Choose To Challenge

Choose To Challenge

Hi there,

It would be a bit difficult not to notice that today is International Women’s Day. When the focus is on one group of people it’s very easy to get critical or defensive and say ‘all lives matter’ for example. While it is most certainly true that ‘all lives matter’, that is not the point. The point is that where there is inequality we need to shine the spotlight on it.

Today, the spotlight is on women.

Until very recently women were not allowed to serve as church leaders; they were not allowed to vote; they were not allowed to work in male-dominant roles, such as as pilots or in the army. There is still a rift between genders in the workplace, and indeed other areas of society such as churches.

As hopefully you have already noticed, I’m extremely passionate about inclusion, justice, and equality. That passion, along with my faith in Jesus, forms the foundation of this company.

My mission statement on my website (https://yours-faithfully-hkirk.co.uk) reads, ‘Hannah has a passion for Jesus and a passion for people. The main ways she connects these two passions is through art, photography, and writing. Even though her faith forms a huge part of who she is, and what she does, she is committed to never force her faith on anyone else. Her mission, which shapes this company, is to develop a life of hope, freedom, and recovery through art, photography, and writing. Hannah’s core belief is that every human being should be valued, accepted, and included – that’s why she has tailored her products and services in such a way that everyone should feel welcome here regardless of age, gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, etc. She has a heart for the marginalised and broken, perhaps because she fits that herself.’

So, for International Women’s Day I #ChooseToChallenge – choose to challenge the stigma that many women face surrounding their bodies and emotions; choose to challenge the inequality that still exists; choose to challenge the ways that women are written about by male authors, etc. These are things that I will continue to challenge going foreword – not just today.

I thought you might also like to know which women most inspire us as a family.
* My youngest daughter says, “I’m inspired by Amy Johnson, because I wouldn’t be able to be a piolet when I grow up if it wasn’t for Amy Johnson”.
* My eldest daughter says, “Emma Watson inspires me because she inspired me to become an actress, she fights for Women’s Rights, and she left books for people to find which is a really kind thing to do.”
* My husband says, “Lari Basilio because she is a very good guitarist. Lori stands out for me because when you often thing of guitarists and rock bands it’s usually men, and she inspires me to play guitar more. She’s also a Christian and recently launched a signature guitar.”
* I am inspired by many women. I think that the modern women that inspire me the most are: Michelle Lloyd, Josephine Owusu, and Menekse Stewart (although I could add more to this list). The women artists that inspire me the most are: Jennifer Mazur, Kristin Rawcliffe, and Lotti Rawle (but there are many more I could mention). I also have so many amazing female friends who inspire me every day. Here are just a few (because the list would run into 100!): Patricia, Karrie, Nikki, Rach, Fi, and Lucy.

Do you also #ChooseToChallenge?

Yours Faithfully,
Hannah Kirk

Christmas Hope?

Christmas Hope?

Hi,

I’m based in Berkshire, England, and we are in Tier 4 which essentially means that all of our plans for Christmas were cancelled on Saturday. I have cried tears, and so have my children. But, this Christmas is not without hope.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

This is a very familiar verse to many. In other translations, the words alter slightly and it reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NIV)

From my perspective, which I’m sure is shared widely, we have had one disaster after another this year. What then can we make of this verse that claims that the LORD plans good and not disaster. I’ve asked myself that question a lot over the years. I’m not sure I’ve settled on a answer. But, what I do believe wholeheartedly is that we have both a hope and a future found in Jesus. Jesus is the reason that we have Christmas, isn’t it? His birth, life, death, and resurrection give us a hope and a future.

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies.” John 11:25 (NIV) This is the hope we have in Jesus. This is the future that is available freely to us and that future starts now.

We have the first ‘Christmas star’ in 800 years this evening – when Jupiter and Saturn line up in the sky. I’m hoping that the sky clears sufficiently for us to be able to see it.

However, whether I see the star or not, and during  this Christmastime, along with every other day, I can rejoice and worship Jesus – for the hope and future he has given us – just as the wise people did at the time of His birth:

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:10-11 NKJV)

I pray you find some level of peace and comfort over the Christmas period, even if your plans have had to be changed. I also pray for you as you reflect on what has likely been a very challenging and painful year.

Yours Faithfully,

Hannah Kirk