Today, I March in My Heart.

Today, as hundreds of thousands of men and women gather around the country to march for equality and inclusivity, I wanted to re-post an article I wrote last year for Women’s Equality Day. While I do not agree with some of the platforms of this year’s “Women’s March on Washington,” I do agree with many of them and so, though my conscience wouldn’t allow me to march on the street, today I am marching in my heart. These words are the giant poster I carry with me. 

im-marching-in-my-heart

July 19th – 20th, 1848, in Seneca Falls, New York, men and women gathered for what is now known as the first women’s rights convention. The gathering was organized and hosted by a group of Quaker women with the goal of discussing “the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman.” There were 300 in attendance.

During the convention, a document was written, debated over, edited, and ultimately made available, for those who were in agreement, to sign. Of the 300 convention attendees, 100 signed their names to the document, with a majority of signatures belonging to women. This “Declaration of Sentiment” was then used in launching the women’s suffrage movement.

I have added the text of the “Declaration of Sentiment” to the bottom of this post and I’d like to ask you to take five minutes to really read it. I dare you not to tear up as you consider the heaviness of life carried by the authors as they penned each word. 

Fast forward over 150 years and today is, “Women’s Equality Day.” The blood, sweat, and tears that so many brave women poured out as they fought for women’s rights in our country are to be remembered and honored.  Political affiliations aside, this year there was a woman running for the office of President of the United States. We’ve come a long way and that is worth celebrating.

My five-year-old just joined her first soccer team. Yesterday, as I was helping her take off her cleats, she very casually declared that when she is grown up, she is going to get a job as a coach and marry a man who will work from home and take care of their kids. I chuckled at her matter-of-fact statement and then considered her words. It is the legacy of women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and hundreds of others who paved the way for my daughter to think with such independence. She understands that her gender shouldn’t define her goals and dreams. I pray that one day, should she decide to marry, she will commit herself to a man who will see her not as his “sidekick,” but as his fellow warrior and teammate. I pray that her dad and I can continue to serve as an example for what a mutually submissive marriage can look like, to the glory of God.

Yes, there is still a glass ceiling. A thick one, actually. But if we continue to raise our daughters and sons up to know their identity in Christ, being confident of their value, owning their giftings and honoring the giftings of others,  we will see the cracks in the ceiling grow wider and longer.

As daughters and sons of the King, we have a common mission. We are to partner together, as co-heirs, in advancing the Kingdom of God.

One of my favorite authors, Sarah Bessey, states in her book, Jesus Feminist, “Patriarchy isn’t the dream of the Kingdom of God, and so we can loosen our grip to this old culturally conditioned way of thinking…Patriarchy will not allow us to participate in the restorative movement of the Spirit for women and men’s intended alliance.”

Let’s celebrate how far we’ve come. Let us also advocate for our sisters around the world, still trapped under laws and cultural norms of genital mutilation and “honor” killings and lack of education due to gender. Pay attention to the reports of human trafficking and stay up to date on how you can pray and be a support to those working to save the lives of so many women caught in the ugliness. Use your right to vote. Run for office. March.

Remember,

“You are the ones chosen by God,

chosen for the high calling of priestly work,

chosen to be a holy people,

God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him,

to tell others of the night and day difference He made for you-

from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.”

1 Peter 2:9


 The Declaration of Sentiment, 1848

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these rights, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed, but when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpation on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • He has not ever permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.
  • He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.
  • He has withheld her from rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men—both natives and foreigners.
  • Having deprived her of this first right as a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.
  • He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
  • He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
  • He has made her morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master—the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement
  • He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of the women—the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of a man, and giving all power into his hands.
  • After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.
  • He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration.
  • He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction, which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.
  • He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education—all colleges being closed against her.
  • He allows her in church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.
  • He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only tolerated but deemed of little account in man.
  • He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and her God.
  • He has endeavored, in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation—in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.

In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and national Legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions, embracing every part of the country.”

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Joseph & Mary | A Christmas Scandal

It’s the week before Christmas and I’ve been thinking a lot about the characters in my nativity scene. Today my mind was filled with questions about Mary and Joseph and what those first months before the birth of Jesus might have been like. It was no PG Hallmark movie, I can tell you that.

