In Others’ Words: Waste Not

broken plate resilience quote O Keeffe 3.5.14 I have CJ, my youngest daughter, to thank for this post.

Her volleyball coach asked each girl to list five things they bring to the team. As we talked about it this morning on the way to school, I told CJ to include resilience on her list of attributes.

For a 13-year-old, CJ has an amazing ability to shake things off. The team loses a volleyball match? Okay. She keeps her head in the game (pardon the cliche) and refuses to give up, give in, or to stop believing they can win the next match.

There have been times when I’ve looked to my daughter to help me adjust my attitude when we’ve had a rough day. Yep. I’m the mom and she’s the daughter — but she’s the one with a strong core of resilience.

Sometimes life shatters like a plate. You stand there in the midst of all the shards of glass and you don’t dare move because your feet are bare. How do you begin to clean up all the broken pieces of what was once whole? How do begin to make sense of it all … or even begin to believe that there could be beauty in all the fragments?

Some people, like my daughter, have an inbred ability to bounce back when life pushes them down. I’ve learned to lean into the strength of others … the prayers of others … and discovered how to bend but not break with adversity.

In Your Words: When life shatters, what helps you bend without breaking? Is resiliency second nature for you or more of a learned response?


Resilience: Bending without breaking in adversity Click to Tweet

When life shatters like a plate … find beauty  Click to Tweet

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  1. March 5, 2014, 7:24 am   /  Reply

    Great post, Beth.

    I think, in some areas of life, I am resilient. In those areas that touch the core of who I am, resilience is slow in coming at times. When I’m struggling through something/to bounce back after a disappointment, I find that talking with friends lends me a fresh perspective. Also, spending time journaling about the situation gives me peace I was missing and helps me to move forward.

    • March 6, 2014, 9:06 pm   /  Reply

      You know, Jeanne, I used to journal on a daily basis. And then … I stopped. I miss it.

  2. March 5, 2014, 12:01 pm   /  Reply

    I do actually think resiliency might be a wee bit second nature to me, but I think I have my family to thank for that. Their constant reassurance and amazing faith built a certain resilience into me, I think…one of the cases of nurture over nature. Haha! But yeah…

    • March 6, 2014, 9:05 pm   /  Reply

      You have an amazing family, Melissa. And having met some of them, I know what (who) I’m talking about!

  3. Susan Tuttle
    March 5, 2014, 1:01 pm   /  Reply

    Definitely LEARNED. I am not a bender by nature, but marriage and kids have been HUGE in helping me learn it:)

    • March 6, 2014, 9:05 pm   /  Reply

      Relationships will either teach you to bend … or they will break ya!

  4. March 5, 2014, 6:54 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, props to CJ for her resilience and good attitude in rough times. I must say, though, that you have a way of seeing God right in the middle of all the broken pieces. You’ve helped me to develop my spiritual eyesight so that I might better see Him, too.

    • March 6, 2014, 9:09 pm   /  Reply

      Dave: I have become more resilient as the years have gone by. I think God’s grace makes us more resilient … embracing his grace enables us to let go of the law which makes us so rigid.

  5. March 6, 2014, 5:07 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful image, and I was not aware of that quote which reflects an important truth. During grad school my kids and I sometimes drove 90 miles each way to church, ending in northern Missouri’s rolling hills. That was there favorite part of the drive where they would urge me to maximize accelerating down one hill to gain good momentum that would more easily take us up to the top of the next. And scripture tells us to remember, or rehearse, the victories and deliverances God has given in the past. So when trouble comes now, I try to briefly think of so many amazing previous victories and wonder how He’s going to do it this time, and thank Him in advance.

    • March 6, 2014, 9:10 pm   /  Reply

      I love your perspective, Dee. And the life you’ve lived. Oh, the places you’ll go …

  6. March 6, 2014, 7:14 am   /  Reply

    There’s an analogy the may be useful, and that is…”How to survive an ambush”.

    There’s only one way, and that is to attack into the ambush with all of the force and violence you can muster. Lay down the greatest volume of fire possible, and advance.

    If you hit the deck, you’ve lost the initiative, and you’ll be cut too pieces. Turning and running – even worse.

    It’s definitely a trained form of resilience, developed through endless drills and exercises, including – at best – live-fire exercises. The more real it is, the better the ‘patterning’.

    Obviously, the OpFor is also trained to expect this reaction as a worst-case (for them!) scenario…but in the real world it’s still a shock, and a determined counter-assault can break almost any ambush, at least long enough to break contact and exfil.

    The moral of this is a less kinetic life is to make this reaction a part of your mental makeup. When life tries to kill your confidence, fight back, hard. Don’t have even a one-minute pity party. As Bono sang in “Stuck in a Moment” – your tears are going nowhere, baby.

    And how do you prepare? Do everything you can to build confidence, and a positive attitude. Don’t read or watch things that get you down, or give you a sense of hopelessness.

    Don’t listen to sad songs. Sure, they can be appealing, they give you a sense of identification, your sorrows have a universal counterpart…

    …blah, blah, blah.

    That stuff saps your strength. And it is your DUTY to be strong, for yourself, your loved ones, and for God.

    • March 6, 2014, 9:10 pm   /  Reply

      Have I ever told you that you are a very wise man, Andrew?

  7. March 6, 2014, 8:14 am   /  Reply

    What an incredible word picture. And I’m loving Andrew’s male perspective. I duck, cover and regroup.

  8. March 6, 2014, 9:06 am   /  Reply

    Great post, Beth. I see myself as resilient and I think I became that way because of bad choices I made that put me in situations where I either bounced back or sank. I learned to adapt. And of course, I rely on my Savior. Now. Not always or I wouldn’t have been in those situations. 🙂
    Have to save Andrew’s comments for a character I have in mind.

  9. March 6, 2014, 8:57 pm   /  Reply

    Beth, thank you. Needed the reminder to keep my chin up today. Guess that answers your question. Resiliency is something I have to work at. 🙂

    So proud of CJ!

    • March 6, 2014, 9:04 pm   /  Reply

      Andrea, I am glad you were encouraged, Andrea. And we have a weekend-long volleyball tourney coming up (Sat thru Mon), so lots of chances for resiliency!

      • March 7, 2014, 12:00 pm   /  Reply

        Have fun at the tourney! I’m sure CJ will shine out there. 🙂

  10. March 7, 2014, 4:06 am   /  Reply

    […] Vogt inspired me with this post about […]

  11. Terri Tiffany
    March 7, 2014, 7:10 am   /  Reply

    I pray a whole lot:) going through many storms prepares me for the next. Trusting that God has this plan for my life andis on it before me. I too love your plate image. Excellent!

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