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How to small 

How to small came to me after weeks of uncertainty, some compassion fatigue and a profound sense of being lost.  I don’t want this to be overly political but must admit our current political climate is impacting me deeply.  I have never been a political person happy to leave that line of work and thought to those more educated and experienced.  I myself am happy to work in the nonprofit sector and just attempt to be compassionate and work on social change.  This new presidency however has thrust me into a new place in my life.

I  have to say that in the beginning days of the presidency I was angry, sad and then lost.  I found myself sobbing at work and in my car.  I was praying to God more than ever and asking him to direct me.  During one such prayer session all I could pray was “please direct me I don’t know what to do I am so small”  I felt swallowed by my smallness in this world.  I felt that I was ineffectual in the grand scheme of things and perhaps I still am.
Those of you with faith will understand me when I tell you that as small as I am God answered me.  He pushed me forward to say yes I made you small (I am a shrimpy 5’2ūüėĄ)  but I made you.  

I felt that push forward.  I am looking for ways I can be more active.  I have joined a life purpose group at my church and am looking forward to what I will learn.  I am here to be small and do what I can where I can.  Here I will document my small journey forward. 

Posted in misogyny, Uncategorized

We have to invite the tough and challenging conversations to create growt

On international Women’s Day I woke up to a not unusual female experience. ¬†I had posted on Kristi Noem’s facebook post “Krist Noem I beg you to stand for the women of South Dakota. ¬†You have the ability to protect us – do so!” ¬†To which a man replied “well, well, well, eat a dick.” ¬†I fired back with “intelligent” and went on my Facebook way.

I thought I would leave it at that but as I was just waking up my reflection began to boil my blood.  I thought to myself, No.  I am not going to pass this off as a fleeting internet troll that does not impact my life because the truth is it does.  This man felt that it was acceptable to attack my comment with over sexualized misogyny.

The online abuse of women has become so pervasive in women’s lives that we are ¬†used to it. ¬†I knew full well that commenting on a public post could potentially come with trolls but the sexual nature of the comment unnerved me. ¬†What in my post could possibly have prompted this man’s response?

I asked myself that question but the answer does not lie with me.  The answer to that question can only be answered by our culture where the online misogyny and abuse of women and girls is tolerated.  That my tiny comment could provoke this response is my reality and the reality of the world I am raising children in.

Online misogyny is a human rights catastrophe that we tolerate daily. ¬†In years past I had a Facebook friend, a young man with whom I had attended high school with make a status referring to sexual rape as a “struggle cuddle”. ¬†At the time I went on a fiery tirade in my tiny corner of the internet and declared that I would not stand for misogyny in my Facebook world. ¬†I unfriended many.

I was happy with this. ¬†I found my corner of the internet to be more enjoyable. ¬†However, hiding your head in the sand does not create world change. ¬†It does not teach my daughter how to stand in her truth and be unashamed and unafraid. ¬†I hope for a world where I would not have to caution my daughter on the danger of using her voice online as she would be sure to be attacked somehow. ¬†I should never have to strengthen her by telling her “yes honey share your story but be warned.”

This morning’s events urged me forward to say loudly that I will fight online misogyny at every chance I get and I will enlist the help of any ally. ¬†I also encourage Mr. ¬†Todd Wolf to have a conversation with me. ¬†Honestly this morning I thought of how I could personally attack Mr. Wolf but this does nothing. ¬†It would be a pointless argument leading nowhere. ¬†Instead I want to invite him to reflect on why he felt this was acceptable, challenge his thoughts and invite him to change.

I don’t for one second believe that Mr. Wolf is a bad human being. ¬†He is a human deserving of compassion and understanding just as any other human and I have faith that perhaps his bump against this particular feminist was just the catalyst for change his life may need. ¬†We can’t fight each other and expect to win.

We have to invite the tough and challenging conversations to create growth. ¬†To inspire change. ¬†Mr. Wolf surely has family and friends who know he is a good guy. ¬†I don’t doubt it. ¬†What he did was wrong and I’d love to see him remedy his wrong. ¬†Maybe we can have coffee. ¬†There is a feminist happy hour this evening I am attending. ¬†Feminist Happy Hour in honor of International Women’s Day

Would love to see you there.

 

 

Posted in faith

Truth of a Matter

I have been searching for meaning.¬† The beginning of my life held many hardships that left a small girl wondering why such things happen. ¬†I believe everyone has hardships and in fact I have taught trauma for some time and have found that almost every single person on earth has had some trauma. ¬†I don’t claim my experiences to be better or worse than anyone else. ¬†To quote one of my favorite Ted talks https://www.ted.com/talks/ash_beckham_we_re_all_hiding_something_let_s_find_the_courage_to_open_up ¬†“there is no harder just hard.”

I have found it important however to tell my story as a way to heal my own wounds and have found many others who I can better relate to as we had similar experiences.  My early small life was one of chaos, sexual assault, poverty and the constant chaos of living with a parent who struggles with addiction.  I have never felt angry with God and if anything always felt closer due to these conditions but have searched the rest of my life to find reason.  A meaning.  A way to heal these terrible wounds that seemed to rip open no matter how many stitches I sewed.

I have gone back and forth thinking that maybe god gave me such a tumultuous start to make me strong, to teach compassion and to give me specific insight into a job I would take as an adult.   Perhaps these are all correct however true answer came to me at church this morning.  Sometimes when we spend time searching for answers it is when we stop looking that we find them.  Such was my experience this morning.

For the first time in my life I feel I have been given a very clear answer why and it has lifted my heart tremendously.¬† Its hard to go through troubles of this weight at such a young age and search for why.¬† I can tell you that my searching has been left wanting until today but it was not for lack of trying.¬† I never lost faith that someday I would know. ¬†My pastor has been preaching in Ephesians. ¬†This morning he spoke about being a warrior for God. ¬†He spoke about how the Devil works in ways to make us to weak to fight in God’s battle for us.

It came of ¬†nowhere that what had happened to me had been the Devil’s work in my life in an attempt to make me weak. ¬†To take from me all the spiritual gifts that the Lord has bestowed me and make me lose my path. ¬†I am not so arrogant as to believe that I am anything other than a foot soldier in this life but my pastor’s words so moved me this morning. ¬†That we are all here to advance God’s will and plan and that the Devil is constantly working against his wonderful plan in any ugly way he can.

The words this morning were the first I have ever heard that gave me peace with all of my early experiences. ¬†True peace that comes from knowing the truth of a matter and from this place of sorrow and pain I suddenly felt pride. ¬†I felt proud that yes these experiences hurt me yet I have not allowed them to swallow me. ¬† Today onward I will think of my survival as an advancement in God’s plan and a failure of the Devil. ¬†My small self found healing unexpectedly and wonderfully. ¬†Sometimes howtosmall is only to go to church and listen.