Thursday, May 22, 2008


My husband shared a dream he had the other night with me, and I thought it was worth retelling.  He dreamed that he was being pursued by "bad men," armed of course, seeking his fatal demise.  While fleeing, he decided to duck into a craft store and hide out.  Upon entering the store, he noticed that he was in the company of women.

"Oh great," he thought.  "What kind of protection are these women going to be able to offer me against these thugs?" he lamented.

In spite of his doubts, he called out to the craft store patrons to aid him, mindful that the armed assailants were drawing nearer by the moment.  

"To my surprise," he said, "the women all mobilized quickly.  They were like a machine."  Organized, efficient, and effective, the women came to his rescue.  And the dream ended.


Why do I share this dream?  Because I think there is a message there worth noting.  If prepared and organized, women can be a surprising ally in times of danger.  

Of course, most of our husbands will not be assailed by armed men chasing them down the streets of town.  But danger can have many appearances.  Think of the danger of rising food prices we currently face, and the danger of sickness from eating too much of that food (junk food, that is).  Think of the economic troubles we are in, and the challenges of stretching our dollars further.  Perhaps scariest of all is to think of the ever rising tensions abroad, and how military conflicts, be they from terrorists or nations themselves, could transpire overnight.

I don't mean to spark alarm--the media has plenty of zeal for that as it is, calling everything a crisis these days (the economic crisis, the climate crisis, the food crisis).  But I do mean to encourage us as women to use our skills and our relationships to be ready to help if needed.  Ready to provide help to a neighbor who can't quite fill their pantry this month.  Ready to organize carpools if gas gets too expensive.  Ready to bring comfort and strength when our children are afraid of war.  

And in this readiness, I speak primarily to women who are choosing to stay at home.  Just as my husband, in his dream, did not expect to find organized help in a craft store (what can ladies busy quilting and knitting and scrapbooking possibly do to help?), so women who stay home are unsuspecting allies.  Yes, most of us are not bringing in high incomes (the assumed remedy for all troubles), but we naturally create networks of support, practice resourcefulness, provide for our households, and strengthen the community.  

In the months to come, I look forward to talking more about the benefits that women can bring to our communities, particularly women who choose to stay at home (an often overlooked asset).  Feel free to email me your thoughts and strategies for being ready to help when needed at

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