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spiritual puberty and the further chronicles

I recently wrote some advice for young bloggers. I said,

There are some downsides to starting so young. I will be writing soon about the “spiritual puberty” the whole internet watched me go through. People saw me change and go back on my words and say things that I disagree with now, and that’s uncomfortable. But it’s not wrong. I will always be changing, even in the realm of beliefs. I don’t regret having published my thoughts at such a young age.

And that’s true, I don’t regret it a bit. As a matter of fact, as awkward as (physical) puberty is, it’s not something you want to go through alone. I remember when I lived at the orphanage, telling my older sister that I felt terrible for the girls there who had to go through puberty in an orphanage. The funny part is, she looked at me and said, “We are going through puberty in an orphanage too, ya know.” This was true! However, we had our mom there. She was there when I had freakish emotional outbursts because one of the kids hurt my feelings and when I started to shave (yes-at an orphanage!) and when I got my first set of make-up in our little Petionville apartment. Puberty wasn’t something I had to go at alone, and I’m thankful for that now.

Of course, a little more privacy would’ve been nice at times (see also: eleven people sharing one bathroom.) I feel the same way about the changes you have all watched me go through online. I opened my blog with this beautiful piece of writing and I have stayed true to what I said there for the past six years: “On this blog I will ramble about random things that are on my mind or happening in my life, but I don’t think it will be unbarably boring, so stay connected.”

Has this journey ever been “unbarably” boring? No. It’s been delightful, embarrassing, educational, humbling, exciting, encouraging, frightening and frustrating but never boring.

I have started several blogs since then, submitted guest posts, become a contributor, shut down several blog, helped several other people start blogs, but Clickety-Clack was my first and I’ve never given up on her. She has grown with me. Changed, gone through many seasons, served various purposes.

Y’all have been a faithful little following, even with all the ups and downs. You were especially sweet and supportive as I prepared and pitched a book last year. That book is now tucked away, probably never to be published, but there has been nothing wasted. None of your good cheer, support, prayer, critique, patience or encouragement have come back void. I’m a better, braver writer because of your contributions.

The reason why that book is tucked away is because three publishers turned it down and then I realized it was for the best. I wasn’t entirely sure, still, what that little book was trying to say. Since then (over a year!) I’ve gone through another growth spurt. I’ve realized that my book would’ve scraped the surface of some deep issues. I’m not saying it was a failure or that it was evil or stupid, but just that it’s not what I want to write right now, not what this world needs.

I still care very much about the issues the book addressed. I still think our society needs to see some serious change in regards to feminism, legalism, education, rights and the role of the family. I think what happened is I finally read my own book. I saw that I didn’t really believe myself when I said that I supported women who left home and went to college and had a career and didn’t want kids. I had trouble swallowing that because, deep down, I still believed that those women were, in a way, feeding some sick societal brainwashing machine.

I don’t think that anymore. I’ve watched my friends go all the way through college now. I’ve seen them make decisions about who to marry and where to live and what to do. I still firmly believe that many women miss out on their true desires because of societal pressure, but that doesn’t always look like what I used to imagine. Sometimes that means not going into the mission field because you’re single or not starting a business because your friends are all having kids by now. These women are missing out too.

I still believe that the majority of women will be happiest as wives and moms and homemakers, but that there is a percentage who simply have different desires that they need to pursue. I still believe that we should all (men and women alike) think twice before going to college. It’s a big decision and there are alternatives. (No regrets there!) I still believe a lot of what I wrote, but I also believe in a certain form of feminism which really shouldn’t have to be called feminism at all. It’s a belief that every person is equal and unique and that sex, like race, should never exclude someone from freedom, education, opportunity or the global conversation.

Maybe those thoughts will become a book someday. I’d also very much like to write about eduction (my un-schooling experience) and adoption (my pineapple sibling experience) down the road. But do you know what? I’ve gone back to my first loves: blogging and writing children’s books. I hope you hear a lot more about that in the near future.

Now, if you would continue in your patterns of kindness, would you fill out this short survey for me? It will help me see what you have enjoyed about Clickety-Clack, whether you’ve been reading for years or just scrolling around today. No promises that I’ll take your advice (I’m a bit of a rebel when it comes to these things!) but I am genuinely interested to hear your feedback.

Here’s to many more years of Clickety-Clackin’!

