Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Joy Baby

What happens when a mother passes on virtuous femininity to her daughter? 

Courtesy of Faithwalk Photography

 This is based on the true life stories of a dear, elderly friend. The names and some details have been changed, but the legacy this mother gave to her daughter is very true. May this story from the archives of the previous century encourage you as it has me.


The cloth was cool and damp under Faye's hand as she swept the crumbs off the last table. As much as she loved the bustle and activity the restaurant customers created, these quiet moments after closing were what she savored most. Faye shook the crumbs from her cloth into the sink and clasped the broom as she waltzed back into the dining area. From the back of the kitchen, the soft, low notes of her mother's voice could be heard. Faye's heart filled with peace as the swish, sway noise of the stiff broom bristles over the plank floors kept time with Mama's song. Mama. Oh, what that voice meant to Faye! It was the voice that had cried and prayed for a baby after the death of Mama and Daddy's firstborn. It was the voice that so loving whispered the pet name "Joy Baby" over Faye from her earliest memories. It was the voice that taught Faye the virtues of frugality and contentment as Mama reupholster her own furniture with sewing scraps. Mama's voice had laughed as she taught Faye to make everything from stunning, colorful flowers out of old paper to culinary delights of every dish and flavor. And a good thing too. The latter had become Mama and Faye's only way of staying off the city streets when Daddy suddenly died. The restaurant had been Mama's answer for earning money and making sure Faye would never be hungry.

Faye's mind came back to the present as a rumbling car tapped its horn to some passersby outside. The restaurant has been such an answer to prayer, reflected Faye. Now Mama's skill is famous all over town. Housewives everywhere wanted her secrets. Faye smiled, as she remembered what Mama said every time someone sought out her cooking expertise.
"Cooking is like life, Joy Baby. You can use all the right ingredients, but you also need the know-how of using the right ingredient at the right time. And you only gain that after years in the kitchen."
Or years studying under the right teacher. Though the highest of praise would always rightly belong to her mother, years of being guided by Mama's skilled hand had taught Faye all the ways and timing secrets of the kitchen. But unlike Mama, Faye would not need the art to support herself. Faye's heart fluttered as she looked down at the gold band on her left hand. Any day Henry would be home from war and they would start their own home. Faye's mind slipped into a dream; a dream where she had her own daughters and could teach them all Mama had taught her. There she saw their little friends coming to her own house and delighting in treats of frosted cookies, little round cakes and of course, fried bread. She would love those children - both those of her blood and her heart - with the love Mama had lavished on her. She would be there for them, laugh with them, train them to know good from evil. Every neglected, poor and unwanted child would find a laugh, a treat, a safe haven under her and Henry's roof.  Faye's lifted tear-filled eyes to the back of the kitchen. The song had ended and soon Mama would appear for them to walk the short distance home. 
"Oh Mama, thank you!" Faye breathed softly, "Thank you for all you've given me. May I someday be a mother and woman just like you."


In a world where God-ordained gender roles are blurred, you and I need real life examples from the pages of history. Examples where:

Women are strong, yet gentle.

Women are brave, yet meek.

Women are knowledgeable, yet teachable.

Women work, yet are womanly.
And in every age, God has had a remnant of such women. Which ones from the past encourage you the most? Faye's story is one my special favorites, but I want to hear which ones are yours! Would you please share below? Let's spur one another on by keeping these women's stories alive.

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