"Beauty" and Beauty / Growing up

these women

Whenever I start talking about women, this scene from the West Wing always comes to mind. Just picture the President and the Chief of Staff simply admiring the women in their office:

JOSH
So, what were you guys talking about?
BARTLET
We were talking about these women.
JOSH
Yeah?
LEO We can’t get over these women.
BARTLET
Look at C.J. She’s like a fifties movie star, so capable, so loving and energetic.
LEO
Look at Mandy over there. Going punch for punch with Toby in a world that tells women to sit down and shut up. Mandy’s already won her battle with the President.
The game’s over, but she’s not done. She wants Toby.
BARTLET
Mrs. Landingham. Did you guys know she lost two sons in Vietnam? What would make her want to serve her country is beyond me, but in 14 years, she’s not missed a day’s work, not one.

(Episode: The Crackpots and these women)

These women.

Girls, ladies, daughters, women, babes, moms, all of them. We need them, and we need to love them.

I have a small band of women that have been seeing me through life. These women that come ready to take my endless chatter and make sense of it or just tune it out when it’s time for me to be quiet again. These women I spy in early mornings, faithfully whispering to their God, vowing to live better days. These women that sniff out broken hearts faster than I ever will, and see to it to help make things as right as they can. These women that hand me my dose of honesty  over a bowl of chili. We cling to each other for help and push each other over for a laugh. These women inspire me, impact me, and know me.

They have strength, they are lovely, and I am continually leaning on one of them for one thing or another. If not a borrowed sweater, it’s tissues and sleeves and hugs. These women that personally know injustice and have a fire lit in their eyes. These women show up for each other, when it sucks and when it’s great. Women are phenomenal at showing up. They give of themselves and by the love of our God they keep giving. I think of the women that did that for me growing up, and realize I’m slowly, hopefully, and daily morphing into one of them.

But then, there are girls. Ah. Little girls are wonderful. If little girls could be wrapped up in a scent, they’d smell like fresh cotton and dandelions. A little girl will declare her own loveliness and expect you to clap for her. She does her dance, shows off her splits, and expects your full praise (and you’d better give it). There’s the other one that’s too shy to say a word, but then you sneak a giggle with her and you’ve captured her heart. She’ll follow you around with an extra twinkle in her eye because she knows your hand is always a few feet away if she needs to hold it. Little girls have their own magic, they twirl and melt our hearts. They stay a little longer to snuggle up to you, to tell you something no one else has taken the time to tell you, maybe never even bothered to notice.

Women bring so much to the table, and if anything I hope you can take time to tell a woman close to you all that she means to you. Let her giggle and let yourself delight in the way her laugh gets a little too loud. Let her relax and get back in touch with the girl within her that just wants to twirl and show off for you and please tell her what kind of woman she is. Be the woman that gives her the space to be as goofy as she wants and be the woman of strength to let her cry as hard as she wants. She won’t always know that she’s enough, tell her she is. Cling to one another, lift one another up.  Be the man to bring out the adventure in her and to protect her when she needs you to. Ask her for her stories, let her know you hold them dear.

I can’t get over these women.

Much love from me to you,

Heath

Other goodies:

a blog post on female friendship

a playlist of songs that mean something significant to me when I think about what it is to be a woman.

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