Hope Wissel

My Birthday Reflections

Another milestone….. yes, believe it or not, Saturday is my 62nd birthday!  Do I feel 62?  I will admit, the days when I  feel my age are greater than they were last year.  MS has kicked my butt a little bit more often this year.

I know I am early but I don’t blog on Saturday’s so I figured today would be a great day for reflection and probably some tears.

I am blessed to have woken up this morning and every morning.  No matter what the day may bring, I know it will be WONDERFUL!  Am I always this optimistic – NOPE!   I’m determined to be positive and make the most of each day.  It may take me two hours to clear the fog and get moving but being grateful for each small step it a gift from God.

Birthdays are milestones in our lives.  As children, they are a day (or sometimes a week or even a month) where the focus is on us.  Filled with presents, parties, family, friends and of course cake and ice cream.  As the years go by, life “happens” and things change.

The past year has been filled with many ups and downs.  I walked by in the doors of NA almost one year ago – broken and struggling.  My Thirty One business has had some really great highs and some all time lows. I’m still trying to get the hang of not having a consistent pay check.  I have expanded “Hope’s Angel Connection” and love sharing angels with everyone.  The daily realization more memories are lost and struggling to find the right words to say has been big this year.  Through it all I hold fast to the mantra “every day is a gift from God with a blessing to be found.”

Truth be told for many years “birthdays” were just another day when low self-esteem and lack of confidence and those nasty inner gremlins made me feel like I didn’t deserve a celebration. I’m great at giving but I’m not very good at receiving.  Today, I am looking at them a little differently – have I grown up?  Don’t count on it!  Entering back into recovery, I realized every day is a gift from God  and I am cherishing being able to spend another day with family and friends.  The celebration doesn’t need to be big, it doesn’t need to have lots of presents (maybe just one or two would be nice).

As a child, one of my favorite celebrations was the annual trip to New York City to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus. This annual tradition was a treat from Edythe and Elsie. It included the circus and dinner in NY. I always felt so grown up! Both of them are now our guardians angels in heaven and the circus is now gone too.

I have to admit the tears are starting to flow, tears of joy mixed with some sadness:

  • I grateful for my daughter, Belinda.  She has grown into an AMAZING woman who I am proud to call my friend.  Life was not always easy but she turned adversity into a learning lesson.  God could not have given me a greater gift than to be her mom.  We have had our hurdles this past year but I’m glad we are rebuilding our relationship.
  • To my mom….thank you for always being there.  We are not just mother and daughter, but we are friends.  The miles may separate us but I know you are only a phone call away or a short drive to Mays Landing.  You are always one of my biggest cheerleaders.  I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the support you have given me this year as I traveled the road of recovery, again.

  • To my DS/Crafter Friends….words can express the gratitude I have for you.  This past year, you have helped in so many ways.  Sharing events, carrying my stuff when I am struggling, cheering me on and checking in on me.  You have helped me to develop and expand my Angel Connection.  Your ongoing support as we entered year 2 of fulfilling a dream to celebrate, and encourage other DS business owners through our networking group, Jersey Shore Direct Sellers Network.

 

  • Lastly, to my hubby (who probably won’t read this)…who is my ROCK!  I know I am not the easiest to live with (imagine that?) but you are always there, standing strong and supporting me.  Your support and encouragement this year after my relapse has meant more than words can say.  Your support and encouragement gives me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone. Thank you for being one of my greatest cheerleaders.

There are many more people I could (and probably should) thank or talk about from this year.  It has been an AMAZING journey for me and I am looking forward to the blessings God has for me in this new year.  I can’t believe I am actually 62 years old – okay, so it is only a number, right?

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Stop by my VIP group on Facebook, Hope’s Purse Closet, for a birthday present from ME to YOU!

Hope you have ThirtyOne-derful day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Turning “Why Me?” into “What Now?”

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed – 1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV

My son and I sat on the floor in his room playing Rummy. We had just a few minutes before rushing off to register for his summer swim class and wanted to get in one more round of play. This summer was proving to be the best ever. Our Golden Retriever, Ginger, had just delivered seven adorable puppies, Steven was enjoying his sixth summer of life, and after four years of the heartache of negative pregnancy tests, God had surprised us with a new life growing inside my womb.

