What it Means to be a Woman

This weekend, there was a lot of news made by the Women’s March in Washington D.C. I hadn’t heard much about it until it happened, but I knew it was supposed to be a protest against President Trump and in support of women’s rights. After hearing some of the coverage, I have some thoughts I want to share about how I view womanhood and femininity a little differently than the media would lead you to believe most women do.

What it Means to be a Woman | Grace to Grow Blog

Watching that rally would make you think that being a woman means being mean, rude, and vulgar. It would make you think it means supporting a woman’s “right to choose” to kill the child in her womb, to discard the unique gift we have that men don’t: the ability to bring new life into the world. It would make you think it means believing that screaming and yelling and getting angry will change things. But to me, that’s not at all what it means to be a woman.

Being a woman means being an image-bearer of God, made to complement and work alongside men. It means loving and encouraging our families. It means bringing joy and beauty to the lives of the people we love. It means serving the people around us, showing compassion and empathy. It means teaching our daughters how to be ladies and teaching our sons how to be gentlemen. It means standing up and speaking out about the things that matter, but with love and truth, not anger and lies. It means protecting the vulnerable; the children in foster care, the unborn babies, and the young, scared mothers who think they have no choice but to abort their baby. It means reaching out and showing love, especially to the people we don’t agree with, even starting with the women who marched in Washington, many of whom are genuinely hurt and afraid. As women, we have the potential to greatly impact the world around us with the unique feminine traits God has given us, but only if we act out of love.

Those women made the news last weekend because they’re angry and upset. And you know what? I’m upset about some things too, and I’m glad we live in a country where we can talk about those things and then do something. I’m upset that tens of millions of babies have been killed over the last few decades, before they even had a chance at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I’m upset that a lot of their mothers felt trapped, like they had no choice. Some people celebrate these things as “women’s rights.” But what about the rights of the girls who never got the chance to become women? What about the mothers who were told the lie that it wasn’t really a baby, that they would be better off without the burden of a child anyway, and that no one cared enough about them to help them raise new life, that the only help available was to help their unborn children die? So yes, I’m upset. But mostly I’m upset with myself for not doing more to change things. Because you know what? Protesting doesn’t change anything. Screaming hatred for our new president doesn’t change anything. Only love, God’s love, has the power to truly change hearts and minds and souls. Only love can change things, and love, like faith, is a verb. It requires action, putting yourself out there, giving of yourself.

So whatever it is that upsets you, that makes you angry, don’t just protest, make a sign, post on Facebook, and go on your merry way. I’m all too guilty of that sometimes too, but I want to change. Whatever your issue is, go out there and fight for what you believe in. Start small; don’t worry about doing some grand gesture. Do what you can with what you have, where you are, but just do something. I’m reminding myself of this too. Because what it really means to be a woman? is to show love through action. Take the love and passion God has given you and use it to help support and encourage the people He’s called you to.

2017 Goals + Word of the Year

Well, it’s taken me long enough, but I think I’ve finally decided on some goals for this year. I haven’t quite planned out all the steps I’ll need to take to accomplish them, but I’m headed in the right direction!

I’ve never really had “word of the year” before. I follow a lot of bloggers who pick a word to define how they want to live that year, but this is the first year I’ve tried to pick one for myself. It may change, but here’s what I have right now: discipline. That doesn’t sound very fun or exciting, I know! But it encompasses a lot of the goals I’ve set for this year. My main, overarching goal for the year is to create habits (while I’m still fairly young) to set myself up for success later in life, and I will definitely need discipline to do that. Then maybe next year, my word can be more fun 🙂

So, here are my goals for the year:


  1. Set aside time to consistently read the Bible (possibly using She Reads Truth, especially during Lent, Advent, etc.).
  2. Read Fervent by Priscilla Shirer.
  3. Use my Val Marie Paper prayer journal. This is the one I have.


  1. Commit to eating healthier (probably the Trim Healthy Mama plan).
  2. Drink more water! Work up to a gallon per day.
  3. Exercise regularly (find something I can stick with).
  4. Develop an evening routine and consistent times to go to bed/wake up.


