Celebrating International Women’s Day!

“This is woman’s hour, in all the good tendencies, charities, and reforms of to-day.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, p 245

This month is Women’s History Month, and today is International Women’s Day. So I thought I’d use my blog to talk about women today – the concept of “womanhood”; my mom – one of the greatest women I’ve ever known; and the surge in support I’ve seen towards women’s equality.

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy writes: “Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God… The ideal man corresponds to creation, to intelligence, and to Truth. The ideal woman corresponds to Life and to Love. In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity.” (p. 517)

My mother was a wonderful expression of God’s motherhood. She was born at the end of 1927 – just seven years after women got the right to vote in this country. There were certain expectations from society for women of her time, but she never accepted the limitations that society might have tried to foist on her: She ran on the women’s track team in college; graduated college with a four-year degree; worked outside the home; and proudly voted in every election – all things that women in some countries are still fighting for the right to do.

When Mom learned that I was planning to march in the 2017 Women’s March, Mom proudly conveyed this news to her friends in the assisted living place where she and Dad lived. One of her friends knitted a pink pussy hat for me, and I proudly wore that hat in the march. I’m so glad Mom got to see me in that pink hat before she died, a month later.

Women from all over the world participated in the 2017 Women’s March. It’s estimated that over five million people (of all genders) might have participated in the march in the United States. It’s estimated there were 6,000 people in the march that I walked in, in Bellingham, Washington. I can still remember the power I felt in the people around me that day, and the joy. People of every gender and race, both young and old, participated in the march that day – all coming together in support of women. That felt good. At the end of the march I thanked the police officers who had supported us, and said to one of the officers, “We did good, didn’t we?” He smiled and said, “Yes, you did!”

Today we’re seeing support for women’s equality everywhere – in Iran, where men and women fill the streets to protest the death of Mahsa Amini; in the United States, where people of every gender protest for the rights of women to have control over their own bodies; in the Green Wave movement in Latin America; and in those heroes who work to bring education to the girls of Afghanistan.

As manifestations of God, we will not be oppressed, and we will not allow the oppression of others.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“Learn to do good. Seek justice: help the oppressed; defend the orphan; plead for the widow.”
-Isaiah 1:17

“Lord, you listen to the desires of those who suffer. You steady their hearts; you listen closely to them, to establish justic for the orphan and the oppressed, so that people of the land will never again be terrified.”
-Psalms 10:17-18

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one and the same in Christ Jesus.
– Galatians 3:28

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
-Genesis 1:27

Here are some photos from the 2017 Women’s March…

There is Nothing More Powerful

Sister, you are not invisible to us. You are not forgotten. You are not alone. You express the motherhood of Love, and there is nothing more powerful.

motherhood 2

photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell

“I am woman, hear me roar…”

So God created man in his own image and likeness; male and female created he them. – Genesis 1: 27

Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God… The ideal man corresponds to creation, to intelligence, and to Truth. The ideal woman corresponds to Life and to Love. In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity. – Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy


As a Christian Scientist, I believe God to be both Father and Mother, and all men and women to be made in her likeness. I believe that if we, as a society, fail to appreciate or value the expression of God’s feminine nature, we’re not appreciating the full expression of our Father-Mother God.

Tonight, as I was giving thought to the financial, political, and social challenges that women around the world are currently facing, an old Helen Reddy song came boldly bounding into my thoughts:

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back and pretend
’cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
’cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
’cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul


I am woman, watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand…

– Helen Reddy and Ray Burton

This song was a kind of anthem for me as a young woman. It was one of the songs I hummed to myself as I climbed to the summit of Mount Rainier.  It was with me as I launched myself into my career, and it was with me as I tried to figure out my place as a woman in American society. It inspired me to be strong and brave and confident. “I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman,” sang Helen Reddy, and I sang right along with her.

I married, had children, raised a family, entered a teaching career, climbed more mountains and hiked more hills.  New songs took the place of I Am Woman.  I suppose at some point I began to think of I Am Woman as too simplistic or schmaltzy or shallow or something.  And finally I am Woman faded completely into the distant recesses of my mind.  Until today, I don’t think I’d thought about that song for years.

But today it came back to me – and it didn’t enter my thoughts in a dainty or delicate way, either – it came bursting in, all unapologetic and vibrant. I found it on youtube and listened to it again, and felt myself becoming inspired, just as I had as a young woman three decades ago.


Biologically, I have brothers, and I have sons, but no daughters or sisters.  Although I love all the wonderful men in my life – right now, today, I want to take time to celebrate women.   I’ve been blest to have a wise, wonderful mother, and, even though I have no biological sisters, I’ve had a life filled with the inspiration and support of “sisters of the heart” – strong,  courageous women who’ve been an example to me of the power of womankind. Today I want to celebrate the courage and daring of the pioneer women who helped build our country; the suffragettes who worked tirelessly so that other women, like me, could vote; and the courageous female leaders who are working right now to ensure that women’s lives and rights are protected.

And I want to make a commitment to being the best representative of womankind that I can be, too.  Today I resolve to fully express the courage, strength, and love that are attributes of my Father-Mother God.  “I am woman, watch me grow; See me standing toe to toe, as I spread my loving arms across the land…”


Christian Scientists must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out  from  the material world and be separate. They must renounce aggression, oppression and the pride of power. Christianity, with the crown of Love upon her brow, must be their queen of life. – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

(This post was originally published in March, 2012 – during Women”s History Month. I thought now might be a good time to bring it up again. May Malala Yousufzai and all others who are working for women’s rights around the world see their hopes fulfilled.)