Dear Aven, MaCaedyn and any other Girls and Ladies who take the time to read this letter of love, encouragement and celebration.
This coming Monday, March 8, 2021 has been marked as a day to celebrate women. I have had the idea for this letter hidden in my heart for a few years now and when I learned of the upcoming celebration date I thought it was the perfect opportunity to put down in words what has been unspoken in my heart.
My girls, I have always taught you that you were capable of doing anything you put your mind to. I have always taught you that walking with Jesus and developing a strong relationship with Him in prayer, spending time in God’s Word and always putting God first is how you will live your very best life and I have taught you dozens of other lessons as well about a variety of subjects. But today, I want to talk to you about what I believe it is to be a woman. What I strive for as a woman.
In our world today there have been many advances where women are concerned. I have had the privilege as your homeschool mama to teach you and your brother about the amazing women history holds who have taken stands for themselves and for others, stands like fighting for the right to vote, a victory that we are still blessed with today. I have taught you about women of strength and perseverance who joined together to raise their voices for positive change so that you could recognize that you have those same qualities inside of you and there will be times in your life when you will be able to use those qualities to bring positive changes for yourselves and others in the world.
As you know, there is still progress to be made in women’s rights for fair, respectable treatment in workplaces, equal opportunities, equal pay and to stop being disrespected, treated inappropriately or degraded in anyway especially where physical appearance or sex was concerned. I am proud of the advances that have been made and I believe there will be more positive advances to come. While there is still much work to be done I have great hope that things will only get better, day by day, year by year, generation after generation.
Woman have always worked and fought so hard to accomplish their dreams all while having restraints put upon them because of their sex, their age, their appearance, their race or because others placed limits upon what they thought women were capable of doing. Women were not always appreciated for their hard work and contributions. Women were not always listened to or allowed to lead, though we always have been worth listening to and we make excellent, strong, intelligent leaders. But those days, I believe are falling farther and farther behind us, and someday they will be left altogether in the dust and memories of the past.
I say again, there have been great changes made and I have great hope for more positive changes yet to come in the days ahead.
The reason why I wanted to write this letter is because within the positive changes for women, I feel it is important that we as women, have the understanding that we should not have to change or redefine who we are as a species. We should not have to change how we function to gain equality. The word ‘feminine’ should not ever be viewed as or thought upon as weak or inferior. Because the fact is, quite the opposite is true. While the word ‘Feminism’ is defined as the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes, I don’t want you to lose the meaning of ‘femininity’ which is defined as qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of women. Because it is the femininity of women that helps to fill this world with love, grace and beauty. Qualities that the will world needs now and will always need in the future. Femininity is not something that should be altered, but celebrated in all facets of its definitions and true descriptions.
Yes, in the past, femininity was portrayed as being dainty, soft spoken, gentile, graceful… and also at times it was viewed as being someone lesser, helpless, weak, incapable and ignorant. The world is finally waking up to understand that degrading words like helpless, weak, lesser, incapable and ignorant are words that should never be associated with women. Never.
As long as you are listening you are learning, and the more you learn the greater your understanding and your compassion and love can grow and reach into the hearts of others. These are powerful traits that you will able to use in the future. And, there is something else extremely significant that I wanted to convey to you about women which I feel is of great importance to address with you.
The other day your brother, Samuel, read me a meme that he saw posted on the internet. It read:
1st wave of Feminism: “We don’t like men”
2nd wave of Feminism: “We don’t need men”
3rd wave of Feminism: “We are men”
Of course, this meme was meant as a joke of satire and of course it is not an accurate view of most of the women who strive for equality. Still, it gave me a moment of pause to think. Is that how some see this movement? Is that the goal of some women for this movement? Are there men in the world who think all women don’t like men? That woman just want to rid the world of men or that we want to become just like men and replace them?
That is not what is in my heart, my mind, or my work. That is not what I represent, it is not my goal or what I want to pass along to my girls or anyone else.
