Expand – Jen Expanded

Expand 2


I’m overwhelmed as I sit here and consider this month on the blog. It has been encouraging, humbling, exciting, and stretching. Mostly, I feel honored to be entrusted with the stories of the amazing women who’ve shared this month. For some, it was the first time they shared their experience publicly. For others, it was a call to write a different story. Regardless, it’s been special to take a differing role in the life of the blog.

I’ve also been surprised along the way. Mainly, by how much I still have to grow in loving other women. This month I found myself so much more aware of how often I unconsciously put down women. My eyes were opened to my own insecurity and the ways I play a slight of hand trick, diverting the attention to another. Because if I look down on another person, it makes me feel better about myself…for a moment. When I point out another woman’s flaws, I detract your and my eyes from my own flaws.

I see in me both a love and hate of women. And this is true, because in some ways I love and hate myself. I don’t think it’s fair or accurate to land in one category. There are days when I do love myself and others well. Yet, there are times when I hate who I am and that hate can’t help but leak out onto others. This has been a humbling discovery. I, who often see myself as a champion for women in my own small way, see how far I have to go. Crap! (What perfect timing with Lent, huh?)

As the blog moves forward, I want to continue to focus on the feminine story. I feel drawn to writing even more on issues dealing with women in work, culture, and the life of the church. I’m not sure to what end this will lead, but I see in myself an interest in and passion for this topic. That’s clear if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time. However, this desire has only grown as a result of the Expand series.  So, plan to see more posts along this topic in the future.

Additionally, I want to continue to invite other writers to share their stories. Moving forward, I’m going to set aside one post a month for guest female bloggers. There were many who contacted me about sharing their stories and I want to continue to give space for their voices to be heard.

Thanks for reading the blog and supporting Expand. I hope that in your engaging with this series the Lord has ministered to your heart and caused growth in you (whatever that may look like). Additionally, I hope you have been encouraged in your own story and been challenged with some good questions to mull over.  (Isn’t “mull” a fantastic word?)

Finally, I’d like to publicly thank the special group of authors who contributed to Expand. Thank you for risking, for sharing your voice, for adding to the life of this blog. Your perspectives were needed. Actually, not just needed, but necessary. Countless times throughout the month as I edited each of your pieces I found myself thinking “This needs to be said!” I am grateful for your unique vision and the courage you exhibited in sharing your story.

Thus ends Expand…excepting the book giveaway. The winner will be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, April 2.

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