Monthly Archives: May 2011

Arise, All Mighty Women

Coming from a wealthy family in the 1800s, Julia Ward Howe was expected to be reserved and subservient.
She was not expected (or encouraged) to think or ask questions or write.
But – if you are a writer, you know this – when there are words to be written, it is impossible not to write.
The words welled up inside her and begged to be freed.
And so she dipped her quill in the ink well and scribbled away.

She had seen such vile and vicious deaths during the Civil War.
She had  heard the men singing the heavy words of “John Brown’s Body“.
She had seen families ripped apart, broken.
And her heart, full of compassion, yearned for a way to make things better.

With the power of her words and encouragement from friends,
And with the echoing of “John Brown’s Body” in her mind,
She sat down to write new lyrics.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

She hoped that, with her words, she might be able to provide inspiration, hope.
And it was certainly what the people wanted, needed to hear and the song instantly became popular.

Several years after the war, Howe found herself writing for a women’s rights publication.
Along with many of those forward-thinking activists, she began to advocate for having an annual “Mother’s Day”.
This day, she hoped, would be a day where mothers could come together and talk –
About how best to protect and guide their children,
About how to make the world a better place for them by actively pursuing world peace.

In order to spread the word about “Mother’s Day”,
Howe wrote a piece called the Mother’s Day Proclamation.

When reading it, I was keenly aware of how poinignant those words must have been not only in her day,
But also in our world today:

From the bosom of the devastated Earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”
Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession.

So while Mother’s Day is certainly a day geared towards mother’s,
It is also a day that each of us should be reminded of the idea behind it:

To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.


In 2006 Lisa Quoriesimo(an independent performing arts professional from California),
using the the Battle Hymn tune and Howe’s Proclamation,
wrote the hymn: Arise, All Mighty Women.

These words could not be more fitting for our days:

Arise, all mighty women of the earth and join with me.
Summon all your sons and daughters from their fears to be set free.
When no mother’s child goes forth to war we’ll know true victory.
Christ’s peace shall reign on earth.

From the bosom of  the devastated earth our voice is one:
We shall not commit injustice in the name of justice done.
We shall not seek honor in the death of any mother’s son.
Christ’s peace shall reign on earth.

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
Christ’s peace shall reign on earth.



Favorite Phrase Friday

A few of my favorite phrases from some of my favorite posts this week:

Thank you for showing me their fragile, little hearts wrapped up in inner strength and innate knowledge of right and wrong…
(from AnyMommy)


have to believe that there is at least some good in every human being, because otherwise, everyday life becomes paralyzingly scary.
(from Frequent Flyer Family)


…but when we rejoice in death…does life lose a little of it’s sanctity?
(from musings and miscellanies, oh my!)


Sometimes we love safety so much that it stifles us. And when we’re stifled, we don’t grow beyond a certain point, which means we miss out on many of life’s blessings.
(from Sandy Coughlin on Simple Mom)


…In swallowing it straight to my heartand locking it away dewey decimal style to never forget…
(from Arianne @ To Think is To Create)


I may put a linky up next week if any body is interested in joining.
Any takers?


It’s been kind of heavy around here lately.
So I thought I’d take a quick detour from all the seriousness and post something like this:

Cause seriously?  It doesn’t get much more serene than this.
(Even with the spit bubbles and eyebrow gunk.)

Conflict, Confusion and Clarity

I’ve read post after post pontificating on the situation at hand.
The facts confuse me enough…and opinion after opinion seems to muddy the water more and more.
(Side note:  I have absolutely no interest in seeing pictures as proof!)

And yet in the past few days, I have(with more clarity than ever before) re-affirmed many of my own beliefs.

I can’t claim to have all the answers.
Or even really understand all the ramifications of this event.
But, as I have said before, I know one thing is certain:
Celebrating death (of any one – no matter how despicable they may be) makes me a little squimish.

And though that’s how I feel, I can certainly see the other point(s) of view.

I know that I don’t agree with many of you(on this and a variety of other things).
However, I am still very thankful and grateful for your opinions.
Because it is in challenging one another that we think and grow – as people and as Christians.

What’s hard for me, however, is how often debates and discussions become arguments and accusations.
And then our oh-so-human emotions get in the way and garble it all up.
The moment feelings start being hurt, people shut down.
I’m all for healthy discussion until someone sucker-punches my beliefs.
(And I realize that goes both ways…and so I try not to negate anyone else’s beliefs.)

But the take-home message here isn’t about beliefs or ramifications or discussions.
The take-home message is that we are all created in God’s image.

And the thing that I love most about being created in the image of someone
who is full of love, grace, peace, wisdom and understanding
is that I know that I have those things inside me.
And I know that you –
and every other person ever created –
also have those things inside of them.
(Isn’t that wonderful?)
And that maybe, just maybe, we aren’t as different as we think we are.

But at the same time I also know that God is multi-faceted.
And therefore, being created in God’s image, our world is full of diversity-
Of culture, of race, of religion, of beliefs, of ideas.

This is why I believe that God, with all the knowing and creating and understanding,
Managed to make a variety of people in a variety of circumstances and a variety of places.
And then managed to figure out the best way to connect with each person in each circumstance in each place.

God loves each of us – no matter our thoughts, our actions, our (sometimes misguided) beliefs.
And God is aware that we won’t – we can’t – even begin to comprehend all that there is to be known.
And so God reaches down to each of us in our own way
And holds us close
And says, “It is good.”

But, psssst!
Hey, God!
If I make it to heaven and you tell me I got it all wrong,
Please be with me and bring me to understanding.

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!


I’m Sorry. (Only I’m not.)

To the people behind me in school drop-off line:

I am generally very conscientious about making sure I don’t hold up the line.
I make sure my kids are ready to pop out the door when I stop.
I make sure that all that needs to be said is said and all papers, bags and miscellaneous items are in hand.
And if, for some reason, I end up with a kid who doesn’t want to get out, I just pull up and walk them in.
(It’s common courtesy, folks.)

However, there is one thing that I will wait for:
My kids all telling each other “I love you”.

Each morning without fail, Carter calls each of his siblings by name and says “I love you”.
Each morning without fail, the others reply in kind.
And Asa always says, “ah gate daaay”
(which, if you don’t speak 2-year-old, means “Have a Great Day!”)
If the “I love you”s aren’t quite done, I don’t rush him out the door.

And when my child pauses on his way in the door to flash me the “I love you” sign,
I’m not going to drive off until he’s seen me sign back.
(Because I know it won’t always be like this.)

And so, dear people behind me, I’m sorry if I hold up the line.
But really?  I’m not.

*That* mom