Ten Tips for Overcoming Discouragement

Rainbow Curbe RMNP

Some days, I wonder why I blog. I try to write on a regular basis, and back in May I looked forward to the summer, when I could enjoy leisurely hours of writing and tidying up the blog and myriad other projects. But life happened.

I’ve felt discouraged because it seems like summer offers less time and freedom than the school year, when my schedule stays a steady cadence from August through May.

Summer, on the other hand, fills up with unexpected camping trips, surgeries, hospital stays, work, projects, family and travel and the days and weeks blur into each other leaving an impression of regret over goals not met mixed with unexpected joys.

This morning, whilst reading 2 Corinthians 4, I realized that I don’t have to try so hard. I only have to try to be faithful. I offer my top ten reasons for never feeling inadequate in whatever job you do:

1. God gives us our ministry (and if gives it, HE will make it flourish in his own time).
2. We need to renounce distortions and deceptions (especially the ones we use to put ourselves down).
3. We only need to set forth the truth plainly and let God guide every man’s conscience.
4. Our audience might not understand because they might not be ready.
5. We should preach God, Jesus and the Gospel—not ourselves or our own agenda.
6. Our relationship with Jesus allows HIS light to shine through us.
7. We are weak and human so that nothing goes to our heads.
8. Our weakness should remind us that Jesus died on the cross for us.
9. Grace should cause thanksgiving—which brings glory to God.
10. We don’t need to worry about the outward stuff—just keep pressing on in a daily relationship with God.

So whoever you are, whatever you do, don’t let discouragement bury you. Each effort you make makes a difference—and it’s ok if you never see the results in this life.

Try your hardest. Don't be discouraged. You DO make a difference! #fmfparty Click To Tweet

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Words of encouragement I’ve definitely needed! What a blessing, Anita. 🙂

    Summer also feels like a crazy busy time for me too, and I miss my regularly writing times.
    Jen Daugherty recently posted…Whether to Even Try {Five Minute Friday}My Profile

  • Hi Anita! I just tweeted that ^! Loved it, it’s exactly what I’ve been struggling with myself over the summer, not enough hours in the day to write, construct a new blog site, keep up with other bloggers, encourage my readers, and write a book (not to mention life outside a computer)!!
    I’m going to remember your 10 tips this week. Especially 1 and 2!
    Blessings to you!

  • Welcome back friend! These words are exactly what I need and your top ten list is one I will be printing out. Your words touch me and teach me. Blessed you were able to join us tonight for FMF. Love you girl!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Five Minute Friday ~ TryMy Profile

  • Tara

    Anita, it’s so good to read your words again. Your words are speaking straight to me tonight. I love summer but it sure is busy!

  • She’s baaack. (Cue the Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, and I am wearing my dark shades as I write this, just for the effect.)

    I would add one other tip to fight discouragement, a bit of wisdom from Mel Gibson in “We Were Soldiers”…

    “There is always ONE MORE THING you can do.”

    This is something that gets me off my backside, when the pain and feelings of futility seem too much to bear.

    I do that one thing. And then another.

    (Reminds me of some dude named Paul, said something like, “This one thing I do…”)
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 37 – Try To Remember {Five Minute Friday}My Profile

  • denise

    awesome list, loved it.

  • Good words and encouragement, Anita!
    Debby recently posted…Five-Minute Friday {try}My Profile

  • great post anita! you got down and dirty didn’t you:) it’s often helpful to realize that our agenda and GOD’s aren’t always the same…but his often accomplishes awesome purposes.

    points 4 and 5 are great! instead of trying to figure out what our audience wants, we need to give them what GOD wants us to give whether it is what they want or not. winsomely of course, but i know that so often the things i read or listen to, move me to next steps in my walk in jarring ways sometimes…because i can’t get them out of my head!

    i have something right now that i can’t get out of my head. it hounds me! but i know change will come as a result. it will be a good thing.
    martha brady recently posted…I’LL TRY…My Profile

  • That’s right sister! Each effort you make makes a difference— Keep at it! You’ve had a hard summer and it’s grace that’s getting you through. You had a plan for these summer days but it just hasn’t played out the way you thought and that’s okay… He works out all things for our good as we lean into Him. Lean into Him and let Him make up the difference! Big hugs and love to you! 🙂 Happy Friday to you!
    Rachel Quigley recently posted…As much as I try, I just can’t do itMy Profile

  • Absolutely true! We look forward to the freedom of summer days, but it turns out that the blessed constraints of a schedule do help us to be more productive in some ways. Just last night, I was watching the adorable grandboy because his dad had an emergency appendectomy . . . who would pass up an opportunity like that? Not me, but, wow! Schedule crasher! Anita, thanks for sharing these thoughts today. They were perfectly timed.
    Michele Morin recently posted…Persuasion: Raising Questions and Opening DoorsMy Profile

    • Michele, I’m sitting here nodding my head with you and Anita! I look forward to more free time to write in summer, but crazy life happens, like a halfway around the world move! I get more done in the school year! I smiled at your word, “schedule crasher.”
      Betsy de Cruz recently posted…How I Almost Lost My Kids in a Circumcision ParadeMy Profile

  • Anita, so glad to see you back. Friend, your words matter. You have an impact! These are great words of encouragement here because we can all relate. (I also feel like craziness happens in summer, and now we’re looking at back to school in less than a month, and my August is CRAZY!) I especially like suggestion #10.
    Betsy de Cruz recently posted…How I Almost Lost My Kids in a Circumcision ParadeMy Profile

  • Anita, I’m so glad I finally have a chance to read you again. I’ve missed you. Of course, I’ve been gone over the past few weeks too. 🙂 I sooooo know what you mean about summer. I had all these great plans of what I would get done. I’m two weeks and counting from my kids going back to school, and I’ve done so few of those things on my list.

    I love your list of ten things to fight discouragement. One thing I would add to it is to make sure my expectations for me line up with God’s expectations for me. I’m learning to live this one out, one day at a time.

    Missed you!
    Jeanne Takenaka recently posted…Try: What’s Your Motivation?My Profile

  • This summer has been a real challenge as our weather in the Pacific Northwest has been constant high temps only in the last few days has it been cooler. We have had 104 degree days and it is so exhausting.
    I wanted to tackle my home and housekeeping and have not done any of it because of the heat. I will not get discouraged as I know fall will be here and my motivation will return.
    Sharon O recently posted…Friday’s word promptMy Profile