Woman to Woman

 

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“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies…Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness…”
Proverbs 31:10, 25-27, KJV

“Women forget how much we can inspire one another. No one understands us like us.”
Alex Elle

I write this piece for my sisters, young and old, rich or poor, of every ethnicity in existence, in honor and memory of my Great-grandmother (Mama Lizzie), my Grandmother (Mama Jane) and my Aunt Lue.

Forgive me for my extended vacay. Life has caused me to put my blog on the back burner, but I am determined to finish what I started 9 months ago and keep the promise I made to my audience, as well as myself.

I started writing this piece back in May, around Memorial Day (hence my dedication intro) after witnessing some rather disheartening behavior from women I respect and admire. I didn’t want my words and thoughts regarding what I saw to be misconstrued as preachy or judgemental, so I put off completing my article for fear of sounding like yet another female writer bashing on her sisters without suggestions for improvement. And then I watched First Lady Michelle Obama address the nation at the Democratic National Convention, speaking in favor of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Watching the FLOTUS use her voice and influence to support her “sister”, in spite of naysayers and critics, inspired me to finish my story. God bless, Mrs. Obama…

It’s no secret, I’m a Daddy’s girl. I try really hard to emulate him. He has so much patience with people and that just amazes me. People can be really ugly sometimes, but Pops constantly reminds me to maintain a forgiving spirit, be a proper example for people to follow. Is that an easy task to accomplish? Absolutely not! Do I get discouraged when I fall short? Absolutely! How do I overcome the challenge? I pray. Seriously. I ask God to make me better-more affable, more tolerant, make me be the Shaunna He wants me to be and I try really hard to adhere to the standard, day by day. Well, for these past few months it has been most difficult for me to stay on the path of righteousness and I’d like to tell y’all why…

In my opinion, once you become a woman of a particular age, you should exemplify a certain air of dignity, poise, and grace. You conduct yourself in a manner so as to show the younger women, who themselves aspire to be like you, how it is actually done. When I was a little girl, I loved to watch the older ladies in church go about business as usual. They dressed, moved, acted, looked and even smelled a special way. I used to stare at the ladies and wonder if I would become one of them someday. Now, here I am, approaching the time to do my thing and I am discouraged by what I see. Those examples that I looked to for guidance as a child, have been replaced by younger, more modernized women who appear to be clueless about what it means to be a “deaconess” or a “first lady” of a church. This new generation of church ladies seems unbothered by the fact that women like me and teenage girls and even little girls still watch them to learn how best to portray the ideal of a good Christian woman. It helps to see a living example of someone being “Christ like” and it frustrates me to no end that women who should know better don’t do better. Now, I was raised in the church, so the bar for my standard of quality may be too high, but you never know who might be watching you, observing, learning and imitating your example, good or bad.

Hold that thought for a minute…

Now, although I am extremely close to my Father, I am just as close, if not closer to my Mama. In fact, our relationship has grown tremendously over the past 5 years and I have learned a lot about myself by getting to know her better. I am indeed the woman I am because of her. You see, my Mama is a different kind of woman, and we are alike in so many ways; however, she doesn’t attend church regularly and I have come to the realization that I am farther along in my walk of faith than she is. In fact, our roles often reverse when it comes to abiding by the will of God. In other words, I have to remind Mama that God is in control, not us. She remembers that I am right, and we keep it pushing. I gotta tell y’all, it has taken me a few years to accept that responsibility, because I felt some type of way having to correct my Mama. She is the parent, I am the child. She is supposed to tell me right from wrong. God said, “Honor thy father and thy mother…”, but am I really not honoring my Mama if I choose not to blindly follow some of her poor examples? When you know better, you do better; that’s a lesson I had to learn on my own, aside from the instructions of my Mama. I had to pray long and hard on that one too, but I think I’m Gucci now!

I recognize now that the same patience I exhibit for my Mama, I must also show to these “modernized” women of the church. Yeah, they may come to church regularly and do many of the things most church ladies do, but they still need guidance and reminders of the will of God sometimes, too-just like my own Mama. Instead of getting frustrated by their actions, I can just be the example myself. I know better. Daddy has been grooming me in Christian education, church etiquette and simply doing the right thing since before I could talk. I can be the change I wish to see in others, especially the women. Until next time…

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