December 9


Have Faith and Keep Going

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If you look around, there are myriad blog topics to talk about. One has been staring at me for about five years — how to have faith and keep going! I’ve had people ask about it, so I’ll explain.

Going Home to Mitford

My very favorite fiction book series is the “Mitford” series by Jan Karon. The series consists of 14 large books and 12 smaller, supplemental-type books. It is the story of a small town in a hanging valley in North Carolina, its people, and their day-to-day, living-out-their-lives, lives – together in community. I have read through the series three times, beginning in about 2003, and have read most of the supplemental books as well.

The last time I read them was in 2020 after itthatshallnotbenamed hit the scene and created angst and fear among the populace. I “go home to Mitford” when I just want something calming and real. It also doesn’t hurt that my kin are from the south, so I understand a lot of the dialect and references.

Light from Heaven

My favorite book in the series is whichever one I’m reading at the time, but I believe “Light From Heaven” nudges out the others as an overall favorite. In it, the main character, Father Tim, quotes a line from one of his favorite poets, William Wordsworth.

A short bit about Wordsworth can be found here as well as a loonnngggg list of the ‘first lines’ of his poems.

have faith and keep going
William Wordsworth

“If thou indeed derive thy Light from Heaven,

Then to the measure of that Heaven-born Light,

SHINE Poet, In thy place and be content.”

I love that quote so much that I have taken it as my own tag-line on my e-mail signatures, and have it posted in my office.

I have been asked why and I answer thusly: If thou indeed derive thy light from heaven (If I believe my talent, gifts, and abilities come from God, and I do – ), Then to the measure of that heaven-born light (. . .so using that talent, giftedness and ability) Shine poet, in thy place and be content (do the thing – do it well, do it to the best of my ability, and be happy.)

So to my friend Stacy, I could say – “SHINE, dancer” or my friend Shawna, “SHINE, teacher” or to my son, Dan, “SHINE, artist” in thy place and be content.

I was so happy to visit the newly-opened Mitford Museum in Hudson, North Carolina last month. Jan Karon lived some years of her young life with her grandparents, not far from there. The school she attended is now an arts and business center. Three rooms of that old school, including her first grade classroom, now house the Mitford Museum.

Have Faith and Keep Going

Fun fact I did not know before visiting the museum: Jan quit school at age 14 to get married, which was legal in the state at that time. She had a child at 15, and from that point on, was self-educated. Her life was not all rainbows and unicorns, but her attitude, love of reading, thirst for knowledge, and unquenchable spirit propelled her to become one of the top-selling novelist of all time. She took the command to: “SHINE, writer” to heart obviously!

I encourage you to SHINE – in your place of giftedness – and be content.

Read more articles by Nancy Ottinger

About the author

Nancy brings a wealth of life and health-care industry experience to her role as a successful and sought-after Master Guide. For over seven years, she has supported and encouraged dozens of MasterKey members to claim their best life. Her members include best-selling authors to best-loved Grandmas, whatever the member's bliss, Nancy's ready to guide them as they discover their true selves!

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  • Thank you for sharing Nancy! I get a picture of a woman that has a burning desire to write about all the characters and their life despite of everything she experiences in her own life. I admire all those women that has left such a grand legacy whilst living their own day-to-day life, often with not much rainbows and unicorns, as you said.

  • As an emissary for peace, love, and #MKE, you totally shine, Nancy! I like your “itthatshallnotbenamed.” Comparable with Chris Wark’s tttga (that thing that’s going around). 🙂

  • Taking example and inspiration from simple people living their life with faith and without artifice, sharing their natural gifts with the world, is definitely one of the most powerful things we can do, thank you Nancy for this timely reminder!

  • Nancy, thanks so much for sharing your pearls of wisdom. It was a great reminder to shine our talent, giftedness, and ability to the world. Do it well, do it to the best of our ability, be happy, and content.

  • Thanks for this wonderful blog, Nancy! I love the beacon you offer asking each person to allow their gifts to shine. My favorite Bible quote which I add to each of my emails is, “Let your light so shine before men so that they may see your good works and glorify your father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16 I also see such a parallel between you and Jan Karon.

  • Nancy, I like this more generous version of similar words that have guided my life from when I first heard them as a teen from John F Kennedy : “Of those to whom much is given, much is required.” Luke 12.48. Thanks for the expansion and the “lightness”!

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