Thoughts on being a woman in the World

Wednesday, October 29

I think women are wonderful, I really do. Yes, we can be confusing and change our minds a lot and of course we make mistakes, but we can also be lovely and kind and use our lives to serve others. No matter where a woman lives, there can rise that spark of sheer beauty that is seen when she nurses a child, or cooks a meal that fills the family with goodness, or when she fiercely steps in to protect those she loves, or soothes those in pain with such delicate care.

When I was in Nepal last year, Kevin and I flew into one of the most remote areas i've ever been to.  Actually it WAS the most remote area i've ever been to {apart from here}. Lord have mercy, it was time travel, i'm convinced. There was no electricity, no cars {just your average ox and cart…yep!}, and no running water. Meals were cooked over a fire. I literally could have just stepped back in time 2,000 years, I'm NOT EVEN JOKING.

In my 4 day stint in this village, one major thing stood out to me. The women. They worked, and they worked hard. They cooked every meal (and we're talking waking at the crack of dawn to start breakfast, then starting lunch when breakfast was done, and then starting dinner when lunch was done. Then cleaning and going to bed, and starting all over the next day. Forever. and ever.} They were strong, they raised the children, they worked in the field. They were everywhere doing everything. I don't even know.

But I also noticed the women were hungry to learn. They were empowered with knowledge and hung to every word of the speaker at the conference we attended. Their eyes lit up, they were sharp. Women are marvelous like that. Ready to glean wisdom and apply it!

The bottom line is that women are important and fill such an incredible and sacred role in this world. And the more a woman is supported, valued and entrusted with the gift of knowledge, the greater her potential for beauty in the world grows.
And so when I recently read some statistics for women in Pakistan, my heart was tugged. Did you know that all of ALL THE COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD {that's 196!} Pakistan has the second highest rate of girls missing from schools? Let's put it another way…Pakistan has the second worst educational opportunity for women IN THE WORLD.

Schools without some of the world's most precious...

Imagine attending a school where half the room is empty and there are virtually no females present to add their voices or participate in class discussions. This is the reality for most schools in rural villages of Northern Pakistan. If we face the music friends, had you been born in Pakistan, you would be exempt from a formal education. Imagine your childhood without school of any kind. We can't. That has not been the reality for any of us.

But…the exciting part it that as women, we can collectively give to help support these sweet girls in their education!

Have any of you seen Malala on TV or read her book? This brave Pakistani girl stood up to the Taliban (even after they targeted and shot her at age 14) and fights for education for women. She is amazing and every time I hear her speak I cry like a leaky faucet. She preaches forgiveness, equality and empowerment. She is so wise. Her father had supported her in her education and she bloomed into a strong, loving, kind and intelligent woman.

Think of the incredible possibility and potential you can breed with your gift towards empowering women in Pakistan. Don't just say you want to empower women, do it!  Go and check out Shining Light International and see for yourself the incredible work they are doing in Northern Pakistan, and how they enroll and support Pakistani girls in their school.  This is revolutionary, and you will be blessed, head to toe! And consider giving monthly and being a part of their Ray of Hope club! Even $10 a month can go a long way!

Wouldn't you want someone advocating for YOUR education?
I thought so:)

Let's be women of action, kindness and generosity and bless our fellow sisters around the world…because that is in part what is means to be a woman: united, hospitable and generous. 

A Weekend Exploring…Camping in Malibu

Monday, October 27

As I shared on Friday, i've been itching to explore more sites around where we live! It's pretty amazing all the beauty that surrounds us in California, and I feel like we hardly take advantage of it all! Kev and I booked a last minute campsite at Leo Carillo State Beach, and it was pure delight! If you know anything about Malibu, you probably associate it with where all the celebrities live, popular beaches, and Pepperdine University {we actually saw a movie being filmed on PCH a few minutes from our camp site…haha!}. But lo and behold, Malibu is also wild and free, and has some gorgeous mountains with pretty hiking spots to be discovered, and we certainly took advantage of that! 

We pulled in Friday mid afternoon, and pitched our tent {a TOTAL random side note, but have you seen this hilarious video of a pastor who minces his words when trying to say "pitch his tent"?…I just can't even ever stop laughing!} . I promptly changed into my "camp clothes" {that I bought at a yard sale for a few bucks, ha!} and then realized I had forgotten both my sandals AND my hiking boots! Double fail! So I was stuck wearing UGGS to climb a mountain…lets just say my feet were roast toasty, haha! But around the campground, I wore my sweet Minnetonka moccasins that I incredibly scooped up brand new from a yard sale! One of my favorite finds ever! 

The hike took us up to the top of a mountain where we had a stunning view of the ocean. No matter how long i've lived on the beach, the ocean always amazes and awes and truly humbles me. Kevin and I drank in the sea breeze and began the hike down as the sun set! Back at our campsite, we made a roaring fire, cooked up some chili and roasted s'mores! We then cozied into our chairs around the camp fire and read with our headlamps on. I finally finished "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" and it was just adorable and heartwarming…I'd totally recommend it! Then Kevin and I snuggled in our tent, and fell fast asleep! 

The next morning we made a scrumptious breakfast of eggs and sausage and ate around the fire! Then we took turns reading to each other short stories from one of our favorite books called "Tales that Teach" about a missionary and his incredible stories living in Pakistan! We then hit the beach to swim, read, and fall asleep on the sand! What a fun weekend! So grateful we found this place…thanks google! haha!