All posts tagged: by Candice Coates

Cultivating Steadfast Trust

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” ~ISAIAH 26:3 Steadfast. The word itself may evoke the feeling of self-effort, that you have to exert some strenuous force in order to accomplish some task or goal. And unfortunately, man has made the things of God, things meant to be freeing, into things that bind with the yoke of self-effort and righteousness. But the peace that I gain in this word, having steadfast trust, is birthed out of the truth that steadfast trust comes from a mind that is focused on the Lord. When we love someone, it is no great effort to gaze upon them, to sit in their presence. It is no great thing or effort to bask in their love and devotion and give that in return. The Lord Jesus invites us to abide in and with Him (JOHN 15). He tells us that He stands at the door of our hearts and wishes to dine with us (REVELATION 3:20). Just by reading these passages, we can’t help but see that the …

Rules versus Mighty Revelation

*Revised from June 16, 2014 I have since I can remember, held firm to the belief that in any form of art, one must know the rules before they can properly break them, (thank you, Pablo Picasso). Being a person that is still learning to go through the process of things, I find that I often remind myself of this truth; learn the rules and then break them. Break them through revelation. In art, in writing, there are set rules for the ‘how’s’ and ‘why’s.’ Why does this color go with this one? Why must I tone my canvas before starting to paint? Why do I need to be concerned with the first-person narrative versus the third person? You get the drift. Creating, and being good at it, involves knowledge but it also includes a great level of instinct. Both go hand in hand. Rules will only take you so far but instinct powered by Revelation can take you to heights you never dreamed of. So what is the difference between the two; Rules and …

It’s Worth the Mess: 3 Reasons to Keep Creating

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly . . . until you can learn to do it well.” ~Zig Ziglar I have always been a believer that anything worth having is definitely worth fighting for. Having healthy relationships? Worth fighting for. Having security? Worth fighting for. Having victory in maintaining faith? Worth fighting for. I could go on and I am sure that you could add several things to the ‘worth fighting for’ list. But one thing I have often lost the fight in (because I didn’t show up) was in learning new avenues of creating. Why? Because more times than not I was afraid of failure. I wonder if you can relate. The thing about being a creative person–the thing about being human–is that the beginnings of all of our successes begin in a mess. We don’t begin walking with elegant or confident gaits. We fall and we scuff our hands and knees. The same is true for each and every creative venture that we embark upon. Our first drafts will likely be, well, garbage …

Simply Beautiful: Micro-Fiction by Candice Coates

It was a simple room, done up in a simple state and yet it was nothing short of simply beautiful. The wood floors were well worn and just as well loved. The darkness of the grain showed signs of wear but also echoed with the song of yesteryear that tickled her ears and made her heart dance with each click of her low heeled shoes. This was a blessing. She had prayed for a place of her own, no matter how grand or small and God had answered her. Her prayer, much like King David’s, “Not too much Lord, lest I forget You. And not too little that my hands itch to steal.” Those were her words and He had answered ever plea of her heart. “Thank You,” she whispered with a sigh as the lacey sheer drapes blew into the room on the gentle spring breeze as if the hand of God was hidden within their folds welcoming her to her new abode. “I’m glad you are pleased,” the older woman, Ms. Mcnaughten, answered …

Lost in Translation: Turbulence in Transition Pt 2

Imagine this. You pick up a novel that you were told was one of the greatest novels ever written and that once you’ve read it from start to finish, your life is going to be mightily changed. You are going to experience every twist and turn, every high and low, you are going to relate with the characters in a dynamic way, and when it is all over, you are going to want to share it with others and just might want to flip right back to the first page and start the tale all over again. But then, imagine that you only read the first chapter of this say, four-hundred-and-fifty-page tome only to decide that the author is off track, that he or she isn’t doing the characters justice and that the book is just not worth reading. As a result, you toss it aside with frustration, imagining that after only one chapter you have wasted your time. Sounds kind of ridiculous doesn’t it. I mean one chapter in that many pages isn’t sufficient …

