Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel

One Word Not a Resolution

In looking back over the last year, I realized in all of the craziness I forgot about my “word”.  Honestly, I don’t even remember what it was for 2020.  Life got away from me – COVID, recovery, selling our condo, buying our new forever home, settling in and living life with hubby in retirement.  A whirlwind of a year which is coming to an end….So, I’m planning 2021.

It is just a few days before Christmas and already some are looking forward to the new year.  There are hopes of a better year, for some type of normal to return to our lives.  For some, this has brought up the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, right?  Most people usually pick a resolution by a problem which has plagued them (sometimes for years) and vow to change it.  Has it worked for you in the past?  I know it never did for me.  Here is usually how it goes:

January – motivated, committed and on track to keep resolution

February – some motivation, mostly on track

March – motivation gone and Resolution forgotten

Does this sound like you?  Well, in 2012 my Director with Thirty One asked us to pick a word for the upcoming year. It was the first year, I tried it and it worked!  My word was  FAITH:  Faith to believe when the way is rough and faith to hang on when the going is tough.  faith will never fail to pull us through and bring us strength and comfort too. Helen Steiner Rice. 

That one word got me through so much during the year….FAITH helped me when business was slow.  FAITH helped me to step outside my comfort zone to grow my business.  FAITH helped me to stay on track with Weight Watchers.  FAITH helped me to overcome doubt and when I took on a part-time job.  FAITH got me through as hubby suffered congestive heart failure.  FAITH got me through when fear gripped my heart at the thought I might lose him. FAITH gave me strength when Rob had oral surgery.  FAITH kept me calm as I overcame my fear of dentists.  My FAITH grew each day as I sought God’s guidance before I made major decisions in my personal and business life.  My FAITH has got me through.  Each year after, I selected a word. Some years I was more focused then others either way, I was blessed in so many ways.

This “One Word” experiment moved me from the long list of changes to ONE WORD.  It helped me to take all my big plans, narrow them down into a single focus and create a vision.   When things got tough, when Doubtful Debbie and Negative Nellie visited; I went back to my ONE WORD and gained focus.  It wasn’t always easy but it helped me focus on the goals I had for the year.  Notice I didn’t say resolutions, I said goals.  I am still praying on my word for 2021.  I know God will nudge me in the direction I need to go.  This ONE word will be my guide as I strive for the goals I have for 2021 in my personal, and business life.

What will your ONE WORD for 2021 be?  Or are you still in the “resolution list” mode?  Either way, share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Family

Happy Easter 2017

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

As the sun begins to rise on Easter morning, I think of Easter’s past…

Growing up, I went to my grandparents while my parents and aunts went to sunrise service on the beach. Then home to get ready for church. New outfits for 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”.

As the years passed, life seemed to get in the way – no more fancy Easter outfits, no more Easter baskets combined with a feeling of not belonging. Then I was blessed with my daughter, Belinda. Childhood memories and traditions came back to life starting with Belinda’s first Easter. Four generations – Grams, Mom, me and Belinda.4 generations Easter

Easter was different. Easter baskets were filled with toys and games because Belinda didn’t like chocolate – I know SHOCKING, right? 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. That is my cutie in one of those outfits!

Dinners were a little smaller but family was still together. The family was smaller – Edythe, Elsie, Grams, Mom, Belinda and I but we were blessed with 4 generations at dinner for several years.

This year is just a little different…. the miles stretch between us, as we each celebrate Easter with extended family. Hubby and I will have dinner with his family.  Gone are the Easter baskets filled with candy. Our loved ones in heaven will be celebrating together while those of us left behind will struggle with making new traditions.  This year is even tougher since heaven gained an angel this week – my Dad.  This is one of my favorite songs…

Blessings from Laura Story:

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

I am blessed. I have a loving, supportive family, and a devoted husband. I have a faith which at times is as small as a mustard seed but is enough to get me through the toughest days. For I know even the trials are blessings from God.

Share your Easter stories and pictures with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful Easter!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

The Mustard Seed of Faith

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Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message…..

He (Jesus) replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustardseed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” ~ Matthew 17:20, NIV

I am not a quitter! What some might call stubbornness, I prefer to call perseverance – especially when it comes to growing flowers and plants.

We recently downsized and moved to a house with a small wooden deck in the back yard. I took one look at that deck and could almost hear it crying out for beautiful plants spilling over the edges of brightly colored ceramic planters. My stubbornness … uh, perseverance … kicked in, and I thought, “I can do this!”

I headed to the local nursery where they know me. And by “know me” I mean they understand that I can kill just about any living plant known to mankind.

Linda greeted me with a smile. Linda and I have become friends over the years as I have tried to grow various plants and flowers. She is well aware of my limitations in the world of plants, and is so sweet about it. When I explained what I wanted for the deck, Linda smiled and said, “Follow me.”

When we reached the section of plants and seeds labeled “Hardy” I could feel my confidence kick in. A beautiful display of plants, trees and packages of seeds greeted me. Linda began to explain what she thought would work best as she picked out several starter packs of Peonies and Daylilies, explaining that it is nearly impossible to kill either one. I was only half-listening. The display of seeds had caught my eye. Actually one packet of seeds grabbed my attention. It was the mustard seed. I began to read the information on the back of the packet. I didn’t actually want to plant the seeds, but I was fascinated by how small they were. They were tiny!

And then I remembered what Jesus said in the Bible about the mustard seed.
Matthew 13:31-32 “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Wow! The mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds, but it grows … and keeps growing. It can become a plant or even a tree. It all depends on how much it is fed and watered. The same is true of our faith.

Scripture tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. When we hear those words, we assume the Bible is describing the kind of faith we read about in the lives of the disciples as they healed the sick, made the blind to see, and performed miracles in the name of Jesus. It is! But that faith began with a tiny seed – a seed as small as a mustard seed.

Jesus tells us that we don’t need a lot of faith to produce great results. We just need to be sure where that faith is planted. And once planted, it will grow if we faithfully feed and water it.

Don’t miss this truth! When our faith rests in God alone, we can and should expect incredible results.

Hebrews 11:1 (ICB) “Faith means being sure of the things we hope for. And faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”

Faith is built upon trust. God wants us to trust Him in the ordinary moments of every day life and when the storms of life knock us to our knees.

God wants us to trust Him – to have faith in Him – even when we do not understand what is happening and life seems unfair. Even when nothing makes sense and the plan seems totally wrong.

God did not come to eliminate the storms of life. God came to fill each storm with His presence. It is easy to trust Him when the seas of life are calm and the skies are clear. The true strength of our faith is measured in the midst of a raging storm.

A crisis always reveals what is really inside. What life does to us depends on what life finds in us. Faith is a deliberate choice to believe God, to walk through our fear, knowing we can trust Him.

And all it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!