Tag Archives: waiting

how to beat the odds, one win at a time

Colette @ awriteheart.comI wish I knew how long the baby had been crying. I’ve been told that after a day or two the neighbors in the apartment building called the police because of the non-stop crying. When help arrived they found him and eventually put the pieces together:  A ten month old baby boy had been abandoned. After his troubled, teen parents fought, they left each other, left him and separately left the state. After five years the boy was reunited with his mother who had remarried an alcoholic man who was mean and abusive. Screaming, yelling, name calling and fighting became the norm in their home. This boy (my dad) grew up, married, had three children and began the cycle of horrible dysfunction all over again. Until, in his 20’s, he knew he must change. For the sake of everyone that he loved and for himself, he knew that he had no other choice but to change. And that’s exactly what he did.

a secret to successMy dad is now 74 and has lived a successful life in every way. He became a strong marine, a wise leader, a compassionate preacher, a black belt in karate, an amazing long distance runner and a terrific golfer. Most importantly, he became a wonderful husband and the best dad a girl could ask for. How does someone change dysfunctional behavior? How does someone with raging anger and a violent temper stop acting the only way they have ever known? How does someone succeed in life when so many odds are stacked against them?

When I asked my dad how he achieved success in life, this is what he said:

“Success isn’t measured by failures and disappointments.  Success is measured by achievement in spite of, and even because of, failures and disappointments. I never stopped learning from difficulty but instead, used them to motivate me. When I understood that I was made for more and that God had a purpose for my life, it changed everything. I never stopped working to be what God had planned for me to be. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have and what was unfair, I focused on what I was thankful for and how good God is. I saw the hand and grace of God in every step and through every season of my life. There were many times when I thought about giving up but I didn’t”.

With a twinkle in his eye he continued, “I just never gave up!”

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Melissa @ awriteheart.comSuccess never comes easy. We have reached the 3 month anniversary of awriteheart blog – which happens to be right about when statistics say that we should be signing off for good. 99% of blogs fail in three months, and Colette and I knew the failure rate when we started. When the idea was conceived, we had GREAT plans for this AMAZING blog, and we were SURE it would succeed because we believed that God was in it. What we didn’t know was that lasting 90 days, being committed for even that seemingly short time, would take more perseverance, prayer, encouragement, and positive thinking than we realized.

Our struggles have been different…I struggle with understanding the website and its language, and I struggle a LOT with time management . I struggle with my ego and my competitiveness when I watch the stats. I struggle with writer’s block, and with finding my voice…Wow, have I struggled with that. There was a week or two when I just couldn’t finish a post and Colette had to fill in for me, which was really humbling for me.  Colette talked me through plenty of days when I felt like the fifth wheel. She encouraged me by reminding me of texts and comments we had received from readers, and of personal accounts they had shared. She showed me that there is purpose in what we are doing, and picked me up when I couldn’t see that vision.

Colette struggles to write with excellence – she struggles with expecting perfection in each sentence and each word.  She struggles with feeling let down when she doesn’t see tangible results. She struggles with putting herself out there and making herself vulnerable by sharing personal stories. There were times when I reminded her that this isn’t about perfection and that God uses even the posts that aren’t the most popular. I dug through emails, texts and comments to show her what God had done with things we had written. I encouraged her to share MORE of her personal stories, because they resonate with people.

Along the way we’ve learned to keep going despite the bumps in the road, and to celebrate the wins. We encourage each other to see the good that HAS happened instead of the good that hasn’t. We see progress not in large numbers or great statistics, but in one life story at a time – one right heart at a time.

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20141109-DSC_9603-Edit2In life and in our endeavor of blogging, success never comes easy. In any circumstance, part of success depends on deciding to celebrate the wins instead of focusing on the losses. Any story can seem unsalvageable – but the decision to see purpose in it and the desire to use every part of our lives to glorify our great God makes all the difference. So we are thankful for the difficulties…the crashed computers, the time constraints, the Facebook glitches, the writer’s block, the insecurities, and all of the other struggles that come with writing. Those difficulties have taught us more about ourselves and about the God we serve.

We are so thankful to have reached this three month milestone. We have seen the hand and grace of God in each step of our blogging journey, and because of that we continue with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts. We are encouraged by YOU – our readers – because of the successes and insights that you’ve shared with us.  It is because of those wins that we are even more determined never to give up.

[custom_headline type=”right” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]To God Be The Glory, Colette & Melissa[/custom_headline]

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If you’ve already subscribed, enter by tagging a friend under any post on our Facebook wall and encourage them to subscribe – the more the merrier!

giftbasketkateKate’s gift basket includes a Foster Happiness designed coffee mug, gift tags and a framed Bible verse. There is also 1 set of Jamberry nail wraps, manicure set, a Zambian wall hanging, and coffee and candle donated from Cafe Macchiato in Spencerport, NY!

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4 things to remember while waiting

Colette @ awriteheart.comI waited patiently in a long line and was relieved to finally be next to pay my bill. Then I watched as a man walked in front of me, bypassed the entire line and stepped up to the counter.  Didn’t he see the rest of us waiting? Didn’t the cashier see the rest of us waiting?  The lady behind me mumbled a complaint and rolled her eyes.  I was surprised at how annoyed I felt but decided to  give him the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe he didn’t notice us or maybe he was in a big hurry.  I took a deep breath and waited….some more.

I wonder if everyone dislikes waiting as much as I do.  Research tells us that an average of 62 minutes a day is spent waiting.  Waiting for appointments, in lines, in traffic,  for tests, for results, for phone calls, on hold, for vacation,  for wedding days and babies to be born.  That estimate may be true for the tangible waiting.  But what about waiting for grief and depression to leave or hearts to heal?  I suspect that much more than an hour each day is spent waiting for these types of things to lift.

