Friday, October 9, 2015

Called to Speak Blog Hop: Silence Isn't The Answer

Today's post is part of a Blog Hop! This hop is to spread the word about Nadine Brandes’s new dystopian novel, A Time to Speak, releasing on October 16th. It is also to encourage myself and others to speak out for our passions and against injustice.

I'm taking a little bit of a different approach to this post and not talking about a typical injustice. Hopefully you'll forgive me, but this topic is something I'm passionate about.

I will speak out against...silence. 

Before moving to Washington, DC I lived in sunny Southern California and worked for a church. During my time there, I also volunteered with our awesome youth group (Souled Out) for just over six years. There aren't words enough to say how much I loved (and still love) those students. Even now I get teary just thinking about them and how much they impacted me. I know, it's supposed to be the other way around and Lord willing I did have a positive affect on them too...but they taught me a lot about fun, faith, and what it looks like to love someone.

The reason I'm speaking out against silence is simple: there's too much of it.

I know, I know...we live in a world that's clogged by noise. Texting, television, radio, music, the internet, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, movies, Netflix, SnapChat....yeah I could go on. That is noisy. We've become deaf to the language our hearts were made to speak. To the language of conversation. (tweet this)

The reason I bring up my youth group experience is because I look back on my days spending time with my students (yes, mine - I'm quite possessive of them hehe) and the amazing conversations we had. We talked about everything. Deep things. Hurtful things. Happy things. Real things. And you know what? Our friendships were (and still are) stronger because of it.

I look around me at what our society is becoming and I mourn for the loss of depth. The allowance we make for living on the surface. This isn't just an issue with Jr. High and High School students, its and issue with adults too. We talk about things like sports, fashion, the latest Netflix episodes we've watched, but we're afraid to jump into things that go beyond what's socially acceptable.

Silence isn't the answer. 
(tweet this)

We can't let silence be go-to, the easy thing we turn to when we don't know what to say. I'm not saying "surface" things are bad, but they can't be all we have. When we will post more on Facebook than we will say to the person sitting next to us on the Metro or in line at the grocery story or sitting at the dentist office...what does that make us? Disembodied voices in a sea of faceless cyber people who forgot that they are living in a real world. A beautiful world fashioned for us by our Creator.

It's time to speak up. To break the silence. To enter into vulnerability with those around us. Yes, it's scary, but you will be better for having been known. To realize that you are not alone in this world and that there is solid reality to your friendships. To your life.

Lastly, I have a challenge to parents and anyone who has input into a youth's life. Speak the real things to them. Tell them the truth and be honest. As I dived in deep with the girls in my small group I opened up who I am to them. I didn't sugarcoat my life. I admitted I struggle to find time to read my Bible and pray. I admitted when I messed up. I offered them a look into my imperfect life and I've never regretted that.

Be brave. Be bold. Speak. (tweet this)
_______________________

I definitely recommend the Out of Time series by Nadine Brandes! Book two comes out October 16th and is on pre-order now {find it here} so...you should probably go get that ;) PLUS she's got an awesome party planned on October 20th with some fantastic giveaways (trust me, I know what they are hehe!). Join the Facebook Party!

A Time To Speak
Book Two in the “Out of Time” series.
What happens when you live longer than you wanted to?

Parvin Blackwater wanted to die, but now she’s being called to be a leader. The only problem is, no one wants to follow.

The Council uses Jude’s Clock-matching invention to force “new-and-improved” Clocks on the public. Those who can’t afford one are packed into boxcars like cattle and used for the Council’s purposes.

Parvin and Hawke find themselves on a cargo ship of Radicals headed out to sea. What will the Council do to them? And why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out?
Read about the first book, A Time to Die, here.

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Here's the blog hop schedule for you as well - follow along!

9.28.15 – Gretchen Engel
9.30.15 – Nadine Brandes
10.01.15 – Jason Joyner
10.05.15 – Gretchen Engel (part 2)
10.06.15 – Tricia Mingerink
10.08.15 – Gretchen Engel (Scriblerians)
10.09.15 – Emilie Hendryx
10.11.15 – Janeen Ippolito
10.12.15 – Zachary D Totah
10.14.15 – Brittany Valentine
10.15.15 – Andrew Swearingen
10.17.15 – Megan Besing
10.19.15 – Angel Roman
10.20.15 – Charles Franklin
10.21.15 – Lisa Godfrees
10.23.15 – Shantelle Hannu
10.27.15 – Natalie Walters
10.29.15 – The Artist Librarian
11.02.15 – Rosalie Valentine
11.17.15 – Amanda Fender