But as Steven and I sat on the floor, I felt a warm sticky sensation run down my leg. A trip to the bathroom confirmed my greatest fear.

Later that afternoon, our baby died, and is now waiting for us in heaven.

What began as a summer full of life and joy, quickly turned into a season of great loss and sadness. I mourned for that child for which I had prayed. I felt the ache of empty arms.

I once heard someone say, “I never knew I could miss someone that I had never met.” Now I understood. We never knew for sure, but in my heart, I felt that the baby had been a little girl.

During those summer months, I went through the grieving process step-by-step. I’ll admit that I was angry at God for “taunting” me with this gift of a child and then taking her away. But through the months and years that followed, God taught me many lessons about myself, about Him, and about trusting in His unfailing love.
I believe that when we go through a trial that wounds us deeply, God can use it to teach us valuable lessons. Some of those lessons are a deeper understanding of who God is, of who we are, and of what we truly believe. Our faith grows in the petri dish of struggles in the laboratory of life.

One of my most valuable lessons, through all my wounds and scars, was a decision to stop saying “why me?” and to begin saying “what now?” But the lesson that continues to reverberate like a gentle thunder is the truth of God’s unfailing love.

During the months that followed the loss of our child, I struggled with God. Just as Jacob wrestled with God through his dark night of the soul, I wrestled as well.

How could He love me and allow this to happen? Why would God withhold my dream? Is He able? Is He kind? Is He really there?

It was a dry summer…in my heart and soul. No one could help me, comfort me, or lift me out of my deep pit of sadness. And while I didn’t want to talk to God, He never left my side. Patiently, He waited for me to cry out to Him…to say, I will trust you even though I do not understand.

It is easy to trust God when life is skipping happily along. It is a deeper faith that forms when the skipping halts to the slow crawl of despair. Honestly, I never enjoy the struggles, but I do revel in the deeper understanding of God that is forged in the fire.

As Peter wrote, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

I know, the holidays are barely over AND maybe you are just putting your decorations away.  The kids just went back to school and you are trying to get a grasp on the New Year…..Have you been in the stores lately?  Christmas sales are GONE!  Valentine’s Day, St. Pattys and even Easter decorations are out. It is CRAZY!  So I figured I would jump on the bandwagon since Thirty One is having an AWESOME Outlet sale. What better time to shop then during a sale, right?

Thanks to a little help from Thirty-One Gifts, you can convey a message to leave a lasting impression on that special someone’s heart. Forget the box of chocolates – there’s nothing sweeter than a shared memory or sentiment which holds a special meaning. If you want to touch someone’s heart with a truly special gift, check out these customized ideas sure to become their all-time favorite gifts.

Straight from the heart

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without giving someone your heart, right? But if you’re not quite ready for a commitment, why not give a heart on a pillow or tote instead? The new heart-themed print designs allow you to add a heartfelt message to your gift. Each is a graphic print you can add to any of several Statement Canvas products including throw pillows, custom wall art, a Mini Shopper or Zip-Top Pouch.

Bundles of love

There are lots of things which come in small packages, BUT think of all of the AMAZING things which could come in a BIG Thirty-One bag! Why settle on one gift when you can pack lots of love in a tote, caddy or bin?  Create a special gift set with everything your sweetheart can appreciate throughout the year.  Check out some of these ideas:

Design a bin just for him

Put together a sports-themed Essential Storage Tote with game tickets, his home team’s jersey, sports magazines, signed memorabilia or a new pair of running shoes or cleats. Or design a fishing-themed Catch-All Bin with new tackle supplies like bobbers, hooks and lures or packed with a new tackle box or fishing hat!  Guess what??? Those Catch-All Bins are part of the outlet sale (you can save up to 70%)!

