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Many years ago, when I was in the throes of writing the Great American Romance Novel, I was taught an invaluable lesson by a mentor. When you get midway through your novel and the whole thing starts slowing down and sagging, introduce a new character.

Immediately you have something to work with. Who is this man/woman? Where did they come from? When did they come?Why did they come? What will happen now?

I finished the Great American Romance Novel but sadly, no-one wanted it. My first taste of rejection in the publishing world! (Read Rejection.)

But I never forgot that sense of sagging in the middle. What to do? Down on my knees and begging is what I have to do. I see so much clearer on my knees.

I read 2 Tim. 4:2. “Being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.”

By grace alone can I continue and how grateful I am that limitless grace is mine. I just have to ask (Read: You don’t have because you don’t ask.)

When I read 2 Corinthians 6:4-5 and meditate on what those early Christians suffered for their faith in spreading the word, how paltry and selfish my concerns become. I only need to remind myself of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote (although attributed to Emerson, it actually comes from an essay by Mrs. Bessie Stevens) to realize, no, I am a success.


“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Essayist and Poet.

And here is Mrs. Bessie Stanley’s version, an essay entry in the Emporia Gazette, Emporia,

Kansas, that won her the first prize of $250.00

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life was and inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”

Cyber Hugs and Blessings All


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