Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day- Women I Admire, that Inspire!

First of all-Happy Mother's Day to All! I want to talk about some of the influential women and mothers in my life and others that I admire. This is going to be a long list, so I will apologize to start out. Also, I know that some of you may not agree with all that I have to say, but this is my blog, so sorry :)

Joan of Arc- Can you imagine being burned at the stake at the age of 19 because you actually saved your country by leading them in battle and were amazing? I get inspired by fearless women, who did the unthinkable (to me) without doubt or question.

Mary- I think about how it must have been to be Jesus's mother and it completely overwhelms me. To be that pure and good, in the first place and then the responsibility and weight of her calling. She truly is a role model that I want to emulate.

Benazir Bhutto- Isn't she beautiful? I just finished this book last night and it was amazing! She totally inspired me with her insights into Islam, Democracy and how we could make the world a better place. It is so sad to me that she was assassinated. She showed no fear in her life and I thank Heather for sending me this book- I loved it!
Julie B. Beck- I realize that I am going to over use the word amazing in this post, but it describes this talented, inspirational leader as well. I loved her talk about Mother's That Know. She is honest and really told us what we need to hear. I enjoy listening to her counsel and love having leaders like her that inspire me to be a better person!
Mariane Pearl- Just looking at her picture with her son brings tears to my eyes. Talk about wanting to give up! I cannot believe how strong she is after all that she went through (Her husband, journalist Daniel Pearl, was beheaded in Pakistan by terrorists). She wrote a book about her experience that seared my soul (A Mighty Heart- The Brave Life and Death of my Husband Daniel Pearl). Seriously, to read her words and see her smile makes me want to be a better person.
Azar Nafisi- She was a professor in Iran that defied the government by teaching her students from books that were banned. I love fearless women that love learning. Her book Reading Lolita in Iran details this experience.
Angelina Jolie- ok, ok. don't hate me yet. Let me explain. I know that maybe she isn't married and she is pregnant, but I admire her for wanting kids and adopting kids, because it is not the norm in Hollywood or the world. I am also aware that she probably has alot of help taking care of her family, but nonetheless, I like her. I think that she does alot of good with her fame and I admire that. (I am entitled to my opinion, right?)

Queen Noor of Jordan- Here is an American lady who married the King of Jordan. How brave is that? I can't imagine leaving all I know and helping to rule a Middle Easter country. Her memoir- Leap of Faith is very interesting.

Miriam- she is actually a fictional character in one of my favorite books of all time, A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Houseini, but she is inspiring none the less. If you have read this book you might know what I am talking about, if not, I don't want to give it away. The things that she sacrifices for others are unimaginable to me.

By now you realize that I really could go on forever, but I will spare you. I want to recognize a few women in my life.

Audrey- My older sister has always been an inspiration. I can't remember her being mean to me when we were growing up and I know that she couldn't say the same about me. She loved me no matter what and always tried to build our relationship even when I made it very difficult. I have always looked up to her and wanted to be like her. She is a peacemaker, fun-loving, and has perservered through difficulties to become a mother. And what a mother she is! She totally loves every minute of it and never takes her children for granted. She is excited about life and wants to share the world with her boys. I am lucky to have her as my sister, my sister-in-law, and my friend. I love you Aud!

Laura Dawn- What can I say? I am so lucky to have 2 great sisters! Lar was always the one that I wanted to be like too. She was always so friendly and everyone loved (still loves) her. She is selfless, talented, beautiful, and so much fun to be with. She is a great aunt and I know that someday she will be a great mother as well! I love you Lar!

Mom- my mom is one of my best friends. She has always been there for me to listen, gently guide me, and help me. She has always been an example of charity, service, and every other Christlike quality there is to me. She is an inspiration to me now as I watch her with my children. So loving, gentle and soft-spoken. Always laughing and genuinely listening to whatever people want to tell her. I feel so blessed to have her as my mother! I love you Mom!

Becky- How lucky am I to have a wonderful mother-in-law? I don't even use that word to describe her because she is just like a mother to me. She so unselfish and good to everyone. She amazes me with the capacity she has to love people and take them for who they are, not who she wishes they were. Plus, she raised a wonderful, handsome son (more than 1, but 1 in particular that I love)! I love you Becky- see you in a few days!

I realize that this list is getting really long but I wanted to say Thank you to all my other great friends and family that inspire me to be a better person, lift me up when I am down, and are always there for me. I am going to list a few of you. Thanks Betsy (Sis. Jennings, as Jonah would say), Heather, Jaime, Tiffany M, Kim M , Grandma Gus, Grandma Ruthardt, my aunts, Kendra, Holly, Carey, Laura, Katie, Megan, Kim, and all you others, near and far, who inspire and help me. I love you all and hope you have a great Mothers Day! (Please don't have your feelings hurt if I didn't personally mention your name- I love you anyway!


Becky said...

Thanks for the wonderful tribute! I'm truly thankful to have five wonderful daughters!( And to think I used to think that I would have "just boys"!) Mary Ann, you are doing a mah-ve-lous job with that sweet family of yours. I couldn't have chosen BETTER the wives of my sons. Thanks bunches!!
I love you, Becky

Holly said...

Great post, Mare! You are a wonderful mother. We've come so far haven't we? As far as the Honda: 2004 EX-L Dark Gray. Love it!

Miss Bankhead said...

Mare, I heart you. Yay for educating ourselves about the Middle East!

The Flynn's said...

What a great post. I really enjoyed reading it and completely agree (maybe not 100% with Angelina Jolie...but she DOES do a lot of good things for children which is wonderful :). Happy Mother's Day.

Audrey said...

You are too sweet Mary Ann! You need a whole post about how amazingly loving and tender you are. It would also mention how you accomplish anything you put your mind to (with amazing speed). Along with bunches of other stuff!! I love you!

Jaime said...

thanks Mare! You've inspired me over the years and were my first true friend after I had moved back. you are a wonderful person, mother as well. thanks:)

Caglefamily said...

Hey Mary Ann I posted a comment on your blog once but I don't think it worked. You are so cute with your blogs, creative. I have added you to my blog I hope thats ok. It will be fun to keep up, I can't believe how fast time flies! Your kids are beautiful!!

africa said...

This is going to be really long also. That Scrubs clip was hilarious and looked remarkably like my morning(only it was Felicity with Mr. Mom). I love those first two pbs shows also, but I don't think we get the last two. The talk was, well I teared up in exactly that spot. There are so many days when I feel like I am not accomplishing anything. I hope someday I will be able to look back and know that at least some of the good in my kids came from me. I love strong women also. I admire so many women and have learned little bits from so many people, especially your mom and Audrey. I have also always admired your fire and that you never seemed to let anyone walk all over you. You never seemed to be afraid of anything. Thanks for letting me learn from you. (also I want to know how many mentos and how much sprite)

Jared and Katy said...

That was very inspirational. I think you should have been one of the women on the list!