve. Allison was at my 4th birthday party and we've basically been at each other's major life events since, the good and the bad. We are really good at intimidating the opposing teams, by the way.
Anyway, on to more things worth cheering about! It's all stuff I can't stop thinking about, want to share more than just an "omg, this!" link on Twitter, actually believe in, or purchased a while ago and still like. I don't expect any perks and if I ever do get something free that I end up loving and wanting to share here, I'll be sure to note that. I like free stuff, but I don't like all free stuff, you know?
Just to be clear, you don't have to buy anything or read it or be exactly like me.
But here are some Things I Actually Like.
- My website, obviously!
When I asked my friend Darrell to help me out, I had no idea he would create something so strong, beautiful, and very much ME. It was important to me that my site be easy for me to use (because I'm usually posting on a lunch break or during hulu commercials, let's be real) and simple for you to navigate (because we all hate having to click through to find things we need). He did all of that and more and I'm so grateful for his bold design work. Yes, I am totally obsessed with that header font. If you want to talk to him about your website, email him at: d(at)prodigalpress(dot)com.
- The Sacred Friendships Gathering in Chicago!
I've written for Prodigal Magazine about how important it is for guys and girls to be friends. But this conference expands the conversation in all sorts of ways and I'm really excited to be a part of it. Like, can't even handle how excited I am. I'm brainstorming all sorts of ideas to share while I'm there (and planning outfits for when I talk about Modesty, of course) and I'll be writing more about this, I'm sure. But I wanted you to know now that I'm going to be there, that you should come chat with me, and that registration is only $85 through the end of the month! You can follow the conference on Twitter if you're curious!
- When There's Always Another Story, by Elora Nicole
"Slowly, the questions started. Why did I hate sex? I waited. It was supposed to be amazing, right? We were supposed to have these incredible nights of passion. Friends would make quips about being married and enjoying the “perks” and I would smile, nod and join the conversation knowing I was lying. I didn’t get the perks. I hated the perks. The perks made me cry."
I can't even handle the bravery of my Twitter friends. Elora is a Woman of Valor! Seriously, this is the kind of vulnerable storytelling that changes the world. It changed mine this week. If you've been or are going through anything like this, please know you're not alone.
- Fuzzy Wool Lined Moccasins!
These slippers are kind of magical. Even when I lived in the frozen Midwestern tundra, I never bought into the Uggs craze. Could fur on your toes make that much of a difference? Could slippers be warm but not make my delicate little feet look monstrous? Yes. Yes to both of those questions! I may or may not look forward to slipping these lambs on at the end of the day from the moment I wake up and sometimes wear them all weekend. No shame in going to the grocery store in these cute mocs, though! Expensive, yes, but I plan on dancing these little clouds of sheep fluff into the ground. It's all about price per wear for me and shoes.
- Rejecting the Premise, by Dianna E Anderson
"Asking “do you believe this is a sin?” is fundamentally the wrong approach. I refuse to answer the question because defining whether or not something is a sin is not a conversation I’m interested in having. I reject the premise out of hand. Drawing rules and lines and definitions is not the way one moves toward a healthy sexual ethic."
My friend and feminist fairy godmother Dianna takes the next step in the conversation on building a holistic sexual ethic. She starts with one essential concept: consent. And she also carefully adresses the difference between having an open conversation where people are invited to form their own healthy conclusions and one where all of that is a farce. I learn so much from her gracious analysis.
- Seen: The Woman at the Well by Jonathan Martin
"This woman is going to have the most powerful proclamation of any person recorded in the gospels about who Jesus is and what he's come to do, and she's going to have more fruit in her ministry than anybody else that we see in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. What does it say to us that the hinge point for her, and not only her, but for the people that she tells is simply this: 'I've met a man who has told me everything I've ever done.'
We think we want a God who will show up all powerfully and straighten everything out, and I believe the day will come when he will in fact straighten everything out, but here's what I really believe: The God that you're really searching for, the God that you're really hungering and thirsting after, even if you don't know it, is simply the God who fully and completely knows you."
I've told some of you how I haven't been able to sit in a church service for a while. It's such an odd place to be, but I'm learning through it. I love listening to people who study the Bible and love Jesus, and church is a great place to do that, so sometimes I feel like I'm missing out. But this series? I'm not missing out. I can't stop thinking about these stories. I think I've recommended them to some of you on Twitter and gotten in a few other people's faces. I love the way Jonathan tells stories about Jesus and women like women matter. It was only last fall that I integrated that idea into my life fully, so maybe that's why these stories make me tear up. It still feels so fresh and new and exciting.
Women matter to God. Not as side characters in the novel of life, but as complete humans with powerful skills, callings, and vision in every sphere. If you're wary of sermons, try these on Monday afternoons with me and pretend that you're listening to a good story over a cup of coffee. I can't really remember any sermon that I've wanted to listen to more than once, but these are on repeat this week. Thank you, Jonathan, for reminding me that I am seen by God, even when I can't go to church.
- There's No Such Thing as Everlasting Love
One of my favorite brilliant friends sent me this article a few weeks ago and I haven't stop circling back to it. There's so much in it that interests me, from the concept that the love we talk about when we talk about love can be measured in experiments, to the idea that love is grounded firmly in present instead of the future, to the proof that you can improve your intentions towards other people with practice. I'm also fascinated by the vagus nerve (Not to be confused with the Vegas nerve, which is what happens when I crave the desert, $20 cocktails, and amazing people watching). I've done a bit of research on this in the area of personal health and well-being, but if you come across more, I want in. Bodies are as fascinating as souls. Discuss!
So that's what I'm excited about this week.
What are a few things that you rave about, would promote even if you had to pay to do it, or simply and actually like?