Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Happy Easter 2018

EASTER cross

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”  

On this day, let’s remember the true meaning of Easter as we visit with family and friends.  Treasure the moments for the days go by quickly, loved ones are gone and kids grow up.  This day holds so many mixed feelings for me…..

Growing up going to my grandparents while my parents and aunts went to sunrise service on the beach.  Then home to get ready for church.  Totally new outfits to wear to church.  Sometimes even a trip to the Boardwalk for the Easter Parade in Asbury Park.  Then back to my grandparents for a traditional Easter dinner with the whole family.  Easter baskets overflowing with candy from the “Carmel Shop” and “Old Monmouth”.  Happy memories of my childhood.

Fast forward (many years) to having my own home with my daughter, Belinda.  Easter took on a different meaning.  As an infant, I had lost touch with God, feeling like I didn’t deserve his unconditional love.  Easter was still about dinner with family but gone were the traditions of church and the Easter parade.  When I entered recovery, things changed ever so slightly – now I was entering into a relationship with God but still did not have a church.  As Belinda got a little older, we did Easter baskets but they were filled with toys and games because she didn’t like chocolate.  I know can you believe it!  She did like white chocolate but only in small amounts.  And of course “stale” marshmallow peeps.  It was a treasure hunt to find the basket with clues left in Easter eggs throughout the house.  I can still remember the squeals of excitement as she found the basket.  I even remember making her Easter outfits and heading to Atlantic City for the traditional Easter parade.  Dinners were a little smaller but family was still together.

Now, as the miles stretch between us, we each celebrate Easter with our extended family.  Gone are the Easter baskets filled with candy.  Gone is the traditional family Easter dinner.  There will be loved ones in heaven celebrating together while those of us left behind still struggle with making new traditions.  The true meaning of Easter begins to shine through…

My relationship with God has grown and I am grateful he loved me enough to sacrifice his son for my sins.  Today, I will head to church then hubby and I will head to Atlantic City to have brunch with mom and my step dad.  I miss those traditional family holidays (those I remember) but am learning to create new memories with each passing day.

Share your Easter memories with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Throwback Thursday – Celebrate the Ones You Love


Since I am still floating in my pink bubble, I decided to do a “Throwback Thursday” post which seemed so appropriate.  This is from July 21, 2013 – the first year I started blogging. Funny that this is about preparing to go to National Conference and this year, I am recouping after being away.

Sunday is my time to reflect, relax and recharge. Every morning I get several emails on daily devotions – I know why do I need some many, right? I find that each one touches me in a way the others couldn’t when I am struggling. As I head off to church this morning, my mind is racing with the TO DO list for the next two days as I prepare to leave for HOTLANTA on Wednesday. In all of the busyness, there is one message that stuck out for me – a “Message from God” that is short, sweet and to the point.

Today, Hope, we believe God wants you to know that … you cannot let this day pass without telling the people you love that you love them. Do not take for granted the people closest to your heart. Nothing is permanent, celebrate them now.

Life gets in the way for all of us – We forget to call family and friends thinking we will get to it later. We forget to send that email to let someone know we are thinking of them. We miss sending a birthday card and then figure if it is late, why bother. Errands, work, the mom taxi, doctors appointments, etc all keep us busy. Then something stops you in your tracks – a call about a friend who is sick, a family member in the hospital, a posting on Facebook that a fellow classmate has died too soon. SMACK! The reality hits that time has slipped by – days, weeks, months and you have lost touch with those you love or who are the closest to your heart.


Take time today to pause for a moment – make that phone call, send that email, mail a card just to say I was thinking about you. CELEBRATE the people in your life that are closest to your heart. Don’t let the miles, however large or small, get in the way of letting them know you care.

Today, I will CELEBRATE – ENCOURAGE – REWARD those in my life who are the closest to my heart. How about you? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.

Hope Wissel

Thankful Thursday


Today is Thankful Thursday.  I know that the rest of the social media world thinks of it as “Throwback Thursday” but today I want to be “thankful”.