Create a special spa package

Fill a Mini Storage Bin with bath bombs, sugar scrub, slippers, beauty products, a sleep mask or even a gift certificate to a local spa or massage therapist. On a budget? Search for DIY bath product recipes on Pinterest. And YES, these are also part of the outlet sale…

Have a romantic indoor winter picnic 

Treat your honey to a personalized Picnic Thermal Tote with chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, fancy cheeses and crackers. (The Leak Lock® lining means you can fill it with ice!) Just spread out a blanket in front of the fireplace, grab a couple of champagne flutes and toast to the perfect Valentine’s Day!  The best part is you can use this year round when you want to take the picnic outdoors.  It is great for tailgating, trips to the park or even road trips.

Add a little sparkle

Were you thinking more of jewelry??? If you want to whisper sweet nothings in her ear, make sure they’re properly dressed for the occasion. Our Gallery™ Earrings and Luxe Loop Dangles are the perfect start to any romantic dinner or a night on the town.

Make her blush

While we have your attention, gentlemen…you should probably know she’s had her eye on these fashion-forward styles in her current favorite color since we introduced them this season! For a fail-safe Valentine’s Day gift she’ll love to carry all year long, choose a Convertible Belt Bag, Rubie Mini or Studio Thirty-One™ bag in Rose Blush Pebble and personalize it with her monogram in tone-on-tone Blush embroidery. (You can thank us later.)

Share the love, ladies!

Even if without a significant other this Valentine’s Day, you can always be Valentine-mates with your best friends, your kids, your mom, your dad, your brothers and sisters – anyone and everyone you love. Valentine’s Day is about appreciation and letting others know you care. We want you to know we care, too! Lots of love to you this Valentine’s Day.  Thank you Thirty One for today’s tips….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Birthday Reflections

Another milestone….. yes, believe it or not, tomorrow is my 61st birthday!  Do I feel 61? Some days especially when the MS decides to rear its ugly head..

I’m a day early since I don’t blog on Friday’s, I figured today would be a great day for reflection and probably some tears.

I am blessed I get to wake this morning and every morning.  No matter what the day may bring, I know it will be WONDERFUL!  I’m determined to be positive and make the most of it. It may take me two hours to clear the fog and get moving but being grateful for each small step it a gift from God.

Birthdays are milestones in our lives.  As children, they are a day (or sometimes a week or even a month) where the focus is on us.  Filled with presents, parties, family, friends and of course cake and ice cream.  As the years go by, life “happens” and things change.

The past year has been filled with many ups and downs.  Receiving the “official” diagnosis of RRMS (Remitting Relapsing MS) and starting injections three times a week.  Working my Thirty One business full-time while learning the ebbs and flows of not receiving a consistent pay check.  The realization more memories are lost and struggling to find the right words some days.  The toughest part of the last year was the loss of my dad.  Through it all I hold fast to the mantra “every day is a gift from God with a blessing to be found.”

Truth be told for many years “birthdays” were just another day when low self-esteem and lack of confidence and those nasty inner gremlins made me feel like I didn’t deserve a celebration. I’m great at giving but I’m not very good at receiving.  Today, I am looking at them a little differently – have I grown up?  Don’t count on it!  My dad was all about living life to the fullest and his passing is probably one of the reasons why I stopped saying “it is just another day”.   Today is a gift from God  to be able to spend another day with family and friends.  The celebration doesn’t need to be big, it doesn’t need to have lots of presents (maybe just one or two would be nice).

As a child, one of my favorite celebrations was the annual trip to New York City to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus. This annual tradition was a treat from Edythe and Elsie. It included the circus and dinner in NY. I always felt so grown up! Both of them are now our guardians angels in heaven and the circus performed for the last time last year.

I have to admit the tears are starting to flow, tears of joy mixed with some sadness:

  • I grateful for my daughter, Belinda.  She has grown into an AMAZING woman who I am proud to call my friend.  Life was not always easy but she turned adversity into a learning lesson.  God could not have given me a greater gift then to be her mom.  We may have missed out on the ThirtyOne cruise thanks to the hurricane but I loved spending time in NC with you.
  • To my mom….thank you for always being there.  We are not just mother and daughter, but we are friends.  The miles may separate us but I know you are only a phone call away or a short drive to Mays Landing.  You are always one of my biggest cheerleaders.
  • To my dad….who is now watching over me from heaven.  It has been a rough year but through it all, I remember your encouraging words.  You taught me to embrace life, living it to the fullest every day and to chose JOY, even on a bad day so everything will be okay. I miss you daddy!
  • To my Thirty One family.  An amazing group of women who have loved and supported me in my darkest days.  My team is AWESOME and they inspire me daily.  My hostesses and customers are so much more than just “orders”, building friendships with many of them.   They all hold a special place in my heart.  It is with their help and support I am able to work my business full-time.

