A Truth That Will Change Your Life

God-is-Faithful-608x456Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message..

Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:39b, NLT

One blessing of being in women’s ministry is the friendships I have with other women in ministry. We are our own little band of sisters. Sisters with a mission! We cheer for one another, cry with one another, laugh with one another, pray for one another, and rejoice with one another.

One sister I’ve had the opportunity to lock arms with for the journey is named Renee. Renee works for an international women’s ministry and is a talented God-fearing, Bible-teaching speaker and writer.

Several years ago, Renee traveled across the country to speak at a women’s retreat. When she got there, a few unexpected circumstances caused her to send out an “SOS, pray-for-me-now” email to her ministry sisters.

I got the email and hit my knees.

Early the next week, Renee sent us an email thanking us for praying and telling us what God did in the hearts of women at that retreat. She told us that she spoke about the lies that we believe as women and told personal and biblical stories that illuminated God’s truth. Then, at the final session, Renee asked the women to consider what they believed to be true about themselves.

Her challenge went something like this: “When you settle your soul long enough to simply be still—when you pause to listen to your heart—what do you hear? Are there lies that linger in your heart knowingly or unknowingly?”

She encouraged them to write down on a note card the lies they had accepted as truth, whether lies spoken by a parent, kids in the schoolyard, a friend, a family member, a spouse, a child, a pastor, or a stranger. She told them that some of the lies might never have been spoken at all, just believed.

When they finished she invited them to bring the cards to a wooden cross at the front of the room. Next to the cross she had placed baskets filled with promises from God’s Word, and after each woman nailed her card to the cross, she picked up a truth that would replace her lies.

Tears ran down cheek after cheek as the women brought their lies to the cross and embraced God’s life-changing Words. Guilt was forgiven and sorrows were traded for joy that day. Then a beautiful celebration went down. God, through his Holy Spirit, revealed His heart to those sweet women and shattered the lies of the enemy.

After the retreat was over, Renee looked through the cards that had been nailed to the cross. One card jumped out at her. Written over and over was one word: Worthless!

The woman who wrote that wasn’t the only one at that retreat who felt that way. That same word—worthless—was penned on many of the cards that weekend. It represents a lie that has been believed by most every woman at some point in her life. There have been days, weeks, and months that I’ve believed it myself.

It’s one of Satan’s favorite words to throw at us, and it is a big, fat, ugly LIE.

The Bible clearly shows us that we are valued in the sight of the Lord. When we allow God’s Word to flood our lives with truth we are changed by the height, the depth, and the width of His love for us.

“Take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God”(Ephesians 3:18–19, MSG).

God loves you with a personal love.

He knows your name.

He considers you highly valuable.

He adores you.

No matter what you’ve believed in the past, choose by faith today to believe this one truth: you are perfectly loved by God.

A Blessing Bag

safe_image-1.phpI LOVE to give back and today, I wanted to share a tip from ModernParentsMessyKids.

Whether you live in the city or in the suburbs, there are situations that tug at your heart strings especially when we see someone we want to help, but just don’t know how. Maybe it is encountering a homeless person on the street.  Maybe you have been asked for money outright or maybe you have seen them holding a sign sharing their misfortune.  Whatever the situation, you have wanted to help but just weren’t sure, right?

As a recovering addict, I will admit giving money to someone always concerns me.  “There by the grace of God, go I”.  So if I walk by without doing anything, I feel awful.

One of the BIGGEST requests that I have heard from those who are homeless is that they need – Socks.  Think about it –  it’s easy to find food. Shelters and non-profits offer warm meals to anyone that walks in.  Clothes can be gotten as well. But, the homeless don’t use washers and dryers, so a clean pair of socks is a luxury item.

How easy would it be to carry a pair of socks everywhere? Maybe a pair in your purse and a few pairs in the car. Blessing-Bag-Kits

What if you took it one step further….. Make a Blessing Bag. The items are easy to get and can keep forever in your purse or car. The essential items that we take for granted can lift the spirits of someone living on the street.

Start with a Gallon Size Ziploc Bag.