Love to you all,

Everly

“I do not think that I will ever reach a stage when I will say, “This is what I believe. Finished.”

What I believe is alive … and open to growth” -Madeleine L’Engle

3

winners and friends

Yesterday was my twenty-first birthday and it was wonderful. Started off with church, during which time we were introduced to the music minister we’ve been praying for for years. Then back home for a light lunch and chatting, hanging out. Then gifts! My family is so sweet and generous. I got several cute outfits, a couple of movies, books and CDs. I also got some cute decorative stuff for my room and…last but not least, a new phone! I was very surprised and happy. After that we had a delicious meal as a family and the traditional chocolate cake with chocolate-pecan frosting. Then we watched My Favorite Wife and photographed the super moon! It was exquisite.

One of the things I enjoyed about this birthday, was seeing who remembered that it was my birthday! I don’t have my birthday on Facebook or anything like that, so it was neat to see who remembered to give me good wishes. I don’t have hard feelings toward those who didn’t wish me a happy birthday…I hardly remember any birthdays outside of my immediate family, but those who did remember made my day extra special.

It is three of those extra special people who are about to receive the three prizes I am giving away. Thanks to everyone who shared about the Legacy House Fundraiser and Give-Away on social media, those who entered by liking the page or donating money. That meant a lot to me and I feel certain your funds and efforts will become a great harvest. And now for the lucky three winners, all special to me!

For the “Family is Forever” poster from Sevenly.org I would like to congratulate Cynthia (no last name necessary…she’s my own beautiful mom!) I promise I did not rig this!  The lovely Caitlin Giles!!!

For the “flock together” love bird from Noon Day Collection I’d like to congratulate one of my long-lastingest blog followers, Mr. Gil Rognstad!

And for the copy of Darling Magazine, the lovely Dee Kraft! (And she also happens to be my aunt, but no rigging-I promise!)

Thanks again for the wonderful birthday! Enjoy the prizes!

Everly Pleasant

0

a birthday legacy (+ an awesome give-away!)

Hello Dears, Guess what? June 23rd is a Sunday, Midsummer Night’s Eve with a full moon. And it also happens to be my 21st birthday. But, as if that wasn’t exciting enough, June 23rd is special in another way. On the 23rd, four young women will be moving to their new home at The Legacy House. The Legacy House is a small home in Austin, Texas for 18-22 year old girls who have aged out of the foster system without being placed in a family. Girls in this situation are very high risk for trafficking, abuse, prostitution, homelessness and general instability.

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According to Casey Family Programs & Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, 40% of girls who age out of foster care are pregnant within a year, 25% never receive a diploma or GED. 50% of these kids will be homeless within a year of aging out. The statistics are the same for incarceration.

Kids at Risk Action – Children’s Rights Advocacy Network estimates that a teen girl on the streets will be approached by a “pimp” within 48 hours. The majority of underage prostitutes come from foster care.

Department of Justice, Polaris Project & Kids at Risk Action all confirm that 100,000 children are trafficked in the U.S. every year. 70% of those spent at least some time in the foster system. 29% of children exiting the foster system are on their way to be sexually exploited in someway.

At the sight of these sad statistics, the folks at Legacy House decided to throw a wrench in the system. They decided to make a space for these young women. A space where they can be empowered to build their own legacies and bridge the gap between the foster system and sustainable independence. As their website states:

Legacy House is not a facility, a transitional shelter or group home. We are unique:

  • State-defined foster home
  • Small home environment
  • 1-on-1 individualized care
  • Healthy home modeling
  • Stable home setting
  • Combined parenting and counseling

Another feature I love about Legacy House is the fact that all of the residents participate in running the household. The philosophy is one of empowerment, not an enablement of past needs. I believe that places like Legacy House are much too scarce. There is a definite crack in the system in which so many young men and women slip through. But I also believe that Legacy House is doing things right and actually making a difference, which is why I’d like to invite you to participate. Over the next week, I’m going to be hosting a fundraiser and give-away in honor of the young women at Legacy House! Several of them have Summer birthdays too…these funds could help them celebrate! Here’s what’s up for grabs:

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One awesome poster reading “Family Is Forever” from Sevenly!

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One iron “Flock Together Love Bird” from Noon Day Collection!