I am thankful for:

  • A parents that love me unconditionally
  • Being a child of divorce
  • A family that supported me despite my faults and bad decisions
  • Mistakes that I made in high school that changed my life
  • Mistakes that I made in college that shaped my future
  • The variety of jobs as I looked for me
  • The friends who have come for a season and those who have stayed
  • My addiction
  • My lack of confidence
  • My struggle with weight
  • My love of writing
  • My passion for helping others
  • My overprotective and loving hubby
  • My rocky walk with God
  • My lack of faith and trust
  • the good, the bad and the ugly parts of my life


My life has not been perfect, but today, I am viewing it through the lens of thankfulness.  For it is those things that have helped to shape me.  It is those imperfections that have helped me to become the woman that I am today.  Some days those same things take me on a dark journey to negativity and today is NOT one of them.

TODAY, I am thankful for the struggles because without them I would not be able to make a difference in the life of someone else. I would not be able to be compassionate. I would not have the desire to make others smile.

TODAY, I am thankful for a loving God who not only has forgiven me for my mistakes but continues to guide me.  I have faith and trust that with Him, all things are possible.

So, what are you thankful for today?  Share with us and let’s celebrate our imperfections together.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!



Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Did YOU Thank God

blog idea

Today is a day to Reflect, Relax and Recharge…Oh, did I mention, I have to work today.  This was the first full weekend of my new part-time work schedule, so I didn’t get to church this morning.  When I opened my Facebook this morning – this picture popped up which got me to thinking..

What did I thank God for yesterday?  Then I got to thinking about how the days fly by and although I say “I am grateful” do I really say “Thank You”. The truth is I do devotions every morning and sometimes I stop and listen to what God wants me to hear BEFORE I jump into doing work.  The black hole of email and Facebook draws me in moving me from moments of prayer to what is happening in the social media world.  Before long the day is over and I have not taken the time to talk with God, thank him AND listen for his words of wisdom for me.

So, if I were to only have the things that I thanked God for yesterday, I would probably have to say: I would be sitting in an empty field ALONE!  YIKES!  That is a scary thought and one that jolted me back to reality.  I think about the things I used to do when I did my devotions in the morning which included taking a few minutes or sometimes up to an hour to write my prayers to God.  See writing for me is so much better than talking to God.  When I write, I seem to stay in the moment of what I am doing.  While when I talk, I get sidetracked – pulled in different directions and never seem to get back to giving God the glory.  No judgements, please!  I praise God through song daily.  I attend church when I can.  I tithe.  I am on the Count team at church.  I donate to causes that are dear to my heart without looking for recognition.  I say all of this because it is the top layer, not the deep personal relationship that I long for daily with God.  I feel like I stopped LISTENING so sometimes God stopped talking.  Okay, so I know that is not true, he talks to me all of the time – the problem is that I don’t hear him because I let the busyness of life get in the way.

So TODAY I am thankful for:

  • A loving and caring God who continues to talk to me even when I may not be listening
  • My family – my hubby, my daughter, my parents (and step-parents), my sisters and their families.  We have a family bush and each have impacted my life in some way and I am grateful.
  • My Thirty One sisters.  This group of women have changed my life and it is about more than a purse.
  • My hostesses and my customers.  This group of women have not only helped me to build my business, they have also been a part of my life.  We have shared good times and bad.  We have shared tears of joy and of sorrow.  They have taught me lessons and helped me to grow.

So, tomorrow if all I had were the things that I would be thankful for, it would be about the relationships in my life that make a difference.  I appreciate the material things in my life BUT things can be replaced, people can not.  My list of gratitude could go on and on because TODAY there are a lot of people for whom I am grateful who have helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Thank you Lord, for placing each person in my life whether it be for a moment, a day, a season or forever.  I am grateful for their lessons and guidance.  What are YOU thankful for today?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!