Debora M. Coty http://deboracoty.com Encouragement for your journey Sun, 16 Aug 2015 01:35:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Everyday Hope http://deboracoty.com/2015/01/everyday-hope/ http://deboracoty.com/2015/01/everyday-hope/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 15:22:58 +0000 http://deboracoty.com/?p=1321 Continue reading ]]>

A wonderful wedding we witnessed in Italy

One of my favorite perks of being an author is hearing from new friends and getting to know them on a personal level.

I received a note from a reader this week via my website sharing some of her current problems and asking for guidance in finding everyday hope through her faith. I prayed for her, and for leading from Papa God in how to best meet her need. I thought I’d share my answer with you in case you, too, may benefit from a bit of everyday hope:

My dear Erica,
 
Thank you for taking the time to write; it means a lot to me that you’ve turned to me for spiritual guidance. A role I fear I don’t deserve, but will do my best to earn.
 
You asked about everyday spiritual encouragement through scriptures – a crucial thing for believers, to be sure. I don’t know how any of us could go on without daily encouragement. I’d like to share with you my system for daily nourishment from Papa God’s Word – I call it Life Savers, as I talk about in Chapter 4 of my book, Too Loved to be Lost. It’s a simple system for making sure you chew and digest your own spiritual food, and not depend on someone else to chew it for you.
 
Since it’s January, it’s the perfect time tobegin. Here’s how it works: grab your calendar and record one Life Saver from the list below on the first day of each month. They’re short, pithy, powerful, and oh, so sweet. Memo that Life Saver you’ve chosen for that month on your i-device and jot it on sticky notes to post in all the places you’ll be sure to notice – your bathroom mirror, your car console, your chocolate stash, you know, your hot spots.
 
Then every time you run across your monthly Life Saver, repeat it aloud three times and let it melt into your heart. Consider the meaning of each word. Savor the Saver. Suck the joy out of that spiritual treat until it’s completely digested and permanently implanted in your innards.
 
Talk about an infusion of strength! It’s like topping off your gas tank. You’ll be revved up and raring to go anywhere. Plus you’ll be amazed by how many times Papa God uses that very verse to speak to you and through you during that month. By the year’s end, you’ll have twelve new decision-impacting verses memorized. And best of all, they’ll be imprinted on your gray matter hard drive for the rest of your life.
 
Here are a year’s worth of my favorite Life Savers – all twenty words or less – that pack the biggest punch for me. The last four are brand new; I’ve just added them within the past few weeks.
 
1. “God is greater than our worried hearts.” 1 John 3:20, MSG
2. “Let your living spill over into thanksgiving.” Col 2:7, MSG
3. “I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4, NASB
4. “It’s the praising life that honors me.” Psalm 50:23, MSG
5. “Encourage one another and build each other up.” 1 Thes. 5:11, NIV
6. “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.” Phil 4:6, MSG
7. “A gentle tongue can break a bone.” Prov 25:15, MSG
8. “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God!” Psalm 43:5, NLT
9. “Live generously.” Matt 5:42, MSG
10. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Gen 18:14, NIV
11. “God will fight the battle for you. And you? Keep your mouth shut!” Ex 14:14, MSG
12. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Prov 4:23, NIV 
 
I hope you find these Life Savers helpful. I know they’ve certainly saved my life numerous times. There are additional ones listed in Too Loved to be Lost, and of course you should feel free to add you own from your personal reading of the scriptures.
 
I’d also like to send you a copy of Everyday Hope, a little devotional I wrote a few years ago that I hope will help and encourage you. It’s out of print now, but I still have a little stash that I make available at my speaking events. 
 
Please keep in touch and let me know how I can pray for you. And I’d LOVE to hear some of your own Life Savers if you’d be kind enough to share them with me.
 
Hey, that goes double for you, my BBFF (Blessed Blog Friend Forever)! 
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Genuinity in 2015 http://deboracoty.com/2014/12/genuinity-in-2015/ http://deboracoty.com/2014/12/genuinity-in-2015/#comments Wed, 31 Dec 2014 18:22:46 +0000 http://deboracoty.com/?p=1335 Continue reading ]]>

Deb celebrating sunbeams at Blarney Castle, UK

I couldn’t believe it. My hero was not at all what I’d imagined.

I’d run across her obscure but charming little novel in the 80s and fallen completely, surprisingly, obsessively smitten with her wise, witty, resonating characters and the subtle but searing Christian message that gripped my soul.

I’d never read anything like that. Why, I didn’t know it was possible to write like that. My heart was moved. I was inspired. Hey, maybe, just maybe … one day I could touch someone’s heart like that with the written word, too.

I tried to contact her several times during the next three decades – as I followed my own writer’s journey – to tell her what her little book meant to me, but only ran into dead ends. She seemed to have fallen off the planet. Every few years, I’d reread the book and become hopelessly smitten all over again, try to find her, and fail.

