Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library

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The Sseko Brave Collective

#ssekobrave {Living Outside the Stacks}

Last summer, a friend of mine showed me the cutest pair of sandals that she’d just bought at a local boutique. I instantly fell in love. Y’all know, I’m all about shoes. Then she told me the story:

Sskeo Designs is a fashion brand, based in Uganda, that makes handbags, accessories, and leather sandals with beautiful interchangeable fabric straps that can be styled many different ways. The women who create these beautiful items use the profits to attend university and better their lives as well as the lives of their families.

Beauty with a purpose? I was all over it. The following weekend I went to the store and bought a pair of Sseko Designs sandals, you can see them here. Those sandals became my go-to shoes for the summer. I even stepped out of my comfort zone and bought the metallic gold straps! Which you can see here.

So when I was invited to become a member of the Sseko Brave Collective, I was beyond thrilled. I’m truly passionate about empowering women to do more and be more through education. And as a mother of five, I know how important it is to get an education and to be an example to my children.

In the picture, I’m holding a copy of the Sseko Brave Manifesto: a collection of empowering phrases that help encourage the women who are involved with Sseko Designs. Each of those phrases appeals to me for various reasons but I think the one that resonates most with me is:

Every Great Journey Begins With A Small Step

I’ve always tried to live my life fearlessly. Well, that is until I became a mom, but even that requires a delicate balance of bravery and vulnerability. Since childhood, I’ve dreamed of big adventures: I wanted to travel the world as a journalist {for a minute, I even wanted to be a spy}. Instead I traveled the world as a military family member and then as a soldier. I traveled by bus in a country where I didn’t speak the language and made friends with people I’d never see again. I went to college and earned two Master’s Degrees while raising four children under the age of five and battling cancer. And I’ve walked hand~in~hand with The Hubs through the various phases of our lives.

Each great journey in my life began with one small {brave} step forward…

Daenel T

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Happy Fist Bump Friday: Run for God, Week 1

#FistBumpFriday {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to acknowledge the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

This week I’m happy that Miss 17 and I completed Week 1 of Run for God, a 5K training program with a Jesus focused theme. We’re all kinds of excited about crossing that finish line in 12 weeks. If you’d like to cheer us on, you can follow us on Instagram. I’m @4daenelt and we’re using the hashtag #TeamLOTS.

Want to know more about why we chose Run for God? Click here.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

Daenel T

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Find the Beauty in the Brown

Find the Beauty in the Brown {Living Outside the Stacks}

Every day as I stare out my kitchen window, this is my view. Brown withered leaves, crunchy flower pods, splintered stems… Dead plants. sigh Yesterday, as I stood there preparing dinner, mentally complaining about the lack of life and color in my front yard, I started thinking about the things that are going on within me. And I realized, my problem isn’t external, it’s internal.

I’ve always been a creative person. And every job I’ve ever had has had an outlet for that creativity: when I was in the Army, I got to assist with meal planning {Have you ever planned a Thanksgiving meal for roughly 300 soldiers at a remote location? Trust me, you can get creative and have fun.}, when I was an archivist, I got to set up displays and write descriptions for the pictures, and when I was a librarian, I got to create and maintain our social media accounts… With this position, I’m all admin all the time. My days consist of paperwork, putting out fires, and making sure that things run smoothly. There’s no time or room for creative expression.

As I studied the dried plants through the window, I realized something, they’re not really dead. They’re dormant. In a few short months weeks, they’ll be bursting with color and alive with butterflies and hummingbirds. Within that dried crunchy foliage is hope and life.

Find Beauty in the Brown {Living Outside the Stacks}

So I took out my camera, and started trying to find the beauty in the brown. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” And I firmly believe that. Right now, I’m going through a dormant phase in my career. But, it’s up to me to find the beauty in the brown until I can dance in the colors.

Are you going through a dormant phase? How do you deal?

Daenel T

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Happy Fist Bump Friday: Spring is Here

#FistBumpFriday {Living Outside the Stacks}

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I like to do a little something called “Fist Bump Friday”, where I encourage my friends to share something that made them happy during the week. Sometimes we get so bogged down with life and the crazy that comes with it that we forget to acknowledge the good things. So I thought it’d be fun if we all shared and celebrated together.

This week I’m happy that Spring is finally here. I know that doesn’t mean that it automatically gets warmer, but it brings hope. I’m also happy for a day off from work that’ll be spent hanging with the hubs.

So please, share your good news in the comments below. Remember, it doesn’t have to be big or earth shattering. If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

Daenel T

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Happy Spring!

Happy Spring {Living Outside the Stacks}

Daenel T

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