No one leaves me questioning how I portray being a woman as much as my daughter. She is my miniaturized mirror image, reflecting all my flaws and successes as a mother. She misses nothing.
Of course all three of my children reflect back bits of me. The phrases I use. My facial expressions. When I am warm and affectionate, I see them play out that same warmth and affection with others. I don’t know if it is a personality thing, or what, but my daughter takes things to an entirely different level.
Ellie reflects back every word of correction, every tone, every action. Sometimes I just glow listening to her nurture and encourage her brothers, or her dolls as she plays. Other times I cringe. I’ve also heard her use a snappish voice as she doles out discipline to her wayward toys. And, I know I sounded just like that when I lost my patience earlier that day.
She plays pretend in her kitchen, cooking and cleaning using steps I myself have used as I’ve prepared meals. A constant shadow with a seemingly photographic memory.
She is watching, always. Absorbing everything. And, I know without a doubt that she is shaping in her mind what it is to be a woman in this world from me. To be a godly woman, and what that means. It’s a bit daunting I admit. Always on display, my faults and shortcomings suddenly far more transparent than I ever realized. My best and my worst. No hiding.
Through it all, I hope she witnesses my love and care for my children, offering a soft, stable and warm place in the midst of a too oft unkind world. I hope my love for her father shines through, and that relationships aren’t easy but are worth fighting for. I hope she sees the value in caring for our home. But even more than all that, I hope she sees my wild and crazy love for Jesus, and that it is possible to be both bold and courageous, and gentle and kind.
I want her to know that even though she is petite and delicate, she is likewise fierce and strong. I want her to know that if she desires to take a different path than I’ve chosen and climb corporate ladders or explore scientific frontiers, that she is blessed to live in a day and age in which she can accomplish whatever she sets her heart and effort on.
But, more than all that I want her to watch me and learn that in a world that is devoted to progress and accomplishment, there is no price tag or salary scale that defines her worth. No human being truly has the power to place value on her based on gender, accomplishment, social status, failures, or weaknesses.
Above all, I hope the legacy I leave for her is this: Who she is, heart and soul, is enough. She is God’s handiwork, and He has a divine purpose for her life that has a value this world can never define with earthly currency. Being made the image of God, in all her feminine glory, is a blessing not a curse.
Woman of God, I say the same to you. Don’t let the opinions of this world be a barometer on your worth. You have a value and purpose that transcends societal norms, political climates, and socioeconomic status. Who you are in your essence, as a reflection of the image of God, is enough.