Rachel Held Evans’ Blog Post About the Proverbs 31 Woman

Ever since I first found the works of Rachel Held Evans, I’ve been transfixed by her ideas. A sweet lady at church handed me her book, “A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master” and I was blown away by this woman who tackled some of the more difficult passages directed to women with seriousness and humor at the same time. Here’s a link to this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Year-Biblical-Womanhood-Liberated-Covering/dp/1595553673

She also has another brand new book out called “Faith Unraveled.” I can’t wait to read it. After I read Mrs. Evans’ works, I also started reading some of the women she quotes, including Sarah Bessey’s “Jesus Feminist.” That book is little by little blowing the lid off what I thought I believed.

I want to share her latest post which is a nice complement to the post I wrote yesterday. Mrs. Evans was the one who opened my eyes concerning the Proverbs 31 Woman–who has somehow become a bit of an old testament Urban Legend.

Please enjoy her post about the Proverbs 31 Woman.

http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/3-things-you-might-not-know-about-proverbs-31

I’d love to know your thoughts. If you like to comment, click on the “ADD COMMENT” link below the title of the blog. You don’t have to register or anything. Thanks!

 

An Open Letter to Students from Your Professor: 10 Tips for Surviving Those Final Days

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Dear Student,
It’s that time again…finals! I know this is hard to believe, but I was once a student too. I would like to extend some tips to keep you sane during this trying time of the semester.
1. Breathe. Everything that has to be done will be done, unless it’s just too late. In that case…
2. Get plenty of sleep. Pulling an all-nighter rarely works. If you haven’t studied before now, it is probably too late. Try to remember this angst-filled moment next semester so you don’t end up in the same place.
3. Don’t send panicked, rude emails to your professor, especially about your grade. She’s stressed out as well, and it won’t help your case in the end anyway. It’s too late to ask to make up the quiz you missed in January.
4. Do review your lecture notes and text with friends…sober friends. Studying in groups does help many people, just skip the Cuervo. Not that you drink, right?
5. Your professor does want you to do well. We are REALLY not “out to get you.” It’s not our favorite thing to sit around in the teacher’s lounge, drinking Red Bulls and cackling maniacally as we scribble all over your essays with red pens. If a lot of students are failing the class, it reflects on us as well. We are here because we loved our subject enough to spend hours researching and reading and studying, and because we want to share it with you. It makes us geekily giddy when a student does well, especially if the student has been struggling.
6. Many college and university professors, especially adjuncts, get paid less than you think and receive little to no benefits, so it should be clear that we are here only because we want to be. Trust us enough to talk to us if you are behind early in the semester. Of course there are good and bad teachers, just as there are good and bad people, but I promise we’re not there to cash our huge check and ride off into the sunset in our convertible Ferraris.

7. Just because your professor seems laid-back and friendly is not an excuse to behave like a giant spitwad. We still expect your assignments to be done as well as you do for the drill sergeant teacher. Just remember: under the exterior of every “easy” teacher is a drill sergeant just waiting to emerge, like a pimple. Don’t be the one to pop that pimple, dude.

8. If you did find your class this semester to be an easy one, don’t call it a “blow-off” or “easy A” either in print or on Ratemyprofessor.com. That’s just insulting to both the professor and the students who struggled. In addition, it only hurts your peers who take the class next time. Maybe the professor has a kind heart and just wanted to help you.

9. We do care about you–and we are listening, even when you don’t think we are. Many nights we worry about you, and pray for you. For some reason, some students believe that professors are invisible until they begin teaching, so they freely talk about the wild party they attended last weekend, professors they hate and think are stupid, or who slept with whom. Just because I am not engaging in the conversation doesn’t mean I didn’t hear you.

10. Keep in mind, most professors know one another at least in a casual way…and we do talk. Also, I will be less enthusiastic when you ask me for a letter of reference. That’s just the way it is.

Sincerely,

Your Friendly Professor

Need a good read?

Looking for some new blood for your stale bookshelf? Look no further, dear reader. Here are three books I couldn’t put down.

http://www.inmagtexas.com/2014/05/what-were-reading-mayjune-2014/

How to Get Published with Chicken Soup for the Soul

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Have you ever seen a “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book? Of course you have! There are 11 million of them in circulation, so they’re kind of hard to miss. Have you ever wondered how the editors choose stories to publish? What if I told you it’s really easy to submit your story?

