a shout out

March 8th is International Women’s Day! You may not have known that. It is not a high-profile holiday here in the US, maybe it is where you live.

You may not have planned any extra activities or special menu items for the day. If you forgot to invite your family and friends over for the celebration, that’s OK. I thought we could celebrate here!

shouting-for-joy

Since living almost 20 years in Latin America, I know that you do not need an official reason to have a party. It can always be fiesta time! When I read that March 8th is International Women’s Day, I immediately began to have a party in my heart as I reflected on the amazing women who have been on my life journey with me.

I began thinking about family first… My brave Mom who is battling cancer and just lost her husband but continues on loving me and others. My sisters who have each fought their own personal battles through the years, but are growing and learning and giving sacrificially to others. My daughters who make me so proud as they become thoughtful, generous, sensitive, creative, strong, caring women.

shout Newsbie

I could never list all the special women who have been friends, coaches, mentors, and inspirational examples for me, but as their faces flashed through my mind, I remember life-changing conversations and experiences together, and my soul feels refreshed and ready for any challenge life may bring.

Friends also came to mind… friends from all stages of life and all parts of the globe. How they have brought laughter, adventure, comfort and challenge to my world! We have talked for hours, worked side by side on eternally valued projects, and cried and hugged through pain. I am a better person because of their investment in my life.

Jimmy Jack Kane / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

I thought, too, of the women I have never met, but I have read about them or read their books or blogs. Women leaders and those who have suffered great tragedies. Women who advocate for women to find their place in powerful divine alliance with men for good and change and hope in our world.

And speaking of men, I cannot forget to mention the ones who have believed in me, sponsored me, and always ensured that I found the stairs to the unique platform God designed for me. My incredible husband, Steve, is the first one on this list.

I have written about some of these special people through the years, but I can never do them all justice. Their influence is engraved in my mind, heart, and soul. So this week, I am taking advantage of International Women’s Day to give a shout out to these special ones. I am so grateful for paths that crossed and lives that intersected.

Will you join my fiesta? Who would you like to honor on this International Women’s Day? Name your special people in the comments… I’d love to celebrate with you!

not all about me

nerve-racking.

nail-biting.

pacing.

praying.

eating-too-much.

eating-too-little.  

head-ache.

sore neck.

work hard.

can’t sleep.

stress

My stressor this week was an on-line music competition for our son, Matt. He needed views, votes, “likes”, tweets, etc in order to move through the brackets and win his dream-of-a-lifetime to be the opening act for a more famous YouTube star, Tyler Ward, who is doing a U.S. concert tour.

We – the committed, slightly crazy parents – did all we could to rally support for Matt. We facebooked and tweeted; we emailed; we cajoled our co-workers to get on-line; we shamelessly begged our friends to vote each day. We investigated winning strategies and stayed up too late at night watching the results roll in.

We believe in our son and want to support his dreams in any way we can.

We also have our own lives and work and responsibilities and have to put limits on what we can do for him. There were times when I had to shut down the computer and stay away from the “competition world” for a while. Other times when I had to “let go” emotionally of my desires for his success and remember…

This is not all about me.

It doesn’t all depend on me; I am not indispensable.

I’ve had to remember that lesson at work as well as with my family. I can get over stressed about a project, a goal, a desired culture change, a responsibility and forget… I am not the only one active here. Just as Matt has other friends and fans that support his music, I have other teammates, mentors, and resources that I can – and should – involve in my projects.

When I trust only in myself and forget to partner well, I miss out on the strengths, talents, encouragement, wisdom, support, ideas, energy, finances, prayers, materials, etc. that others bring to the table.

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
African proverb

I firmly believe that together is better than solo. Friends, co-workers, fans, family, partners, and mentors are crucial in my world… because this is not all about me!

How do you handle your stress?  How do you battle the “all about me” attitude?

****PS He did win the competition! 🙂