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 Wissel, Recovery, Weigh to Goal

Jiggle Thighs and Acceptance

Once a month, I am doing a “me blog post”.  Basically, sharing my strength, hope and experience about something.  I looked back on past blog posts for inspiration when I stumbled on one I did in April 2013.

I am learning to accept me for me.  Not easy since I have had a negative self image for as long as I can remember.  Why is it the negative is easier to remember with my MS than the positive things?  A post for another time….

For as long as I can remember, I have had “bumps” on the top of my thighs and my thighs jiggled.  Yes, they got smaller with the loss of 105 pounds but they are still there!  There was even a time when I was working at WAWA where I think they were not as obvious – at least to me.  I mean standing on your feet and doing lots of walking (15,000 steps a day) had some benefits even though I usually felt like a MAC truck hit me.  As my MS reared its ugly head, I struggled with walking long distances.  I struggled with being on my feet a lot so of course working was no long an option. What is a girl to do?  I ride a stationary bike at least 3 times a week, I walk when I can but probably not nearly as much as I should. Opps, there is that word “should”.  I hate wearing my brace on walks because I am forced to accept my limitations due to my MS.

Since COVID and the move, I have been living in yoga/leggings.  I have maintained my BIG weight loss and am about 10 pounds from my original goal weight yet the “jiggle thighs” seem to still be there.  Of course, to me they are really obvious because my waist shrinks (the first place I lose weight) and nothing is in proportion.  So maybe this isn’t your problem area, maybe it is the “jiggle arms” or the muffin top or the roll our bra creates – no matter what we all seem to judge ourselves when we look in the mirror.

How about this thought….My jiggle thighs (or your problem area) are evidence of God’s goodness in my life! Sounds crazy, right? Mind you I never notice this or any other problem area on other people, just on myself.  Most people don’t mention it – okay maybe an occasional child who is curious but why wouldn’t they be – I’m curious as to know why God has blessed me with these wonderful thighs.  LOL.

 
I read something awhile ago by Jen Wilken who wrote The expectation of physical perfection hits modern females early and often”.  Expectations, OMG!  I have learned in my recovery journey, expectations are not good.   She goes on to say Increasingly, physical perfection is the legacy of womanhood in our culture, handed down with meticulous care from mother to daughter, with more faithful instruction in word and deed than we can trouble to devote to cultivating kindness, peacemaking, and acceptance that characterize unfading, inner beauty.”
 
I say all this to say – let’s not torture ourselves with lies about the need to have a perfect body or to be an ideal weight.  I am not saying – don’t be healthy, what I am saying is strive for a goal that is reachable for you.  I am learning to accept me for me – jiggle thighs and all – knowing I am beautifully made by God.  I am not less than because it has taken me a “LONG” time to reach my goal weight.  I am not less than because my body is not a perfect size 10.  There will be ups and downs in my weight loss journey just like there is in life.  Consider those “downs” as blessings where we learn more about ourselves and our relationship with our Higher Power. Learning to love myself is one of the hardest things I have ever done!  
 
Today, I am living in the hope, security and the arms of a Higher Power who loves me unconditionally.  Give yourself a break today and know as long as you are trying your best – that is all that God is asking of you.
 
For tips on healthy weight loss check out – Weight Watchers. This is the program I lost all of my weight on.  It took me longer than I expected. There are those “expectations” again.  I compared myself to others (guess that is a character defect I will need to deal with, LOL) and still do in many areas of my life.  Just for today, I looked in the mirror and actual like the person I am.  Give yourself a break.  If you can’t love yourself totally, find at least ONE area you can love (great smile, pretty eyes, great personality) and count your blessings.  Have patience, and think positive thoughts.
 
Have ThirtyOne-derful day.
Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Unclutter Your Life

How Blogging Can Change Your Life

Do I have your attention???

8 years ago I took a  challenge.  If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know the story…

I met an amazing group of women, The Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms (now for Woman) founded by Lynette Barberi and Vanessa Coppes.  I wanted to grow my business.  I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.  I wanted a full-time income from my direct sales business.  The question was, was I willing to work for it?  My immediate answer was YES!  But, it meant I had to step out of my comfort zone.  Not something I was very good at and even struggle with today.  Vanessa challenged me to start blogging.  Who would want to read what I had to say?  What would I write about?  FEAR crept in but the people pleaser in me wanted to be accepted by this group of women so I was willing to do whatever it took to have what they had.

My first blog post “Bullying – The Visible vs the Invisible” was first published on March 29th, 2013.  It was probably the hardest thing I had written up until that point BUT the feedback I got was amazing!  So, I jumped in with both feet and starting writing daily for years.  When my MS flared – my memory and the words became more difficult.  I stepped back to only a few times a week then I actually stopped writing altogether.  There was only so much I could write – who wants to hear about the struggles? Was I really making a difference?  Fear and doubt crept in again.

