When this is my Out of Sorts story

I was afraid but now I am me.

I love Sarah Bessey’s work. I found her blog in 2013, as I was beginning to understand that being a Christian feminist was possible. For many years, I’d embraced being very pro-women in many respects but never thought calling myself a feminist was ok. I had seen just how powerful, lovely and capable women are. And I was confused at why they weren’t allowed at pulpits, why I almost never saw them on stage at chapel and why there was only one woman in the Biblical Studies department (who taught a women’s only version of an evangelism class).

I went into Christian college knowing I didn’t fit with their ideals, knowing I probably wouldn’t fit with the theology of many of the people there. And at first, I was ok with that. But then it began to get to me. In my weakest points, I felt like I didn’t fit. Because I struggled with my assignments and didn’t want to leave the school engaged. Because I believed that women should be on the chapel stage just as much as men. (Aside: when I told a male classmate this, he said it was harder for men to relate to women. How do you think I feel buddy?)

But it was in one class where I embraced that I was a feminist. Because with every piece of theology I was presented, with every piece of worldview I was supposed to hold onto as a good christian, I found myself almost always believing the opposite and yet I still loved Jesus just as much. I believed women had as much rights as men and that egalitarianism was okay, that it was the best fit for me. I believed that we needed to listen to scientists when it came to climate change, instead of dismissing it. I believed that we needed to treat the LGBT community with respect and love, rather than shaming them or deliberately misunderstanding them.

I wish I could tell you that decision made me feel freer, but it didn’t. Not at first. I felt like a fraud, like maybe I wasn’t listening to the voice of The Spirit, but myself. This despite knowing that the whispers to my soul could only come from The Spirit. But now I do. I feel more like myself, like I am capable of loving the way I’m supposed to.

And there are still times I feel out of sorts. There are still things I’m working through. Hearing sermons are still hard. I can’t watch chapel from my old school, and I don’t know if I ever will be able to. I don’t worry, now is not forever in my journey. Instead I go forward, knowing I will go where I am meant to be.

This is a synchopost linking up to Sarah’s blog, in honor of her book release. Check out Sarah’s site and the other stories there. And be sure to check out Sarah’s new book Out of Sorts. My official review will be going up in the next couple days.

out of sorts image 2

Advertisements

Why I love Out of Sorts

“Once upon a time, you had it all beautifully sorted out.

Then you didn’t.”

Those are the words that beckon you into Bessey’s latest release, Out of Sorts.

I was very excited when I heard the title and synopsis of Sarah’s new book. In my teens and into adulthood, I had progressively felt like I didn’t fit within the sphere of the church. As a teen on a missions trip, I questioned why women couldn’t be leaders and the answers didn’t satisfy me. Actually, when I questioned a lot of theology, most answers didn’t satisfy me.

Sarah doesn’t try to give all the answers. She knows from her own story just how dissatisfying it is, to be given all the right verses. She tells her own story, of growing up in faith as a child and her shift through adulthood. The ways she began to feel out of sorts in church and with theology. And where she is now, the ways she fits and the ways she finds a home.

This book is a breath of fresh air for those of us who feel like we don’t fit into the church anymore. Sarah writes with beauty and grace about faith–why it is important and why we are important. She doesn’t minimize those who question and who struggle, instead saying that we are a strength. These words are a haven to anyone who has ever struggled when their faith has shifted. If you have undergone a shift in faith or love someone who has, this book is perfect for you.

out of sorts image 1

Here’s a link to order Out of Sorts on amazon or barnes and noble. (If you hail from Canada or the UK, you can find links to order here)

Be sure to check out the resource page, too. Sarah has printable quotes, a playlist and more on her website.

What I’m Into – October

October has always been one of my favorite months. The leaves are changing, it starts getting breezy, there is an abundance of pumpkin, etc. Where I live the leaves are barely changing and the breezy hasn’t cooled down yet but nonetheless it’s been a great month and I’m sad to see it go. This month I’ve gotten to dress up in costume once (as the eleventh doctor from doctor who) and will be dressing up for Halloween (costume tbd), which is always a great mark in my book. Linking up with Leigh, for what I’m into.

What I’m Reading:
-Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (5/5). Must read. What a beautiful and haunting look into the life of a lawyer, trying to find justice and freedom for death row inmates.
-Humans of New York: Stories (5/5). There’s something beautiful about these anthologies, a shared humanity. I loved getting to read the accompanying stores of tragedies, triumphs and hope.
-AD 33 (2/5). I’d been looking forward to this release for a year and was sorely disappointed. I was looking for something new and groundbreaking, which I didn’t find in these pages. The story of Christ’s last week was taken straight from the gospel and it felt like it.
-The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet (5/5). I grew to love Lydia Bennet during the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Mary Kate Wiles performance made me fall in love with this Lydia, gave her depth that the original story can miss. This book was a love letter to the fans who wanted closure to Lydia’s story and it was perfect.
-Out of Sorts (5/5). I’m going to be writing about this more soon but this book is one that found a home in my heart. For anyone who feels they don’t feel they fit in the church, this book is for you.
-For the Love (4/5). I didn’t love everything about this book but I love the way Jen invites us all to use our talents, not to minimize them to fit.
-Something Must Be Done about Prince Edward County (5/5). Documenting the county school shutdown immediately after the Supreme Court’s integration ruling and the effect through the years. Definitely recommend this one.
-Furiously Happy (4/5). I wish I had Jenny’s humor. The way she has me laughing about the things in her life made me feel so much lighter.

I read 13 books this month bringing my total books read to 108. Yep, I crossed my final goal for the year of 100 books read and I’m so happy about it! Keep up with my progress or my reviews over on goodreads.

What I’m Listening to:
-Hamilton. On repeat. I wasn’t sure it would live up to the hype (thanks hipster tendencies) but it did. A historical musical, told through rap. I’m officially obsessed and I don’t care.
-Hello by Adele. Thank you, Adele for coming back and bringing your top notch words into our lives. I’m looking forward to your new album.
-Confident by Demi Lavato. Girl power anthem commence.

What Else I’m Into:
-That Star Wars trailer. :inlove: I watched, I’ve cried. I’ve gone on incoherent speeches about Leia and Han and REY and Finn.
-Definitely bought my premiere tickets already and am in the process of planning my Rey costume.
-The opportunity to dress up twice in one month, both times for work.
-Getting to introduce one of my best friends to Magic Kingdom. We went on the perfect day, there wasn’t a wait time above 45 minutes (which is practically unheard of). Thanks to OUAT, we went to meet Merida and I love her so much. We also met Gaston and he is everything. She very much enjoyed her introduction to the parks, but we definitely collapsed in exhaustion that night.
-We also went to Universal Studios, where we both got to experience Wizarding World for the first time. I miss it already. So much. Take me back and give me butterbeer please. Diagon Alley was fantastic. I loved all the shops, the food, the atmosphere, the puppet show (and did I mention the butterbeer?) I’m so glad I got to experience it for the first time with such a good friend too. Made it even better.

Instagram of the month:
Star Wars mickey ears. I’m still debating whether I should pick up those R2D2 ears, they’re too cute.
https://instagram.com/p/8ZQuDyRnJE/

Favorite picture with one of my favorite people. 💜

A post shared by Megan (@girlwithasong) on

Here be Dragons!

A post shared by Megan (@girlwithasong) on

That’s all for this month. Don’t forget to hop over to Leigh’s blog and check out more of the What I’m Into participants. Coming up next month, I have a couple posts inspired by Sarah Bessey’s new release Out of Sorts. It’s real good.

What I’m Into – April

Aside

What I’m Into – April

This month went by crazy fast. There were so many beautiful moments between Easter, friends birthdays, celebrating four years since I visited Chicago with friends and moments I got to spend with family. Towards the end of the month, my Grandfather ended up in the hospital multiple times working out some heart issues, so it’s been a little crazy. In between job hunting, looking into classes and integrating some needed self care into my life, I feel stretched. Since I missed the March link-up, I’m combining my March and April results.

Reading:
-Places I Never Planned by Aimee Bontreger {a beautiful collection of short stories}
-The Forgotten Rose by Alexandra Laine {a novel written by a friend from college. A great debut!}
-Water Walker ep 4 by Ted Dekker {tied up the series really well}
-The Crowd, The Critic and the Muse by Michael Gungor {a must for creatives}
-The Weeping Chamber by Sigmund Brouwer {an old favorite that still stands up. Historical fiction that’s a snapshot of Holy Week}

I’m currently reading Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton {love it so far} and rereading The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher. You can follow my progress through my goodreads profile.

TV:
-Fringe {I binge watched while sick in March and the complete series is great. Season four was my favorite}
-How I Met Your Mother {watched the finale via skype with my own gang. Still mixed about the ending but I am in love with The Mother}
-Once Upon A Time {I can’t get into the character of Zelina. She drives me crazy every time I go to watch. But I’m loving Regina’s character development. Thank you writers. And also Hook}

Music:
-John Mark McMillan {Picked up Borderlands after his concert and have been playing that. Favorite song – Future/Past}
-Needtobreathe {Love their new album}

Webseries/Youtube Awesomeness:
-Kissing in the Rain. {A webseries about two actors who find themselves kissing in the rain for their projects. My favorite ep is adapted from Anne of Green Gables}
-Autobiography of Jane Eyre. {The series is in the last 3/4 of the book and oh my feels.}
Clash at the Catina. {If I were to dream about Star Wars, it would be exactly this. Love this from the ApprenticeA team}
Bertha’s Attic Song. {From the awesome Yulin Kuang. Bertha of Jane Eyre fame parodies “When Will My Life Begin” from Tangled. And it is just as hilarious as you’d imagine}

Must Read:
Sarah Bessey’s words on faith and nature. This theme has been in my head (and my draft box) for a while and her words resonated with me.
TWLOHA responds to a post on post secret. This is why I love this organization so much.
Addie Zierman’s piece on When Depression Comes Back.

