A couple of posts ago, I mentioned a scripture passage in 1 Peter 3 regarding women’s conduct, women’s appearance, and women’s apparel (verses 1-7), and I want to add a scripture passage (Proverbs 31:22-26 specifically, but also from verses 10-31), and follow-up with a story! In third grade, I learned much about my Indian heritage, about teaching, and about womanhood from one of my favorite teachers. Her name is Mrs. Saxena! She taught me so much – not just about what it meant to be an intelligent, sharp-minded woman, but a classy, respectable, God-fearing, bright woman. She wore Indian garb to school often. They were always the most beautiful colors! (One of the reasons why I wear bright colors frequently now: Pink is my favorite color – you may be able to tell by my book cover for Happily Ever After!) Mrs. Saxena wore rings on her fingers, pretty gold necklaces around her neck, and bracelets on her arms. She was fashionable. She wore sandals alot, and her toes were always nicely painted. She had (and most likely still has) beautiful, jet-black hair with a natural wave to it. I was drawn to to her beauty. Her eyes were like an opening to her soul. And her voice was quiet, yet powerful – and she had that Indian accent that was like music to my ears! She took pride in her appearance, and I loved it. She was sharp. She was endearing. She was nurturing. She was witty. She was gifted. I will never forget how her presence lit up a room. She loved to dress well, but she did not let what she wore and how she adorned herself overpower who she was as a woman, as a teacher, as a nurturer. Her mind, her heart, her spirit, her soul shone brighter. And, although I am sure she knew I had Indian blood in me, she still would have treated me the same if I didn’t. She would have treated me the same if she knew I also had Ghanaian blood in me, Asian blood in me, and Caucasian blood in me. She did not discriminate. And I don’t discriminate either. Mrs. Saxena, thank you for everything you have taught me about womanhood. Thank you for everything you have taught me about race, about love, about mercy, about justice. You are a true treasure, a gift, and a light. I thank God for you! You will never be forgotten.