Strong Girl Saturday: Different? That’s Way Okay! By Elaine Stock

Today’s Strong Girl post is written by friend and fellow author, Elaine Stock. Can you see her? She’s the kindergartener reading a book in the corner because a speech impediment tossed bricks between her and the ability to make easy friends. She’s the one whose mom pushed her into awkward social situations that made her feel as if she were an elephant balancing on a tightrope while she watched her mom seclude herself behind a closed door. She’s the serious one, yet a dreamer, the one who writes stories. She’s the one who clung to God even before she understood the full meaning of faith. She’s me. And I used to struggle with being what others typed as “different.” The red and gold bracelet shimmy down her arm The ankle bells clanks and rings She hears music and dances steps that calm Closing her eyes to life’s stings. Others laugh They tease, they taunt They think they’re cool, but they’re only half If they really had it all, they wouldn’t have to flaunt. She hears the One who loves her so much Her confidence isn’t dependent on the cruel Her esteem, rather, comes from Him who has her in His clutch She learns to love the others, but lives on His fuel. (© Elaine Stock) It’s taken me many years to learn that it’s okay to be me. Really, I’m not a bad person. Not freaky. Don’t mess with drugs or drink. I do no harm to others. I admit to owning a few quirks, but nothing in the too-seriously-weird category. What I’ve come to realize the past decades of my life is that everyone—without an exception—is singular, as well as we should be. God created each of us in His image, but like each kitten with patches and zigzag stripes or like each snowflake that falls, we are all unique. If we obey God’s words, then our individuality is very okay. The popular singer, Taylor Swift, recently said, “Maybe you’re not meant to fit in. Maybe you’re supposed to stand out.” Yay, Taylor! What a bold statement from someone in today’s times who is pressed to be outrageous, but instead is creating her own way and is enjoying each day. Be true to yourself. Be a good person. Believe in the One who created you with an expressed purpose. You won’t go wrong. Rejoice in the good stuff. Ignore any discouragement. Author Bio: Elaine Stock never expected that a college major in psychology and sociology would walk her through the see-saw industries of food service and the weight-loss business; co-ownership with her husband in piano restoration; and ten years in community leadership. All great fodder for creating fiction. In the...

Read More

Reaching for the moon

Dear Young, Strong Girls, things weren’t always as they are today. Used to be, strong women such as Jerrie Cobb, Bernice Steadman, Janey Hart, Jerri Truhill, Rhea Woltman, Sarah Ratley, Jan and Marion Dietrich, Myrtle Cagle, Irene Leverton, Gene Nora Jessen, Jean Hixson, and Wally Funk, who passed the same tests as other astronauts competing for a spot on a trip to the moon, would be denied the chance simply because they were female. Because strong women such as these never gave up on pursuing the dreams God placed in their heart–the dreams they were born to do–we now have many more choices in the United States and allowed to compete for the same jobs as men. Gender has no role. I know some people think there’s a war against us in the United States, but trust me, it’s nothing like it used to be and the war is with a very different enemy. Satan hates women and he’ll do everything he can to suppress them. He delights in seeing your dreams squashed because you are powerful and influential. He’s scared of you. I’m always encouraged when I see strong women go after a dream. In some way it strengthens me and gives me courage to keep working toward the dreams in my own heart. Surround yourself with other strong girls and women. Take courage from their persistence and tenacity. Learn about all the strong women you can. I believe it will encourage you to go forth and conquer! To learn more about the remarkable women who reached for the moon during the Mercury space program check out these links: Women in Space. She Should Have Gone to the Moon Women of the Mercury Era And enjoy the following videos (embedding for the first one has been disabled, but it’s very good, so please check it out!): Click here:    Mercury 13 – The Secret Astronauts (Part-1) Part 2: The Mercury 13: Tweet this: Strong girls reach for the moon! Psalm 8  O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all...

Read More

Happy International Day of the Girl!

