On Traveling With A Blunt Object (Thank You) | Girls Gone Child 
“The only way to attract an audience is to take the stage and start singing. Trying to pull people in from the streets is a waste of time. Let them come. And if they don’t come, sing louder. Sing a different song. Find a different stage. Wear a different costume. Sing upside down. Tap the tree that hasn’t been tapped. That’s the syrup folks are gonna wanna slather on their waffles. Or not. But at least it’s yours. At least you’re the one on the stage singing.”

Could The Internet Have Saved My Mother? | Meagan Francis for The Huffington Post
“And as I raised my children, added more and struggled — with finding my groove as a mom; with divorcing (and eventually, remarrying) my husband; with going from being an at-home parent to a working parent to a work-at-home parent; with an unplanned pregnancy… OK, several unplanned pregnancies; with losing first one parent and then the other; and with all the indignities that come with the whole process of becoming a mother — those other parents were a lifeline for me. First the forums and email lists and chat rooms, later blogs, finally, Twitter and Facebook. And during that time, the Internet that had been a source of so much emotional and practical support also became a major source of financial support, as I built an online business as a blogger.”


On Being The Childless Friend | Heather Barmore
“The true story of being the childless friend is that it is like any other relationship between two people: It requires work. I do not feel as if these relationships are extra hard. Friendship can be difficult but if it is something which is important to me then I will put in the effort to ensure its success. Why is this so difficult to grasp? That two people, in different phases of life can, in fact, learn from one another? Why must it always be all or nothing, hyperbolic bullshit about how HARD everything is? It’s life. Life is difficult.”

3 Things You Might Not Know About Proverbs 31 | Rachel Held Evans
“This discovery led me to declare “woman of valor!” when a good friend finished seminary, when my mom beat breast cancer, when my sister ran a half marathon. It also led us to launch our Women of Valor series here on the blog. According to Ahava, valor isn’t about what you do, but how you do it. If you are a stay-at-home mom, be a stay-at-home mom of valor. If you are a nurse, be a nurse of valor. If you are a CEO, a pastor, or a barista at Starbucks, if you are rich or poor, single or married—do it all with valor. That’s what makes you a Proverbs 31 Woman, not creating a life worthy of a Pinterest board.”

Life After Foster Care | Los Angeles Times
Many fight a daily battle to shed the label of “system kid.” Often they are ill-prepared to survive on their own, let alone succeed. They talked to The Times about their past, as well as their dreams for the future. Asked to describe themselves in one word, they answered “survivor,” “driven,” “adaptable.”

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being | Gazillion Voices
“In my work, I’ve heard adoptive parents express their fears and agitation when discourse about whiteness emerges in the family for the first time: ”But I don’t see my child as a race. I just see them as my child!” “I think she said that just to hurt me!” “I don’t want them to be prejudiced toward white people.” Kids listen. They hear others (if not ourselves in our more unconscious moments) describe the man in the blue shirt standing next to the black guy near the old Chinese lady sitting on the park bench. Why is it acceptable to describe the skin of one person, the ethnicity of another? Why should the white guy only be identified by the color of his shirt? Shouldn’t we teach our kids of color to see, name, and identify white and our whiteness, too? Shouldn’t we share in and participate in carrying some part of the explanatory burden?”

Step One | Momastery
“I was on the path, but I stepped off and took a detour called “social media.” It’s okay. It’s all right. I just need to get back on the path. That’s all we can do. We can stop- look down at where we are- and crawl back to that damn straight and narrow path where all the growth and LIFE happens. “So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that restlessness when yesterday we couldn’t sit for even one, that’s the journey of the warrior – Pema Chodron. I have forgotten how to sit with my hot loneliness – and the hot loneliness is where all the good and real stuff is born. I am numbing my restlessness with my phone. No numbing.”

Don’t Tell Me That | Heather Spohr
“I rarely fault people for how they interpret tragedy. Part of processing bad things is running it through the filter of our own experiences. It’s impossible to imagine how it would feel to lose a child until it happens to you. When you place yourself in the shoes of a grieving parent, it’s terrifying. It’s natural to want to hug your kids. So hug them, please. But don’t tell a grieving parent about it.”

Parents At The Beginning Of The School Year Vs. The End | Mike Spohr for Buzzfeed

Packed lunches, beginning of year:

Packed lunches, beginning of year:

Flickr: rubbermaid / Via Creative Commons

In Which I am Learning To Obey The Sadness | Sarah Bessy
“But also, there’s this: when I was sad, when I had real legitimate reasons for grief or despair or anger or any emotion that was perceived as negative or dark, I had nowhere to go with it. I didn’t know how to feel my feelings. And by refusing to name it or acknowledge it, sometimes the darkness simply grew. As my worldview has expanded to include more stories than simply my own, as I woke up to the world outside of my own experiences, I saw this even more clearly. Look at the real darkness around us: don’t pretend it’s not real.” 

“And yet it is the privilege of the prince and the sultan to misbehave. The picaresque escapades and legendary extravagances of the brothers are indulged with a collective wink. For everyone else residing within Brunei’s borders, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, freedoms are curtailed, and those limitations now are potentially enforced by brutal violence.

Four Things To Do When Bringing Home A Child From A Hard Place | Jamie Ivey for Verge Network
“I once had a woman tell me that if you bring home a child that once lived in an orphanage or was in foster care you need to automatically assume that they have been abused physically and or sexually. That’s a hard reality to grasp. Parents want to ignore this and believe that this could not have happened to their child, but you should assume it did until you know that something has not happened to your child. What this means for your family is that you set up boundaries in your home and you discipline differently than you might be used to.”