By the summer of 2014 I knew by personal experience how very, very much it means to hear affirmation from your readers so I decided to try one last time to reach her. This time, it worked. I actually uncovered an active e-dress and whoa doggies … she responded.

I was star struck. Here, at last, was one of my earliest writing heroes in the flesh. One of the primary motivators that pushed my own writing upward from once-a-year Christmas newsletter status to award-winning author.

As we corresponded and I learned more about her life and teachings, it began dawning on me gradually. Painfully. She wasn’t what I expected. Oh, she was a very nice lady, but not at all what I’d pictured in my fertile imagination and built up to be bigger than life … a super nova Christian. A force of nature so in touch with Papa God that being with her would feel supernaturally like being in His very presence.

It was a bit like the time years ago that I heard Bob Saget open his mouth in a comedy routine and was completely horrified by the profanity that gushed out. What? Who was this rabid impostor who looked exactly like the kind, lovable, squeaky clean dad on Full House all those years I was a die-hard fan? How could this foul-mouthed man squash my well-ordered expectations like that?

Nope. People sometimes aren’t what we expect. Not at all the person we thought we knew.

I guess that’s why I strive so hard for authenticity in my writing and speaking ministries. Genuinity (I don’t think that’s a real word, but it ought to be) is very important to me. Above all, I want to be real – to demonstrate how a sincere follower of Christ can blow it, fall flat on her face, but get up again and know she is just as beloved by her Papa God despite her stupicity (another word that should be), drastic mistakes in judgment, and ugliness. Yes, even ugliness.

Because I think Papa God looks through our ugliness. I imagine He looks at me – and you – through little round Benjamin Franklin eyeglass lenses made entirely of love. The same kind I wear when my preschool grandbuddy does something intentionally defiant but I love him to pieces anyway.

It really makes my day when someone says, “You know, Deb, you write just like you talk.” Good. Raw is good. Transparency is good. Real is good. Especially in fallible people. Like Christians. Because realness is relatable and restores hope. And for cryin’ out loud, don’t we all need more of that?

So my New Year’s resolution this year is to surround myself with more genuinity. And to not just hear someone say, “Hey, Deb, you write like you talk, ” but “Hey, Deb, you write like you live.”

I wish you a supremely Happy 2015, dear BBFF (Best Blog Friend Forever)! What’s your resolution?

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My Bio http://deboracoty.com/2011/03/bio/ http://deboracoty.com/2011/03/bio/#comments Fri, 25 Mar 2011 21:26:39 +0000 http://deboracoty.com/Cotypress/?p=128 Continue reading ]]> Debora Coty is an Occupational Therapist (B.S. From the University of Florida), a piano teacher, and a freelance writer. She’s also involved in the children’s ministry at her church (Bay Life Church) and is an avid tennis player.

One of her favorite books is Christy by Catherine Marshall. She read it nine times as a teenager and named her daughter after the title character.

Debora grew up in Starke, a small north Florida town where Florida State Prison resides.

Her father, Frank, and mother, Adele, made a career in the educational system. They brought up their two daughters under the guidance of the Lord and at a young age both Debora and her sister, Cindy, accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. As it turns out that simple yet heart-filled decision would flavor every aspect of her life.

Debora’s husband, Chuck, is involved in financial planning and is responsible for keeping this website up and running. So sqawk at Chuck if this site becomes out of date.

Her children Matthew and Cricket, have been a joy to raise. Matthew completed the MBA program at UCF and is currently employed at SunTrust Bank in Orlando. Cricket’s a Massage Therapist (LMT) and an Occupational Therapist (OTA) following in her Mom’s footsteps.

Debora began writing to fill the void when Cricket left for college. Writing has become a passion and that can be attested by the many hours she spends each week hammering away on her desktop or laptop keyboard. Matter of fact, her first historical novel, The Distant Shore, was released August 30, 2007 and within three months had climbed to the top of the VRPublishing best-seller list!

Debora has a real knack for getting across sound biblical concepts with a refreshing lightheartedness as attested in her monthly newspaper column entitled Grace Notes: God’s Grace for Everyday Living.

From Deb to you:

2008 was my Debbie Do-Over year. One morning I woke up and realized that if I lived to be 100, I truly was middle-aged and it was time to either do something about my appearance or quit grousing about it.

So I got Invisiline braces to harness my unicorn tooth and lost 40 lbs through Weight Watchers. Going from size 14 to size 2 was a real trip and I learned some interesting things along the way. Like it’s hard to find petite clothes that aren’t cut down to your navel and up to your eyeballs. All the crazy details are chronicled in my book, Too Blessed to Be Stressed.

