The Glories and Challenges of Being A Strong Woman- 3 Women Who Are Doing Big Things In A Brave Way
The last two weeks I have grinned more than once at random points in the day, thinking about the amazing women that I am so humbled and honored to call my friends- my dear, brave friends. These women are doing BIG things- stepping beyond their fears, breaking social expectations and norms, and going for their dreams… even better yet, they are each striving to live out their very clear CALLINGS, and it just makes me so damn proud, I can’t help but SMILE! Let me introduce you to just a few of them…
One of my dearest is starting a cutting edge, brand new leadership program and organization that intensely and beautifully focuses on WOMEN- giving this generation of women and the ones to come, access to some of the best teaching, skills development, and thinking that will change our world, but best of all, it is delivered by one of the most amazing women that I know. She can teach and share because she is LIVING it out, every day. What a rare and precious thing she is, and what an even more rare and precious thing it is that she would be so compelled by her Maker to share and invest in the women of her own generation, the scariest of all scary things- HER PEERS. I have to tell you, one of the greatest parts of getting to walk through this process with her is seeing, first hand, the deep and precious work she and the Lord are doing inside her own heart and mind, to be able to step out, fearlessly, and inspire courage and bravery in women today! She is growing, stepping outside the box, being bigger than her fears, and literally going bigger than any that have gone before her in her family and community. She is building this out, working her tail off, WHILE still being a high school teacher! She’s a badass, and I am so proud of her!!!! More on her later- but be sure to look up Allison Lyles and Thriving Personal and Professional Development, and in the meantime, pray the Lord would guide, direct, bless, and protect this fierce hearted warrior for women!!! (The website will go live in December- but I will post more on this then!)
One of my other dear friends is married to a very successful, very established sports executive, and in the world in which we live, many would say she’s “got it made”. She could literally just “go to lunch” for the rest of her life, if she chose to. But she hasn’t, because she has something that burns inside of her, and I’ve watched it marinate and come to life in a really special way in the last year. She has one of the most beautiful spirits, personalities, and creative minds that I have ever seen. I adore her, and I cannot tell you what a brave thing I believe it is for her to start a brand new company, work long hard hours, all to empower women and help them feel beautiful! She is also the mother of two adorable children- and she is an excellent wife and mother to her family! She has sort of taken me in, as her “little sister”, in many ways, and I am ever so grateful for her love and support and encouragement. The one and only, Mrs. Kathy Donovan has started 5th House Intimates- a private luxury lingerie store that focuses on helping women feel beautiful and reconnect with themselves as women. It is done in a beautiful, amazing way- and I am so insanely proud of her stepping out in a world where many women would choose not to engage the world, because they simply didn’t have to. But she knows she has something very beautiful and important to offer the world of women in her message and method, and she is daring greatly to get out there and share her gifts! They have JUST celebrated their grand opening- ladies, please go check out her amazing online store athttp://shopfifthhouse.com/
Another of my most precious friends is the proud first time momma of an adorable 6 month old chunk of a boy. I have had the honor of getting to spend a lot of time with them lately, and Ya’ll. I’ve never seen anything like it. She mothers him with such JOY. JOY! In a world where you always seem to see mothers overwhelmed, stressed out, and yelling at their kids to “just shut up” in Wal-Mart, it is something absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I know that things can get stressy, and every woman can reach her end- but watching sweet Becca Hall be Guston’s mama has been good for my soul. She was MADE for this, and it is so obvious that God has called this woman to raise a young man who will one day make a great impact on his world, because she is a woman of excellence. I am so proud of her and so honored that she loves and supports me, even though we could literally not lead more different lives on a day to day basis. I love her to death and I am so grateful to call her my friend! God has given her so many talents and abilities, and right now she is the best darn mom a kid could ask for, and it is AMAZING to see.
Each of these amazing women daily face the glories and challenges of being a strong woman- owning their strengths, beauties, giftings, and flaws moment by moment… trying to discern the balance of being strong and a woman. It’s not an easy task by any means- if you go too strong, the world sees you as a cold hearted witch, and if you are too soft, they see you as weak, as a victim.
I have never been more aware of the glories and challenges of being a strong woman, than at this season in my life. I gotta tell ya, when you’re out there, chasing your dreams, working your tail end off for something you believe in, as a woman- it can get Western real fast. In my particular world, the music/entertainment industry, right now it is a BOYS CLUB. Texas Country, Nashville Country- it doesn’t matter, the men reign supreme on the radio, in concerts, and in sales! Sometimes I just want to put on a white suit like Christina Aguilera did at the Grammy’s and bust out in “It’s a Man’s World”…
The crazy thing is, every show that I play, I see the women’s faces light up when they are addressed in the audience, when they are sung to, when they are sung about in an empowering way… Not just addressed as “hot little things” in some bad honky tonk song. Lord have mercy, does that get my blood boiling….
Ladies, we are hungry for a COMMUNITY. A community where we can love on and celebrate each other no matter where we are in life- single, married, childless, 5 kids, rich, poor, tired, well rested… Whatever. But it takes EFFORT. Our default seems to be to attack anything that’s different from us, and tell the few women that we do approve of to do the same… and that’s just ridiculous.
That’s what I love about these 3 women, they come from COMPLETELY different places than I do, and I adore each of them!!! One is a hard working single high school teacher and rocking towards her dream of influencing women in leadership and development, one is a mom of two and starting a very non-traditional business to empower women through a really, really intimidating topic for many women (as we all don’t look like Victoria’s Secret Models), and one is a fierce-hearted first time mom with a tenacity for excellence and truth, and a gifting to mother in a way that I don’t know that I’ve ever seen. They are all extremely different from each other as well, but each are working towards, and in the arena fighting for, the same thing- to contribute to the world around them, to offer their giftings and talents and skills to GIVE to the women and loved ones in their lives.
So I’ll leave you with this- when you encounter a woman today in a very different place than you, just make eye contact with them and smile. It’s a very easy place to start, and you have no idea what it might mean to another female soul. My dearest friends, the women who have changed my life in HUGE ways, have actually never been women who were just like me- my age, my marital status, my zipcode, my tax bracket, my high school or college…. But they made me a better woman, because they were NOT exactly like me, and they taught me how to see the world, how to see other women, outside of my own limited perspective. Step out of your box today friends… there is an amazingly precious and rich life of friendship that awaits you, if you will open your heart, mind, and even prejudices.