Women, girls & education

Man it’s been a busy month. For the past few weeks I’ve been working on my very first educational research paper. By research paper I don’t mean the ‘find 5 sources to support your ideas’ kind, but the ‘find a hole in all educational research, review 15+ sources scholarly studies, determine the problem and propose how you could address this in the educational research field’ kind. If you’re reading this and it’s something you’re good at…give me a shout. I think I could use a pep talk haha!

Image result for half the sky quotesIt just so happens that my free time has been consisted of reading and addressing women’s issues, so naturally when I had to choose a topic for this research paper my eyes turned to women in education.

Over the past month or so I had the privilege of reading Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof, and Sheryl WuDunn.

I’ve also been able to read and watch Girl Rising, a film and adapted book that follow the stories of young women and girls in communities around the world that limit their access to education based on their gender.

Also as part of a group I volunteer with, called the Open World Cause, we are working on developing a new project called What Will I Become. It’s been a really cool learning experience for me as I work with two other brilliant women in the cause that have amazing experiences abroad. We are working on surveys to talk with women in the Nepali community we’ll be visiting this summer to learn more about their education, the expectations laid upon them, and their dreams. In the end we hope to create a curriculum that can be used here in the United States within k-12 classrooms.

Talk about Girl Power.

This morning, after reading 10 studies about gender stereotyping and adequacy of curriculum relating to women representation, I was feeling EMPOWERED. If I’ve learned anything through these articles, the books, and the documentaries, it could be summed up in a few bullet points:

  • Educating girls changes communities, changes their futures, teaches them skills to support families, reduces number of pregnancies, reduces sex trafficking and helps break cycles of poverty.
  • Education in general addresses changes that need to be made in order to lower the maternal mortality rate.
  • Education informs communities of vital changes that need to be made in respect to gender based violence and traditions that are harmful to women’s health.
  • Education that addresses equality and importance of both women and men shapes the thinking of our students.
  • Educators must be aware of the materials being used, and choose literature and resources that show the importance of diversity to our students. That is just as much something they need to learn, as any other subject in school (if you ask me).

Though there are approximately 129468 other things I’ve learned, these are a few points that have stuck with me. This isn’t a blog post saying women are better than men, but saying that women should be valued for the amazing contributions they can make in this world. Men supporting women in communities around the world help make this viewpoint a reality in many cultures, hence the importance of educating men on these issues as well.

It’s always good to challenge your viewpoint and learn something new.

Follow the links about to watch or read some of the resources I’ve be reading/watching above. Enjoy these words, grab some wine, maybe your favorite women, and have some awesome discussions.

 

 

 

~Shelby

Fierce hearted Woman

I’ve been sick this weekend and ended up sleeping through church. As I’m sipping my morning coffee I was scrolling through some devotionals to help me kickstart my Sunday. I came across one called ‘You Are a Fierce hearted Woman.’ I silently acknowledged how right they were- I AM a fierce hearted Woman! So I clicked. (Proverbs 31 Ministries get me every time!)

This article, though short, reminded me of a few important things. The author, Holley Gerth, says how for a time she didn’t realize that broken people have sharp edges. She mentions that yes, following Jesus is an adventure, but it’s also more like going into battle.

It was helpful to think about this adventure as battle. Not in a pessimistic way, but as a reminder that you will experience victory, but also pain.

Holley uses the word disillusioned. I realized I resonated with this word just in the past week. I was telling my husband Marshall that I was feeling beaten down. We’ve been responsible as a newly married couple, following God’s word and waiting (always waiting) for his next step. (Especially experiencing this as Marshall applies for new jobs). And yet, it just seems harder than ever. Who knew waiting for God’s cue could feel like such a heart ache?

But I’m a fierce hearted woman.

Holley encourages us to fight on. That yes, things may be harder than you expected, but we are to be COURAGEOUS.

“Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD” 

(Psalm 31:24)

So for today, I’m grateful I missed church and scrolled upon this message. I’m grateful I have time to keep pushing and working.

It wouldn’t be an adventure without a few bumps along the way.

~Shelby

You go, girl.

Have you ever had those days where you think to yourself, “Man, I’m on a role!”

Today I had one of those. I LOVE those days. There were things I’d been wanting to do before school starts back up in August, but hadn’t really let myself think about so I could enjoy a couple weeks of summer without extra tasks. As previously mentioned, I have a problem over employing the word ‘yes.’ But the truth is, I do love to accomplish things on my task list. I’m learning to find a balance between feeling overwhelmed and feeling accomplished. It’s important to note that those are not the same thing.

