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 is 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 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.