I have enough sense to know that you cannot measure the entire history men based upon the actions, words and choices of some… well, let’s say many. I say that because in my life, I have been blessed to know so many wonderful men in this world. I was raised with a wonderful grandfather in my life, I am married to a wonderful man and I am raising a wonderful son. I have never seen or heard anything out of them that has been degrading, chauvinistic, or reflecting that women are less than men. All of them always supported me, believed in me, encouraged me, loved me and never placed limits upon me, my abilities or even my imagination. This is the reason that I believe a great change is coming for men of the world and I am grateful for it! I know that women have been teaching their boys at home for years about how to treat women. But is has been the examples of the men in those boys lives that didn’t teach them well. I see that is changing. There are boys today who are being raised differently at home by the male examples in their lives, they are being taught differently in schools about girls, who they are, what they can do, and how they should be treated. There are many boys and young men today who are not learning the old ways of thinking about women and treating women like what was once done in the past. As the years pass, these generations will keep teaching their children and so on and so on. And the positive changes will increase.
There are many men today who believe in the change for women and have joined the fight for our equality. This gives me great hope! As the generations continue on I believe things will become so balanced between men and women that the fight for women’s rights and equality will be taught in the history classes of how things used to be and boys will shake their heads and think, “Why would anyone ever want to treat a girl or a women like that?”. I believe that day is possible and I believe it will come. So it is important for you to know that I would definitely not place myself in a category as being a feminist that believes women should replace men and take over the world. God made us all. The book of Genesis (2:4-25) teaches us that God man woman for man to be his helpmate, so together they could create new life and to help one another in the life that He gave them. God made Eve from the rib of Adam. God made woman from man. Women and men were made for each other, we need each other. In Genesis 2:23 Adam says, “Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” There is nothing that says woman is lesser than man. No. Woman came from man, and those who are married are to become one. Not one in charge of the other, or one who serves the other. We are joined together. Bound. Balanced and equal. So do not look at all men as your enemy, or someone that you wish to rid the world of, try to become or dominate over. Men, guys, boys, are not your enemy. It is the old methods, teachings, and ways of demeaning women which you are against. But as long as we keep teaching children the right ways of how women should be treated, I believe those old ways will fade away. And good riddance to them!
I know that I teach you everyday about the love of God and the importance of putting Him first in your life. I want to share once again my hopes that you will embrace all of the God given qualities that women posses. I feel that there are many different messages out there that come along with what being a woman is, so I felt it important to give you mine. Now I am a Jesus Girl and I know you all have had personal experiences with the miracles that only Jesus could do, so I will begin with prayer. As you know, I gave my heart to Jesus when I was seven years old and I have tried to serve Him all of my days. I am not perfect and I never will be. I will make my mistakes and you will make yours, which is one of the many reasons I love Jesus so much. His grace, mercy and forgiveness are constantly present. I have learned that to take everything and anything to God in prayer is how I can find peace, direction, healing, wisdom, strength, compassion, kindness, love… the list goes on and on. The blessings that God pours out on those who love Him, serve Him and try to obey His commands are never ending. Yes, there will come trials in your life, but Jesus has promised to be with you everyday every step of the way. He will never leave you, He will never forsake you. Putting your faith, trust and love in Jesus will be the best decision you ever make in your life. Prayer is a powerful thing. It is supernatural. When you pray you are spending time with not only your Creator but the Creator of every universe and all that they contain. Who wouldn’t want to have that kind of power in their life? I know I have taught you many lessons on God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit all the days of your lives. My hope it that you will find and build your own personal relationship with Jesus so that you too can experience His amazing love and awesome presence. He is real. Don’t ever let anyone tell you He is not. I believe my relationship with Jesus Christ is what makes me the woman I am and I am thankful for every single day I have walked with Him. Most of the great Prayer Warriors I have known in my life, were women because women are emotional beings their compassion for others tends to drive their prayer life. I want to be a strong praying woman and one of those prayers is that you will do the same.