So this afternoon after summer camp, designing a wedding invite, planning part of a bachelorette party, buying shoes for a wedding, running errands, picking  gifts for a shower, walking Moose, cleaning the dishes and watching an episode of Super Girl, I was feeling that to-do list high.

But with every high there comes a low.

I started overthinking it….was I overdoing things? Am I falling into my old trap of doing too much? It’s a blessing and a curse to have a brain that can run with 15 tabs open.

Then I had a friend text me. She shared about some awesome things going on in her life and reminded me that when you let go, when you accept and experience what is going on in your life day by day, you’ll be on track. When you knock on God’s door for help, he answers. I like to believe that if I write enough reminders in my planner I can keep everything under control. Let’s be real though friends, we can’t control everything.

It’s hard to free fall, but it’s exhilarating to let go of the constant worrying, lists and overthinking. Think of something that you struggle to let go of. Imagine picking it up off your shoulders and setting it to the side. Imagine setting it in God’s hands. Do you feel lighter? There are thoughts, worries and burdens we don’t need to carry just for the sake of carrying them.

I always relate to the memes that say “I’m anxious because I’m not anxious.” It sounds silly, but in all honesty it is true for many of us. When things seem good it can be hard to accept it for fear of something going wrong, or forgetting to do something on your never ending task list. Today’s the day to let that go. To release and to trust!

After accomplishing all those tasks this afternoon I decided to go on a little jog around the neighborhood. I started breathing heavy, overthinking the things I did today, analyzing the level of productivity and wondering what else I could accomplish. Maybe I wasn’t as awesome as I was giving myself credit for…

Then someone drove by with their windows down. Without stopping a woman yelled out her window, “YOU GO GIRL!!” I didn’t have time to wave, but there was an immediate grin that spread across my face. Deep in my own thoughts, the little reminder that she yelled out her window brought me back to the happiness I felt earlier. You know, I think she may be right.

It’s time to be proud of our accomplishments, thankful for our experiences and encouraging to others. Text a friend, write it on your hand or yell it at a random jogger. Shout it from the rooftops! When we are humble enough to know we can’t do things on our own, but strong enough to accept that we are all worthy of great things, nothing can stop us.

You go girl.

~Shelby

 

Wine Women & the Word, a blog

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Actually this quote was part of the template, but it seemed too perfect to delete. I used to blog in college. I think subliminally I just wanted to speak and get my ideas out to world. I stopped because I took it too seriously and didn’t have enough topics to write about and wasn’t writing for the right reasons. The genesis of this blog is pretty interesting. I’ll tell how Wine Women & the Word became a bible study later, but this week it accidentally became a blog.

I’ve started writing to get the busyness out of my brain and into another outlet. It started with a bit of a dip in depression over this winter season. I think we all reach a point in our life where we just need to stop and reevaluate.

I started remedying this depression by reading encouraging books and listening to podcasts. I wanted to fill myself up with good information, so I could start sorting out the good and the bad in my own head. Books like the Five Love Languages, Cold Tangerines, Let’s All Be Brave– books I will talk about coming up soon. They are by christian authors and put so many simple life things into perspective.

I love listening to their stories. There is something I love about hearing about successful people that have the same real life experiences as us. We all struggle and we all call out for help.

I started hearing about the word passion this week. It kept popping up in unexpected places. It’s so easy to lose our passion when our brain is consumed with everything else. I read something that stuck with me- if you’re searching for a passion it’s probably not you’re real passion. A passion is something you do because you want to, not because it will get you ahead or make you better. It’s something you invest your hard-earned time for, just for the heck of it.

I have an interest in many things: design, yoga, teaching, friends, travel… but the thing that has kept me afloat these past few months has been writing. The reason why I know that writing is a current passion (and I think passions change per the season in your life) is because I don’t feel like I’m ‘wasting time.’ I’m doing it for me. It’s therapeutic and soothing for my busy brain.

I started thinking of a place I could share my thoughts. I thought about a group of women I’ve spent time with over the past year. We started a bible study called Wine Women & the Word. And, you guessed it, it involves Wine, Women and Words. We talk, pray and do bible studies together. It’s very laid back, but fruitful. When women get together with the intention of growing and learning amazing things happen!

Girl power.

So, here we are as the Wine Women blog. It may not always involved wine or women, but it will always contain words. Hopefully words that can inspire.

Enjoy.