SHE: Words of Empowerment From Danielle Bennett

October 8, 2015 0 Comments

My vision for this blog has always been for it to be a place of healing, hope, and empowerment for women. And I believe that one of the most empowering things for women is to see other women passionately pursuing their calling and doing exactly what God designed them to do. With that in mind I would love for you all to meet Danielle Bennett. Danielle is a poet, writer, and speaker who daniellebennett-blog-she-forteebellois a powerful voice to women in this culture and generation. I met her very recently via a mutual friend who sent me a link to one of her poems. I could not read it without tears coming to my eyes and simultaneously feeling so much joy, confidence, and strength. It is a reminder to women everywhere that God designed us to live full, free, and purpose filled lives. This poem speaks my heart for women perhaps more than any other piece of written literature. It inspired me so much hat I named a magazine that I am founding with two other writer friends after it called, She Is Magazine. We will be launching in one week, and this poem was a big piece of the inspiration for that. I hope it as much of an encouragement to you as it was to me. You have find out more about Danielle and her work at her website here.

SHE

by Danielle Bennett 

She is a patient gardener,

and if you ask her soil how it became so rich,

it will tell you how she has always been more willing to listen to what it needs

than waiting to speak it into moving at the pace of her understanding.

Her silence is terrifying because you know

the next time she opens her mouth to speak

she will mean every ounce of it.

When she speaks

there is so much permission in her love

and holy on her breathe

you cannot help but sit like you are budding toward the sky,

you cannot help but believe you are every bit as necessary

as you were created to be.

She is so gorgeous in the absence of need for attention

You can’t help but notice her still waters, even when

she moves at the speed of hustle.

She is the realest and cool with it because she is

rested in the knowing she is new.

She is unashamed of being happy,

and is not bracing herself for the next hard thing,

her hands are too busy receiving the day and its gifts.

 She has the audacity to act like the queen she is, and

she doesn’t complain about the myriad requests for her time or

going unrecognized or the weight of the crown because

she knows it is the lightest load she has ever carried and

in the Kingdom every night is a feast she doesn’t strive to earn so

she can give it all away because she knows

there is always more where that comes from.

She treats this city like a palace

she has been entrusted to care for and keep,

every stranger a guest she looks in the eyes with her love

so others feel called up by the way she chooses well.

Discipline is a gown she wears like she is

never afraid of being the best dressed person in a room.

She is a warrior in the tent of a king with a permanent win,

She trains and sharpens the blade so

She can keep that badge of justice on fire to fight for those without defense,

and when they ask her “what about you?”

she points to her scars and her vibrant pulse

as a reminder of the times death nearly held her in its nasty jaws

and still she lives, and lives well, so she doesn’t

question that she is covered and seen and doesn’t

need to go around making a case for herself anymore.

She has stood inside the eye of a tornado enough times to know how to stay

even when circumstance wants to chess piece her

into some place she can’t be so blinding,

but she is sensitive enough to the wind to know when she needs

to start walking away, and

she doesn’t mind how long the journey will take because

even on days she can’t shake the fog, she trusts

she has never really been in control.

And she has seen a succulent survive enough times to know

she is much stronger than she thinks, so

she is tenacious in her commitment to a covenant,

no matter what the cost –

she calls the things she’s lost a necessary shedding of skin.

She is the skyscraper we look for on the 101 that reminds us we are home.

If you ask her how she got so tall,

she will show you the days she spent clearing the debris

so the concrete could be poured in clean and deep

She will show you the moons who knew her fear of heights       ,

and the mornings she woke with the gumption to keep growing anyway.

If you ask her how she got so tall she will bend her own steel

into staircase so you can get the best view,

She will remind you that you

can be built even higher.

She belongs in the book spine and woven into textures

She belongs with platform for all the truth in her bones

She belongs at the negotiations table and written into code

She belongs elbow-deep in flour and memos

She doesn’t have to chase her dreams – she outpaces them.

She doesn’t need to have it all together to have it all.

She is strange – doesn’t always make perfect sense

But she is perfect in the way she makes her presence

A place where you can rest.

Her best beauty trick is knowing where she comes from and

not apologizing for where she’s going.

She is an augmented 9th – the musician’s unresolved note,

lovely in her complexity, and

she doesn’t know she will always walk in and kill it

but she knows there is no room that can tell her what she is and isn’t made of.

She is on her knees in the dessert,

not phased by where her water will come from,

a dusty-faced worshipper unafraid to be alone

because she knows she is never alone.

 She is the tangled mane of a wild horse running to a quiet place

She is thunder feet of elephant claiming the land she walks on

She is tiger in the face of a lie that tries to steal her peace

She is brave

and they do not question her intuition – home of the Spirit,

rocking chair of the uncertain,

oven of the good word.

She’s the prayer that makes dark things look for a hiding place.

She is believer of supernatural,

Stardust and fabric of the sky,

The morning of forgiveness,

Offerer of everything,

Templed-body home builder,

Bride of the thick presence,

Courier of life,

Firm-footed friend of grace,

A heart bowed in respect,

She is the strong and delicate hands on a loom,

threading legacy for daughters and

granddaughters who will be written into the book of life

as cage breakers,

earth tilling ambassadors of heaven,

faithful guardians of this city.

 She is a lady of honor.

She is a mother of the future,

a sister of the present,

and if you’re wondering

where to find such a unicorn of a woman

look around, my love,

trust the time you chose to live with magic in your blood

which means SHE

is the woman YOU

were always meant to become.

Danielle Bennett

Danielle Bennett is a poet, communicator, and educator who currently works in special projects and strategy for an education non-profit that operates public charter schools in Los Angeles, Memphis, and Tacoma. Prior to this work, she helped run a family business in technical inventions and was a high school teacher in Inglewood. While her day-to-day work has given her a wide range of experiences in tackling challenging issues, poetry has been a lifeboat through it all. She deeply believes in the power of poetry as a cathartic tool and means of compelling storytelling. Danielle has a Masters in Education from Loyola Marymount University, where she wrote her thesis on arts education as a venue for social justice. She runs the spoken word ministry at Mosaic LA, and has worked with Saddleback Church, Biola University, Urban Youth Workers Institute, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, World Mission International, and YWCA International. Her work has been featured in the podcast Sounds Like a Movement, and a documentary that explores the power of the written word, Words of Art. Danielle grew up just outside of Washington, D.C., and currently lives in Los Angeles.

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