And if you don’t feel precious to God when you’re large, you won’t when you’re small. How utterly wonderful that Papa God equally loves the chrysanthemum and the buttercup!

Getting to know Debora better…

Special thanks to Suzanne Woods Fisher for this interview found at
http://suzannewoodsfisher.blogspot.com/

Debora Coty, an internationally published columnist and sought after speaker (Deb is a gifted humorist), entered the publishing world at mid-life. With a bang!

Q: Debora, you have written that you consider yourself a “late bloomer” as a writer. What do you mean by that?

A: The fertilizer didn’t kick in for a few decades.

I didn’t start writing until my youngest chick flew the coop; I was 45 and winding up a 25-year career as an occupational therapist and 20-year stint as a piano teacher. Not exactly recommended training for a writing career.

Q: How did you get started as a writer? Did you have specific goals in mind?

A: I was an avid reader growing up and always dreamed of writing an inspirational young adult novel like Christy by Catherine Marshall (I devoured it nine times as a teen). Christy had a huge impact on my life (The escaped hatchling referred to above is named…can you guess?…Christy!). I wanted to touch someone else’s heart and faith the way Christy touched mine. I recently ran across a list of “Five Things I Want to Do Before I Die” I’d written as an idealistic 16-year-old. Number three was “Write a book.” (Number four was “Jump out of an airplane” but I’m waiting until I’m 80 for that one.)

Alas, life, as life tends to do, intervened and college, marriage, career, and babies waylaid my plans. Then one day in the dentist’s office, I saw a magazine ad for a writing contest and God said, “It’s time.”

I think every writer needs goals. My original goals were to write two books (one fiction, one non-fiction) and publish one hundred articles within ten years. It’s been four years now and I’ve had over sixty articles published and have completed three books, so I’ve revised my first decade goals to two hundred articles and eight books. And a partridge in a pear tree.

Q: Do you feel that you have one genre that best suits you? Or have you tried other genres?

A: Um, yes and yes. My first book, a young adult inspirational novel, The Distant Shore, will be released this August by Vintage. My second book is a humorous inspirational women’s book, Smiles to Go Before I Sleep: Hugs, Humor, and Hope for Harried Moms.(My agent is pitching it to publishers as we speak.) My magazine and anthology articles started out as first person anecdotal accounts of God’s amazing grace notes in my life (grace notes are a musical device that aren’t essential to the melody, but add beauty, depth, and dimension for enrichment). When I took on a monthly humorous newspaper column, my writing took a definite turn toward the wild and wacky. I enjoy writing fiction but I believe my divine calling is creative humorous non-fiction (yes, non-fiction can and should be creative!).

Q: How easy (or how difficult) was it for you to get published?

A: Well, remember my brain was atrophied and menopausally unbalanced when I started! I wasn’t sure where to begin! I studied every “how to” I could get my hands on and gave myself a crash course in grammar, style, and punctuation. I hadn’t had English since high school and didn’t know a dangling participle from a dipwad. I thought those three little dots were called eclipses…

I also found an experienced writing mentor (a friend of a friend of a friend) in the inspirational magazine genre and we met for latte’s at a coffee shop monthly to share writer’s guidelines, leads, and tips. It was because of Austine’s patient guidance on how to appear less amateurish and more polished that I was blessed with ten published articles that first year. I eventually became more of a peer than a ment-ee and reciprocated by editing Austine’s work.

Austine even wrote an article about us called, “Why You Need a Writer Buddy” that appeared in the March/April 2005 issue of Writers’ Journal.

Q: What aspect of God do you hope readers take away after reading your articles and books?

A: My entire focus and reason for writing is to share the everyday miracles my heavenly father has performed in my life and to plant and water seeds of hope in the lives of other struggling believers who feel stuck in the muck of everyday stress. Even with mud between our toes, we can live that abundant life Christ promised in John 10:10 and come out the other end of the motherhood tunnel smiling!

Q: What do you most love about the writing life?

A: The terrific hours and outstanding pay. And the fact that nobody can look you in the eyes through your computer monitor and tell you’re lying through your teeth. Plus you can write with greasy hair and bad breath and your computer is never offended.

Q: What do you least love about the writing life?

A: The terrific hours and outstanding pay. It’s now 2 a.m. and I have two dollars in my wallet for lunch tomorrow. Does that tell you anything?

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

A: Stop! Stop right now! Stop limiting your potential by fear (Go on! Submit that piece!), low expectations (If God gave you the assignment to write, He will use your abilities to His glory beyond anything you can imagine), or lack of energy (“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak,” Isaiah 40:29).

Learn to view rejection simply as an occupational hazard. Persevere through all those rejection slips like jockeys deal with horse-poo. Step over the piles, wipe the nasty off your boots, and keep moving forward.

______________________________

Thank you so much for having me, Suzanne – I’m a big fan of yours!

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