Thursday, March 8, 2018

Influential Women in My Life

Throughout my life, I've had the blessing of being surrounded by some really incredible women. Women who have loved me, encouraged me, and shown me what true femininity looks like. Today, in honor of International Women's Day, I'm sharing five of those women with you.

MY SISTER: BETHANY
My sister has been through a lot in her short 24 years; more than many experience in a lifetime. Most people would crumble, but she's become the strongest version of herself. In the past year, she's fully come into her own. She knows what she wants and goes after it. She laughs constantly and finds joy in so many places. She's always striving to be better, whether through healthy meal creations, counseling, or getting involved in her church. She's one of the biggest influences in my life. I always want to be a good older sister, mentor, friend, confidant, and role model for her.

MY MOM: CHERYL
You know how some people are just meant to be moms? That's mine. It says a lot when all of your friends, from each place you've lived, love your mom. And for good reason. She is always willing to open her home up for others, something that I hope to carry on when I have my own place. She cares deeply for all those in her life. From my dad to my sister and me; from her friends to her family. Regardless of what's going on in her own life, she always makes time for others, making sure they feel loved and special. She has such a servant heart, always looking for ways to better the lives of those around her.

MY AUNT: LORRI
My Aunt Lorri is one of my biggest spiritual influences. Difficult experiences have occurred in her life, but she's never lost sight of the One who saved her. She's bold in her faith. She isn't afraid to challenge God when things aren't going the way she expected, but always sees His grace prevail. She's told me stories of times where she's just dropped to her knees and cried out to God - that is the kind of faith that inspires others. Her soul is filled with the love of Christ, which she uses to show love to others in her everyday life.

MY GRANDMA: DONNA
Some of my fondest memories are shared with my Grandma; from sitting on her floor, drinking tea and talking about Grandpa (whom I never met), to all those nights I stayed over at her place. She was always so interested in my life, making sure that she was caught up on all aspects. She was goofy, spontaneous, strong, and confident. She was a survivor. For the past decade, my grandma has suffered from quickly-progressing Alzheimer's. I've seen the person I knew change into one that's hard to recognize. Every once in a while, though, I catch a glimpse of the her I grew up with. I see her smile, her dance, her joke, and I'm reminded of all of those memories that I'm so fond of.

MY GAMMY: RUTH
My gammy was the epitome of class and sophistication. She carried herself in a way that people noticed. She commanded respect, but in a way that was so subtle. Sometimes, though, you'd catch her making an inappropriate joke. That giggle that came with it was one of my favorite things about her. She's always inspired me both in the way I carry myself and in my creativity. Even as she aged, she never lost sight of her poise and grace. She passed away two years ago, but continues to serve as an everlasting role model. Even from above, she's influencing my life.

Happy International Women's Day everyone!

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