I would like to give you a little insight about some other aspects of womanhood that are special and bring other kinds of beauty into the world. So let’s talk about clothes! I want you to know that women do not have to dress like men to have equality with men.
If a woman loves to look beautiful, then she should! She should dress in the fashion, style and colors that make her feel beautiful, give her confidence, will earn respect from others and most importantly, will represent her relationship with God. If she likes hats or handbags, gloves, perfume, scarfs and bracelets, whatever it is that a woman enjoys wearing to feel beautiful, she should be able to wear it and not looked upon as if she is weak or less than or, even worse, that she is not fighting for equality because she likes to look pretty or delicate. And if one of the colors that she likes to wear is pink, then she should wear pink! In the past, there were never any issues with girls or ladies wearing pink, but from time to time I hear from present generations that it is now avoided because it is a “stereotypical” color. Well… I still love pink! (Though my favorite color is forest green.) I have no problem wearing pink and I do not see it as a sign of weakness, I see it as a lovely, peaceful, happy color that represents beauty.
Pink is in the beauty in the flowers that grow all around us, pink is in the beauty of the rosy cheeks of a smiling child, pink is in the beauty of the clouds of the setting sun. Pink is all around us and is reflected in things which are beautiful, it is not a color that represents something lesser than or weak. It was chosen as a color for little girls to represent their grace, their beauty and their love and that is something we should celebrate and not be ashamed of or remove. If you don’t like the color then don’t choose it, but if you do, don’t be afraid to wear pink or other things which look feminine. If that is what you like embrace it! If you like lace, wear lace! If you like perfume and pearls, wear them! If you enjoy high heels and silk stockings, lovely! Don’t feel that you have to wear these things, but if it is something that brings you joy, don’t let the influences of those who may say wearing “frilly” or “girls” things doesn’t represent a strong woman. Being “girly” is a wonderful quality and what this equality movement is all about. We are fighting for equality with men, not to dress, look or become them. Be proud to be girly, because the world needs the beauty of girly things!
Now, I would like to write about strength. Do not ever let anyone tell you that women are not strong. Do not ever believe that you are not strong, though there will come tests in the world which at times will make you doubt it. Always know, you are a woman of strength just because you are a woman. While there may be some instances where physical strength is not always an exact match with men, as there are some men in the world that reach heights, weights and physical power that most women never will. Take Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for example, let’s be realistic, there are probably not too many women in the world who could match his physical strength… but really, who needs to? One Rock in the world is good enough.
It is important to keep in mind that God made men and women with different physical traits for specific reasons and the measurement of strength should not always lie within the boundaries of height, weight and physical power. God made women so strong in so many ways that men are not. Only women can take on the challenges and changes of pregnancy and only women can withstand child baring and nursing. That takes incredible strength and selflessness… which is also a strength. Women are the givers of life and we should always be the protectors of life. Women are strong in ways that men will never understand because they cannot do things we can. So it is important that you never think you have be able to bench press the same weight as a man, or have all the physical power some men have just to be considered strong. Just look back on the history of all the trials women have endured through the years proves we are strong and mighty.
God not only gave woman outer beauty in our hair, faces and bodies, (which, let’s be honest really are superior when it comes to beauty!) God also created a brilliant, powerful and vital inner beauty that is a great treasure in this world. It is the inner beauty that we pour out into the people, places and critters of this world. By nature, most women are nurturers. This is not to say that men cannot love or nurture, I know they absolutely can and do. It is just different– and it is not just because men cannot carry children within their bodies. There are millions of women in the world who have not had the experience of pregnancy or even raising a child, but that doesn’t make them any less able to demonstrate the delicate yet powerful and impacting nurturing behaviors that only women posses. For most women, it is innate. It is how God made us. We all know that women are creatures of emotion and many of us know how to express those emotions openly and freely… sometimes that is a good thing and at other times it is loud thing. But overall, as I mentioned before, it is our love and compassion that give women a tenderness to their hearts and without that tenderness the world would be a very different, sad and hard place to live.