On the Mend: A Short story by Candice Coates

Written April 14, 2014 I got something for you.” Milly smiled at the threshold before entering the room and walking toward Garnet’s bedside box in hand. Garnet studied her curiously, mouth slightly agape. Milly’s smile only brightened. “May I?” she asked, pointing at the bed. “Certainly! Have a seat, Milly.” Garnet tried to offer her a smile in return but he just couldn’t get his face to work that way. He was still too astonished by her being there…on his bed…in his room. Technically it was their room but he had used it alone for so long that he had forgotten how to let her in. He had forgotten how to let her into his heart as well. Milly had been guilty of that as well. The box made a hollow sound as Milly moved it about in her hands. She wanted to be comfortable but not so much that she bumped Garnet’s leg. He had broken it and broken it good. His femur bone was split right in two! It was going to take …

He Bought the Farm by Candice Coates

He wasn’t hiding. He wasn’t the type to do so, but he was the kind to slip away to think. He needed to think. Milo, his four-legged shadow followed him, nestling close by, gazing back at the house as if he too was weighing his options. Blake scratched behind Milo’s warm fuzzy ears earning himself a grateful dog-grin. “What do you think, buddy? What should we do?” As usual, Milo had no answer. He only licked his chops, gave a contend yawn, before bedding down deeper into the grass. Blake smiled. Maybe that was Milo’s answer. He was happy right where he was. Truth be told, so was Blake. They’d, Blake his wife Paisley and Milo, had happily moved out to the quiet country nearly five years ago. Happy may have been an overstatement. They not so simply needed a change of pace, a change in their reality. Past decisions had caught up with Blake leaving an unrelenting stain on Paisley’s career. Her employers had said as much, she was guilty by association. She needed to distance …

Like a Sapling through Soil: Flash Fiction & Musing

You’ve gone quiet,” their words weren’t condemning, still, it drew her attention with enough force to make her spine go rigid. Forcing her nerves into a sense of calm, she shook her head. “I haven’t really gone quiet.” “No?” “No. I’ve been in the dark, much like a seed.” Without looking at them she could almost feel their interest peek and a smile bloom with interest. “Explain if you can. I like seeds, so much potential there.” This made her smile. “Like a seed I’ve been in the dark. I have a lot of things pressing on me from every side, but the pressure is only promoting change. I have much to say. The words are on the tip of my tongue but I need to allow the right moment to arrive.” “Like a sapling through the soil,” “Precisely! Like a sapling through the soil. Seeds planted in Fall burst forth in the Spring.” “Spring is right around the corner you know?” Another smile. “Yes, it is. I can feel it in my bones.” THE …

Coin Toss: A Short Story by Candice Coates

Heads or tails?” “What? You can’t be seri-” “Heads? Or tales?” Quarter sat at the ready, balanced atop the smoothness of his thumbnail, Josiah cut off her words. It wasn’t so much his words that eased her into silence, but the glint in his eyes and the smile that curved his lips. He was serious, deadly serious. Severin pressed her eyes closed and pinched the bridge of her nose, feeling nervousness roll up and around her belly. Had she actually eaten the lunch he had packed for them instead of anxiously pushing it around with her fork, nibbling it here and there, she would have had no room inside for anxiety to fill her guts in the first place. At least the plate was neatly stashed away in the cooler for later if she survived to eat it later. Of course, the coin was two-sided so there was the other option that didn’t involve leaping to her death, but it did have a “leap” all its own. As it were, Severin Hastings, true to her name, had …

Treat Yourself! The Blessings Found in Showing Yourself Love

Valentine’s day was nearly a good month away when I began plotting with delight how I was going to, for the first time in my near thirty-seven years, treat myself with love and kindness. Now, before we get the wrong idea, let me just say I’ve always believed that I have treated myself well but I have never really ‘treated’ myself. Sure, I have gone out just like the next person and purchased myself something that I had desired, but this…this was different. This was celebrating love for me! Okay, I know that still sounds a bit vain, but journey along with me and I think you will catch the revelation. Valentine’s, as I stated in my article A Valentine From Your Father, was more of an acquaintance than a moment of romance that I had ever experienced. Having truly spent my adult years circling around a relationship with the opposite sex but never being drawn in to the point of having an established relationship, I had always felt disqualified from the fantasy and delight …