When Amanda and I talked about the theme of women’s heroes for this month’s blog posts, I told her that many of my own heroes could be found in the pages of books. For example, Corrie ten Boom’s honest, transcendent faith inspired me the first time I read The Hiding Place as a teen, and every time I’ve read it since. If the time ever comes that my family or I ever need shelter because we are Jews, I pray God will lead me to someone like the ten Boom family. And if it is in my power to provide that kind of assistance to another human being, I pray I will be ready and willing to act because my Messiah has empowered me to do so.
Other modern-day heroes I’ve met in the pages of books or magazines include Mother Theresa, who poured out her life in care for society’s throw-aways and advocated for human life before world leaders; Rosa Parks, whose faith led her to act with courage by refusing to “obey” a bus driver’s command to go to sit at back of the bus because of the color of her skin; missionary Amy Carmichael, whose combination of chutzpah and faith was detailed in Elisabeth Elliot’s unforgettable biography of her entitled A Chance To Die; and St. Edith Stein, a sister Jewish follower of Jesus who died in Auschwitz.
When Leslie Leyland Fields invited me to contribute an essay to her book The Wonder Years: 40 Women over 40 on Aging, Faith, Beauty, and Strength, I was a little bit gobsmacked to discover a few more of my modern heroes in the pages of the book, including Joni Eareckson Tada, Lauren Winner, Luci Shaw, and Patricia Raybon. They – and many other new heroes I hadn’t yet met (like Amy Davis Abdallah, Jill Kandel, and Heather McLaren Johnson) were there in the pages, telling me the truth about their lives, loves, and faith at midlife. That’s what the best kind of real-life, flesh-and-blood heroes do for us.
In this era where the daily news is filled with so many stories of lying, scheming, and injustice, stories of courage and hope can recalibrate and inspire us. We need a hero or two, right? To that end, we’re giving away two copies of The Wonder Years this month. Maybe you need a fresh infusion of courage and hope, or you have a friend who would enjoy the book. To enter our drawing, click here to fill out our contact form with the name and SNAIL MAIL info (street mailing address, city, state and zip) of the person you’d like to receive the book. We’ll hold the drawing after midnight March, 31st.
I wanted to give our beloved Perennial Gen readers a heads’ up about two exciting events planned for 2020. I’m working with Leslie Leyland Fields and others to put together two weekend events we’re calling “The Wonder Years Gathering: New Growth and Deep Joy for Women in the Second Half“. They’ll be similar (but not completely identical) in format, and will focus on practical life and spiritual formation themes for midlife women via keynotes, workshops, and discussion groups. It will be an amazing opportunity to connect in real life with other “wonder women”, sharing stories, building relationships, and gaining insight about how to move into our next act with courage and grace. We’re looking at a site in northern California in February, 2020, and a site in central Wisconsin in October, 2020. More info will be coming soon, but I wanted to put it on your radar now!