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The Numbers: Why Focus on Women in Leadership?

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Part One of a Series on Women in Leadership: The numbers.
Women in leadership. Is there really a need for focus on such a topic? After all, leaders are leaders. There is no difference. This is sentiment that I have run into in the course of my life (and idealistically wanted to embrace in one season) but especially in the past year since I have been raising my voice about the topic. Instead of living the daily reality of how different it actually is to be a woman in leadership in silence, I have begun to own the experiences and work through challenges while supporting other women in leadership. In this space, I am learning clearly a major purpose in my life will be to continue to learn and to teach masses. It is possible to see continued change in my lifetime. I can and will be part of this change.
Before I launch in, let me clarify a few points since I know already some people reading this have their hackles all raised up in defense simply with the topic at hand.
1. Note that I did …

Pouring Out a Measure of Love When It's Needed Most

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It happened again. Someone I admire and respect completed a suicide, and my wounds are laid bare all afresh. Suicide survival is a club nobody asked to be in, and admission comes with a lifelong process of reliving the devastation on repeat. I know this because my first loss occurred in 2000, and each time I think of the circumstances and absence of that person in my life, it feels like an exposed bone, throbbing anew. I dream of him and still experience that sensation when I wake up that he is on this Earth today until reality smacks me hard again. The feelings have receded over the 18 years since, but they remain and creep up with any new experience.

With this most recent loss, I find myself checking in on my brother's Facebook page, sorting through old photos. I stopped myself from watching his tribute video by a narrow margin and even thinking of it brings fresh tears. Though I am no longer in the acute grief stage, it sure feels like it when I cannot stop myself from going do…

Feeding What We Want to Grow

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As a teacher of literature, one of my favorite genres was always those of stories handed down through cultures and generations. They have the staying power to transcend time and the natural withering away on the page because they are kept in the hearts and on the mouths of people. Recently, I saw a quick version of one of my favorites on a friend's Instagram grid about feeding the wolf inside us. For anyone that doesn't know, this story is credited to the Cherokee Nation, and this photo summarizes it really well.


In this story, we can all find something with which we can related, and the message from the grandfather in the story is clear.

To become the version of ourselves that we want to be, we must nourish that version. 
When working through this text with students, it was such a gift to uncover the variety of ways in which we will humanly respond to a story with such moral implications. The quick and more obvious reactions are that many of us don't want to acknowledge b…

Scrubbing the Tarnish to Reveal the Shine

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Exactly one year ago today, I was given the spiritually driven direction to leave my position as a high school principal. I can literally still feel my heart pump as I recorded the words flowing from my hand onto my journal. The fear. The excitement. The questions.

Fast forward to today.

I just completed an interview for the In AWE Podcast that still has me reeling with its clear message to me in regard to the mission in what I am doing now. My guest was speaking about her own mission, but in that message shined through my own purpose, and I am so grateful to notice.

Though my professional path is still forming, what is clear to me today is that my passion and strengths are coming together in a way that will honor my life purpose for the rest of it.

However, I still have a lot of listening and hard work to do.

For example, on my run this morning, I allowed my path to be driven by the call from The Spirit, and I found myself heading down a road that I have avoided for quite a while. W…

Slaying a Fear Giant

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Another post about running. Except it's really not about running but about slaying. And it's really only about slaying one important giant that I need to while sharing my battles so that others can feel they are not alone as well as shed light on a really frustrating topic. For women.

As many of my readers know, I am on a running streak, and tonight's jaunt made day 1637. Getting out there felt like a win on its own because by the time I took care of the other priorities today, I didn't get the preference for daytime running. A dark run. A giant to slay.

In November, I wrote this empowered post about the struggles I have been having for months after a dillhole (I know, really professional, but better than the explicit alternatives that really want to slide off the keys) stole my security. No matter how much I want to say that I have risen up out of that fear, it's just not totally accurate. Because even though I am extremely cautious, every odd move by a person se…

#OneWord2019-Time to Slay Some Giants--SLAY

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"The stones inside your hand might be small
But watch the giants fall."  Francesca Battistelli


After a year of #RISE where I learned to speak with purpose and step into my faith, the oneword for this year came to me first as a surprise. Honestly, my initial reaction was that I had already slayed the giant. I faced fear and left my career where I felt safe and purposed, stepping out where not many would go in a leap of faith and trust. Had I not battled through months of giants where I was searching for where God was leading me? 
The answer is no. I simply rose. 
Of course rising was not simple at all. When I wrote the post about my one word last year, I was full of trepidation to speak so openly about faith, and specifically about the Holy Spirit speaking life into me. After all, I had spent a chapter of my life muting that passion and living out of fear at times.  What if people were offended or started calling me out? Placing myself out there as a person who leads with fait…

The Last Five Miles--Pushing through Pain and Leaning In

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"So, why don't you just do all twelve miles tomorrow?" A cavalier question from my husband after I noted that I would need to fit in six miles each day for the last two of this month to hit my 100 mile marker, a streak which I have kept since June 2015.

It felt good to know that he believed I could simply do that on a whim, but I couldn't remember the last time I had run that mileage. Sure, I had done several seven mile runs in the past several months, but a whole half marathon?

Knowing I had the luxury of two days, I planned to do ten today. Just run the lake. Again, I couldn't recall the last time I had done it and the conditions today were good enough with snow that had already blanketed the roads, minor winds, and a balmy 18 degree real feel temp.

A run around the lake means you are committed with that plan because the further you get, the more you need to simply press on since going back doubles the mileage versus making the loop. On today's run, I had a…