  • It will help to keep everything together & in one place so they can easily access the supplies in their bags/backpacks
  • Keeps the items from spilling/leaking in their bags
  • The bags can later be used for other storage options within their bags – storing toiletries, snacks, etc

Here are some of the things that you can include:

  • Hand-Warmers – especially during the winter, but even on a chilly evening these area a blessing.
  • Bag of Quarters – These are nice to include for washing clothes at the laundromat. You can put them in a snack-size Ziploc bag to keep them contained.
  • Bottle of Water – Mini water bottles work great
  • Band-Aids – are sometimes needed but not something they would be able to spend money on or think about having.
  • Baby Wipes – a small pack of baby wipes help with feeling clean & fresh
  • Hand Sanitizer – another great option to help them feel cleaner
  • Wash Cloth

Toiletries: if you have a lot of items to include, travel-size toiletries work great

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste (travel size if you have a lot of items to put into your bag)
  • Floss
  • Soap (hotel soaps are great)
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo/conditioner (hotel one are the perfect size)
  • Comb
  • Personal hygiene items for a woman (tampons, pantiliners, pads, etc)
  • Sunscreen (depending on time of year)
  • Chapstick
  • Personal Items: New Socks, New Underwear, Inexpensive gloves
  • Non-Perishable Foods: Granola Bars, Energy Bars, Tuna/cracker packs, Trail mix, Raisins, Peanuts, Fruit cup/ applesauce cup (& include a spoon), Gum/hard candy, Hot Cocoa/Spiced Cider Mixes or on-the-go coffee mixes

You can get a FREE printable checklist by clicking HERE

The specific items can be changed, but be sure that any food you use is non-perishable. And remember, food is most likely easy to find, so toiletry items are especially appreciated.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How Do You Parent?

hot messWe are almost 3 weeks into a catalog change, about 1 week into an amazing enrollment opportunity and my office (not even just my desk) looks like a “hot mess”.  For those of you who know me, this is not good!  Health challenges, brain fog and “hot messes” don’t mix well.

I know, you are wondering what this has to do with my question, right?

My “time hop” reminded me of a workshop hosted by ETTW (Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women) where Caryn Chow was the guest speaker.

Caryn shared that we need to “apply the same skills to your business as you did to raising your children”. That got me to thinking that we need to do the same thing in our relationships.

Here is the acronym that she shared with us:

P = Patience
A = A lot of Love
R = Resilience
E = Endurance
N = Nurture
T = Time Out

In direct sales, this makes so much sense. Many of us think of our team as our kids. They need patience, encouragement and nurturing.  Just as my daughter taught me lessons as she was growing up, my team teaches me everyday.  Let’s be honest, these same characteristics are important in our relationships with other people, especially our spouses, right?

The question is,why is it sometimes much harder in our relationships then in our business?  Love is pretty easy.  In our marriage, we love our spouse or we wouldn’t have gotten married right?  Endurance to continue on even despite nah sayers.  Even when there are bumps in the road personally and professionally, we endure.   Nurturing seems to come naturally for most women. I mean, we take care of everyone else and seldom take time for ourselves, right?

Patience, now that can be a little tougher in both aspects of our life.  Why do we tend to lack patience with our spouse or in our business?  We tend to compare where we are in our lives with where others are in their life.  Social media – a love/ hate relationship that keeps us comparing ourselves with others!

The two things that I struggle most with are “time out” and “resilience”. Sounds crazy right considering that I have endured the roller coaster ride of life.  Taking time out for me (or family) is something that I have struggled with my entire  life. Workaholic Wendy steps in sending the message that I am only worth anything at work!  YIKES!! Did I say that?  Yes, I did.  With the help of hubby, I am learning to take time out to enjoy our moments together without work. Not easy but I am trying.

Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly” or “the ability to spring back into shape“. Yup, that is me!  Bad business month, I spring back kicking it into overdrive.  I have to be careful not to become the “pushy salesperson” and just continue sharing the gift of Thirty One. The recovery process is a lot slower when Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie visit mostly in my personal life. The key is that I do snap back.

