▪️DON'T QUIT

I stopped.

I can say with all honesty that it has been a “non-stop” summer for me. I’ve been running full throttle since June 1st. All the while wondering when there would be rest in my schedule. Some days I pined for margin, even so I dragged myself to do the next thing in front of me. I’ve been careful not to glance or think too much about what’s coming up on my calendar. Instead I kept to the task of making short “must do” lists, added regularly to the ongoing, “must do soon” list I was keeping, and focused on getting things crossed off. One by one. It’s not been ideal, but somehow I’ve navigated the demands of the summer and reached my port of call, back to school week.

It’s right here at this intersection where I am tempted to stop. Sure, I wouldn’t call it quitting, I’d just stop. Like a silent death I’d slow down all the doings of my agenda and let the momentum wain. Until eventually there would be nothing. That is how we stop. Permanently.

A port of call is designed to be an intermittent stop on a longer journey, not a destination. Giving into the hustle and bustle of everyone else’s life is a deadly temptation, not for them, but for me. Yes, it makes the sailing in your life smooth. There is nothing to rock the boat. Because you have no course charted, no destination to reach.

I can’t give in, I must adopt a NO QUIT mantra, even if it’s only for this week, or even today.

That’s what happened to me 3 years ago. I stopped. Just after I reached 50 blog posts, life happened and I stopped. I could probably cry and ocean of tears thinking what might have been if I’d only kept going. Steadily moving forward, one word at a time. Where would I be now? Why did I stop? I’ll tell you…lack of perseverance. I didn’t have what it takes to push through the choppy water and stay on course. Guess what… here I am, just over 50 blog posts again and what am I most tempted to do? You guessed it, stop.

As I tie off this week to get everyone else’s life moving forward, I am tempted to stop, rest just a little too long, put the engine in idle. If I hadn’t already learned what stopping does, I would have an excuse, but this time it would be QUITTING.

When you’re tired and worn out, you are tempted to quit. However, when you don’t, eventually perseverance will kick in and you’ll make it through to the other side. Take a brief rest and move toward what’s next. It takes courage to do what’s next.

Even if you don’t want to, you don’t like it, or it’s boring. You do it because every time you choose not to quit you make yourself stronger. And that stronger you is who you want to be when you’re not bogged down by all the day to day stuff. You want to be that stronger version of yourself when you have the margin to travel, because traveling all be it fun, requires a lot of work and energy. Or margin for you to go back to school, which by the way also requires a lot of stamina. Or wherever your destination might be. The reality is that most of the things you wish you could be doing if you weren’t consumed with the day to day rigors of life and being there for all your people, require you to be strong.

Isn’t that what perseverance is for, to make us stronger? If you’re like me and are thirsty for margin, take a drink from the promise that right now you are strength training and your future self will thank you for it. This summer I settled for less margin knowing that an hour or two here and there would need to be enough to get me through. Even though I wanted much more. And this week will be the same, tie off for a few then get back on course.

Here’s to pushing through the tough and facing the head winds that lead to a fulfilling destination. Don’t stop, don’t quit, keep with me. We can be courageous together.

▪️DON'T QUIT

There I was fixing my gaze on the early rising sun as it cast a shadow of a million diamonds across the sea in front of me. Our yogi modeled a tree pose, I think. I’m not really sure what I looked like, all I knew is that I had to fight through the wobbling. My leg struggled to find balance beneath me. I had to find stability. I admire stability.

I’m blessed to be a part of a church where Joyce Meyer, almost annually, preaches. There was an occasion several years ago when she was teaching on leadership. She remarked that she had only written one book on leadership, this book is now 20 years old. It’s one of the few books of hers that I own. She spends a considerable number of words on the topic of stability and how it relates to capability. I’ve revisited these words a time or two. There’s nothing inside of me that feels stable right now. I’m just being real. It takes courage to be real.

When we’re faced with a season where hard resides in every direction it’s easy to lose our stability. Sure, usually we can find one pocket of life to retreat to when other areas are tough, yet when all the pockets appear to be sew closed we might panic. I’ve been in this place a lot lately. I think that explains the extra long showers, binge movie watching, and mid day dog walks. I’m simply trying to stay stable. I’m taking breaks.

Oddly, I’ve noticed something recently, somehow I’ve developed the ability to persevere through a 3 step decorative paining process on a piece of furniture-which would have eluded me in the past. Yet, today’s problems have me threatening to quit, almost daily. I guess that means that learning to persevere, not quitting, is ongoing. There will always be new tests that require us to cultivate more courage in this area.

Maybe Joyce is right, stability does release capability. I’m now stable enough to get through the tedious 3 step painting process – like a pro. I’ve become capable for the painting task. Today’s trial however, I shouldn’t expect to be a cake walk. I haven’t had to persevere through anything like this before. Which brings me back to my wobble.

When I’m wobbling to the point of falling over, completely losing my balance and stability, it’s time to take a break. Taking a break isn’t quitting. It’s the courage to be real and say, “I can’t take any more…right now.” If you’re in a place like me where you want to quit because the going is tough, I’m here to say the tough don’t always get going, sometimes they take breaks. If you need a break today, I hope you take one for yourself, your future self depends on it.

As always, be strong and courageous,

▪️DON'T QUIT

Label it what you please, coincidence or divine intervention

You know that ‘thing’ that happens. When you get pregnant and suddenly you can see every pregnant woman in your line of sight; as if all other humans have faded into the background of errand running and to do lists. Or when you’re car shopping and you slowly find yourself teetering between the vision of yourself driving that prize every time one passes you; while wondering why it now appears that you see that same set of wheels at every other stop light. You know that ‘thing.’ When what you’re paying attention to seems to pop up around every corner.

Well, I collided with that ‘thing’ when I shattered my wrist. That is, when it came to advice. Believe it or not, in the several weeks following my surgery I met at least a dozen other women who had suffered a similar injury.

Label it what you please, coincidence or divine intervention, but these messengers where all packing the same advice. “Don’t quit the rehab.”

Rehab has a lifecycle of its own. Mine began with a first session that was so painful, after having completed my exercises, I had to promptly alert the therapist that I needed something cold and to sit, as I was on the verge of fainting. This was much to her surprise as I had steadily endured all of her cues without so much as a flinch. After tending to me she gave me a firm rebuke and chastised my ability to mentally block out the pain my body was experiencing. I know, I need counseling. A day did come, before I was released, where I had healed enough and had pressed through the pain with feeling. This was the day when my natural inclination would have been to throw in the towel early on PT, sign my own discharge paperwork, and rush back into my old life; had it not been for all those messengers repeating; “Don’t quit the rehab.”

It takes courage to see it through to the end.

I don’t think any of us starts something and declares “I will do this right up to the point that I’m almost successful and then I will quit.” I don’t think any of those women who earnestly advised me planned on quitting rehab before they were given a clean bill of health. Yet, ALL of them did, they ALL quit.

It was as if they had returned from the vast abyss of regret to warn me, “don’t quit.” They were ALL left short of complete healing. Limited mobility, chronic pain, and physical disfigurement reminded them daily. I’m thankful that against all odds, measured by my previous behavior, I chose to heed their advice. Today I have full mobility, no pain, and no disfigurement other that the scar that reminds me of what could have been. All because I didn’t quit.

Friend, I can’t guarantee if you finish that the outcome will be 100% successful, I can however guarantee that if you quit it there is 100% chance that it won’t. Whatever your “it” is right now, see it through to the end. Don’t quit.

Be strong and courageous,

▪️DON'T QUIT

What if this time I don’t quit.

When I look around it’s utterly amazing to me that I have organized my quitting. I’ve actually financed it, dressed it, and created space for it. Folders with bright feminine designs and sturdy three ring binders – all stuffed full of my quitting.

I guess I had never really had this perspective before today. The collection of devotional outlines from miscellaneous group meetings, prayer guides, Bible studies, etc.

It was like visiting a writing graveyard. A wasteland of my quitting.

What if instead of all of these papers scattered here and there, gently tucked away, I would have kept to it.

Would I have a book by now?

Instead I have a glorious collection of false starts and a lack of perseverance.

Today I stumbled along a blog post in which the writer shared that after 12.5 years they were “pressing pause” on their blog. My knee jerk reaction, “I’ve spent just over 12.5 weeks blogging, 12.5 years, NO WAY!”

