My Lovie-Lu is six months old today! Time is going by too quickly. I know she has always been known as Little Lady on this blog, but Lovie-Lu is her nickname in real life so I may just change that.
Anyway, her half-birthday got me thinking of all kinds of sentiments and ideas. I hope to do a whole photo shoot with her tomorrow to try to capture some of these most precious days that go by all too quickly. As I was musing over my plans for the shoot, I realized that today would have been my great-grandmother's 115th birthday. It is also just two days after what would have been my grandmother's 96th. These two women shaped me in way I am still discovering and taught me so much about faith, hard work, and what it means to be a woman.
I thought about my great-grandmother, to whom I was very close, remembered how she was, and what I could glean from how she conducted herself. Nonnie, as I called her, was a lady through and through. She was dressed impeccably and beautifully every day of her life, whether she was washing dishes or attending a fancy party it made no difference, she was dressed from head to toe. Nonnie always had her hair fixed, heels on, her outfit starched and pressed, her jewellery flawless.
My great grandmother was an amazing homemaker who could bake anyone under the table, including well-noted, professional bakers. (Truth be told, her gift to me every birthday was her signature lemon meringue pie. It was my all time favorite, until she stopped baking because no one's has every tasted even close to hers!) She kept an immaculate but warm home. Nonnie was a fantastic host, an accomplished crocheter, a phenomenal cook, noteworthy decorator, and prim fashionista.
I began to contemplate what this beloved woman would think of my gaggle of children. My oldest who shares her first name, my first son with his Italian features and hearty appetite, my little blondie who shares the name of her first son, and my little gem who is her only daughter's namesake. In trying to dream of what she would say, remember how she loved children and the time we spent together, I began to understand the beauty she taught me. I began to mull over how it was not the clothes she wore than made her beautiful but how well she carried her femininity and lived her vocation that spread light through the world.
In today world, beauty seems to be everything, but it is not true beauty. What the world sees as beauty is attraction and lust. What it portrays as love is mere infatuation and unbridled desire. None of these are beauty, not beauty ordained by God. True beauty lies in living the expectations of a holy woman and embodying grace to those around you.
Like the Proverbs 31 woman, my great-grandmother was robed in fine linen. She rose early to serve and ensured her family had the best of all that mattered. She was a gently beam of sunshine and a calming breeze of joy, yet, she was a fierce and tireless worker who was tough as nails where life required. My Nonnie taught me what a beautiful woman is, not by her designer clothes, svelte figure, and trendy hair and makeup--she possessed none of those. Her beauty was in how she carried the precious gift of being a woman, how she veiled her sacred vessel and kept her lamp lit.
All of this as made me want to dive deeper into exploration of the beauty of woman--not for her physical features or what she does but for how she does it. Perhaps all of this is but a rambling, I have ideas to share but still no words to express them. My Nonnie was one of my best friends. I was so blessed to have had her for 15 years, and only appreciate now all that she endeavored to teach me. I long to turn back the clock 25 years and soak up what she was offering. However, that I cannot do.
Instead, I intend to find out how she built her beautiful castle that I might teach that beauty to my girls and granddaughter, if God grants me any. Without grandmother or great-grandmother, it is my duty to teach them the fineries of feminine life. I feel so insufficient. Then I remember the Paraclete, the endless Love of God. Perhaps this is my fiat. "Behold the handmaid of the LORD, be it done to me according to Your Will"
The LORD's Will was through a woman, a kind, gentle, light filled woman. She would not be splashed across the magazines of our time, yet was there ever a more beautiful woman?
Please share your post of beauty and link back to this post. Let's be a lamp stand for Our LORD!