by Emily Carson

March has arrived, and it’s time to honor and celebrate women! Women’s History Month is a wonderful time to acknowledge the impact of women in your life and on the whole world. Here are some intentional ways to honor the women you love: past, present, and future.

1. Write a letter to a woman who inspires you. Get out some nice stationary and your favorite pen and get to work. The letter should come straight from your heart. Tell her what you admire about her and why she matters to you. Do not worry too much about the formalities of letter writing. The goal is to be authentic and describe why this woman is important.

2. Make a list of 10 women in your life who have influenced you. Set aside time this month to consider what women to include on your list. Note the traits and characteristics you most admire about them. Perhaps they are women from history textbooks. Your list could include a woman on your family tree that passed away long before you were born. You may have a baby daughter or granddaughter on the way who has already made a big impact even before her birth. Taking time to make this special list will be a great way to increase your awareness of just how much women have influenced your life!

3. Pray for a different woman each day this month. First, find a blank monthly calendar for March. Take time to put a different woman’s name in each box for the month. This list can include co-workers, friends, family members, and any other woman who comes to mind. The format you use for your prayers is completely up to you. You may want to include a prayer of blessing for each woman at the end of your prayer time. Consider something like: “God of all hope, thank you for the life of _______. May she know your nearness and your love more and more each day. Amen.”

4. Intentionally appreciate women in art. Read a book by a female author. Watch a film by a female director. Go to a museum and note the works of art created by women. The creative pursuits of women have made a huge impact on our world. This is a great month to honor their art!

5. Pick up the phone and call a woman in your life you haven’t talked to for awhile. If you’re anything like me, you’ve taken a real liking to Twitter, texting, and other online forms of communication. But what about the telephone? Call a woman you love and have a real conversation. Set aside a special block of time when neither of you are likely to be too busy or distracted. Talk about life, faith, and whatever you please. Be sure to let her know how much you value her!

6. Support female business owners. Do a little research on the places you shop and the businesses you support. This month, make it a special focus to shop at places owned or run by women. It is a joy to be able to support small businesses of all kinds, and this month is a great time to specifically focus on businesses owned by women.

7. Read the biblical books of Esther and Ruth. There are two books in the Bible named after women. These important Old Testament books teach us a lot about the lives and challenges of women thousands of years ago. They also teach us about perseverance, bravery, and commitment. Neither book is very long, so consider reading them both this month.

The month ahead is a wonderful time to celebrate all women. Praise be to God for women throughout history. May our intentional acts of remembrance and celebration remind us of the Creator at the center of all life!

The Rev. Emily Carson is a pastor in Stewartville, Minn. She loves laughter, photography, trips to the library, and adventures. She writes daily for her blog, The Lady Pastor.