Recently I was busted when little miss found me with tears streaming down my face as I listened to a talk aimed at young women about their tremendous worth--the power of her message exacerbated by the sea of voices speaking to the contrary, I suppose. It seems like just about everyone has had their say about what women want and need. I was eating out of this woman's hand and praying that my daughter was absorbing this woman's voice and wisdom, if even by osmosis.
A girl can hope, anyway.
Over the weekend I wrote about the challenge it has been to glean any positive message for my girls (or myself) in the midst of the madness swirling around us. Are they oblivious? Probably. But are they being melded by a thousand different voices in the ways women (and all who are vulnerable) are being treated, both nationally and internationally? Will these factors eventually play into their view of self and universal human dignity despite my efforts to the contrary--without a doubt.
I received what has turned out to be a providential book for Christmas called Mama Bear's Manifesto [read about my recent love of manifestos, here] . In it author Leslie Klipsch speaks about her mom's group and the way they decided to channel their passions for God along with their deep passion about the rights and the wrongs of the world into a group effort to benefit the children of the world--not just their children. Though not revolutionary, it certainly gives a sense of purpose and direction and other-centeredness at a time when the tendency might appear anything but.
Tell me more, you say? Here's the gist of it:
What if your mom posse made an exaggerated effort to, week after week, gather for a purpose larger than yourselves? What if your group of friends was to take the foundation you've established and start to consider the possibilities of life-changing work?
I can't help but dream about what a church community might look like if a mom's group took the reins and starting acting. What would it look like if a group of women with a Mama Bear waiting under the surface, with all of their intensity and all of their gifts, took it upon themselves to spread their compassion and their wealth and their talent with the ferocity of a mother's love? How might a neighborhood become better or safer? How might a community benefit? How might the world be changed?
How compelling and yet how simple. Passionate, capable, strong women not waiting for an invitation to do what is right, but initiating it! I don't think you need to be part of a 'mom posse' to do this, either--though I love her use of the mama bear metaphor.
She has challenged me--and I do like a challenge. In the spirit of the new year (it's still January!) and in response to the hate I see unfolding around me, here are a few concrete things I am committing to work into my day-to-day this year. I will...
Invite people to break bread in our home with more regularity
Maintain a hive of honeybees to pollinate our neighborhood
Read for growth/pleasure
Give myself one beautiful thing, daily: music, a photo, a sunrise, a poem, a prayer, a friend
Seek out a 'posse' with whom to attempt this challenge