Here is another fun acronym

T eaching (telling them)
R ight
A ctions and Attitudes.
I nvolvement (showing them)
N urturing (caring for them)

Telling, showing, and caring– this triple helps you have a successful business and a happy marriage!  So, are you ready to be a PARENT and be a TRAIN-er ? I would love to hear others thoughts on this…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Do You Think?

what's your happy? jump

I have been blogging daily for almost 3 1/2 years. I have shared my struggles, my hopes, and my dreams.  I have offered tips on organizing your home, uncluttering your life, starting a business and a variety of other things.  My goal has always been to share my strengths, hopes and experiences with YOU so that I might #impactasoul.

On this “Throwback Thursday”, I would love to hear from YOU, my readers. I would love to know which topics interest you the most.  What would you like me to continue to write about that targets “your happy”?

I want to hear from YOU – whether you are a fellow blogger, a friend, a family member, or just someone who stumbled upon this today.

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Over the years, the acronym for my name has changed many times BUT the feelings behind it are always the same – to make a difference.  Here are some of them:

Helping Others Plan Effectively

Helping Other People Everyday

Helping Others Pursue Excellence

I would love to hear from you…. the good, the bad and the ugly!  You have been reading about the things that are important to me over the years, I would love to hear what is important to you.  Post your comments on here or feel free to message me at HopeWs31@gmail.com.

I look forward to hearing from you…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Are You Taking Risks?

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Risk is defined “as exposing (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss.”  Honestly, how many of us actually take risks?  The truth is we take some risk every day – we drive a car with only a yellow line separating us from the other car, we fly in planes, and I am sure the list could go on.  Most of us don’t think of these things as risks, right?

Often, my fear of failing stops me from stepping out into uncharted territory. Although I believe that you learn from your mistakes, I am often hesitant to walk on a path that is less traveled. Taking a risk can sometimes mean just stepping out of your comfort zone.

I talk a lot about stepping out of your comfort zone . I believe that many of us don’t and as a result, we are kept from reaching our full potential and our goals in life and in business.  So whether you are jumping into a new job, a new relationship, a new business or anything else that takes you out of your comfort zone, here are some tips to determine if you should take a risk or not:

  • Trust yourself. When you take a risk, you need to trust that you have the skills to reach your ultimate goal. If you lack self-confidence, the first step is identifying your weakness.  Then seek out others who can help you through the struggles.
  • Think creatively.  Being unique is wonderful.  Standing out or above the crowd allows us to shine.  Remember that when you step outside of the box, you don’t want to loose sight of your vision/goal.  You can be creative while still  using some of the tried and true ideas that have helped others be successful.
  • Know your field and product/service.  Love what you do and the rest is easy.  I have taken risks many times when it came to new jobs.  The secret to all of them was that I loved what I did.  I learned everything I could so that I could be an expert in that particular area.  If you are joining a direct sales company,  LOVE their products. Learn from those who have gone before you.  Take classes. Read books.  Network with others in your field and out of your field.

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  • Implement a support system and seek expert advice. When I stepped out of my comfort zone to join a direct sales company, I found an AMAZING support system in my upline and other Thirty One sisters. Find a network of professionals who you trust that can guide you in those areas where you are weak. Here are a few that have helped me:  Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women, The Desiree Wolfe, Eryka Peskin, JulieAnn Jones, Britt Bolnick and the list goes on personally and professionally.

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  • Show courage. Sometimes it just comes down to – Do I have the courage to step out of my comfort zone and take a RISK. “By showing courage, you are also showing good leadership skills” – I never really thought about that.
    Never give up. Stepped out and it didn’t work out?  Maybe you didn’t get the response you were looking for?  Maybe you it didn’t turn out like you planned? Okay – build a bridge and get over it.  Learn from this and move on.
  • Don’t listen to negatives.  Ignore Negative Nellie.  Stop talking to her since those negative thoughts will undermine your self-confidence. If she has taken up residence in your head – close the door on her and find some positive affirmations to keep the door locked. This is sometimes our biggest hurdle.

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Risk means there is a potential for loss. It means that we are stepping out of our comfort zone and walking in FAITH. If the risk is God-centered, then he will lead us through it. Even if it is not a success or is a flat out FAIL, there is a lesson that can be learned. Step out of your comfort zone, take a risk and see where it leads.  What will you do today to step out of YOUR comfort zone?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!