Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

What is Your Recipe for Life?

The last two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster.  Our sweet Baby (fur baby) is nearing the end of her life because of a tumor. Father’s Day causes me to stress because I’ve lost so many memories. Hubby’s pain levels have been higher than normal. Restless nights so my sleep is off.
All of these things tend to leave me feeling drained.  I am by no means complaining, but I guess it sounds like it, right?  LOL.  I will admit, I have found myself on the “pity pot” several times this week which leads to resentments which is never good for this recovering addict.
It always amazes me how listening to a business training call can change my entire mindset.  The topic was “power hour” and I was ready to just mindlessly listen when the importance of changing our mindset was mentioned…. Not only does this apply to business but also in our everyday lives, especially during those woe is me days.  Then while reading my Just for Today… it was all about surrendering. Do you think God is trying to send me a message?
When I was in rehab, I remember a saying something like: If one person calls you a duck – you can toss it aside, if two people call you a duck – it deserves some consideration but if three people call you a duck – you MUST be a duck!”  I am not waiting for the third person because I know I need to change my mindset and get off the pity pot!
So starting this morning, this duck is changing her mindset.  Do you need to change your mindset?
Here are a few questions you can answer which might help:
  1. Identify what happened to cause the change
  2. Why did it happen
  3. How can I use this for my personal growth
  4. What changes can I make to improve in the future
  5. Where can I find help or who can help
This “recipe for life” was part of a devotion I was reading.  Maybe this will help you in changing your mindset or counting your blessings:
Begin with a case of Joy
Add a heaping spoonful of Gratitude
Fold in a large dollop of Kindness
Stir in a handful of Forgiveness
Sprinkle liberally with Love and cover with Peace
Always serve with a large side of Faith
(Author unknown)
 
What do you do to change your mindset or get off the “pity pot”? Maybe you take a walk and count your blessings.  Maybe you do a gratitude list.  Maybe you put on some music and dance around.  Share your best tip with us!  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel

How to Stop Questioning Yourself

This morning I was struggling about what to post…. when this happens I generally scroll through the hundreds of past blog posts to see if something grabs my attention.  I’m grateful for the long list of blogs because it is a reminder of my life – the good, the bad and the ugly.

As the end of the fiscal year with Thirty One ends and a new one begins – doubt starts to creep in.  Weird since I had my highest career sales in 2020-2021 and most days I am comfortable where my business and my life are. It usually means, I haven’t taken enough time to seek God’s guidance in the morning.

Every morning in my Facebook memories, I see a quote from “Get Your Girl Back Movement” and no matter how old the message is, it seems to hit home!  Today’s was…

You can do it Hope and if you couldn’t, God would not have given you the dream in the first place. If you would have put as much time into your dream as you do questioning yourself and your ability it would have already been accomplished. Now- stop asking and go make your dream come true!

Kind of funny because since the MS, I struggle with dreaming.  I have a wish list of things I would like to do but not a BIG dream.  My last BIG dream was to pay off my credit card debt and I’m grateful with the help of my side hustle, this is DONE!  Financial freedom can be scary for an addict in recovery – money in the savings account, bills paid and the ability to enjoy each day without the stress of how to pay for things.  I have to consciously remember how unmanageable life was during my addiction (yes, shopping can be an addiction too).

MS has taught me to live in the moment (most days) because who knows what tomorrow will bring.  Planning long term can be stressful and tends to lead me into a fix, manage and control state of mind.  Not good for my MS or my recovery.  I think I squirreled.. LOL.

As I think about the new fiscal business year, I wonder what God would want me to do.  I’m doing a 6-week training program so I am focusing on being intentional about what God wants from me each day.  The problem is when a thought or idea hits, Doubtful Debbie pays a visit.  What are my dreams?  Are they mine or what I think they “should be”?  Will they bring me joy?  Will they help me reach my purpose in life?  I know I am not alone, right?

