If you’ve turned on the news today, or looked at a newspaper, you’ve probably seen that it’s International Women’s Day. It’s also a day that thousands of women in cities across the globe are gathering together for a women’s strike called “A Day Without Women”.
From what I’ve read and seen on the news, the goal of this event is to encourage women from “abstaining from doing paid or unpaid work, to avoid spending money (except at women owned businesses), and to wear red in solidarity. They are urging businesses to close down for the day to ‘show their support’ and/or give all their female employees the day off. The reach and influence of this event is SO big that several school districts across the nation have completely closed school due to the high number of anticipated absences of staff and students alike.
Traditionally, the goal of International Women’s Day is to “celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.”
And hear me on this, I am for you, women. All of you. Regardless of your age, your background, your ethnicity, your religious beliefs, your achievements, your choices in child-rearing or in who you are attracted to. I AM FOR YOU.
And yet, at the same time, I don’t plan to participate in “A Day without women” to prove how necessary I am.
I know that I was created to serve and to love well- Even when it’s not validated and reciprocated, or even acknowledged. I try to follow the example of servant leadership that Christ modeled for me- to humbly serve where I am planted.
To not have to scream louder or demand more about what I deserve, but to simply offer up what I’ve been given.
Women- you are strong. You quite literally shape lives and communities, corporations and generations. You are gifted and able and strong. There is no doubt about that.
I know that my experience has not been the same as many of yours and that many of you have had to walk much harder roads. Today, I’m praying for you. And I’m celebrating women and all the GOOD THINGS we bring to the world. International day of women- yes. Good idea.
But “A Day Without Women?” Not for me.
I don’t plan to strike.
I know that the work that I do matters, and so I don’t strike to prove it to anyone…I continue working because I know that it’s necessary…I know that it blesses others and I want to contribute to being the GOOD in the world.
If all female caretakers in nursing homes took a break today, what good is that doing for the sweet individuals who rely on their care? If nurses and doctors decided to not show up today, lives would literally be lost. For the students sitting in classrooms today with their teacher not present, what benefit are we adding to their lives?
I say this humbly and as kindly as my flawed heart is able: Is my goal to get the glory or is my goal to make the lives of others better?
I know many will disagree. I know many will read this and quickly dismiss it. I might even receive some hateful comments or messages.
But for me, it was a good chance to go back to the type of woman that I choose to be and the type of woman I’m praying my daughter will grow up and choose to be…a woman who serves.
A woman who has been healed by the love of a God who never lets her down and who has made me whole.
A woman who chooses to just go out and to BE THE GIFT whenever possible.
A woman who doesn’t have to scream louder to make her point known, but who shows up and faithfully speaks the words that she has been given.
A woman who has a heart at rest, that isn’t conditional based on circumstances. I choose to be THIS type of woman:
10- A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
My friend Jennifer posted this on Instagram this morning and it perfectly sums up what I’m trying to express.
“I am not strong or powerful simply because I’m a woman. Our only strength and any influence we can each hope to have comes through the power of a resurrected Savior. Christ in us- the hope of glory.”
Today, let’s be women who are able to rest in knowing who we are and WHOSE we are.
And regardless of how you feel on this topic, let’s love. Disagreements and differences of opinions do not have to mean destruction of relationship. I am for you, I am with you- even if we may have different ideas or opinions.