What do we do now?

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 10.19.30 AM

A few years ago, when life was really hard, with two babies, marriage, faith and sense of self rocky, I found a book and writer that would profoundly impact me for the better by giving words to my shaky feelings and giving me the permission to feel them. I read Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle as quickly as I could, devouring the pages, soaking up all of the validation between the covers, mentally highlighting passages and even reading some of them out loud to my husband. I found quotes from the book on Pinterest and posted them all over Facebook. The reading of that book did so much more than I can express and I will carry the lessons from it and that time in my life with me as long as I’m breathing.

 

One of the most profound things my dear sister, Glennon, talks about in that book is just doing the next right thing. After years of being bulimic and an alcoholic, Glennon finds herself at a major turning point, facing sobriety and unsure of what to do next. She learns to just keep showing up and to just do the next right thing.

 

I find myself at a turning point now and in need of my next right thing. I returned to working full time in 2016 and left that job in April of 2017 because of a horrible work environment. And while I was thankful to have the option to leave while preserving my dignity and integrity, I was still left back at home frustrated, unemployed and pissed. Leaving my job because of sexual harassment also pointed me toward how passionate I am about women’s rights and safe working environments for women but without an outlet for that passion.

 

And now. I feel the stirring, the purpose of that infuriating experience pushing me toward something. And I feel frustrated trying to think through what I should do next. And then I remember.

 

I remember the deep knowing. God’s voice, the Holy Spirit, our intuition, people call this different things, but the Lord is always speaking to us. We just have to get quiet and wait and it will come. It’s not usually an audible voice or a sign written in the sky, but a profound truth that you know deep in your gut to be the truest, rightest thing.

 

So I lay awake in bed at night. I get quiet. I wait. I ask the Lord for the next right thing. And I know. It settles on me like a soft, warm blanket.

 

Write. Open your computer and start typing.

 

This is all I know. I don’t know what will happen next, but this feels like the truest, rightest thing to do right now.

 

And I know that it doesn’t have to be good or perfect or revolutionary. Just write. Just let the words out. Let them be.

 

And this doesn’t make much sense to me. I was never “good” at writing in school. I always made better grades on my Spanish papers than on my English ones. Writing has never been my strong suit, but this is what I’m supposed to do now. This is the assignment.

 

So I write. I come to my laptop in the mornings with coffee and low expectations and I write.

 

The next right thing.

Advertisements

How Your Roy Moore Facebook Post Promotes Sexual Assault

This morning it was Matt Lauer. It’s a new one every day. It’s beginning to feel like this is raining from the skies. On one hand, this is exactly what women have been waiting for. FINALLY! Men are being outed right and left, up and down, everywhere you look, someone is being called out for their inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. And we all know. We all say, “It’s about damn time.”

On the other hand, this feels like a gross time to be a woman. Everywhere you look this is on the news. I had to turn off the Christmas music radio station in the car with my kids this morning because they were talking about more sexual misconduct by more people. I just wanted to listen to Christmas music.

And then there are those of us who have not only heard of these things, but actually experienced them, and we are legion. Every 98 seconds another person in the U.S. experiences sexual assault. For us, all of this hits harder, feels grosser, but also somewhat more vindicating, I guess. For us, it brings back the memories of the harassment or assault and all of the feelings associated with the event(s). And then, when we watch people opine all over social media about how accusers/victims/survivors should or should not report or behave, sometimes that feels more personal than we’d like it to.

One of the most publicized cases right now is the Roy Moore accusations. I’ve watched men and women go back and forth on Facebook and Twitter about why his accusers should or should not be believed. I’ve witnessed people lose their sense of decency and empathy trying to maintain allegiance to their political tribe, which they somehow get mixed up with their God. It has been confusing, embarrassing and infuriating to say the least to watch people automatically question the women accusing Moore and not Moore himself.

Why is scrutinizing his accusers and not Moore, himself, a HUGE problem?
Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes. In case you can’t guess why that is, here’s an article that explains really well.
So we have all of these reasons working against women coming forward to find justice for themselves, and then some women do come forward in a very public manner and it is all over the media. Mostly white, “Christian,” Republicans are questioning the character, motives and the validity of the story of these women.