Then out of no where the message “STOP QUESTIONING YOURSELF” appears.  I take a breath and quiet my mind (not always easy).  I know my purpose is “to make a difference”, as basic as it is, it is my life’s mission.  From simply putting a smile on someone’s face, sharing words of encouragement, or raising funds for a cause – one small act of kindness can make a difference.

I’m not sure who needed to hear this, but I hope at least one person is helped by knowing they are not alone.  How do I stop questioning myself?  As soon as I realize it is happening, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and release.  Bless and release.  Sounds easy, right?  Believe me, if you struggle with this – you know it takes lots of practice.  If I can’t get out of my head I do something else – work on my puzzle, read, take a walk and enjoy God’s beauty or work on a blog post. I do things to bring me joy and help me to kick Doubtful Debbie to the curb.

What are YOU questioning yourself about?  Do you have a dream that gets pushed to the side when life gets too busy? Or are you like me and when that happens, you begin to doubt your dream?  Just for today, stop asking AND make your dream come true.  Who is with me??

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Travel Tips, Unclutter Your Life

How To Bundle Up for Summer Fun

 

Waves crashing, burgers grilling, bees buzzing – summer has finally arrived, and the outdoors are calling. Excited for that trip to the beach? Lounging poolside? Camping trips and backyard barbecues? Us too!

To help you start planning, we took a few of your faves and created fun, destination-ready bundles for all your summer adventures. Each bundle features our super-fun summer prints (and even a few personalization ideas to help make your adventures even more memorable)!

(Pictured L to R): Picnic Thermal Tote in Charcoal Crosshatch w/ Camper Icon-It in Caramel and Platinum; Large Utility Tote in RV There Yet w/ Rounded Font Message in White; Zipper Pouch in Soft Camo w/ Compass (II) in Caramel; Essential Storage Tote in RV There Yet; Round About Cooler Tote in RV There Yet.

Feelin’ Campy

Whether you’re camping, glamping or wandering cross-country in a fancy conversion van, it wouldn’t be summer without trips to the great outdoors. So, the next time nature calls, don’t forget these road trip essentials in our new RV There Yet print:

Large Utility Tote: blankets, hiking gear, flashlights, bug repellent, games

Essential Storage Tote: snacks, first aid, eating utensils, plates, napkins

Round About Cooler Tote: ice, soda, water, juice, hot dogs, condiments

Need more cooler space? Our Picnic Thermal Tote in Charcoal Crosshatch is a great choice (and it holds ice, too). What about some place to keep all those little essentials organized? Our Zipper Pouchis the perfect add-on and coordinates nicely in Soft Camo.

(Pictured L to R): Large Utility Tote in Rays for Days; Round About Cooler Tote in Rays for Days w/ Popsicle in Hot Pink and Turquoise; Essential Storage Tote in Rays for Days w/ Large Serif Initial in Hot Pink; Small Essential Storage Tote in Rays for Days.

Catch Some Rays

Sandy beach, neighborhood pool or weekend at the waterpark, splash into summer with this awesome pack & go bundle in our new Rays for Days print:

Large Utility Tote: towels, toys, floaties, cover-ups, hats

Round About Cooler Tote: ice, sports drinks, water, popsicles, juice boxes

Essential Storage Totegoggles, books, sunglasses, sunscreen

Small Essential Storage Totephones, ear buds, reading glasses, lip balm

(Pictured L to R): Large Utility Tote in Tie-Dye Stars w/ Large Serif Initial in White; Tiny Utility Tote in Gnome of the Brave; Round About Cooler Tote in Tie-Dye Stars w/ Rounded Font Message in White; Clear Clip Pouch in Gnome of the Brave.

Grill & Chill

Planning for lots of summer celebrations and backyard barbecues with family and friends? Get in a festive party spirit with this bundle of bestsellers in Tie-Dye Stars and fire up the fun:

Large Utility Tote: plates, food containers, tablecloth, cups, chips

Essential Storage Tote: utensils, napkins, condiments

Round About Cooler Tote: ice, beverages, grill meats, cheese, produce

Know what goes great with Tie-Dye Stars? Our Gnome of the Brave print, of course! Our Tiny Utility Tote is ideal for condiments or utensils and our Clear Clip Pouch is the perfect place to keep hand sanitizer, sunscreen, wet wipes and more.

