When I was a young girl, my family lived in a big two-family house in North Jersey. It was quite common on the East Coast in the 60’s I’m told. We lived upstairs and my paternal grandparents lived downstairs. It was the best of both worlds. I loved living with both my parents and my grandparents. My grandmother was an elegant, gracious woman who was a leader in her church. She sang in the choir, worked in several affiliate church organizations and gave phenomenal dinners and church luncheons with many of the ladies of the congregation. She was not just your average cook but a consummate hostess ahead of her time who made any affair at her home an all-out celebration. I remember countless evenings sitting on the staircase that separated our respective floors, peeking through the French louvered doors of her living room and watching the couples stream in for a dinner party.
Ladies in fur stoles and beautiful dresses. Men in dark suits and spectator shoes. They were coming to one of my grandmother’s fabulous meals. My grandfather stood quietly on the side collecting, the occasion coat or wrap while letting my grandmother bask in her element. The pastor and his wife would sit at one end of the table and my grandparents at the other – shrimp cocktails in shimmering crystal followed by a perfect salad on small china side plates. I wanted to be her when I grew up.
Much later in life, I moved to my mother’s hometown of New Orleans and met my husband, Richard. When we married, I was adopted into a large, gregarious and very traditional French-Creole family. My own mother shared the same familiar French culture, having grown up in the same neighborhood just around the corner from my husband’s family. Although I only visited her family during the summers, it always felt like home to me.
Now my mother-in-law Clarita was the salt of the earth. A basic, straightforward woman who adhered to a few simple rules in life. Her faith, her family, and her food. She was a simple cook not at all like my grandmother but still in all, there was a tangible warmth and consistency in the heart of her meals and her hospitality. We ended up living with her as newlyweds for the first year of our marriage. From her I learned how any home, no matter how humble, could minister to any heart and any meal served with love could lift a spirit. She too had a ladies group that met every month at each other’s homes. Now on these occasions, she would allow me to bring a little panache to her table. I would decorate with flowers and serve the canapes, in my own crystal dishes and make elaborate desserts for her lady friends.
Afterward, there was always strong coffee and great conversation about parenting, homemaking, ladylike behavior and issues of faith for challenging situations. The women always went home smiling, encouraged and feeling that someone was there if they needed. My mother-in-law called her group The Sagacious Ladies. They had been meeting faithfully since the 1950s. I still remember holidays like Christmas and Easter fondly. There were larger functions at rental halls for the entire family. I became their favorite mascot. The ladies hired me to host all their holiday events and fashion shows, speak at their recruiting functions, and preside over their more formal presentations. After a few years, I was making the monthly desserts for several of the members who each lovingly wanted to outdo the other. I was in my early twenties and the ladies ranged between the ages of 45 to 70. I think most of the original ladies have passed on now but the lessons I learned while serving them lingered for a lifetime. The club disbanded years ago, but there is still a need.
In Webster’s; the word Sagacious means having a keen mental discernment and sharp judgment. Another description would be having a great practical sense about oneself or being shrewd. A woman well known for her virtue, her wisdom, her love and her giving. The kind of women whom others gravitate toward because their warmth and joy of spirit can be infectious. In other words, women considered rare in this present world. These are women of great value in God’s eyes.
There is so much information being passed around these days for women on every level, in and out of the church. And it can be terribly confusing at times; how to lean in, how to lead, to be a boss, a great negotiator, a glass ceiling breaker, how to be as good or better than any man in the room, how to stand out and be heard, how to rule well and teach your daughters to do the same, how to lose weight and dress better, how to get everything you want all at the same time.
But there is “scarce little” (as my grandmother would say) on how to be biblically wise, astute, sharp and discerning. Bringing godly honor to not only ourselves but our families as well. Everyone wants to be liked, and it can be argued that we all want to be loved, but the bible tells us that “Favor can be deceitful and pursuing beauty in and of itself is just vanity.” It goes on to state: “Now a woman that feareth the Lord, she should be praised”!
Why did I want to gather virtually? Well, it’s extremely hard for women to get together these days. We are all so busy and so spread out. I wanted to use this site and this platform to remind us all of who we are and the power we have as women in Christ. Not in a strong-armed way, not even in a loud or boisterous way but in an inspirational and occasionally witty-satirist type of way (is that even a word)? Well, the way my grandmother and my mother-in law-showed me.
Through this virtual medium, I plan to regularly blog, share some pictures and videos and encourage, motivate and perhaps even inspire in my own unique style. Now for some of you, this may be a whole new and refreshing line of conversation and for others, it may just be a reminder that will welcome you back home to some familiar truths. It’s our own fellowship, encouragement, discipleship, mentoring and support outlet all at the same time. After all iron always sharpens iron.
Now, I plan to jump all over the map cause that’s kind of what my life is about! I wear a lot of hats. We all do. Sometimes I’ll blog about food and even share my killer miso sauce for salmon (I will divulge for sure I promise). It’s discipleship techniques – hospitality is my secret weapon. It may be travel or the humorous and often mundane truths of my life, which is typical of so many of my female friends. It’s some great DIY project or a fail-proof technique to giving the best dinner parties. It’s conversations we can share about God and our walk with him. Other times it’s featured blogs or videos of ladies that I admire and have learned from. Women who are living life to the fullest no matter the circumstances or obstacles that they have faced. Real people just like us who have opened their eyes and ears and said yes Lord, this is a beautiful life and I want to make an impact in some small way.
Something quick to keep you thinking whenever you check-in. It’s my honest introspection on walking well with God that we can all recognize about each other. At the end of the day, we should enjoy this beautiful life that he has given us and still remember who we are in Christ. It will all fit into my writings, somehow ladies, I promise!
So, pop around, read a few things and come back as often as you like. I’m so happy to have met you. I would love to have you follow me regularly as we discover some wonderful people, receive inspiration and encouragement on our own lives and hopefully find joy taking this journey together…