faith and family

What’s So Wrong With Being a Woman?

{Note: This article was originally published in the March 6th, 2014 edition of the LaFollette Press as my 100th column. I originally titled it “What is So Wrong with Being a Woman?” but changed it to “Success Begins at Home” for the newspaper readership. I am posting it here under the original title to add some thoughts at the end that I did not in the original article. Eh, let’s be honest: I just ran out of room. Enjoy!}

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You have watched her, or maybe you have not even noticed. She is the woman standing in line, alone, waiting patiently and holding a Hallmark card, some Folgers, and the weekly paper. She lives alone, but she has lived a good life. Because, chances are, if you had been watching the same lady fifty years ago, she would have been donning a lovely dress, surrounded by little ones, and a gentleman would have offered his spot in line so she could go first. She would be proud to be out and about, enjoying afternoon conversations and getting the children out of the house for a bit. For the most part, today’s woman is rushing to get the front of the line, ushering the kids to get out of the store then to soccer practice, then home to cook, then bedtime, then prepare for the next day. Wash, rinse, repeat.

 

And while there is nothing inherently wrong with a full life, it simply seems as of late that a busy life is equal in society to a successful one. The more we take on, the more we have on our plate, or the many irons we have in the fire tend to create a façade of wealth, success, and pride. And envy on the part of those who simply cannot keep up with the rat race of perceived success. There are many that feel they need these “things” in life to fulfill a lifelong void, to feel “equal” to the opposite sex, to achieve that large home, two car garage “American dream” theme. Mary Jo Bane of the Wellesley Women’s Research Center expressed the following: “Everybody is in favor of equal pay, but nobody is in favor of doing the dishes”. Of course not, because in our current line of thinking, working is better than serving. Gaining is greater than giving. And heaven forbid one come home and tackle a mound of laundry after a “hard day at the office”.

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But what we all seem to forget that every moment, every success, every dream begins at home. If you are married, single, divorced, or widowed, you will still have laundry and you will still need to eat. And as someone who has plenty of mouths to feed and shirts to iron, I feel no less of a woman that if I were vice president of a large corporation. Society scratches their heads and cannot simply figure out why marriages are failing, debt is soaring, and children are rebelling all in the name of success.

 

Ladies, there is nothing earth shattering about that pot roast you made tonight. But what will change the lives of those in your four walls is the heart you had when you ran to the store in a bad mood to grab the ingredients and mumbled to the cashier that she was too slow. Or how you complained that your husband tracked mud into the house. Our service to those we love and the dying world around us is what will fuel and drive the next generation to be stronger and more efficient. Forcing them to rely on technology and a drive thru lifestyle will only leave them hungry for more.

 

Stop competing with the world. Susanna Wesley, the mother of famed missionary John Wesley, was known as a brilliant and well-educated woman, and her take on life? “I am content to fill a little space if God be glorified”. Be content to serve right where you are. In every moment in life. Show grace and compassion and beauty to a world that is empty and secretly scared. I helped lift heavy logs (in a dress, mind you) last weekend with my husband to build a hideout for the kids, and later on that evening I came inside to a spotless kitchen that he scrubbed for me. We are on the same team. Slow down. Take a deep breath. This is not a race. The next generation’s bellies are rumbling. What are you doing to fill them with truth and prepare them for the future?

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In choosing a goal for this year, I went with the word “grace”. To extend grace, not only to myself, but to my children and my family and the stranger, but also to behave in a graceful manner, like a lady.I had a friend jokingly ask recently if that meant I would be wearing more dresses. My husband certainly hopes so.   I want to model an image to my daughter that being feminine, being lovely, and being modest are not dead ideals, but instead an example to others that womanhood is a beautiful and powerful thing, and being a graceful and elegant lady is so rare in our culture. Little girls should be looking less and TV and magazine ads and more to the women right in front of them.

So if that is true, I’d better gird my loins to be the best example I can be. I have a lot to work on.

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21 thoughts on “What’s So Wrong With Being a Woman?

  1. Thank you – I am in my 50’s and had such a hard time – I still have children at home and never feel I am doing enough. I wish this article had been published 20+ years ago! Amen to all you have said – and a quick reminder if anyone reads this post that life truly is short and our kids keep growing never to repeat it again. It’s ok to not be perfect, it’s ok to be you, and it’s ok to not have a perfect home so you can spend those perfect moments with your child instead of doing something else by your child. Take a deep breath and know that you are doing the most important job ever. Raising, loved, well adjusted, happy confident and service oriented children will impact our world in such a tremendous way. Thank you once again for insightful words that calm a mind and spirit and remind us the Lord gave us our children because they are just right for us and our individual love and talents!

  2. Wonderful. I always look forward to reading your posts. This one here is one subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I applied for a job and didn’t get it.. at first I was upset, worried because that means we still have that much more income to worry about. But I realize I didn’t get that job because I am meant to be right here, at home with my husband and my children. Money is going to be tight but we will live and we will be happy. Plus, God did give me something to work with and it will allow me to work from home. My word for the year is “hope”. Thanks for being an inspiration Christie, even if I didn’t get to know you very well I feel like I learn from reading your blog. 🙂

    1. Yay! LOVE your perspective on the outcome of your job situation. That is a beautiful heart to have. Your kiddos are precious and yes, I am so excited we met! Hoping to have everyone out again sometime soon!

  3. Just found your blog and I love it! Such great thoughts. I’ve been taking an organizational class and one thing the leader said was to stop multitasking. I’ve always said it was inefficient and it really is, but it seems the world wants us to be multitasking and holds that up as something important. But much like the world deems success as those who are busy, it really is not a great trait. I loved that quote you included about being content wherever if God be glorified. Love it!
    Maggie recently posted…Your Story Baby Boy J ~ Newborn Lifestyle Session | Homedale, IdahoMy Profile

    1. Wow I LOVE that idea, Maggie. You are so right. Is mulitasking really efficient? How can someone’s brain be fully committed to that many tasks at once? I am super glad you shared that with me. Definitely food for thought!!

  4. Absolutely loved this. Something I believe from the deepest parts of my soul. I want not only my children but my husband too to see how deeply I value my role as the Wife/Mama. It is such a blessed and honorable job. And I do believe there needs to be more ladies in the world today 🙂 Thanks for sharing these thoughts, as they need to be spoken!

    1. Thank you for your kind words! We’ve gotta be those ladies; it seems like true femininity is dying idea. I love your words and the value you place on loving those kiddos and that husband!

      1. I want to personally thank you for the things you post on your blog, I have enjoyed reading your blog. I totally agree with you to be all that God sent me to be. Have you ever heard of the song” Walk Tall your a Daughter of God” ? That song has a great message to it about being a daughter of God. I have a copy of the song if your interested in getting a copy of the song.
        Have a great week!
        Lizzy!

  5. “Ladies, there is nothing earth shattering about that pot roast you made tonight. But what will change the lives of those in your four walls is the heart you had when you ran to the store in a bad mood to grab the ingredients and mumbled to the cashier that she was too slow. Or how you complained that your husband tracked mud into the house. Our service to those we love and the dying world around us is what will fuel and drive the next generation to be stronger and more efficient. Forcing them to rely on technology and a drive thru lifestyle will only leave them hungry for more.”
    This almost made me shed tears and run home to be a better and more cheerful servant to my siblings. Thanks Christie.. you are a great writer and woman in the Lord. 🙂

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