Daily Archives: 5:01 pm

Maybe We Should Just Call It “Women’s Day”

I guess it  is appropriate that on Mother’s Day I am reflecting on my own motherhood experiences.
But it’s not a big mental jump to find myself pondering all the women who have shaped me into the person I am today:

My sweet Mama, who has most often wiped my tears and held me when I hurt.  Who so gracefully taught me that it’s ok to be ‘me’ even when ‘me’ doesn’t fit the mold…and even when I didn’t know who ‘me’ really was.  And who still sings to me and brushes my hair and scratches my back.  I’m thankful to have a mama who still lets me be her little girl…but who also continually encourages and supports me as a grown woman and mother.

My Nana, who is the picture of patience.  Her gentle strength always present, she taught me the importance of simply being quiet sometimes.

My Mama Jo, from whom I learned tenacity, perseverance and persistence.  (Well…some may call that stubbornness!)

My mother-in-law, Angela, who always shows great enthusiasm for life and who always wants the best for everyone.

My sister-in-law, Olivia, who is so wonderful at celebrating diversity.

My friend Jennifer, who always so effortlessly helps me break down God into child-size pieces.

My friend Kimberly, who cries with me and laughs with me and helps me put things into perspective.

Their mom, Ms. Sharon, who taught me the importance of dry humor.

My friend Chris’ mom, Claudette, who let us be kids (even to the detriment of her house).  She taught by example that “it’s just stuff”.

Kim, who entrusted me with the care of her children and who taught me that girls will be girls.  And showed me that it’s not about the stuff you give your children, but the time you spend with them that’s really important.

Kim’s girls, who have seen me at my best and at my worst and loved me anyway.

My friend Jesse, who will one day be an amazing mother.  (Well, she already is…she just doesn’t have her baby in her arms.  Yet.)  From her I learned that laughter can always make things better.  And that friends are friends forever(if the Lord’s the Lord of them…)  (She also understand that sometimes cheesy 80s music is where it’s at.)

Her sister Noelle, from whom I have learned several creative parenting skills and the joy of being a kid at heart.  (Plus she always finds the coolest toys.)

My friend Claudia, who shares and cares completely and whole-heartedly.

My friend Monica, whose parenting is so drastically different from my own, but from whom I’ve learned that just because parenting styles are different, doesn’t mean that one is better than the other.  (I think our 7 kidlets have all turned out fairly well so far!)

And I certainly can’t forget my own two girls…who have probably played the biggest role in my journey to define who I am.

My sweet Lydia, who loves so completely and openly, but can still be reserved and observant.

My tiny Anna Alden, who proves that just because you’re small doesn’t mean you can’t be powerful!

There are many, many more women who have been there for me.
Some have been there in person, some from miles away.
Some for years and years, some for mere moments.
Some who have cheered for me, some who have hurt me.
Some whom I’ve liked, some whom I haven’t.
But all who have shaped me into who I am today.
I am grateful for them all.
And I thank my God for you all every day.

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.