A hit song when I was growing up was "She's a Beauty" by the Tubes. Part of the chorus says, "She's one in a million girls," implying her rarity and uniqueness. A popular quote on Pinterest makes an interesting twist on this line to form a new quote, "I am not a one in a million girl, I am a once in a lifetime woman." What is the difference? The implication is that while the one is rare, she is still a girl, young and immature. A once in a lifetime woman, on the other hand, implies she is mature, confident and makes a difference in the world around her. She doesn't just seem rare or stand out in a crowd, she is living, acting and creating a path for others to follow or emulate.

So what are the qualities of a "once in a lifetime woman?" By looking at a few examples throughout time, you can come to understand what led them to make that difference in their lives. Then to become your own "once in a lifetime woman" emulate these qualities throughout your life.

Be a woman of sacrifice

If ever there was a once in a lifetime woman, it was Esther in the Old Testament. She was confronted with the problem of her people being massacred. putting her own life at risk, she stepped forward and tried to persuade her husband the king to stop the carnage. She asked for their prayers and fasting to buoy her up, but when she stepped unbidden into the king's court, she knew the risk was that she might be put to death. Her efforts paid off and throughout time she has been remembered as a once in a lifetime woman.

Be a woman of faith

A woman of faith is one willing to listen to the Spirit and have faith that those promptings come from God. Joan of Arc exemplifies a once in a lifetime woman who listened to the Spirit. Born in 1412 to peasant parents, she later told of hearing the voices she ascribed to several Saints. Eventually she would follow these promptings and offer her services in battle to the dauphin. At first dismissed, she returned a year later and was eventually given an army to lead. She was known for her piety, her personal relationship with God and her courage. She is now a national heroine in France and all because she was willing to follow the promptings she felt were from God.

Be a woman of courage

Corrie Ten Boom lived an uneventful life in her home in Holland until the events of World War II led her to become a once in a lifetime woman. Her story is told in her book, "The Hiding Place." Raised in a strong Christian family, they decided they must do all they could to help their Jewish friends. She and her family turned their home into a hiding place for Jews much to their own peril. Eventually they do get arrested and sent to a prison camp, but never shirk from the work they set out to do.

Be a woman of strength

The women who helped settle the American West exemplify once in a lifetime women of strength. I loved to read the "Little House on the Prairie" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She tells of her mother working beside her father to build their cabin, farm their homestead and raise her children in a hostile environment. Living in such harsh conditions, these pioneer women learned they were made of stronger stuff than they thought.

All of these women are examples of women who became once in a lifetime women. They all made unique contributions to their societies because of their willingness to break the norm, to stand out and to be women of sacrifice, of faith, of courage and of strength. By learning of them and then following their examples you too can become a once in a lifetime woman: one that will be remembered for her willingness to stand up and do something different.

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