Wednesday, April 8, 2015

For You Who Are Thinking About Giving Up


I wanted to get my nephew a sweet treat for Easter so I asked my sister for his latest favorite. She said he liked Peppermint Patties but to be sure they were milk chocolate, not dark. 

I scoured the shelves of one store, finding only bags and bags of dark chocolate Peppermint Patties. 

I sent my sister a text to confirm {was she sure he didn't like dark?} but she said no, look for the milk chocolate ones. 

I went to another store and again found only dark chocolate. I was beginning to feel as if I were searching for a bonbon at a Parisian chocolatier instead of a common candy. 



But just as I was on my way to a third store, it struck me. 

Weren’t Peppermint Patties only coated in dark chocolate? A quick consult with Siri on my iPhone confirmed it. 

There are no milk chocolate Peppermint Patties. 

I'd already passed up what I needed and was ready to spend a lot more time and energy searching for something that didn’t even exist.

It made me wonder about all the time and effort I spend chasing elusive things in my life that seem to be behind a locked gate or just an iota out of my reach. I think it’s quite possible that what I think I’m looking for doesn’t even really exist.



Have you ever looked in the mirror of your life and found what’s looking back at you is a little {or maybe a lot} different than you imagined and you wish it were different? 

Are you working at a job that doesn't match your God-given talents? 

Perhaps right now you're a stay-at-home mom when you thought you’d be working. 

Or maybe you and your kids set out for work and school every morning when you'd rather teach them at home.



Are you thinking of giving up your blog or your art or whatever it is that brings you joy because you think it doesn't matter?

What do you do when your dreams are a little faded and washed out, your plans are riddled with leaks and cracks, and your ideas are frayed and tattered? 

Maybe it’s hard to even recognize your calling this late {or early} in the game and you’re questioning your purpose.


Even though I try not to compare, I sometimes feel as if I’ve been chasing somebody else’s measure of success that I just can't keep up with and then I wonder if I should just give up.

But I’ve come to realize {again and again} that I either trust God with my future days or I don’t. 

And I can stay down and wallowing when I’m feeling a little hopeless or inferior, or I can realize they’re just feelings and keep moving forward, giving it another try tomorrow.

And maybe what I thought I wanted wasn't really what was meant for me after all.



I have a 1940s book filled with charming stories and colorful illustrations in the style of the Dick & Jane readers. 

As I pulled it off the shelf the other night, the page fell open to a story about children trying to surprise their mother by planting flowers in a kettle. The littlest girl fills her toy pail with dirt and even though it takes a long time to fill the kettle, she does not give up.

I had to wonder if those words were meant to give my heart a little lift. 

{Maybe they were meant for you too?}



Think of what we would miss if we gave up just when we're on the verge of a new vista and we didn't even realize it.

So pull up a chair while I offer you a Peppermint Pattie. {My nephew won't mind -- he has a bag full of them.} 

I wonder if you're starting to feel it too?

It's the sensation of a minty cool breeze blowing the rust off the hinges of that gate we've been circling, as it swings open wide and we walk down a path to our new place of promise.



I'm joining my friends at Bonnie Gray's place at the Faith Barista and at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart. Click the images to come on over!








17 comments:

  1. You were wise to Google it before looking further. There are many ways to persevere and Google is a helpful one. :) Thanks for the encouragement to not give up.

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    1. Lisa,
      Yes, why didn't I think of Google before I went shopping?!

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  2. Gorgeous, as ever. Your words that sparkle. And those ever beautiful images you capture.

    And thanks for the reminder that we don't base our success on what everyone else says or does. We play for an audience of One.

    I love when He smiles down and says 'well done.' Everything else fades from view.

    Thanks for speaking into my life, Valerie ...

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    1. Linda,
      What an encouragement your words are to me today! Thank you for always stopping by with your sweet words -- so grateful for you, friend!

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  3. Valerie- This was so perfect for me today- I cannot tell you how often I think about giving up-(just two nights ago:) and wonder lots of days about what I am doing with my life! It is so hard to see the fruit when you are in the middle of things, you know?! Thank you so much for this encouragement today- your beautiful words and pictures have lifted my heart- with much love

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    1. Susie,
      I am so glad! I think about those very things too, and wonder if I should continue but if we can encourage each other, then I think it's worth it. Your art and poetry speak to all of us -- thank you for encouraging me today!

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  4. "Even though I try not to compare, I sometimes feel as if I’ve been chasing somebody else’s measure of success that I just can't keep up with and then I wonder if I should just give up." This is powerful. I do often measure success by other people's standards and need to realize that success for me is going to look different than success for my friends.

    The other thought that stuck out to me was that "what I thought I wanted wasn't really meant for me at all." There is one thing I am currently doing that is taking up a lot of my energy, brain power, and time, and I've been praying about whether it is really the right thing for me and those involved, even though it is what I've always wanted.
    I will definitely be thinking on these thoughts and seeking God's guidance in decisions I am making for my family and in pursuing my dreams.

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    1. Michelle,
      I love how you are carefully considering if what you're doing that is consuming a lot of your resources is right for you. I am joining you in prayer for your dreams that in time through circumstances and God's whispers to your soul, you'll find perspective! xo

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  5. Your writing is always so beautiful! I love reading your posts. And this one was for me (and many others, I'm sure). I've given up on too many things before it was time, and held on to many long after I should have let go. It's so hard to accept that there's purpose and reason I can't see, and just trust. I hope I can follow your footsteps and work on that kind of faith.
    Christy

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    1. Christy,
      Trusting what we can't see isn't easy and sometimes I so want to do what seems easier -- I'm with you! xox

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  6. Yes this post applies to all of us in one way or another! So encouraging, simple yet insightful. And so very very true....

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    1. Yes, I think we all want to give up or give in or give out at some time in the difficult middle of some places in our lives!

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  7. Oh Valerie, girl you are preaching to the choir! It's just been one of those weeks around here...! But I love your encouragement--- and how we can put dirt in each others kettle so to speak and keep on keeping on. Your spirit is beautiful and I just know GOD alone, in His perfect time (which is sooo hard to wait on sometimes...!) has good things planned for us!! I hope you're having a terrific Thursday! ♥

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    1. Hi Heather,
      Good things planned for us all -- yes, we have to believe that -- and I do!! :)

      Delete
  8. This was such a beautiful post. There are days when I think about giving up. I think it's natural, but when you do you have to keep moving forward. I've never heard that bible verse either and I really needed to hear it today. Beautiful Valerie.

    Kay of Pure & Complex
    www.purecomplex.com

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  9. Kay,
    Thank you so much for reading and I'm so glad you were encouraged! Love having you here, friend! :)

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  10. Yes never give up! Sometimes things just takes longer than our little pea brains can fathom (or at least my little pea brain.) :)

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