International Women’s Day

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Here’s to strong women. May we know them.

I was fortunate enough to be raised by strong women. My mom gets stuff done. She is a fixer and a planner. Don’t tell her your problems unless you’d like some solutions. She is witty and funny and smart.

I grew up with one biological grandparent. Although I didn’t and don’t get to see her as often as I like, Grandma Mary Frances sure has made an impression. She speaks her mind always. She gets stuff done. She is not slowed down. She is not walking with a walker, despite having had a hip replaced, because walkers are for weenies. She introduced me to the Walmart greeter and to the waitress at Ponderosa. She likes animals more than she likes people and she’ll tell you that with no shame. She is unashamedly and unabashedly herself. She leaves the TV on for her dogs and puts bandaids on her chickens. There is so much about her that I want to be.

I grew up with two adopted grandparents. They still live next door to my parents. Grandma Susie has so much influence on who I am. She is no nonsense. She took us on nature walks and taught us to make yarn dolls. She still manages to get presents to me on every holiday. She taught me to hide the word of God in my heart. She taught me to pray. She taught me the importance of words. Though she be little, she is fierce. She is a four time cancer survivor. Her victory is in Jesus.

If I started writing about all of the strong women I get to call friend, I would never stop. They are legion. They are so funny and informed and they know what they want and who they are. My friends are women after God’s own heart, women of valor. My friends are so beautiful. They are adventurous and thoughtful and kind. My friends are raising up children in such bold and courageous and selfless ways. They are starting and running business. They are loving partners. They are writing words. Proclaiming truths. Creating art. Making people laugh. I am blessed, surrounded by their goodness that propels me forward toward my best self.

Here’s to strong women. May we be them.

All of the good in me is God in me. I have never felt so settled, so alive, so at peace. I can look back two years and see how clearly God has brought me here to where I am and who I am. I can look back two months and see the same. Two weeks. Two days. Two hours! God is alive in me and His Spirit moves me. Every time I fall short, He is more than enough. Hallelujah.

I am loud. I have an opinion and I’d love to tell you about it. I admit that I might be wrong. I am a learner. A reader. A writer. A teacher! I am a teacher down to my bones and my blood and my soul. I love words. I want to fill my world with words and then from those words build new worlds and invite you in. Adoro mi Dios en dos idiomas. Enseño. Predico. Oro.

I cry a lot. And that doesn’t make me weak. I process my feelings. I practice self awareness. I ask for forgiveness. I am a work in progress, walking along the dusty, brambly road of sanctification toward my redemption, every step of the way paved in the powerful blood of my Savior. I am bought and paid for, sought out and found. I am made whole and being made whole. I am a strong woman because of whose I am.

Here’s to strong women. May we raise them.

My students forgive each other. They ask for forgiveness. I am teaching them to be self aware, to understand and know and realize and recognize that their actions have consequences and that what they say and do has an affect on other people. I am teaching them, above all, to love. To love. To love.

My students sing and dance. They dance with abandon! Together we twirl and jump, laugh and sing. Together we paint and color. We create. My students and I pray together. We give thanks to God. We confess our sins to God. We ask God for help. We tell God we love Him. We say, “Amen.”

We clean up after ourselves. We look back, readjust, and try again tomorrow. They may not be mine forever, but they are mine now, and forever part of me. I am blessed beyond measure to be a part of their spectacular lives. My students are strong men and women. They are smart and capable, funny and fun, so unique. My prayer for them, as I take this part in raising them, is that they know deep down in their bones that they are known and seen and loved by our Great God.

Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. Amen.

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