It’s that time again! Each month, I share some of the best things I’ve read on the Internet, in 3 categories: faith and family, learning and creativity, and perfectionism and freedom. Happy reading!
1. “Get the Epidural” by Jessi Klein. “But how often do people really want women to be or do anything ‘natural’? It seems to me the answer is almost never. In fact, almost everything natural about women is considered pretty horrific. Hairy legs and armpits? Please shave, you furry beast. Do you have hips and cellulite? Please go hide in the very back of your shoe closet and turn the light off and stay there until someone tells you to come out. (No one will tell you to come out.) It’s interesting that no one cares very much about women doing anything ‘naturally’ until it involves their being in excruciating pain.”
In this piece, Jessi raises a point I’ve never heard before. (It doesn’t mean someone hasn’t made it. But I haven’t heard it.) Here’s the truth of the matter: I have never felt stronger and more capable than I felt while giving birth, even with an epidural. That does not change the fact that I have been made to feel guilty and less-than for having chosen some pain meds during labor! I think there are plenty of excellent reasons to have a “natural” birth, but I’m not sure that merely wanting to prove our own strength at women is one of them.
2. “Why this election makes me hate the word ‘evangelical’” by Russell Moore. “For years, secular progressives have said that evangelical social action in America is not about religious conviction but all about power. They have implied that the goal of the Religious Right is to cynically use the ‘moral’ to get to the ‘majority,’ not the other way around. This year, a group of high-profile old-guard evangelicals has proven these critics right. But thank God, that’s not the whole story.”
3. “An Ode to Being Super Mom” by Kendra Adachi. “That night in bed, the darkness weighs heavy. / Or maybe it’s the pizza you picked up in your Chevy. / You cry in the silence, wishing the guilt would go away. / Why is it so hard to be Super Mom every day?”
1. “A Mary Anne with Kristy Rising: On the Enduring Legacy of the Baby-Sitters Club Books” by J. Courtney Sullivan. “When we talk about The Baby-Sitters Club now, we don’t talk about which characters we were. We talk about which characters we are.”
I credit The Baby-sitters Club with turning me into an avid, lifelong reader. Would it have happened otherwise? Probably. But still: these books were the first to keep me up in the middle of the night, reading by flashlight.
2. “How to Be a Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit” by Rebecca Solnit. “It starts with passion even before it starts with words. You want to read people who are wise, deep, wild, kind, committed, insightful, attentive; you want to be those people. I am all for style, but only in the service of vision.”
3. “Seasons” by Austin Kleon. “Creative work has seasons. Part of the work is to know which season it is, and act accordingly.”
1. “When rest is a necessity” by Alia Hagenbach. “We need an excuse to earn rest and carry our exhaustion and busyness like a completed chart full of gold stars.”
2. “How I Moved On From My What Not To Wear Style” by Stacy London. “…with time, we can form a new sense of out identities as useful and productive. I will have more to say and experience and share and love and do. Age is a gift, not simply because we aren’t dead. It’s the gift of time that allows us to change our prejudices and perceptions. We’ll be here longer to preserve history and make history. I want to celebrate that. I want to respect it.”
I found this article by Stacy London fascinating. Sometimes, when I write, I have this sense that if I’m going to say something, I better be 100% sure because I can’t change my mind once I hit “publish.” I can only imagine how Stacy must feel as her style evolves, when she spent so much time telling people how they should dress! I love the freedom, yet seriousness, she expresses here. (Language warning.)
3. “On Overcoming” by Katie Schmidt. “I posted something that was kinda true, but kinda not. I did this because…sometimes I just can’t convince myself that the truth is as important as how people perceive me.”
And, in other news: The first issue of The Drafting Desk lands in inboxes today!
In our first issue, Rebekah and I are each sharing a little bit of our perfectionism “origin stories”: how we landed here and why we are writing on this topic. We are also including a free bonus download! If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can do that here. When you subscribe, you’ll get access to printable prayers for perfectionists and a beautiful phone and desktop wallpaper.
I can’t WAIT for you to get your first issue, and I’m thrilled you are joining us on the journey toward freedom.