In January of this year, I decided I would start again.  Once a week was all I could handle.  I would share some tips and on occasion write about life.  It is good for me to get things out.  I figure if my ramblings can help just one person, it is worth it. I’m stepping out in faith instead of letting fear rule in this area of my life.

I have been blessed over the last few months and despite heartache which has come from losing loved ones…. I’m feeling pretty good (minor MS stuff), my ThirtyOne business is thriving and I’m rebuilding key relationships in my life.  God has blessed me beyond my dreams.  God willing, I will celebrate 3 years clean in May.  I have stopped beating myself up (most days) for the mistakes of the past.  I actually like myself (most days) which has helped with the stress eating (not necessarily showing on the scale BUT it is okay). I have found joy in cooking (who would have thought? LOL). I’m looking forward to warmer weather and spending time with hubby working on the yard at the new house and maybe even some mini trips.

What does all of it have to do with blogging??? Probably very little except I found my voice by blogging.  The ability to share feelings which I don’t deal with very well with others. The ability to step out of my comfort zone because when I do, the magic happens.

Do you journal?  Have you thought about blogging?  Blogging has helped my business and me grow personally in so many ways.  I’m always amazed when someone in my pick bubble googles a word or something and my blog or my name comes up towards the top of the list.  If they are finding it so are others, right?  I have gained customers and insiders (aka hostesses) through the link to my blog.  Have a business?  Why not give blogging a try?  Share recipes, share tips & tricks about your products, share how to’s….. just give it a shot.  I’m grateful I took the challenge so many years ago and still do some writing.  It will not be a magic wand of instant success but it will make a difference when you are consistent – monthly, weekly, daily whatever you decide to do.  When you do start (or if you already do) share your link with us…

Here is to another year…. have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Hope Wissel

How To Get Organized and Be Happy!

From storage cubes and caddies to soft-textured bins and baskets, we have home organization solutions to help turn cluttered spaces into pleasant places to spend time working and relaxing. It doesn’t take much time at all, just a little planning and a little shopping at mythirtyone.com!

As  they say, work before pleasure, so let’s get to work and organize your home office space first.

 

Without the proper storage and organization solutions, papers supplies and other office materials can start to run rampant. Even shelves become disorganized.

 

Make your workspace wonderfully organized

Working from home is common these days for adults and kids, so make sure your workspace is clutter-free and manageable. Our home office organization solutions are a great way to set you and your family up for success.

Just a few caddies and bins can keep your office space organized and efficient. The colorful prints and personalization designs available on our storage solutions add style and personality to your desk and shelves. A fun pop of color on the wall can bring a boring space to life.

No file drawer? No problem! The Fold N’ File®  is a portable file box specially made for holding everything from tax filings and receipts to bills and insurance forms. For kids, it’s a great place to keep all their tests and papers from school neatly organized by class and subject.

The Double Duty® Caddy and Deluxe Double Duty® Caddy keep office and school supplies together and at the ready. With lots of pockets and compartments, they’re the ideal storage caddies for pens, pencils, scissors, notebooks, rulers and all those desk top necessities.

Don’t cram your desk drawers full of all those office supply essentials, like little containers and boxes of paper clips, staples, tape, sticky notes and push pins – keep them in a Felt Storage Bin. These handy little storage bins don’t take up much desk or shelf space and they’re perfect for personalization with a monogram or statement.

The Your Way® Cube and Your Way® Rectangle provide convenient storage options for any home office environment. Ideal for storing important contracts, forms and records, or larger office needs like printer paper, computer cords and adapters, instruction manuals, reference materials and more. And when you purchase the Your Way® Cube Lid or Your Way® Rectangle Lid, they become stackable storage containers for all your non-disposable essentials.

Create a cozy corner just for you

If you’ve ever dreamed of having your very own room to craft, relax, read or sew but don’t have the luxury of that extra space in your home, we have a simple solution for you. So, gather up those things you love and find a corner in your house to make your own – we’ll take it from there!

That oversized chair and ottoman in the family room is a great place to put your feet up and relax, and the floor lamp next to it make it the perfect reading nook. Claim that chair for your own and create a cozy reading space! Load up all those cozy comforts in a Felt Display Bin – blanket, slippers, books, reading glasses a bottle of vino, a glass and a corkscrew – and keep it tucked away under the end table or next to the chair for easy access whenever you’re ready for your next chapter.

That sofa in the den is a quiet place the kids never use. Stake your claim and make it your personal knitting nook. Flip on the TV or the stereo and chill out as you complete your latest creation. The Felt Storage Bin with that embroidered “R” is the perfect choice to hold all your yarn and knitting needles, plus it lets everyone know this is mom’s turf now.

So, you just got into crafting. Sounds fun! Now all you need is a place to enjoy your new hobby. What about the breakfast nook in the kitchen or that swivel chair and table in the guest room? Wherever you make your creative space, be sure you’ve got everything you need ready and waiting for you when inspiration hits. The Canvas Storage Caddy is a great craft storage solution with lots of pockets around the outside and a large open space inside. Personalize it with something befitting of your new interest… how about “Craft Queen”?

