Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Proverbs 31:30 (NLT)
If I had to choose only one flower to represent women, it would be the rose. Long considered the symbol for beauty, the rose offers us a stark contrast in its appearance. First, consider the delicacy of the petals—you’re almost afraid to touch them for fear of damaging their beauty; yet you can’t resist the urge to feel that velvety softness. Next, take a close look at the stems; they are sturdy, thick and difficult to break. Even when you use garden scissors to cut them, you are met with some resistance and can hear the “crunch” of that outer, tough stem layer. The rose survives all types of weather well—-cold, heat, drought, rain, and wind. It is strong and hardy.
And let’s not forget the fragrance of a rose—who can approach a bouquet of roses and not lean forward to inhale that heavenly scent? Beauty products through the years have long contained the rose scent: lotions, soaps, and perfumes, to mention only a few. Even in medieval times, women crushed rose petals in their hands and added them to their bath.
Now that you’ve read what I’ve written about a rose, read it again and think about “woman” rather than “rose.” Think about soft, delicate skin and a heart that is as beautiful as rose petals. Think about what women can and have achieved with a spirit that is as sturdy, tough and resilient as rose stems. Think about what fragrant, beautiful things emit from a woman’s soul—aromas that linger, have an impact, and are everlasting.
Yet, despite all its beauty, the rose does have thorns. What could God have been thinking when he attached thorns to such a lovely, exquisite flower? Were they placed there to discourage folks from picking them? Or to perhaps remind us that even in the most beautiful, seemingly perfect creations, there are imperfections and the capability of damaging others? So stop and smell the roses, but keep your eyes on the positive beauty of the rose, not the negative thorns.
Sir Thomas Overbury is credited with having stated in 1613 that “beauty is only skin deep.” We have no recorded account of his wife’s response! Sir Thomas knew that the real beauty and value of a woman was beneath the surface in her heart, her soul, and her spirit. I wonder if Sir Thomas liked roses….
The Women I Most Admire:
My mother—because she raised two teenagers as a single mom.
My daughter—because she home schools my grandsons.
My daughter-in-law—because she loves my son.
Amelia Earhart—because she wasn’t afraid to fly in a man’s world.
Queen Esther—because she risked her life to save the Jewish nation.
I AM WOMAN
I am a daugher, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, co-worker, church member, and proud American. I can sew, cook, bake, clean, supervise, and delegate. I am a chauffeur, nurse, boo-boo kisser, domestic engineer, and friend to all animals (well, almost all)….I am woman.
I am a caregiver, caretaker, teacher, encourager, prayer warrior, and survivor. I can empathize, sympathize, verbalize, and terrorize the cat. I am old enough to know better, yet young enough to still make foolish choices….I am woman.
I have a Facebook account, can google, twitter, text, and order online. I know what “bff, brb, np, and rotfl” mean. I can paint a room. I can mow the lawn. I am lipstick, nail polish, eye shadow, and bling! I will ask for directions…I am woman.
I can go to my husband’s tool box and take him (one at a time) pliers, a wrench, a Phillips head screwdriver, and an Allen wrench, and have the right tool. I can hammer a nail. And I can fully comprehend the edge-of-your-seat drama associated with a sudden death playoff in a golf tournament. Oh, and did I mention that I will ask for directions?…I am woman.
I am also weak and vulnerable, not the least bit fond of snakes, and have a very healthy respect for lightning. I can be an emotional wreck and cry, but laugh so hard that tears run down my cheeks. I can think that the University of Tennessee was looking at two candidates for the quarterback position way back when…one with the last name of Peyton, and one with the last name of Manning!!! But I will ask for directions….I am woman.
I am hoping to grow old with style and dignity, and be committed to the earth wearing a red dress and glittering rhinestone earrings and bracelet. I can know that even though my earthly father is gone, I am a child of God. I can meet my Maker, knowing I wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but simply a sinner saved by grace…I am woman.
(c) 2012 Leslie O. Kelley