Tag Archives: challenge

The Ebb and Flow of Hope

September 15, 2014

Oh, how I have missed you, friends! Somehow my life had a lot (understatement) to unfold over the last five months. During that time, I took an unplanned hiatus from the blog and much of social media. So, at the risk of being self-interested, I want to share the inspiring moments of ebb and flow since April.

Ebb
Such an intriguing concept . . . the waning of certain areas or, as I like to think of it, the pulling of life from your point of comfort into an ocean of change and challenge. In late March, I chose to set my heart free. No former attachments, no lingering what-ifs and no more seeking to find a someone. It was scary, it came with a clearing of energy, and it took all my courage to let go and give it fully to God.

Around April, I started noticing a reduction in freelance work and a shift in my network to a period of pause. That pause came with a frenzy of wrapping up projects, seeking new clients and praying the Lord would provide for my needs as bills mounted. I’m sure you know the stress and pressure of such times. Can I pay my rent in a month? What cavernous maze of steps must I take with credit cards? What am I doing wrong?

Simultaneously, several friends drifted into injury, illness, loss and trial. As I closed out the final weeks of the GriefShare class I love, I shifted immediately to be present and find the sunshine needed to bolster their spirits. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I simply didn’t realize my own candle was flickering.

Flow
To flow, to let life move as it will and to be pushed toward your greater self.

In mid-April, God richly blessed and challenged me all at once. He sent me David. Someone full of the spirit, a servant at heart and a playful personality with well-disguised redhead tendencies. On Easter, we had our first date. Imagine me sitting in the car before I walked up to the restaurant, praying to God that whatever He had in store would be my path. No expectations, no void to fill, no second guessing my outfit and nothing more than an honest glimmer of hope. David and I were instantly comfortable, immediately wrapped up in conversations that flitted from superheroes and action movies, to great books and helping others . . . even a sprinkle of goofy humor about our main courses (Chicken Bryan & Chicken Marsala, which we dubbed our double date Bryan & Marsala—at least until we scarfed them up). Yes, I scarfed on a first date. Don’t judge. He murmured on about baseball after a dizzying first kiss, so we’re even.

Fast forward (literally, it went so fast) to May when I met his kiddos (Joshua and Madelynne). Within a month of meeting, we were engaged. Crazy? Yep. Perfect? Yep. Predictable? Nope. We still stand silently and stare at each other sometimes and say, “Wow, this is real. I feel like the rollercoaster is still going.”

In June, we consolidated homes, in blessed time to combine both of our temporarily diminished finances. At the same time, I became a full-time step-mom in training. What a whirlwind of emotion, routine, questions and oops-my-bad. As David started his summer university term toward his doctorate in psychology, along with work for the Army Reserve, I set about reaching out to over three dozen job openings, clients and leads. But it wasn’t the Lord’s timing.

In July, we were married. I had spoken to the pastor once via phone, emailed the photographer, never met the hairstylist, never seen the flowers, never seen the winery in person and never met David’s family until the 24 hours before. It was like jumping out of a plane, into the ocean, looking for a star to guide you and seeing a hand reaching out. I wouldn’t change one ebb for all of the flow or one stressful moment for every priceless smile.

I humbly invite you to share our wedding day . . . the blessed culmination of surprises revealed, hope fulfilled and a new journey unleashed: View Our Video (one of the fabulous creations of the talented Tamara from Every Emotion Photography).

Also that month, I was given the opportunity to work on creative projects with a couple of brands I admire and the amazing blessing to begin building a brand with some visionary friends. It has God at its core, promoting good works to the world (can’t wait to share more in the coming months).

Every day has bumps and learnings, but my hope is wrapped in a glow of immense gratitude.

Accepting the Need for Hope

November 3, 2013

Some of you may remember a show called “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” featuring the unfiltered responses of children to everyday questions. This popped into my head the other day as I was speaking with my nephew about why he shouldn’t run ahead towards streets, traffic and crowded stores. His response, “(giggle) I don’t need hands, I have light up shoes.”

Even as adults, how many times do we take the same approach? I don’t need to exercise, I’m having a diet soda. Or, I don’t need to say excuse me, I was there first. Or, I don’t need help, I have this covered. Well, perhaps that may work for a time and, with the gift of free will, it is up to you. But consider this: have you ever seen what happens to someone who no longer believes they need or have hope?

Now, as an eldest child, recovering perfectionist and do-it-all-myself stubborn lass, I can tell you that “needing” anything is a stretch for some people. However, life has a funny (interesting not haha) way of presenting challenges, losses and changes that test how much we can do alone. I have spoken repeated about surrender and the power of not taking the world on your shoulders, but what is the state of your heart? Have you accepted hope?

I frequently hear how adults believe life moves faster and more frantically as we age. This is a trick of the mind; we are actually just so preoccupied with a routine, with our worries and with the future (or sometimes the past) that we feel overwhelmed and stop noticing the moment-to-moment passage of time. Why do so many kids seem oblivious to time and have “endless summers?” It’s because they are living right now, with an innocent hope for simple things and still willing to lean for their needs.

What guidance can I offer? Simple. Believe that hope is not a fanciful illusion, an off-and-on whimsy or a waste of time. Believe fully that hope offers strength, optimism and peace. Accept that you need hope to navigate this imperfect world and that by sharing a hopeful outlook you can build a rich foundation for hope in your family. In short, embrace hope and accept your need for hope. That’s when the truest and richest change occurs.