It is always nice to know what other sisters are finding interesting, challenging, encouraging or just plain fun. Someday we hope to sit down in a cozy corner with each one of you and share these favorite things over a cup of hot tea, but until then… Each month we will ask Mended Collective members what they are reading, listening to, watching, experimenting with and whatever other randomness they want to recommend and we will share it here in Collective Corner.

From Morgan:

Christy Nockels’ Be Held: Lullabies For the Beloved

I needed this album. There’s something about filling the quiet hours of my day with purposeful sounds that produce rest within my soul, rather than restlessness or weariness. This is something I have not been very good at, so rediscovering the kind of music that gives my soul rest, such as these Lullabies recently released by Christy Nockels, has produced a revival of the creative and spiritual depths of my soul.

Admittedly, I haven’t been one for discovering and listening to much new music lately. Upon uncovering so many great podcasts over this last year, my Type 5 thirst for accumulating knowledge almost always opted for podcast-listening over music-listening. But I’m feeling a shift in my spirit as I prepare for a new season a life – a season that will demand me to be more life-giving, both in the literal and figurative sense. I must start tending to the cravings of my soul and not just the cravings of my intellect.

I didn’t expect to find this kind of rest in the music of the same Contemporary Christian Music artists who I grew up on. Both Christy and Nichole Nordeman (whose new album Every Mile Mattered was recommended to us by Holly back in August) have become regulars in my earbuds these days and I couldn’t be more satisfied to welcome their purposeful and creative music back into my life.

Women Who Support and Empower Other Women

Y’all. Women are AWESOME.

October was a month full of learning from and interacting with some of the most amazing women.

Holly and I attended the Moxie Matters Tour event in Dallas last week, where Jen Hatmaker shared a story about one way Nichole Nordeman came along her during a recent painful season of life. Nichole shared with Jen a photo of a herd of elephants, and a story about how female elephants will get in formation to surround a vulnerable female elephant in order to protect her from harm. These are the kind of women we need in our lives. This is what we should be for other women. Read the full elephant story on Jen’s original Instagram post here.

Earlier in the month I attended the Together Live event in Austin, featuring some of my favorite female writers and activists including Glennon Doyle, Abby Wambach and Luvvie Ajayi. It was an inspiring evening of the intersectional and purposeful empowerment of women, together. I left the event hopeful and ready to make a difference in my corner of the world with the gifts and passions I’ve been given.

From a professional perspective, I am involved in an awesome organization called Women Leaders In College Sports, where we hosted our annual National Convention in Dallas earlier this month. One of the oft-spoken mantras of Women Leaders is a spin on the Madeleine Albright quote. “There is a special place in heaven for women who support other women.” The diverse women in this organization take this mantra VERY seriously, which makes the annual gather of 800+ Women Leaders such an incredible week. I am so grateful to have many mentors of professional women at the top of their game, some are working mothers and single mothers, many are women of fierce Christian faith, and each one is intentional and passionate about lifting up the young professionals in our industry as they rise and succeed in their careers. This community of Women Leaders plays a tremendous role in me being able to continue to succeed and do meaningful work in the male-dominated sports industry I work in.

I’m incredibly grateful for women, and the month of October reminded me of how awesome we are when we come together to support one another.


From Holly:

Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

It has been over a year since I read this book, but its ripple effects are still positively impacting me. I know “self-help” books are easy to make fun of, but the truth is we all need help in certain (most) areas of our lives. While I do not think cleanliness is next to godliness, I do know that for me, the way that I choose to care for my space and things impacts my life in tangible ways. Over the last few years, I have intentionally tried to slow the pace of my life and mind, and have come to realize that I don’t have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. (Do they really do that? How sad. Also yuck.) The physical space I am surrounded with, and the way my things are organized, truly do impact the way I think and live.

Marie Kondo’s easy to read book has been a game changer for me in creating simple, peaceful spaces for me to rest, work and play in. It has also helped simplify everything from cleaning up my bedroom at the end of the day, to knowing where my keys are and, probably biggest for me, packing for trips. Because I used the methods Marie suggests to clean out my closet, packing has become truly 100% easier and less stressful. Because I now like everything in my closet (and there is a lot less of it) packing is not anxiety inducing anymore. Also all of the things I need to pack, from chargers to mini-toothpaste, all have a place where I can easily find them, grab and go. This may all sound trivial, but if your life feels chaotic this book might be a good place to start.

Twitter Friends

No need to send me essays or studies on how internet friends cannot replace “in real life” friends. I know social media has big limits. But, y’all, I have been meeting the most incredible women via Twitter. I am being heard and I am listening. We talk hard things and we talk silly things. The world can feel lonely, and any space where I can meet like-minded sisters is a precious space to me.

Some of these sisters of mine you should consider following and listening to on Twitter are my friends Abby Perry, Kaitlyn Schiess, Kendall Vanderslice, Shannon Dingle, Joy Beth Smith and Elizabeth Esther. I don’t doubt that these lovely women will bring some light in to your days just as they have mine.

Have you recently read, watched or listened to something that you can’t stop recommending to others? Tell us about it in the comments! We would love to hear about the practices, artists and authors that are giving YOU life right now. 

Advent Day One: Hope Building
Collective Corner: September 2017
Morgan is a multi-passionate young professional and life-long learner whose heart beats to empower women and dismantle systems of injustice.
Morgan Rainer Strehlow on InstagramMorgan Rainer Strehlow on Twitter

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