She is clothed in strength and dignity

Clothed in strength and dignity


Good morning, ladies.  Today, I would like to discuss my mission for us all to be clothed in strength and dignity and introduce a true inspiration.

The words, “she is clothed in strength and dignity,” actually derive from Proverbs 31 in the Bible and have “fashioned” a daily goal for me during the last forty years.

It is in my desire for this blog to encourage you to be clothed in strength and dignity every day, one day at a time.   Our outside armor is important for our confidence, but our inside armor is critical for our legacies and the times in which we live.


Clothed in Strength and Dignity(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Over the weekend, this story and image stopped me in my tracks as I spent moments studying a true woman of strength and dignity. 

She is not royalty…or the CEO of a major company…or a government leader…but she is so much more.

She is a Ukrainian great-grandmother.  Seventy-nine years old and training to fight to save her country.

Look at her closely. She is dressed in a lovely gold jacket…a striking green scarf…and is even wearing a touch of make-up with perfectly polished nails.  She could be any one of us.  She could be a woman I feature on this blog for her great style.

But instead, look above the blush of her cheeks, into her eyes.  There you see a strength, courage, and determination like we rarely see.  She has challenged me to my core.

Yes, her clothing speaks volumes, but her courage shouts above it.

How strong are we… really?  Would I do the same if threatened with losing everything?  I would like to believe that I would.


Clothed in Strength and Dignity

During the times in which we live, women 50+ are needed. It is time for us to bloom like never before.  We are not to be victims but leaders within our families and our communities.  If in the same circumstances as the lovely Valentyna Konstantynovska, would we get up, dress in our finest and pick-up arms?  I am certain there are Ukrainian women over 50 of strength and dignity who have helped to take their young grandchildren to safety and walked hundreds of miles with family to get them to a safe place.  They may also be the keepers of the family stories to share with their grandchildren once this is past.  Most of us may never face decisions this critical, but we all face changes around us to our culture and our countries.   

Yet, I will continue to meet each day with hope and joy despite what goes on…I still look for silver linings.  That is a part of my own legacy…and helps to shore up my strength.

We are not invisible…weak…or victims.  But called to be women of strength and dignity…ready to serve in a variety of ways with courage and fortitude.  How can we begin to develop and grow our own strength and dignity today?  Look into her eyes and think about courage and strength.  What does it mean to you right now…where you are?  I am only asking that you ponder the question…you need not tell us the answer.

I hope her story will challenge all of us.  Please keep Valentyna and the people of Ukraine in your prayers.

I will be back to discuss our outside armor again tomorrow. 

 And, despite it all, will continue to Keep Smiling!

By Pamela Lutrell


  1. Good for her, and like her I can say without hesitation I would do the same. I have “personal protection” that I have trained with to be sure I know exactly what to do in a threatening situation. Actually, target shooting is something my kids and grandkids and I enjoy doing together. She is inspirational because she is courageous and aware, she is determined and was proactive, and I definitely admire her. Like you said, we need to be praying for these brave people. So many truly heartbreaking images, so much to admire in how they are facing such a dreadful situation. Their bravery is definitely inspiring. I want to be that Proverbs 31 woman. I have always read those verses in Proverbs as describing a general way to live as a woman, not as singling out one particular woman in history, but as a general list of traits to work toward and adopt. I will read through those verses again this morning and really think about how I’m doing, and making changes where needed. This is a beautiful post and I’m taking it seriously! Praying constantly for Ukraine and the surrounding countries that are threatened. And us.

      1. Thank you Pamela for such an inspirational article today. It shows the importance of older women and the leadership role we can play in our families and communities. Valentina and the Ukrainian people are in my prayers.

  2. Over the last few years, I’ve been very distressed by actions both in our country and abroad. I’ve watched the recent pictures of citizens of Ukraine who know nothing about guns, getting them, and attempting to figure out how to use them. Seeing individuals practicing with wooden guns initially appears foolish, but then, their strength and determination to do whatever is necessary to defend their country is so courageous and fearless. I’m reminded of a quote from Albert Einstein “ The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” This great-grandmother is doing what she can to prevent the destruction of her world.

  3. There are many other ways to fight with strength and dignity than by holding a gun. I am shocked to the core by your choice. And out.

  4. By the way, this photo comes from a fascist training camp. Just in case you really want to know what you are advocating for.

