Here’s to strong women 💜 May we know them 💜 May we be them 💜 May we raise them 💜

“International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8th every year in honor of their remarkable contribution to our society.   It’s a day when we celebrate the amazing social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women!”

I’m sure everyone celebrates this day for different reasons, it means something slightly different to different people.   I wanted to take some time to recognize some of the women in my life.   

We all have women in our lives who influence us.   Some of those are wonderfully positive, some of those are sadly negative.   Mothers, Stepmothers, Mother- in- law’s, Sisters, Grandmothers, Aunts, Cousins, Friends, Co-workers, Neighbours, Teachers...the list can go on and on.    

So many different ways for different women to influence our lives.   I am lucky enough to have different women in my life who bring so many different dynamics. 

My mom.   A woman whose been through a divorce and started over, has raised 3 kids and worked hard to do so.   I have watched her face adversity many times over.   Her work ethic is strong and so admirable, always working to support us and herself.   Perseverance: “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.”   My mom has persisted through many trials and tribulations, not always coming out on top, but always picking herself up and dusting herself off, and trying again.   She’s tough.   If I can say anything it’s that she has taught me to be tough, to push through, and to conquer things, on my own.    While we haven’t always seen eye to eye as I’m sure lot’s of mothers and daughters can say, I am thankful for the life lessons she has taught me, and the values she has instilled in me to make me the person I am today.    Strength, courage, persistence, determination, tenacity and resiliency are some of the things that come to mind when I think of her and recognize her on this day! ❤️

 

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My Step-Mom.   “A woman who is the wife or partner of one’s father after the divorce or separation of one’s parents.”   Around the age of 8, my parents split up.   Not to long after that my Dad met someone whom he introduced into our world.   Since then she, with no “biological” children of her own, has loved and accepted us as her own.   The path I walk now as a Stepmother I attribute partially to watching her walk that path for a large part of my life.   There was no hesitation for me to jump into a relationship with a man whom had children, as I had watched someone else do the same.   During that time, I have watched as hard work and hustle has grown a sought after career.   A career in the nursing field that she has dedicated herself to, and her hard work has been recognized throughout.   Her character, grit, determination, dependability, dedication and reliability are some of the things that have made her successful in her career, and some of the things that I want to recognize about her today. ❤️

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My Mother-In-Law.    “How blessed we are, how fortunate we’ve been.  That you are his Mother, and also my friend.”    Truth.   In the world of farming often times a Mother-In-Law is more involved then in an average relationship.    When I met Steve, his wife had left him and he was on his own.  His mother had naturally stepped up and helped him pick up the pieces of his life and get himself back on track, which only grew their relationship more.   While this can make things a little more difficult at times, it is something that I have grown to understand as I’ve had children of my own.   When I look back over the years that we have been together, I see her unwavering faithfulness and loyalty to her son.    I see her dedication to her family, and the unending love she has for everyone in it.    Having the opportunity to witness her dedication and commitment to her husband, my father-in-law, has been of great support to me as I’ve grown in my marriage and continue to each and every day.   Hearing her stories of balancing family, farm work, and “off” farm work throughout her life, is something that encourages me and part of why I want to recognize her on this day. ❤️

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My Sister.   It’s funny how some relationships change over time.   When you look at your relationship in the different seasons of life, it can be so drastically different.   When we were younger we argued often as siblings can do.   I would say it changed when I had moved out, met Steve, and we had children.   My sister is the best Auntie in the world.   She has taught me so much about children…about teaching them, hearing them, and better understanding them.   She set her sights on teaching fairly early on in life.  She has fought hard to get to where she is today, worked tirelessly with steadfast determination to end up in her dream career.   It hasn’t always been easy, but she knew what she wanted and she did what she needed to do to get there, while maintaining her character, and dedication to family and friends.   She gives 110% as a teacher, has the very best interests of her students, wanting them to succeed and grow to be kind, compassionate children.    She carries that into her responsibility as a Mom, unconditional love to those she loves.   Today I celebrate her drive, compassion, kind heart, and responsible, ambitious, admirable character. ❤️

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My Neighbour (adopted “grandma”).   “Family isn’t always blood.   It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs.   The ones who accept you for who you are.   The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”   How many people can say they are blessed by their neighbours?!   So often you hear of pesky, annoying neighbours, or neighbours who come and go.   We have been so lucky to have the same neighbours for as long as Steve has been alive.   This lady has taught me many things over the last 12 years that I’ve been around.   She is a faithful, loyal, loving and encouraging wife.   For 57 years she has stood beside her husband in good times and bad, during the highs and lows.   She has been a stay at home mom, a farmer’s wife, a teacher, a friend among many things.  When I think of her today, I know when we need her she is here.   She is quiet, quick to listen, thoughtful in her speech, and always there to lend a hand. ❤️

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My (step)Daughter.   I hesitate to call her that, as by definition she is my “stepdaughter”, but I would never want her to think that she is anything but a loved member of our family.    I too have walked the road she is on. I can relate to the feelings, thoughts, and emotions.   I used a familiar saying to title this post “Here’s to strong women.  May we know them.  May we be them.   May we raise them.”   This girl has grown so much in her strength, in her character, in her resiliency.   She is feisty, and fierce and is proving to be a force to be reckoned with.   She is strong in her faith, driven and determined to succeed.   As I watch her maneuver some of the toughest years of her life, I see perseverance and humility.  I see the ability to make mistakes, to own those mistakes, and to learn from those mistakes.   I see her forgiving nature, and ability to seek forgiveness.   Perfection is not the desire, nor are there unrealistic expectations.   Today I honor her gentleness, warm heart, responsibility, integrity, courage and strength. ❤️

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It’s not lost on me, how truly blessed I am to have such inspiring women in my world.   At times I know I take it for granted, and I appreciate days like this one, that draws our attention to those in our circle of influence.   Days that force us to pause, reflect and acknowledge the true depth they bring to our lives.    We say it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to support and encourage us to become the very best versions of ourselves.    I’m so thankful that God has provided me with these women.   We aren’t always at our best, and when one relationship is struggling as it will, there always seems to be another one there with their hand outstretched, ready to pull us out of whatever darkness we are in.   Embrace the good and the bad, for tough times seem to be what strengthens relationships. I have valued all the things I’ve learned so far from each of these women, and look forward to walking the road laid before me with them in my corner.

I admire each of these ladies for many different reasons, but the one thing we all have in common is being strong woman who deserve to be celebrated!   Happy International Women’s Day to all of the strong, independent, unique, courageous women in my life! 💕