Instagram:
April, I posted my favorite image from Spring up in Virginia. The tree in the picture was torn down sometime last summer and it makes me so sad. It was a beautiful tree with these blooms every spring. I’m sad its no longer there for future students to love.
April - Spring

March, There were so many images I loved in March but I really like this snap I got of my dog, Gracie. March - Spring

Be sure to check out Leigh’s page and browse some of the others who are linking up this month. Here’s to a better May!

Question: Do you have any ideas where to find more affordable books? I can’t always afford to pay full price and my library selection is not up to par. What do you recommend?

What I’m Into – February

Aside

Welcome to another edition of What I’m Into! Gosh, how has a month already passed? It feels like January just ended. I’m linking up with Leigh, our awesome host.

Reading:
This month I finished:
Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
Anne of the Island by LM Montgomery
Water Walker eps 1 and 2 by Ted Dekker
Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker

I found that some retailers are starting to carry editions of The Fault in our Stars that are autographed, so I now officially own tfios with a purple J scribble. Mine came from Target, it’s pretty affordable and has a bonus dvd to boot. I got an email from books a million that they are carrying autographed copies, too. More to choose from! I highly recommend this book, so if you haven’t read it, now’s a good opportunity.

Water Walker is a new serial series that Ted Dekker is releasing. Each edition is around 79 pages each, making for quick reads. He likens the episodes to tv show episodes. Episode 1 (or book 1) is free on various retailers, so I downloaded it. Now here’s where I give a disclaimer: I have not liked much of Ted’s works for the past several years. I’m a big fan of the man himself (if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, do it, he’s amazing with his passion), but I haven’t been able to get into his writing. I started the book thinking that if I didn’t like it, it was free and it was short, it wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t like it. WELL. The book blew me away, I loved it. Sadly, I did not come away from book two with as enthusiastic of feelings. I’m still going to finish out the series as they are released, but I’m not sure how I’m going to like it as a whole.

I really can’t recommend Jesus Feminist enough or dear Sarah Bessey. She has a sense of grace about her that impresses me. Her book isn’t just for feminists or women, it’s a good read for everyone, no matter your background and stance. The greatest thing I took away from this book was the way that Sarah invited every women to follow her unique God-given calling. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Music:
Noah Gunderson – Ledges. I love this album, I was a fan of his last album Family, too. Favorite songs are Poor Man’s Son and Ledges.

With their reunion announced, I’ve been listening to more Nickel Creek and remembering why I love them so much. I’ve been playing Reason’s Why a good deal, I really like that album.

TV:
Sherlock: The third episode solidified it as my favorite of all the series (or seasons, for those of us in the US). There was a great deal of character development and I loved the dynamic that Mary added. Looking forward to series 4 already.
How I Met Your Mother: Last week’s episode felt like older eps, showing off how well this  group works together. I can’t believe it ends this month.
Downton Abbey: I skipped a good bit of the season because of a certain plot point, but caught up on the last three episodes. And because of the ending of the Christmas special, I’m so glad I did.

Webseries:
Jane Eyre: I really like where the series is right now, showing us more of Jane’s character in very subtle ways. As of Feb 28th, the show has been in airing on youtube for a year, yay! And there’s still more story to tell.
The Art Assignment: A new series run by PBS with John and Sarah Green (aka The Yeti, if you’ve ever watched vlogbrothers). It’s a really cool take on art, where they tackle a concept with an artist who’s known for that art. The artist of the week gives an assignment, so the project becomes interactive with the views. I love this series, the art it introduces me to and the John-Sarah banter.
I Didn’t Write This: a series that narrates and visualized poetry and short excerpts. I’m in love! I linked up with my favorite, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
Emma Approved: I’m really glad this series is back from hiatus. The actors who play Emma and Alex (aka Knightley) play their characters so well, I love the chemistry between them. Right now, I don’t love the plot. It feels more like a “based on” story than an adaptation.

On the web:
The Other Side of Donald Miller’s post: Church PTSD – I really loved this post on Scot McKnight’s blog, showing the struggle a family went through in the church. I could relate to the content described and I think it’s a good conversation to have, in the church.

This will become more of a regular thing, but for right now, this is the only post I have to show. I generally tweet and RT posts that really capture my attention, so follow me on twitter for more.

Things I loved:
-I finished up a crafting project (long overdue) and sent it to my friends.
-Watching IF online, my favorite talks came from Sarah Bessey and Christine Caine.
-The Sunday where I got both Girl Scout Cookies and long awaited photos
-Getting prints of those long awaited photos, my dear friend’s wedding and hanging them on my walls
-A really good Valentines Day

Instagram:
yellow flowers
Living up North gave me such a love for trees with blooming flowers. I found this tree on my way to lunch on Friday and fell in love. Spring is coming.

Sorry for my silence on the blog. I wasn’t quite sure what to write about, hence my silence. Lent always seems to bring the words and so I hope to have more writing here soon. I think I’m going to be revising a few writing projects and posting them here, as well.