*Strong (strawng, strong)—adjective

  1. Mentally powerful or vigorous
  2. Especially able, competent, or powerful in a specific field or respect
  3. Of great moral power, firmness, or courage
  4. Powerful in influence, authority, resources, or means of prevailing or succeeding
  5. Of great force, effectiveness, potency, or cogency; compelling
  6. Solid or stable; healthy; thriving
  7. Well supplied or rich in something specific
  8. Distinct or marked; vivid

*Grace (greys)–noun

  1. Elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action
  2. A pleasing or attractive quality or endowment
  3. Favor or good will
  4. A manifestation of favor
  5. Mercy, clemency; pardon
  6. The influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them
  7. A virtue or excellence of divine origin
  8. Moral strength

*Dictionary.com Why the name–Strong Women of Grace?   What’s the purpose of this blog?  I watch so many women–particularly in leadership positions– struggle to find this balance between being influential, decisive, courageous and “out there” and doing all that with humility, dignity, wisdom, kindness– or grace. Of course, I would not start this blog if I haven’t lived that struggle myself.  What needs to happen inside each of us to live both these definitions–simultaneously and with ease?   What has brought this to my consciousness now?   I am experiencing a period of extreme change in my life with an extensive amount of loss.  Five years ago, I made a life altering decision to leave a much valued corporate career of 24 years to take care of elderly parents.  My mother passed away two years later; my husband of 17 years left a year after that. During the same time period, I lost three friends/colleagues to breast cancer and four beloved pets.  Coming to terms with the divorce over the last two years, I set out to re-engage my career which led to three job changes and two household moves in an “interesting” economy and housing market.  So I’ve lost a prized career, a beloved mother, a husband, three dear women, four furry friends, and a home I designed in a neighborhood I valued.  Tragic or transformational?  How can I grow through this time period and find wisdom and strength with grace?  What have I learned already?  How can I help others?  This is my journey. Oh, and by the way, my beloved mother………her name is Grace.

Comments (14)

Your blog couldn’t be more timely. My Bible Study group at church has been reading a book called “An Altar in the World” by Barbara Brown Taylor. This week’s chapter is on “the practice of getting lost.” She talks about how we as humans tend not to veer off the comfortable worn paths of our lives, but in doing so, we miss so much. She also talks about experiencing loss (loss of a job, your lover leaves, the baby dies) and how the “advance practice of getting lost is consenting to be lost, since you have no other choice. The consenting becomes your choice, as you experience the possibility that life is for you and not against you, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.” She calls this “rock bottom trust.” Perhaps you have experienced this “rock bottom trust” after your experience of the last few years?

I so admire what you are writing, Bev, and look forward to learning from your experiences.

Wonderful job with the website — I look forward to the updates and sharing with others. Thank you for doing this for so many important reasons.

Bev, you are one of the strongest women I know and serve as such an inspiration to me. I feel so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Bev, what an awesome tribute to your Mom. You are definitely an inspiration to me. I don’t know many who have been through the challenging times you’ve experienced and come out with a more positive attitude, better sense of humor, deeper wisdom – and the willingness to share them all. Thanks for including me in your circle and sharing your strength and grace. (I hope you are OK with my sharing your blog with others – especially my daughters.)

Deb, thank you for your kind words. Coming from a SWOG who has been through a similar amount of loss and transition over the last few years, I am humbled by your comments. Please feel free to share it with your daughters!

Thanks for setting up your blog, sharing your thoughts here and also for becoming a friend I value. You are truly a Woman of Strength and Grace!

Barb, your kindness and positive energy through your own adversity is to be admired. You are an inspiration!

Dear fellow SWOGers,
I wanted to suggest a book that you might enjoy that speaks directly to the SWOGBLOG purpose. It is, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, by Joanna Weaver. To give insights into the book’s message the Table of Contents includes topics like: A Tale of Two Sisters, “Lord, Don’t You Care”, The Diagnosis, The Cure, Living Room Intimacy, and more. The first sentence in the book states… “Have you ever tried to do it all?” Sound familiar!? I like that this book has an “At-A- Glance” summary of key points at the end of each chapter. (O.K, that’s an indication that I live life in a rush!) If you get this book I hope you enjoy it. Lovingly, Nancy Draude

Hey Nancy! This is GREAT! I’m going to copy and paste your text onto the post page and categorize it as a Swell SWOG Suggestion. Love the input…thank you so much!

Bev, Due to my own personal delays, I am late joining your swogblog. I look forward to catching up quickly. You have always been a special lady. Thank you for sharing with me. I will reserve further comments until I am up to date with the site. However, I suspect that what you are writing could be published and sold in book stores. I encourage you to pursue your dreams.

Jean, you always were a kind woman and our shared journeys have given me strength. Thank you!

This blog is outstanding. I can identify with something in each entry I have read through April. I know I will refer back to entries. I love the interactive technology and references to publications. I still encourage you to write your book.

Someday, Jean…someday. Who knows, maybe this will be the foundation for it!

Looks great Bev. Reading your blogs is well worth the time. Find them to be inspiring and educational.

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