If you would have told me ten years ago that I would be raising four little girls one day, I probably would have thrown up. When I’m reminded these days that I’m raising four little girls, the panic sets in.
It’s not that I don’t like being a girl mama. Being entrusted with the raising of these four little souls is the honor of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
No, what gets the cortisol flowing is the realization that children learn how to be adults by watching the closest adults in their lives. And little girls learn how to be women and learn what it means to be a woman by watching one lady in particular – their mom. And if there’s any job I feel is beyond me, it’s the modeling of healthy womanhood.
But let’s say I have a moment of confidence and clarity, and I decide that maybe I can teach them at least the important things…
Then I turn on the television, and I see the objectification of women.
And I open the news, and I read about the rape of women.
And I look at advertisements, and I see the exploitation of women.
And I look around the world, and I see even with all of that, by almost any measure, we are the lucky women.
I would be lying if I said that I see all of this, and it makes me honestly search out remote mountain homes where we can live in peace. I’d also be lying if I said it didn’t make me sort of consider it.
I see all of this, and it’s overwhelming and it’s panic inducing, and I don’t know where to turn. So I look inside and I see panic and confusion, and I realize that I can barely lead myself, so how can I lead them.
But then I think of these words, “she is clothed in dignity and respect.” They have become a bit of a mantra to me. I play them over and over in my head, and as of yesterday, I decide to adorn a wall in my house with them.
Because what I realized is that this world gives us a false binary – either we can love ourselves above all others and look out for number one, or we can sacrifice everything and count ourselves among the invisible.
There’s either self-aggrandizement or self-depreciation. Very rarely do we see anything in between.
But these words… that’s our in between.
They don’t say we are better or we deserve everything. But they also don’t say we deserve nothing and we fail.
No. They say we are loved. We are treasured. We are prized. And we are worth so very much that the God of the universe died for us.
And for you. And for them. And for us all.
We are worth so very much and no human being has the power to diminish that.
So I’m going to hang these words up and I’m going to read them daily and I’m going to try to live them.
And maybe with this one small step, we will be able to stand up in the face of all that wishes to tear us down.
Stand with me, won’t you? Our little girls are watching.