Soldier Girls

"I was raised to be brave.
To stand up & stand out."

I unwrapped the clear plastic around Katherine Nelson's album and shoved it into the side of William's iMac (thinking to myself how nice it will be when my computer is finally fixed). His music player popped up and I hit play.

I was happy to hear a confident and talented voice and a professional and well-rounded sound. And Katherine's message was a good one - I am woman, I am a fighter, I am strong and the world rides on my capable shoulders.

I understand the beauty of this message - but ever since my years spent surviving as an English Major at University - I can't help but feel an instant suspicion for anything that tends toward Feminism. I just don't buy it. In my experience, the truly strong women are those with the quiet strength. Not the loud, stompy women who loudly proclaim that women rule, and everyone had just better get out of the way!

In my experience, these are the women who have something to prove.

And the women I've always admired for their strength and courage are those who fight unseen, who build from within.

So the first two of Katherine's songs were fun. They were well done. But I admit I sort of shrugged the album off at this point as one of those that was pleasant, but not one I'd be really living in. 

But then the lilting tones of Soldier Girls surprised and pleased me. Again, the message was one of a battle-cry, but the undertones suggested the haunting ache of femeninity in weighty armor. We fight the war not because we are built for it, but because we believe in it. And the pioneer women were absolutely soldiers fighting in the One Great War.

I started to pay attention.

Katherine sings a song about Emma that dug deep. And, I felt stupid for not knowing before, but after a bit of research, I learned that Katherine actually played the part of Emma in the movie Emma Smith: My Story. This made the song that much more tender to me, knowing the depth of research and reading and identifying Katherine would have had to do to play the part of that great and uncompromising woman.

There's a very sweet song called "Virgin's Lullabye", with parts sung by a shepherd, the three kings, the angels in attendance, and - of course - the Virgin.

There's another heart-gripper about adoption.

Basically, when I allowed myself to truly listen to Katherine's music, there was depth and truth that I would not have gleaned from a mere surface listening.

And so - to my surprise and delight - I've been living in this album for the past few weeks.

There are songs I like better than others, but there are songs that I really, really like.

And I get to give three of them to my readers! To enter, just make a comment, telling me a time you have been brave, or a way you wish you could be more brave.

Winners announced tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.


Lara said...

I kept thinking, "She looks familiar." I hadn't placed that she played Emma Smith, I'm glad that mystery is solved. I wish I were more brave in my interactions with others; be more willing to strike up friendly conversation with strangers, or call a casual friend in the neighborhood just to see how they are doing, stuff like that. I tend to be a bit introverted by nature, but I still have a strong desire to connect deeply with those around me but don't always act on it.

Ali Marie said...

I think the time I had to be most brave was just after having Malachi. There were times that I wanted to lock Steve up to keep him from deploying. How could I face a year alone raising a new little baby all by myself. That year I learned one of the biggest lessons of my life. Sometimes the bravest strongest thing you can do is admit your own limitations and ask for help.

Grandpa Rusty said...

When my sweet wife, who incidentally is your Mother, had to endure cancer surgery and treatments for much of a year; I witnessed bravery beyond anything I've ever had to face. Despite how miserable she felt, she still made time for family and work. I marveled at her - how her drive to get well overshadowed any and all discomfort. She is my hero. In my mind, the definition of bravery just has a picture of her face.

Kristen said...

Whenever Eric travels out of town each month and I have to do 3 kids by myself I guess that is being brave. Or just dealing with life as it happens. One or the other. :)

Love to have this CD! Awesome!!

Jenn said...

I'm trying to be brave as our life is maybe about to change by moving to a new city (though not a big scary city like New York) and I am acting like it's going to be fun and exciting for my kids' benefit, but I'm really scared about how it will affect my kids.

Lizzie said...

I wish I could be more brave when it comes to my future. I would like to take it by the horns, and live the heck out of it. But sometimes it's scary to have big dreams and know that they may not work out. But here's to being brave in the face of the unknown future!

Risch Mikk said...

There are times in my life when I think I have been brave, but it's hard to know forr sure. But the times I do know for sure that I have been brave are too private to share because they are the times when I had to let go and completely trust in the Lord to forgive, to send peace, to bring knowledge, to be humble, to be healed.

Tarynia said...

I think I was brave when I Decided to Have my first baby naturally. (no pain meds)It was amazing. So I did it 3 more times:)