Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 5.3.2014


This week’s five things all focus in some way on women.  Enjoy!

  1. This article from discussing the problem with using the term “women problem” to describe a cultural failure of including, promoting, or appreciating women.

  2. This story from my new friend Diana, on being a woman in seminary.

  3. This feature story at The Atlantic (from last week) entitled The Confidence Gap.

  4. This New York Post article on the outstanding character and accomplishments of the woman George Clooney is lucky enough to be engaged to.

  5. This list written by my friend Hannah about five things she learned growing up in a fundamentalist household.  This post was so popular that it broke her blog, so that’s a good sign, right?  Right.

So, what awesome things did you read this week?

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 3.28.2014 (updated)

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ONE.  On the give -and-take of the academic job search, and why being “non-traditional” and “less competitive” is worth it:  What’s Not On My CV, by J.R. Goudeau at Love is What You Do.

TWO.  Alison Luna tells her beautiful truth in Leanne Penny’s Love Showed Up Series, titled When Love Drives You Home.

THREE.  How to Get a Woman to Show Up.  Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy rounds up the best way to get women to show up and take the stage, the lead, the reins at conferences and corporations.

FOUR.  Joy the Baker lists Twelve Ways to Tart Up Spring — did you know lemon was my absolute favorite flavor of everything?  I want to eat all of these things.

FIVE.  What to Do When You’re Overqualified, some straight-talking, realistic advice from Kat at Corporette.  This is a question many of my fellow law school graduates and I are facing as we figure out whether we are happy with our current gigs, even though we could perhaps be doing more, and whether or not to risk what we have to try for something different.  The discussion in the comment section is fantastic as usual.

UPDATE:  This post from Volokh Conspiracy is so interesting, I wanted to add it in here (this is why I typically wait a little later before posting these round-ups!).  It’s a discussion of social norms in dressing for male and female lawyers.


Okay, those are my top-five reads this week!  What have you been reading around the interwebs? 

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 3.23.2014

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This post from Jezebel really made me think:  What Life is Like When Getting Your Period Means You are Shunned, by Rose George.

Once again, Kate from Eat the Damn Cake writes something that sticks with me.  This week’s post, What Do Women Do All Day?, is kind of awesome and wonderful and, just like last week’s post about danger and whether you should save yourself or a stranger, sits in the tension that is so much of everyday life.

Richard Beck’s post on being a famous, influential Christian without being a jerk (or, as he calls it, On Christian Celebrity), was incredibly thoughtful.  So much of what I read online is extremes and hyperbole, and this is just good thinking.

Alise has a post up about forgiveness entitled Redemption Only Through Failure?.  She asks whether her marriage that began in an affair with the worship pastor of her church has to end in divorce for her to receive forgiveness and redemption and reconciliation with the Church.  And to be honest, I don’t think there are any easy answers here.

Last but not least, my friend Osheta Moore’s post for A Deeper Story, Speaking Fear, Praying ShalomFull disclosure: I was granted a preview of this post and provided a few editorial comments on the draft about a month ago, and I’ve been waiting and waiting for it to come out because I LOVE Osheta and her voice her is so important to the conversations around race and public safety and how we raise our children and how we make our world better. Please do read this. 

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 3.14.2014

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I have so many links I want to share this week — cutting this down to just five was more difficult than usual!  But I did it, because I am awesome.  And so are you — don’t forget it.

I have two favorite The Girls We Once Were posts that I want to share with you.  All of them are really quite fantastic (click here for more), but these are the two I read that really stuck with me:  

One.  Where were the boys? posted at Faith In Between.

Two.  Renaissance Girl, posted at CoffeeSnob318.

I know the names and details for these two women, and they are awesome and good-looking and all that jazz, but I’m not sure how anonymous these writing spaces are so we’ll let them determine whether or not to say their names online.  I won’t do that for them.  BUT, they are both pretty dang cool and funny and smart.  Take a look.

Three.  How to Watch Your Kid’s Game Without Being a Jerk.  I told you guys how I’m not a mom but I still often enjoy reading the blog Momastery.  I’m still not a mom (still, as in since I wrote the previous sentence one second ago? I’m leaving that awkward transition here for kicks and giggles all around), BUT I have baby sat a mildly disabled individual who loved soccer, and I found myself giggling with memories reading this post.  I also recommend asking your child what is appropriate for you to wear to view his or her game: as in, perhaps what you are currently wearing is not cool and or incredibly inappropriate.  But that’s coming from a twenty-something with no kids.

