day 18 of lent – celebrating women.

(Hey, friends. Whew! Finally, the last midterm of my first semester as a Bulldog is completed – and I had a total puny day yesterday, sleeping most of it. I’m up and going now though, and I’m so glad to be here. I should be around more this week.)   🙂

Since yesterday was International Women’s Day, I thought it would be a great time to consider a few favorite ladies in Scripture and the Church and the arts.

Above are some amazing Jewish prophetess.

Scripture and church history are filled with stories of strong, faithful, devoted women.

In the book of Genesis, we often speak of the Abrahamic Covenant, God’s promise to Abraham to make him the father of many nations – and it is a beautiful promise of which we, as Christians, are all spiritual descendants.

As women, we should remember that God also promised his wife, Sarah, in Genesis 17:16: “I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her (NASB).”

He made a covenant with Sarah as well – and she is the mother of nations, one of many faithful women. Of her, Hebrews 11:11 says, “It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise (NLT).”

Her story is just the beginning of amazing women in the Old Testament, from Miriam to Deborah, Ruth and Esther. There are many to celebrate and learn from.

Of course, the women of the New Testament are equally wonderful, with Mary, mother of Jesus, being the first that we think of.

There are the women, like Mary Magdalene, that followed Jesus and supported his ministry – and were the faithful that stayed near the cross as He died. Is it any wonder that she was the first to see Him on Resurrection Sunday?

And those mentioned later in the early church, a part of the story of how we got here.

Apart from Scripture, there are also the saints throughout church history, phenomenal women like Joan of Arc and St. Therese of Lisieux, who inspire us today. 

My patron saint I look to, as many women do, is St. Catherine of Siena. She was the first female Doctor of the Church and is the Patron Saint of Italy as well as of nurses and the chronically ill.

 

As for women in the arts, if we dove in all the way, we could be here for months so I am just going to suggest a few favorites I am particularly loving this Lenten season.

When it comes to writing, I will always recommend Ann Voskamp. I would suggest an auto repair manual if she wrote it.

(All of her books are wonderful – I just happen to particularly love these two.)

 

Her blog is also fabulous, annvoskamp.com, if you want to check it out.

Another writer I just love is Sarah Bessey. If you don’t already know her, I’m going to suggest you meet her by way of her website:

https://www.sarahbessey.com/

Here you can find her books – they are great – and also consider subscribing to her Field Notes. It’s $4 a month – and you get so much wonderful content. Please have a look – and read – for yourself when you have a minute. You’ll be glad you “met” Sarah.

I also have to include my favorite poets.

It hurt my heart when Mary Oliver passed away not too long ago – but she left us with so many gifts. If you don’t have her poetry, you are missing out. I would start with these two, an older collection and then a more recent release that is so beautiful.

The other poet I adore is a more modern one for sure – I think we are about the same age – and I love her work. Maggie Smith is wonderful. I don’t know what else to say about her. Her work is gritty and beautiful and raw and real. Her most well known poem is probably Good Bones.

She has a new book out as well. I recommend her work highly.

And, of course, in Lent, we have to have our musical ladies.

I am all about my Lauren Daigle as usual – and she has a new song if you haven’t heard it.

Last week, my better half and I got to stream a live show from my favorites, Drew and Ellie Holcomb and it was amazing.

If you aren’t familiar with Ellie, I can’t recommend her enough. She is going to have a new album out in June and the songs she performed from it during the show were so so good.

For now, start with her Red Sea Road album and go from there. It will be a blessing to you.

I could talk about my favorite ladies all day.

In thinking about International Women’s Day and the role of women, let’s remember that Jesus broke societal norms to speak to women publicly – the woman at the well – and teach women – the story of Mary and Martha. He called the woman with issue of blood “daughter,” when this would have been highly unusual. He valued women as does the Father.

We are loved and held by Him.

Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Grace and Blessings.

 

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