Happy International Women’s Day!
I love today, because it (and the days around it) are a chance to think about some of the great women we know as individuals and communities. It is necessary to highlight these women because gender inequality is still a problem that leads to some of most horrific abuse we know today. By celebrating women today, and every day, we validate them as human beings who have dignity, importance, and value.
I asked my friends to tell me who the women who inspired them were. I loved ALL of the answers.
My mum. Lived a life of consistency, not afraid to speak up yet gentle and compassionate. A strong example of living out what you believe!
Oprah would be one, not based on what she does but on her journey from poverty, rape and teenage pregnancy to becoming one of the most successful people on the planet.
My wife. Classy, elegant, hard-working, gracious and firm. Has managed to be married to me for over 30 years!
Dr Helen Roseveare stands out. Amazing woman of God.
Helen Keller has always massively inspired me! I remember hearing about her life in primary school is it has always stuck with me! Being blind and deaf is unimaginable – a dark, silent world.. Yet she strived to learn/speak/write and make the world a better place! So inspiring!!!!!
Naomi Long. Decent, kind, principled, articulate, courageous, visionary.
Not necessarily famous women, just the women around me that I notice who work hard and quietly to serve, encourage, and bless others in small (yet powerful) ways.
My mum inspires me because she lives according to what she thinks is true instead of what she thinks will make her look good.
My Aunt. She is registered blind but shows people how to overcome by just living. She is the most kind and generous person…she struggles with some tasks and can get down but she just has this light within her.
Ann Voskamp is an inspiration to me through her pursuit to find joy and purpose in the day-to-day, by living a life of gratitude.
An older woman who was widowed when she was young and has steadfastly refused to allow that to identify her; she keeps her mind and body active, she is interested in the world around her and she has used her particular tragedy to reach out to others. I want to grow old like her!
My gran – 10 kids, 34 grandkids, 26 great grandkids. She fights for us, cheers for us, kicks our butts and loves us all.
Danielle LaPorte, the author of a book that has changed my life. It’s made me hopeful and look at my life differently.
Amy Carmichael – the girl who wanted blue eyes. A woman who devoted her life to God and serving. She was a world changer.
Tante Lina – an elderly Christian lady who lived beside our church building. The key word I associate with her: ‘reconaissante’ – grateful. That’s how she described herself.
Anne Lamott. Back in the day I used to think it was funny to roll my eyes and whisper that I wasn’t really a feminist. Essay by essay Anne Lamott gently woke me up. I see myself when I read her essays – ridiculous, petty, trying too hard, nuts. I see myself when I read her essays – beautiful, unique, loved, God’s. I need both perspectives and her messy, insightful truth-telling inspires me more as a woman than the voices telling me to be strong and impressive.
Anne Frank for believing in people when there was so little to believe in.
My mum. She has a big heart, showers us with love and never expects anything in return.
Mary Slessor – she valued people over anything else.
Anita Roddick for modelling something different in business and speaking up for the voiceless.
Irma Stern (South African artist.) She was an incredible painter & a great traveller – I’m always inspired by the adventurers!
My mom because she is so selfless and giving. She devoted the majority of her life to her kids and is still constantly giving to my younger sister who has special needs.
Mother Teresa for her convictions and how she walked them out.
My beautiful eldest sister, for beating cancers butt and not letting any part of the ordeal get her down. She is strong and beautiful, and if I think I can’t do something or get past something, I think of what she went through and make myself get a move on.
Rosa parks for taking a stand.
Kelly Osbourne – she does absolutely fantastic charity work and isn’t afraid to be herself.
Eva Cassidy for singing until the end.
My mum who showed me that world of women and encouraged me to dare to dream my dreams.
Hilary Clinton, whether I believe in her politics or not. She’s been through such horrific belittlement by the media and subject to the vilest of misogynist rubbish, yet she still rises above. Whenever I start to get pulled down by insignificant drama, I always gain perspective by thinking, hey remember when Hilary was trying to reform healthcare but everyone kept talking about her hair? And then I keep pushing, because there is work to be done.
My mum for leading our family with courage and grace in the darkest days.
Who are the woman who inspire you? Why?
If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, share your answer and use the hashtag #SheInspiresMe. Feel free to use the image above if you’d like an image with your post – or use a photo of the woman herself! Wouldn’t it be amazing if today, the world heard the names of women, known to many or to few, who were inspiring in lots of different ways? It’s time for us to tell a different story!
And remember to tell the woman you are celebrating, too! Have you ever felt OVER-encouraged? Didn’t think so! 🙂 To make it even easier, here’s a picture you can right-click and download to send to them along with some of your own words.