Digging Deep

“A really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is enabled by her scars.”
—-Carly Simon

FoxgloveHappy May! Check out my Foxglove!! Just purchased it at Home Depot and planted it under a kitchen window so I could see it rain or shine. Didn’t even know it was a perennial! I suppose you’ve guested that I do not have a natural green thumb. I’m working on it.

I love to talk about strong women. I admire them, praise them, wish to be just like a whole bunch of them. Some, of course, are famous, but I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting any of them, but I do enjoy quoting them.

“Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.” – Anne Lamott

“. . . knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron

However, I do know hundreds of woman I consider to be in that special category. Some bucket and shovelhappen to be born Southern; others I’ve labeled “might as well be.” What does it take to classify someone as a STRONG WOMAN? I believe she somehow draws her on her own inner strength to overcome a life changing obstacle, make the best of a difficult situation, accept a challenge, or simply make a risky change or life decision. All in all, she pulls from within herself to create a better life for her and the people around her. We all know these women. What makes these women who they are? Where does their strength come from or better yet how are they able to draw from it?

I asked a few of these women I know to answer the following questions: What has given you inner strength in the past and what gives it to you today when you need it? Here are some of the responses I received.

  •  “Helping others. Being chivalrous.”
  • “. . . my faith in God—in the past and now. What keeps me going are my kids (I love being a Mom.) and the longing to live a life of purpose.”
  • “. . . has grown stronger and stronger over the years as my faith journey has progressed. Several folks have touched my life deeply in the past . . . as well as I have weathered quite a few tragedies. Walking through life’s valleys and knowing I will come out on the other side because of my deep faith in Christ gives me my strength.”
  • “In the past, I have found inner strength from my faith in a loving God, in the belief that the most difficult and painful experiences can bring about the greatest and often most needed personal growth, and the understanding that you must ‘Go through to Get through.’ . . . In addition . . . currently . . . my connection with strong, knowledgeable, and genuine women brings me great joy, which adds to my inner strength. That said, I do not have it all figured out!”
  • “That’s easy. God is with me every step of the way.”
  • “Two things come to mind. My strength has always been my faith. But . . . also . . . my mother gave me strength. She always believed in me and made me believe I could do anything.”
  • “I gather strength from life’s challenges. I keep my faith close, but pull from a fight in me that says never give up.”
  • “. . . in the past . . . through support of friends and family coupled with determination and my desire for independence. Presently and continuously . . . through self-reflection, self-confidence and blind optimism.”

Sara, the main character in “Weather Permitting,” doesn’t know she’s a strong woman until her marriage breaks up, and she has no choice but to find her strength. Women I read about and women I know personally amaze me with their journeys of reinvention and the ability to do more than survive. They thrive, and the older they get, the better they get.

So I’m asking you, you beautifully strong women who read my blog, what has given you strength in the past and what gives it to you today?

Stay tuned. On the twenty-fifth of this month, my guest blogger will be Zan Marie Steadham.  See you then,

Jody

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