Courage image - Ribbon in My Journal

Finding Courage in the Face of Life’s Challenges

Phyllis Inspiration 40 Comments

I love Winston Churchill’s quote: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Courage is something that many of us struggle with in the challenges of our lives. It is not uncommon for a disappointment or failure to knock the wind out of our sails, leaving us weak in our efforts to go forward. Courage is something that comes from within us and becomes weaker with each passing disappointment. That is why the part of the quote “failure is not final” is so uplifting.

Failures come in many forms. We often associate failure with a business loss or job that has been eliminated and we feel we have failed. Neal and I traveled to Montana this past summer as I shared with you in an earlier post. One of the highlights for us was our morning coffee and breakfast at a tiny little place called the Coffee Pot. The little cabin was actually divided into two sections: the coffee shop with its small tables and delightful pastry offerings, all homemade there, and the pottery side where the most beautiful handmade pottery was displayed for sale.

Upon inquiring, the owner came over to speak with us. She was just delightful as she shared her story of the Coffee Pot. She and her husband had moved to Montana to start over after losing a business. She said they came with the talents that they had and a desire to start over. She was a great cook, and he was a master potter. They came up with the idea of a little place where they could offer wonderful food to their guests. He made the wonderful pottery for the shop, and each customer was served on his beautiful creations.

As the demand for these marvelous serving pieces, mugs, and plates increased, he put a workshop in the back of the shop, and there he made beautiful pottery to sell. Today they ship pottery all over the country. As customers pile in for their treats, they often leave with a lovely piece of pottery and a bakery box filled with delicious food.

The smile on her face was radiant as she told how God had blessed their talents and desire to start over after a failure. Her courage was inspiring to me. It wasn’t easy and it took hard work, but their courage to begin again was evident in her story. I came away with beautiful memories of our week there and the wonderful time we spent every morning at the Coffee Pot.

If you are struggling with starting over today, take courage. Find that inner strength that comes from God, and let it fill your heart and minds as you take one step at a time. The times in my life where I have experienced failure, it began with baby steps as I navigated my way forward.

Look at your talents and opportunities. Take inspiration from those around you and be strong. Each day brings a new journey.

What inspires you to take courage and press on?

Celebrate Sept/Oct 2015 cover


Comments 40

  1. What a beautiful, encouraging post, Phyllis. And it’s obvious from the remarks in return that you have touched the hearts of your readers–because all of us need courage, new heart to face the inevitable trials of our lives. Thank you!

  2. This quote will go on my mirror to encourage me as I cope with spouse with Alzheimers.
    Thanks for the encouragement and beauty your blog never fails to deliver.

  3. Thank you Phyllis for your encouraging post. I lost a job this past July that was really important to me and one that I thought was my final step back into a productive life in my profession. I was blindsided by the loss of this position and I have since had to put real effort into not allowing myself to fall into the trap of calling myself a failure. I worry a lot about having to put the pieces back together AGAIN but I take a deep breath and think to have courage. Thanks for reminding me about taking little steps forward. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. My son is my inspiration to keep going.

  4. Thank you for the encouraging words of September 17, 2015. Your inspiring words are a feast for the soul, just as the beautiful photographs and articles in VICTORIA AUTUMN BLISS are a feast for the eyes, mind and heart. I wish the best for you and yours for this fall season – my favorite time of the year.

  5. What a lovely story! I love Churchill quotes and that’s one of my favorite.

    Your story reminds me of how my father lost a successful business through his business partner’s embezzlement when I was a baby. But my father began again after moving the family to Charleston, SC. I was blessed to grow up there and to see my father succeed again, although not in his own business.

    He became a Christian only after I was in college and thereafter always said, “It was God’s will to get us to Charleston so my baby daughter could become a Christian and make sure we would all be in eternity together. If that meant suffering through all of that, then so be it!”

    My precious father died in 1987, but I will see him in eternity. He never gave up and kept working hard for his family and His God.

    Thank you for your wonderful inspiration today!

  6. Thank you Phyllis for such a Precious and encouraging story. You are such a Godly lady and I am so Thankful and Blessed to be able to follow you and read your magazines. Sending Gods Blessings and Love. Cheryl.

  7. I’ve been dealing with a big disappointment for the last week and have been “talking” to my mom, whom I lost 2 years ago, to help me not care so much. I think she’s speaking to me through your words, Phyllis. Thank you.

  8. My Granddaddy Divine always ended his letters to his children with these words: Children, be strong and courageous in the Lord…from Joshua 1. In our world today, we need to be strong and courageous to lovingly…but firmly…stand up for what is right and good in the sight of God. He is faithful…always…and may we be likewise because, though it may cost us, we have everything to gain when all is “said and done”. If you study history, you will see that “apathy” is the last step to the fall of every nation. I pray that many will be willing to be strong and courageous in the face of adversity as our nation faces challenges that only God can fix. Thank you for courageously sharing and for all those who are being lights in our world today. God bless each and everyone.

  9. Thank you Phyllis for the beautiful words of encouragement today ! Just what I
    needed. My Prince Charming of 62 years passed away 3 months ago. I have held it all together fairly well with loving help from our six children, their spouses and the grandchildren………However, today is the first almost Fallish day here in So Cal.
    The sunlight is different, the slant is lower, the garden looks softer……..and I am
    overcome with sorrow and loss……We loved the Fall season, often taking trips
    to celebrate our anniversary month of October……I read your words and felt the
    spark of them……I will take courage ! I will get out the decorations he loved so.
    I will buy potted mums for the patio! I will go on, praising God for all my blessings!

