Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about girls. About their natural strengths and gifts, and how they are so often undervalued in our world.
I am blessed with a remarkable daughter who has brought many of her joyful, creative friends into our home. To raise a daughter is to be immersed in the natural exuberance of girls. And have you met my sisters and nieces? My amazing mother? My girlfriends? All of them creative, fearless, funny, loyal, loving; all of them fierce mother bears when they need to be.
These are qualities that change lives; qualities that are changing our world.
Meet my friend, Florence, who lives in war-torn Nigeria. I call her my sister across the sea. Florence is a young widow with no formal education, and though unmarried women have little stature in her community, she is caring for six children. Some of them are her own, and some of them are orphans from the war.
Organizations that try to help communities like the one in which Florence lives have discovered an incredible, previously untapped resource. Women.
Given a chance and a little hope, a woman will find a way to take care of her children. She will do what it takes to care for others’ children, as well. (If you are a girl, you know that this is absolutely the truth.) She will joyfully support the efforts of other women.
Together, they will figure out how to clothe, feed, and educate the young and the helpless.
They will sing together in the light of their kerosene lamps and laugh and cry together as they undertake the enormous task of rebuilding their communities.
They will fill their homes with color and love as they weave their torn and broken lives back together.
Women are amazing that way. I am so proud to be Florence’s friend. And I am filled with hope when I remember the other women in my life, the joy and strength in those women.
What is it that really makes the world go ‘round, anyway? Is it money? Politics? Power? No. I absolutely believe that it’s much simpler than that (thank goodness). It’s….
hanging onto hope, no matter what
recognizing, when no one else does, when someone needs a hand to hold
searching for joy, and always finding it somewhere
creating something only you could envision
nurturing and loving those who cannot take care of themselves
being a real friend
Girls make the world go ‘round, by being brave enough to do whatever it takes to create a beautiful, light-filled world, wherever they may be.