Tuesday, June 2, 2015


You may have heard the old proverb “Fall down 7 times, stand up 8.” We all get knocked down at some point, unfortunately it’s a part of life. Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” You may also know it as “grit.” Oftentimes, resilience is something we recognize more in others and fail to see in ourselves. It’s also something that must be tested. You can’t truly know whether you’re resilient or not unless you’ve endured some hardships and persevered. After all, “a calm sea never made a skilled sailor.”
We know all the Hall of Famers and the Nobel Prize winners, those who have triumphed in the face of adversity. But guess what? They often failed just as many times as they succeeded. They endured heartbreak and doubt along the way- but they managed to gather themselves and keep pushing forward. Babe Ruth didn’t hit every pitch that came across the plate, but he kept swinging (so to speak): “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” You never really know when your home run is going to happen, but you do have to have faith that eventually, you’ll hit the ball again.
There will be a time in your life when you are completely blind-sided- when a seemingly normal day suddenly flips, and you feel as though the wind has been knocked out of you. From experience, I can tell you that for awhile, it seemed like I was stumbling along, not sure of where I was going, or on the really bad days, wondering if there was any point in pushing forward. Doubt doesn’t creep in- it has dropped from the sky like a cartoon piano, and you question everything you thought you knew. It’s was at this point in time that I started to rely on my faith to guide me: 2 Corinthians 5:1 “I will walk by faith even when I cannot see.” It really gives a whole new meaning to “blind faith,” doesn’t it? When you’re feeling this down, this is the time to dig deep and have faith that no matter what happens next, you will be okay: “However long the night, the dawn will break” (African Proverb).
The thing is, life is full of peaks and valleys, and some will simply be easier to push through than others. Whatever it is that you have gone through, are going through, or will go through, you will come out on the other side. And then, at some point, things will feel low and dark again. The cycle is going to continue, and it’s so much easier once you accept that the world will keep moving and changing- whether you want to or not. Resilient people may not like change, but they learn to move with it, or roll with the punches Even famous biologist Charles Darwin recognized resilience as the most important survival skill in any species: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” You are stronger than you know- have faith and push on!



As a mother, I can say that there is no greater blessing than my children (and every mother I know will tell you the same thing). From day one, you learn to put their needs first, to feel their pain as well as their happiness. And, despite all the advice and guidebooks about parenting and motherhood, there’s no real book out there with THE answers, The Ultimate Guide to Raising Children (Unabridged). I like to think that we all do the best we can with what we’re given, and that  is what being a good mother looks like. In honor of the day, this post is dedicated to a few lessons motherhood has blessed me with:
Selflessness. As a parent, your needs move to the back of the line, whether this means loss of sleep in the early days as you comfort a crying infant, taking on a second job to make ends meet, pushing your personal hobbies or passions to the backburner to give your child your full attention- these are some common sacrifices made by the average mother. A parent truly understands that “Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being” (Kevin Kruse).
Accomplishment. If you talk to someone who has graduated, run a marathon, or reached any sort of goal that they’ve been striving toward, they will often tell you the same thing: all the hard work, the proverbial “blood, sweat, and tears,” were all worth it in the end. Motherhood feels a lot like that. I wholeheartedly agree that “Motherhood is the most challenging as well as the utmost satisfying vocation in this world” (Nite Ambani). You offer your children lessons and all your love, and yet, you have to accept at a certain point that they are autonomous beings that you can’t control/protect forever, and must hope that you’ve given them all the tools they’ll need to pave their own way.
Empathy. “Motherhood was the great equaliser for me; I started to identify with everybody...as a mother, you have that impulse to wish that no child should ever be hurt, or abused, or go hungry, or not have opportunities in life” (Annie Lennox). This idea extends beyond children- when you get down to it, we’re all someone’s daughter or son. Every one of us has a mother. For me, it took becoming a mother to fully appreciate this sentiment.
Perseverance. The greatest lie I’ve ever heard told to a new parent: “It gets easier as they get older.” Easier? Compared to what? Instead, I’d revise this statement to say that the work doesn’t get “easier,” but it changes in nature. You move from diapers and teething to coordinating after-school obligations and homework to dating and driving to college...even just thinking about it all can be exhausting. But, somehow, you adjust and learn to pull through all of this: “Motherhood is wonderful, but it’s also hard work. It’s the logistics more than anything. You discover you have reserves of energy you didn’t know you had” (Deborah Mailman).
Of course, this is only a glimpse of the lessons I’ve learned as a mother. What is the greatest lesson? Unconditional love- but, this is something better explained through feeling rather than writing