Category Archives: Mentor


The Gift of Encouragement

In my sunny blue office, I have a little vignette sitting on my filing cabinet—a pitcher and two tea cups. I see it every day before I sit to write. And I remember the giver of this gift—Helen deVette.

She loved that word vignette. She loved talking about words and books. And she loved talking about her Heavenly Father.

I knew her first in college as my professor. But long after college I found myself drawn to her green house a few blocks away for an afternoon of word-talk and large doses of encouragement.

The day she gave me the tea set, I felt overwhelmed and tried to refuse it. “Oh, no. This is yours.” She insisted, “This is for you.” With her eyes on an imminent trip to heaven, she knew that the things she had in this world would not travel with her to eternity.

And so I have tea set out on my filing cabinet. It waits for me every day. It speaks to me silently, just as my friend would have spoken audibly: “Keep writing. I believe in you”

How has a gift from a friend brought you encouragement?