Standing softly beside our dynamic men of history or safely behind them were their faithful women. Women of position and grace to influence others in the mere sayings they said. They were not born anointed or royal but perhaps rose to an occasion of service. Women before us of grace, poise, and proper etiquette we look to with admiration. At the heart of the matter we are all women with insecurities and fears. I’m not so naive in thinking these women didn’t have the same. But rather a greater persuasive nature and positive outlook on life that must have been contagious. They left you wanting to be a better human.
The traditions of raising our daughters to womanhood have all but disappeared. Sit up straight, don’t slump. Sit with your knees together, not like a cowboy. Chew with your mouth closed, don’t eat like a cow showing your cud. Don’t interrupt when someone is talking. Be polite not disrespectful. We look around at some of our more modern role models and their domineer doesn’t match up. They are unapologetically rude, insensitive, and their appearance conveys the sentiments all the more.
My kids have added me to the unwritten book of persons with profound and life altering quotes. I never thought I’d get old enough to have a saying or quote. Nor have I thought anything I said was ever worth repeating again. At any rate, it was a surreal moment when my daughter says in conversation to a friend, “My Mom has this saying.” I paused in moment and sentence to hear what she was about to enlighten the world with. Before we dive into my profoundness I wanted to take a minute and look at some real inspirational women that truly did have something to say.
First Lady Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, wife of President George Washington, was born into comfortable family of privilege and standing in the 1730s. She had no idea that she would marry twice, have four children only to lose two of them to childhood illness’ and in her lifetime witness the Revolution and the birth of a new nation.
“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever circumstance I may be; for I have learnt from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.” -Martha Washington
First Lady Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was the wife of President Franklin Roosevelt. She was the niece of Teddy Roosevelt. Her mother died of diphtheria and her father passed just two years later. She lived with her grandparents. She was an awkward child, serious in nature. Eleanor was sent to attend a girl’s school that promoted social responsibility and independence in London. She married her fifth cousin once removed in 1905. She raised five children and was actively involved in political, racial, and social injustice.
“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until you put it in the hot water.”- Eleanor Roosevelt.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”- Eleanor Roosevelt
Neither of these next two ladies where married yet they had lived through one of the most difficult periods of human history. Anne Frank (1929-1945) was the modern day blogger of her day making her mark on history with her pencil and diary with zero followers for years to come. She was a 15 year old girl, a German Jew, in hiding from all that she knew in the outside world, and her life was completely out of control. Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) was a Christian watchmaker that helped many Jews escape the Nazi persecution by turning her home into a hiding place. She was arrested for her heroic actions and later released on a technicality.
“No one ever became poor by giving.” -Anne Frank
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature, and God, because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.” -Anne Frank
“I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I placed in God’s hands, that, I still possess.” – Corrie ten Boom
“Worrying is carrying tomorrows load with today’s strength-carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” -Corrie ten Boom
My quote doesn’t compare with these phenomenal ladies. It is worth my record book or space in my musings. When the kids were young, grade school age, and we did much shopping at the most famous “do it all store” in our rural area. You never know what you may see there or how she/ he may be dressed to boot. We’d had many such discussions on matching appropriate clothing for appropriate places. We had seen someone who broke that rule with a breath taking moment of indecency. I leaned over to my girls and said, “Just because you can- doesn’t mean you should.” This not only applies to clothes, music, but all sorts of nonsense that may seem tempting of that free will we have. We have said that many times over the years and the truth of it still holds today.
I encourage you mother and grandmother keep on with your sayings. Our daughters will grow to replace us- and will need those quotes ingrained in them for the future generation. Let’s be better women of tomorrow, strong with conviction and soft with compassion, to help make our little world be better one quote at a time.
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” ( Romans 14:12)
Enjoying the Summ-inter like weather,