calling, discouragement, encouragement, God, Jesus, Sherrinda, spiritual


Photo by Stuart Miles

A nugget from last Sunday’s sermon has stayed with me all week. It had to do with the root word COURAGE. We all need courage in our lives. Courage to stand up against the evil one. Courage to take a step of faith wherever God is leading. Courage to do something we have never done before. Courage to live in joy in the midst of a world prone to burrow in the mud of politics and other worldly views.

But COURAGE is just the root word of a couple of other words that we deal with daily.

DISCOURAGEMENT – We have all dealt with discouragement. But let me tell you, Satan puts the DIS in discouragement. He is the one who steal our courage, instilling fear and doubt. He doesn’t want us to live boldly in this world. He was to rob us of a life of freedom in Jesus. He want to enslave us to fear and discouragement so that we are ineffective for God’s mission in this world.

ENCOURAGEMENT – There is nothing sweeter than encouragement from a friend. But the Holy Spirit is a friend that gives us encouragement like no other. The Holy Spirit is the one who fills us with COURAGE, giving us hope and a reason to live bold for Jesus. When we soak in His words, His teaching, His love, we can be filled to overflowing and have something to offer the world…the knowledge of Him who is able to immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine.

Friends, let’s be ENCOURAGED. Let’s let the Spirit of God fill us so that we have the COURAGE to live boldly for Jesus, becoming more like Him, spreading His love around to all we come in contact with. Let us throw off the devil and his schemes, letting DISCOURAGEMENT roll off our backs and not be entangled by fear that ensnares us in its grip.

Now go out and ENCOURAGE someone today. Someone out there needs you to be Jesus to them, sharing love and joy in the midst of discouragement.

encouragement, life, motivation, My Book Therapy, writing

Blessed by Dr. Reba of My Book Therapy

As a member of My Book Therapy, I have the opportunity to sit in on weekly webinars given by various Coaches on the MBT staff. Last night Life Coach Dr. Reba J. Hoffman spoke and her topic was Dare to Dream. She had stories and tips to move us forward to living our dream.

I was blessed by Reba’s words.

She had asked us to type in our struggles in living our dream (the webinars are interactive) and several shared. Reba’s encouraging and motivating words were like life to me. You know, many times you read advice over and over and it doesn’t sink in; but when it is personalized and directed right at you, it is as if your very pores are open to absorb the essences of the advice given. You are receptive. You care, because the person talking to you cares. It makes a difference.

And you know what? She gave us her email so that when we face down times or discouragement along the way, we can write her and receive encouragement for the writing journey. How awesome is that?!?

You can check out Reba at her awesome blog or at MyBookTherapy.

Who has spoken words of life to you recently?

Weight Loss Update: I lost 1.6 pounds this week, so actually, I have stayed about the same this month, with all my fluctuating. But I feel like I am back on track – feeling better and ready to tackle getting healthy.

discipline, encouragement, personal, writing

What My Son Has Taught Me

Last night was the post season basketball banquet. Sure, there was good fajitas and lots of sweet tea poured out, but what was so special about the night was watching my son get his plaque from his coach. It was a huge moment in my eyes, because last year he was on the 9th grade B team. This year he was a starter on the JV team. I realized in that moment my youngest child has a lot to teach me.

Hard work pays off. After my son’s 9th grade season, he would get his basketball, go outside and shoot around. He did this every day, even through the summer –  and I’m talking 100+ weather here in Texas. At the start of school he asked us to take him to our church gym, where he would set up chairs on the court and maneuver around them to develop dribbling skills. He worked hard, and it paid off.

Make use of the tools that will help you succeed. My son decided he needed protein shakes to help him gain weight and build muscle. He drank three shakes a day even though they don’t taste all that great. And while he didn’t gain that much weight, he did gain muscle to made him strong.

Surround yourself with people who will help you. While my son has a built in support system in us, his parents, he also had friends he could text and go play a pickup game of basketball.

Coach Whitfield and my son

Don’t give up. At the beginning of the basketball season, my son was still sitting on the bench. He would be one of the first picked to go in after the start of the game, but he was not a starter. That might have made some people give up trying to better themselves – but not my son. He kept practicing and shooting at home, even after a long practice at school. He kept drinking those shakes. And it paid off, because it wasn’t very many games into the season before the coach made him a starter.

