January 25, 2018

Smiling in the face of disappointment By Vickie Stam

Proverbs 17:22  "A cheerful heart is good medicine.....

In November there was an Arts and Crafts registration day for everyone in the community where my husband and I reside during the winter. This year will be our first full winter in Florida. Retirement really is wonderful!

With two classes in mind, I headed down to the Queensway Center only to be greeted by a long line up folks waiting to get inside. A few of us begun chatting about the various classes that were being offered. Pottery seemed to be the favourite. Even so, it was not on my list.

We were allowed inside the building in groups of ten or so. As people came out - people went in. Some had waited outside up to an hour before the registration time. Their hands held fast to a yellow sheet of paper. Their favourite classes circled or underlined.

The sun was hot that day. Beads of sweat trickled down my back. I just couldn't wait to get inside. I worried that I wouldn't be able to get into one of my preferred classes due to    the number of spaces.

Growing a little bit antsy, I borrowed a friends yellow sheet and read it through for the umpteenth time. Finally a lady counted out a dozen of us and off we went. 

Rows of tables lined the carpet. Chatter filled the air. People were busy scoping out the programs like chickens pecking for food. Bodies were hunched over tables. Noses were pointed down. Eyeglasses were firmly in place. I had trouble finding the right table through the flock when suddenly two blonde haired ladies appeared to be looking at me.

I realized I had found the writing group. I strolled up to the table and reached for the pen. Just when I was about to scratch my name on the sheet I learned the class was full. I was too late! All I could do was write my name in the space ear marked as a wait list. 

By the time I got home my cheerful heart was no longer. I had been so pumped about the writing group that I decided to host a writing group myself. I couldn't help but think about the number of writing classes I had taken over the years and figured if I couldn't get into one I would have enough experience to host one. I hoped that those who were sitting on the wait list would be thrilled to learn that another group was starting. I set my disappointment aside and went to work.  

After getting permission from the arts and crafts coordinator to start another writing group I quickly gathered up my supplies. For more than a month I went over everything I felt I needed. More than once, I counted the dozen handouts to make sure that nothing was missing. I smiled each time I read through the list of things the people signing up would need to know. My excitement only grew with each passing day. The closer it got to another registration day, the more pumped I became. 

On January 6th I gathered my supplies in my tote bag and headed back to the Queensway Center. New people had been arriving in the community daily since Christmas had come and gone. The purpose for this mini-registration was to include those people who were not here during the original sign-up. 

I sat down at the table I was assigned and placed my sheets in front of me along with the book, titled - Writing Your Legacy. When the doors opened only a few filed in. A lady came to my table right away to register. I was thrilled! I had been praying about this group for a while. But as the hour passed not another showed up. I watched the clock on the wall as it slowly crept closer to us wrapping up. 

When 3:30 pm arrived, I saw that I had only one name on my sheet. The sting of disappointment set in once again. My smile disappeared and I gathered up the eleven handouts that were left over. I pitched my book and the few pictures I had placed on the table back into my tote bag. My heart might as well have been in the bag too.

I waited a day before I canceled my class. I prayed that some others would come forward wanting to sign up. I hoped that they had been busy and unable to make the sign up. I was so pumped about starting a group. 

Even though I was disappointed I know that I can try again next winter. God has a plan! I told myself. Cheer up!

When the facilitator of the writing group with the wait list learned that my group hadn't worked out, she invited me to join hers.

God's plan is not always our plan. I trust that he will show me the way. 


  1. I felt so disappointed for you - both times! then, almost like a nice little surprise ending, you mentioned you'd gotten into the first group. It put a smile back on my face. Hope it goes well and you can report back to us how it is going.

    1. I'm not surprised that you felt my disappointment. Writers certainly have a connection to each other's joy and pain. So far the writing group is going well. I've met some really wonderful writers. Heard some interesting stories!

  2. Vickie our hearts and lives seem to follow the same rhythm. I too have started out with great anticipation following various writing paths that have sometimes through no fault of my own ended in disappointment. I'm so happy for your happy ending though and that you were invited to join the first writers group afterall. You showed tenacity in your interest by persuing starting one of your own and I'm glad that paid off in unexpected ways for you. Keep writing. Your post was very encouraging to never quit.

    1. It was a happy ending. Thanks for your encouragement! It so neat that we seem to share many things in common.

    2. Hi writing buddy! In reading your post I pictured myself being there to cheer you on. I was saying,"Don't give up Vickie!" You didn't give up, of course.I had another picture in my head where I was going up to people and asking them if they want to be in your group. I'm in your corner Vickie! That's what writing buddies do. They are there for each other. That's another thing I love about our InScribe blog group. We are in this together. Thanks Vickie, please keep on writing. I'm sure you are a great writing group leader. It takes a leader to be able to smile in the face of disappointment!

    3. Yes, Inscribe is such a wonderful group to part of - very encouraging. I'm so glad that you're in my corner. Thanks, Alan.

  3. I also felt the ups and downs of your story, as you wrote from the heart. I appreciated your determination to find yourself a writing group and I am happy that this worked out for you. I hope you enjoy your winter is warmer climes. May your writing buddies be as encouraging as you are. Thanks for your story, Vickie.

    1. There really are so many ups and downs in a writer's world of writing and that's what makes building friendships with other writers an important part of the writing process. Thanks Sharon!


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