Need help in organizing other areas of your home?  I’m happy to help.  We can do a virtual “product experience” where I can help you with ideas for even those most difficult areas.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Thirty One Business

A 10 Year Journey Of Faith

February 7th, 2011 was the first time I talked to Hope Shortt.  I had stalked her –  followed her on Facebook, read about her, and was inspired by her faith.  I knew what an amazing person she was BEFORE I had this conversation.  I told her I wanted to join her Thirty One team.

She asked me “what my why” was?  For those in direct sales, we always want to know from new team members, “What is YOUR why?”, right?   I was nervous.  Why?  Because I honestly had no clue.  But in my true people pleasing style, I told her I wanted to earn some extra money.  No big dreams. I mean I was a Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit, who had time for anything.  I wanted to share the products at vendor shows, had NO desire to do home parties and really was not interested in having a team.  The truth was, I didn’t believe I was leadership material.  Yes, you can laugh…I could run a non-profit, manage grants, write grants and manage a staff of 18 programs BUT I never saw myself as a leader.

Thirty One helped with the “recruiting” aspect since this was just one day prior to the FREEZE.  WOW, what a relief.  Vendor shows was something I loved to do since I had been doing craft/ vendor shows for over 20 years.  It was a great place to meet people AND share a product.  Hope listened and said she would be there to help when I needed her.  No pressure just support and kindness.

Over the next few months I shared Thirty One at vendor events – selling but still NOT booking parties.  I mean I had a full-time CRAZY busy job, who had time for home parties.  Then came the first TWO potential recruits.  OMG!!!  I was honest with both of them from the start.  I wasn’t into doing home parties and I was going to learn along with them.  Believe it or not, they still joined as soon as the freeze lifted and quickly qualified.  I was a Senior Consultant by default.  Then came a home office lead who wanted a HOME PARTY!  Panic set in… it was someone I didn’t know and I was clueless.  I had never done a home party.  I could do this… and I DID!  Of course, it would not have been possible if it weren’t for Hope and the rest of the Beacon of Hope team.

My FIRST National Conference in 2012 had me setting a goal and deciding I wanted to be in Leadership. I had left my full-time job due to health issues but I wasn’t going to let it stop me.  I set a goal to be Director BEFORE National Conference 2013.  The stats say those who go to national conference earn more – TRUE!  Those who go to national conference – PROMOTE – TRUE!  In October, 2012 I was DIQ and in January 2013, I was blessed to earn my $1,000 Director Bonus.  It was a whirlwind time filled with lots of emotions.

National Conference 2013, I was blessed to be joined by my daughter and members of the Rays of Hope Team as I walked across stage being acknowledged as a NEW Thirty One Director.  Tears of joy flowed freely all weekend.  I walked across stage and was hugged by Hope Shortt, my National Executive Director.

The next few years brought many changes – dealing with testing and diagnosis of MS, worrying if I was really able to lead a team, fear, lots of comparison game playing and more tears.  I even wondered at times if I could continue since I couldn’t remember the names of prints and products.  I’m grateful for an amazing group of customers who understood and have stood by me all of these years…

National Conference 2018 would be my last road trip to a Thirty One event with my momma by my side.  The travel, the overwhelming feeling of not being able to understand everything and the struggle to remember things would get to be too much.  The theme of “Make Every Moment Count” would stay with me for a long time.

Fast forward to 2020 when I seriously considered leaving my pink bubble.  I was overwhelmed, the joy had left and I couldn’t seem to find my passion.  I turned things over to God and decided with hubby’s help, I would follow whatever path he thought I should take.  It took a few months BUT I found joy in my pink bubble again.  I focused on my business, praying the things I did would help my team.  I stepped out of my comfort zone to do virtual parties which included a LIVE portion with BINGO.  No matter how many times I thought “this is my last month”; God had another plan and my team and I made the numbers I needed to remain a Director.

I still struggle with my “why” and learning to DREAM BIG.  Home parties are no longer possible due to health issues.  Vendor events have been gone for awhile with the new social distancing rules.  I step out of my comfort zone to do things I wouldn’t have done before – asking for virtual socials (aka parties), offering the opportunity and embracing the things I love about my pink bubble.

One of the biggest blessings from Thirty One has been regaining my confidence which I lost so many years ago.  The other is gaining a sisterhood of women who celebrate, encourage and even cry with me.  Yes, I have earned FREE products! Yes, I have earned a FREE trip.  Yes, I was able to pay off credit card debt & travel as a result of my commission checks!  Yes, I have found a sisterhood I didn’t know existed in my Thirty One sisters!  Yes, I have grown in my walk with God, learning to trust and believe his will will be done in my business!  These are all the things Thirty One has blessed me with…. Who would have thought a pink box filled with product could CHANGE MY LIFE.  Could it change your life too?

 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!