Our femininity pulls on our hearts to love freely, to show mercy, to give compassion, and care for the needs of others. Of course men are capable of doing all these things too, and when looking at the bottom line I’m sure they learned to do those things from the women in their lives.
It is so important that you also remember if you chose not to work a job but want to stay home with your children to care for them and your home and husband, that does not mean you are not successful! It also does not mean that you are setting the feminist movement back! A woman who chooses to stay home and raise her children is not displaying weakness but courage! It does not mean that you are not joining the movement for equality either. I have worked in places for money outside the home and I have spent sixteen years working without money inside the home. I can tell you, it is all work and it is all challenging and while I may not be receiving a paycheck, I am content knowing the work I am doing brings me greater blessings and more satisfaction than any paycheck I could receive. But that’s me and how I feel about it. So I also feel it is important to state that there is nothing wrong with you choosing to work a job outside of your home. Your children will not feel like you love them any less and it will bring your family health and harmony when you are fulfilling the calling of your life. Whatever it is that God has designed you to do, when you do it you are filled with joy and contentment and that will bring great joy to your family. Most people will agree, when mama ain’t happy no one is happy! So strive for your dreams! All of them! Whether that means your work is your home, you work from home or you work outside the home. When you follow after Jesus and the plans that God has for your life, He will help you every step of the way!
I would consider myself to be old fashioned in somethings. I love old music, I love the fashion styles of the older times, the clothes, the cars, the house architecture and there are some characteristics of being old fashioned that are excellent. Taking time to create things with your hands, home cooked meals, baking, crafts, making clothes, playing board games, and yard games like croquet, going on a picnic or sitting on a porch and watching the sunset, listening to big band swing and jazz. I love some black and white movies and the golden days of musicals. But there are many things of the old days that I do not like. The inequality of women being one and the wickedness of racism being another. So I would have to say I would be considered a woman of the age with sentiments for positive old fashioned things. I know you all appreciate the older things of style and music as well. Just make sure that when you look at the old days you remember to look at all of it. Look at the hard parts of history like racism and the treatment of woman and children and learn from other people’s mistakes. Look at the things which bother you and make sure that you set your mind to helping bring positive changes to those places. It is very important to learn the truth about our history, the good and the bad. It should not be forgotten so we don’t make the same mistakes and let history repeat itself! Learn from the past and work hard to do better in the future.
There are many other examples of behaviors between men and women that I could write about, but I find that learning some of those things as you walk along your life’s journey are good to discover. I just want you to understand all the truths of what goes into the making of a wonderful, beautiful, strong woman. Another important area I work on daily in my life is to practice using and producing the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
A woman who gives love will receive love and teach others how to love. In doing so, she will change the world one heart at a time. Love remembers to do as Jesus said and “love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39.
A woman who displays joy will bring joy to others and the power of joy is healing to one’s spirit. Our world needs JOY!
A woman who seeks peace in her life will be slow to anger, and will create peaceful atmospheres for others to dwell in.
A woman who is patient is one of the strongest women alive. Patience is not something instantly granted. It is practiced on a daily basis. Patience also listens to the hearts, thoughts, experiences and needs of others. Patience can expand our paradigms of understanding.
A woman who is kind will be highly respected and honored by those who have received her kindness. Kindness is a powerful feminine trait and also must be practiced on a daily basis, kindness is to put yourself aside and tend to the needs of others. Kindness lets others see that they are valued and important.
Goodness. A woman who is good and does what is right will not only be blessed by God but by those around her. The goodness she pours into the world will grow more goodness and so it goes. Goodness gives. Be good to others, always, and you will live a rich, full life.