    1. This is not a post on gun rights or a post on fascism. This is a post about strength and how far each of us would go to protect our families or countries. It is about one woman who has put her life on the line to protect her country. I am not advocating for anything but the key roles we play and to get us thinking about how much strength we really have. You are reading all of the wrong messages into this. I love having you here Catherine…please don’t make this into more than it is.
      Also, that is why I also mentioned the women helping families to get to safety….because there are many ways to show strength!

  5. Thank you for bringing us the true meaning of strength and courage by describing this lovely, brave woman. I appreciate your beliefs.

  6. Thank you for speaking to this subject today. I join you in praying for these people. Having had former ESL students from many corners of the world, including Ukraine, whose families fled years ago, I know the Wolf has been at their doors before. I pray the world can find ways to help bring about a lasting peace, hopefully without us all tumbling into danger.

  7. We must always stand up for what we believe in, and we must try to listen to each other. I’m nervous about images like these, because I don’t know the original source. I’ve chosen to take your heartfelt words seriously, and agree that we must strive to be the solution, the right in the world. Because of our life experiences, we have much to offer. That was your point, and I hear you. That said, while it might feel frivolous to talk fashion during a time of horrific happenings, it can be healthy and worthwhile to take a break, much like we all did during the pandemic. Many thanks for all you do.

    1. Hi Linda…we will be back to the fun tomorrow. I understand the image is jarring…it jarred me…but in a way to challenge me to evaluate my own strength. Sometimes the break from fashion is to just take us to a deeper level. I am only encouraging us to consider our own strength and I pray we will not face these decisions as this women had to. Or as the ones who helped families move did.

  8. God bless us all! Thank you for the most beautiful post, Pamela! I am inspired by the citizens of this beautiful country every day and we can learn much from their love of country and defending it.
    Prayers! 🙏🙏

  9. Joining you in prayer from Fort Worth. What a timely reminder that “there but for the grace of God go I.”

  10. I loved this post and your reminders of how strong we are in our own individual ways! Inspired by the courageous women and people of Ukraine and wishing for quick end to the violence they are enduring.

  11. Thank you Pam. This is a beautiful, and very thoughtful post, and I am with you in recognizing our strength, and praying for the people of Ukrainia.

  12. Beautiful post. These brave people are fighting for their lives. She does have such a strength and dignity about her – like a warrior of old. Joining you in prayer for these people.

  13. Thank you for this post. We should all be praying for the people of the Ukraine. One of our U.S. Representatives immigrated from there. While she is now a citizen of the U.S., she still loves her birth country. Hearing her speak, I realize how fortunate I have always been to live here. I believe that Eleanor Roosevelt said that women are like teabags as you don’t know how strong we are until we are in hot water.

  14. I’m so glad that you brought up the strength and dignity of the people in Ukraine. This is not politics or religion but a humanitarian crisis. In your friend Jennifer’s blog this morning (Jennifer at a Well Styled Life) she mentioned the World Central Kitchen, a wonderful first response organization that is serving food to the families fleeing Ukraine that have lost everything. For those of us feeling a need to help this might be a good option. Praying for peace and happier times.

  15. Thank you, Pam, for this post. I pray for the people of Ukraine, as well as for the people of Russia who are also victims of this crisis though no fault of their own. I pray for peace and strength for these victims and thank God for my blessings.

  16. Pam, thank you so much for facing us forward with grace and dignity, for not looking away! I hope I would have the courage to protect my family, my country and my way of life. I believe that women can, and do, rise to the occasion — that inner strength is beautiful and shines through, making us visible in our own lives.

  17. Wow!! What a fabulous post today!! That picture is so incredibly powerful. I’m going through something extremely difficult right now, and this is just what I needed. To remind myself how strong I really am. I will forever remember the image of the grandmother from Ukraine. God bless her, her family, and all the people of Ukraine. 🇺🇦

  18. Beautiful post! I feel compassion and awe for these inspiringly brave people of Ukraine. How crushing this situation is!! Praying for peace and comfort for all!!!

  19. Thank you for this. So spot on. Thank you, thank you. I hadn’t seen that pic, but it’s perfect for your blog.
    Thanks for your excellent commentary as well. Powerful. Praying for PEACE and safety for all affected by this tragedy.

  20. This gram is my new hero! She is the epitome of courage and determination under the worst circumstances. Yet she is letting the world know who she is- an elegant woman who wants to live to watch and protect her children and grandchildren so they may grow and thrive in the country they love.

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