On Being a Lady

I'm not doing well. 

I'm going through the motions:  school, chores, devotionals, personal prayers, scripture study, meals, playtime.  All of the outward actions are in place.  No one is suffering, but the kids have caught me twice with tears on my face, and my excuses are getting thin.  The good part is that kids don't really want to know what's going on in their mother's heart as long as they're fed, have clean clothes and get to do fun things.  There is no reason to confuse them with my confusion.

Last night we finished Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink.  This passage, in which Caddie's father speaks to her, touched my heart:

"It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful  What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way!  A woman's task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness.  It's a big task, too, Caddie--harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things.  They have them just as much as the men who build bridges and carve roads through the wilderness.  A woman's work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man's.  But no man could ever do it so well.  I don't want you to be the silly, affected person with fine clothes and manners whom folks sometimes call a lady.  Not, that is not what I want for you, my little girl.  I want you to be a woman with a wise and understanding heart, healthy in body and honest n mind."

Perhaps I just need more nerve, courage, and patience . . .

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