  • To my DS/Crafter Friends….words can express the gratitude I have for you.  This past year, you have helped in so many ways.  Sharing events, carrying my stuff when I am struggling, cheering me on and checking in on me.  Thank you for your support as I ventured into fulfilling a dream of celebrating, and encouraging other DS business owners through our networking group, Jersey Shore Direct Sellers Network.
  • Lastly, to my hubby (who probably won’t read this)…who is my ROCK!  I know I am not the easiest to live with (imagine that?) but you are always there, standing strong and supporting me.  Your support and encouragement in my Thirty One “business” gives me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone. Thank you for being one of my greatest cheerleaders.  I’m excited to spend my birthday with you this year, thank you for taking the day off.

There are many more people I could (and probably should) thank or talk about from this year.  It has been an AMAZING journey for me and I am looking forward to the blessings God has for me in this new year.  I can’t believe I am actually 61 years old – okay, so it is only a number, right?

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Stop by my VIP group on Facebook, Hope’s Purse Closet, for a birthday present from ME to YOU!

Hope you have ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Out of the Box Gift Ideas

We are just 18 days from Christmas and I see the panic on the faces of many struggling on what to get those on their holiday list.  I will admit, I had those moments looking for the “perfect gift”.  Having moments where I let the inner gremlins step in bashing those out of the box ideas….

Has your gift giving list grown?  Has your office just decided to hold a Secret Santa?  Are YOUR friends looking for gifts for people in their office or do they know someone who is looking to give gifts to their co-workers or customers?

For those of us in direct sales, I know this sounds OBVIOUS but have you approached them about using YOUR products as gifts.  Now, I don’t mean just hand them a catalog to look through, I mean really help them with their gift giving dilemnas.

I offered my customers this year the opportunity to make their Christmas Wish List.   Remember the wish list of your childhood.  The one where you scoured the catalogs and sale papers making a list of EVERYTHING you could possible want then gave it to your parents who shared it with everyone in the family.

Some created their own list of what they wanted and then told family to contact me.  While others, provided me with a gift list and a few words describing person they needed to buy a gift for.  I then made practical suggestions from our product lines for them.  I know you are all thinking – when do I have time to do that in addition to my shopping, work (full and part-time), kids, etc.  The reality is most will not take advantage of it BUT you could start off by offering it to your hostess or those VIP customers who shop year round with you, never missing an opportunity to share your business with others.

Let’s try it with some of our Thirty One products:

  • Busy Mom, Mom Taxi – what about a Thirty One Hanging Traveler Case bag filled with pens, pencils, note paper, crayons, etc. to leave in the car.  Maybe even a few non-perishable snacks for the kids or an energy bar or two for mom. You never have to hunt for a pen or you can keep the kids busy while in the car.

  • Hubby, Mechanic, Car fanatic – How about an Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote filled with everything they would need to take care of their car?  They can keep everything in the trunk – organized so there is still room for the groceries.

dad's car kit

  • College Student – How about a Large Utility Tote filled with everything they would need in an emergency?  Blanket, jumper cables, first aid kit, etc.  Our daughter got one when she started driving. I know, most people have AAA but honestly sometimes they take FOREVER!  In the dead of winter, would it be nice to have a filled bag in the trunk so when a good Samaritan stopped to offer assistance you had the supplies you needed.  How about filling it with snacks along with a gift card or two.  You will be sending them back to school with food to get through those tough nights of studying..

So, have I sparked any ideas?  Are YOU thinking outside of the box?  Some people will think it is tacky to give a gift of the product you sell but think about how special it will be if it is combined with something they would know you picked out just for them.  I mean we all LOVE our products, why not share them with friends, family and co-workers.

What are you doing for “outside of the box” gift giving this holiday season?  I am still looking for a few gift ideas, how about sharing YOUR best company gift idea with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!