My very first break into paid publication was with a book called “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad: 101 Stories of Gratitude, Love, and Good Times.” I still remember the thrill I felt when I opened the box of books with my story “Thanks Dad” inside. As you might imagine, I was estatic.

A few months later, I submitted and published a poem in their anthology “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners: 101 Inspiration Stories of Energy, Endurance and Endorphins.” Was it because of my vast expertise in the field of running and fitness?

chicken soup runners

Did you read my last post about chicken fried steak? Then you know THAT’S not it.

Since my publication with CSS, I have been published many times over, and most recently my first novel, War Eagle Women.I really feel that it was Chicken Soup that got my foot into the door of the publishing world and I want to share this with you.

Everybody has a story to tell. I know the gears are clicking! Keep in mind that Chicken Soup publishes a couple of books a month.

YOU CAN DO THIS. You have a really great shot at finding a book that’s perfect for your story.

Here are 5 reasons why you should submit a story to them today!

1. You don’t need an agent. Many large publishers will not even speak to you without one. Chicken Soup accepts unsolicited submissions from anyone who sends them.
2. You don’t have to write a query letter or proposal. It’s as simple as clicking and submitting.
3. Chicken Soup publishes poetry as well as short stories. Few big name publishers will print a poem from an unknown writer. And, CSS pays the same whether it’s a poem or story.
4. Chicken Soup is an internationally known francise. Their books are translated into at least 40 languages worldwide. That’s a lot of publicity for someone who wants to publish a novel.Their website states that at last count they have published 11 million books.
5. Once published with CSS, you gain credibility, not only as a published writer but with an internationally known brand. Did you know that CSS is not just books? They also sell calendars, clothing, audiobooks, dog food and get this…they are making movies from their favorite short stories! You also gain opportunities. I have spoken several times on this very topic, gaining entrance to expensive writers’ conferences FOR FREE. I said it!

In addition, because I was a speaker at these conferences, I was able to chat with agents and other writers about my book in a casual way. Agents like to hear that you have published something in such a substantial, well-known brand. It makes them want to take a chance on reading bigger things…like your novel.

I know the gears are clicking. And because Chicken Soup publishes so frequently, you have a really great shot of finding the right place for your special piece.

CSS is always looking for material, but it must be clean, uplifting and 1200 words or less. Here’s a link for specific guidelines.

http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/story-guidelines

At the time of this printing, they are currently looking for stories and poems for the following books in progress:

Christmas in Canada

Stories About Moms 

Stories About the Christmas Season

Stories by Moms 

The Power of Forgiveness

Touched by an Angel

Here’s a link for the details regarding these books:

http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Ready to submit your story or poem? Click here for details. It’s so easy. Why wouldn’t you want to?

http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/submit-your-story

It’s time to get cooking.

On Plato, Hungry Teens and a Super Easy Roasted Chicken

 

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My son Nathan is momentarily experiencing bliss–all from a chicken. “Mom…this is soooo good,” he says with his mouth full. I giggle. It’s the week of Thanksgiving, and I’m home from class, so I thought I should cook something. It’s kind of my thing. So many times I am not here to do the “mom” things for him (I work 30 hours a week and am a graduate English student, a writing tutor and a writer) so when I’m able, I try to make something he likes.

I sometimes wish I had something else to share with this man-child who has grown six inches in as many months, but I tried playing “Call of Duty” and (it’s just sad) ended up blowing myself up. So, I go with my strengths: cooking. That’s how I get him to turn off the video games and chat with me for a while–or as long as the food lasts. It sometimes bothers me that I have such a connection with cooking. It’s so cliché, right? I guess 50 years of feminist rhetoric have done little to change that part of me that equates feeding with love. Did the works of Gloria Anzaldúa and Julia Kristeva (whom I adore) fall on deaf ears? When I read these women, I learn from them, but I find little of me, my soul, changes. They have done little to alter that part of me, inherited from my grandmother, that takes pride in creating something from nothing. It seems confusing, but it’s not.

