Some real gems

I just looked back over my posts from this week and realized that I have written about women for the last four days!  I wasn’t planning to do that; it just worked out that way.  And since it’s Friday, I think I will hang in there for one more.  I want to write about another group of women that I know.  I don’t belong to their group; I don’t have what they have.

One of these women was my colleague for the past nine years.  She not only taught six, yes six, sections of English, but she coached cheerleading, coordinated the senior all night party, headed the accreditation process, and did anything, I mean anything, that I asked her to do.  She went to conferences, researched teaching strategies, met with students, covered my classes when I was out of the building, and encouraged me at every turn.  Outside of school, she trains and completes half-marathons, shares her karaoke skills every Tuesday night, and sets a high bar as aunt-of-the-century to her niece and nephews.  The girl doesn’t quit. Oh, yeah, did I mention she sings in the church choir, teaches Sunday school, helps out at VBS, and runs the summer reading program.   And she does all this with laughter, integrity, and Christian love.

Another woman I have known for decades.  She has been a minister to youth for as long as I have known her.  She is a bit crazy, as all youth staff need to be, and so passionate about the souls of her charges.  She takes these kids on trips, teaches their confirmation classes, and looks for new ways to deliver the gospel, even after thirty years in the ‘business’.  She challenges their thinking, asks the hard questions, and isn’t afraid to tell the truth.

Still another is a woman who has raised I think seven adopted children — three still live with her.  The three that I know all have very special needs.  They are all adults, over twenty-one, but none of them can live completely alone.  I have been amazed by her willingness to do what each one needs. She relocated from Texas to Missouri so that one could get better programming.  She encourages another to be involved in a local church, by himself, so that he can have a sense of independence — walking to church, having his own friends, and serving in his own way.  She knows their stories of abuse, neglect, and challenge, and she opens up avenues to let them grow in their own way, at their own pace.

And another dear lady runs a dance studio after her long days as an engineer building things like highways and bridges and baseball stadiums — you know, basic stuff. She teaches people to dance, to stay fit, to have fun.  She runs a national event that brings dancers from across the country together.  And, you know, in her spare time she does benefits for those trapped in the sex trafficking industry, takes missions trips, and oozes the love of God on everyone around her.  Yes, oozes.

What do these women have in common?  They are all doing this as singles.  They don’t go home to the support of a partner.  They rely on family, friends, and colleagues for encouragement and support.  And, folks, they are getting God’s work done. Period.

They are soldiers.  I don’t have what they have.  Tireless energy.  Infectious passion. Unbelievable selflessness.   Their desire to serve God and others is inspiring.  I lift my glass in admiration of these women.  I thank God for them.

Proverbs 31:10, 30

she is worth far more than rubies

…a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

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