Definition of Strong Women: Women who wave and don’t experience under arm jiggle. Women who can talk while they run. Women who make desserts out of dates instead of sugar.
So this may be the Denise Beck dictionary definition but above sits the girl I want to be when I grow up. And in heaven I hope that girl can exist while eating brownies.
The truth is, if I asked you what comes to mind when you think of strong women, the answers would be inspiring and diverse. The word itself is so broad that we sometimes have to add an adjective to clarify, like physical strength or mental strength. Is it strength to do something that comes easy for you? If it’s hard for you and generally not for others, is that still strength? The interesting thing about strength is sometimes you don’t know you have it. It hides quietly like a shadow on a cloudy day and doesn’t show up until it is called upon. Sometimes it can be so seamlessly integrated into who you are that you don’t recognize it. It takes someone else pointing out the strength you have before you do belated introductions and acknowledge its place in your life.
There are so many women I have had the privilege of knowing in my time overseas that have shown me what real strength is.
Strength is being concerned for the flight attendant who just asked when your baby is due, worried she will feel horrible when you tell her this flight is carrying your family and the stillborn baby you just delivered back to the states for his funeral.
Strength is the single woman whose 3 kidney transplants only fuel her desire to continue serving, because time is precious and each day matters.
Strength is the smart, ambitious mom of 5 who wanted to change the world as a pioneering single woman. From the endless dishes; loads of laundry; and daily dedication to her family, each day her strength is shaping the next generation who will change the world.
These women carry the kind of strength that is the quiet steel they may not know they possess.
Usually when we say strong we think of men. I am so grateful for the strong men in my life. (My spaghetti jars are thankful as well). I am so challenged by their character, their conviction, the way they aren’t afraid of hard things (or mice). My husband is one of them. However it’s not when he is visibly strong in front of others that I see his strength, it’s when he notices the strength in others and isn’t afraid to show it to them. When he tells my daughter he sees her struggle and is proud of her. When he sits with a college student and says he is cheering for her and will support her whatever direction she chooses because he trusts her character. When he wants to be the first one to put a Velvet Ashes sticker on his water bottle because he is so proud of the women who serve overseas.
I know there are many strong men out there. Men who see the strength in the women in their lives and aren’t afraid to tell them. This week‘s challenge is for them.
This week we challenge strong men to partner with Velvet Ashes in honor of the strong women in their lives!
Women, tag the men in your life who see your strength! Dads, brothers, friends, grandfathers, we want to hear about them! Guys tell us about the strong women you love! #velvetasheschoosetolose
Thank you for helping Velvet Ashes offer better resources to our fabulously strong community.
Learn more about how to join in our Choose to Lose campaign by clicking on the button below!