“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn” – Harriet Beecher Stowe
I came across this quote in the back corner of an old beat up journal of mine that still had empty pages waiting to be written upon.
Harriet Beecher was born June 14, 1811, the seventh child of a famous protestant preacher. Harriet worked as a teacher with her older sister Catharine: her earliest publication was a geography for children, issued under her sister’s name in 1833. In 1836, Harriet married widower Calvin Stowe: they eventually had seven children. Stowe helped to support her family financially by writing for local and religious periodicals. During her life, she wrote poems, travel books, biographical sketches, and children’s books, as well as adult novels. She died at the age of 85, in Hartford Conneticutt.
While she wrote at least ten adult novels, Harriet Beecher Stowe is predominantly known for her first, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). In 1862, when she visited President Lincoln, legend claims that he greeted her as “the little lady who made this big war”: the war between the states.
I am inspired today by the brief bio of this busy woman. Every line suggests hardship and that her life didn’t follow any “normal” time-line, whatever that is. But what it does show is that she used everything she had to make the most of her life in whatever season she was in and that there is no such thing as “a stay at home” mom.
I categorize myself with this inaccurate definition all the time. Because I am not working a full time job (right now), I say that I am a “full-time” mom. Which is true whether you work “outside the home” or not. If you are a mom, you are working full time no matter what brings income into your household. Even though I sometimes say “I am a stay at home” mom, I rarely stay at home and have to fight for time to do just that.
I understand that I am a woman reaping the benefits of the a movement that has given me freedoms to vote, to education and to use the brain God gave me to make intelligent decisions about my life. My generation has validation and encouragement to grow, achieve and do things that was missing from those who came before me. I am thankful for it and I think we are still trying to define ourselves. Reading about Harriet Beecher Stowe reminds me that some women (and I suppose, men) never were and never will be defined by labels or glass ceilings.
I am reminded that there is no such thing as “normal” or “expected”. Life does not move in simple horizontal lines, plotting along connecting dots. We are not given a coloring page per season of life and asked to coloring inside the lines. Life happens…death happens. Circumstances are far out of our control. We are as human beings made to rise to the occasion. Deal with the reality. We are to fulfill the need presented to us with all the gifts and grace given to us. We are to live life to the fullest.
This post wasn’t meant to be a soap box only an encouragement to the brave ones who read this blog. The day you feel you can’t take one more step, or the moment you can’t move one more inch forward – that is NOT THE TIME TO GIVE UP, it is the moment to KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
Don’t worry about defining yourself within our culture. Don’t limit yourself by trying to find a place to fit. Do all that you are called to do, all that you are called to be, in the season you find yourself in, with the tools at you have in your hands.
With bold and strong colors – fill in the lines of your season then draw your own lines outside of them. Your voice matters. What you are doing is important. Your input is vital and needed.
Hebrews 10:39 “But we do not belong to those who shrink back…”