“In 2011, we were invited to get up, grow up and take our place in the Story.”
In 2011 (depending on the accuracy of my Math), we published 317 posts. These, plus the thousands of words, comments, shares, tweets, tears and laughs that accompanied them, framed our SheLoves Story in 2011.
“We have a pulse!”
There was a moment February this year, when Tina wrote these words on my facebook wall: “We have a pulse!” That sentence marked a moment in our SheLoves story. With every post and share after that, our pulse became stronger and more rhythmic. By May, we proclaimed the words to the Manifesto: Let Us Be Women Who Love together at LifeWomen conference and in September, we were up and (literally) running on behalf of others.
This year, we cheered Brandi-Lee on as she spearheaded an idea to gather baby formula for the poor in our city. We bought and sold Christmas cards with Daniela to give to famine relief in Africa and a whole tribe (38 women + Josh) joined with our TGIF Tina Francis, when she decided to run a half-marathon for our sisters in Northern Uganda. Together we ran, prayed, gave and eventually raised over $43,600.
It’s been a B.I.G. year.
– We embraced a lifestyle of Downward Mobility, under the loving guidance of Kathy Escobar.
– We explored new books and waxed nostalgic over favourite old ones, with Destiny Loeve.
– We stopped going to the gym and decided to stop eating hot fudge sundaes and become hot fudge sundaes, instead:
“I wanted my life to be a story that was so riveting, so grand, so epic, you couldn’t put the book down.” –Tina Francis
In 2011, we were invited to get up, grow up and take our place in the Story.
– We watched dictators topple with Kelley Johnson-Nikondeha as she pondered these modern-day Pharaohs and wrote:
“We are invited to be Moses–standing at the burning bush and accepting a divine summons to advocate for justice in the face of Pharaoh.”–From: ShePonders: Pharaoh, Gaddafi, Dictators and Other Bullies, by Kelley Johnson Nikondeha
“If something makes you angry–an injustice, in particular–that is as good as an engraved invitation to do something about it.”–Sarah Styles Bessey
So, in 2o11, our tribe did a lot of somethings.
-In 2011, we risked and changed the world.
In 2011, we questioned the status quo:
- TGIF: Why is Beyonce Giving Me Mixed Signals? by Tina Francis
- Four Tomatoes or a Bag of Chips? On judgments, assumptions, ideals of beauty and building my sense of self on a Rock, by Trisha Baptie
- Owning Privilege: On Jesus, privilege and a Porsche, by Trisha Baptie
- World AIDS Day: Change Begins with my Whisper, by Idelette McVicker
In 2011, we healed a little more:
- Making a Drum: Healing and Wisdom from Metis Hands, by Kisa MacDonald
– Kamal Dhillon: Even through a Tight, Painful Jaw, Kamal is a Woman who Speaks Peace, by Idelette McVicker
– Clothes on Wheels: Making a Connection in the Community, by Christiana Walter
– MaryAnne Connor: The Woman Behind the Nighshift Story, by Christiana Walter
-In 2011, we grew in relationship and purpose:
– 1 Corinthians 13: A Parent’s Paraphrase, by Angela Doel
– Down We Go: The Power of the Beatitudes, by Kathy Escobar
– Tales from the Trenches: On Being a “Good Enough” Mother, by Sabrina Connell
– When Friends Become Family, by Stefanie Thomas
– On Unforgiveness and Losing a Friend, by Winnie Lui
– Exposing the Myth of Balance, by Danielle Strickland
– With These Three Stones, by Amelia Englemark
– An Apology to Myself, by Natasha Files
– In 2011, we shared stories.
– This is Rebecca: Of Love, Marriage and Mercy, by Musu Taylor-Lewis
– TGIF: On Turning 29, by Tina Francis
– On a Midnight Escape and Starting a New Life in Canada, by Njoki Mbui
– What is was like Growing up White under Apartheid: Or Why I Care about a World in Flames, by Idelette McVicker
– The Day I Discovered a Marathon Inside Me, by Ali Valdez
– My Christmas Miracle: On Friendship, Faith and Fertility, by Daniela Schwartz
– Every Woman is a Woman of Worth, by Stacy Wiebe
– Enough Hair for a Ponytail, by Vera Raposo
– The Importance of Moulding my Putty, by Claire De Boer
-In 2011, we woke up and mobilized.
- TGIF: ‘Cause I Gotta Have Faith-a-Faith-a-Faith …, by Tina Francis
- SheLoves Christmas Card Project for Famine Relief in East Africa, by Daniela Schwartz
- What One Girl and Her Decals Can Do, by Danielle Hardy
- Becoming a Woman Who Does the Necessary Things, by Brandi-Lee Doucette
– We laughed:
—Samsom, Delilah and Why Dating Scares Me, by Ashley Mandanici
– We cried.
–Remembrance Day: War Has Been Written On Me, by Ben McLoughlin
We watched our Story grow.
– In 2011, many of us discovered:
– In 2011, we were drawn into a higher Sisterhood–learning and becoming women, sisters, friends who call out the best in each other. Women who cheer each other one. Women who propel each other forward.
A Global Tribe
When I visited Serbia in the summer, Tabitha, a new Serbian friend, translated our SheLoves Manifesto into her language. As she read it to us in a small room chockful of about 60 women, tears welled up in her eyes. The air felt so thick with possibility of what we could do and be, as women, when we live out of this vision of Love. In that moment, I knew this idea of a Sisterhood that embodies Love, transcended our geographical borders and human boundaries.
We also know it’s a Love that flows from hearts connected to a loving God.
As this Story unfolds, here are some of the words
that helped frame our vision of Sisterhood this year:
– “Can we messiah one another–propelling each other into the larger salvation story of which we all have a part to play?” -From: ShePonders: Another Anointing, by Kelley Johnson-Nikondeha
– “Let us be Mary and Elizabeth for each other, calling out new, brave worlds in each other. “ – RELATE with Helen: Divinely Connected Women, by Helen Burns
– “This, the dark midnight times, are the hours of the mothers.”–From: The Smallest Things, by Sarah Styles Bessey
-“Let us be women who Love.
Let us be women willing to lay down our sword words, our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance and fill the earth now with extravagant Love.
Let us be women who Love.
Let us be women who make room.
Let us be women who open our arms and invite others into an honest, spacious, glorious embrace.” –From: SheLoves Manifesto: Let Us Be Women Who Love, by Idelette McVicker
– “I remind myself that nobody is in this battle alone and that the only way to break down these towering walls of injustice is to focus on the brick in front of me.”-From: Avoid Paralysis, Confront the Brick, by Stephanie Motz Skinner
– “We must let our light shine through the cracks. Step into the light and let people see what a real God woman looks like.” From: The Women We Are, by Christina Crook
“… authentic transformational relationships cannot be built upon power or inequality.” From: Down We Go: Why Prepositions Matter, by Kathy Escobar
– “When it comes to doing our part, every drop helps.” From: Tossing Buckets, by Shelagh Hardern
– “She didn’t need to hear my words, she needed to feel my presence. And in more ways than she would ever know, I needed to feel hers.” Erin in Iraq: Learning the Language of Presence, by Erin Wilson
“I think being the change starts where I am and with those in my life.” From: Being the Change Starts at Home, by Stephanie Motz Skinner
“Sometimes we need to see our story through the eyes of someone else. A Soul-Sista can help you find the common thread running through all your stories and you can do the same for her. We all need someone checking our blind-spots, tracking our journey and keeping us on course. What makes a Soul-sista different from a Sista-friend is that she is speaking your soul’s secret alien dialect.
This is the girl that will stay up late at night to help you draw out the maps, outline your strategy and plot out your plan to take over the world.” –From: TGIF: Sista-Friend vs Soul-Sista, by Tina Francis
–“God gives sustainable strength to the powerless.” –From: ShePonders: Renewable Energy, by Kelley Johnson-Nikondeha
– “I am completely captivated by the beauty of TOGETHER–a magnificent, harmonious symphony with Jesus being the center of it all.” -From: The Beauty of Together, by Helen Burns
anointing each other + being the change right where I am + doing my part + Jesus + sisters + presence + mothering + piercing the dark hours + equality +Hope + rising + facing my bricks + leap + rise + nurture + listen + facing our fears + harmony + pray +work + together = Sisterhood.
In 2011, we saw glimpses of a new and different world that is entirely possible.
In 2011, I believe, we became Women Who Love.
A very big thank you to every one of you who helps to write this Story daily.
And a big thank You to the Creator of the Universe, who breathes Love into my being–and ours–
and imagined this Story even before we began.
My dear SheLoves sisters and friends, we’d love to hear:
- What posts, comments or quotes stand out for you from this year?
- What were some of your favourite posts?
I dream of a world where no women or girls are for sale. I dream of a world where women and men are partners in doing the work that brings down a new Heaven on earth.
My word for the year is “Roar,” but I have learned it’s not about my voice rising as much as it is about our collective voices rising in unison to bring down walls of injustice.
I have three children and this place–right here, called shelovesmagazine.com–is my fourth baby. I am African, although my skin colour doesn’t tell you that story. I am also a little bit Chinese, because my heart lives there amongst the tall skyscrapers of Taipei and the mountains of Chiufen. Give me sweet chai and I think I’m in heaven. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I pledged my heart to Scott 11 years ago.