I am a liberated, educated, American woman who does not need to lean on archaic ideas of womanhood. Except, maybe it’s the misconception of those ideas that distracts us. Maybe the feminists of past and present wrote and spoke not to take away from my freedom to roast the perfect chicken, but rather to keep that freedom to do what keeps us happy. And writing does make me happy–just like cooking. I don’t have to choose. Good writing is cooking, when you think about it. Taking letters, forming them into words, and stringing those words together in a meaningful way, it’s not for everyone. Plato wrote, “[Rhetoric] seems to me then . . . to be a pursuit that is not a matter of art, but showing a shrewd, gallant spirit which has a natural bent for clever dealing with mankind, and I sum up its substance in the name flattery…Well now, you have heard what I state rhetoric to be–the counterpart of cookery in the soul, acting here as that does on the body.” I guess I see the connection: To take an ugly chicken carcass and to baste it in olive oil and garlic and roast it to perfection (that makes my teenage son ecstatic) or writing a short blog, are not so different. Either way, it sure feels good to see my son, who I don’t always understand, get a second plate.

Mama’s Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

1 whole chicken

1 12-oz bottle of Italian dressing

4 cloves of garlic, minced

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Remove chicken from wrap, as well as inside package. Rinse thoroughly and place in a roasting pan. Pour dressing over the chicken, coating thoroughly (I use about half a bottle). Top with salt and pepper, as well as garlic. Cover with foil and bake for two hours,then take the foil off. Bake another half hour then check with a meat thermometer to ensure it’s done. It needs to be at least 160 degrees.

This story was originally published in Story Circle Network One Woman’s Day Blog:http://onewomansday.wordpress.com/about/

6 Great Books for Teens

 

blumePhoto: One of my favorite teen authors.

I was a weird kid and an even weirder teen. I often stayed up after lights out reading–it almost didn’t matter what. I would check out library books by the dozen. Back then, my favorites were Judy Blume, V.C.Andrews, Stephen King and (don’t tell my mom) illicit romances.

Even more liberating, I discovered that the librarian would not even BLINK AN EYE at the titles I’d pick. The first time I tried to check out an inappropriate book, my heart raced and my palms dripped…I just knew that Old Man Clardy (who, now that I think about it, was probably in his 40s–DANG IT!) was going to call the cops on me–or the very least, my Sunday school teacher. When I saw that he was barely even awake and gazed at my selections with all the vigilance of a late night convince store clerk, I had an eureka moment.

This, I told myself, was a taste of freedom. Nobody cared what I read. The sky was the limit! I burned through books like Chelsea Handler and vodka. Nothing was too steamy–nothing too scary.

I still remember my first time reading Stephen King’s The Shining. Entranced by Jack Torrence’s steady descent into madness, I lost track of time. The next thing I knew, it was 2:00 a.m. and I was exhausted. I turned off the lights and prepared for a long rest–which never came. Thanks to my vivid (and a tiny bit obsessive) mental reenactments of  Danny Torrence’s visions and Jack Torrence’s violent escapades, I couldn’t even close my eyes.

That jacket hanging over the chair? Not a jacket at all–it’s Jack, holding a croquet mallet, waiting for me to doze. The longest night in the world gave way to morning, and I showed up to 8th grade biology looking a bit hung over and a lot nervous. When I went back to the library, I silently gave Mr. Clardy the stink-eye for not protecting me from my own reading choices. What the heck? Wake up and do your job, man!

Anyway,  Here’s a list of my top 6
picks for teens.
 I’ve made an effort to pick challenging, but not too horrifying/graphic books for your Mancub or Watergirl. Some of them are a bit darker, so if your kid shies away from that, I’d definitely avoid Speak. However, I found it a compelling and heartbreaking read that has stuck with me ever since I opened the covers. Mancub has listened to The Shining on audiobook as we were traveling home from Arkansas, and he really liked it. At least I think he did. But he is MY kid…so keep that in mind before introducing The Kingster to yours.

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

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2. Among the Hidden (Shadow Children, #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix  

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4. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbi

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5. Speak by Laurie Hulse Anderson

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6. The Secret Life of Bees by  Sue Monk Kidd

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JOIN THE CONVERSATION: What is your top pick for your favorite teen book?