Four.  Ask A Manager with When a Coworker Missed a Deadline, I Told Her it was a Good Thing She’s Pretty.  People do the funniest, weirdest, most unprofessional things at work.  And it’s really funny, until it’s your boss saying something like that to you OR until it’s your job to address the behavior.  Here on this blog it is quite hilarious.

Five.  Man Beaten in the Street on a Beautiful Day, by Kate at Eat the Damn Cake.  There’s this tension between protecting others and protecting ourselves and this made me think.  She writes in the tension, without resolution, which opens the door for us as readers to consider what we think is right.


Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 3.8.2014

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Happy International Women’s Day, my friends.  Women are awesome.  Women are human beings made in the image of God.  They deserve rights and property and the vote and respect and freedom from all kinds of rape in every community, including this one that we live in right here.  Let’s support them every day, all day long. 

1.  Alanna Okun’s Buzzfeed list entitled 17 Things You Should Do Right Now.  I’m typically on top of these things but I have no idea what my credit score is.

2.  My friend Brenna’s Post You Were Born for Such a Time as This, at her blog Beautiful Things.  Brenna is raising her three smart and funny daughters to be awesome human beings and I love when she writes to them.  I think maybe she is also writing to me.

3.  Reinventing Skid Row: When Hipsters Met the Homeless and Made a New Downtown L.A., by Ed Leibowitz for Politico.  A long but interesting read on homelessness, gentrification, development, etc. in Los Angeles.

4.  My friend Elizabeth introduced me to Anna Kendrick’s Oscar Weekend Diary, at Vogue, which I found quite enjoyable.  Celebrities are weird.

5.  Please Lord, Let Him Be Funny, a post on parenting awesome children by the very cool mom Jamie the Very Worst Missionary.

Okay, those are this week’s top reads!  What did you love this week? 

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 02.07.2014

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  1. What It Takes to Change the World, at Everyday Bright by Jennifer Gresham. This post, it’s like Jennifer Gresham is reading my mind. It’s like she can see through the internet into my soul.

It’s become almost cliche to say you want to change the world.

But for you, it’s different. You know deep down that you have something of value to offer. You’re passionate. You’re hungry to make a difference and you’re willing to work hard to make it happen.

So why isn’t it happening?

2.   Ten Ways to Beat Winter Blues, by Joanna Goddard at Cup of Jo.  I really needed to read this! It’s been a rough little bit but I’m embarking on a second new year and will be putting these suggestions into good use.

Get enough sleep. It’s important to get enough rest, but try to stick to your normal sleep schedule—oversleeping can make you feel groggy and grump(-ier).

Related: these 13 tips for being happy in your new home.

3.  On Christian Femininity and Bragging Rights, by my friend Esther Emery for Christian Feminism Today.  I’m so proud of the writing she is doing!  She is awesome and, since I’m with her on the bandwagon, I’d like to tell you that I am pretty dang awesome as well.

In response to a study like this one at MSU, Christians should invite one another to actively apply the language of “calling” and “anointing” to women as well as men. Loosening our tongues to speak well of our accomplishments is a part of the process of rising to our full stature, to stand side-by-side with men as leaders in the church and in the world.

Related:  On being awesome in your 40’s, and basically all the time — Chookooloonks author Karen Walrond with Top Ten Reasons Why Being 40-Something Rocks.  This post made me so excited to be a grown-up and happy to own my awesome age, twenty-eight.

4.  Hannah over at Wine and Marble with IR: Sex, Divorce, and Good Christian Kids.  I have so much respect for the women entering into this conversation online because, let’s be honest, people can be really mean on the internet (and in real life) when you start challenging their long-held presumptions.

Instead, pastors and parents and Bible study leaders and youth group mentors have bought into and perpetuated a false fundamental assumption that binds us to shame and ignorance as a necessary part of spiritual integrity: 1) we are required to take them at their word that sex is life-changing and terrible (in both senses of that word), and 2) we are required to make our trust in their definition of sex a fundamental assumption into how we weigh out relationships and how we decide who and when to marry. The bogey of sex thus becomes a looming question mark for us and the already-significant risks of choosing to get married to someone become exponentially more risky because there’s a huge piece of the marriage-choice puzzle that we are required to leave up to chance (which our good mentors have named God’s Will to keep us quiet).

