In Days 201 and 202 Chet shares 10 practical steps to build our resilience based on Dr. Dennis Charney’s innovative studies on resilience. All are of value in work and in life. Not surprisingly to those familiar with BTL, all 10 practices align with our BTL Essentials. From Build Your Optimism, to Build Your Core, to Build Your Emotional Intelligence…and everything in between. BTL has 12 Essentials for Leading Self…we go the extra mile.
I’d like to share a bit about one of my best Builders in life and how she embodied every one of these principles of resilience. I have been blessed beyond measure by God with great Builders in my life. All of whom I have learned from, all of whom have challenged me, encouraged me and have modeled the way, through joy and pain.
One of my best Builders was Mrs. Ann King. Actually she was an unlikely Builder for me, however she is one who I still think about and give thanks to God for bringing her into my life when I needed her wisdom most. Ann embodied all 10 practices of building resilience in life, plus many more that are too rich to contain in a simple formula or through mere words.
Mrs. King was the widow of Dr. Charles King, pastor of First Presbyterian Church Houston for almost 3 decades. First Pres Houston has been an influential church body since its founding in the 1800’s. Dr. King was a solid leader, and a no-nonsense preacher from the old school.
Mrs. King lived through much and was the most kind, gracious, faithful, and generous person I’ve known. At the time I met her she was a long-time widow of the pastor emeritus, and still a most beloved member of the congregation. Truly she was loved by us all.
I was a newlywed to an assistant pastor (LA) at the church, in 1982. Fresh out of grad school I worked in the oilfield equipment industry in Houston and sported a hard hat and heels. Not exactly the model of a pastor’s wife, especially in that era. I am certain dear Mrs. King knew ‘O Lord, this girl needs help navigating what she doesn’t know in her new role and life.’ Mrs. King was right. In fact I never found an instance when she wasn’t right.
As a Master Connector and Builder she reached out to me. She took the initiative. Leaders initiate. I was blessed to meet with Mrs. King every Sunday afternoon for over a year. I listened. I learned to ask good questions. I shared challenges we faced. I learned to ask for prayer. I listened. I listened. I listened.
Mrs. King embodied resilience with optimism. She lived through much challenge, hardship and loss. Throughout the time I met with her she was in her last years of life and was living in an assisted living facility. Hers was a lovely apartment, filled with the things that evoked beautiful memories most important to her. And as she was Building me it was easy for me to forget that she couldn’t see me any longer. Her eyesight had faded yet she didn’t let that stop her from focusing fully on me, listening like an animal being stalked. She was still Building. With grace.
One of my keenest memories is the plaque on the wall opposite where we would sit for our visits. I looked at it with full humility every time knowing her earthly limitations as she poured into me.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8