Inspirational Women: Honoring the Great Women in Our Lives

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Earlier this week we celebrated International Women's Day. Honestly, I've never heard of that holiday before, and I have no idea when it started. I've never been into celebrating all these new holidays that keep appearing out of thin air (unless they involve coffee, french fries, or burgers, haha). But I do think that women are worth celebrating.

There are so many powerful women these days- women that I would love to learn from and emulate, but honestly, my definition of a woman worth celebrating is far different from what most people would think of.


The Strength of a Grandmother

When I think of a strong, inspirational woman, I think of my Nana. 

My Nana grew up in a very low-income situation. Many of us will never experience the level of financial hardship that she did as a child/teenager. 

When my Nana married my grandpa, she was very young. 16 years old. Not long after getting married, she got pregnant with my mom. A couple years later, she had my uncle, but by 23 couldn't have anymore children because of some serious health problems that continued to linger.

But despite those setbacks, Nana ended up creating her own interior design business from the ground-up. She built up an excellent reputation as a skilled, honest worker and business owner. And she continued to run her own business until she was in her mid-60's. 

My Nana worked harder than most people I know. She made sure that people were happy with the work she had done, she worked long hours, she always looked beautiful and perfectly put together, and she always sought to put God first and show His love to others.

The Stroke

Two years ago, however, on October 12th, 2013, my Nana had a stroke. She was paralyzed on her entire right side, she couldn't talk, and she had to eat through a feeding tube.

All of us were in shock. This resilient, hard-working, wonderful woman was all of a sudden unable to talk, walk, or eat. Our hearts broke for her as she had to work through all of this.


Inspiration At Its Finest

But you know what? My Nana worked through it all with grace. As soon as she was able, she got therapy (speech and physical). She worked on talking, on moving her hands and feet, and she was able to get off the feeding tube.
She went from liquids, to soft solids, to being able to eat most of her favorite foods again. 

She went from not being able to move any of the right side of her body, to being able to move her fingers, move her foot, and walk short distances with a walker.
My Nana can talk on the phone now. It's hard for her to talk, and it wears her out after a long-day, but I can pretty much talk to my Nana like I always have.

A True Role Model

God gets the ultimate glory for all of this progress. It's His doing. But it's also super important to me that people understand how hard my Nana has continued to work.

Despite the rigorous rehab, despite a struggle against depression, despite the fact that almost no one from her church of 20 years has come to visit her or check on her, my Nana has persevered. My Nana has continued to read her Bible, pray, have faith, and trust God. It hasn't been easy for her, but I absolutely know, beyond a shadow of the doubt, that my Nana has handled this better than most people (including myself) would. She is one of the single most amazing women I know, and she is an inspiration to me spiritually, emotionally, and in her work ethic.

My Nana has always loved me with a deep, wonderful love that no one could miss, and she still does. She means the world to me.

When I think of a strong, inspirational woman, she's it! I don't need to look to a celebrity, or a lady in power. I only need to look to my Nana. She is a far better inspiration than anyone the world could suggest to me!


Want to read more posts about women who inspire, encourage, and make a huge difference in the world? Check out the posts below!

Inspirational Women Collaboration Posts

36 comments

  1. Sounds like a wonderful woman and an amazing person to learn from. And despite the lack of support from her friends, she managed to make it. I'm so glad you get to continue to learn from her. Thank you for sharing this amazing person with us!

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    1. Thanks, Kayla! She really is amazing. She doesn't see it, but I sure do!

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  2. Aw your nana truly was a role model! Talk about perseverance growing up despite all of her hardships. What an incredible role model!

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    1. She really is! I am so blessed to have her!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your heart with us! She sounds like a very special woman.

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  4. This is great Kristin! Your Nana seems incredible! What a great woman to look up to!

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  5. What an awesome lady! You have such a Godly heritage. I think you must be an awful lot like her!

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    1. Thank you so much, Marjorie! I actually teared up when I read your comment. I appreciate that!

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  6. Your Nana sounds like a very strong and wonderful woman. You are lucky to have each other.

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    1. Thank you, Shann! She really is awesome!

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  7. Thank you Kristin for the reminder. The memory of your Nana inspires me to be the best gramma that I can be. I had no nana, and feel like I missed out. My grandchildren will not.

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    1. I bet they are very blessed to have you! Keep at it!

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  8. Your nana seems amazing! I really love this post

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  9. Women are so important to one another! I hope to be that woman to someone else...now and in the future!

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    1. Me too! I desire to be to someone all that my nana has been to me!

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  10. She sounds like an amazing woman, how lucky you are to have her as a role model!

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  11. Your nana sounds like a special lady. I am glad she is a part of your life and such an inspiration!

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  12. Grandmothers are a "treasure"...I loved both of mine dearly and I miss them so much my heart aches....thank you for this post!

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    1. I cannot imagine losing my Nana. I am thankful for our time together!

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  13. This is so sweet. Grandmas are such amazing women and yours seems so incredible and loving. This post really made me think about how much I love mine. Thanks for sharing, Kristin!

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    1. Thank you for reading, Autumn! Almost losing her was a big wakeup call. We have always been close, but I realized that I didn't call nearly as much as I should have in college, and I am trying to do a better job.

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  14. Your Nana sounds like an amazing woman! Such an inspiration! :)

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  15. I really connected to this post! I feel the same way about my Grammy. She is truly the strongest, most amazing women I have ever met. She is 86 years old, but still has a ranch that she works on everday. No matter the circumstance, you will always have at least a 3 course meal when you stop by that is made from scratch. Her yard is always mowed and perfect...I just don't know how she does it! But she says she just lives day by day and keeps moving! She is my inspiration for living!

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    1. That's amazing! I bet your Grammy is pretty wonderful to be around! I know that if my Nana were able, she'd still be a busy-bee and working hard. Her mind still works hard and she plans and designs in her head, but I know she wishes she could be up, moving, and being active.

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  16. One of the hardest things about living so far away from my family is that I can't go get a grandma hug when I'm sad or stressed. Her strength and caring just radiates and makes me feel better.

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    1. Yes! That really is hard. When I was in college I missed out a lot on Nana hugs. I wish I had cherished our time more when I was home for breaks and stuff. But I can only move forward and cherish our time now.

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  17. It is wonderful to have such a strong female role model right in your own family...she sounds like a great lady

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    1. She really is, Kim! Thanks for reading!

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