Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Finding Inspiration in Discouragement by Patty Smith Hall

Sometimes it's tough to find the blessings in our lives and in our writing. Today, author Patty Smith Hall shares her experience in "planting seeds" and finding blessings. -- Sandy

Patty: last few weeks have not been the greatest for me. Health issues of my husband and youngest daughter along with the news that the home we’d lost in Michigan a few years back was still on our credit record and keeping us from buying a new home had taken the wind out of my sails. The writing ministry which I’d had such high hopes for seemed stagnant.

I felt out of touch with God. I mean, I was doing everything He’d called me to do so why was I ready to give up? Why was I investing so much of my time and effort into writing and not seeing any fruits of my labor? I was lower than low.

Then God showed up and showed out, maybe not in the way I’d expected but my expectations are so small in light of what a big God we serve. Last Friday night, after a particularly bad week, I was rolling through my Facebook page when one of the messages in my inbox caught my eye.

“Are you the Patty Hall  who was in Honduras in 1999?”

Years ago, I’d had the privilege of visiting San Marcos with a group called Opportunity of a Lifetime whose mission was to cloth, feed, educate and share the Gospel to the families and children of Honduras. I say it was a privilege because I was going through an equally rough time then. While I might have gone there on a mission trip, it was the people of Honduras, through their faith and totally devotion to God, who ministered to me.

I clicked on the message. It was Noel, a boy I’d found living under a tree in a small village outside of Tegucigala. His parents were dead and he had no immediate family to take him in. He was only twelve, maybe thirteen with no one in this world and no way of supporting himself. One look at this sweet boy and I knew Danny and I had to help. For the next four years, we supported him as he went to school in San Marcos. After his graduation, we lost touch.

Until now.

I friended him immediately and went to his Facebook page. Noel is happily married now with three little girls of his own, and pastoring a church in Naples, Florida. He still has that sweet smile that captured my heart all those years ago. In our conversation, he told me he’d been looking for me for eight years just so he could thank me for giving him a chance, for introducing him to God.

For planting a seed.

It hit me then. The books I write, this writing ministry I have, it’s all about planting seeds. Some, I’ll see grow to fruition while others may only ripen after I’m gone. That thought—focusing on the eternal rather than the present—is what inspires me to write today.    

Have you ever felt as though you're beating your head against a post when it comes to your writing? Share a blessing you've received that you didn't expect.


Shes ready to take back her life . . .or whats left of it.
After ten lonely years of caring for her grandfather, Kallie Huffman is ready to restart her career. Taking a job in the laboratory of New Hope Community Hospital seems like a logic choice until her nursing license is reinstated. Lab Director Jefferson Muster is everything Kallie has ever hoped for in a man. But the prognosis hanging over her head dooms her to a life of solitude.

Hes never needed anyones help. . .until now.

Jefferson Green needs to find out what is killing patients at New Hope Community before tragedy strikes again. A tremendous loss as a young boy shapes Jeff’s harsh view of personal relationships. When help comes in the person of Kallie Huffman, the walls Jeff carefully constructed around his heart start to crumble. But Kallie is hiding something that could drive them apart forever.

Patty Smith-Hall is a multi-published author with Love Inspired Historical/Heartsong and currently serves as president of the ACFW-Atlanta chapter. She currently lives in North Georgia with her husband of 30+ years, Danny, and finds her greatest job in spending time with family and friends. Her next release, New Hope Sweethearts will be available in July on Amazon. 


  1. I heard someone once all those moments "God hugs" and I think it fits them well. He's remaining us He loves us, and we're going to be okay.

    1. Patty, I can't tell you how much that touched my heart. That is what Christianity is all about.

  2. Patty sending prayers. Those times make for difficult days. But they do make us realize our true purpose on earth. You have made such a difference in one life who in turn is influencing so many. Wow!

    And is there a link to your book yet because I am a former lab worker and medical romance junkie!!!!!! Must pre order.

    1. Julie, there will be a link up to pre-order New Hope Sweetheart this week! Thanks for coming by!

  3. Oh Patty! What a beautiful story! You'll never know the reach of your ministry and all the people you've touched for the kingdom until we all get home. Thank you for touching me with your sweet spirit. Love ya!

    1. Paula, what is even more beautiful about this story is that it tied in perfectly to what we were learning in Sunday School last week--to take our focus off of the present things and focus on the eternal. That's what I'm trying to hold on to now! Thanks for coming by! Love you too!

  4. Your story just gave me chills! Thanks for sharing! :D

    1. Dawn, I blubbered like a baby when it happened--God's timing is so perfect! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Patty, I love these moments that Ane so aptly described as God hugs.
    Your story gave me goosebumps. Wow!

    It also reminded me of a similar moment in my life. I was feeling very low and lonely. I don't remember the circumstances. I just remember feeling that I really needed a good hug. (See why I liked Ane's term?)
    I was headed into church and trying to concentrate on praying, but all I could really think was how much I needed a hug.

    After Mass ended, the woman sitting in front of me turned around. She said, "You probably don't remember me, but I was in your 5th grade Science class." I did remember her, of course, and we chatted briefly about her life. Then she said, "I wanted you to know, I'm going to medical school because of you. You made me love science. Now I'm going to study to be a pediatrician so I can help children."
    All I could think of in that moment, was that God had given me that hug I so badly needed. It wasn't a physical one, but it surely served the same purpose.

    I think, when you talk of our writing as planting seeds, that we never can really know the extent of how what we have planted may take root, but we can only trust in His plan.

    Blessings on you. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.

    1. Mary, I love your story! Teachers are some of the most wonderful people on the planet! And just so you know, I've been in contact with two of the teachers who encouraged me to write and thanked them for believing in me.

  6. I had a similar conversation with a friend, just this week about the fruit of our work. Thanks for confirming what I needed to hear. :)

    1. Isn't God great that way, sending confirmation in the most unique ways! I'm glad I be the messenger for you!


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