In Others’ Words: Stronger

There’s a certain music to today’s quote . . . a melody of freedom mixed with a harmony of surprise.

It’s that word “Perhaps.”

Remove that two-syllable word from the quote, and you change it–drastically.

“I am stronger than I think I am.”

There’s a whole other rhythm — a bit of pounding bass drum and blaring horns — when you omit the “Perhaps.”

“Perhaps I am stronger than I think I am” hints at surprising yourself with something you did or something you said.

Look at you.

You’re strong.

Brave.

More than you thought you were.

And perhaps . . . perhaps . . . there are even more surprises inside of you waiting to appear.

In Your Words: When was the last time you were surprised by your strength — or some other unexpected character quality?

NEW: FREE DOWNLOAD OF THE FIRST CHAPTER OF CATCH A FALLING STAR!

Ever wonder how writers are like astronauts? I’m over at the ACFW blog today talking about “Going Dark.” I hope you’ll drop by!

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28 Comments

  1. April 8, 2013, 6:54 am   /  Reply

    Great pic. & I have loved Thomas Merton’s writings–think I’ve read them all. And went to ACFW blog-You did such a great job there, too. I’m so glad you are a writer. You clearly were destined to be. I know you’ll accomplish lots more upward travel!

    • April 8, 2013, 10:27 am   /  Reply

      I love Thomas Merton too — and this quote is so, so encouraging!

  2. April 8, 2013, 6:59 am   /  Reply

    Powerful picture. Makes me feel freer and stronger just looking at it.

    • April 8, 2013, 10:28 am   /  Reply

      My husband is becoming quite the talented photographer. I need to get him into classes.

  3. April 8, 2013, 7:03 am   /  Reply

    I’m sure there are other times, but I think of a couple of occasions in particular when I’ve surprised myself. The first being writing my first fast draft, 94,000 words in 5 1/2 weeks. And writing, “The End.” Also, when I can respond to the kids’ testings without raising my voice and giving tone to my irritation. I’m getting better at loving when hurt. By God’s grace. :)

    • April 8, 2013, 10:29 am   /  Reply

      “I’m getting better at loving when hurt.”
      Powerful.

  4. April 8, 2013, 7:25 am   /  Reply

    I was surprised by my strength when I became a mom, and especially when I had the twins three years ago. Nothing in my life has ever been so difficult, or so truly rewarding, as being a mom. There have been times with all of my children when I’ve had to reach inside and pull out some piece of wisdom I didn’t know I possessed. I give God all the credit, because it’s Him parenting through me.

    • April 8, 2013, 10:29 am   /  Reply

      I couldn’t agree more, Gabe. Mothering has revealed both my weaknesses — and my strengths.

  5. April 8, 2013, 8:15 am   /  Reply

    Hey, Beth! Great photo and comments about strength. The thing that most recently surprised me about my strength is that I completed my manuscript (first draft, anyway). When you’re staring down the barrel of a 300+ page with a blank screen in front of you for page one . . . the word OVERWHELMING comes to mind. But, God is good and faithful. He led me through the ups and downs of creating that first draft. All the while, He was showing me that I DO have what it takes to write a novel. I DO have the perseverance needed. I DO have the talent. I DO have the courage to go deep within myself to bring out the emotions my characters and future readers need me to tap into. I’ve got the strength it takes because God has given it to me, day by day, moment by moment, word by word.

    Thanks for another lovely post. Have a blessed writing day, Beth!

    Andrea

    • April 8, 2013, 10:30 am   /  Reply

      Applauding you and your writing strength, Andrea!!

  6. April 8, 2013, 8:19 am   /  Reply

    I am always surprised when I finish a manuscript after hurting in my neck and back. God always reminds me that His grace is sufficient. It’s humbling (but I’d still rather not hurt) :) .

    • April 8, 2013, 10:32 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Jessica. Agreed. :)

  7. April 8, 2013, 8:36 am   /  Reply

    What struck me about this is that on my own, I’m not very brave or strong. But I’m so thankful we don’t stand in our strength. We stand on the solid rock of God Almighty. I feel stronger simply typing that. LOVE it.

    • April 8, 2013, 10:32 am   /  Reply

      Nodding my head FURIOUSLY, Donna. Yes, yes, yes.

  8. April 8, 2013, 8:37 am   /  Reply

    I’ve been marveling at my daughter’s strength this week. Our German-French major will graduate this June, and she’s managed to get herself a job as a teaching assistant in France. From October-April, she’ll be teaching English in French middle and/or high schools in Lille in northern France. I’m proud of her because she got this job all on her own and is totally up for the challenges she’ll face.

    When I remarked to my mom about how strong our gal is, she reminded me that I did a similar thing when I moved to Germany in my late twenties. Gwynly had to go over two weeks before me to start his teaching job. I stayed behind to oversee our international move and got myself to Germany solo. When I look back, I marvel at the strength I exhibited. When put in challenging situations, we often discover we’re far stronger than we thought. I think that’s one of the reasons the Lord puts a few roadblocks in our paths.

    • April 8, 2013, 10:33 am   /  Reply

      Truly a “like mother, like daughter” experience, Keli.

  9. April 8, 2013, 8:48 am   /  Reply

    I was surprised last week during a meeting in which I finally voiced things I’d needed to say for a long time. A LONG time. And even though I’m still really unsettled about things, I’m thankful that God gave me the right words and the courage to say them. :)

    • April 8, 2013, 10:34 am   /  Reply

      Sometimes speaking up — saying the truth — is the scariest thing we can ever do.

  10. April 8, 2013, 9:14 am   /  Reply

    I think there’s strength in patience. And I’m not a patient person. But lately, I’m making an effort, and with God, it’s possible.

    • April 8, 2013, 10:34 am   /  Reply

      Profound truth, Lindsay. Profound.

  11. Loree Huebner
    April 8, 2013, 9:23 am   /  Reply

    I love the quote and the picture. To me, trees are the symbol of strength. Great inspiration today, Beth!

    • April 8, 2013, 10:34 am   /  Reply

      I love trees too, Loree.
      :)

  12. April 8, 2013, 11:51 am   /  Reply

    For me, so many times I’ve just gone and done something and while I am doing what I think is something that anyone can do, I get pleasantly blind-sided by someone who swears I’m daring and adventurous. I’m pretty sure I have an acute case of “I’m not that impressive-itis”, but I need to remember that very few people have been to the Amazon or gone in a jeep, deep into the remote Andes. Sorry, I hope that doesn’t sound braggy. (I’m SUCH a Canadian.)
    I just don’t think of my self as daring. People who bungee jump are daring!

    But in all seriousness. I had no clue I had such perseverance. THAT has amazed me.

    • April 8, 2013, 8:49 pm   /  Reply

      Surprised yourself, didn’t ya?
      ;)

  13. April 8, 2013, 1:44 pm   /  Reply

    Just after I’ve gotten through with a royal mental battle. Oh look at that, I got through it again.

    Praise be to GOD!

  14. April 8, 2013, 11:29 pm   /  Reply

    I used to think that I was strong, until I met situations that cut my legs from beneath me. Left with nowhere to hide, no pride with which I could ward off the blows, I realized that it wasn’t my strength that mattered, but the strength of He that created me.

    It’s liberating.

    • April 9, 2013, 8:17 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Andrew — my husband and I discussed this after I’d written the the post: How our strength ends with us and then (miracle) begins in a whole new way with God.

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