Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Strengths or Weaknesses

Happy Saturday!  Remember that today is the Step of Faith Holiday Fair at St. Paul’s Church in Brick if you are in the area…..Stop by and say “hello”.

I was reading an article about the “4 Qualities Needed to be Used by God” which got me to thinking.  I know a scary thought on a Saturday morning, right?  I have been reading the Purpose Driven Life trying to figure out my life purpose.  Just when I think I have it right, there is a twist in the road and I start to wonder or should I say doubt what I am doing with my life.

It finally hit me that I have 3 out of 4 then just maybe God can still use me for his purpose despite the fact that I feel less than.  I honestly can’t remember the fourth one.

1.  Foolish Mistakes – How far back should I go to start counting the foolish mistakes that I made?  I seem to remember them starting around the age of 12 and then they get progressively “dumber” with age.  I wonder if I have learned from those mistakes or if I just keep making the same ones over and over again in a different scenario.  I am sure all of us have made some foolish mistakes, right?

2.  Weak –  By definition it means:

  • lacking physical strength and energy; of a low standard; performing or performed badly.
  • liable to break or give way under pressure; easily damaged.

This word takes on so many different meanings for me.  I am “weak” in my faith.  I am “weak” in my physical strength.  I am “weak” in my confidence or belief in myself.  I always feel like I am on the verge of breaking when the pressure gets too great and as a result I am easily damaged.

3.  Ordinary – I have always been a behind the scenes person, never wanting to be seen by others.  My fears keep me hidden, becoming overwhelmed when thrust in the limelight.  Settling for being ordinary even when I have been called to be extra-ordinary.

Three qualities that God looks for in us so that we can fulfill his plan for us.  Three qualities that I have that I never really thought of as positive but are in God’s eyes.

Being in direct sales, people would be surprised that these internal struggles go on.  On the outside, I am perceived as successful, confident, fun-loving and encouraging – words others use to describe me.  Maybe that is God’s plan, to share my strengths, hopes and experiences with others so that they can grow into confident, strong, authentic women.

Whether it be encouraging the women on my team, my Thirty One sisters, my church family, family or friends – I am their cheerleader.  Is that God’s plan for me?  Maybe it is time to STOP and LISTEN to what he has to say.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!




Hope Wissel

Life is a Roller Coaster


Here is a little bit of my insight from the latest chapter of the “Purpose Driven Life“….

What is YOUR life metaphor? Now for me, this took awhile.  I mean, some days, I would say it is a tornado waiting to land. Then there are the days when I feel like it is a party or a black hole filled with nothing but sadness.  But when I really thought about it, it is more like a roller coaster for me.

For those that know me, I don’t like roller coasters, at least the new ones filled with upside down turns or depth defying drops that could make you lose your lunch.  When I think of roller coasters, I think of the first one that I rode with my Aunt Elsie on the Wildwood Boardwalk so many years ago.  It was the Wild Mouse which was wood and went out over the ocean.  Nothing fancy but it was fun.  I remember Elsie taking her glasses off so that she didn’t loose them but I think it was really because she didn’t want to see what the ride was really like.  We were scared but we squealed with excitement as we climbed in the car eager to see what was in store for us.  It was night time so when we got to the turns over the the ocean, all you could see was the darkness of the water below you.  We did it though – we tightly held onto each other as we squealed with delight when the ride was over.  Believe it or not, we even considered riding it again.  The fear of the unknown gone and the excitement of a new adventure was on the horizon.

Okay, so I squirreled…According to the book, your metaphor  of life is how you view your life.  I guess I would have to agree.  See a roller coaster is full of ups and downs, scary at times, as well as fun and exciting.  My life has been like that – full of ups and downs.  Okay, so maybe I took the fun part a little too far with excessive partying (a trait of addicts).  I let the scary parts keep me from moving forward sometimes.  The excitement of a new turn either kept me stuck (fear) or I was eager to move forward – it all depended on the day.

The next question was, can you think of a past experience where you can now see that God was testing you?  The truth is, most days, I feel like my entire life is a test.  I know that it is through God’s grace that I came through the bad free-will choices that I made to be the person that I am today.

So, what is your life metaphor?  How does it describe your life?  Share with us…

Have  a ThirtyOne-derful day!




Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Waiting on Prayers to Be Answered

“The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him.” Lamentations 3:25a (AMP)

Waiting combined with patience are not two of my strong points.  I am a “wave the magic wand” kind of girl.  I want instant relief – you know the pounds to just melt away, the pain to go away, the confidence to magically appear – do you see where I am coming from?  I see prayers answered quickly (or so it seems) for others.  I long for the answers.  You know the grass is always greener on the other side theory. As time creeps on, my doubts creep in.  The doubts are not really about God’s ability to answer my prayers but more on my worthiness to receive the blessings.

