Pick of the Clicks 6/13/14

Summer is upon us, and this is the last Pick of the Clicks until August 🙂

We have a full family schedule for the next 6 weeks, so ’til then, ENJOY this week’s roundup! So without further ado:

It’s Father’s Day this weekend. I’m considering getting my husband this bouquet:

baconroses

I loved Ann Voskamp’s words about what really matters when it comes to Fathers who Do It Right: What our boys need in this economy their Dads work in.

However, some Fathers get it wrong, and that makes Father’s Day very painful. For those, read Leslie Leyland Field’s truly wonderful and wise What are fathers for?

Tim Krieder’s essay Controlling the Narrative is brilliant, thought-provoking stuff on the how and why people fight each other using words. The first paragraph has a lot of long words (and I almost wrote it off as being too academic to keep my interest) – but it becomes BRILLIANTLY insightful and MUCH more readable 2 or 3 paragraphs in. If you’re one who likes to read or write or listen to the news – consider this.

I came across this older article from Tim Keller – but it was new to me and SO refreshing: How to pray better in public, and in private too.

I appreciated the very helpful questions in this article from Sharon Hodde Miller: Why Your Teaching Isn’t As Effective As You Think –  (Thanks, Sharon!)

The ever-down-to-earth and yet mind-bogglingly insightful Glennon Melton nailed it this week with Beauty Routine – the secret to being beautiful every day.

The awesome story of Phin Lyman: Teenagers, It’s OK not to have sex. GO, PHIN!!!

With Calvin and Hobbes being semi-deities in our house, I couldn’t help but read (and recommend) this from Stephan Pastis: Every wish that Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson would return to the comics page? Well, he just did.

This little table was very helpful to me in figuring out some big parenting questions: Who does your kid love more: You or Dad?

Best book review this week: Jen Pollock Michel’s Deserts Bloom – a Review of Marlena Proper Graves’ A Beautiful Disaster. This review is worth reading because 1) it is so beautifully written itself and 2) it summarizes a book chock-full of wisdom and 3) includes some (literally) breath-takingly insightful quotes.

Even if it hadn’t been a guest post on this post, I would want to recommend Jamie Hanauer’s post on Tattoos and Cardigans to you as a pick of the Clicks this week. SO GOOD. Read it, in case you missed it.

And then on my blog this week:

Here’s my favorite video of the week – in honor of the World Cup and the Everyday Wonderful:

That’s all for this week folks! Happy clicking 🙂

 

 

I Can Raise An Army

Please welcome Liz Mallory to the Words That Changed My World series. I met Liz through the College Ministry I served with for a few years, and got to know her as a fantastic person in real life, long before I knew she was a fantastic writer too 🙂 I’m delighted to have her over in my corner (pun intended!) today.

I really wanted to play soccer. So I signed up. Doesn’t sound that crazy, right?

I was 12. Long past the age when kids start soccer. In San Diego, maybe it’s the Latino influence, but everyone plays soccer and everyone starts when they’re 5 years old. Except me.

Oh, and no one starts later than 5 years old. You just don’t. Either you start as a kid and get good by the time you’re old enough to play in real leagues, or else you don’t play at all.

Except me. I wanted to play.

Soccer Field, by Shena Tschofen

Soccer Field, by Shena Tschofen

I didn’t know one thing about the rules. I didn’t know the names of the positions. I learned about throw-ins and corner kicks, forwards and sweepers. I learned how to dribble and how to aim…well, roughly.

My teammates ignored me. They were experts and I was a liability. My coach didn’t bother with me and stuck me in the goal. I had one friend who taught me almost everything; I didn’t make friends with anyone else. They didn’t want me. I was the lousy one who knew nothing.

It was a horrible season, too. We didn’t win a single game. But I was initiated now. For some reason my parents couldn’t fathom, I wanted to sign up again.

Over the course of the next four years, I went on to play 10 seasons of soccer. By the end, it didn’t matter that I’d started years too late; I was as good as the rest of them. It turned out to be my favorite sport, and my best sport, too. I never would have known if I hadn’t taken the risk.

I started playing soccer because I wanted to, not for anything else. And I reaped rewards.

But unbeknownst to me, other people were watching. Listening. My mom shared with other moms how her daughter was playing soccer even though I was by anyone’s standards too old to start. The story got around.

A few years later, an older girl who I knew from homeschool was telling me about her soccer experiences. She hadn’t started until she was 14. Whoa! I laughed with her about how hard/brave/crazy it is to start playing so late.

“You know, Liz,” she said, “I started playing because of you.”

“Me?”

“Yeah. I heard you were starting soccer and I thought, if she can start late, why can’t I?”

That comment stunned me. She was brave enough to defy soccer culture because of me? I hadn’t known she’d heard my story. I hadn’t been trying to set a precedent for late-bloomers. I just wanted to play soccer.

But what I’d done for myself had laid a path for other people. When I thought I was doing things for my own sake, I was being watched. And followed.

Even though it was just soccer, maybe because it was “just” soccer, it was that comment that made me realize what I do has an impact on other people’s actions and attitudes. I am a role model even when I don’t mean to be.

At any moment, my innocent actions could be the catalyst for someone else’s courage.

The story still heartens me. As a freedom fighter, I try to make every word and action of mine count towards ending modern-day slavery, but sometimes it doesn’t seem enough. My small actions of buying used items and trying to mention sex trafficking at every opportunity so people will be aware—how can my small voice and my one pair of hands mean anything?

But it’s not just my voice I’m raising. Every time I speak out, someone else might really be listening. They might realize for the first time what slavery means, that it’s real, and that they want to stop it. Next time, it’ll be them speaking out against slavery.

I can’t stop slavery alone. But I can help raise an army. If I can get one girl to play soccer, I know I can get people to join me in the fight against slavery and sex trafficking.

Liz small thumbnail

Liz Mallory is a writer, editor, and abolitionist. When she’s not drinking tea and writing stories, she writes about how hilarious and surprising life can be. Follow her at elizmallory.com.