equality for women


There are many issues facing women today. We live in a world where women are created equal by God yet they are not always treated as equals. Many women do not receive the same pay that men do for the same amount of work. Young girls are abused and sold into slavery in our own cities. The staggering number of broken homes, absentee parents, untrustworthy leaders, homelessness and poverty have resulted in many girls growing up with the need to just survive. They have something they must prove to themselves and to the world. They may be wearing rags in the cold streets or just as likely, they may be wearing business suits in the executive office. This is for them.

As women, we don’t have to fight or scream to be equal. We are created equal by a God who grants us respect. Sometimes we fear that if we don’t scratch and claw, we won’t be understood. We may fear we may never be able to get to the top, or rather just provide for our families. Yet we are not left to ourselves to dig out our future alone because there is a God who is interested in partnering with us. He delights in our leadership and our future and our equality. He validates us. He is set on carving out a path of success for us, and when we rest in him, because he will not let us down, we can be confident, self-assured, yet not in ourselves but assured in the power of Jesus working in our lives.

The number of women who are abused, enslaved and without opportunity is heartbreaking. No woman should be silent about abuse. No girl should be without a voice. Friend, fierceness belongs to you. You are a strong warrior, a leader with visions and dreams, strength, boldness and confidence. Girls, you can rest in a God who will never bail on you. We can be fierce and bold and yet calmly confident in the fact that Jesus is for us and our abilities are making a huge difference.

Selina Hastings was Countess of Huntington. She lived in Europe in the 1700’s. She was a straight up leader. She got it done. She gave and served. She was a boss. She figured out what needed to be done, and she did it. She was the first female principal of a men’s college in Wales. She funded the building of 64 chapels in England and Wales. Selina promoted independence for African slaves and raised money for missionary work in India and colonial America. Selina didn’t need the boys to do her job for her; and she didn’t need to prove to them that she was better than they were. She didn’t have to post it to validate that it actually happened. She built buildings. She trained leaders. She funded church plants. She used her equality and leadership humbly for greater good.

We are not unlike Selina. Though centuries divide us, many challenges remain the same. Like this humble, bold leader from the 1700’s you too can make a difference. Because of Jesus, you are already enough. Look to him for everything you need. You are equal, powerful, beautiful and loved.

(empty) NEST part one

I got to pick a cool word for a beautiful wire bracelet. A room full of church planting wives--a wonderful friend sharing some inspiring thoughts--and a bracelet maker in the back, his hands wrapped in tape--a roll of wire on the floor--and words being formed into bracelets.  I was part of planning this day, so I was excited that "our girls" were going to get to take home a fun gift, more importantly, one that meant something personally to each one of them. They were to pick a word to encourage or inspire them, maybe a word about something for which they were striving or hoping. So listening to my friend, Coleen, talk about words that mean something special to us, and being more concerned about the day we had planned for these ladies, I did not really think about MY word. And then it hit me. What is the big thing that is characterizing my life right now? What is the next thing for me? What am I to do next? And it became obvious--the EMPTY NEST!

My youngest is leaving for college, and it will just be Brian and me at home. Gosh, our house will be sadly quiet. I have seen so many people do well and so many people not do well during this time that, yes, this was the word that is characterizing all of my decisions and immediate plans! But....I hate the word "empty." It is so void, like nothing is left. Everything is gone. So I decided that the curvy wire around my wrist would simply read, "Nest." Yes. I will still have a nest. A man and grown up kids. And they will probably bring more back to my nest one day! I will love this stage of life and embrace the sweetness of seeing my boys experience what God has planned for their futures. I get the chance to spend time with the man I married and my big lab baby, Gibson!  I can invest in other people more. Nothing that God plans for us is "empty," by the way. He fills. He overflows, and he restores. Too bad my bracelet doesn't come with a little supply of tissues! I'm going to need them next week when I leave boy number two on mountain number two! I'll keep you posted....

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