As a midwife, Doran Richards has a unique appreciation and perspective on women and the wonder of our bodies. She also helped deliver Kim's first grandchild, Amelia, and therefore will always be treasured in her heart! This year at Winsome, Doran, a certified instructor with Holy Yoga, will lead us as we engage our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Tell us a little about you and your role at Winsome this year.

Hello! I am Doran, a wife for 24 years and mother of six. I have been called to wear many hats—including starting a ministry called Blessing God’s Way. I have been a midwife for over 10 years, supporting women in their childbearing years. Blessing God’s Way is a ministry for women, educating, supporting and celebrating womanhood from maidenhood to maternity to menopause. We provide resources that declare that our cycles and phases are actually blessings to us, God’s way. I have been in remission from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for over a year. Before being diagnosed, I was introduced to Holy Yoga. Training and certification as a yoga instructor has changed my life and health and relationship with the Lord to a degree I never thought possible. I am currently taking the Master’s Holy Yoga training so I can support women in their health through the modality of yoga practice.

How did you hear about Winsome?

I heard about Winsome through mutual friends and being in the same homeschooling circles as the founder, Kim Hyland. I have also had the pleasure of serving her son and daughter-in-law for the birth of their first child (Kim’s grandchild). I have been leaning towards knowing more about their vision at Winsome, knowing that our ministries’ messages would be similar and beneficial. So, working together would be a dream.

Do the Winsome values of authenticity, diversity, and truth already play a role in your life, even if you use other names to describe them?

They do, because we all do the best we can with what we have. Our individual levels of understanding pertaining to beauty, worth, acceptance, etc., all stem from the One who created us. We need encouragement, as women, that our worth is in Him, as His daughters, and that we have two main focuses in this life—to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Vertical and horizontal. The one true source of all knowledge is the scripture, speaking to our very souls, daily.

Why did you want to speak and/or lead a workshop at Winsome?

To bring awareness to yet one more way to tap into the depth and height and width of God’s love for us. To love women where they are, to support them and to encourage them as they seek to do His will for them. I have worked with women of all ages for over 12 years, with ministry of Blessing God’s Way as well as through midwifery and now post-menopause (forced upon me by cancer).

What are you most looking forward to at Winsome 2017?

I look forward to the connection of women, sharing and loving one another where they are, and to the building of relationships. I look forward to seeing the Holy Spirit minister to women on a level that takes effort to get to and to feel the peace and renewing from it.