(Pictured L to R): New Horizons Tote in Patchwork Stripe w/ Popsicle Icon-It™ in Powder Pink and Hot Pink; Small Essential Storage Tote in Popsicle Party; Cinch Sac in Popsicle Party w/ All Caps Stamp in Navy Blue; Essential Storage Tote in Popsicle Party; Zipper Pouch in Patchwork Stripe w/ Sandy Flip-Flops Icon-It™ in True Turquoise and Navy Blue.

Popsicle Party

Kids love summer for the trips to the zoo, amusement parks and playgrounds. You’ll love how easy and enjoyable those trips are with this sweet solution set in our Popsicle Party print:

Large Utility Tote: diapers, snacks, wipes, water, umbrella

Cinch Sac: hat, sunglasses, medication, first aid

Clear Clip Pouch: sunscreen, phone, hand sanitizer

Looking for a couple more bags for your adventure with the kids? We recommend our New Horizons Tote and Zipper Pouch in Patchwork Stripe. The New Horizon Tote’s roomy interior and slouchy, casual shape make it ideal for hats, extra clothes, umbrellas and other larger items, while the Zipper Pouch is a convenient place for keys, wallets, tickets, receipts and other small essentials.

Love our new summer prints? Turn them into wallpaper for your phone! 

Download your favorite prints to your phone and enjoy them throughout summer and beyond!

 

Products shown are from Summer 2021 season, available from June 1 – July 31. 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Recovery

Blind Faith

potholes

Blind faith is defined as ““belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination.” It wasn’t until recently it was pointed out to me, this is what I have.  A positive thing instead of the negative thing I would have described it as.

“It will all work out” has been one of my favorite lines for years.  As a single mom, I always believed things would work out.  I didn’t know how, I didn’t know why – I just believed they would.  I actually believe my relationship with God was pretty much nonexistent through HS, college and later in life.  During my early years, I was active in church and a Rainbow Girl.  I believed in God just didn’t have a relationship with him.  Weird, right?

God was there even when I didn’t see or believe it.  He had his hand on everything which is why I believe through my years of addiction, I was saved.  I had a blind faith deep in my soul despite the odds.  My first time in the rooms, I always said I was “spiritual” not religious.  The Serenity Prayer was the closest I got to having a conversation with God.  It was the thing which kept me going even when I was on the road to relapse and during my relapse.  I thought it was more of a foxhole prayer at that point since I had made such a mess of my life.

Now, I have a relationship with God. Are there still potholes in my path? YES!  Do I wonder if I am on the right road or following his purpose for me? YES!  Do I still struggle with fear?  YES! Do I still play the comparison game? YES!  Fear and doubt didn’t not magically go away because of my faith.  Satan loves to play with me especially on days when my MS flares up.

Every morning, I read my “Just for Today” and pause for a moment to thank God for his many blessings.  Truth be told (have you heard this amazing song?), I don’t STOP and wait to LISTEN for God’s message.

 

There are some days, it is more obvious than others I haven’t listened.  The days when the doubts come.  The days when resentments build.  The days when frustration and anger get the best of me.   Those days, I wonder what happened to the belief God would take care of things?

Those are the days, when I forget it’s not my job to fix the potholes in my trail. I need to let God lead, and He will smooth the way.  Whatever the path looks like, God has a plan for every step (Jeremiah 29:11).  The path may be filled with potholes but no matter where I am headed, God is aware of every gap in the road He’s established for me.

Hubby pointed out to me recently “you have a blind faith”.  I was shocked because I never thought about it.  I used to believe people judged me for the decisions I made.  Many times my decisions were not based on solid facts, just a feeling I had things would be okay.  Sometimes they were and sometimes they weren’t.  It wasn’t until I took my will back and stopped letting God lead the way, the road to relapse became a downhill spiral.  Me trying to figure things out or fix things led me to a path filled with potholes.  It kept me from letting my light shine and making a difference in the lives of other people.

