“Don’t judge each day by the harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you
plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson
Anyone who writes knows there are more rejections, more closed doors, more difficult challenges than there are yeses and contracts.
Some of those rejections hurt more than others and sometimes it is hard to get back on the bicycle or horse, so to speak.
It is a lot more fun to share good news with friends and family than the times we are rejected, especially when everyone knows how much you wanted to hear yes. Not, we are declining…
So, recently when I was rejected by an agent and a publisher in the same week, I was feeling pretty down, until I received an email from a friend I would describe as soft spoken.
Well, she wasn’t soft spoken in this email. If you could be loud in an email, she was loud. She was loudly proclaiming her support of my writing and telling me not to give up in such a forceful encouraging way, I was moved from my place of discouragement to a place of renewed hope.
Her uplifting words made a difference and urged me on. She will never know how much her kindness and support meant to me in those days as I read her email over and over—finding the courage in her words to believe there is a plan and I need to keep working.
I want to live up to her challenge and not give up.
I also want to be the friend to others that she was to me, and I hope I can do that with kindness and support—as she did for me.
Kathy Cheek writes faith-filled devotions and is published in LifeWay’s Journey magazine and Mature Living, and also contributes to several devotional sites, including Thoughts About God, Christian Devotions, and CBN.com.
Her favorite subject to write about is the rich relationship God desires to have with us and the deep trust it takes to live it out. She and her husband of 33 years live in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas and they have two daughters and one son-in-law who also reside in the Dallas area. You can read more of her devotions at www.kathycheek.com.
By Ellen Andersen
I’d been in the hospital for 4-5 weeks, after having had surgery. I couldn’t do anything for myself and had to have somebody at my bedside 24/7 due to the severity of my pain. I needed more attention than the staff could provide with everyone else’s needs there. So Mom and Dad came in shifts. After a time, my extended family realized they needed to help my folks, so Aunt Mina came out from California for a few weeks to give them some relief.
She sat at my side, talking when I needed conversation and just providing her presence when I needed to rest. She, Mom, and Dad worked with the doctors and therapists to help me learn to move my arms, hands, fingers legs and feet again, helping me perform the exercises they assigned.
Aunt Mina recognized our emotional needs as well. When a friend brought her grandchildren and they came in with homemade cards where they’d traced their hands and feet for me to make me smile. It sparked Aunt Mina’s creativity.
A week or so later I got an envelope in the mail. It was from my cousin Gwen, but it wasn’t a letter or card. Instead it had two hands and two feet cut out with the words “feet to stand on. Hands to support you. Love, Cousin Gwen”
Two days later, I got another letter—from friends Bill and Merle Jeanne.
Like the one from Gwen, it had cut-outs of their hands and feet. It was accompanied by Scripture to encourage me in my recovery.
Pretty soon, I was getting lots of letters like this. One was a yellow 12” ruler with the words “Uncle Jim’s Foot” down the center. Another was a paper with tire tracks labeled Uncle Mike’s feet. He’s a truck driver.
“What is this?” I asked my mom.
“I don’t know, but you sure are getting a lot of them.”
“Really? You don’t know?”
“No, I don’t” she answered.
Several months later, after I got home, we learned that Aunt Mina had looked through Mom’s e-mail address book on the sly and had sent out an e-mail to several of their friends suggesting they all trace their hands and/or feet and send it to me at the hospital to make my folks and me smile and laugh. It worked.
Twelve years later I still have those cards to remind me how much people cared and reached out to me when I most needed it. It was a small act of kindness that I still treasure over a decade later. You never know how much you may impact someone in what you do or say.