Thursday, June 18, 2015

Determined & Persistent

Last week I shared a word I've been contemplating, contentment, and I had a number of amazing conversations here on the blog, as well as by private messages and in person based on that post. What I love about the Coffee Cups & Camisoles blog is that I truly feel as if I am sitting across a little café table with each of you, discussing the things that are on our minds and hearts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as we strive to bring you new, insightful, knowledgeable posts every week.

In the spirit of last week's post, I thought I'd share another word (or, rather, words) I've been contemplating this week.

Determined: 1. resolute; staunch: 2. decided; settled; resolved.

Persist: 1. to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc. 2. to last or endure tenaciously.

A friend from elementary school recently posted a picture of my first published book on Facebook, and said this: "Of all my friends, Gabe would have always been my vote for Most Likely to Write and Publish Historical Christian Romances...because she knows what she wants and goes out and makes it happen."

After I read her words, I started to think about what they truly mean. I would call myself a determined and persistent person. My friend was right. I know what I want and I go out and make it happen. I've never been one to sit back and wish for things to come my way. I'm one of those people who knew early on what I wanted my life to look like.

So what exactly is determination and persistence? Where does it come from, how do we get it, and how do we hold on to it?

I'll admit, I don't have all the answers. Sometimes I wonder where my determination and persistence comes from. I believe part of it came from watching my parents (who are very determined and persistent people!), part of it I was born with to do the things God has planned for me to do, but more than that, I believe it's a conscious decision I have to make every single day.

Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."

My parents were married at the age of seventeen and eighteen. They had absolutely nothing to their names when they said "I do." They worked very hard to make a good home for me and my three siblings. We didn't have much growing up, but we had everything we needed, and my parents made the best of every situation. Eventually, they went on to become very successful people. My mom was the mayor of our town for eight years and my dad is highly respected where he works. They built a lasting legacy, teaching me the way I should go. This reminds me how important it is for me to teach my children. I wouldn't be where I am today if my parents hadn't taught me how to be determined and persistent.

Romans 12 says that God has given each of us a measure of faith. Jeremiah 29:11 says that He knows the plans He has for us. Psalms 139 says all our days our marked out for us, before one of them was lived. Hebrews 12 says that we must run with endurance the race God has marked out for us.

All of these things tells me that I am equipped to do the work God has placed before me. He has given me the determination I need to get it done.

I remember a night a few years ago, before I left for my first ACFW Conference, when my husband and I were sitting on our back deck, watching the Mississippi float by. He said to me: "Will you give up if you don't get this story published?"

I cannot tell you what a strong reaction I had to that question! It almost scared me with its intensity. Something deep and beyond myself responded with a resounding NO! I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I would not give up my dream. By the grace of God, I have the determination to keep trying, no matter how many rejections I receive.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV) "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
My determination is also a decision I make every single day. It's a decision I believe we're commanded to make when we're in the service of the Lord. We are to let nothing move us from the calling God has placed on our hearts. I have many callings, as I believe others do, one of them is publication. Whether I want to or not, I cannot walk away. I must finish the race God has laid out for me to run.
I believe this video is a perfect example of determination. It's also a reminder that God comes beside us to help us in our weakness.

What about you? Are you running the race God has marked out for you to run? Do you struggle with being determined and persistent?

Gabrielle Meyer:
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  1. Thank you for such heart-felt sharing, Gabe! :)

    1. Thank you for reading my post, Anne, and for inviting me to be a part of this awesome community. :)

  2. Gabe, thank you for this encouraging post! I struggle in this area. One of the scriptures that I hold on to is Philippians 1:6 (KJV) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for His grace to finish my race strong.

    1. Yes, grace! It's so important. Vital to complete the race. Without God's grace, I believe it would be impossible to do the things He's called us to do. One of my favorite sayings (I have it on a plaque in my entrance) is: The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you. His grace empowers us and protects us to do His work. Thanks for being here, Caryl.

    2. Gabe, I also love that saying. His grace empowers us to do what He's called us to do.

  3. Gabe, I was struck by the age your parents got married. My dad was 17 (had to be signed by my grandmother for him to get married) and my mother was 18, fresh out of high school. They had nothing as well. We grew up lower middle class but just like you I had what I needed, not always what I wanted. I was 27 and my husband was 32 when we got married, quite a change in the next generation.

    1. That's amazing, Gail! My mom was 17 (her parents had to sign for her, as well), and my dad was 18. I look back at my grandparents in the wedding photos and my grandma was pregnant at my dad's wedding! She was only 37, just two years older than me (she was 19 when she had my dad). Very young. My husband and I were 21 when we were married, so not that much older. However, all the marriages I've listed have lasted the test of time. Just like my calling to be a writer, I look at marriage and parenting as another calling that God has given me. Just like writing, He's given me everything I need to do the job well. Thanks for stopping in, Gail, and sharing a bit more about yourself.

  4. I think I've always been determined, from childhood on - it's a family trait and we call it being "hardheaded", a form of stubbornness - if you will. I always knew what I wanted and didn't give in easily - some of my choices met with disastrous results. However, God now leads in those choices I make - I pray I continue to be as determined as He would have me be on the path in which He has placed me.


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