Over the past few years of blogging I have come across many, many blogs. Some I follow for a bit, while others I will follow for many more years to come.
I begin to feel like I know these ladies, and that if we ever met we would be friends for sure.
Some think it weird to read the blogs of those you don't know. I believe it can be used to view other ways of life, other peoples passion of Christianity, and it can open our eyes to the abundant blessings we have, even (and maybe most especially) the strength and purpose that can be gained through trials. There are many people out there doing such great things to make this world a better place by big and grand offerings of time and sacrifice, and I find myself wishing I could do the same. While others remind me that I am already doing a great work - that of raising a new generation, and that it can be fun and enjoyable, as simple and mundane as it can sometimes appear. They remind me of just how blessed I am, all without ever knowing they do so. Some I have much in common with, others are very different. The point - I can gain inspiration and a renewal of determination from each one, no matter how diverse we are.
I have a hope that someday I as an individual and all women as a whole will be able to join together, stop judging, and start loving each other for all we have to offer.
There is something I can learn from every person I meet. And to those whom I think I have something to give, often end up teaching me the most of all.
We are different. That is the way it is suppose to be.
We are so very powerful. We can bless the lives of others in a way that only our female hearts were created to do. But, we can also do great damage. I have done more than my share and have had to learn many lessons the hard way.
I have also come very far. I can continue to learn and grow, and that is what I need to focus on.
Amanda from Soule Mama - When I read her I feel something. She inspires me to do better and be better. She challenges me to return to simpler ideals. I find myself wishing for a life much different than the one I set out to build when I began my family over a decade ago. Return to the basics, stop and smell the roses and expand your talents - these are the lessons I learn from her.
Sara from August Fields - She teaches me to relax and laugh. To love with an open heart. To enjoy this life with 5 kids however crazy it may become. To remember that each one of these mini's is the best blessing I could ever be given.
Sarah from Clover Lane - I learn to stick to my guns and do what I know is right, even if it goes against pop culture, AND not to feel badly about it. She teaches me that you can be friends with your kids while maintaining the position of leader and exemplar. She is honest with her short comings which in turn makes me love her more. She will not apologize for her beliefs or her standards. She is like a big sister showing me the way.
Edie from Life in Grace - Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cry. She exudes passion and determination. She is fun and happy. She reminds me to never give up, to live my life and give it everything I have.
Shannan from Flower Patch Farm Girl - She is just cool. She is one of those people who doesn't have to try. Yet she is humble and honest and so very refreshing. She pulls me back to the age of innocence I sometimes feel that my children and I have so long ago left behind. She shows me just how big a heart can get, and teaches me that charity is not an act, but a way of living, a condition of the heart and mind.
For these women, in different parts of the world, of different beliefs, different ages and backgrounds, destinations and orientation, for each of you who teach me to be happy in the skin I'm in, for every time you make me laugh, or I leave with my chest ripped wide open and my heart soft and vulnerable, I thank you.
No matter how different one may appear, no matter how little we may seem to have in common, the choice is always mine between humility or pride, between acceptance or exclusion. I can extend the hand of friendship at all times, even if it means that sometimes and most painfully no hand is unfolded in return. I can forgive myself when I have hurt and do all I can to change. And I can offer this to all people I come in contact with, in the hopes that I will learn to become a stronger yet softer person as I continue to embrace the unfamiliar.