As I look back on my life, I can see where it always seemed to take time for my prayers to be answered – or at least longer than I thought it should.  As time went on and my answers didn’t show up, I’d get discouraged and frustrated. My waiting turned to worry. My perseverance shifted to pouting.

pouting baby

As I began the journey with my counselor/life coach and began reading the Purpose Driven Life, I have to admit that I am beginning to see the invisible wall that I built around my heart so I wouldn’t be disappointed if God didn’t answer my prayers.  It is a wall built by endless fear, hurt, lack of self-esteem and the belief that despite saying the words “God has forgiven me” for my mistakes – I haven’t forgiven myself.

Can you say “adjustment disorder”?  Adjustment disorder is a short-term condition that occurs when a person is unable to cope with, or adjust to, a particular source of stress, such as a major life change, loss, or event.   When did my brain forget that this was a short-term condition???

Now, I am wondering what it looks like to have an attitude of hope and expectancy as I wait for my prayers to be answered.  According to a devotional that I read, here are three ways to shift my focus:

God’s Promises: I read Bible verses every morning.  I pray that God will fill me with hope and encouragement.  I believe in Gods unfailing love and faithfulness.  Unfortunately, some days, I think that His promises are for others but not for me.

Praise & Worship: I listen to praise music throughout the day in my house, car and in my office.  In those sweet moments, my worries fade, turning my doubts into confident expectancy.  I feel like anything is possible.

Thanksgiving: I thank God for EVERYTHING especially the miracles in my past. I remember how God always came through in those tough times, and the times of great need. I struggle though with thanking Him in advance for His yet to come answers.

As I wait for God’s answers feeling like I am waiting longer than I planned, I am going to take a moment to thank Him in advance for His answer. I am going to trust that He is working behind the scenes on my behalf. I am not going to give up.

Lord, thank You for remaining faithful to me. Help me have hope and expectancy as I wait for Your answers to my prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.







Hope Wissel

Adjustment Disorder

I got this message from God today,

when people tell you nice things, stop shrugging them off as if they are nothing.

The sincere compliments you receive are your jewels, – collect them in your heart, – they highlight the beauty of your being and empower you during challenging times. Never say ‘oh, it’s nothing’ or shrug your shoulders when you hear a sincere compliment. Pause, breathe it in, and really feel its meaning.

Do you ever get the feeling that God is giving you a wink to let you know that you are in the right direction?  I started seeing a life coach last week.  Okay, so we only had one session but I feel like I am on the right path.  I am not sure where it will lead but I am confident that it will help.

She is covered by our insurance so of course she needs to give a “medical diagnosis” to ensure that the insurance company will pay for the visits.  So, she tells me that I have “adjustment disorder”.  That is a nice term for saying she is going to help me find my purpose in life (with a spiritual base) and restore my confidence and self-esteem.  It is nice to know that there is a medical term for being “stuck”.

I have always become absorbed in my work and then with raising Belinda.  As Belinda when off to college, I still had a crazy work schedule and commute.  When I semi-retired, I thought that I would just move on to the next stage in my life.  The problem was – I wasn’t sure who I was?  What my purpose was?  Jody (the life coach) asked me several questions that I really couldn’t answer.  She also recommended that I read the book the “Purpose Driven Life“.  Wanting to be the good student, I headed home to download it on my iPad.

Guess what?  If you choose to accept this mission, you will be walking along with me on this journey.  I hope to be able to share my experiences  in an effort to help others who may be “stuck”.  The first 3 questions in the book to ponder were:

  • Have you ever wondered about, or felt confused about, the purpose of your life?

HELLO!!!  This is why I am reading the book.  I thought I had it figured out when I was a social worker in the early years of HIV/AIDS but then I was drawn in another direction.  Or, did I opt out for what I thought was my purpose.

  • What ways have you tried to discover your life’s purpose that haven’t worked?

Tried workshops, conferences, and self-help books. I have taken assessment tests and surveys.  I have prayed but I don’t think I have listened for an answer.  I guess my experiment with drugs was even an attempt to figure out my purpose.  If something had worked, would I still be STUCK!

  • Why do you think people try to discover their life’s purpose without turning to God, their creator?

As for me, I have turned to God but I don’t think I have stopped long enough to hear his answer.  Maybe I am afraid that the answer that he gives me is one that I won’t like.  Is that really possible if we are truly hunting for our true purpose.

Since the book is a daily reading with questions to ponder, I will spare you from a daily self assessment.  I will share with you the things that make me go AHA and those that I struggle with along the way.

The little voice in my head (no I do not have multi-personalities) continues to tell me that by sharing this journey and my other struggles, I am sabotaging my business.  I can only hope that by letting you know that I am human, I may be able to help someone else who has struggled in the same way.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!