31 Days for the Ladies: Closing

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Gentle Reader,

The 31 Days Challenge never fails to live up to its name. I wanted to give up somewhere around day 18.

This requires a lot of us writers. If only it were as easy as a good idea and a steady stream of words. It’s work. It’s discipline. It’s hours spent behind the scenes crafting images, settling on the best categories and tags, deciding how to publicize, staring at a blank screen and mocking cursor and remembering to publish anything written in advance. And, of course, battling with computer issues that always seem to arise at the worst possible moment. Creative ADHD sets in. You want to do something else. You get distracted. #squirrel.

After participating in and completing the last three 31 Days gauntlets, OCD wouldn’t let me quit – and I’m glad. Writing this series, even in the hard moments, has been a delight. I find myself thankful to be a woman and thankful for the fantastic women I know. We are a diverse, colorful lot. We have strong opinions and even stronger personalities. We bounce off of each other and sometimes hurt each other with our sharp edges. Words are exchanged. Hot tears flow. Forgiveness is extended and it all begins anew.

Women are amazing creatures.

Most importantly, I am thankful to God. Over and over again He reminded me that He did not put women on this earth to take a backseat or sit on the sidelines. He did not make us to live as delicate hothouse flowers that need coddling every step of the way. His Spirit dwells inside every woman who has bent her knee to Christ – and that Spirit raised a man from the dead. That’s some mighty awesome power we ladies are plugged into.

Women are warriors. We do battle. Sometimes against a world that wants to swallow us whole. Sometimes against ourselves, against our selfish desires. Always against the very real enemy of our souls. We bruise and we bleed but we get up again. That is our calling. We get up and we move forward, empowered and strengthened by the God who so carefully crafted us.

The heart of our Father is to give us good gifts. He sees each tear we cry. He holds us close. He knows when we can go on no longer and pours just a little more strength into our bones. He laughs when we play. He smiles when we thrill to the colors of a sunset. He knows our hopes, our dreams, our passions. In everything we face, He rests His hand upon our heads and declares, “She is mine.”

He is for us, ladies.

For 31 days and beyond.

My journey to faith. (15)

For all entries in the 31 Days for the Ladies series, go here.

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31 Days for the Ladies: Mold-Breakers

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Gentle Reader,

Every woman who ever drew a line in the sand and said, “Enough.”

Every woman who lobbied for decades to achieve the right to vote.

Every woman who believes she deserves to be paid the same wage a man receives for the job.

The first college student. Doctor. Pastor. Lawyer. Representative. The ones who paved the way. The ones who battled real injustice. The ones who continue to do so. Voices raw and bodies weary, their hearts burning with longing.

Every woman who wants more for her daughter.

Every woman who never listened to the “can’t.”

Every woman who steps into a new role.

The famous names like Marie Curie and Elizabeth Blackwell and Amelia Earhart and Florence Nightingale and Ann Judson and Jeannette Rankin and Susan B. Anthony and Fanny Crosby and Alice Paul and Amy Carmichael and Annie Oakley. The unknown scores around them, faces blurred in old tintype. Your great-grandmother, who rode the trolley to her office job. Your mom who stayed home and took care of you. The pioneer lady in the history book who walked across an entire continent in the hope of a better life. The immigrant bent over her work inside a dimly-lit factory.

And you, dear reader. Every time you dare to dream. Dare to hope. When you sign up for that class. When you take on that project. When you will not let what has gone before determine what lies ahead. When you choose to be the person God created you to be instead of striving to meet the expectations of others. When the man-made boundaries chafe your skin and you stretch and pull until the thing just breaks and you are free, gloriously free, to travel the road and exercise the gifts laid out for you before the world began.

Mold-breakers, I salute thee.

My journey to faith. (15)

For all entries in the 31 Days for the Ladies series, go here.

31 Days for the Ladies: Thank You, Shaving

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Along with many others, I’m shamelessly ripping off this bit from The Tonight Show. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say. Please do play the music as you read.

Gentle Reader,

One tiny cut on your ankle and the shower floor looks like a scene out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the one where the Black Knight insists it’s “just a flesh wound.”

Blood everywhere.

Like you should call the police and request a CSI team.

Thank you, shaving, for being the worst.

Dudes be all hairy and somehow it’s “manly” and “rugged.” They don’t even have to mess with their back hair. Back hair. But I leave my legs stubbly for a couple of days and dare to wear a pair of shorts and it’s deemed “gross.” Like hide your kids, hide your wife, the she-beast approaches.

You’re not even worth the satisfaction of a few hours of smooth skin because I have to do it all again tomorrow. Dark-haired ladies got it rough.

I loathe you.

My journey to faith. (15)

For all entries in the 31 Days for the Ladies series, go here.