A woman who shows faithfulness is a force to be reckoned with. Faithfulness to her God will empower and enrich her. Faithfulness to her husband will bring her blessings of joy and love. Faithfulness to her children will seat her in high places because they will have lived a life full of nurturing, powerful, protecting love. Always be faithful to your children, protect them and show them loyalty, for if a child, young or old, cannot find complete loyalty from their own mother, where else in this world will they find it?
A woman who can show gentleness to others is never weak. Gentleness springs forth compassion. Showing gentleness and kindness to others, especially those who would persecute you takes some of the greatest strength known to mankind. Not strength of muscles, matter or mind, but strength of the heart.
And last, but certainly not least, a woman who possesses self-control is the strongest of all woman because she will have the discipline within herself to demonstrate on a daily basis all of the fruits of the spirit. Even when she might not receive back what she has given, even when her demonstrations seems to go unnoticed by people, they are never unnoticed by God. Stand up for the things you believe in, and when you take those stands, always remember whom you represent. People should hear and see Jesus in you when you take those stands and God will bless your cause when you represent Him and Your Word well. When a woman works to set her mind, words, heart and steps in the Word of God and seeks to please Him daily, great, oh so great will be her reward!
It is also very important that you understand and always, always remember, there is no perfect woman. There is no perfect person. There never was and there will never will be a human that is perfect. We all make mistakes. We all have our flaws, which is why we can be so thankful for the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. The only perfection that we can look at as an example was that of Jesus Christ. I don’t care what Don Lemmon and Chris Cuomo say, Jesus Christ was a perfect human… and He was the Son of God. We are children of God so we can look to Jesus’ example to follow, but we will never be perfect as long as we are here on this earth with flesh and bone. you can strive to do better each day, but there will come moments of this flesh that will inevitably happen. So do not put that kind of pressure on yourself. You will never be a perfect woman. You will never be a perfect wife and you will never be a perfect mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, whatever the role. You are a human and humans make mistakes. Again, thank You, Jesus for forgiveness! So keep yourself grounded. Stay humble. Walk humbly. Never brag or boast on yourself but remember Proverbs 27:2 “Let another praise you and not your own lips.”. Be willing to admit when you have done something wrong and be sure to apologize in a manner that takes ownership of your actions. Don’t say, “I’m sorry if I hurt you” or “I’m sorry you are hurt.” . That doesn’t take ownership, it puts the responsibility back on the other person. Own your mistakes when you make them, repent of them before the Lord and the person and ask for forgiveness. When you know you have done wrong tell people “I’m sorry I hurt you,” or “I’m sorry I did that.” There may be times when someone accuses you and you honestly don’t know what you have done. I found when I sincerely apologize, even in those circumstances, it might not change the person accusing you, but it will release you from the accusation. Whatever the apology that may be needed when the occasion arises–and those occasions will rise, do as the Lord commands and you will please God. You both have heard me apologize to you dozens of times through the years because of things I said or did which I shouldn’t have. I get up each day striving to do better, but I am sure that there will be more apologies I will have to make in the future. So always keep humility inside your heart and do not let pride and arrogance cloud your mind and judgement so that you think you don’t need to tell people you are sorry when you need to. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction and a proud spirit before a fall.” Don’t allow pride and arrogance into your heart. Instead, cling to honesty and humility are signs of strength not weakness.
Which leads me to my next subject… honesty. Don’t engage in lying. God hates lying and so do people. Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Live in and speak reality and do your research on things you hear in the world so that you speak things that you know are absolute truth. Don’t get caught up in or repeat conspiracy theories. If you don’t speak things that are absolute truth, how will anyone ever believe you about the love and everlasting life of Jesus or anything you try to teach them about God’s Word? We are to always share the love of Jesus with others and let our light shine in this world to represent Him well, so if you don’t speak things which are absolute truth, you make it very difficult for people to believe you about the Gospel of Jesus or for anything else for that matter. Lying also breeds lying and if your children hear you doing it, they will learn to lie from you. Stay humble and stay honest. Strong women who have successful, healthy, happy relationships are truthful women. After all, everything in this world can be taken from you, but your word lives on, even beyond your own life.