There have been so many times I have wanted to give up my writing. Fear, slow progress, doubt…all that makes me want to give up sometimes. But when I look at my son, I take courage. He has been teaching me that working hard will pay off. I need to write every day and build up those writing muscles.

I need to work on the techniques that will make my writing shine. I need to utilize the tools that I have. Writing books need to be read and highlighted. Conferences need to be attended. Websites need to be utilized ( – I just became a Team Member!).

I need to surround myself with other people who “get” the whole writing thing. I have my fellow Alley Cats at The Writer’s Alley who are always such an encouragement to me. I have developed online friendships that help me grow as a writer. I have family members who are cheerleaders and encourage me to keep going. There is a huge support group for writers, and you just need to jump in and be an active participant in the world of writers.

I am proud of my son and for what he has accomplished. He is an inspiration to me and I wish I was more like him in so many ways.

beginning, challenge, contests, discipline, encouragement, fiction, time management, writing, writing fun

Speedbo and Me

I am embarking on a new adventure this month and it is called SPEEDBO, hosted by the incredible ladies at Seekerville. If you have heard of NaNoWriMo or Book-in-A-Month, then you know what kind of adventure I am talking about.

SPEEDBO stand for Speed Book…I think. It is all about writing a book in a month, or at least write as much of a book in a month as you can. You set your daily word count. You don’t have to share if you met your daily goal. You just write the most you can, every day. Simple as that. I’ve even added a word count meter in the side bar…look to your right…to keep track of my progress for the month.

Stop by Seekerville’s blog HERE for instructions to sign up. Did I mention they have tons of prizes to dish out for those participating and commenting on the blog? Hmmmm, yeah…they are awesome like that.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up and be my accountability partner! 


Operation: Encourage Casey Herringshaw

It is Pay It Forward time! I have a dear online friend and fellow Alley Cat who has encouraged, supported, and taught me so much. I’d like to honor her and give a shout out to Casey Herringshaw.

Casey is an encourager and on her blog Operation: Encourage An Author she ministers to authors by highlighting their work and praying over them. What a ministry!

Her personal blog, Writing For Christ is about her journey in writing and life and gives voice to the wonderful person she is. Of course, she is a contributor at The Writer’s Alley and has much to offer regarding the craft of writing. She is wise beyond her years.

If you’ve been touched in anyway by Casey, encouraged by her, learned from her, or just think she’s the cutest thing ever, please leave a comment and let her know.

Casey, I love you and think you are God’s beautiful handmaiden, sent to do His work with grace and beauty. Thank you for sharing your gift of encouragement to so many and being a tool for God’s kingdom.


encouragement, writing, writing books

I Am At War & Loving Bell!

I’ve been thumbing through one of my favorite books on writing, The Art Of War For Writers by James Scott Bell. In a previous post, I mentioned the first of his three sections in the book. If you don’t remember…and it’s okay if you don’t…the first section is about Reconnaissance. The mental game of writing. Writing smart, and writing with discipline.

The second section is all about Tactics. It is all about craft. Bell has so many succinct and jam-packed chapters that cover all kinds of issues on the writing journey. He focuses on getting your work to rise to the next level and out of the slush pile.

One of the quotes Bell uses is by Katherine Neville. It spoke to my heart and really sends home the message that we must WRITE! There is no substitute for it.

Write. Remember, people may keep you (or me) from being a published author but no one can stop you from being a writer. All you have to do is write.And keep writing. While you’re working at a career, while you’re raising children, while you’re trout fishing–keep writing! No one can stop you but you.

Isn’t that awesome? Isn’t that motivating? Isn’t that inspiring? I don’t know about you, but I need to be encouraged during every stage of this writing journey. Sure, it is fulfilling, but there is also a lot of doubt and discouragement. We all face it. (If you don’t, then don’t tell me.)

Definitely go purchase Bell’s book. The Art of War. It is a keeper!

Oh yes! I just got a package from Amazon today. (You aren’t jealous, are you?) In it was A Novel Idea: Best Advice On Writing Inspirational Fiction. It has chapters written by various authors, such as: Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Randy Alcorn, Terri Blackstock, Jerry B. Jenkins, Robin Jones Gunn, Angela Hunt, and more! I’m looking forward to this one and I’m sure I’ll share some of the juicy tidbits I find.

What writing books have you read lately that inspire and encourage you as a writer?