Hope Wissel

To My Love

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Flowers? Chocolate? A special dinner out?

UR Loved card

For me, it is a day to celebrate the gift of love in my life that I have sometimes taken for granted.

Parents – I know you are thinking of course, they love us they are our parents, right?  Many are not blessed with this gift of unconditional love. My parents have stood by and supported me even through the roughest of times.

My Daughter – Belinda.  The day she was born, I finally GOT it!  The 6 months of bed rest, the struggles with her biological dad, the days of being a struggling single mom – I got it!  I understood about the sacrifices that a parent makes for their child no matter how it hurts.  I understood that you would do anything to take care of and protect that little person. I LOVE the woman that she has grown up to be who wants to make the world a better place.

love of my life

My hubby – a love story for the ages.  When we met back in high school, he was this blond haired, guitar playing, quiet with a smile that gave me chills kind of guy. He was from Neptune and I was Ocean Township. Our schools were rivals and it didn’t take long for me to succumb to peer pressure. See, I was a people pleaser way back then too! We went our separate ways. We never talked again…

Fast forward 30 years, to the summer of 2002, a roadside memorial with the name “HOPE” on it sent this amazing man on a hunt to make sure it wasn’t me. Emailing led to dinner led to days off together and shall we say that the rest is history.

Life has tossed us some curve balls over the last 3 years.  The health struggles that we thought we wouldn’t have until we were OLD-er.  This overly independent woman is learning what the true meaning of “unconditional love” is all about from this amazing man.  I know there are times that he believes that I don’t need him, that he is “a pain in my butt” but the truth is, I can’t imagine my life without him. He is my Ying to my Yang. He keeps me grounded when I am ready to fly in the wind.  He is there to keep me optimistic when all I want to do is runaway and hide.

To day is the day that I honor LOVE. Remember that LOVE is an intense feeling with deep affection and we are meant to share it with others – family, friends or just a random act of kindness to a stranger.  I challenge you to put a smile on someone’s face to day.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Marriage Prayers


Hanging on the wall in our living room is a collage of pictures from our wedding day.  Pictures of family – some of who are no longer with us but the one that always stands out for me is the one of hubby and I.  In the frame are the well wishes from those who joined us on that special day.

Each time I look at the picture, I remember the excitement and how I thought “life really won’t change much, we have been together for so long”.   I remember saying to people “it is only a piece of paper, nothing will change”.  Those words always make me smile and snicker a little.

It has only been 4 years of marriage, but I would have pulled me aside on that day and said:

There is only one day where marriage looks like the storybooks. It’s this your wedding day, is where every hour has been arranged and planned to be beautiful and special. As the day ends, realize what happens from here is all about choices.

Being married is amazing. Being married is incredibly difficult. Being married can seem impossibly hard. Being married can seem incredibly beautiful. There is no other person who can frustrate me the way my hubby can. There is no other person who can make me feel as loved as my hubby can.

He didn’t remember that I had a meeting. It doesn’t mean that he isn’t listening to you.

He talked about the new gym opening down the street.  It doesn’t mean that he thinks you are fat. 

He is always on the computer when we are watching a movie at home.  It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love me enough to give me his full attention.

These little things can unravel a relationship when we let perceived unkind words plant seeds of discouragement.  Those little seeds can grow into big wedges of discontentment.

Don’t fall into the trap of just thinking about your differences, discussing your issues, complaining about your challenges and attempting to fix things on your own.  Thinking, talking, complaining and working on those things is not at all the same as praying for them.

Remember, the more you do battle for your marriage on your knees, the less you will fight in the flesh.

As I finished this imaginary conversation, I realized that I needed a fresh dose of applying my own advice.  I need to bring every concern I have and blessing I desire for our marriage to the Lord in prayer.

I have have been getting a daily email over the last few weeks that has truly helped me to focus on my marriage called Marriage Prayer.  The few moments that I take each day to talk with God has helped my patience level as well as helped me to see the good in hubby before quickly jumping to the negative.

Take a moment to thank God for the blessing of your marriage even during the struggles, it is a blessing.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!