stand a little taller

Several weeks ago, I read about the Lady Ball Awards. There was an option to nominate other people or yourself, and I decided to nominate myself for the Steel Ovaries Award. I found out last night that I won the award.

What is the Steel Ovaries Award? The Steel Ovaries Award is in recognition of the most exceptional woman among women. She enriches all womanhood just by showing up. She exhibits aspects of both Brass and Iron Ovaries. The winner of the Steel Ovaries Award is a leader among women. She is proud to be a woman, and proud to be stronger than most men she knows. She has seen adversity and risen above. She endures.

I'm not sure if I'm everything the award boasts, but I do strive to be those things. I strive to endure through whatever comes my way. I want my life, and whatever I am doing in my life, to reflect strength and love and passion.

It's fitting that the winners were announced this week for so many reasons. I needed a reminder of why I am on this journey. They say to get healthy for yourself. And I believe that to be true. I also believe it is a personal decision to share some or any of your journey. Even so, it is nice to be recognized - especially aftr a week of being sick.

Earlier this week, I received an email from my Nana - a woman who embodies the idea of Steel Ovaries in my opinion. I get so much of my strength from her. She reminds me to keep going when I don't want to and believes in me so much more than I could ever believe in myself.
Special people are those who have the ability to share their lives with others. They are honest in word and deed, they are sincere and compassionate, and they always make sure that love is a part of everything. Special people are those who have the ability to give to others and help them with the changes that come their way. They are not afraid of being vulnerable; they believe in their uniqueness and are proud to be who they are. Special people are those who allow themselves the pleasures of being close to others and caring about their happiness. They have come to understand that love is what makes the difference in life. Deanna Beisser

That quote also embodies the sort of person I want to be - the sort of life I want to lead. Our pastor always says that life is short and goes quickly - like a wisp of smoke. And it's true. I want to take the time I have and make it matter.

I love the idea of the Lady Ball Awards because it recognizes strength. They recognize persecerance and womanhood. It's about who a person is - not their status or looks. And it reminds us all, at least to me, how important it is to be true to yourself.

I wouldn't have been able to submit my name for any sort of award without certain people in my life. People like the girls I meet with weekly from our community group. They are more than just a community group. They're true friends - the family you get to choose. People like the women in my family who exude strength - my mom, my Nana, my grandma, my mother-in-law. Those women teach me with every conversation. People like my best friend. She lives far away, but she has been there, in my life, through everything. And I know she will always be there. People like those women who share their stories in books and in blogs. Their words pierce me and inspire me and remind me of why it is I write. All of these women give me strength - whether they know me or not. All of these women make me proud to be a woman. They remind me to endure.

And they give me hope that my story will be able to impact someone else the way they have impacted me.

(title from "what doesn't kill you (stronger)" by kelly clarkson)

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