5.  Elizabeth Esther’s How to Motivate an ENFP at Work.  This honestly just made me laugh, because it is so true to life!

Speaking from experience, it’s important for me to feel all my feelings, but then I have to move past my initial frustration and try to understand the “J’s” in my life. If I can regulate my feelings, I am able to see that “J’s” have great systems and methods that can actually help me.

However, the “J’s” must NOT over-react to us. A sensible “J” will allow the ENFP some “feelings-space” to go dither, play, recreate and blow off her frustration. The “J” should NOT try to micro-manage the ENFP or give her all the Rational Reasons about why her feelings are invalid. VERY IMPORTANT: The “J” should not issue marching orders or hard deadlines.

Just let the ENFP go have her feelings and maybe even offer her a cookie while she’s at it.

Okay, there’s the top five!  I had a very hard time narrowing my list down this week, so I’ll be sharing a few extra links over on my facebook page — click here to check them out!  What awesome internet things have you been loving this week?



Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 1.31.2014

I really love writing these five-things posts each week — at times, they’ve been the most consistent form of blogging in this space and I enjoy taking a few minutes each Friday to reflect over the prior week’s intellectual encounters. However, I’m not sure they are hitting the mark for you. Stats don’t tell me much about what you like and don’t like on the blog, but they do tell me what you click — and the links I post just aren’t getting clicked very often.

I’m not going to stop writing these weekly wrap-ups, but I’m more than happy to try some new things or add new elements to keep them fresh and hold your interest. Do you wish there were more funny posts, more photos or pinterest pins, more recipes? Do you like having quotes included here with each article? Any topics you’d like to see less of? Let me know.

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And now, let’s get to it:

One.   Abby Norman tells the story of Atlanta’s snowpocalypse, in The Lamest Roadtrip Ever: A Victim of Atlanta’s Snowpocalypse Tells All.

I used to mock my fellow southern-city dwellers too. I didn’t know that I didn’t know until I drove home Wednesday morning pretending I was a bob sled driver. It was the only way I could stay sane while maneuvering my 1996 Camry on what looked exactly like the outdoor skating rink just after the Zamboni went for a little spin. It turns out I am awesome at bobsled driving and totally deserve a gold medal.

Two.   “Women Are Not Permitted To Teach” – But Real Life Just Won’t Cooperate, by Kristen at Wordgazer’s Words.

You would think, if God really intended women to be limited to teaching their Bible insights and spiritual knowledge only to other women and to children, that the teaching of women would in all practicality be incapable of truly benefiting or lifting up men– at least, not in those venues where women are apparently forbidden. Shouldn’t God limit the abilities of women to what would suit their proper sphere? Shouldn’t men find, since God never intended women to have anything spiritually authoritative to teach men in a church setting, that they as men don’t actually learn anything valuable when they listen in on women teaching in church?

And yet the Father seems to keep on creating women who are so creative, intelligent and capable that they reach, almost despite themselves, outside that supposed proper sphere. And throughout Christian history, when it comes to divine giftings, the Holy Spirit has just never seemed willing to obey the rules.

Three.   Rachel Held Evans’ post Privilege and the Pill.

[A] woman who cannot afford birth control is more likely to consider herself unable to afford a pregnancy, which makes terminating that pregnancy seem like the best, most affordable option. And the cycle continues.

So those who oppose coverage of birth control based on their religious or pro-life convictions must take into consideration the fact that lack of coverage may actually lead to more abortions. And we must remember that shrugging off birth control as something people should be able to easily pay for on their own betrays some of our own economic privilege in this conversation.

And then, please take a look at this “response” post by First Things contributors, twisting Rachel’s attempt at a difficult discussion into something honestly a little nasty. We can do better.

Screaming and shouting ridiculous, mean things to scare away reasoned dialogue is not an effective means of discourse.

