Monday, February 12, 2007

Lessons Learned from Watching a Helpmeet in Action

Today, I want to share more about the woman I described in yesterday's post. First, let me say that I did not know her well. For a year or two, we were acquaintances mainly through our husband's business connections. Then, we moved to another town. I can't even remember her name!

However, this woman's character was such that when I did spend time with her, I took note of how she did things. I'm guessing that she was somewhere between 10-15 years older than I was, though it's possible that she was less than a decade ahead of me in life. Her children were grown and out of the house, and she even had grandchildren. I still had children who were preteens and young teens. I found there was much I could learn from her.

I am certain that to this day, this woman has no idea that I was looking to her for inspiration. I suppose that should make all of us think. We may have more influence over the lives of others than we realize. We never know who is observing our heart and character or watching what we do. That shouldn't scare us. That should inspire us that if we put our heart into what we believe and how we live, we can have a great impact.

Here are lessons I learned from this woman:

1) She was a wonderful helpmeet to her husband. Yet, she was an interesting person in her own right, and she followed pursuits of her own. A woman's Bible study was one of those pursuits. She also wrote some articles about the humorous side of famiy life, and those articles were published in the newspaper.

2) She knew the names of every person who worked for her husband, as well as the names of their spouses and children. She was interested in the details of their lives, and she was empathetic as they experienced the ups and downs of life. She made each person feel important. Some of the spouses were young wives and mothers. She was able to suggest motherly advice in a way that these young women appreciated. There is an art to giving advice without making the person on the receiving end feel insecure or resentful, and this woman was master of that art.

3) She often brought her husband a nice lunch, as well as homemade treats for the whole group to share.

4) Our husbands worked for a large company, and I'm sure that company hired its own designers. But, the offices of their particular department needed a little sprucing up. So, she decorated her husband's office. She didn't stop there. She added some decorative touches around the whole department to make it look nice for everyone. If I remember right, she even came in one weekend and helped paint the walls.

5) My husband and I hosted an event at our home for some people from the company's department, as well as some of our church friends. One of our friends -- a very young man -- asked the woman if she was with the company. She said yes. I watched this exchange. I knew what the young man was thinking: He assumed she worked for the company. Yet, she meant to communicate that her husband worked for the company. I thought to myself that, in a way, she really did represent the company. Her love for her husband and her kindness towards the people who worked for him added to her husband's success and his reputation. I never got any hint from her that she acted out of ambition for her husband to succeed. It was just that the love and kindness of her heart overflowed to her husband and his co-workers.

6) I know that this woman could not have accomplished all of the things she did without doing a lot of planning and hard work. Yet, she never appeared to hustle and bustle about in a tizzy, as I sometimes do. She was calm. She was able to take time for every person that she talked to, without being distracted by all of the things remaining on her to-do list.

7) She was trim and neatly groomed. Her style of clothing was classic. Her clothing was well-made, but not flashy.

8) She seemed like someone who was fulfilled and content.

9) Her home was decorated with love and care. She had some feminine spaces, but she also had a large room where men could feel comfortable. I suppose she learned how to do this from having a husband and four boys.



Julieann said...

She sounds like an awesome and wonderful lady. I loved #5 in your post.

Have a wonderful Monday Elizabeth and I look forward to reading more.


Elizabeth said...

Hi Julieann,

I hope you're having a wonderful Monday, too.

Anonymous said...

She sounds like a wonderful lady Elizabeth...I wish I could avoid getting in a tizzy, lol.

Elizabeth said...

So do I, Sarah!