Introduction…. From my friend Charmaine, I received a personally designed “Woman of Worth” mug with a photo of Dave and me, with a message…
“In here are reasons why I believe you are a Woman of Worth.
Please take only one piece of paper every day to read for the next month. xxx”
[ Woman Of Worth Mug of Love ]
Woman of Worth ~ You Are An Elect Lady!
Lady Mands *Grin*
I was blessed with an amazing childhood, growing up in the bush of Southern Africa. Exploring and enjoying her wild untamed beauty in remote unspoilt areas, I was very much a ‘tomboy’ and seldom wore dresses or even bothered to brush my hair, the long golden blonde tresses a pedestrian stopper in African culture, which many wanted to touch and feel… and even did at times, much to my growing aversion… my mom eventually had my hair cut, something I thought I wanted, only realising afterwards how much I loved the pony tail I then held in my hands as the tears fell gently down my checks.
I still don’t like people touching my hair… although my daughter does a fabulous job of straightening it when I need… and Nande my amazing, incredible hairdresser, keeps coloured and looking sleek and lovely, when I make an appointment to have my hair done, which I have vowed to do more often than my normal twice a year. *Smile*
Although, I seldom played with dolls… and usually chewed their fingers and toes and then buried them in the garden much to my mother’s frustration, and our earlier ‘disagreements’ when she tried to clothe me in pretty skirts and dresses she had made after hours of labour, are legendary in our family… I did eventually learn to sew on my miniature sewing machine, making clothes for the dolls I never played with… and learning to love ‘dressing-up’ myself for dates and school dances in my late teens. *Grin*
Skirts in any length, were just an excuse to wear high heels and stockings… or Lacetops, and pantyhose if I didn’t have Lacetops. Shoes becoming my absolute favourite accessory.
I could easily use the same handbag every day, filling it with everything you can’t leave the house without… Wearing only gold studs and hoop ear rings, and the same necklace and watch every day… with a few belts and interchangeable buckles.
The shoes I wore… became fun topics of conversation at work, at church and at social gatherings. I was prepared to use most of my ‘clothing’ budget for shoes, and make my own clothes, or wear the clothes my mom made me, to ensure I could buy shoes.
Brightly coloured sling backs are my absolute favourite, and I feel like a million dollars when I wear my favourite sling backs… and probably the only time I feel ‘ladylike’. *Grin*
I still have red sling backs… and at least two pairs of black sling backs… and very high cream shoes, I wore the most gorgeous white sling backs when I got married and for years after… and I had multi coloured leather sandal sling backs that were the envy of all my friends… and a pair of black court stilettos that had me towering above most people I know… because at 5’ 7” I don’t really need high heels, as I’m already tall… oh but I love how they make me feel and especially how they make my legs look… my legs being my greatest physical asset. *Smile*
Unfortunately while I still have my favourite high heels tucked carefully in their original boxes it’s been more than five years since I wore a pair of high heels, or even since I was able.
In 2009 I developed Plantar Fasciitis, probably as a result of the rapid 25 kg weight gain I experienced in five months… and not as a result of wearing high heels. *Smile*
My feet are still sore almost every day if I stand or walk too long, however, I don’t experience the pain I used to… and if I remember to use our foot massager every day, it makes a big difference. *Smile* (If I ever lose even half that 25 kg’s it will also help, however that’s an entire epistle for another day. *LOL*)
The point is… even though I still have my favourite high heel sling backs, I can’t wear them, because my feet have changed size and shape, and they just don’t fit… and I keep wanting to lose a few kilograms before I go and buy a pair of new high heels. A pair that actually fits.
I am changing my ways… before this year is over, hopefully even before the end of the month of November 2014, I will go and buy myself a pair of comfortable high heels… and that’s the thing… my feet were never sore in heels… I always ensured that I only bought the most comfortable shoes, especially heels… because I have funny odd toes, and very different shaped feet… and I loved how my feet looked in high heels… so elegantly ladylike. *Grin*
I do understand that the shoes I wear, the length of my skirts… how much I weigh and even how I look as I approach 50 in a couples years, don’t define me as a lady… yet sometimes it does, even when it shouldn’t.
The choices I make… who I am, and what I do… how I love, create, and spend my days… the relationships I share, and how I share my heart and my life… what I give, and how graciously I receive… my honesty, humility… courage and kindness… my integrity, my strength and how valiant I am in facing my fears and trials… the measure of my gratitude, and how I celebrate the normal everyday moments, and achievements… these are what should define me as an elect lady.
Sometimes my greatest challenge to be in the world and not of the world, so I define my worth, or undefine it as necessary, by who I am.
An elect lady?
Someone who stands out because they believe in truth, integrity and honour… and what they say and do… and even think, is evident in their words and acts of service.
Although I struggle to see myself as an elect lady, I am encouraged, *Smile* and humbled that my friend Charmaine has chosen to see me this way, and I’m willing to endeavour to honour her acknowledgement, by trying to be a better person. *Smile*
Even while I sit typing this in my pyjamas and gown, ponytail in my hair (or is it hair in a ponytail)… slippers on my feet… only because I’ve had the flu for seven days, but… I have showered, brushed my teeth and they are clean today pyjamas, my hair in a ponytail (neatly combed and brushed *Grin*).
I have learned something through this experience, while reflecting on what ‘an elect lady’ is… and what I perceive ‘an elect lady’ is…
How I chose to define what a lady is… defines the type of lady I am.
As an Elect Lady herself… I know that my friend also means that we are daughters of God, Christian women with great qualities of loyalty, faith and obedience, endeavouring by choice to live as righteously as possible, so being examples. *Smile*
Not easy… however, achievable with friends who inspire and edify… and who love and support me.
During my reading and research… I found some fun and interesting and even derogatory meanings and definitions of the word ‘lady’. I’ve included them all, so we can all learn, and with the hope that it will avoid any contention, as I know at times I haven’t felt respected when I’ve been referred to as “Lady!” …however, because of this experience, I will always feel honoured to be referred to as “Lady!” Thank-you Charmaine. *Smile*
Last, however in no way least… I love genealogy, and whilst my personal family history has been a constant challenge, I have been able to trace my husband’s family on his father’s side, through thirteen generations… and a little further, to the knights and baronets of old… with lords and ladies… Latin mottos, crests and castles, and right in the early 1600’s I found Lancelot and Grace… decedents of the Knights De Swinburne. *Big Grin*
In another life… and probably only in my imagination…
I could easily have been Lady Mands! *Smile*
Enjoy, with love and laughter,
These are especially for my husband, the gentleman to my lady. *Smile*