Tag Archives: women supporting women

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

This book was smart and witty and said a lot about women in the 1960s (as well as today), especially in the workforce. It follows Elizabeth Zott, a beautiful, intelligent chemist who struggles in her career simply because of her gender. She encounters obstacle after obstacle but remains hopeful that she can go further in her career based on her merit.

It’s also a love story found in chemistry and followed in unexpected heartbreak. It’s about being a single mother and making hard choices while also creating space for your little one to grow. It’s about finding community in the unlikeliest of places and empowering others by simply being yourself.

Science and faith seem to intertwine despite Zott’s ambivalence towards religion and God. This book is so strong with characters that are easy to root for. There are plot twists and big reveals that are teary and sweet and heartbreaking.

Overall, it’s a fun read, one that might make you a bit mad at the patriarchy. I would recommend this for any woman who might be lost in the world, unsure of where they are meant to be. Also, for people who love science, a little romance, and an amazing, tidy ending.

Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day coming up, I’ve spent a lot of time in reflection this past couple of weeks.  Recently, I was asked if it bothers me that all the women of the Bible who suffered with infertility ended up having babies.  The short answer is no.  Just the fact that these stories were included in such a male-centric period of our history speaks volumes to how much God cares for women, as well as women who are struggling with such a heart breaking situation.

As I looked closer at these stories, I realized that these women didn’t have it easy.  It wasn’t a happy ending when they finally held the baby in their arms.  Sarah was an older mom who had a pretty epic Mommy War with Hagar that ended in Hagar being sent away permanently.  Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin, never being able to see him or Joseph grow up.  Hannah gave thanks to God when she had Samuel, but also only had an annual visitation time to spend with him throughout his childhood.  Elizabeth had John the Baptist, but she had people telling her before he was even born what she should name him (I can only assume they shared more unwarranted advice with her in those years that followed).

We are these women.  We are the women engaged in Mommy Wars, stemming from our own insecurity (although let’s face it, these wars start long before we are called mommies).  We are the women who never completely get what we hope for.  We are the women who never feel like we get to spend enough time with our children.  We are the women who undergo a constant barrage of unnecessary advice from others.

I think it’s easy to look at other women’s lives and think that they got everything they wished for, that they have it figured out, that they are getting more blessings (whether we think they are deserved or not).  The truth is we are all struggling.  Whether we were able to have children when we planned it, or it was unplanned, or we are still waiting for it to happen, or we choose not to have them at all, we all face moments of frustration, moments of our hearts being ripped from our chest, moments when we are so exhausted that we are delirious.

I don’t want to take away from the celebration of Mother’s day, because I believe that mothers should be honored for everything they do.  But I would like to change it to “Women giving Women a Break” day.  What I mean by that is that on this day, we just honor the women around us.  For one day, we refrain from giving each other advice, and instead just remind each other that we are loved.  We just tell each other that we are beautiful, talented, loving individuals, covered by the grace of Jesus, and that it’s all going to be okay.

Let’s lift each other up in encouragement, instead of passing judgment for the choices others have made.  Because God’s light shines through us, let that light shine so bright that the women around us see nothing but the love of God.  Just one day, put aside our differences and just honor the fact that we are going through this life one step, one moment, one breath at a time.  For we are each other’s reminders that we are the daughters of the Most High King, and that alone gives us worth far more valuable than anything else on this earth.