So many people in the Bible waited.  Moses waited for promised miracles, Hannah waited to be pregnant, The Israelites waited for deliverance.  Job waited for his trial to end, Jehoshaphat waited for victory.  Leah waited to be loved, Michal waited for David.  Paul waited in prison, Joseph waited to be reunited with his father.  And Anna waited for the Messiah to be born.

I believe that the most agonizing wait in all of history started in Matthew 27:46 when Jesus was nailed to the cross and He said the words “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”.  The sin of mankind was placed upon him and caused him to lose sight of his Father and of truth.  Sin does that… It blinds.  I can’t imagine what his followers thought when they heard those words.  They waited for him to show himself strong, to reveal himself as King.   But instead, at that moment he let out his final breath.  His spirit was gone.  Gone.  Even though they had been warned, I bet this wasn’t what they expected to hear him say. They continued to wait.  Mary Magdalene waited at the tomb and after three long days an angel finally appeared to tell her that “Jesus is risen”. (Matthew 28:17)

The waiting had to be horrendous. Waiting usually is. So often it feels like abandonment or betrayal.  Or like being forsaken. There is such fear in those words… abandonment, betrayal, forsaken.  Although the feelings are real,  truth doesn’t lie in feelings. In order to endure waiting, in the really hard places of life,  we must remember the following things:

God is El Emet: The God of truth

Going through a difficult time of waiting I was sick at heart and very discouraged. A friend said to me, “God doesn’t always deliver us”.  No sooner had those words left  her mouth,  I looked up at the television to see a beautiful scene; water flowing among nature and calm music playing.  The words written in bold letters on the screen were “And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer” (2 Samuel 22:2) Smiling, I chose to replace my friends words with those of the most high God.   During times of discouragment our tendency is to look at feelings and circumstances.  But Gods promises trump everything; promises like loving us with an everlasting love, or that He will never leave us nor forsake us… or the other thousands of promises He gives in Scripture.  Yes, He always delivers, in His way and in His time, because He is the God of truth!

God is El Hanne’eman: The Faithful God

I asked God during a trial “I have served you and trusted you to watch over my loved ones. Doesn’t my faithfulness and trust towards you count?” Before I could take a breath, the phone rang and the answering machine picked up. I heard an older ladies voice, and recognized her as a casual acquaintance from church.  She said ” I felt led to call you. I just want to encourage you to keep serving God the way that you do. It doesn’t go unnoticed. I just wanted to tell you that.”  The trials in my life have very little to do with my expectations of God.  But it has everything to do with my faith in him. With just a few words from someone I barely knew who was obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit, at just the perfect time, I was given strength to endure and to continue on.   God promises to strengthen us during seasons of waiting- Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalm 27:14)   He is The faithful God!

God is El De’ot: The God of Knowledge, the One who knows

I was jogging steadily on my usual running  path. This particular morning I was heavy hearted. An overwhelming trial had come upon me.  I asked God “how could anything good come from this? How could you ever be glorified in this ugly situation?”  That’s when I saw it. A beautiful flower in the midst of ashes. Real ashes. Acres of marsh had recently burned down. The entire city of Rochester had watched the awful televised fire, afraid that it would reach houses and people. It took firemen a couple of days to contain the fire. In the middle of the black ashes, after just a few days, a beautiful flower was growing.   It took me by such surprise.  I stopped my run and snapped a picture of it as a reminder, a living reminder.  That God knows…he knows my heart and cares.   That day he showed me, at such perfect timing, in answer to my questions that He promises to bring beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3).  He knows our thoughts before we even speak them.  Oh yes, He is the God who knows!

God is El Roy: The God who sees

My husband was driving me to the doctor to find out my test results. Melanoma had  been found three weeks earlier. The waiting to see if it had spread was awful. The what-ifs and the what-nows were working to destroy my peace.  Matt pulled over to the side of the road. I was irritated because I wanted to get this day over with. I wanted to be done waiting.  Didn’t Matt realize that?  I certainly didn’t want to be waiting on the side of the road for him to do who knows what.  I didn’t voice my opinions but instead I watched. He was getting something out of the grass and fumbling awkwardly.  I saw him rescue and gently cradle a bird with a broken wing. A sparrow of all things!  And the song burst  in my head “His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me”.  Oh my, what a living picture that was being created for me of Matthew 10:29-31. I was comforted in an instant and knew that no matter what the outcome,  He sees and He knows. God knew exactly what I needed.  Yes, He is the God who sees!

We are promised that all things work together for good to those who love God. So often we must wait for the good to be fulfilled.  In the midst of  waiting….in the daily things and in the the bigger stuff…. may we never forget that He is faithful, He knows, He sees, and He is  truth.  He is our El Hannora, The Awesome God of ours!

Psalm 27:14  Wait on the LORD: be strong and of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

[custom_headline type=”right” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]While I’m Waiting, Colette[/custom_headline]

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Subscribe to our email newsletter during the month of June and be entered to win a basket full of gifts! On mobile scroll to the end of any post to subscribe…On a desktop, subscribe on the right sidebar or in the footer below. OR just use the “Contact Us” tab in the main menu and we’ll do the work for you!

If you’ve already subscribed, enter by tagging a friend under any post on our Facebook wall @ https://www.facebook.com/awriteheart and encourage them to subscribe!

giftbasketkateThis gift basket includes a “Foster Happiness” designed coffee mug, gift tags and a framed Bible verse. There is also 1 set of Jamberry nail wraps, manicure set, a Zambian wall hanging, and coffee and candle donated from Cafe Macchiato in Spencerport, NY!

Sign up today!

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