International Women’s Day came and went, but I’m still here to make my own tribute to strong women everywhere.

If I were to include pictures of them all, you’d be scrolling for hours. So instead, here’s my favorite woman symbol:

the statue of Winged Victory, also called Nike of Samothrace.

Winged Victory

I stood there in front this “Winged Victory” (“Nike of Samothrace“) in Paris over a year ago now.

I stood there all “alone” for as long as I could amidst the throng of late-summer tourists. As I focused on the details of that beauty, my eyes couldn’t help but fill up with tears. I thought about whoever carved that beauty all those years ago. What passion they had to create something that could make me cry all these hundreds of years later. What womanly figure in their life inspired their art? I bet she was loved and courageous, bold and mighty.

Just like so many women I know.

My “women”

Yes, I was in awe of the sculptor, but even more, I was teary because it made me think of my girls. All five of them, Abby included. I stood there and sent up a little prayer that they could have that strength being grounded but also have the capacity and lightness to use their wings and fly. And also I sent up so much gratitude that they already are in this beautiful process of “becoming.”

Women who have inspired me

Then I started thinking of the women who have inspired my tribe of “little women,” through their lives. And those who have inspired me.

My dear mother and mother-in-law and my sisters and sisters-in-law. Abby’s mom who raised her to be kind and good and strong. My friends. The women who teach my children through their examples of kindness and not giving up. Their teachers at school. The people who are their cheerleaders from near and far.

I thought of my women ancestors, each encapsulated in their own unique story. I thought of the ones who were brave enough to forge new paths.

To teach their children.

To make difficult choices.

So many of them digging in and doing the “impossible.”

Sometimes I hear those women whispering to me from the trees. Helping me on my own womanly journey.

I felt myself awash with gratitude for the choices they have made even when it was difficult.

Let’s be each other’s cheerleaders

So, on this post-international-women’s-day, I am thankful for YOU women readers.

May we stand tall like “Winged Victory” and remember we each have a story.

More than likely every woman you meet has something really difficult passing through her heart.

Oh, she may put on a smile and look successful from the outside. We all like to put on our happy in public. But deep down there are rocky waters brewing.

We are, all of us in different ways, coming up for air from brutal challenges, failures, and dashed hopes.

Yet we are still going. Still standing. Still loving. Still growing.

So let’s be gentle with each other.

Because we are each blazing new trails never before traversed.

May we realize this life is not a competition.

We are not here to make sure we’re the best or the brightest or the most beautiful.

We are here to LIFT each other.

“Feed my Sheep” in every way we can.

May we seek to congratulate. To look for the good.

And to let each other know what we admire. Details so we can let each other feel “seen.”

Because when we do, we all “win.”

We find that when we lift others, we lift ourselves as well.

Let’s give ourselves the grace to move on when we’ve made a mistake, and the power that comes with humbly recognizing our wrongs.

This takes practice, but we can do it.

Heaven knows the world needs strong women to create a web of goodness.

We can be each other’s best cheerleaders as we take this stance and raise our wings to fly, and help others fly right along with us.

the statue of Winged Victory is such a good symbol of strong women

And that is a pretty beautiful thing.

Happy {late} International Women’s Day.


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    1. Oh I think it’s a beautiful act Jenny does to celebrate her own woman-strength. Celebrating women doesn’t mean we have to have outsiders celebrate us. Jenny’s acts kind of remind me how much I love that my sister-in-law has a tradition to serve others on her birthday. I have adopted this idea myself. Reaching out is such a wonderful way to celebrate ourselves rather than hoping others will recognize and show us appreciation.

      Thank you for sharing, Jenny, I thought this was powerful.

  1. What a beautiful post, Shawni! Thank you so much for sharing your perspective here! I love the pictures of the statue from Paris. Xoxo

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