Four.   Quasi-related to #3, an amicus brief has been filed in the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood cases challenging the constitutionality of RFRA altogether. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s posted over at SCOTUSblog and it’s on my list of things to read this weekend. The historical grey areas and give-and-take of religious freedom in America are so interesting.  A vigorous reasoned discussion about the limits of our constitutional protections is far superior in every way to, let’s say it again, screaming and shouting ridiculous things. Check your sources, people.

“The intense passions about religious freedom and women’s reproductive health in this case have obscured the issue that should be decided before this Court reaches the merits: RFRA is unconstitutional,” the brief argued. The filing represents the views of seven organizations, telling the Court that they “are united in their concern that RFRA endangers the vulnerable — who otherwise would be protected by the neutral, generally applicable laws of this country.”

Five.   And to wrap us up this week, something that is honestly SO OUT THERE and a little crazy, but really made me think: Penelope Trunk’s 13 ways to keep your debt from holding you back. And it’s not what you think.

Don’t stop taking risks – the price is too high.

One of the most common regrets people have at the end of their life is that they didn’t take risks. They played it too safe. Most of your life will include some form of debt. If you put off doing what you want because of your debt you are way more likely to have regrets than if you pay your debt off really slowly, or if you never even get it paid off.

Quick tech question for you blogging experts:  Wordpress has begun auto-numbering my lists in some way where it says 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. instead of 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.  I’ve been spelling out the numbers as a quick fix but that is obviously not really helping.  If you know what is going on can you help me out?  Thanks!!

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 01.24.2014

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1.  In a very timely discussion, given recent(ish) posts by Grace Biskie and Modern Mrs. Darcy on this topic in the world of religion, we have Sarah Milstein for the Harvard Business Review with Putting an End to Conferences Dominated by White Men. These are practical tips that you can use when speaking with any conference planners about this issue in the future.  You can just send them this link.

2.  How to Suppress the Apology Reflex, by Audrey S. Lee for the New York Times. I loved this personal essay on how a smart women learned to stop apologizing every time she spoke. AMEN, SISTER. You should not be sorry for taking up space or having opinions. I mean, seriously. [rant over, sorry NOT sorry.]

3.  My friend Osheta’s compilation of posts on race and reconciliation in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. So many good words.  Please do read them.

4.  And on a similar note, this post at the Shriver Brief links you to just about everything you need to know about the relationship between race and poverty and our responses to them both.

5.  Things I want to eat/drink right now this very second: these Grapefruit Mojitos, homemade Dulce de Leche (without condensed milk!), these lemon poppy-seed pancakes, these stuffed bell peppers, and clearly my sickness is showing through because I also really want this fancy-pants bowl full of vegetables.

(Yes, you heard that right!  For my birthday, God gave me the croup.  How lucky am I?!  I’m sure H thinks this cough is incredibly attractive.)

Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 01.10.2014

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1.  Telling Tulsa’s Story, by Jen Luitwieler at A Deeper Story.  This post tells the story of the Tulsa race riot in 1921 in a beautiful, moving way.  I really loved reading it.

When the fires finally died, after eighteen hours of rioting, Greenwood was gone. Thirty-five city blocks were ruined. Millions of dollars in damage had been done. The earliest reports claimed sixty nine “negroes” were killed, but eyewitnesses and Red Cross reports indicate that over 300 men, women and children were killed. There were minimal white casualties.

But that was just the start of their victimization.

2.  Penelope Trunk’s Three cheers for women who say they don’t want to work.  At least they’re honest.  This made me laugh.  It’s a really interesting, slightly in-your-face take on whether women can or can’t have “it all.”  Or if they even want to.

Some people will tell you that such an admission is a throwback to the 1950s and it’s discouraging. That’s true.

Except for one thing: divorce law protects women today. In the 1950s, if you allowed a guy to take care of you, if you put your career aside for kids, then there was no protection for you. So women went nuts – fighting for rights, fighting for jobs, fighting for an equal right to a piece of the pie. But now women are guaranteed money to raise the kids, whether the guy stays or not.

3.  Ed Cyzewski’s When Church is Like a Party, at A Deeper Church.  Typically, these kind of things make me want to run away and hide, because my God-given personality is 99.9% party-averse.  BUT, I met Ed once [at STORY Chicago], and I heard him say something about his upbringing and that dancing was completely out of his comfort zone, and I’ve always felt the same way about clapping in church, it’s just so weird, and I hate to do it. . . anyway, I really connected with this post.

