I’ve been awake since 4:30 this morning. Uncharacteristically, instead of lying in bed and trying to tame my immediately-upon-waking thoughts or my desire to sleep for at least a couple more hours, I just got up. I turned on the Christmas tree lights, made the coffee, had a handful of Chex Mix (that remains far too tempting to pass up, no matter how long the supply lasts), and then sat down at my computer.
I thought about lighting a fire and snuggling in with a book, but once I was in front of the screen I was stuck – for hours – almost unaware of how much time had passed. It wasn’t until both of my girls got up, the dog came running to me, and I moved my hands away from my keyboard that I realized it was no longer dark; rather, almost afternoon!
I was working on New Year SacredReadings – the 5th year in a row that I’ve offered them.
And though you’d think that the stories themselves are old hat and probably repetitive to me by now, the exact opposite is true. With each card I pulled, I realized a truth to this particular story (and then the next one and then the next one…) that is actually tied to my own. I heard her voice speaking into my heart. And as the minutes and hours ticked by, I found myself surrounded by text that yes, I am offering to others, but that actually feels like it’s all for me.
Which, of course, is why I continue to do this work – and offer it to others: these stories still speak!
None of this is surprising – at least not to me. These are ancient, sacred stories of women who have been, for the most part, marginalized and misunderstood. Still, all the while, they have laid in wait – longing to be heard, longing to be seen, longing to be known and trusted and called on for their wisdom, encouragement, and grace.
Every single one of them has lived through things unfathomable to us…and…all too real and relevant even still. Every single one of them knows what it means to pursue desire and have it thwarted. Every single one of them knows how it feels to be silenced or small (but to refuse such!) Every single one of them knows what it means to abide in a world of patriarchal power and yet live a powerful and out-loud story in spite of it all. And every single one of them remain profoundly relevant.
As I worked on their stories and held the stories-and-hearts of those who have already purchased their 2018 New Year SacredReadings, I thought of so many other women; all women, actually. And I felt such hope. Hope that these women’s
stories – the ancient, sacred ones I love – would be yet heard, known, honored, and loved. Hope that you will discover which one of these stories is choosing you and, in truth, longing for you to know and believe that your story still speaks – in ways you have not yet imagined…or dared to hope.
I’ll gladly wake up tomorrow and the remaining days of this year at the same early hour if it means that more and more of these women’s stories from days gone by can be placed into the hands and hearts of women today.
These stories still speak and we deeply, desperately, perhaps more than ever before, need to hear them.
May it be so.