Here's one in honour of Mother's Day this coming Sunday: Five women who were or are important in your life. Mine are below--leave a comment if you play!
1. My mother. It amy be a "duh" sort of thing, I don't know; probably every woman's mother is one of the most important influences in their lives. My mom showed me by example that a woman can be very strong and raise children on her own, be a professional, and succeed in a traditionally male profession (she was a civil engineer). She taught me to never settle for second best in a relationship, that every person in a family is important, and to focus on your relationships to make them thrive. She also taught me some practical things, like how to make lemon cake, the joys of gardening, and the value of planning ahead, even for the week's meals. Yep, I'm a big admirer of my mom!!
2. Mentor Pastor She was one of my mentors as I went into ministry. She was there when I got frustrated with my internship placement, and encouraged me through seminary, my divorce, and my coming out. She was pastor of the church I belonged to when I began the voyage into ministry; I had been a member there for many years, and been very active (choir, committees, TO baptized there, etc.). Even after I came out and left the UMC, they were supportive of me, and told me I was welcome to preach there anytime. We still keep in touch, and she is one of my models of the ideal pastor. She shows leadership and is tough when needed, but isn't afraid to cry when something touches her, and she loves that praise music! She is her authentic self, and I love it.
3. Mentor Pastor 2 She was my supervising pastor for the transition into the MCC. She had been down the path I was following, albeit in a more tolerant time (a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" period in the UMC's history). So she knew very well the issues and difficulties I was facing--even knew many of the personalities--and was able to guide and support me with honesty and sympathy. She's another role model for me!
4. Mentor Professor She taught at my seminary, and was an outstanding teacher and guide. I took one formal classroom course from her, but then did an independent study with her and also went on my immersion study tour with her. She became a friend as well, advising me on what to do as I came out and transferred. She was sensitive without being overdramatic, and supportive without being suffocating. If I ever write a book, she will be mentioned in the acknowledgements, no matter how many years have passed since I talked to her.
5. Dear Partner Words cannot express how much she means to me. She is funny, sweet, loving and supportive--which also means a kick in the [name your body part] when I need it... She took a chance on getting involved with me, and she took another chance moving to River City with me. She's never complained or blamed me for our financial difficulties, and she certainly could have. She's my sun, warming every day of my life.
So who are your five wonderful women?