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FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY … Where a beautiful crowd spends five minutes all writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em. 1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 2. Link back here and invite others to join in. 3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community. Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right. OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on: QUIET

When I saw the prompt for today’s 5-Minute Friday, nothing came to mind immediately. Write something from a scripture verse or a quote, I thought.

Quiet Strength emerged from my pondering. Books bearing the title have been written by former NFL Coach Tony Dungy and about Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks, both individuals who exemplified quiet strength in their approach to adversity and in their leadership styles.

First Lady Michelle Obama, a example herself of quiet strength and grace is quoted, ” … I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity.”

So what is this quiet strength? It is the ability to exercise influence without aggressive methods or an authoritarian manner.

It speaks of persons who manage the hard knocks of life and no matter how severe the blows, they find a way to get back up, stay in the fight, and rise to the occasion. With fearless determination and resolve, they live their lives with this undergirding of quiet strength that pushes, lifts, settles and establishes them purposefully and effectually. They are change agents, fence jumpers, ceiling breakers, and ultimately champions for others, including their children and families, communities, and associations.

Quiet strength is somehow unseen and seen at the same time. It is the essence of a person that you cannot see, but is manifested in ways that are keenly visible and tangible. I saw it in my mother as she worked to provide the best for us; I’ve seen it in my Pastors’ wives as they live in a glass bowl observed by glaring stares and imposing expectations of others; and I see it in spiritual leaders who are committed to their call and vow to God no matter the weight of that calling.
This quiet strength, unseen yet seen.

“The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.” ~ Ecclesiastes 9:17(NIV)

**This took longer than five minutes.