  1. Stick to my EveryDollar budget (save money for the future!).
  2. Read 100 books. That sounds like a lot, but I’m a fast reader and I got a Kindle Unlimited subscription for Christmas 🙂 I also want to read more nonfiction…maybe 1 out of every 5 books I read.
  3. Learn how to get the most out my bullet journal and update it regularly. I just started a bullet journal at the beginning of the year, and I’m still figuring out how to use it, what things to put in it, and what things I can leave out.


  1. Blog regularly (2-3 times per week).
  2. Start a Facebook page for my blog and promote it more on social media.
  3. Interact more with other bloggers (commenting on posts, etc.).
  4. Take a blogging course. I’ve been looking at some free video courses on Skillshare and Building a Framework by Abby Lawson of Just a Girl and Her Blog. If you have any suggestions, let me know!
  5. Research some career possibilities I’m interested and figure out what the next steps would be (going back to school, etc.).

Well there you have it! My goals for 2017, which are written at the front of my bullet journal so hopefully I won’t forget 😉

What are your goals for 2017?

2016 Favorites

I know we’re already 11 days into the year, so it might be a little late to still be talking about 2016, but I’ve kind of been getting a slow start to this year. In fact, I really haven’t given much thought to my goals for the year yet…this blog is called Grace to Grow, right? So I’m giving myself to grow into 2017 slowly. There’s nothing magical about January 1st! So in the meantime, I thought I would share some of my favorite things from last year.

TV Shows: When Calls the Heart, Designated Survivor, and Fixer Upper // Last winter I started watching When Calls the Heart, and I loved it! Something about the sweet community and the simpler times made it the perfect show to watch while working on an embroidery project. This fall, we also started watching Designated Survivor, and it’s been really good! It’s a really intriguing concept, and fascinating to think about how a situation like that might really play out. It’s a good inside look into life as the President, too. And then, of course, everyone’s favorite: Fixer Upper! It’s been popular for a while, but I didn’t start watching it until the newest season started in November. My sister and I watched quite a few episodes while she was home for Christmas break, and now we’re hooked 😉

New (to me) Authors: Sibella Giorello and Sarah Sundin  // I couldn’t pick just one favorite author I found last year! They have really different writing styles and they write in really different genres, but I really love their books 🙂 Sibella Giorello writes the Raleigh Harmon mystery series about a really smart, capable, FBI agent who works on some really tough cases. Sarah Sundin writes WWII romance, and her most recent series has a little bit of mystery too! I’ve either read or ordered every book by both of these authors, and I can’t wait for their next books!

Kindle Unlimited Author: Jenn Faulk // I read a few of Jenn Faulk’s books during my free trial of Kindle Unlimited, and I was really excited when my parents gave me a year’s subscription for Christmas! I’ve already read 15 of her books since Christmas 🙂

New Series: Montana Rescue by Susan May Warren // My favorite new series that started in 2016 is definitely the Montana Rescue series by Susan May Warren, including the Montana Fire prequel series that came out in the summer. I can’t wait for the next three books in the series to come out this year, starting with a new one at the end of this month!

New Book: The Magnolia Story // I read so much last year, I’m really having to stretch to come up with different categories for all my favorite books 🙂 So my favorite new stand-alone book from 2016 is The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines! I read it right after I started watching their show, Fixer Upper, and I loved getting to hear about how they met, how they got their business going, and how they’ve overcome the challenges they’ve faced. Now when I watch the show I feel like I know them a little bit better!

Podcast: The Boundless Show // I never really listened to podcasts before 2016, but now I have several that I really like! My favorite, though, would have to be the Boundless Show by Focus on the Family. It’s geared toward single adults, especially young adults, and I love the variety of topics they cover.

Blog: Phylicia Delta // Phylicia’s blog is one of my all-time favorites, and I always read every one of her posts. I especially enjoyed her productivity series in December, and I love that she does live videos on Facebook to go along with a lot of her posts!

Blog Post: I haven’t written a whole lot of blog posts, since I just started blogging in September, but I think this post was one of my favorites to write. I love reliving the vacation my family took to Alaska! That was the best vacation we’ve been on, and we all have so many fun memories.

Instagram Photo: I love this photo I posted last April! It really shows how crazy our weather can be in the spring 😉 Plus, it turns out that this is one of the most recent pictures we have of our dog, who had to be put down in October.

Well, now that I’ve relived some favorite moments from 2016, it’s time to get started on planning for 2017!

What were some of your 2016 favorites?