Dancing just wasn’t a big part of my upbringing, and when my religion classified dancing as a hip-grinding gateway to sexual insanity, I didn’t ask any questions. No dancing allowed? Phew! Where do I sign my name?

I’m in my 30’s now. I’ve had what seems to be the obligatory falling out with the church in my 20’s. At a certain point Christianity  and church in particular just flat out stopped working for me, and as I searched for something to hold onto, I started to suspect that freedom in worship may have something to do with it.

4.  My friend Abby’s post A Year Long Epiphany: No More Scarcity.  I mean, read this and tell me you haven’t felt exactly this same way:

I stress myself out on a regular basis making very minor decisions, like which groceries to buy, which present to pick, which route to take. Usually, these decisions are such that there is no wrong answer, all answers are acceptable, and yet…yet I am pulling out my hair and beating myself up because, THERE IS ONLY ONE RIGHT ANSWER AND OH MAN I MADE THE WRONG ONE AND COST US (three minutes, six dollars, absolutely nothing) AND IT IS ALL MY FAULT.

5.  Brianna Wiest at ThoughtCatalog with 18 Things Women Shouldn’t Have to Justify.  It’s funny and honest and true.  For example, take number seven:

7. Enjoying what would otherwise be called guilty pleasures because they’re “girly” things. They don’t have to be “guilty” pleasures, they can just be pleasures. You can enjoy getting your nails painted and wearing a skirt and re-watching 13 Going On 30 a thousand times without floundering in stereotypes.


Five [Awesome] Things I Read This Week, 11.07.2013

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On what we are looking for

What is it that we are really looking for on this thing, the internet?  Chookooloonks Blogger Karen Wolrond asked the question, received some thought-provoking answers in the comments section, and then wrote a little about her own commitment to make sure what she is consuming, and what she creates and sends out into the world, adds something positive.

On women in the workplace

Kathryn Heath’s article for the Harvard Business Review‘s Blog Network, entitled How Women Respond to Frustration at Work, and Why.  One of the most valuable tips I got from a mentor/friend in my office was to not overly share feelings or frustrations at work.  In other words, keep a great poker face.

Where I don’t agree with the direction this post is going is that I believe it’s good for everyone to have one or two people that you trust and can vent frustrations or concerns to — as long as you can really trust that person.  In college, we called them “rant buddies,” a friend you could trust with your business so you could get your frustrations OUT and then get back to making great things happen.

On law school

Matthew Willens for Lawyerist with Don’t Go To Law School — Not Now.  A remarkably kind and thoughtful post on the cons of becoming a law student in the current environment.

I have SO MANY THOUGHTS about this topic, and all of the articles about whether students should or should not go to law school are always so interesting to me.  I loved law school, I still love learning about laws and rights and issues, and I love my job, it’s exactly what I want to be doing right now.  I’m working a fantastic schedule and am making more than the average law grad from my graduating class, which is more than enough to cover my student loans — even though it totally sucks to spend so much money on debt instead of shoes and a house and a car.  But I’m not a lawyer, in the technical sense of having clients or in the actual sense of having “counsel” in my job title.  So it’s complicated.  I still believe in following your heart and learning for the sake of learning, but I see how hard it is for some who did so and haven’t seen the professional or financial payoff.

On Jesus and women and cheering for my internet-hero

Watch this video, created by Micah Murray of Redemption Pictures for the release of Jesus Feminist.

I fell in love with Sarah Bessey about the time I fell in love with blogging altogether, and I am so happy to support her as her book releases this week.  I bought it from my local Barnes and Noble Tuesday night and have only made it through the first chapter — because, you know, I have a job and husband and stuff, and I really want to soak in her words with a latte this weekend.  But already it is fantastic and I’m pretty sure it’s going to keep being awesome.

On the Constitution and the Separation of Church and State

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case involving prayer before local government sessions this week, and what happens with this case is going to be pretty interesting.  To get familiar with the issues in the case, check out Amy Howe’s Legislative Prayer Returns to the Court: In Plain English.  Then find out a bit about what happened during oral arguments and hear some talk about expected outcomes by reading Lyle Denniston’s analysis from SCOTUSblog or Ruthann Robson’s analysis from Constitutional Law Prof Blog.

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