Suzanne at Gladdest Hours is hosting a carnival of Everyday Summer Skirts and Dresses and I had a couple of thoughts to share after checking it out. I am every day astonished by the great gift of feminine dressing. The way we dress is so intimately linked with our idea of self. I have been contemplating that for a long time now.
My thoughts on femininity have been largely shaped by the writings of Alice von Hildebrand and in particular her book The Privelege of Being a Woman. This was another one of those monumental reads for me where every word in the book was a thought or feeling within me that I was unable to articulate. It was beautiful. So much of her writing is flooded with ideas present in her late husband’s writings – and my particular favorite is the great awareness they both have for the supernatural.
My awareness of the supernatural is probably the size of a pea (and even that is probably way too generous,) but I feel it growing. This awareness prompts, no, demands certain behaviors. Words like reverence, respect, awe, and quiet all come to mind when I begin to contemplate the supernatural. God has been revealing Himself to me slowly, I think because I am such a dense, and stubborn soul, but in His Goodness, He has shown that the supernatural is ever-present. It is to be found in the ordinary, every-day of my hidden life. He is present in the “everything” of my life, and that is an awesome thought!
What in the world does that have to do with femininity? Much to me. It is in this awareness that change can happen, pruning if you will.
My ideas about femininity have not really changed I don’t think. I’m convinced they’re planted in a person by the Creator. But, certainly, they have been twisted by the Tempter, and there’s no denying I was along for the ride for a number of years. Once grafted onto the twisted vine of self and unrestricted passion, it is hard to stretch upward to the Vine of Life. Impossible without the careful nurturing and pruning of the Gardener of Life.
The great gift of feminity rests in the gift of being maternal, another part of a woman’s character given her by the Giver of Life. Woman longs to nurture, her being is made full by the gift of herself. Nowhere has Satan’s distortion and twisting of the truth been more evident than in our culture today and the ugliness and lies he has offered woman. Woman is de-valued, separated from that which God intended her for – maternity, life-giving love, openness, gentleness, – and her femininity has been twisted to morph into a sort of sexual power she has over a man. Her femininity, no longer veiled in beauty, has been exposed and degraded. Once prized and hidden, it now must be stripped of all mystery and exposed. And this has lasting effects…on men, on children, on civilization.
A shift in interior attitude for me almost always requires an exterior change of some kind. Pope John Paul II’s words “…become what you are” sound loudly within my soul. God moves carefully and with exact precision and timing through each individual soul. Everything has its own season, and God alone knows the timing for yielding the best fruit. I am so grateful for His graces. He has done great things for me.