Today is a very special day. In fact, it is so important that our schools and offices here in Uganda were closed today. What is so special about today you ask? It's International Women's Day AND it is our sweet Manisha's 8th birthday.
Living in a country where women are often overlooked, always under appreciated, and continuously sacrificing for others, I appreciate this day more than ever. I am well aware there are women AND men who selflessly live for others on a daily basis. However, I have witnessed much around the world, I have listened intently, and I have seen the sparkle in a widowed mama of 5's worn eyes as she sacrifices everything within her to give her children more. She has hope. And today, even if only today, she is appreciated by her peers, men in her community, and her country. And that is powerful and special.
Just today I saw a generation of young men eagerly learn how to rise up and begin a new era in their home country. Tonight, these young men cooked dinner for their fellow students, wrote speeches to encourage and empower their female classmates, and gave them flowers to remind them they are precious in their Father's sight. I am thankful for Christian leaders on campus who patiently pour into these students' lives so that they may better understand how to generously give, graciously receive, and remind one another that we are ALL Christ's image bearers. My favorite part of the evening was hearing these young men tell their friends and classmates that they are proud of their sisters in Christ. They are their equals and recognize each is fearfully and wonderfully made. These young men stated that these young ladies can do anything, and they look forward to seeing who they become one day. (Did it give you chills too? These boys are barely 15!)
The icing on the cake, though? Sharing this entire experience as a family. As my 7-year-old son asked if the boys were embarrassed to share all of “those things” with the girls, we had a great conversation about doing and saying hard things. Sometimes the truth is intimidating to share, but it is worth it. To hear my children tell each other they are special, and indeed, God's image bearers was a moment this mama-heart will always cherish.
May EACH DAY provide an opportunity for us to remind one another we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
May EACH DAY remind us that no matter our differences, we are image bearers of Christ.
May EACH DAY encourage us to spread love, not hate.
May EACH DAY find us searching for understanding, not division.
May EACH DAY be used to speak truth into another person’s life.
May EACH DAY teach us something new.
May EACH DAY change our hearts to be more like Christ’s.
Dust and Ash
PS – Today is our sweet Manisha’s 8th birthday! While we are not able to physically celebrate this birthday with her in Nepal, we are still rejoicing that she is happy and healthy. Please join us as we continuously pray for God to provide a way for her to join our family forever!! Only He can move the mountains, and we look forward to the day the path is clear!!