“Never give up…” This is a phrase that has consistently percolated, like one of those vintage coffee makers, in my heart and mind, throughout most of my life. I cannot say that I know from whom I picked it up, but I can say that there is something in this phrase that defines me.

This last year has been one that has been full of trials, but one which has, also, been full of victories. I am thankful for both. Trials are what the Lord seems to use frequently to expose and refine my character; though, I will tell you that it is not always fun for Him to do so. It does, however, scream of His love for me as a daughter of the Most High. He says those He chastens are children. Parents who love their children will train them. And, boy, does He! 🙂

All of that to say, when I began to write the posts about organizing the school environment in August, I had little idea of what an increase of pace my life would take. Each month, while I have delighted in my children and husband, their endeavors and all that has encompassed our little world, I have lamented not making it back to this little piece of cyberspace. I had such high hopes of making a daily habit of it. I still do!

To this end, it seems the Lord has seen fit to use those bloggers who are featured in “Artful Blogging” to encourage this fledgling! THANK YOU. TRULY. FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. This has been a wee little dream of mine, one that I keep coming back to again and again, but I believe it is also an area of my life that I am going to have to learn to “allow” myself to part take in. I used to think that it was “just a whim”. Now, I am beginning to think that it is much more than that. Why else would it consume my thoughts so often? What makes it important to myself and to those who read them? I believe the answer to that question lies in the singular word, “ENCOURAGEMENT”. We all need encouragement and for so many women, including myself, who are running at breakneck speeds, it is nice just to hear someone’s true voice and to see what their hearts have been moved to create, in whatever realm they are creative in. To see that someone is out there doing what they are dreaming about.

I was talking to my husband over this last weekend about the dreams lying around in my heart, and how he would define my character. One of the words he used was “tenacious”. I don’t think he could understand the power of this little reminder of who I am. I needed to hear it and to feel it reverberate through many areas of my life. I don’t give up. It is not an  option, if the calling is from the Lord. For His calling is without repentance.

So, my cyber friends, whoever you may be both now and in the future, I write this to you and to myself, “Never give up…” on what it is the Lord has called you to. It is so important. One last word (words?) I read a quote recently by Anne Lorys that I think sums all of this up quite nicely, she said, “We never know the countless lives we touch when we hit publish on our blogs. We never know the souls we reach or the lives we potentially save through a kind word or an inspiring image.” Our lives are a living commentary of who we are, what we believe and where our hearts lie. And what of our blogs? They are simply an extension of those living, breathing commentaries. Will we DARE to inspire and reach out and touch the lives of those around us today, whether it is through blogging or simply going about our daily tasks?

I DARE us to…never give up.