Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Put Your Toes in the Water

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)

Have you ever wanted to “freeze” a moment and make it last a lifetime? I have. I have also lived through certain moments that I wish I could change or even delete and pretend they never happened. But change is a natural part of life. We can embrace it, or we can fight it.

My husband often says that the only people who really like change are wet babies. However, I have discovered that some people thrive and live for change. Others dig in their heels and refuse to change a thing and ultimately become prisoners of old habits – good and bad. When it comes to change, we have a decision to make. Change is a sign of growth and life and is sometimes needed simply to survive.

God may be asking you to step out in faith and make a change in your life. He has already been where He is asking you to go. He has prepared every step of the way for you. You don’t have to be afraid of the unknown. It is unknown only to you. God is well aware of where you are and of every step He is asking you to take. He may be asking you to get rid of old memories, eliminate destructive habits, and forsake lifeless traditions. He is waiting for you to take one step. Faith in God does not come all at once. Faith is a step-by-step process that begins with one small step and increases as we go. An Old Testament story found in Joshua 3 illustrates this truth.

The Israelites are camped on the bank of the Jordan River. Forty years earlier, they had escaped from Egypt and have been wandering around in the wilderness ever since. All of their needs have been met by God. They have seen miracle after miracle, and now they can see Canaan, the Promised Land. However, there is a problem.

A huge river stands between them and the Promised Land, and there is no way around it. God told His people that He would make a dry path through the river, but the priests had never seen that happen. In fact, they hadn’t even been born when the Red Sea was parted, and there were no reruns of the Ten Commandments at the local Wilderness Theatre. The Israelites had spent their entire adult lives in the wilderness, and they could finally see a way out. Oh, and one more problem — the priests couldn’t swim. This was probably the first river they had even been close to in their lives. I can imagine their fear and questions. God was asking them to step out in faith as never before.

I don’t imagine the Israelites had a great deal of faith in God at that moment, but they had just enough faith to take that first step. And that was enough.
Joshua 3:15-17 (NCV) During harvest the Jordan overflows its banks. When the priests carrying the Ark came to the edge of the river and stepped into the water, the water upstream stopped flowing. It stood up in a heap. So the people crossed over.

Notice that God did nothing until those toes touched the water. That first step was all God needed to see. Many times, we won’t take the first step of change because we’re afraid we won’t be able to make the whole journey.

Don’t wait until you believe it all.

Don’t wait until you can see it all.

Don’t wait until you understand it all.

Trust God and step out in faith. He will meet you there.

Have a blessed day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge


Philippians 1:6
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Confidence. There are days when we feel we don’t even know the meaning of the word.  I long for the days when I had some.  I struggle to remember when it was and what it felt like.  It is hard to stay confident when we feel so weak.  I believe God as a plan for me, yet I often feel incapable of caring it out (or sometimes I don’t even know what it is).

When I used to wear titles like “mom” or “Social Worker” or “employee”.  I had confidence most days to do my job.  I knew what needed to be done and did it.  When left to be “Hope”, the confidence quickly fades.  Comparison steals joy.  Inner gremlins run around in my head with thoughts of “you aren’t good enough”.  It is those times when I have to step outside of ME and rely on my Higher Power.  The Serenity Prayer helped to get me through the struggles in my early years of recovery .  I use it today just as I did then.

It is important we realize where confidence comes from. Our confidence comes from the God. It comes from no-where else. He alone gives the kind of strength necessary to meet every challenge. The things He overcame causes our struggles to pale in comparison. If we believe in God (or a Higher Power), then we will have confidence to succeed.

What are some of your struggles?  Share them with us so we can keep you in our prayers…..

Today’s thought: I can do anything I set my mind to because of Christ in me!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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!