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!

honoring a great woman

patronsaintsmidwivessynchroblogIn honor of International Women’s Day, Sarah Bessey is hosting a link-up for us to honor the Spiritual Midwives and Patron Saints in our lives. My mind immediately began to race about all the incredible and amazing women who have graced my life…

Spiritual Midwives (those I know personally), Patron Saints (those I have never met), and precious lives that have intersected with mine through the years. I could write about so many of them…

Today I have decided to honor one woman in particular… my sister.

terry n lulu

This very special lady was instrumental in introducing me to a personal relationship with God. In her new faith, she bravely shared with me her child-like knowledge, facing my skepticism and scoffing, and her changed life was one of the key elements in my ultimate choice for saving grace. Her continued faith through the years is a great encouragement to me.

Her life has not been easy and she has had her share of struggles and stumbles along the way, but she continues forward always. She has never given up – although I know she has felt tempted. She prays for, serves, defends, and loves her husband, children, family, friends, and community. She is authentic and real about her life story, and her lack of pretense attracts others to her.

She is a faithful listener and a truth-speaker. We love to walk and talk together, and she has challenged me more than once to reconsider my heart attitude and my natural inclinations for something better. She speaks without judgement, but rather with a sincere desire to help and encourage.

My sister’s help is so often sacrificial. We have to remind her to take care of her own needs. She is hospitable, generous, creative and humble. She is often found cooking, cleaning, running errands, or babysitting for others. She has welcomed my whole crazy family into her small, cozy home for too-long periods of time more times than I could ever count. More than that, she has welcomed us into her heart.

My sister will probably never be famous outside of a small community circle, but her influence will reach the world through the people she prays for and supports.

I love you, Laura, and I honor you on this International Woman’s Day! May your legacy be an encouragement to many other woman today and in the future. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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Who are your spiritual midwives or patron saints? Who would you like to honor today?