Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October's Gifts : An Unexpected Email

The Lord knows just what we need to press on. Yesterday, I'll just say it like it was. Despondency followed me around like a stray dog all day. I felt like a big, fat failure on every level. What triggered such a thought isn’t important, but there it was at every turn. That's one reason I took to the yard and played in the dirt awhile. I feel closest to God outdoors, and especially when planting things in the ground. (You can see the results in the photo … sweet, delicious autumn has arrived.) I don’t know about you, but God and I have great conversations in my teensy weensy garden. By nightfall I felt somewhat better, but not my usual chipper self.

And then … this morning I awoke to find an email in my Inbox from a person with a very odd looking name. So odd I couldn’t tell if it was male or female. My first thought was to delete it, unopened, but the fact that it ended up in my Inbox, and hadn’t been caught by my spam-catcher made me think it was legitimate. Not only that, the subject line caught my attention. It was simply, “Adjustments.” I knew I had written a story with that title some time back, so I wondered if this were from a reader somewhere. I would feel terrible if I, unknowingly, ignored someone who had taken the time to write. So, I opened it, and I had myself a good cry. It was from a reader who lives in Saudi Arabia, and here is what I read:

Hello Ms. Dayle,

I guess you are the one who wrote the wonderful story "Adjustments," from the New Moms book of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, right? My heart was so touched and deeply moved by the most beautiful heart touching article I have ever read in my life. The story had a very positive impact on my life. It greatly warmed my heart and gently touched my soul. The author's writing style is very rich and the story is no doubt the heart of the book.

Best regards,

This is not the first time, not the second time, not even the third time that the Lord has lifted my spirits by allowing me to hear from a reader, but it always takes my breath away how He knows just what each of us needs to press on. If you’re a singer, you are humbled and blessed when someone says they enjoyed your singing; it makes you want to sing on. If you write songs, you want to know your song was a blessing. If you paint, you appreciate knowing your art had an effect on someone. If you clean houses, you want to wow the homeowners.

The same principle is true for writers. Nothing blesses writers more than to hear—out of the blue—that something they wrote made a difference in somebody’s life. So … I said all of that, not to boast or appear puffed up, but to encourage you to press on with whatever your hands find to do. Do it all as unto the Lord! In His own time, and often when you need it the most, He will send a message of thanks your way, and it will be the perfect antidote to set you straight again.

Until next time, dear friends, press on!

Just for fun, I'm linking this to the fabulous Inspiration Friday, At the Picket Fence. It's a place to link up anything you've found inspiring, and if you're needing some inspiration, hop on over and be inspired!


  1. So glad you received such wonderful encouragement. God's good like that!

  2. Wonderful to hear Dayle. Doesn't a little encouragement go a long way, especially when you can see God's hand in it too.

  3. What a wonderful encouragement you received. Reminds me of the Bible verse that says, 'he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.'

  4. What a huge blessing, Dayle. I understand the feelings of failure and despondency and I also understand the encouragement.

    No matter what name signed that note, it was God himself who actually inspired the words.

    And friend, I truly hope (and will now pray) that whatever feelings of despondency leave you. In my book, you are a role model of success. I'm not just saying that either!

  5. Jesus is still writing letters with [wo]men's hands. I love it when He drops one in my lap at the most perfect (ever!) moment. And just think how many moments, hours or even days or longer it may've taken the writer to conjure up the guts to write. The same guts to open the e-mail, the same to write it.

    And I've always loved "getting down and dirty" in the yard! Good therapy.

  6. Wow!
    I think we all forget now and then... what a small gesture (such as Hamza's letter) mean to the heart. Touching!

  7. Dayle,
    There are times, I too, feel very "down." I've been learning to knit -I've always wanted to learn and, finally, got the chance. We've started a "knitting ministry" at our church and we are knitting hats and scarves for our local rescue mission. Knitting helps me to "shake off the blues!" Your encouraging words are just what I needed to hear.


  8. I have received emails like this, when I so desperately needed them. I love knowing that what I write encourages others.

  9. Nothing like an encouraging word - I too find outside is the best cure for those down times & time spent with the Lord brings new thoughts to mind.

  10. That is awesome. I had the same type of experience this week myself. Amazing how little gestures of kindness and gratitude can lift your spirits. It's a reminder to me to acknowledge the talents of others around me.

  11. Lesson learned; press on and pass it on!

  12. Wasn't that wonderful?!!
    Everyone needs uplifting at times - I'm glad you opened that email and found God's grace in that moment.
    The pumpkins in your garden look really nice!

  13. That is awesome. I had the same type of experience this week myself. Thanks for remind that moment with my blogger friends, I will share that soon in my personal blog.
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  14. That you can inspire others is truely a gift.

  15. Oh how wonderful! To inspire someone is the bestest thing! :) Kit

  16. This is wonderful. Isn't great when God sends us just what we need at times. I too feel renewed when I work in the yard. Especially among my flowers.

  17. Oh how sweet! I know, occasionally I will get an email from a reader that says they like my blog or tried a project and it makes my whole day...Like your sweet congratulations, thank you that meant so much to me!


  18. I am thankful that just when you needed it, you received it. It is amazing how the Spirit works isn't it?

  19. I have been so busy so I haven't been to Simple Pleasures for awhile and noticed it ended. I am sad to see that but do understand. I met several blogging friends and appreciated the introduction to your friendship circle as a new blogger. I have linked with other sites, but this circle was the kindest that visited back, and left encouraging comments. I will miss it, but thank you for hosting us!

  20. Awesome! I had some of those messages and know how much they mean. So happy yours came on a day of struggles.



Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle