In Others’ Words: Change

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” ~James Baldwin, African-American writer


Let’s take a can change/can’t change look at this quote.

Can Change:

It’s Wednesday. How’s your week going? Look at that To Do list you scribbled on Monday — or formatted on an Excel spreadsheet, for you uber-organized folks. What do you need to change today so that you achieve satisfying forward motion the rest of the week?

Can’t Change:

It’s Wednesday. Are you facing something you can’t change? A disappointment? An illness? A no when you dreamed of a yes? A door slammed shut in your face?

I’m sorry. Truly. I’ve been there. More than likely, I’ll be there again.

You may not be able to change your circumstances — the no, the illness, the closed door. But you can choose to face it. ย Choosing to face something challenging, something you’d rather take a pass on, is a kind of change. Think about it: You’re changing your mindset. Doing so allows you to decide how you’re going to face the problem. Realizing you can’t fix it isn’t the end … sometimes admitting you can’t is the beginning.

In Your Words: What kind of change are you facing today?

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  1. January 25, 2012, 6:08 am   /  Reply

    Love the quote! You’re post reminds me of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, she would put challenging/troubling thoughts off for tomorrow. While that can be healthy at times, we do have to face our problems…they don’t just go away.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 6:19 am   /  Reply

      Sometimes we can step back from a problem for a moment … or two. But, yes, there comes a time when you have to take ’em on –even if it means acknowledging you can’t change the circumstances — but you can change your attitude.

  2. January 25, 2012, 6:12 am   /  Reply

    I’ll never forget the day we lost the state grant that paid my salary…and was so surprised by my attitude. It happened at a time I was focusing on trusting God, and walking in Romans 8:28. Literally, the first thought I had when we were told the grant would not be renewed was: I can’t wait to see what better thing God has around the corner.
    That better thing? A federal grant that allowed us to take the abstinence message all over the United States.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 6:20 am   /  Reply

      You had your focus, your heart, rooted deeply in the right place, Pat.
      The solid ground of Truth.

  3. January 25, 2012, 6:17 am   /  Reply

    Similar to repentance, change usually means changing direction. As recently as yesterday, another writing friend showed me I was going the wrong way , kindly encouraging me to take a fresh look (and a deep breath). I’m back at the starting point of that particular chapter and feel good about it.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 6:21 am   /  Reply

      Change means being willing … people who aren’t willing stop changing.
      A most excellent point, Dee.

  4. Jill Kemerer
    January 25, 2012, 6:30 am   /  Reply

    What an encouraging post. I agree, we don’t have control over many things in our lives, but we DO have control over how we react. And knowing God loves us and is always there with a shoulder to cry on? Priceless.

    Have a wonderful day!

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 7:22 am   /  Reply

      Those shoulders to cry on — so, so valuable. The people in our lives who are there for us when the circumstances won’t budge … I don’t know what I’d do without ’em!

  5. Karen S. Elliott
    January 25, 2012, 6:32 am   /  Reply

    I think a lot of people fight change because it takes them out of their comfort zone. I try to embrace change – the good ones – and work through the difficult ones. Change is a challenge at times. But change you cannot control? Get over it and go with the flow.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 7:23 am   /  Reply

      I confess, I’m better at the getting over it aspect of change now than I was when I was younger. Way-too-much angst in my 20s. Way-too-much.

  6. January 25, 2012, 6:47 am   /  Reply

    Change is definitely challenging.

    I’m trying to learn to really embrace it. Because there aren’t many constants in this life, but change is one of them. Err…wait. That was confusing. But you know what I mean!

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 7:23 am   /  Reply

      I absolutely know what you mean, Katie! And with only one read-through!

  7. January 25, 2012, 6:57 am   /  Reply

    Can’t change: this ugly world
    Can change: my attitude while I live in this ugly world

    Working on this. Trying not to let some things consume me. Trying to see what God is going to do to help me advocate. More on this later.
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 7:24 am   /  Reply

      Your comment pretty much sums it up.
      Looking forward to hearing your “later” thoughts.

  8. Jeanne T
    January 25, 2012, 7:29 am   /  Reply

    One change I’m walking through is watching the kids grow older and make some choices that I can’t control (when they’re away from me). Not a bad thing. My husband and I are changing our views of them, as well as learning how best to train and direct them in new ways, and trying not to break their spirits in the process. I’m being vague, but I hope this makes sense. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 7:56 am   /  Reply

      Wise parenting decision, Jeanne. Don’t break their spirits, mold them.
      I think there were times I may have come close to wounding my children’s spirits — so not meaning to! I would go back and change that if I could.
      Thankfully, love covers a multitude of mommy-mistakes. (My interpretation of 1 Peter 4:8). Love changes things.

