I’ve never really been big on chicken soup. I’m a candy girl at heart; the sweeter the better. Nerds, pop rocks, laffy taffy and cotton candy are at the top of my list. This is where I find comfort – just ask my dentist.
I was thinking about that during an incredible leadership conference I attended recently in the Pacific Northwest. The participants, who were primarily men, were discussing some groundbreaking initiatives various organizations have done to bring justice to the desperate and help to the afflicted. For many years that has been my field of work. But, slow and steady something else has been simmering in my heart. Not something apart from the work I have been doing, but rather something more specific within it – like a chewy nougat center.
I have felt my interest narrowing in on the lives of women – young wives and mothers who feel that what they do is not important in the grand scheme of things. Who aren’t sure how to balance their work, their mission, or their identities with the desire to have children. And who are told by many that it just isn’t possible.
Some might not consider that a needy population group. But I sure do.
I am them.
So, imagine my delight when I stumbled into the pink and white striped candy store that is the delicious site, (In) Courage. With a large selection of contributors, there are writers of every flavor, articles for every taste. But they share something in common – they serve up loaded helpings of encouragement for the woman’s heart, soul, and sore back – injured by years of carrying the expectations of the world, the church, and the fashion magazine industry.
I love that I get to write my heart out alongside this beautiful community. To offer the kind of encouragement I wish someone had once given me – that a woman’s only purpose isn’t simply to have children. That God loves her for who she is and not simply for what she can produce. But, that if God leads her into a season of motherhood, then that – that indeed can be a crowning glory of her life’s work. That it’s so much more than just a prerequisite.
That’s what the (In) Courage community means to me. It means the opportunity to talk about how marriage and motherhood are not a loss of liberty – they are the ultimate adventure. They are the best venue for learning leadership and sacrifice. They are what we have in common with people all over the world in every circumstance one can imagine.
They are where we see Christ’s reflection in us.
And I wanted to share this with you so that the next time you are feeling peckish you might just wander over there and pick out something tasty to savor. Put your feet up on the furniture; drop your candy wrappings on the floor. I don’t think they’d mind. In fact, I bet it’s encouraged.
Oh, and if you find something especially delicious over there, won’t you drop a recommendation in the comments? I am always looking for new treats.
You’re so sweet. ;D
I’m a Spree girl, myself. Well, until pregnancy hormones kicked in and chocolate took over. But I still enjoy a row of Spree. That was even my request, when I was living in Spain, of a girl that was going home for Christmas break. Of all the things, huh.
chocolate covered pretzels for me… i need the salty with the sweet.
(that’s also kind of how i hear The Word.)
i’ve enjoyed reading (in)courage ever since they invited us to put our feet up on the coffee table and enjoy the company!
sounds like a great organization. headed over now to check it out.
I definitely think it’s a needy population, but then, I went to a church that got so conservative on gender issues that my conservative parents eventually had to leave. It wasn’t so much the gender issue as that women should obey all men and never be put in positions of authority — meaning a couple could no longer teach the couples’ sunday school b/c that put the female teacher in authority over the male class members.
I think that’s part of why I waited until later in life to get married. Took me awhile to work through some of that and find someone who didn’t think my ovaries disqualified me from thinking.
To this day, I’m very wary of books written to Christian women, or on how to be a Godly woman / wife / mother. And if it’s written by a man, forget it — I won’t read it. (Thanks, church. appreciate the extra helping of gender issues.)
Oh, girl, every time I see your heart and read your words they get even SWEETER. Not just stumbling into the (in)courage candy store for you–I’m 100% convinced God divinely brought you to us! And I’m so very grateful! Hugs & Sugar…
you are such a great writer!~ This was a joy toread. I am a Sweet tart and smarty kind of gal myself and of course anything chocolate…now what I read never satisfies my sweet tooth but often I am left feeling a little sweeter on the inside!
I think it’s a very worthy population to spend time on, as I too am them.
I adore the women and their words over at (In)Courage. They’be brightened my day on numerous occasions!
So glad we stumbled into EACH OTHER this year! Merry Christmas!
Indeed! Wishing you lots of delicious blessings this holiday season!