Today is International Day of the Girl! Who is your girl hero? Go on twitter and tell us and use the hashtag #girlhero. Also, remember when I wrote about Strong Girl Malala Yousafzai? She just became the youngest person in the world to win a Nobel Peace Prize! Way to go, Malala! Just listen to her inspirational speech: What an amazing young woman all girls everywhere, regardless of their religion, can look up to. There are so many heroic young woman in the United States who deserve a shout out today. Girls who’ve remained firm in their convictions, faith and goals. Be sure to honor them on twitter today with the hash tag: #girlhero. I happen to be the grandmother of six Strong Girls! And I’m very proud of their determination to be true to who God created them to be. I’m also God-grandma to another little Strong Girl! How blessed I am! These girls are my heroes today because they will take the Strong Girl message to the next generation. As Christian Strong Girls, our message isn’t that we’re strong only because we’re girls. We’re strong because of the strength we gain from the Lord. When we’re weakest, God is strongest. We know this because of what Paul wrote to us in 1 Corinthians 12. He had prayed for God to take something away from his life that was causing him some sort of pain. But here is what God told Paul about it: “Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me—so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong” 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10, NET. Our Strength comes not from our own power, but from the Lord: “The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation” Psalm 118:14, NIV. Don’t forget to tweet about your #girlhero! And let me know in the comments below who you admire as a Strong Girl! Tweet this: Happy International Day of the Girl!...

Read More

Strong Girls aren’t Mean Girls part III

A few weeks ago I wrote to you, dear Strong Girls, about standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Today I want to share a great Strong Girl story with you. Last night, in front of thousands of people, Anahi Alvarez gave her Homecoming Queen crown to her friend, Lillian Skinner. Lillian, described as sweet and innocent, was targeted by mean girls and told she’d been nominated as Homecoming Queen, which wasn’t true. When her friends, Anahi Alvarez, and Naomi Martinez, who were nominated as Homecoming Queen, found out, they vowed that if they won the crown, they’d give it to Lillian. Watch the amazing report here:   Today, I’m happy to award the first Strong Girl Commendation Award to Strong Girls Anahi Alvarez, Namoi Martinez and Lillian Skinner. Do you know a Strong Girl who should receive this award? Let me know and I’ll honor her here. Tweet this: Alvarez, Martinez and Skinner show us what it means to be Strong...

Read More

How Strong Girl, Cynthia Koenig, is changing lives

If you’re reading this blog from a home with running water, it only took a simple turn of the wrist to turn on the tap. But many, many women and girls in the world spend hours a day collecting and carrying water. Girls carry water instead of going to school. Women must collect water instead of helping make money to support the family or pursuing an education or career. With the invention of the WaterWheel, women can get water faster and easier. Instead of carrying Jerry jugs on their heads, they can push twice as much water home. Now Cynthia Koenig spends her days trying to get the WaterWheel to the people who need it most in India. In 1991, two South Africans invented the Hippo Water Roller for use in Africa. On their website, they offer the following stats: Every day, millions of women and children in developing countries are forced to walk an average 6 km per day, carrying heavy loads of water, typically in heavy 20L (kg) containers balanced on their head. Women worldwide spend 200 million hours each day to collect their families’ water. But Africa’s Hippo Water Roller, won’t work in India because the terrain and needs of Indian women are different. That’s why the WaterWheel invention is so important. The Wello website states the following about the WaterWheel: It’s…CONVENIENT. Women spend over 25% of their time each day collecting water. With the WaterWheel, they can now transport 50L at once – between 3 and 5 times the amount of water possible as compared to traditional methods: this means MORE water in less time! It’s…HYGIENIC The WaterWheel’s cap-in-cap design prevents recontamination at the point of use. The single most effective strategy to reduce incidents of diarrheal disease (the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5, according to the WHO) It’s…HIGH QUALITY. The WaterWheel is manufactured from high-quality, human-safe plastics. It’s a smart investment: long lasting and is durable enough to handle the roughest terrain. It’s..AESTHETICALLY PLEASING. The WaterWheel’s form was inspired by the shape of the traditional matka – both aesthetically pleasing and a clear indication of the WaterWheel’s intended purpose (clean water!). AND it’s…AFFORDABLE. In recognition of the fact that the people who need the WaterWheel the most have the least ability to pay for it, we developed an innovative business model that will enable us to offer the WaterWheel at an affordable price. Local manufacturing (in Ahmedabad, India) and CSR partnerships help us keep costs as low as possible. Strong Girl, Cynthia Koenig, makes the case for the WaterWheel in the video below. Strong Girls change the world. That’s why it’s important not to remain a victim but to fight hard...

Read More