Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Recovery

Blind Faith


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!



Relax, Reflect, Recharge

A Gratitude Walk

3352c1c3ef514977a2d28e4f856f525d“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

This morning I woke up in my own bed filled with gratitude.  There are days when the MS effects me not only physically but mentally and emotionally.  On those days, I struggle to see the good in anything in my life.  This past weekend, I have had the pleasure of connecting with some amazing women.  I have been able to see the blessings in my life.  Yes, even the health struggles.

I focused on the things I love about my business but most of all what I love about my life.  The inner gremlins that haunt me and want to plunge me into depression were squashed.  I was inspired by Andy Andrews and the other speakers.  I was reminded that I have been given a gift and it needs to be shared.

I was reminded about a book I hare skimmed form Zig Ziglar entitled A View From the Top.  I remembered my purpose of “bringing hope and a smile to children, reminding them that they are special and worthy”.  I decided to start every morning along with a devotions with a gratitude list – or at least 5 things I am grateful for that day.  it helps me to foster a deep sense of happiness, and this gratitude is the missing ingredient to mine (and most people’s) success.

Not sure where to start, here are some things that I am grateful for TODAY.  Don’t just read them, feel them.  Find the ones that resonate with you…

1. The breath in your lungs

2. Your hard-working heart

3. The food that fuels your experience

4. The ever-present opportunity to make better decisions than your last

5. The freedom to make unlimited mistakes on your road to self-improvement

6. The natural talents you were born to share

7. The challenges that allow you to grow

8. The accomplishments that have improved your life

9. The mother and father who gave you life

10. Warm sun on your skin

11. The beauty and life in nature

12. The senses that allow you to experience beauty

13. Health in any amount

14. The arms, legs, feet, and hands that give you freedom of movement

15. The favorite song that keeps you going when you feel like giving up

16. The ability to learn from the mistakes and achievements of others

17. The help that is always there when you ask for it

18. The roof over your head

19. The inspiration that sweeps you out of your comfort zone

20. The people who’ve dedicated their lives to inspiring others

21. The ability to connect with family and friends anywhere in the world (Skype)

22. The fresh start you’re given every day

23. The pain that reminds you of the need to change

24. Our dreams

25. Electricity

26. All of the amazing teachers who helped you reach your potential

27. Each failure that led to your achievements, and everyone who encouraged you to keep going

28. The random smile that got you through your last impossible day

29. That one cashier who you can always count on to brighten your day

30. The one friend you’ve been able to count on through every stage in your life—even if that friend is you

31. Your favorite spot to recharge when you’re overwhelmed

32. That one mule of a person who challenges you to be kind when it’s most difficult

33. The special people who filled spots where parents or grandparents were missing

34. The spiritual growth you’ve accomplished (give yourself some credit!)

35. All the quotes that inspire you

36. The doors that closed on opportunities you wanted but didn’t need

37. The windows that opened when you almost gave up hope

38. The hot showers that completely change your perspective on life

39. Making good news for others to hear

40. A really good cry

41. Your favorite things

42. The ridiculous people you can always count on for a belly laugh

43. Little munchkins who you can never be with quite enough

44. The bad examples who illuminated the paths you shouldn’t take

45. The movies, music, art, celebrations, and people that remind you just how good it is to be human

46. The you from yesterday you get to compete with today

47. Refreshing walks that calm your mind and ease your spirit

48. The ability to change your whole life with one good decision

49. The option to be grateful no matter where you are or what you’re experiencingBe-grateful

What are you grateful for today?  Share it with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Blessing in the Form of a Virus


I can’t believe it has been two weeks since the dreaded gastrointestinal virus hit me.  I am happy to say that I am NOW feeling 100%.  This may sound crazy but I thank God for the virus – and not in a sarcastic way.  I learned some valuable lessons during those days of physical weakness.  A weakness that I can’t remember ever having.

Here is what happen:  It was Friday morning about 5AM when it all began.  I had that sick feeling and got up headed for the bathroom.  In my head, I got to the bathroom floor where it was cool waiting for the feeling to leave or to be sick.  All of a sudden the light came on, hubby was calling my name and I felt water next to my face or at least I thought it was.  The reality was that I “kissed” the floor with a thud and my nose was bleeding.  Yup, that slow get to the floor movement was actually me passing out.  As hubby helped me up, the next few hours were a blur.  The virus hit full force and I was weak.  I needed help to get in and out of bed.  I couldn’t get up to get even a glass of water.  The smell or even the thought of food made my stomach turn.  To say the least, I spent the next 2 days in bed being taken care of by my hubby.  Sunday, I ventured to work for a few hours.  Okay, not the smartest thing but I was going stir crazy.  Hubby drove me to and from work.  On Monday,  I was weak. On Tuesday, we went to the doctor who told me it could be another 5 days before I got my full strength back.  UGH!  It took time.  It took patience.  It took help.  

I believe that through all of this God helped me to learn some important lessons especially in my marriage.  I have always been the care taker.  The person who takes care of everyone else WITHOUT thinking of my own needs.  I mean as a single mom who has time to be sick, right?  When hubby got sick, it was easy to fall into the role of caretaker.  Crazy, but I always thought I needed to be in that role to be liked or even loved.  So, as hubby helped me up on Friday morning and tended to my every need – I felt a tug at my heart.  A God wink.

In those few days of total weakness, I learned how to truly lean on someone else.  I prayed that God would help me – make me better.  I mean, hubby will tell you that I am the WORST patient.  God did help me to get better but he taught me a lesson or two along the way.

  1. Marriage is a partnership and it is okay to be the one that needs help once in awhile.
  2. Taking care of myself is important in order to be able to take care of others.
  3. I do not have to do everything myself.  I am accepting help even when it is hard.  Even when the groceries are not put away in the right spot.
  4. Take time to read for pleasure, for business and to connect with God
  5. I am grateful to be in a loving marriage with a hubby who truly loves AND cares for me.
  6. An added bonus – the sweets that I have been mindlessly snacking on have lost their appeal.

Did I hate being sick?  Of course, but I am grateful for the lessons God taught me.  Take time today to reflect on what YOU are thankful for today.

What are you grateful for today?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!