I have learned that a truly peaceful women doesn’t get involved in other people’s dramas and repeat it to others as gossip. It is one thing if a friend or family members comes to you with a personal experience that they truly need help with and may ask prayer for. If that happens, listen with respect and compassion and pray, sincerely pray for them and the matter, but don’t repeat and spread it to others. Try to be a safe place for those who may need you. But if there is a situation that doesn’t involve you, stay out of it and if it will hurt another, don’t repeat it but go to prayer for it. Also, don’t look at other women and be envious. Celebrate their abilities, their accomplishments and their beauty! Know that God made you to be and do exactly as He wants you to be and do. Don’t let others intimidate you and don’t be intimidating to others. Be inclusive not exclusive. Be encouraging not discouraging. Lift others up, never tear someone down. And if there are those you come across in life who are envious of you, just know that their envy is not something you can change. That is a matter of the heart and only God can change a heart. Be kind to them and don’t treat them poorly, pray for the situation, but understand that there are some people who come into your life who won’t be able to handle you as you are. They may want you to be “watered down” so that they can handle you. I have learned this lesson in my years of life and I did try to please some of these people and hide things I could do so they wouldn’t be envious or intimidated. But God showed me that when I did that, when I wasn’t living up to all that I know I am to be and doing all that I know God made me to do, I was displeasing Him. I learned a most valuable lesson: always strive to please God first and you will lead your best life. There are just going to be some people you come across whom you will never please. Leave them with the Lord and move forward in who God wants you to be no matter what!
I just thought it was important for you to hear from me what I believe it is to be a woman and that we should never think we have to dress like men, talk like men, act like men or feel like men to have equality. We also don’t want to get on the other side of history and treat men as they have treated us in the past. Rise up! Be better! Build healthy relationships with the men in your life and pray for those who do not value women, and ask God for His help to open their eyes and bring change to their hearts. But don’t become hardened. If we lose the elements of what make woman so special and different from men along the way to equality, then what was it that we fought for in the first place? We are not striving to be men or be as men are. We are striving for equal opportunities, equal treatment, equal acknowledgements, equal pay for who we are. The Bible teaches us that God made woman for man as a helpmate, and teaches us that we are to be equally yoked, that when we marry, we are to be as one. That means that we live together, move together, work together, decide together, accomplish together and are blessed together and equally.
Men still have some lessons to learn but I believe we are on a good road and are headed in the right direction. Just remember to keep being the beautiful creations that we are, taking our beauty and love to world as we do and not lose any of that to please men or other women who think you have to give up being kind or gentle or wearing pretty clothes or like the color pink in order to strive for equality. You don’t have to give up anything of being a woman! Keep being yourself and embrace all the lovely things there are about being a woman, because being a woman is truly an awesome being to be!
I’m sure in the years to come there will be more that I have to say about being a woman. But for now, I hope this lesson will guide you on a path that will not only please God but will bring you joy, honor, and respect from others that you will meet along life’s journey. Let’s work to build future generations of women that love unconditionally, live open handed and give freely expecting nothing in return, protect one another especially the children of the world and bring all our beauty, joy, brilliance, talents and abilities to the world to share with the men of the world whom we pray will continue to grow and change for the better of all the world. Follow after Jesus, learn and memorize God’s Word and speak it to your circumstances, pray, worship, serve others and strive everyday to please God and you will live a good, rich, and blessed life!
I thank God everyday for you two beautiful daughters that He blessed me with and I thank God that He made me a woman. A lady. A girl. A female species. I love who God made me to be and I hope that you will also love being a woman and will always embrace all of the beauty of what it means to be a woman and keep celebrating those things for the rest of your days!
With all my love and hopes,