Tag Archive | affirmation

What Would Success Look like for You?

I had a chance to chat with my brother, John Pollard, this past weekend and he asked me an insightful question in regards to my book, Pesto and Potholes, coming out next spring:

What would success look like for you? 

Wow. Of course I would love it if my book sold well and I even made something to compensate me for my efforts to write it. Let’s face it, New York Times Bestselling Author is a nice moniker to claim but for inspirational romance and a debut novel, probably not likely. I can market and do book signings but ultimately, there is a lot of that which is out of my control. I can make people aware of my work, but I can’t force them to fork over their hard-earned cash to purchase a copy.

But I hope you will anyway. 

I told John (my younger and much wiser brother by the way) that ultimately my version of success would be hard to measure. This is totally opposed to any leadership training I’ve had or taught. Objectives are to be measurable!

How do you measure success without it?

The fact is, you can’t.

So what would success look like? Success to me would be people putting down my book and not just been entertained by a story, but encouraged in their walk with God. That they would be affirmed in their pursuit of obedience to Him. That maybe they would draw closer to our Lord because of the example of the characters in the story.

Renate - God loves you

Emotional impact.

Spiritual affirmation and encouragement.

Heart change. 

I can’t measure these things.

But God can. So while I have to rely on book sales and the reviews of readers to clue me into whether my efforts have paid off, God can track the truth with those who don’t write a review, or borrow the book from a friend. Because the reality is, in this life, we rarely are aware of the ripple effect of our words and actions.

And maybe that’s a good thing. It will make heaven all the sweeter when we learn how God used our pain, suffering and art to touch the hearts of others.

It’s months away . . . there’s Thanksgiving to get through. Christmas and a new year . . . so stay tuned here and at my fan page as I navigate this journey. And thanks. Thank you for reading, for praying, and encouraging this fellow traveler in this rocky road we call life.





Living Large (Part II)

BMI Monitor & tape measure

BMI Monitor & tape measure

Another beef I have against those who so blithely condemn people who are not thin, is this:

Do you know their story?

I’m guilty too of looking at people and making rash and inappropriate judgements. I had a meeting with a woman who I had never met before and she was quite large. We started talking and I found out she had LOST 60 lbs. Seriously. Wow. Now this is a woman to affirm and applaud, not put down because she’s not at some ideal spot on a scale. It was a good lesson to me.

I’ve known people (including myself) that have gained weight due to medications or hypothyroidism. See, not everyone who is overweight is a glutton.  It used to be a cop-out to say that someone had a “glandular issue” but the fact is, it is probably one of the most under-diagnosed medical problems out there. I couldn’t put on weight that fast not matter HOW much I ate as when medication messed with my metabolism and I packed on unwanted pounds.

It’s depressing and frustrating to have to deal with. It is humiliating to have to go to the store (even Goodwill) to purchase clothing in a larger size.

Yes. I have often made unhealthy eating choices, but honestly, I don’t think I could eat myself into a 40 lb weight gain in one month. Medication did that for me though. Funny how easily it goes on and how torturous it is to get it off.

This is all to say that we need to look at others through eyes of grace and know that we have not walked their path. Part of my most recent weight gain was due to multiple factors: a malfunctioning pituitary gland (manages metabolism), some thyroid problems, inactivity due to surgery and illness (both me and my kids) and then back pain, and then yes, some comfort food sought when struggling with the pain.

What is interesting is that I will condemn myself for all of it – even the stuff that was beyond my control. Of course there are people out there who assist in that by advising me on how to lose it. What is also interesting is that my medical doctor, physical therapist, physiatrist and chiropractor have not faulted me for the weight issue. They have been gracious and understanding and state I’m doing everything RIGHT. (okay, maybe Cheetos and Pepsi are not on any healthy eating plan, but still . . .). There is compassion and understanding of teh struggle I have faced.

I have also been blessed with sweet friends who compliment me when they see me – on how I look and dress. They don’t tell me I look fat in that outfit (I am fat and will look that way no matter what I wear anyway). I try to be that kind of person to others too. Yeah, we are to be more  than about physical beauty and appearance, but face it, we are visual people and often that’s where some of us have had our deepest wounds and struggle.

All this is to say, be careful who you judge for their weight. I knew a little old lady at one point (she’s long gone now from this world) who would look at an overweight person and say “There goes fatty boom-boom.” How sad, really. As if that woman needed that kind of label.

On the flip side – when I did lose weight I was told by my family that I was anorexic and my doctor at the time never even noticed. Hello! Celebrate the success but don’t condemn the person struggling, because chances are, they are doing enough of that themselves even if the cause of their weight is not totally under their control.

Let’s live with large hearts of love, affirmation and validation for the positive qualities we see in EVERYONE around us instead of looking for the flaws.