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.