Other victims of sexual assault are watching this. They’re waiting to see how the world reacts. And then they see the Facebook posts. They see the post of the guy saying, “Why did it take them so long to come forward if it really happened?” Or they see something that talks about women needing to cover up more and not put themselves in “bad situations” so that they wouldn’t be victims. Or, maybe, they see a post that says women need to just keep quiet about what happens in the backseats of cars for the good of everyone involved.

We read the horrible comments and judgments made about sexual assault victims all over social media about when and how and why victims should or shouldn’t come forward and in what way and in what outfit and with what lipstick shade.

 

And then, (and THIS is the tragedy) with all of this working against them, victims decide that they will never tell anyone about their rapist or sodomizer or molester. If the people they know on Facebook react this way, how will their small town react when someone well known and respected is outed for raping them or molesting their children? And now that rapist or child molester continues doing what he has already done to other women and other children because his victims are too afraid to come forward because those victims have continued to watch a society that engages in intense victim blaming.

But you! Look at you! You made your political Facebook post! And you stood with your party! You sounded so good and conservative and “Christian.” I hope it’s not too shocking to you when you realize that Jesus, himself, is not a Republican and is more concerned with dispelling shame, protecting the innocent and calling to repentance than towing a party line.

Relief for Mexico and How We Can Help with Natural Disasters

Relief

There’s so much going on right now in the world. So much suffering. It seems so overwhelming to me, and overwhelmed can mean paralyzed. Where do we start? Where do we give? How do we help when we’re halfway across the world?

Obviously, we can’t fix everything or even much, but I don’t think that should stop us from trying to alleviate some of it even if it’s just a tiny bit. I think that’s part of the church’s mission, part of our job as Christ’s followers. Yes, we point and look to Him and our future home in a place with no suffering, but we can also display the kingdom of God here in small glimpses by being kind, by giving, by helping, by letting ourselves feel the weight of the suffering of others and interceding before the Lord for them.

So, how do we pray? I’m still not sure, but I know Romans 8:26 & 27 say that when we don’t know how or what to pray, the Holy Spirit does our praying in and for us with groans that words cannot express. For now, I sit with the Lord and say “Oh Lord, Mexico! Oh Lord, Houston! Oh Lord, Myanmar! Oh Lord, Puerto Rico!” I know that He hears the sadness in my prayers and my pleading with Him through the Holy Spirit.

when we don't know how or what to pray, He (the holyspirit) does our praying for us with words that groans cannot express.

And for now this is all we can do. Pray and give. Pray and give. Pray and give.

The disaster in Mexico is especially heavy on my heart because I have done relief work after an earthquake in Peru in 2008 and I know that devastation firsthand. I’ve listed some links of reputable charities where you can donate money or items to help with the work being done there. The last link can be used to donate to relief efforts for other disasters as well.

Donate to UNICEF click this link to donate through their website.

International Community Foundation a group doing good work in Mexico locally.

Mexican Red Cross Amazon Wish List an Amazon wishlist done by the Mexican Red Cross of items you can purchase that are needed for relief efforts. This page is in Spanish, but just click VER LA LISTA to view the items. If you want to purchase here and need help, please comment or email me and I’ll help you choose the item you want to purchase.

List of Reputable Charities in Mexico a super helpful list of reputable charities in Mexico done by Charity Navigator.

Charity Navigator is a great site to use to find reputable places to give for any other disasters you’re looking to help with as well.

 

How do you help when you see suffering? How do you process it? I’d love to continue this discussion in the comments.

what to expect when you’re expecting (a new blog)…

Photo Sep 15, 11 51 43 AM (2) Photo Sep 15, 12 11 15 PM (1) fall fashion

Well here we are! Welcome! Aloha! Bienvenidos! Namaste!

I’m so glad you’re here.

This blog is something I’ve been dreaming up and planning for a while now. I’ve done some occasional blogging here and there pre-kids and I’m ready to try it again now that both of my littles are out of diapers. (Can I get a hallelujah??) I’m starting to feel the fog lift and I’m ready to (attempt to) do this well.

So what can you expect here?  A little bit of all the things…

Easy, laid back fashion, fun, musings on faith, love and parenting, lots of coffee, lots of hair, honest motherhood, honest womanhood, some home decor and empathy, all from someone relatable who doesn’t fake it well and wants to engage in an online community of other relatable women.

 

 

So here we go! Thank you for your patience as this gets going and your support along the way! Here’s to sharing what we love!