forgiveness • peacemaking • reconciliation
equality • poverty • missions


My Seven Sisters: Honoring the Women in My Life

March 8, 2018 by

March 8th is International Women’s Day, so it’s our day to acknowledge our gifts and contributions. But I know that being a woman is not something everyone can celebrate, and with good reason especially if the country or environment you live in is hostile to everything female. I was blessed to grow up in a family home and extended community where my womanhood was valued, acknowledged, and encouraged in the very best of ways.

Along with the respect I received from the men around me – my dad set the leading example -- I was surrounded by wonderful female role models: from my mom, to teachers and extended family and friends.

I love to look back at one particular wedding photo I have, because when I do I know I am among a rare group of women.

I have seven sisters.

Image of author's sistersthe author on her wedding day

Yes. Seven. Six on earth and one in heaven. (Esther died of cancer when she was only ten).

Collectively, we survived the early death of our parents and little sister; individually, we have survived cancer, miscarriages, moves, and missteps. We were all blessed with babies, and now some of us with grandbabies.

Let’s set aside our trivial differences and lift other women up in loyalty.

Today, for International Women’s Day, I’d like to honor women everywhere by celebrating these seven special women who have taught me so much about love, life, generosity, perseverance, laughter, and letting go. Distance or disease has never kept us apart. Obstacles have only brought us closer together. My sisters have shown me how to pick up and go on when things seemed pointless, they have listened to (and even heeded!) my clumsy attempts at wisdom, and journeyed beside me through my own valleys.

Sisterhood has no severance. And while I know I share this unique bond with these particular women, I want to encourage each of us to honor, respect, and venerate the ladies in our lives. Let’s #pressforprogress by example, let’s set aside our trivial differences and lift other women up in loyalty.

Let’s be women who exchange criticism for confidence.

Let’s be women who don’t triumph over the failings of others but instead encourage their endeavors.

Let’s be women whom others can trust because we care more for them than for our own image.

Let’s be women who prize peace in our hearts more than the possessions in our homes.

Let’s be women whose depth of respect for ourselves allows our true femininity to shine.

Let’s be women, like my sisters and so many others, who love fiercely beyond all reason and brave brokenness over and over to reach the shores of grace.

You can now keep up with Norann on Twitter. Follow her today: @NorannV


About the author

Norann Voll portrait

Norann Voll

Norann Voll lived in New York’s Hudson Valley until moving to the Danthonia Bruderhof in New South Wales, Australia in 2002...

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