Fix Her Crown

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I am letting you in on a secret of mine. I’ve not spent much time in the company of women, aside from my family. Oh, I’ve had a few select female friends during my life, although I naturally gravitated toward male friendships. Sometimes the girls in school were just too dramatic for me. I made the unusual choice, in high school, to not date classmates, preferring instead to build friendships. I don’t regret that choice. It took pressure off of all of us.

However, in recent years I realize what I have missed, shunning the company of women. Although I am by nature a solitary person, who is never bored in my own company, I’m learning to deeply appreciate the sisterhood that exists among women of all ages, all colors, all nationalities, all backgrounds.

Yesterday a Facebook friend tagged me in a challenge, that I accepted. It arrived at a time when I am considering what it means to support and encourage the women in my life, from family and friends to dear souls I’ve never met in person but have a friendship with, nonetheless.

Her post began with the words… Fix her crown.

Fix Her Crown

Facebook Challenge Fix Her Crown

My Facebook friend Gizelle tagged me, and many other women, in a post with the following instructions:

FIX HER CROWN

I choose not to cry, and dwell in a state of pity, stagnation or despair. I’ve felt the pain of being knocked down but I survived. I am still standing. As a result I choose to be part of the uplifting, development and construction of my life sisters.

If I have not tagged you please take no offense. I tried to choose people I thought would make this challenge a priority and keep it going for the Sisterhood.

Too often, women find it easier to criticize each other instead of building each other up. With all the negativity and pettiness out there, let’s choose positivity!

Upload 5 pictures of yourself… just you!!!! Then tag beautiful women to do the same. (FB allows tagging of up to 50 people at one time). Thank you for the tag (fill in name of person who tagged you).

Gizelle, a bright, beautiful and spirited woman, had no idea that I’ve been pondering the importance of sisterhood, which is defined as a community of women linked by a common interest. Nor did she know that those words, Fix Her Crown, had significance for me as well.

I accepted the challenge and I’ll post my five photos on Facebook and Instagram tonight. With the deeper stirrings that I felt, a blog post seemed appropriate too. I’m including in this post the five photos I’ll be sharing on social media, with brief captions explaining why I chose each photo.

Fix Her Crown
This Harley Davidson shirt belonged to my dad, who passed away nine years ago tomorrow, March 30. I love that I can wear his shirt and feel close to him. There’s a bigger story behind this photo. Read it HERE.
Fix Her Crown
One of my favorite photos, taken in front of Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands, Scotland. It captures my love of traveling and of Scotland especially. The shirt says, “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” Rumi

Fix Her Crown Meme

Lately I’ve seen a meme that snags my attention every time it pops up. Perhaps because my symbol this year is the Queen chess piece, or perhaps because I am becoming the Queen of my own kingdom, the imagery behind the following words enchants me:

“Be the woman who fixes another woman’s crown, without telling the world that it was crooked.” Unknown

I love that. The words call to something being born within me. This kind of woman accepts, encourages and supports her sisters. When she sees something she can help with, she does so quietly, without making a big deal about it or broadcasting to the world that her sister needed help.

In a time when division is rampant in the world, expressing kindness by “fixing her crown” feels so important. It’s not about fixing the woman. I’m not so bold to think I can fix people. This is about helping in a situation or offering an encouraging word or coming alongside for a time. It’s about raising awareness so I notice when a sister’s crown has slipped and then quietly offering without expecting anything in return.

Fix Her Crown
I recently received this shirt from Simply Chaffon. It reminds me that I am building a business and a kingdom. Of course there’s a story about it!
Fix Her Crown
Another favorite photo, taken in Venice Italy. This trip represents dreams manifesting, as my grandson Dayan and I set the intention for the Italy trip five years before it became reality.

How Do We Fix Each Other’s Crowns?

So how do we fix her crown, without telling the world it was crooked? How do we focus on offering rather than correcting or worse, condemning?

I came up with these ideas:

  • Watch for the sister whose crown seems too heavy. She might be the mom struggling to load groceries and kids into the car. Or the one who runs out of quarters at the vending machine. Lend a helping hand and offer a cheerful word.
  • Notice the sister who dares to be her own gloriously unique self, no matter what anyone thinks or says. Applaud her. Leave her an appreciative note or give her a thumbs up.
  • Raise strong young women. Preteen and teenage girls, on the way to their queendom, need encouragement and positive role models. They also need to hear how important it is to take responsibility for their own lives and happiness. Come alongside. Tell your stories.
  • Smile at the sister who seems to be journeying alone. Invite conversation and then listen. Be a friend.
  • Stand with the sister whose crown has been knocked off her head over and over again. Offer her acceptance and dignity and grace and a safe space in which to share and grow.
  • Be your own beautiful, shining self. I think one of the best ways we can help each other is to live our lives as the best versions of ourselves. Me happily being me allows you to happily be you. No comparisons or judgements. No tearing down. We build each other up. We link arms and journey together.

Fix Her Crown Extended Challenge

As an extension of the challenge presented to me, I offer it to you. If you are a sister, please consider this your invitation to share five photos of yourself. Just you in the photos. As women we often find it hard to take photos of ourselves or be the subject of a photograph. Take this opportunity to shine.

