Monday 1 November 2010

A Strong Woman Versus a Woman of Strength

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape ... but a woman of strength builds relationships to keep her soul in shape.
A strong woman isn't afraid of anything ... but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.
A strong woman won't let anyone get the best of her ... but a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.
A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future ... a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be unexpected blessings and capitalizes on them.
A stong woman wears a look of confidence on her face ... but a woman of strength wears grace.
A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey ... but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.

I have the above printed on a piece of paper that I keep in my scriptures. (I keep all sorts of goodies like this tucked into their pages) I believe it was a handout given in a Relief Society meeting several years ago. I liked it a lot so I kept it.
I'm not really sure who wrote the piece . . . there is no author that is is attributed to on the sheet of paper, but whoever it was, they really nailed it on the head, at least from where my perspective lies.

I like to think I am more a woman of strength than a strong woman. I think that fostering relationships with others is really important, and while I am working really hard at trying to get my body in shape, if it wasn't for my friendships and loved ones . . . and my faith in God, I probably wouldn't have the strength or courage to do that. They help bolster me when my spirit is flagging, and my life just wouldn't be complete without them in it.

I'm a bit of a wus when it comes to alot of things . . . but I just keep rolling along. I have lots of fears, but I don't let my fears control my life . . . otherwise I wouldn't have a life. I just get out there and do what I have to do, no matter what . . . and you know what? The things I was afraid of ended up not being that scary after all.

It was really frightening when I found myself living alone after 22 years of marriage. I had no job skills (at least that I knew of) and I had actually never lived alone in my life. I'd just spent my whole adulthood with a man that had undermined my self confidence and mental well being to the point where I was even afraid to answer the telephone. I gathered together whatever inner strength I could muster, and ploughed forward in faith, exactly as I meant to go on. There were lots of times I was afraid of failing and uncertain about the future. Lots of times I feared maybe I had made the biggest mistake of my life . . . but for the most part I knew I had made the wisest choice I could ever have made for me. I missed my family and was lonely at times . . . but I saw a woman emerge from the rubble that I liked . . . a woman I hadn't seen for a very long time . . . a woman who knew who she was and wasn't afraid to show it.

I know who I am and I like me. I am not just someone's daughter or wife or mother or friend . . . although, to be sure, those are roles that have helped shape me and are important as well. I am a person in my own right. I have value and worth, and most of that doesn't come from what anyone else may or may not think of me . . . or what I do . . . or even how I live my life. That value and worth comes from the me I know that I am . I am the sum of all my experience in life . . . and a daughter of a Heavenly Father, my innerself or spirit being a part of me that is divine. That ain't half bad!

I've often heard it said that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." and I believe that is true. When the potter wants a more beautiful pot, and a stronger pot . . . he puts it into the fire, sometimes again and again. The end result is a thing of beauty, and much stronger for having been in the fire. I am being honed and refined . . . and I believe that, at the end of the day, I will emerge as a woman of great inner beauty and strength, qualities that I can already see emerging. I'm a flower in the garden of life . . . with roots deeply rooted in the loam of my faith in God and the knowledge of who I am . . . and I will bloom in whichever area I am planted, as ever changing as the garden might be.

Usually when we get home from church we are absolutely starving. Sometimes I have had enough forethought to put something into the slow cooker before leaving in the morning and so we will have a tasty meal waiting. Other times it's beans on toast! Yesterday it was these tasty Tuna Melts!

*Fantastic Tuna Melt*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

The Tuna Melt is one of my favourite things to make for lunch. I’ve tried many versions through the years and have come up with this one, which I think is the absolute best!

2 cans white tuna packed in brine, drained (I try to use albacore if I can find it)
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 - 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
3 or 4 gherkins, chopped
1 large rib celery, finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup sliced black olives
2 small sweet picked hot cherry peppers, chopped
Seasoning salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Softened butter
4 large slices good whole wheat grainy bread
( I like Vogel’s Honey and Oat Bran with Barley, a good bread you can sink your teeth into)
4 slices gouda cheese
4 slices cheddar cheese

In a bowl mix together the drained tuna, mayonnaise, gherkins, lemon juice, celery, spring onion, olives, peppers and parsley. Mix well. Add the seasoned salt and black pepper to taste.

Spread the outsides of the slices of bread with the softened butter.

Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place 2 slices of bread butter side down in the skillet. Spread ¼ of the tuna mixture onto each slice, getting it as close to the edges as possible. Top with 1 slice each of the gouda and cheddar cheeses and another slice of bread, butter side up. Toast and brown on the bottom, about 4 to 5 minutes, before carefully flipping over and toasting on the other side, until nicely browned on that side as well and the cheese melts. Keep warm in a warm oven until you have finished making four sandwiches.

Serve hot, and sliced in half, with some potato chips for a delicious lunch!

In The English Kitchen today, A Simple Almond Cake.


  1. This is a great post and I loved reading it. Can I just say that I think you have addressed positively here some of the things that have been bothering you so badly recently. A real "dust yourself down" sort of post and what I needed to hear right now. Thank you.

    Those tuna melts were something else that cheer too!

    love you loads, xx

  2. Being a woman of strength is more important than being strong I think. Exercise and diet are ok but keeping your faith is what gets us through life for sure. I do love tuna melts and your recipe sounds delicious. I hope your Monday is a wonderful one!

  3. Inner strength, cultivating all our inner virtues, is what will carry us longest I think. The physical body just helps it all along sometimes. Beautiful post today, Marie! Just what I needed when feeling a bit low today. A tuna melt doesn't hurt either. ;o) haha... Happy Week, my friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

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  5. I think we do not realize how strong we can be most of the time. I don't mean physically but emotionally, spiritually, etc. So I guess I am speaking of being a woman of strength. I am always surprised at how resilient we are when we face our fears and move through them. And you are right, when we do, they are not as bad as we had imagined.

  6. what a wonderful post! I loved it all :)

  7. I loved these great comments and thoughts about women of strength. I think I will fix this for dinner tonight..looks so good! ;D

  8. I'm so glad you posted this Marie. I've printed it off to keep and passed it on to my daughters and some friends. blessings, marlene

  9. i really admire you marie. truly. you've been through so much and have managed to come out of it a true woman of strength.


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!