Saturday, May 12, 2018

Be Optimistic

by Beth Vogt @BethVogt

Helen Keller was an amazing woman.

Born in 1880,  an illness left her deaf and blind when she was all of 19 months old. Helen had limited communication with her family until she was 7 years old — when Annie Sullivan arrived and worked with her to teach her sign language. Fast forward to 1904, when Helen was 24 years old and graduated from college, the first deaf blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

And yes, there’s so much more to her life story.

But when you sift through her quotes — and I have to some degree — you discover a woman who chose to embrace life despite what she didn’t have: sight and hearing. She chose to savor life. To enjoy life. She chose to be happy.

Am I foolish enough to think Helen was never discouraged or frustrated? No. I’m sure there were times she wanted more … but it also seems as if she chose to believe that her life was not less than.

I am certain there were people who looked at her and saw all she could not do.

And yet Helen Keller seemed to be all about saying “Yes, I can. And I will.”

And she did.

In Your Words: What helps you stay optimistic? When have you chosen to say “Yes, I can” — choosing optimism and faith and hope — instead of being overcome by all the reasons you can’t? What did you achieve?

Thoughts on choosing optimism and faith and hope - @BethVogt on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Are we focusing on the can'ts or the cans? thought by @BethVogt on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she'd never write fiction. She's the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she'd never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She's a mom of four who said she'd never have kids. Now Beth believes God's best often waits behind the doors marked "Never." A women's fiction novelist, Beth's first novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, releases May 2018.

Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA® finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there's more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us.

An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and also enjoys speaking to writers' groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at


  1. Love it Ms. Beth! Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I remember reading Helen's charge to Lion's Club International many years ago. I've often wondered how her life might have turned out without the guidance, patience, and encouragement shown her by Ms. Annie Sullivan. Thank you for being our "Ms. Sullivan" here today. We all need godly, inspirational people in our lives to help pull us out of the muck of self-doubt sometimes. Am so glad to know you are among the many "helping hands of God" here on this blog. God's blessings ma'am...

    1. Good morning, Jim! And yes, Annie Sullivan was so influential in Helen Keller's life, helping her to communicate with others when she'd been locked away in darkness and silence for so long. Annie Sullivan liberated Helen Keller in a very real sense. Thank you for your encouraging words today.

  2. Replies
    1. Good morning, Kelly. My twin sister admires Helen Keller, too.

  3. Thank you for your words of encouragement to begin the day.

    1. Diana: I'm thankful you were encouraged! Have a wonderful Saturday.

  4. God always sends an encouraging word - the moment we need it. Thank you for bringing that word today, Beth. Blessings to you!

    1. Emme: I am glad to think God used this post at just the right time for you today!

  5. The world needs more positivity and optimism.

  6. I love to focus on the little bits of beauty I see as I go about my day. By breaking it down into small chunks, I can move forward with grace and gratitude. <3