“Shame on you, Eliza Broadus, for if by standing on the shoulders of your [mothers and fathers] you do not see farther.” Eliza Broadus, a powerful mover and shaker of her day, inspired women to follow their God given call to mission service and ministry. Eliza’s father spoke these words to his beloved daughter. His dream for Eliza was to reach beyond the societal expectations for young women; for he knew she would undoubtedly inspire others who might one day follow. As inspired women and girls, we now stand on the shoulders of women who have blazed difficult trails and made progress in the plight for equality. Eliza Broadus was one of my first role models as a young woman. Although separated by nearly a century, her story of courage and empowerment inspires me still today.
The first female role model I observed in real time was my mother. Her influence in my life continues to translate in ways I never understood as a child. My mom worked a full time job and somehow still managed to have a home cooked meal on the table every night. She stayed up through long nights when I was sick and quizzed me for the upcoming biology test. She brought cupcakes to class for my birthday and somehow managed to never miss one single basketball game. My mother taught me that love knows no bounds. She taught me that teenage drama can be lessened by a listening ear and a walk around the block. She taught me that life is a dance of give and take, balance and intentionality. She taught me that self – care is essential and that difficult problems are sometimes answered by simply taking a jog on the treadmill. She taught me gratitude with her life; reminding us to give thanks and often. She taught me the importance of letting others know of their worth and meaning in our lives. She taught me the value of time management and prioritizing each day’s agenda. She encouraged not only my brother and me, but every person in her circle of influence. She loved deeply, and for that, today I live as an inspired woman.
As a mother and minister, I now stand upon my mother’s shoulders to see further. My mother held me tenderly and held me up high. She enabled me to reach to seemingly impossible places that God had in store for my life. I realize now more than ever her life gift to me. She gave me a foundation rooted in love.
Who are your female role models in life? How do they inspire you? How will you see further by standing on their shoulders? Have you ever considered that you are a role model for other young women? How are you inspiring those who will come behind you?
“Shame on us, if by standing on the shoulders of [inspired women] we don’t see further”.
Be inspired. Inspire someone. Live in love today. Grace and Peace, Lori