It is time to embrace my blind faith.  Time to stop trying to fix the potholes.  Time to stop trying to figure things out on my own.  Time to let God lead, have faith and let him show me the path he has prepared for me.  It is “his will for my life, not mine”.

Are you trying to fix the potholes in your life or are you “letting go and letting God”?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Recovery

Anniversaries – Celebrations With Reflection

This past week I celebrated two anniversaries both filled with emotions and the struggle to remember.  Two milestones in my life which changed me forever.

On Friday, hubby and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.  We have been together 18+ years BUT only married 10.  If you know our story, you get it.  🙂

I generally blog about our story BUT this year,  I want to share the gratitude I have for this man.  Our road has been a rocky one – from his commuting for 5 years, to living together to marriage.  It all seems so basic, right?  But add to it – recovery on the road to relapse, a perceived loss of independence, his congestive heart failure, my diagnosis of MS and now his retirement.  Life on life’s terms which is something I’m not really good at.  It has been a true test for both of us of our wedding vows.  He has been my rock on my most difficult days.  I have tested his patience and he has learned how to communicate just a little bit better. We have grown together in so many ways…

As we sat at dinner the other night, the subject drifted to the one question to be sure about a relationship.  I had never heard this and honestly, I was scared. But he continued saying it is “do you bring out the best of each person?”….. Of course I had to know what he thought about us because honestly my memory is awful and fear was creeping in.  My immediate reaction was to feel less than. Not worthy of his unconditional love.  Instead of blurting things out, I prayed to be quiet while he finished.  He said “our life has been a balance –  sometimes we have brought out the best in each other while there are times, we have brought out the worst.  He said it is life but the true test is how you get through it.  We have made it.  WOW!  I didn’t get defensive.  I didn’t try to over analyze.  I just was grateful I kept my mouth SHUT and for how far we have both come. I may have already forgotten much of the night, I pray his words about our life together stay with me forever.

Jump ahead to Saturday and another celebration…. WE HAVE 3 YEARS!  I look back on where I was three years ago… a hot mess on the verge of losing my hubby, a mound of credit card debt, a victim mentality while I isolated feeling less than everyone else, broken emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Appearing confident (often cocky) on the outside while a scared child on the inside.  I had walked this road before and relapse became part of my story.  I had let down my family, my friends but most of all I had let myself down.  The strong confident person was gone.  What was left was a broken, shell of my former self.  Sadly, I didn’t notice it – I thought I hid it well.  I blamed everyone else for what was wrong in my life when the only one who was to blame was me.

As I sit here writing, unable to feel anything but sadness (MS seems to play with my emotions as well as taken my memories) I struggle to remember how bad it was.  Not just this time but the first time (my first clean date was 10/26/91).  Hubby often says, God took the memories because it was too unbearable for me to remember.  God gives me glimpses at times but when it becomes overwhelming for me, they fade and only segments remain.  So instead of struggling to remember, I try each day to be a better person than I was yesterday. Does it always work? NOPE!  I know with God’s help, it will.  I continue to go to meetings – I need to hear the struggles, I need to share my blind faith, I need to be surrounded by people who have been where I have been and I need to remember  “never” should not be part of my vocabulary.

Today, the credit card debt is paid off.  Today, I am trying to connect with local women in recovery.  Today, I accept I am an introvert but it does not mean I need to isolate.  Today, I know my ride & die gals who have been with me since the first night 3 years ago are just a phone call away.  Just for today, I like myself.  Today, I don’t beat myself up over the weight or how I think “I should look”.  My life is blessed in so many ways.  Yes, MS kicks my butt BUT it is not an excuse to go back to those old destructive behaviors.  Living life on life’s terms is not always easy but WE do recovery together.

Thank you to everyone who has walked these many roads with us.  We are grateful for the part you have played and continued to play in our lives.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!