Teach Me

… She opened up and explained to me that as a black woman she has too often been described in her life as cool or brave or strong; she has more often experienced compliments that are masculinizing. She shared with me that her hair is like an object to people: different, trendy, or interesting. What she wants though as a woman, is to be embraced with adjectives such as beautiful, stunning, and pretty.

White people, she told me, always get those kinds of compliments. Black people … get strong.

In that moment held between the two of us, I leaned into her story and I empathized deeply with her words. It was something that in my privilege I had been completely naïve about. It took asking questions and listening, despite my pride.

And at that table, I looked at my friend and I apologized:

I am sorry. I am sorry that my words put you back in that same place that you have been rising up out of. I am sorry that my words belittled your beauty. I am sorry for my ignorance within my privilege. I am sorry for your pain. … 

[ I am overjoyed to guest write over at SheLovesMagazine today! READ THE REST HERE ]

– Jenny Rose Foster

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There is Room for You

room enough

There is room for all of us.

Imagine a space with no capacity.

Imagine a space that shifts generously to compensate for growth and every square foot has your name on it. Your name. My name. Our names.

Yes, there is room enough for all of us.

There is room for your dreams.

There is room for your voice.

There is room for your gifts.

There is room for you.

Christ calls us beyond the limits.

Christ crashes through the overhead; the low ceilings that box us in.

Today, Women, Sisters, lift your eyes. Look up. SEE your value.

Today, Men, Brothers, lift the women in your lives up through your words, lift them up. We must do this work of rising-up together, men and women working together in the rising.

TOGETHER, men and women working together to push beyond the limitations placed over our lives; to raise the ceilings that have been set at a lower height. This work is not just for women to empower women, this rising-work is for men to contribute in the activating, in the lifting, and in the empowering ALSO.  –We need you. We need you in the voice of value-lifting.

May we be life-givers together, working symbiotically on the waking of dry bones.

On this day as we celebrate International Women’s day, may we remember that to truly be empowered we must also empower. Activators in the waking of value.

Your voice matters…You are valued. Your contribution is especially worthy. Your gifts are especially unique. You are especially loved.

When the doubt of “who do you think you are” sets in, remember, there is room for you to activate your hearts-call… for it has been planted there for a reason and for such a time as NOW.

On this day, a day that honors women, my hearts-call is that we rise up together. Not us and them. Not some. Not others. — My hearts-hope is that we rise up together in a sisterhood and a brotherhood. As a family. As a church. As a bride. As a people that choose to lift our eyes up and over and beyond the limitations of low ceilings placed on our women! Globally, cross culturally and locally.

May we be people that act in the mind-set of victory. The work of Love is limitless and there is never a set capacity, there is always room for more. There is room for your voice.

May we be people that crash through the limits. Audacious in our progression of Love. Bold in our declarations of freedom. Leaving no one behind.

Not just today…but always.

– Jenny Rose Foster