Tag: read

While the momentum is going, I want to tell everyone about the book, Daughter of Ishmael, that gives a true definition of feminism and how it will inspire modern day women. No matter what religion you are from, I encourage EVERYONE to read this book.

As a writer, it’s super cool how I get to meet incredible authors and recently I got to know the amazing Diane Stringham Tolley. She gave me the opportunity to read Daughter of Ishmael before it was sent to print, and after doing so, I can easily say her story is a truly captivating and emotional take on the strong and courageous women we know from the scriptures. Many of us have probably guessed what it would be like to be the wife or daughter of a prophet, but this book gives a detailed perspective on how strong and important they really are.

This last week, the media has been filled with stories of women defending their rights in multiple ways. How I’ve chosen to recognize my rights as a woman is comparing myself to the character Tolley chooses as her main voice. I think about my childhood, worrying mostly about my education while she thought about her service to her family. I thought about how sad I was to move into a different home and leaving all my friends, while she was forced to travel into the wilderness, leaving behind all wealth and treasured possessions behind.

As a teenager, I thought the boys I had crushes on and excited I was to attend my first dance. By that age, she was betrothed to man of her father’s choosing; a man she worried about when it came to his moral character. I thought about the 12 hour car trips I’ve taken that felt long and tedious, while she traveled for years in the desert on camel back with no certainty of when and where her family would end up.

I think about my discouragement of finding my future spouse and one day starting a family, and she feared her complete inability to have children during a time where producing healthy posterity determined a part of a woman’s value. If not, men took on more wives to ensure that posterity. I sometimes fear how hard motherhood will be, while she carried her child and gave birth on a boat with no doctors amongst family members threatening to kill one another. I think about how few responses I get to my posts—making what I have to say unimportant. She feared her family would literally start a war if they wouldn’t heed her advice about peace and the gospel.

The very fact I can express this to you right now, is a pretty solid reminder to me that I’ve had more freedom than I recognize on a daily basis. I choose to express it differently, but at the very least our leaders heard what we have to say and hopefully will take it into consideration. I’m not worried or scared about the future, but mainly because I’ve been so blessed to live in a country and time period where I can live comfortably and do what I love. I’m choosing to thank previous leaders who were inspired by the woman I described and saw value in that. I also admire the men in my life who do as well.

Again, no matter what religion you are from, Daughter of Ishmael is absolutely brilliant. If these women can cross oceans without rights, imagine what we could do with ours. Until next time…

Cheers to you XO

~ Chelsea

P.S. You can order your own copy with link below

https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Ishmael-Promised-Broken-Heart/dp/1462119662

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Whoopee Cushions and Dreams of Cowboys

Advice to all you people out there, if you’re ever set up on a blind date, the first 60 seconds are critical in making a first impression. Which is why if you show up wearing a whoopee cushion costume, unless they’re into that, it’s probably not going to work out the way you expect.

About a year after I started college, I could count the amount of dates I’ve had on one hand. I was awkward and still learning how to dress myself. But a friend had agreed to set me and my second roommate up on a group date for Halloween. It was going to be very low key. Bowling and going for shakes after. No plans to dress up or doing anything Halloween related.

Lame? Yes. But we were excited, and this was back in the day when not everyone had social media, and flip phones weren’t going extinct yet. So I had no idea what my date looked like until he showed up on my doorstep. Now I don’t blame the guy for wanting to make a lasting impression. He was truly a sweet guy and fun to bowl with. But boy was it hard to take him seriously wearing a costume that represented a toy that makes fart noises when you squeeze it. Kinda kills the mood when you’re hugging the man goodbye.

It would be a few years before my dating life really took off, but getting closer to the holiday season that year, the colder it got, the more we stayed indoors. And tis the season to sniff and sneeze, because I dove into reading when I came down with a nasty two week cold before finals. Missing work and classes was not an option for me, so reading romantic Christmas themed novellas helped me unwind after the busy, miserable hours on my feet.

My roommates had been throwing books my way, sometimes literally, and I remember reading “Dusty Britches” which was another Marcia Lynn McClure novel that open a new idea for me, as well as help me discover I’m a huge sucker for old western romance. Especially when they involve dreamy cowboys.

The leading woman, having a broken heart and a strong distrust for men, learned how to let her walls down and really love a man she hadn’t stopped loving since she was young. Like her, letting go of pride, anger and old grudges was something I learned the hard way a bit later in my life.

Halfway through book, I sat in my college apartment dining room, and by that I mean table in the corner of the tiny kitchen, eating strawberries in my pajamas, when my roommate’s entire family showed up on our doorstep to surprise her. Her parents and five siblings had driven 5 hours just to visit their two daughters on a completely random day just for the fun of it.

At the time my parents had been divorced about a year, I was the only adult child who sat through endless phone calls with one parent while they vented about the other. Though I commend them for how hard they worked to keep things as civil as possible for their children’s sake, at the time it had been years since I didn’t worry over things falling apart at a family gathering. And to witness it was like observing a Steve Irwin’s wildlife special.

*Crikey! Here we have a loving family in an unnatural habitat. The cubs have real high energy, but the parents sit and watch together with pride and love, while they laugh, catch up on happy family news, and share a hearty meal at the watering hole.*

But seriously though, growing up, I didn’t see my parents showing affection very often. There was some here and there, but not like the way her parents sat on the couch and held hands without even thinking about it, her resting her head on his shoulder; or sneaking kisses whenever they had the chance, and being incredibly cute while taking pictures together. And not once did their daughters groan or say, “Ewww!” when it happened. It usually followed with one watching them lovingly, saying, “Aren’t they adorable?”

Suddenly it wasn’t just a fictional novel I was reading anymore. This was a real couple with a marriage that lasted over two decades. And the feelings they were sharing was strong enough to be seen and felt by others. It impacted me so much, I wanted to know their story and what it took to get to that level. Most importantly, I wanted to know how it felt myself.

Watching them was the water and nutrients I needed for the seed of hope that was planted. Little did I know it was only a matter of time before I learned firsthand what that felt like, and also, it’s polar opposite…

So until next time with some holiday love and mistletoe madness…

Cheers to you, XO

~ Chelsea

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