I don’t know about you but I was born in the early 60’s and grew up in the 70’s. As I have said before I felt like I had the perfect childhood. We lived on a ranch south of town with an older sister I idled she was probably my first “Role Model” as I tagged along in whatever she was doing we were seven years apart so yes I looked up to her and we were truly blessed with two very loving and supportive parents.
It was a very small community where everyone knew everyone throughout the whole county; we had potluck dinners at church, the annual fair with 4H projects and class reunions bringing everyone together for a week of festivities. There was an annual parade with very creative floats one of my favorites was an image of a giant quartered sliced watermelon made from stuffing thousands of paper napkins into the small holes of chicken wire so tight and spray painted with just the right color and kids heads poked out of the round holes created they were the watermelon seeds and it was mounted on the back of an old truck bed. We threw candy out to the crowds watching as we drove by. My mom was a perfect “Role Model” she would spend hours sewing these adorable western outfits with the flared inset at the bottom of the pants and matching top made out of double knit material, my pig tails curled and my cowboy hat ready to ride my horse down the street in the parade or in the opening ceremony of the rodeo. There were many more positive attributes my mother shared with me as well while growing up. I learned to drive when I was 8 or 9, my cousin and I would take the old 4 wheel drive for a spin I would push in the clutch on the floor board and he would shift grinding the gears sitting in the middle as I could barely see over the steering wheel barreling down those country dirt roads. We road in the back of a pickup trucks, or even on the tailgate and I remember standing up behind the seat of my uncles El Camino when I was really little while driving to town. Now days they wonder how we survived! When we went to visit our friends or family’s home with a slight knock and a “yehew are you home” we just walked right on in and didn’t think a thing about it as most folks were glad to see ya and pour a glass of sweat tea. We cared about people it was truly a very safe place we never locked our doors and left the keys in the ignition in our vehicles. Most all our meals were home cooked with traditional family recipes handed down from generation to generation. Eating out at a restaurant was a luxury. We had canning in the fall, butchered our own meat and I remember we had shelves stocked and the freezer was full in the event we would get snowed in for days or weeks. Like I said it was a wonderful childhood and a much simpler lifestyle than we live today. Not quite sure why.
My Dad worked in town when I was younger and then came home to his second job farming and ranching with my Grandpa Jack which he eventually was able to do full-time as I got older. He worked the minute the sun came up until the sun went down. I remember him sitting at the old roll top desk working on books late into the night. He also would get up in the middle of the night during calving season to make sure those momma cows weren’t having trouble birthing those baby calves. He was a man of his word and a hand shake sealed the deal. My Dad was another perfect “Role Model”.
This was also the era when “Women’s Lib” movement was taking place. Many women went to work full-time outside the home and things began to change. Women weren’t just homemakers but careers were becoming more important. Fight for equal rights between men and women were on the rise.
As I got older there were certain standards and characteristics that were instilled in me as a child that I still struggle with as an adult. Many of you may be asking where in the world are you going with all this. Let me try to explain there is a lesson to be learned…
One of my very favorite TV programs was “Leave It to Beaver”. Do you remember that beautiful woman Barbara Billingsley who played “June Cleaver”? She was another one of my “Role Models”. She was always dressed to the hilt no matter what she was doing, her dress was neatly pressed, I am sure she wore the perfect make up (you couldn’t tell that well with the black and white TV), her hair was immaculate while wearing high heels, pearls and a sweet smile on her face. I know she was fit with probably six pack abs underneath her beautiful dress. She was perfect. It didn’t matter what she was doing cleaning house, cooking or attending to Beaver and Wally, she was always in her pearls, heels and apron. She knew exactly what to say and do. She portrayed the perfect loving wife and mother. Ward would come home to a spotless home, clean and starched clothes, and a home cooked meal with a special dessert each night. I still have this image in my head this is what my life is to look like. She never look frazzled or exhausted. REALLY?
Then you have this other character “Wonder Woman” or “Super Woman”, she is a virtual cartoon character but she can do it all and have it all. Yes she is another “Role Model” swimming in my head. Who says we can’t save the world? It takes just one movement to make a difference. I know I can too!
The one that really puts the icing on the cake is the story found in Proverbs 31 which talks about the perfect “Role Model” and virtuous woman.
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Did you read and understand all of this, yes this was only one woman…WOW!
So as I began my early married life I would work very hard to keep my home immaculate like June Cleaver, be there to save the day with Wonder Woman and strived to be a Virtuous wife of noble character.
Whew it was allot harder than it looked growing up. For example where in the world did those cob webs come from, there were dust bunnies living on my furniture and base boards, socks never matched up in fact I swear the wash machine ate them as some were missing, laundry never done, dishes in the sink and groceries needing to be bought? Dog hair yes my dogs shed everywhere… I went to work outside the home to bring home the bacon, fry it serve it for my lovable husband to eat. Then we had children…hmm what is a woman to do but add a few more responsibilities onto her plate. I can do this I love multi-tasking and yes I am rather good at it. Look at me see what all I can do, I can serve on the PTO, teach Sunday School, work outside the home be the loving devoted wife and mother, I can do crafts and make these adorable things, always in a good mood with a smile on my face….never stressed…I am the little engine that could yes I can yes I can I know I can I don’t just think I can I CAN! THEN IT HITS…Burn Out….oops I forgot to “Take a Timeout”. I didn’t really learn that early on and I would end up sick, flat on my back in bed, with fever run down exhausted, I couldn’t move and having to take a time out at the most inappropriate time because I over extended myself. I refer to this as my wake up call. God was giving me a subtle hint I need to readjust my priorities and learn to delegate more and do less. Where do I compromise, how do I surrender and humble myself to admit I can’t do it all. I still really struggle with this because I am wired to be a servant but it really is ok to delegate and let other people help. Thank goodness I have encountered other terrific “Role Models” who help to provide me with wise counsel and reality checks. They also don’t mind telling me to stop it or learn to say the word “NO!” So yes I learned the hard way you truly can’t take care of or do for others until you first take care of YOU! I hope you have already realized this and if not please take a self check now.
Where are you in life? Who was your “Role Model”? How did they mold and shape you into who you are today? I admit I have made plenty of mistakes in my life but those mistakes have taught me knowledge, knowledge becomes wisdom and wisdom becomes a stronger character and hopefully a positive “Role Model” for someone else. As I wrap up sipping on my cup of “Earl Grey” tea…I ask you to please enjoy “takin time out” this week and maybe drop a note to say thanks to those who have impacted your life as a “Role Model”. Special Blessings to each of you until next time dear friends…
I want to leave you with a poem that impacted my life from Jr High Cheer Camp:
There are little eyes upon you
and they’re watching night and day.
they take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager
to do anything you do;
And a little girl who’s dreaming
of the day she’ll be like you.
You’re the little angel’s idol,
you’re the wisest of the wise.
In her little mind about you
no suspicions ever rise.
She believes in you devoutly,
holds all you say and do;
She will say and do, in your way
when she’s grown up just like you.
There’s a wide-eyed little girl
who believes you’re always right;
and her eyes are always opened,
and she watches day and night.
You are setting an example
every day in all you do;
For the little girl who’s waiting
to grow up to be like you.