The Beauty of a Woman

Today’s post is part of August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest.

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To check out August’s blog and see links to other entries in this blogfest, go to http://augustmclaughlin.wordpress.com

Okay, I’ll admit it. Like most red-blooded men, I like the sight of long, slender legs, slim hips, flat tummies, and nice bosoms. But . . . I don’t consider that to be the real essence of beauty in a woman.

To me, the real marks of beauty in a woman are courage, character, kindness, and personality. As we age, even the most beautiful—or handsome—of us find the physical beauty fading a bit. Oh, I know, every now and then we see a photo of some actress in her eighties still looking good, but that’s not most of us. And I wonder how much they spend on beauty products and plastic surgery to look the way they do.

Courage, character, kindness, and personality, however, don’t fade with age. If anything, they deepen and improve as we go through the decades.

Let’s talk about lack of courage for a minute. Back before most of you were born, there was a movie starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly called High Noon. Grace Kelly was a truly beautiful woman, but her character in the movie, Amy Fowler Kane, was a whiny nag. On the day she and Gary Cooper’s character, Marshal Will Kane, get married, he must face an outlaw who has sworn to kill him.

Totally devoid of integrity, courage or much else, she whines and begs him to slink away and not face the man. Her lack of courage and character completely overshadow her physical beauty and make her someone very difficult to like.

We’ve got a couple of examples of great courage and character in our midst whom most of you know. Last spring, Susie Lindau was diagnosed with breast cancer. About the time she had a double mastectomy, another writer friend, Renee Shuls-Jacobson, realized she had become addicted to medications a doctor had put her on.

Both of these women had a legitimate complaint. They didn’t deserve what happened to them. Either could have lain around and whined “poor me.” But they didn’t.

Each of them had the courage to face her situation head-on and do something about it. Susie had her double mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgery. Renee took herself off the offending medication. Neither had an easy time, but both faced their ordeals.

It took courage for either of them to do this, but they didn’t stop with courage alone. Having exercised the courage to face their problems, they could have done so quietly, and we would never have known about it, but that’s not what they did.

Going beyond courage, they exercised character. That character told each of them to share her experience with friends in cyberspace. I’m sure they were motivated by the hope of helping others face and deal with similar situations. Both have been very open in their sharing, and I admire them for that. By the way, if you click Renee’s link, you won’t find any recent posts. She’s still fighting the after-effects of withdrawal and hasn’t been posting.

Kindness is a trait I’ve come to value more and more. My 97-year-old mother has two caregivers whose pictures could be in the dictionary beside the definition of this word. Erica runs the group home where Mother lives. She dresses, feeds, pampers and talks to anywhere from four to eight people, depending on the home’s current occupancy. In addition, she cooks, cleans house, does laundry and other such things for these ladies who can basically do nothing for themselves. And I’ve never heard her complain about her job.

Crystal is Mother’s home health aide. She comes by five days a week to help Erica dress and bathe Mother. Then she sits and visits with her, although Mother has little of any intelligence to say these days. She also stays and visits with me if I’m there. When she enters the house, her smile lights up the place.

There are others on the staffs of both the house and the healthcare agency whose kindness is exemplary, but this post is already a bit long.

Personality may be a little more difficult to define, since it’s largely subjective. I may find a personality delightful that you don’t care for so much. That’s part of the differences that define human beings. But whatever kind of personality you like, you tend to bond with someone who has it.

I’ve never met Leanne Shirtliffe or Myndi Shafer or Ellie Ann Soderstrom, but I’ve seen enough of their personalities through their blogs and Facebook posts to know I’d love to know them.

The personalities, kindness, courage and characters of these ladies are the sorts of things I consider true, lasting beauty. Oh, I’ll probably still turn my head when a woman in a short skirt with long slender legs or one with an ample bosom walks by, but only for a moment. Their beauty is fleeting. Long after their bodies begin to show the ravages of time, courage, character, kindness, and personality will carry those who have it through whatever aging processes they may face.

How do you define the beauty of a woman? We love to hear your comments.

To keep from competing with the BOAW blogfest, I will not post my regular Friday blog this week. Back on track next week.

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WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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54 Responses to The Beauty of a Woman

  1. Pingback: Inspiring Beauty Quotes: A #BOAW3 Wrap-Up, Part II | August McLaughlin's Blog

  2. A beautiful and well thought-out blog, David.

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  3. So so so beautiful David. And I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

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  4. Marcia says:

    David, you have the most wonderful attitude about women. I’d love to see you write a non-fiction book about what it means to appreciate women, how to be a gentleman and what makes a great husband/son/father. You have it all! Susie and Renee are great examples of courageous women. I’ve found, as you seem to have, that our online friends, can be real friends. They inspire, encourage and love – what could be better. So glad you joined the BOAW. Your post does more than honor women – it shows what a terrific man you are.

