Women, rise up!

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the Women of Faith conference at the Pepsi Center with a group of amazing friends. I stayed up way too late and laughed so hard – just the friend time was worth it! However, I also got to hear some amazing speakers at the conference.

One of the women, Lisa Bevere, just wrote a book called “Lioness Arising” and she spent a great deal of time studying prides of lions for her book. The Lionesses are the hunters for the pride and they often live together and raise their young together.  They hunt together, and breed at the same time so their young will be roughly the same age. This betters the babies chances of survival. They are powerful, strong, agile, stealthy….and gentle, loving, nurturing and supportive of the other Lionesses in the pride as well.

The Lionesses must work together as a team to bring home enough food for everyone to eat. Each lioness has a different strength and they must all work together with those different strengths to ensure that there is enough food and enough care for the babies at the same time. A wise Lioness knows that the other Lionesses are her allies. They accomplish more together than they could individually.

Why can’t human women figure this out? Ms. Bevere said something that has really stuck with me: (human) “women tend to see each other as problems and men as a solution. We need to start seeing each other as solutions.”

No, neither Ms. Bevere nor I are implying that men are the problem. However, how true is it that women often get so caught up in comparison and unkind behavior that we see each other as less than a worthy friend or advocate? We see other women as a threat, or someone to compete with…in looks. In material possessions. In education. In financial gain. In the way our children behave. In the way our marriages function. In social status.

Blah. I’m sick of it.

What if we stopped doing that? What would happen?

I submit that the world would change.

If we could stop caring about silly things, maybe just MAYBE, we could work together as well as the Lionesses. And if we did that? If a group of us can agree on a worthy cause, it will influence our children. Our spouses. Our communities.

Scripture tells us that there would be (figurative, please) blood if this were to happen. Numbers 23:24 says “the people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till it devours its prey and drinks the blood of its victims.”

I’m against literal blood drinking. But, I am absolutely FOR fighting against cultural things that may harm my kids. How about the media assault on women? Child trafficking? Rampant violence, drugs, and pornography? I’d “drink the blood” of those victims with pleasure.

Who’s with me? Though I haven’t read the book yet – I’m excited about the “Lioness Arising” in my heart. C’mon girlfriends. We need each other.

One of those days…

Last night I had a “sleepover” with Olivia in her room. Between the kicks in the stomach, knees in the back and whack in the face, I didn’t wake up feeling very rested.

She didn’t wake up rested, either. We had a tough morning. There were a lot of tears (hers) and a lot of prayers for patience (mine) while administering natural consequences.

A trip to the gym gave us each a break and we had a better afternoon. And now I see her sweet exhausted self sleeping soundly. I’m reminded that she’s just 4 and trying to learn how to handle the very same emotions adults don’t always handle well.

Oh how I love her.

She is exquisitely beautiful on the inside and out. Smarter than I ever dared hope for her to be. Funny, athletic, sweet, caring….I know I’m biased but I’m also right. Just ask her dad, he agrees with me.

What I couldn’t get out of my head today is that God loves her even more than I do. Couple that with the truth that we are all called children of God and you have one emotional pregnant woman sleep stalking her daughter and doing the ugly cry at the same time.

God loves ME like that? How can that be? I know me, and there’s a lot to “work on.” But He does. It’s true. No, actually it’s True. Objectively, regardless of how I feel about it, TRUE. How humbling.

Thank you, Lord.

Spirit Recharge!

Last night at about 9:30 I realized it was my wonderful friend Dareth’s birthday. This is a birthday that I frequently remember one MONTH late. Yesterday was the right day (I was on time!) so I picked up the phone to call her at 9:30pm even though that’s way too late in both of our households for phone calls.

Dareth makes me laugh every single time I talk to her. My husband noticed that every time I start to tell him a story about her I am always laughing out loud first. The progression goes something like this:

1. Remember story.

2. Laugh out loud.

3. Want to share the story – so I say “Have I ever told you this story about Dareth?”

What a wonderful friendship, to have so many hysterical memories that go along with it! I have many amazing friends (you know who you are!) but for some reason the silliest things happen to Dareth and her family that make me laugh out loud every time I think of them.

Do you have a friend like this? Thank God for good friends! Cicero once said that “A friend is, as it were, a second self.”

Thanks Dareth, for being my “second self.” I hope your birthday was awesome. Love you.

Why can’t life be like a musical?

I love me a good musical, and I’m certain it all began with Little Orphan Annie.  My current favorite is Hairspray. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve not seen the original starring Ricki Lake as Tracy Turnblad, but the most recent rendition with Nikki Blonsky is so. Much. FUN!

In case you don’t know the story, Tracy Turnblad is the teenage heroine of this upbeat musical with the shockingly serious undertones. She defines the word optimist. She wakes up singing the movie’s first song “Good Morning Baltimore” and some of the lyrics show her attitude:

“Good Morning Baltimore! Every day’s like an open door. Every night is a fantasy, every sound’s like a symphony.

Good Morning Baltimore! And some day when I take to the floor, the world’s gonna wake up and see….Baltimore and me!”

Not to get all suddenly serious or anything, but sometimes I think God wants me to wake up with that kind of attitude for Him. What if I woke up every morning with not only the hope, but the expectation that God was going to show up and do GREAT THINGS that day “when I take to the floor?” How would my life change?

My worldview is one that teaches me that God has a plan to prosper those who choose to follow Him through good times and bad. I’d like to choose that – and I’d like to be just as excited about what God is going to do as Tracy Turnblad is about the day that Baltimore will bring her. No offense Baltimore, but I think God is even cooler than you are.

In an effort to start depending on Him more, being more transparent and journeying with my friends more, I present to you this blog. It’s attempt #3 at consistent writing and I’m hoping that the third time really is a charm. I so enjoy writing and hope to create some memories here too.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. Hope to see you back here soon!