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One digital copy of the latest edition of Darling Magazine!

Lest you think your eyes betray you, there are three wonderful gifts being offered this week. I would be very happy to keep any one of them! It is really three different give-aways because three winners will be selected by a random-select feature on the Rafflecopter. That triples your chances of winning something, right?!

 I wanted to offer three “homey” prizes in order to celebrate the fact that four girls will get to call Legacy House “home” by the time this give-away ends. But like I said, as much fun as give-aways are, this is also a fundraiser. Here’s how you enter the give-away and support a beautiful cause at the same time:

1. Go to legacyhouseaustin.org to make a donation. Give as much as your heart desires! Be sure to leave your name in the comment section and go ahead and add that you’re coming from Clickety-Clack (that will just make things easier later on.) Or enter by liking Legacy House on Facebook! It’s that easy. Of course, doing both would make my birthday even better. :)

2. Come back here between 6/17 and 6/24 and use the handy-dandy Rafflecopter (below) to enter the give-away! You will need to sign in with an email address or through Facebook, but it’s quick and easy! I am going to trust y’all to select the truthful answer. If you have simply “liked” Legacy House on Facebook, you can enter once! If you have given $5, you can enter twice and if you give $15 or more, you’re in for 3 entries! And just look how cute that little birdie is…

3. Spread the word about the fundraiser and give-away on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, the post office-wherever!

4. Wait and see if you’re the lucky winner, to be announced on June 24th!

This is my first time to do anything like this, so I am very excited to see the results. Please consider participating and encouraging your friends and family to do the same.

 everly

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5

a question for you

I’ve been, here and there, frantically working on the book. So many friends have left comments or sent notes offering me congratulations. Ohmygoodness, no. I have done nothing yet. At this point, I’ve looked at the tightrope very closely, glanced anxiously at the crowd below and taken a deep breath. That’s all. In other words, I’ve created a binder and written a few snippets that don’t yet fit into my outline. (And speaking of the outline, I don’t think I agree with it today.)


The Book’s Binder
But if you’re one of the sweet friends who have encouraged me, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And please keep it coming, if might be so bold. Many days I feel positively too young and inexperienced and wish I was better educated and better prepared. I am pitching a book at the She Speaks Conference at the end of July. I have to have three chapters ready to toss at someone. Someone important-looking, I’m sure. Welcome back, shy home-schooled girl
And yet, that’s how I know that it will be worth it. Because I’m scared. A good kind of scared. It must be important if it feels so risky. It must be what I really want if I’m willing to throw myself out there this way. I’m not even thinking about getting published or not getting published right now. That’s not in my hands. I’m thinking about doing my best, writing my heart out and giving this message a fighting chance.

Now for the question. (Sorry, this one is only for the ladies.) If you would like to be a part of my research (and inspiration) you can leave your answer in the comment box below or email me at everlypleasant@gmail.com


Have you ever been in a situation or field where you felt you were looked down upon merely because you are a woman? Describe this experience (whether you triumphed or not!)


Please share! 


Much love,
Everly

1

a question of swimsuits

My family goes to the beach for a week every year, and on top of that, we try to make several visits to a swimming pool during the Summer. Where we live, there are a couple of months during which you can hardly survive being outside of an air-conditioned building without encountering a swimming pool within the hour. Seriously. (kinda.)

So it is reasonable that I own a swimsuit. Preferably more than one. I am still able to use the one I bought last year from Target, but I’d really like to have one more to switch to ever-so-often. The trouble is, I am not about to go buy a bikini…and apparently that’s all stores carry these days. At least in college towns (and I happen to live in one.)

During the Summer, I am sure more swimsuits will cycle through Target and Walmart, but I’d rather have one ahead of time that:
1. I think is cute
2. I think is modest enough
3. I know fits me


So I thought it might be worth the cost of ordering one online, especially since it is early in the season and I still have time to return it if it doesn’t fit well etc. I am not looking for one of these (no offense to the website, I admire their motives,) but some kind of happy medium between that and “Oh my, she forgot to get dressed this morning!” 


I liked a lot of what I saw at Lands’ End,  but they appear to have hardly anything in my size.

Which brings me to the question:
Where do you buy swimsuits?
Have you heard of any online stores that sell appropriate swimwear in all sizes? 

Would you mind leaving a comment? :)



Everly

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