Post your photos on social media or if you are a blogger, create your own Fix Her Crown post. I’d love to see your photos and read your thoughts about encouraging and supporting the sisterhood.

And my Sisters, know I am here, a woman with a listening ear and an open and nonjudgmental heart. Queens fix each others crowns. And we are all Queens.

Fix Her Crown
I forgot about this photo, until I came across it a couple of days ago. Happy and full of anticipation, I was trying on various outfits for an upcoming trip. I was simply enjoying the moment.

 

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Girls’ Night Out

A quick pictorial post tonight, celebrating a fun evening spent with the women in my family. It is rare for me to get to enjoy an evening with my mom and sisters AND my daughters and daughter-in-law.

The seven of us met for dinner at Hunan Gardens on South Main Street. We connected over shared stories and laughter. And then we sat together in the audience at Joplin Little Theater for a viewing of the play, Steel Magnolias. I’ll write a review later of this exceptional play, performed brilliantly by a local cast.

What a special evening, watching a play that featured a group of strong women who walk with each other through the joys and challenges of life, while sitting with my own group of strong women who have committed to walk with each other through the joys and challenges of life.

I am so grateful for my mom, for my sisters Linda and Debbie, and for my girls, Elissa, Adriel and Megan. I look forward to more times together, sharing experiences and special events.

Journey 130: Mother’s Day (or the Gathering of the Sisterhood)

Mothers Day 2015

It’s been an amazing weekend, with a wedding yesterday, and most of my family able to be present for that joyous event. Today, it was a special treat to have my sister Debbie and her family still in town to celebrate Mother’s Day together.

The day began with breakfast at my mother’s house, lovingly prepared by my niece’s husband, Jon. This kind and cheerful young man is talented in many ways, and cooking happens to be one of his fortés. The moms assembled…Linda, Debbie, Ashley, my mother and me…enjoyed being pampered. Jon prepared blueberry pancakes, sausage, fresh strawberries and individual omelets. He gave each of us a small bowl and we selected the ingredients for our omelets, placing them in the bowls and then lining them up as Jon cracked eggs. The food was delicious and I appreciate Jon so much.

Mothers Day  2015 Jon

Later in the day, my daughter Elissa and grandson Dayan met our group at Golden Corral as we treated Mom to a Mother’s Day buffet. And yes, the lines were long and the restaurant crowded. That didn’t deter us or bother us in the least. The staff moved us through quickly and seated all eleven of us together. We enjoyed all the food choices available and Ethan and Kaleb especially enjoyed the dessert buffet, wearing a great deal of chocolate from the fountain on their faces! More great conversation flowed around the table, easily, humorously. Being together was the most important part of the meal.

Mothers Day 2015 lunch

Mothers Day 2015 lunch 2

We all gathered back at Mom’s briefly, mindful of storm clouds massing to the west. I sat with great-nephew Kaleb on my lap, while watching my other great-nephew, Ethan, create a game on his iPad. Although he is only nine, Ethan is skilled at not only playing games but creating his own. I watched, fascinated, while in a matter of minutes he created a Frogger type game, chatting to me about each step. Ethan learned to email over the weekend, and he sent me a picture of a vehicle in one of his games, with a logo on it that he knew I would like…Albert Einstein. He successfully emailed me a screenshot from the game, which I am delighted to include in my blog. I promised Ethan I would email him a link, so he can see his work here. It’s all good practice for this intelligent boy, who dabbles in technology as easily as the rest of us breathe.

Mothers Day 2015 Ethans logo

My great-nephew Ethan has a funny car logo on a game called Turbo Dismount

It was a grand day, spent in the company of precious family, with six mothers present. My sisters and mother and I form our own Yaya Sisterhood, except we are Yaya, Gigi, Meem and Mimi, who is the only one of us who can boast of great-grandchildren. My mother is the matriarch of this clan, and she has raised my sisters and me to be strong, independent, capable, loving and fiercely protective adults who have passed these qualities on to our own daughters and sons, granddaughters and grandsons. She presides over us all with strength and love and a good dollop of humor. I deeply appreciate her, knowing the sacrifices she has made to raise us well, provide for us, champion us in all our endeavors. I couldn’t ask for a better mother and I am blessed to have her influence and presence in my life still.

Mom on her birthday

As we hugged good-bye this afternoon, departing for our homes, little Kaleb gave me a bright yellow dandelion and a fuzzy one, the seeds forming a white globe. I stood in my yard, and held the fuzzy dandelion up, ready to make a wish before blowing the seeds away. Instead of wishes, I thought of my blessings: my extended family, whose love surrounds me like an invisible yet powerful force field that nothing can penetrate, my three beautiful children and their significant others, who have gifted me with their love and devotion…I am appreciative of their texts and visits today, and a surprise gift card from Adriel and her Nate to Lowes (garden center, here I come!), and my five gorgeous, talented and loving grandchildren who continue to show me the world afresh through their young yet wise eyes. The seeds scattered as I blew on the dandelion, and my thoughts scattered as well, carrying gratitude, love and blessings to their intended recipients. May they all know how much I love them.

Mothers Day 2015 Wishes