  9. January 25, 2012, 7:31 am   /  Reply

    Today I faced the change that my old, comfy jeans were out of style and I am wearing…skinny jeans. With heels. Yeah, I like to join trends a couple years late. (Give me a year or two and I might join Pinterest.)

    But more seriously, I actually tend to crave change. I appreciate my routine, but I need to switch it up now and then. So for me, I actually think the harder thing is facing what isn’t changing… ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t change what isn’t changing at the moment – but I can change my attitude. You always get me thinking, Beth!

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 7:58 am   /  Reply

      Rock those skinny jeans and heels, M-Tagg! And I so get the whole 2-years-behind-the-trend attitude.
      Hhhhm, do I crave change?
      Not so much.
      I crave … roots.

    • January 25, 2012, 7:59 am   /  Reply

      Melissa, I’m only recently rocking the skinny jeans too. And I have not joined pinterest either. We DO have a lot in common!

      • January 25, 2012, 8:31 am   /  Reply

        I think we are destined to be buddies, Lindsay!! I can’t tell you how much courage it took me to pull on these jeans today…so far, no one has openly winced. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Beth Vogt
          January 25, 2012, 9:44 am   /  Reply


        • January 25, 2012, 9:47 am   /  Reply

          Rock’em, girl!

      • Beth Vogt
        January 25, 2012, 9:41 am   /  Reply


  10. January 25, 2012, 8:01 am   /  Reply

    I can’t change the fact that sometimes I get headaches that spoil my perfectly laid plans to write after work. But I can change how frustrated I get and remember that physical ailments are sometimes just part of this world…and stressing about them won’t help my headaches go away! In fact, they probably make them worse!

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 9:43 am   /  Reply

      I’ve dealt with migraines through the years, so I understand about headaches wrecking plans. And having dealt with vertigo for the past 8 months, I understand the frustration of physical stuff getting in the way of life, both writing and real! Attitude is key … attitude and faith.

  11. January 25, 2012, 8:26 am   /  Reply

    So true. Too many things we can’t change in this life, but I can change how I respond. I can learn from my circumstances. I can seek ways to give God glory in them. I can comfort others who find themselves in the same situations.

    Loved the quote.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 9:44 am   /  Reply

      I appreciated your blog post today because you talked about ways to help strengthen my attitude, my perspective about life.

  12. January 25, 2012, 9:09 am   /  Reply

    I’m trying to change my activity level. Exercise is definitely at odds with writing, except that it’s great for brainstorming. Have fun working on your new book!


    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 9:45 am   /  Reply

      I’ve read too many articles lately on how unhealthy it is to sit, sit, sit, Debbie. So, yeah, I sit some of the time. But I try to make sure I move too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Loree Huebner
    January 25, 2012, 11:29 am   /  Reply

    I’m experiencing a few changes on my writing journey. All steps forward, but changes.

    I loved the quote.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 12:50 pm   /  Reply

      Forward motion, even unexpected, is still movement in the right direction, Loree! Embrace it!

  14. Charity Hawkins
    January 25, 2012, 1:05 pm   /  Reply

    Diapers. What change am I facing today? Diapers. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry, that’s the first thing that popped into my head!

    But that’s today’s season, and one day there will be no diapers to change, which brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. There is sweetness in every season.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 3:12 pm   /  Reply

      Diapers — yep, sometimes that’s what needs to be changed, alright. No option to not change those.
      We go with the season of our lives … lesson applied.

  15. January 25, 2012, 1:51 pm   /  Reply

    Changing your mindset–yes! That is the action that I turn to when I hit the slump on the to-do list. It’s the only thing I can control. Thanks for the reminder Beth because today I hit one of those midweek slumps and I needed it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 3:13 pm   /  Reply

      I’m just dragging myself up over the mid-week slump, Coleen. I think there’s a reason for those: fatigue. So, I changed the game plan a bit and I rested.
      Now, I’m back at it, “it” being writing.
      What else?

  16. Patti Mallett
    January 25, 2012, 5:10 pm   /  Reply

    Thank you so very much, Beth for posting this wonderful quote. I am also giving thanks to God, who inspires you. I won’t go into how it is perfect. Just know that it has blessed me tremendously.

    • Beth Vogt
      January 25, 2012, 5:39 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you.
      Your words touched my heart so sweetly.

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