  10. Phyllis
    My mother went to heaven one week ago today. In many of my notes to you I have mentioned her and all the wonderful things she has taught me. My heart is broken but I do have the strength of God inside. Just as Carmel mentioned, I went every day for over a year and spent hours with her. I don’t think you will ever know how you have touched so many of us with your inspiring words. Exactly the words I needed to hear today. The tranquil waterfall and autumn colour is so peaceful. I will summon the courage to begin this new journey. God Bless you, Phyllis.
    Dianne Sharpe

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful memory. I have been blessed. Trusting in God and following His path leads to new and exciting challanges and experiences :-).

    1. "We need to put God back in the classroom", my response is "Fine. Which one?"The people that want to put prayer back in school assume that the prayer is going to be the one THEY say on Sunday. My contention with putting any kind of religious content back in public schools is that on Day One, the Muslims will be there throwing elbows under the basket, demanding everything be their way, from the lunch menu to editing the history and geography books.

  12. Phyllis,
    As always you have shared from your heart and your words have touched mine. I could literally picture you and Neal sitting in that little coffee shop sharing with each other and inviting the owner to share her story with you. You are an inspiration to everyone who’s path you cross. I love you my sweet friend and I miss you and Neal.

  13. True, true, true. And beautiful. This post will be blessing to anyone who reads it.
    And I want to add that the artistry in the October issue of Victoria really touched my heart. I love all the issues, all the photography, always…but capturing the special feeling of the light in autumn, that is hard to do and each photo reflects such an appreciation for the kind of light we have at this upcoming time of the year. Seeing the beauty in the grayness, in the dimness, instead of everything vibrant, that is a testament to the artistic eye of your team. It truly touched my heart!

  14. Thank for the Churchill quote. One of the museums here in Atlanta had an exhibit of Churchill’s landscape oil paintings which were all beautiful. One interesting note is that after the war he encouraged Eisenhower to begin oil painting and E. did and gave Churchill a landscape he painted and it was also in the exhibit. The quotation came at a good time for me since I have been ‘down’ from nerve pain after surgery and cannot do all the things I love to do. Your words are always uplifting !

  15. Bless you Phyllis, I’m on my way to spend the day with MOM who is in hospice care and I spend hours with her every day. I feel it is such a privilege for me to be with her. Our personal short conversations each day I shall never forget and treasure. It’s an honor to be with her as she was a Warrior for me my hole life. Your article touched my heart and I Thank You. I cry all the way home and Thank God for these precious days with her. Carmel

  16. Today I am finding encouragement from your comments. Sometimes we are more open to the help we find, and today was that way for me. Thank you for saying just the right things at the right time.

  17. Words to live by…thank you Phyllis. I take inspiration from those around me. The volunteers that give their time and love at hospitals, charities, schools and old age homes inspire me to get up, dust myself off , and carry on!

  18. As always, Phyllis, your blog leaves us with information and/or encouragement. Whenever I see “the Ribbon in my Journal” I grab a cup of coffee, my iPad and find my comfortable chair to sit a read a bit.

    Thanks you again.


  19. What inspires me to take courage and press on includes articles such as you have written. My children and grandchildren are also inspirations for me. Thanks for you blog. All you do and give is appreciated.

  20. Phyllis, I was touched and inspired by your post this morning. Thank you! Sent with great appreciation for your ability to share your thoughts so eloquently. Sally

  21. Dear Phyllis, This is what I’ve actually been doing for the past year! I’ve wanted to have a yea room since I was give. After I retired from the school district in 2013 from a stress related hospital stay. I told my husband my dream and he told me to go for it. Have started catering because I don’t want to start this venture in debt. So baby steps it is and I pray every day for guidance, direction and opportunities. Thanks so much this just reverberated with my dreams.

  22. What a wonderful story and quote today. Very uplifting and we all need that often and be encouraged to pass it on to others. The couple starting over are such an inspiration and look how much they are giving to persons lucky enough to visit that coffee shop. Every person leaves better than when they came if only for the hot coffee and treats baked with love. So much better than hiding out brooding about their unfortunate situation whatever happened! Churchill knew a bit about failing and as he told the Brits during the war……never give up, never give up, never give up.
    Blessings to you and all who read your wonderful posts. Ruth

  23. Phyllis, always uplifting reading your posts. Going through a little “cancer” for the 2nd time (although different types), and the various treatments that follow. When I have a pity party, I think of all the soldiers, who have lost body parts and have to start all over again; learning to walk, write, secure employment, etc. It makes me thank God that I’m so fortunate to have thousands of people praying for me, sending cards (Angel Mail), bringing food, etc. I am truly blest and will make it through this challenge.

  24. Hi Phyllis!
    I can always count on you for beauty and inspiration, but your post today really hits home. I am very close to someone who is going through a difficult time, as it relates to their job and I really appreciate this post. I will be passing along the Winston Churchill quote and hoping that I can continue to encourage this person to reach beyond where they currently are.

    All the best to you!
    xoxo Elizabeth

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