Pouring milk into a sippy cup, changing diapers, wiping tears, reading fairytales, playing with playdough, counting numbers, coloring with broken crayons and kissing my sweet love’s chubby cheeks as he passes out on me before naptime are not things that first came to mind when I used to hear the word “feminist”, “International Women’s Day” or anything of the sort.
But as with many things, God has certainly changed my viewpoint and boy am I glad He did.
“Necessary emphasis should be placed on the "genius of women", not only by considering great and famous women of the past or present, but also those ordinary women who reveal the gift of their womanhood by placing themselves at the service of others in their everyday lives.
For in giving themselves to others each day women fulfill their deepest vocation. Perhaps more than men, women acknowledge the person, because they see persons with their hearts. They see them independently of various ideological or political systems. They see others in their greatness and limitations; they try to go out to them and help them.
In this way the basic plan of the Creator takes flesh in the history of humanity and there is constantly revealed, in the variety of vocations, that beauty-not merely physical, but above all spiritual-which God bestowed from the very beginning on all, and in a particular way on women.” Saint Pope John Paul II, (Letter to Women)
Oh Pope Saint John Paul II, how I love and miss you. This letter you wrote to women is so necessary not only today but literally forever. Today I am sharing this letter on what is known as International Women’s Day or Lady’s Day, for all women to read and treasure.
I would consider myself an ordinary women, what Saint Pope John Paul II is saying in Letter to Women is that being an ordinary women is not so ordinary in the eyes of God and of our Church.
Women are amazing, okay, not all women (Margaret Sanger, I’m looking at you) but many, many women are and have been amazing. I have been blessed with so many amazing women in my family- on both my mother’s and father’s sides.
Most of all, I have been blessed with an amazing mother. Sure, we sometimes get along with each other like oil and vinegar, but I think that is what makes the relationship so special. You see, if you pour us both in a bottle, add some spices and shake it up really fast, we make one amazing salad dressing!
Now that I am a mother, I realize how tremendously difficult the job is. Especially for my mom, who was a single-mom. While motherhood can be stressful, scary, exhausting and many times I ask myself “what crazy person would willingly endure the insanity that comes along with being a mother?”, there is truly no vocation out there that is more rewarding than being a mother.
Saint Pope John Paul II said it best:
“Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God's own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child's first steps, who helps it to grow, and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life.”
While I always wanted to get married and have children, I was more career focused while growing up. I never imagined that I would be a work-from-home mother. In elementary school, I wanted to be a “baby nurse” and take care of all the babies that were delivered at the hospital.
Thankfully, my focus changed, as I can’t stomach the sight of someone in pain (#empathproblems.) Then, in middle and high school, I decided on journalism. I wanted to move to San Francisco (I watched TOO many episodes of Full House growing up) and become an investigative reporter.
Yes, it seems insane at times. Yes, I have to wake up at 5:30 AM every single day (yes, even on weekends) so that I can pray, exercise and get work done. Yes, I have to work in the evenings and on weekends.
But in between to-do lists, deadlines, projects, emails, calls and meetings, I get to be the Captain to my sweet little love’s co-pilot (more like vice-versa) on this awesome (albeit exhausting) adventure.
I wholeheartedly agree with Saint Pope John Paul II when he said that we must give thanksgiving “to the Creator and Redeemer of the world for the gift of this great treasure which is womanhood.”
On this day for women, I will be celebrating by giving thanks to God for choosing me to be a woman.
And not only a woman, but a wife, daughter and mother.
How are you celebrating International Women’s Day or Lady’s Day? Please share with us on Facebook.
As always, thank you for reading. God bless you and may the Blessed Virgin Mary be with you always!
“May Mary, Queen of Love, watch over women and their mission in service of humanity, of peace, of the spread of God's Kingdom!” ~Saint Pope John Paul II