Way back "in the day", before I served a mission, my parent's buoyed me up quite a bit by calling me "A woman of strength." They told me I was strong long before I believed them. But eventually, I did start to believe them. Knowing that they thought I was strong, sometimes made me strong. After I served my mission, I believed that I was a woman of strength. I felt that I had been tested in some new areas and had passed the tests. I don't mean to seem arrogant, but that's how I felt.
I still repeat my little mantra of "You're a woman of strength. You can do this." sometimes when I'm facing a tough obstacle.
During our 2-day road trip home from Texas last weekend there was a point where the kids really needed a break. All three of them were kinda loosing it and starting to cry and whine excessively. We pulled over at the next exit even though it didn't look like there would be any great place to let the kids out. We parked in a tiny gas station parking lot. There was a small patch of grass between the gas station and a highway. NOT an ideal playplace, but the kids were desperate (and therefore so were Richard and I!). The kids were a little uneasy about us telling them to run around in such an odd place and it was cold and, like I said, they were all whiny. So I started running around in circles in the small patch of grass. Pretty soon all three kids were chasing me. We kept it up for a good ten minutes and then piled back into the car to keep on truckin'. As I drove away from there I thought to myself "Holy cow. I just ran around in circles for 10 minutes and I feel great. I feel better! I feel invigorated - not exhausted. Wow!"
I am a woman of strength. I figured that out some years ago. But now, I am a new kind of "woman of strength." I am a physically strong woman of strength. And that is something I have never been before. My goal when I started this new exercise regime was to be able to pick up both boys at the same time. Not just hold them, but pick them up from the ground. I can do that now (and I do - often!). My arms have muscles they never had before. I've dropped 2, almost 3, jeans sizes and who knows how many inches. I am a woman of strength.
And I'm not done yet.