Friday, September 15, 2006

Woman of Vision

Each Friday we hope to post a weekly "Woman of Vison" honoring women who make a difference in the world around them. This Friday we pay tribute to the grandmother of Mylinda Baits. Mylinda is an American Baptist Missionary who serves with her family in the country of Costa Rica. She writes for us today about the influence of her grandmother's voice and story.

"The one voice that made an impact on my life belongs to my maternal grandmother or Nana, as we call her. She made me feel like I fit into our family system because I carry the y from her name Myrene in my own, Mylinda. It gives me the sense that I inherited the tenacious inner strength and perseverance that she is known for. Unlike me, though, she was orphaned at the age of three, raised by her uncle and married at the age of 15 since my grandfather did not want her to have to work all day as a waitress to survive. She lived a hard life, raising kids by day and working nights to put food on the table since Grandpa often spent his own paycheck drinking and gambling before he got home. I came onto the scene when times had changed and life was more stable for them. What I experienced as a child was a home full of tenderness, good food and faithfulness in spite of the harshness of the past. While I was attending college she opened up her home to my family and me and we stayed there for three years before I left for graduate school. Though I was rarely home because of studies and work, she provided a stable place in the midst of chaos. My Nana is one of the most positive people in my life and I know she is one of my biggest fans because of her encouraging and affirming words and actions. Once when I was away at seminary she made my favorite cake with a pudding frosting, froze it, then wrapped it in foil and sent it to me through the mail for my birthday. It was a mess when it arrived, but it reminded me of how much she thought of me. As the shy, youngest daughter of three I often felt overlooked or overshadowed by my outspoken sisters, but it was my Nana who paid attention and made me feel like I belonged. Because she paid attention to me, I now try to pay attention to those voiceless folks around me who, just like me, need someone on their side to make an impact on their world. "

Who are the women of vision in your life?


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