It always begins with one step. Obedience. Trust. Curiosity about what is missing in our lives…
For me, this landed me on the topic of femininity. It has been something that influenced my early years more than I previously realized. I recently remembered the details of my mother teaching me manners and etiquette as well as instilling in me some important truths about life and carrying myself with dignity and respect. Not every woman has been able to have these experiences with their mother or another female caretaker in their life. For those moments, I am grateful, but there are some other truths that I had to face in light of these memories.
For one thing, I lost my mother at the very impressionable age of twelve years old. It wasn’t until I reached my adulthood years that I learned just how much losing her then impacted the woman I became. I grew to become anxious about a lot of things and I felt incompetent in many areas of my life. I mainly remember learning to cook my first meal with my mother’s guidance and how much I loved the process of creating a meal. Yet, somehow that love turned to fear and frustration at my seeming inability to do it on my own as an adult. After many more failures and an increasing amount of triumphs, I eventually began to get comfortable in the kitchen again once I transitioned to preparing more plant-based meals.
The point here isn’t just that I regained confidence in the kitchen, but that I also regained the freedom to create something that would feed my body and provide it the nutrients it needs to maintain energy. This increased capacity to nurture helped me feel more feminine. A feminine woman is resourceful and able to steward her resources well. Eating takeout every night because of an inability to prepare a meal would have cost me much more than the one-time payment of my dinner’s expense. It would have robbed me of the opportunity to learn a valuable skill.
Femininity, in my experience, has been an invitation to embrace all the beautiful attributes that God produced when he created the woman. Some of these coincide with society’s view of more traditional womanhood and some of it breaks those norms altogether. In the purest sense, a feminine woman embraces and expresses the qualities she is blessed with by the God who created her.
While reading through Proverbs 31 again recently, the beginning of verse 17 stood out to me in a new way.
“She is energetic and strong“Proverbs 31:17 NLT
There are aspects of my personality that I began to loathe, if I can be honest. But then something beautiful happened. God reminded me that He made me in His image and with a unique expression of His likeness. I can be pretty direct when I speak sometimes. I am also a bit rough around the edges, though my heart is kind. While these traits are not my favorite things about myself, to say the least, I have begun to recognize how allowing God to refine these parts of my personality allows Him to get the glory. Speaking with boldness doesn’t have to be negative (or masculine). Also, as I learn to choose my battles and become more aware of habits that I need to improve, I’m growing more and more into a confident, feminine woman.
The beauty in the process of growth is learning to adjust through awareness you gain while identifying and remaining grounded in your values. As I walk this journey, I am identifying my core values. First and foremost is my faith in God. Following that, I am learning how to truly love and carry myself with dignity, respect, and kindness as well as live out my value of service towards others. As I embrace the unique way that I was made by God, I am embracing my femininity.
Thank you for taking a moment to reflect with me as I continue my journey. I invite you to embark on your own exploration of your core values in pursuit of personal wholeness and your unique expression of femininity.
Photo courtesy of Diana Simumpande via Unsplash