Today is International Women’s Day and I am so blessed by all the women (young and old) that are in my life.
I grew up surrounded by guys, between my 3 brothers and all their friends. Our church was small, and I was the only one my age most of the time. I played in the woods with my brothers and climbed trees with them as often as I read books or helped my mom cook dinner. I didn’t play with dolls and I certainly wasn’t into pink or princesses or any thing really “girly”.
When I was in High School we moved to a bigger church, but even then, my high school youth group and Sunday School class was mostly guys. I loved my time with them and definitely didn’t feel like I was missing out by not having a big group of girlfriends. Even in college, I majored in business administration and at the time there were definitely more guys than girls in those classes.
I had good girl friends along the way but it wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I started to meet some really great women and started to realize what I had been missing out on. At some point as well, as more and more of my peers started getting married, it wasn’t as “socially acceptable” anymore for me to be “hanging out” with the guys. I realized if I was going to have friends I was going to have to find those friendships with girls.
In the last 15 years, the Lord has blessed my life with some amazing women and I wanted to highlight them today. It’s so interesting to see the trajectory of my life and how I went from being more of a tomboy to now having completely embraced my life as a woman; to the point of calling myself a Christian Feminist.
These days I want to celebrate women and want to see them be treated with as much respect and equality as their male counterparts. I want to see my nieces grow up to not be used to hearing about how the greatest calling in their life is for them to be a godly wife and mother (which is what I grew up hearing).
NOTE: I’m more than okay with both of those things but I also know that is not the ultimate achievement a Christian woman can strive for either.
I want my nieces to not have to constantly hear jokes and comments about how being a girl is either an insulting thing or makes them somehow “less than” a boy.
So here we go – these are some of the most important women in my life and they should be celebrated:
Lynn Ladies – my mom, sister-in-laws and all my nieces. They all have my entire heart – they love me unconditionally as I do them. We laugh and cry together, share secrets and roll our eyes together, and would do anything for each other.
These were my 1st real group of girlfriends when I moved to Bowling Green. It took me a while to find my “tribe” but these girls were it. We formed a small group called WNKY (Women with No Kids Yet) and these girls spoke truth in my life and cared for me in such a good way
This is my current group of Middle School girls from my church that I help to mentor and disciple. They are giggly and silly, but sweet and serious at the same time. They are “struggling” through middle school as we all must do, but are doing it with grace and fun. I love my time with them and their heart for learning more about Jesus and their walk with Him.
These are the women at my church that I’m the closest to. Some are in my Community Group and others we have forged friendships through shared experiences, both good and bad times. I adore each of these women and I know that if I needed anything, they would be at my doorstep for me
These are on the Women’s Leadership Team at my church. We get together to pray for the women in our church, to plan events and activities that will enhance our relationships with each other and the Lord. These women love our church, and truly want to see others in our church feel loved, supported, encouraged, and spiritually enriched.
The women in my church. They love their families and God and I am so thankful I have them speaking into my life week after week.
These are my persons – the ones that would help me bury a body if needed; the ones who despite the fact we live in different states and time zones are the ones I want to talk to when I have good news or bad; they teach me and stretch me and the ones I would not be “me” without their friendships. These are my oldest and dearest friends; the ones I will work to always have in my life. Cheryl I’ve known 30 years, Rebecca 17 years, Christi 14 year, and Molly 13 years.
My encouragement to you all today – cherish the women in your life. Listen to what they have to say; encourage them to learn and grow each day; invest in friendships with them. Stick with them when things get tough; cry and laugh together. This may involve you stretching yourself out of what feels comfortable or normal.
You need women in your life; whether you are young or old; married or single; male or female. Find them.