I have been blessed throughout my life with amazing people that taught me, believed in me and shaped the person I am today. One of the most important influences I’ve ever had and never really realised until only recently was my grandmother. Martha Elizabeth Eloff – or as we called her “Ouma Toitjie”.
With the false idea I conjured up for myself as to what a role-model should look like, and the distorted image portrayed in the media, I didn’t realise that I had a role-model, an influencer at my fingertips. Thinking about the missed opportunities to learn from my grandma makes me really sad. But, despite me not being able to fully appreciate and see her as the strong, wise and absolutely amazing person she was, it never stopped her from speaking into my life, praying for me and sowing the seeds that she never really got to see bloom. (But I’m sure she’s looking down, smiling and saying something like “high time she came around”).
My grandma had a teaching spirit, she studied education and became a high-school teacher. I guess in those days the “right” thing for a preacher’s wife to do was to support her husband and subsequently she gave up a job that she really loved. I often wonder how that made her feel, if she did it willingly and if somewhere deep down, she was sad about this – I guess I’ll never really know.
I’ve been a big fan of Wonder Woman for as long as I can remember. She was one of the first ever costumed females in a comic and this fact alone makes her stand out to me. She is described as being wise, strong and beautiful. She came to bring peace, she fights against injustice and for freedom.
You might be wondering what my dear old “ouma” (she would’ve turned 100 this year) and the iconic Wonder Woman have in common and why on earth I would write about both in one blog. Well, the answer is quite simple – my “ouma” was the ultimate Wonder Woman – she was strong and brave and beautiful. She was a light-bringer and although she wasn’t “well known” in terms of fame, she was admired and respected by everyone that knew her. She came from humble beginnings and she lived a humble life serving others, but she had a fire within her that burnt bright until the very end.
What I remember most about my grandmother is how fervently she prayed. She loved the Lord with all her heart. She woke up every morning long before sunrise to spend time praying, meditating and giving thanks before the day started. Ouma Toitjie dressed to impress. She looked after her body, never ate too much and her hair was always on point. She was well-groomed and her shoes matched her outfits. She had a dry sense of humour and she never wasted anything. Although physically she was tiny, she was as tough as nails and with her two little hands she probably worked harder than most people will ever be able to in a lifetime. My “ouma” epitomised grace and when she loved, she loved with her whole heart.
To honour her I want to continue the Wonder Woman legacy. A legacy of being a servant without having to accept being trampled on; slow to judge and quick to come to others’ defence; do good, give with an open hand and bless others without expecting anything in return. I want to start each day in the presence of the Lord, giving thanks for everything I am blessed with and leaving all my concerns at His feet. I want to always take care of myself: body, mind and soul and I want to be someone that my children (and grand-children) can look up to.
I want to become my own kind of Wonder Woman. I will never be my “ouma”, nor is that what God wants me to be. But my “ouma” taught me what it means to be someone spectacular in your own right and that is exactly who I intend to become.
See the beauty of becoming Wonder Woman is that YOU decide what that picture looks like for you. Because Wonder Woman is YOU, she is all of us. You can become whoever you want to be, whoever the Lord intended you to be no matter your age or where you are in life. Decide today and join me in becoming your own kind of Wonder Woman.
It is more than possible because Wonder Woman is not a fictional character, “she” is a mindset.