Empowered Women

Photo of Mom Gray's painting
Wondering Woman by Bernice Gray

I must admit I wasn’t very familiar with the 2018 International Women’s Day for March 8 so I had to check it out a little further.  I initially heard about it on the news the very day it was beginning but didn’t think much of it.

According to http://internationalwomensday.com the intent for the emphasis is to have collective action and shared ownership to move forward gender parity so there would not be such divides among us around the world.  “Now, more than ever, there’s a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. There’s a strong call to #PressforProgress motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.”

In my opinion, progress has to be an ongoing initiative and effort by all – both women and men to achieve gender parity.  Do you agree?

As I pondered the morning news about the day’s emphasis, it must have struck a nerve to trigger my brain – or maybe it was a brain wave (however you want to describe it).

Occasionally during the day the thought entered my mind about how important women are in our world and I thought about the women who influenced my life.

Women, you are appreciated more than you may realize! I know there are so many in today’s society, around the globe, who abuse and mistreat even the lovely name of “woman.”  I’m sorry for that as you are more than deserving of kindness and love as well as respect.  I get it.  In fact, where would I be without a loving and caring mother who taught me the right principles of life and God’s Love, showing my why I need to honor God’s special creation.

While my dad was away trying to find a steady job my mother would take a job to help us survive.  The job I briefly recall is when she worked at a garment factory.  She would catch a ride with others before daylight and would arrive home late in the afternoon.

Mom would come home tired but ALWAYS took the time to ask us about how things went during the day and spend quality time with us.  She walked us a considerable distance to be involved in local sports.  She never complained.  By the way I’m sure thankful for grandparents too as they helped shape our lives during the day when Mom was away.

I remember at times when we would be hungry and there was limited food to eat.  All of a sudden my mother was not hungry.  I understand it now – that she was indeed hungry but she happened to lose her appetite so we would eat.  Wow! What unselfishness and reflection of love.

You see, my mother sacrificed more than I’ll never know.  I can only reflect on just a short piece about how significant she was in my life and that of my siblings. Mom maybe wouldn’t be considered a professional in today’s society but believe me – she was professional in every sense of the word.  Where would I be without her?  She is now passed into eternal peace and rest but her influence remains.

I’m sure Mom could have benefited from some of the work protections and equal pay we have today, even though we still need change.  Our whole family would have benefited.  I’m thankful we have seen many positive changes over the years.

In my eyes women and men ARE equal as God created us.  The laws and workplace policies and procedures need to continue changing to ensure these equalities in every nation around the world.  Why wouldn’t they?

In fact, God Himself is not a respecter of persons and loves us all equally.  He empowers us equally and wants the best from us equally.  Unfortunately, history doesn’t reflect these equalities.  Even societal norms didn’t favor women to the extent they should have.  We need to continue improving  to ensure the gifts and talents of women are used effectively and responsibly.

Did history record successful women at all? Sure but I wonder how many accomplishments were never recorded.

If you would indulge me just a couple more minutes, there is an historical account of a woman who proved herself among a community and gained the respect as a professional – against many obstacles.

Have you heard of Lydia  – the seller of purple? (By the way, the 2018 International Women’s Day color was purple as mentioned on Fortune.Com –http://fortune.com/2018/03/07/international-womens-day-how-to-celebrate-wear-purple )

According to Mary Fairchild at Thoughtco.com (https://www.thoughtco.com/lydia-in-the-bible-4150413) Lydia in the Bible was one of thousands of minor characters mentioned in scripture, but after 2,000 years, she is still remembered for her contribution to early Christianity. “Her story is told in the book of Acts. Although the information on her is sketchy, Bible scholars have concluded she was an exceptional person in the ancient world.”

“Luke, the author of Acts, called Lydia a seller of purple goods. She was originally from the city of Thyatira, in the Roman province of Asia, across the Aegean Sea from Philippi. One of the trade guilds in Thyatira made expensive purple dye, probably from the roots of the madder plant.”

Lydia was influential with her business in a town that was heavily involved in international trade.  She recognized the importance of being a professional in business as well as community involvement.  She no doubt earned the respect of the community.

It is believed Lydia was wealthy because she insisted the Apostle Paul and his companions stay at her home.  You don’t see this very much in the historical records.  It appears she contributed money or supplies for Paul’s further missionary work along the Roman highway.  It is likely she influenced thousands of travelers as well during the time she was at this location.

According to Fairchild, “Lydia ran a successful business selling a luxury product: purple cloth. This was a unique achievement for a woman during the male-dominated Roman empire. More importantly, though, she believed in Jesus Christ as Savior, was baptized and had her entire household baptized too. When she took Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke into her house, she created one of the first home churches in Europe.”

Lydia no doubt was a strong and successful businesswoman who was well respected by her community and succeeded in a society mostly dominated by males.

Are there Lydias in our society today?  You bet!  I’m confident they exist in every facet of life and place of business and employment. We need to recognize them.

Pathway Ahead by Bernice Gray

Do we need to protect and further the cause of the Lydias?  Absolutely.  I have seen positive changes over the years and while people may not agree with every motive and method to further women’s advancement today, they are nonetheless equal and need the equal parity in all walks of life.

Recognizing this need and keeping the vision and focus before us will make significant improvements toward true equality being a reality.  The path may seem narrow and uphill ahead but the journey must continue.


5 thoughts on “Empowered Women

  1. If Women’s Day will have made all men stop to reflect on the history and issues invoked, it will have served its purpose 🙂 Thanks for a lovely post

  2. Great comment on International Woman’s Day. Your Mother was no doubt a positive influence to you
    during your childhood. I can only hope that I have been a positive influence to others to try and be a
    better person and go the extra mile. I’m not sure where I got it from, I think I was just born this way.
    I’m thankful that I am a Woman.

    1. Thank you. You may never know how much of a positive influence you have had on your children and others. I think I expressed it over time to others but as I think back over the years I’m sure my expression was insufficient.

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