Lu suggested that we do a little thrifty thursday shake-up and focus on today being International Women’s day.
I’ve been thinking all day about what angle to take on this post. There are so many ways to use this forum to celebrate women’s freedom and highlight the amazing work of women tackling huge issues in our world but my mind simply kept coming back to the women in my life that have continually challenged me, encouraged me and loved me through the years.
This post is for them. It’s been really hard to reign this in. I could write a million words about the amazing female friends and relatives I’m surrounded by. Girlfriends that have overcome amazing obstacles, are making a huge difference and working really hard at being the best they can be. Those that have started the brave task of starting their own businesses, friends that have overcome illness, depression, single mums; so many stories of bravery and hope.
So often we can be a bit reluctant or afraid to ‘big up’ each other as women. I don’t know what it is, but I think our culture has tried to push jealousy and criticism on each other. I’ve been guilty of these traits myself, but I want to live in a way that continually pushes the individual value and worth of each other. So here goes.
I have to start with my immediate family. I could not imagine writing this post without giving huge credit to my mum, mother-in-law and my sisters-in-law. In these relationships I am constantly reminded about generosity, perseverance, and love. I am so grateful to have these women to turn to for advice and support. They care deeply about others, are committed to their family and work hard in their roles as wives and mothers. Theirs is an example that challenges me regularly, no matter how spread out around the world or nearby they may be.
And then my amazingly diverse friends from all over the globe. Some of my dearest friends have been through some really difficult situations in life and emerged from these with the kind of grace and dignity that puts my ‘rough morning with Levi whinging’ to shame. I’m not going to name them all but I am going to tell you about some of them…
One is a friend who fell into a bad relationship and ended up serving a prison sentence for a crime she was manipulated into – now she is a wife and mother who has devoted time to supporting young offenders reintegrate into society has taught me so much about generosity and love. One is a single mum who’s partner died only weeks after the birth of her beautiful little girl – she is a beautiful mother and exemplifies the kind of strength I cannot fathom. One is a freedom fighter, full of grace who lost both parents within a week of each other, she lives to serves the homeless and lonely. Another cared for her mother as she got progressively ill from a degenerative illness and recently passed away – she now fights for the rights of elderly vulnerable people and is passionate about community and family. And the list could go on…
So many women, so many stories, so many reasons to be thankful for beautiful relationships that sharpen you. May we all continue to choose to encourage rather that pick holes, to push each other forward, rather than drag each other down. We are better together.