Hope Wissel

In The Eyes of a Child

Today’s is a re-blog of Vanessa Coppes


Mistakes…We don’t like them, avoid them, blame them on others, run away from them…(sigh) but they happen. I am the first one to admit to imperfection and if I’ve learned anything in my 35 years is this: when a mistake has been made on your behalf, your opportunity to learn from it is in direct proportion to your ability to get over it. 

Quick example: My 5 year old son missed the school bus the other day. He was playing inside his new fort instead of standing by the window like he’s supposed to every morning 5 minutes before pickup time. His excitement to play in his new fort trumped his responsibility to be ready for school on time.

Now,  you may be wondering where was I while all of this was happening…Well, I was standing right there beside him.

See… I set a timer for him in the mornings because it helps us both stay on track. He knows how much time he has to play before school and I know when to crank up the heat. But he and I have had this “morning drama” more often than not. and since I’ve decided to steer clear from drama in my life, I realized he needed a consequence for his choice. I am trying to teach my son awareness and that there are good and bad consequences for the choices you make.

He heard the timer go off indicating him it was time to go, he ignored my request to go stand by the door… and a few minutes later, he heard the bus drive away from our house…all I could hear was a hysterical “NoOoOoOo!!!!!!”

Later that day, he apologized for not listening to me and said something that left in awe, “Mama, I am going to throw this day away and start with a better one tomorrow.” The next morning I did not have to say a word. In fact he was ready before I even asked him to.

Embrace mistakes as lessons in your personal development. Your opportunity to learn from it is in direct proportion to your ability to get over it.

How do YOU handle mistakes?  In my “previous life”, I was hesitant to admit my mistakes for fear of what people would think.  As we count the hours to the deadline for holiday orders, I pray I will embrace any mistakes I make.  When life gets crazy and we are rushed, mistakes happen… the question is, how will you handle it?

When I became a MOM many years ago, I learned it was important to admit my mistakes and take ownership of them.  I didn’t want my daughter growing up putting mom on a pedestal which could topple and crumble, leaving her filled with doubts and heartache.  It was a great learning lesson for me as I embraced my mistakes over the years.  I know it sounds crazy but some of those mistakes have made me the person I am today.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

How to Conquer Your Greatest Fear?


Today’s blog started as just a “throwback” post. One of those days when I wasn’t sure what to write so I start reflecting on things I have written.  Then God lets me see part of the plan.

On this day in 2014, I had a conversation with Hope Shortt who is not only my Thirty One sponsor but also a woman of great faith who inspires me daily.  During a coaching call, she asked me: “Do you ever remember a time in your life that you were truly scared of something?”  This question always stops me dead in my tracks.  Because just when I think  I have a handle on “fear” and think it is gone from my life – those ugly gremlins poke through a little crack of doubt.  For those who have heard the story a million times, forgive me but this is not only to squash my inner gremlins but to help someone else who may be struggling along the way.266e5328ccd89317cd0a9da2787eb30b

Today’s blog comes from deep in my heart.  I hope by sharing this again (though some may cringe at its honesty) I can bid farewell to a FEAR which is plaguing me as I stepped out in faith to work my Thirty One business full-time.  b4154ec6f1fb4e828f441585a11524ec

We are going to go back in time…say 1990 when I thought I was in control of my life. It was Belinda’s 2nd birthday or pretty close to it. I was at work when a Police Detective walked through the door and asked my boss to speak to me. FEAR! The moment when I just knew my world was going to fall apart. FEAR! The moment when I realized my “recreational” drug use might be a problem. FEAR! The moment when EVERYONE was going to know I was a fake! This may seem a bit dramatic for some but the truth is, this was when I let FEAR invade my life. From this moment on, FEAR became a major part of my life. Satan has had a field day with me ever since.unnamed-3

The truth was, I was a drug addict. My addiction had caused me to do things I knew were wrong, were “not the way I was raised”, and were “not the way I wanted to raise my daughter”. I thought I was having fun. Recreational use for over 8 years had gradually turned into more as I moved from weekend use to all the time (or as often as I could afford). My life was a mess and the only one who seemed to know it was God! I was arrested, faced possible jail time, put in a Pre-Trial Intervention Program for community service and sent to rehab. God had a plan for my life.  I had definitely drifted off course – further than I ever had before.

As I remember the dreadful day, my heart races, knots form in my stomach and tears well up in my eyes. Through it all, I am grateful. It was the turning point in my life which helped me to slowly move closer to God’s will for me. Did I have a lot of FAITH? No! Did I think God loved me enough to want to save me? No! But as I look back, I know the rocky road of recovery and growth are all part of who I am today.

So you are wondering why I bothered to share about FEAR, right? Been there, done that, got the tee shirt, right? The truth is – deep in the crevice of my soul, FEAR still has a hold on my heart. This week has been a week where I needed to fully rely on God.  Have faith in what I could not see and trust he has a plan for me.  Yup, I am again bidding farewell to FEAR! Hope talked about this in her blog:

I encourage you to be brave. Realize that when fear creeps in, push it out. My God is bigger than anything else and My God has proven that time and time again. Be strong. Be courageous and remember that He already knows what tomorrow holds-therefore fear is not how He equips you.

Will it be easy?  NO!  But let’s do it together….Let’s bid a farewell to fear this year, once and for all.  Whether it’s about your job, your car, an accident, your finances, your relationships, your business, your addiction…whatever it is, don’t let fear in. Don’t let it win….. Allowing fear to take over is actually very easy and it can cost us when it becomes to being the person God wants us and needs us to be for others. I believe it’s one of the greatest attacks on us as believers. I refuse to be taken advantage of by the enemy. He’s stolen too much from me before.

Today, I will EMBRACE the joy in my heart and my God-sized Dream. I will close the door on FEAR which hovers outside my heart ready to steal my joy.

What is YOUR greatest FEAR? Is that FEAR keeping you from reaching YOUR dreams? I challenge you to bid farewell to the fear.. will you take the challenge

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Pick My Brain

pick-my-brain1When I saw a blog entitled “No, Don’t Pick My Brain”, I had to laugh. Thank you Adrienne Graham.  See I have always said to people, pick my brain because I am not good at sharing all the stuff in my head. I love writing my blog. I love talking with people and sharing tidbits of information I have learned. I love to share information on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. Some would think I share too much, right?

The author talked about the cost to maintain my brain. She says “My brain costs money to maintain. There’s training, classes to attend, reading (I have to buy books), gaining certifications, costs of memberships so I can network, attending conferences and mastering my skills all cost me money. I have to protect my investment. How fair is it to me to give away all the knowledge I have acquired which I use to make my living, pay my bills and eat?”

Please don’t misunderstand –  I’m am by no means going to stop sharing.  See I love to share information and I know at some point,  I will reap the benefits of helping others.  I have never learned how to put a value on my time and my knowledge.  When I was doing consulting work for non-profits, you know grant writing, program development, etc. I got paid for it – it was my business.  But part of me always “over-shared” or so some believed.  I share with everyone who wants to know how to do things – from writing a blog to fundraising and even some of those old skills like grant writing and program monitoring.

As I move back into being self-employed, someone said “you need to stop giving people information for free”, really?  Being in direct sales and having a small but growing team, I think sharing is invaluable.  I love this quote by Zig Ziglar:images-1

I have lived this way all of my life, so why change now, right?  Yes, I am self-employed. Yes, I need to pay my bills.  But I do believe if I continue to help others, God will provide for me and my family.

Despite the goals or business ideas some think I should follow, they aren’t in my heart.  I am thrilled for those individuals who move into coaching and are getting paid for their time and talents.  As for me, I will be the one who let’s everyone pick my brain – within limits.

So what do I get when someone asks for just an hour of one-on-one time? Or someone asks me to come to lunch so they can run some ideas by me?  Where do I draw the line?  The truth is, I am not sure at the almost ripe old age of 60, if I will ever know where to draw the line.  But based on some suggestions from the author, I may do some things a little different:

  • Believe what you know is valuable. If it wasn’t then why are they coming to you? You’re their chance to solve a problem or find a solution has value.  Believe in myself is a definite YES!
  • Create a fee schedule.  I will never say never BUT as for now, I don’t see this happening.
  • Decline lunch/coffee invitations unless they are strictly non-business. So, this isn’t going to happen for me.  I love to share what I have learned and even more excited I remember things given the MS memory issues.  
  • Keep it light. Give the why and what but never the how. This is definitely not for me.
  • Exchange for equal value.  This is one I can do…If someone asks for help, I need to feel comfortable asking for a referral or a party or a lead to an event.  Assess what they have which can be of equal benefit for you.  Okay so this means stepping out of my comfort zone and ASKING which is one of the steps in being Accountable this year.
  • Ask them for a paying referral.  This is not for me unless of course they know someone who would LOVE to have a party…
  • Don’t back down. It’s hard to say “no” and I am only going to do it when it compromises my core values.  I will not let people push me to do things. “The minute you compromise you devalue yourself and your expertise.”
  • Know your worth, understand your value. 

For those who are coaches (or want to be), these are amazing tips and a good book.  I actually wrote this blog in January 2014 with a much different tone.  I was ready to embrace all of these ideas but life has brought changes.  My focus had changed and I am embracing the “giving back” side of me… the side of me I love…..