BUT.

What if on the other side of my weekly blogging commitment (to you lovely people) I have indeed written, published, and have a book to regard, not another frilly folder stuffed with outlines, story maps, and edits.

What if this time I don’t quit.

What if this time I make it across to the other side. I traverse the expansive evolution from writer to author. What if.

It’s hard to persevere when things get tough. It takes courage to envision your breakthrough.


I call this blog “Moments with Melissa” firstly, the practical, my name as a url was already in use, and secondly, I thought it would be easy to remember.

It ends up however, the blog knew what it would become, a passport to travel with me. We’re learning companions.

When I pause long enough to reflect on the moments of my everyday life, the moments that have created a ripple in the puddle of my emotions, I can learn something.

Where did I squirm? Where were the moments that with wet wings I found myself slowly emerging with the grace of a Monarch? Where did I find myself learning to roar?

Where was I cultivating courage?

Yes friend this is a learning. It’s an everyday, moment by moment journey to somewhere we are all destined to arrive. The commitment to cultivate the little bit of courage that each of one of us has received as a gift, is a daily journey to somewhere.

“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2 : The Message

Something has been arranged for us. Do we have the courage to find it?

Our courage needs to be opened, enjoyed, and put to good use. Courage is a virtue that makes each human full of potential. We shouldn’t leave it on a shelf collecting dust. We should employ it.

I know the working is hard.

We’re not quitters, anymore (if that’s been an issue for you), we’re finishers.

What is begging you to finish?

Household project? Legacy gift for your children/grandchildren? College Degree? Unfulfilling commitment/obligation? Personal Health/Fitness Goal? Paying off old debt?

Believe friends, believe in your breakthrough.

I come to you in honest companionship. With a deep sigh and faint heart, the quitting has kept me from everything I’ve always desired for myself and my life. But with great resolve and a smidge of courage, today I decided not to quit, I just showed up again.

Thank you for doing this with me 💛.

Look at your moments this week and share with us how you lived out the “finish what you start” mantra?

Until next week friends, be strong and courageous,

If you’d like a weekly spur to cultivate more courage, I invite you to join our community. Just share your name and email at the top of the page.

▪️DON'T QUIT

And there it was

As I gently slowed the car while approaching the stop light God was already responding to my gritty prayer.

This year I have inadvertently committed to read through The One Year Bible – again. Some of you feel intimidated by that statement, well don’t, anything I do with consistency is a miraculous act of God. Give Him the glory.

This particular morning’s reading included Genesis, shamefully detailing the hot mess that was the family of Jacob. If you are unfamiliar I highly recommend you read from… oh let’s say Genesis, Chapters 28-35. You will definitely come away as I did, encouraged, whatever state your family is in – there is hope. 😂

In a gracious response to my prayer God reminded me of what I had just read hours earlier. Why? I needed the encouragement.

The drive to school felt more like being a soldier stationed in enemy territory than it did being a mom. Locked in the confines of my Honda Pilot I was exposed to hostel sibling infighting – it had almost brought me to tears. It wasn’t even 8 a.m.

Even though this was not an encouraging parenting moment, God in His immeasurable kindness reminded me of Jacob and his brood. And as He did I thought to myself, “at least we’re not that bad.”

And there it was.

A tiny rep to give me strength, because courage is like a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

ATTRIBUTE #2 : DON’T QUIT, Persevere when things get tough, make ‘finish what you start’ a personal mantra.

Parenting has made me stronger that any other adversity I’ve ever faced. It causes me the most pain and begs every cell in my body to scream “Uncle” – or “I give up”, “I quit”, “I can’t”, “I won’t”, “I’m throwing in the towel”. It’s my kryptonite.

On this day I needed to be encouraged that there would be better days.

Truthfully, sibling infighting is normal and I need to realize that it’s more likely than not that I will have much harder days than this one. Day’s that want to break me – days that will require more COURAGE.

So today… I #cultivatemorecourage one tiny rep at a time.

That’s our conversation starter for this week friends,

ATTRIBUTE #2 : Don’t Quit.

What in your life requires the most perseverance and how are you going to make ‘finish what you start’ a personal mantra?

Can’t wait to hear from you…and as always, be strong and courageous.