Mary is young. Maybe 14 or 15. She’s engaged to Joseph, the young man down the street. This arrangement is not weird at all. In fact, it’s totally culturally normal and acceptable and expected. Girls get betrothed and married young. They are more of a property piece. Good ol’ Patriarchy.

As far as we know, there is nothing particularly special or unique about Mary. She’s a hard worker and a devout Jew and Joseph is happy with the match.

Then one day everything changes. Read More

An Invitation in the Midst of Change

“We took the job.”

My fingers trembled around my phone as I hit “send.” The lump in my throat made my neck ache as I attempted to hold back tears. I could hear the muffled words of my husband and our Uber driver talking about this “awesome city” that would soon be our home. I tried to focus on what they are saying but my thoughts were filled with the dozens of things we would need to do in preparation for our move. My husband would start his new job in less than two weeks and, not wanting to do life in separate states, we would need to sell our house as soon as possible. My mind was swirling at the thought of telling our three children about the decision we’d just made. What about our parents? Our friends? Who would come to the kids’ birthday parties? What about our commitments and our obligations and the plans already written in pen on next month’s calendar?

With the four words of that text message, everything was changing.

Read More

Lighting the Fire of Risk | Rachel Trigueiro

My friend Rachel is writing a legacy of “yes” by walking in faith through both the big, scary things, as well as the smaller, unnoticed things. I asked her to share a bit of what being a risk-taker looks like for her, in this season. I have read this post at least six times for my own personal benefit and encouragement and I am thrilled to get to pass it along to you. May your soul be strengthened and blessed by Rachel’s lovely and vulnerable words. 


 “Make your choice, adventurous Stranger,
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew

Uprooting our family from California to Seattle was just the beginning.  THIS WAS IT. We had made the (huuuuuge) decision to go, so now we were official RISK TAKERS.

So brave, so scared, so excited, so CRAZY.

In 30 days we made the decision to up and move our family: no job. no house. no plan. no community (except a few friends) AND 3 KIDS in tow. It felt pretty brave. Pretty risky (actually, felt like it couldn’t get much riskier). But it wasn’t until we moved that I learned the bravest moments were yet to come.

It wasn’t easy leaving, emotionally or practically. We were sad to leave our families-for our kids to leave their grandparents and cousins. And it was a lot of work with tiny children, a big house and A LOT of stuff in very little time (thank you, Lord for sisters who help get that crap done).

BUT, it was exciting. New. Thrilling. It was an ADVENTURE. And if you’re anything like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about because just hearing that word feeds your soul. There’s a desire deep down in you that craves adventure. Something new and something risky. And it’s those adrenaline-pumped emotions that make the tough ones easier. Saying good-bye is hard, but looking ahead to the unknown—endless possibilities—is life giving.

But all of that quiets down. The fanfare, the excitement, the mystery. Your people are no longer around. Eventually, those dreams, prayers, promises & hopes turn into waiting… Wondering. And you find yourself asking questions… Read More

When Silence Becomes Sin

My sophomore year of college I studied abroad in Guatemala. I spent most of my time working as an intern in a home for severely abused and neglected girls. Over those few months I witnessed, first hand, what evil can do to an innocent child. I learned that the enemy doesn’t play fair or “take it easy” on someone because they are only five-years-old or have already been victimized. I watched demonic forces try to kill children.

When my semester abroad was over, the plan was for me to return to college in San Diego where I would spend my weeks in classrooms with ocean views and my weekends taking students out on snorkeling trips and mud caving adventures.

I remember sitting on the edge of my bunk bed at the girls home and thinking about the “what next” question. I knew I had seen too much to ever attempt to go back to my old routine. I was jaded, I was angry, I had lost much of my white, middle class, Southern Baptist innocence and I felt scared.

I remember crying out to God and asking Him what it was that I should do next. Do I go back to my posh and comfortable and beautiful school in San Diego? Do I stay in Guatemala? Where do I belong? What do I do with what I’ve seen and heard and held in my hands?

In His faithfulness, the Lord told me two things: 1. “You will never again feel comfortable anywhere on earth. Your home is in heaven. It is ok to feel “unsettled” as it will be a constant reminder that your earthly city is a temporary dwelling place while you are on-mission with me.” 2. “Be like the ‘shouting voice’ in Isaiah 58. Do not be silent about what you have seen and heard and held in your hands.” Read More