Share your thoughts… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Giving Up Control

Courtesy of Sharon Jaynes and ibelieve.com

“But he [God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV).

The angels were hovering low in our church on this particular Sunday morning. It was a special day for a group of 10 “kids” known as the King’s Kids. They were leading worship by singing a special song – only many of the kids couldn’t carry a tune, walk on their own, or even control their limbs.

We sat in silence as the unlikely band of worship leaders stumbled onto the stage. Each of these children of God had a disability and visible handicap. The King’s Kids lined up on the stage, many with adults standing behind them to support them, both physically and emotionally. Kristen, a young lady with Down Syndrome appeared to be the leader. She stood out in front of the others with confidence, strength, and passion.
The sound track began and the King’s Kids began to “sing” with their hands in sign language. “Press on,” their hands proclaimed. With wide sweeping motions and uninhibited praise, Kristen sang with arms and hands to the One who loved her most.

There was one girl in particular who caught my eye. She was not able to do the signs by herself. Her limbs were much too weak and uncontrolled. I watched as this gal leaned into a woman standing behind her and surrendered her arms and hands. While the others signed the words to the song, the woman moved her young charge’s hands in tandem with the others. Beth simply leaned into her helper and relinquished control.

Then God spoke to my heart: That is what I want you to do. Lean into Me, relinquish control, and allow Me to move your life in a symphony of worship.

We all have disabilities. While the handicaps vary, God longs for each one of us to do as Beth did on that Sunday morning. Lean into Him. Relinquish control. Allow God to move us to His song.

There was not a dry eye in the 2000-seat sanctuary that morning. These precious kids had many wounds and scars in their young lives, but they encouraged each of us to “press on” through our own struggles and hardships. Their disabilities were visible, yet those of us who sat in the pews had disabilities that were not visible to the naked eye but just as real.

I wonder what God wants to accomplish through you. I wonder how long He’s been waiting for you to lean into Him and let Him take control.

Are you are ready to give up control and lean into the Master?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Hope Wissel

New Years Eve

new years eve

What happened to 2014?  It seems like yesterday, we were welcoming in 2014 and now is it time for 2015.  Tell me that I am not the only one that scrolls through my Facebook posts to see what happened this year.  They say the memory is the first to go.  LOL!

Over the past few years, I have chosen a word as the theme for the year.  This year it was EMBRACE.  I am not sure that I was very good at embracing things for most of the year but as 2014 comes to a close – I am EMBRACING all the changes that took place this year, mostly with me over the last 2 months.

This year had many great memories – kicking off the New Year in NY with Belinda and Ashley then a trip to the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving parade with the girls.  A trip to North Carolina where we got to see behind the scenes at the Circus courtesy of a WCU graduate.  Thirty One’s National Conference where my first Director walked the stage. I met some of my goals in my Thirty One business.  I would have to say, the addition of a life coach has been one of the BEST things that I did this year.  The internal transformations will show in a kick butt year personally and in my business in 2015.

What do I want to accomplish next year (2015)?

  • Get back to goal weight (a mere 10 pounds to lose)
  • Recruit at least 4 new Thirty One team members to the Rays of H.O.P.E team
  • Earn the Leadership Trip for two!  (a Belinda & me trip since hubby as no desire to go)
  • Help 1 of my Thirty One team members to promote
  • A trip to Maine for Belinda’s graduation as she gets her Master’s
  • A trip to North Carolina
  • Two trips to Ohio – first for a Director’s retreat and then for National Conference
  • Pay off more credit card debt
  • Do monthly acts of kindness – fundraising or gifting

I know you are all thinking – resolutions don’t work, right?  These are not resolutions but accomplishments for the year.  Some are things that are already on the calendar while others are things that I will work towards during the year.  What do you want to accomplish next year?

The second question is probably more important than the first:

 How will you get there?

  • Continue to track my food and attend my Weight Watcher meetings – faithfully!
  • Share the gift of Thirty One with EVERYONE.  Embracing the re-ignited passion for my business.
  • Continue to use Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball to pay off my credit card debt. Remember to NOT use any credit cards despite the “want”
  • Continue to give back to the community helping others
  • Continue working with my life coach/ counselor to shed the bags that have kept me stuck personally and professionally.

I know that these are not specific action steps but they are the list that I will refer back to every month to make sure that I am on the right path towards achieving my goals.  S.M.A.R.T. goals in my life are not effective nor are resolutions.  The enthusiasm that I have when first made dies after the first month or so when I fall short.  This year’s “achievement” list allows me to make mistakes and fall short but also encourages me to get back on track with each new day (or month).

So, what do you want to accomplish in 2015 and how are you going to do it?

Best wishes for a safe, healthy and Happy New Year’s Eve.

#embrace #daveramsey #thirtyone #accomplishments #goals #