To be a woman known for her courage and grace is truly a feat we all pursue. We know such women, whether she's our mother, sister, or close friend. She's so confident in who she is and radiates such an elegance that it attracts the best and brings out the best in us and others. Maybe she's someone we follow online or possibly an idealized woman we seek to be. I can think of a few women that exude effortless courage and grace, namely former First Lady Michelle Obama. She almost seemed to have been born for the role of First Lady.  While in fact it's one she never wanted, but nonetheless excelled at with courage and grace. I'm sure you can create a list of other women that inspire you in such a way. What these women have in common is a level of self-awareness and understanding of who they are. They are rooted in a something deeper and that is what inspires these women to live a life of graceful courage.  They're no different from you and I and I'm sure as you read and reflect on how they do this you'll no doubt notice similarities in your own life. You may well be one such woman and if you don't believe you're there, yet, do note that this is a daily practice on a lifelong journey. So let's start. 

  1. Positivity and Gratitude 

She chooses daily to be positive and express gratitude. Each day, each moment really, we have a choice in how we react to the world. It's not always an easy one, nonetheless, it is an option. To bloom with courage and grace, we must decidedly choose to see the best for our own sake, honestly. We have 100% control over our own actions and words and next to little over others. Yes, we will most definitely encounter situations that bring out the worst in us. I find that awareness is the best defense. Know what triggers you, avoid if you can, be mentally prepared if you can't.  

  1. Belief and a Plan 

She wholeheartedly believes in herself and backs it up with a concrete plan. This is an everyday practice of deliberately examining our values and dreams.  The courageous woman doesn't operate without fear, instead she operates despite of her fears. She takes the necessary and calculated risk that can transform her life into something truly lovely and extraordinary. It first starts within herself. Self-doubts and whispers of failure are not foreign to her, it’s a sign that she needs to root herself deeper into God and His flawless plans and promises for her life. God is faithful and through unmerited grace and favor we are blessed. And again, this is a regular practice of self-love. Some days, some moments will be better than others, nonetheless we must believe and act on that belief.  

  1. Perseverance 

"Courage is grace under pressure" • Hemingway  

She develops courage and grace from persevering through hardship. No life is lived without its share of sufferings. We all go through difficulties in life some are absolute others are relative, nonetheless the women of courage and grace understands that this too shall pass. She perseveres through her struggles with the character of a well-watered woman. This gives her hope that tomorrow will be a better day. She decidedly chooses a positive attitude of thankfulness. And no, this is not a natural demeanor for most but one that we must all sincerely attempt in the face of life's pressures. Just like you and I she is human, so this isn't to say she doesn't have moments of complete breakdowns, she just doesn't allow those moments to break her down.  

  1. Prayer and Meditation  

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. • Romans 12:12  

She makes time for prayer and meditation on a regular basis. With so much going on around the world it is more imperative than ever to set time and space, be it 5 mins, to pray and meditate. Courage requires strength, the ability to pause between life's actions and our reaction. Prayer and meditation are how we can practice pausing in peace so that we can do so in the midst of our hectic lives. Grace requires that we rest and reset before resuming. Making prayer and meditation part of your daily routine allows us to proceed in life more consciously about our decision and who we are as woman of God.  

  1. Love  

Love never fails. • 1 Corinthians 13:8  

She follows the greatest commandment of them all, love. To truly be your best self is to operate with sincere love. When we move through life with love as our parameter we will undoubtedly blossom into women of courage and grace. Choosing love is an act of courage, especially in today's tense social and political climate. People will take offense to just about anything and we have no control over how others will react, but we have complete control over our actions and what we put out into the world. The best we can do is root our intentions in love. A lot of times that means holding our tongues, or thumbs. This takes great courage because we so badly want to set someone or a situation straight, and there's a time for that too, but knowing when is a practice of grace.  

Grace is favor that is undeserved, unmerited, and unearned. It takes immense courage to extend it to others as Christ has done for us. We're all humans on an imperfect journey and a little dose of courage and grace will take us further and make the journey so much more worthy and lovely.  I hope it's one we all strive to take.  

With Love,