16 Sep 2014

50 Women Heroes I Want My Daughter to Know

I don’t want to live in a world where the Mileys, selfies and twerking videos are our heroes.

I don’t want Photoshop to tell my daughter what is beautiful and what is not.

I want brave to be one of her favorite accessories. So I’m always on the look out for heroes.


I’m so over being afraid of Facebook and Instagram and what they mean for her generation.

I’m done with trying to plastic bubble her away from the world. I want her to grow up fiercely secure in her name – and her name means LIFE.

I want her to live big and bold and armed with wonder.

And I want to give her examples of what brave looks like to light her way.



I want to raise a courageous daughter in an age that believes the sum of her appearance must fit into a teeny, tiny, little size zero box with its edges tightly, perfectly manicured shut?

So I’ve been looking for the opposite. Examples of what living, breathing, change-the-world courage looks like from the women who’ve come before us.

Women who weren’t afraid of their wrinkles or their gray hair. Women who laughed so loud they spit out little bits of broccoli. Women who took careers and challenges and journeys that made the eyes of their family and the men around them bug out.

I want to learn about the women who make brave look ordinary because they don’t know any other way.



And then Michelle DeRusha wrote this book: 50 Women Every Christian Should Know: Learning from Heroines of the Faith.

And I will be book-marking its pages for years to come.

Fifty women who teach us that famous isn’t about how many people know your name and that brave often looks like pressing on even when you’re afraid.

Fifty women who weren’t intimidated, limited or silenced by being assigned to “women’s work.”

Fifty women who preached, lived, and often died for the Gospel.

Doctors, lawyers, midwives. Teachers, preachers, wives and mothers. Translators and scholars. Women who faced obstacles I can only just barely imagine. Women who were undaunted by the most daunting horizons.

Women with stories that sometimes hurt to read.

Women who challenge us not to try and “tidy up reality.” But instead to “go forth without fear.”

These women – they have me shaking with a desperation to be so bold as to write and live without being afraid of getting my hands and my heart and my family dirtied up in the process.

Because this world is broken and all we have is the promise that it is full of trouble. And the equally important guarantee from Jesus that He has overcome the world.

We see both the brokenness and the victory in between these pages. A testimony to the hard cost of courageous living.




I need that reminder when I watch the latest viral video, the news, the inside of my own mind.

That “the call doesn’t stop with these fifty women. God asks us to answer Him as well.”

“God calls us to go forth without fear – into the unknown, into the unfamiliar. He calls us to go forth without fear, right where we are, with exactly what we have. God doesn’t require perfect skills… God doesn’t demand flawless character…God doesn’t expect immovable, unwavering faith…”

He simply asks for our yes.


Click here to pick up Michelle’s beautiful, hard, disturbingly challenging book. Read it for yourself and for your daughters. And then answer yourself the questions –

Where is God calling me to go forth without fear?

And will I answer yes?



{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Just wanted to stop in and say THANK YOU for Surprised by Motherhood. I brought it along on our mountain weekend and read it in one day. LOVED IT! And I can’t wait to hear/see you at Allume in Greenville next month! Hope you’re having a great day!

  2. 2

    Thanks Lisa, I just ordered this up for my niece in California. I think she will love it.

  3. 3

    Wow, wow, wow! Best post ever – thank you so, so much for this!! And yes, yes, amen to everything you said. I don’t have daughters, but oh how your words resonate with me. I pray this book offers girls and their mothers everywhere encouragement, inspiration, hope and courage. Thank you so much, friend!

  4. 4

    Yes! Best review ever! And every word so true! May this next generation see us bravely saying “yes” to Him.

  5. 5

    Did you hear that? That was me finally exhaling some breath. I have three daughters. I am an anti-human trafficking activist. I.know.far.too.much. And I have been in a state of both mourning and total emotional paralysis thinking about the world my daughters are having to grow up into. I recently read that horrifying and educating/illuminating Newsweek article (about Tweens… “Sex and the Single Tween” – don’t say I didn’t warn you about it) and felt myself in a virtual fetal position mourning the loss of “girlhood” and wondering how we are going to navigate this new “digital age” world my girls are growing up on. No, I can’t go back in time to the Little House on the Prairie days. No, I cannot become a reclusive and insulating family to raise them in a perceived but flawed sense of safety and “health”. But I also cannot abide the current “norm” for which my girls (only ages 3.5, 6.5 and almost 9) are hurdling towards at a too rapid pace. Your comment, “I’m so over being afraid of Facebook and Instagram and what they mean for her generation.
    – See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2014/09/50-women-heroes-i-want-my-daughter-to-know/#sthash.uPOmHuWn.NqF9Snnz.dpuf” really resonated with me. I have been living in fear. Not fear in the present but fear of what the future holds for them. And it has been draining the life out of me. I want them to live lives of COURAGE, INNOCENCE, SACRIFICE, KINDNESS, SERVICE, BRAVERY, ADVENTURE, HEROISM, CONTENTMENT, PEACE(loving and giving), and most of all RECKLESS ABANDON to the call their Creator has for them. I needed to read this. To be reminded that there are others out there… for me and for them. There are other girls being raised and encouraged to be brave, be different, be unique and be full of a sense of purpose and security in who they are. I will most definitely be checking out this book.

  6. 6

    Lisa-Jo, you have inspired me this week. I’m 55, look 45 and feel 80 lately. I didn’t figured to have kids either, then in my 30… 4 in 5 years. Now the youngest is 18 and after being home school mum and washer woman to feed them all, I lost who I am. I am working on finding who God has me planned to be. I realized last week that BBC videos have more real looking women. I need women like Rosemary and Thyme, and Chonda Pierce. No more American TV videos for me. ORDERED your book yesterday. My mom died 28 years ago. I had a precious friend from South Africa who held my hand through those dark days. I praise the Lord for her and you.

  7. 7

    Thank you for sharing this book with us today. I ordered it immediately. My 10 year old daughter has just one more year before Jr. Hi…yikes! We BOTH need all the positive roll modeling we can surround ourselves with. So looking forward to reading this book together. As usual, you rock Lisa Jo!

    • 8

      LOVE that Christy. And one thing I’d mention is that I’d definitely read it together – and maybe even pre-read so that you can guide her through it – some of the stories are really hard and really really sad. So I’d be selective about which ones you choose depending on age, you know?

  8. 9

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  9. 10

    Lisa-Jo, Oh boy will I be adding this to my reading list. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

  10. 11

    Oh, amen!! Great review – thanks, L-J.

  11. 12

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  12. 13

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