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  5. EllieAnn says:

    I’m so honored to be listed among the courageous, smart, and talented women here. I sincerely hope we get to meet one day!

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  6. So refreshing to have a male perspective to this blogfest and one with such insight and sincerity. Great post, David. Loved that you mentioned Susie. We’ve been following her blog for quite some time now and count her as a true inspiration for all. And, though we haven’t had the pleasure of blogging with Renee, we will make sure to stop by her site as well. Thank you so much for your participation in this blogfest. Happy BOAW 😉

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  7. tomwisk says:

    Hi David, if you want my humble view on God go to http://www.tomwisk.wordpress.com on Sunday or Monday. I don’t expect you to agree but would like to hear from you. Have an interesting day.
    Tom

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  8. Eden Mabee says:

    Wonderful post, David. You highlighted an amazing set of women (I know, it’s hard to narrow the field down when there are so many out there to pick) here. I’m stunned that I didn’t know about Renee’s situation. And as you say, Susie’s is inspiring… Thank you for taking the time to reconnect our ever-widening online community too. May Grace follow you daily.

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  9. Beautiful post. Looks will only take a person so far. Once you get to know them, that’s when the deal breaker is.

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  10. What a beautiful post, David. You are so right about Susie and Renée and the inspiring role models they are. Their beauty has simply intensified through their trials and we are all richer in the sharing. Having a man’s perspective in August’s BOAW is very special. Thanks!

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  11. We aging, wrinkly women are lucky to be appreciated by men like you (and my dear husband) 🙂 . Courage, character, kindness, and personality–yes, those are traits worth bragging about.

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  12. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    I love this post, David. I knew about Susie’s mastectomy, and because she shared her journey on her blog, I admire her tremendously for the way she dealt with the whole situation, taught us so many things about breast surgery, treatment, and recovery. She’s a hero, and if I’m ever faced with having a mastectomy, her story has given me the strength to go forward with it, knowing what to expect and that life is still good after going through such an ordeal.

    I didn’t know about Renee. I pray she recovers quickly and this will all be behind her soon.

    Wow, your mom is super blessed to have those two care givers. They must give you great comfort, to have them caring for your mother. I agree that kindness is one of the best traits anyone can have and it reflects a person’s inner beauty. I think it’s so cool that you’re taking part in this blog fest!

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    • Thank you, Lynn. Renee is a precious lady. When she gets well enough to get back to blogging, I hope you’ll subscribe and read her posts. She’s very special. Although Jewish, she reads and encourages my Christian blogs.

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  13. David, this is but one of the many reasons I admire you. To me, beauty is found in acceptance of others, character, integrity (especially in the face of fear or persecution), and the willingness to build the people around you up rather than tear them down. Thank you so much for sharing your ‘beautiful’ with us!

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  14. Raani York says:

    This is a wonderful and very special blog, taking it for granted that strength and character are the basics of a woman’s beauty. Thank you for this, David.

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  15. katybrandes says:

    I’m glad to have happened upon your blog from the BOAW fest and hope to read more about the women you mention. Thanks!

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  16. Jenny Hansen says:

    No wonder I like you so much, David! Like my hubs, you have a steady core of love and admiration for women. And every time I hear you talk about your mom, I just melt. 🙂

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  17. Fantastic post, David! Well done, indeed.

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  18. tomwisk says:

    Hi David. When I read Christian, I expected something along the lines of what I heard in Catholic school. You know, keep your hands to yourself, God is watching. Well, about 16 I became an Other. Christianity just didn’t compute. Your blog did. Women are to be respected because unlike some of your Christian brethren who want submissive women, you have met two women who can function in difficult circumstances and show grace. Susie is my hero. Someday we’ll talk about God.

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  19. Barb Estinson says:

    Love this blog, David. Next time I’m there I hope to get to know Crystal better. I surely agree about Erica! Your points are so right on, Bro.

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  20. Sharon K. Walker says:

    Pretty is, indeed, as pretty does.

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  21. LOVE this post, and am totally humbled to be in a group with Leanne and Ellie Ann. Big hugs, David. ❤

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  22. David this was wonderful and well said. As someone who has had to forego beauty products and coloring my hair due to sensitivities, I appreciate what you have said.

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  23. I’m going to have to start calling this fest Chills Fest. 😉 Thank you for this touching post, David! I agree 100% that kindness and character trump glowing aesthetics. I think they also make us shine on the outside, more so than make up or surgery ever could

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  24. You said this so well, David. Honoured to be mentioned here, amongst so many strong women I admire. Thank you.

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  25. Carole Brown says:

    Well said, David.

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