Tag Archives: hope

The Poverty of Hope

Someone You Know is Living in Poverty

October 1, 2017

What does poverty look like? Tattered clothes, unwashed hair, a gaunt reflection or, maybe, dirty drinking water. Yes, it is all of these things. But what about the poverty right next door, in the row of cubicles you sit in every day . . . or your own home?

When we think of poverty, our minds often turn to economics. We think of food, shelter and the amenities of what we deem to be physically necessary to life. I was reminded today, as I sat on a comfy chair, sipped my latte and looked around me, that poverty is more than being poor in material goods . . . there is a poverty of hope. It hit me like a punch in the gut and brought me to tears to really tune into the level of hope in those around me.

Insufficient, deficit, scarce—whatever you call it, a lack of hope can create a poverty of the soul. Sullen shoulders, a vacant stare, a distracted longing. It should make you ache to think about it. Look up from your cell phone and really see the people around you. Is someone struggling under the burdens of despair, past choices or a feeling of unworthiness? That hurt needs hope.

Just like you give your spare change to help others in need or donate warm clothes to those in need this fall, give of your hopeful energy and share warm hugs of support. Even as one of the richest nations in the world, we suffer from a great epidemic of the poverty of hope. It’s easy to believe that “me is enough,” that you “don’t want to interfere” or that you have “too much on my plate already.” I call bullshit.

No one was created to be lonely or go it alone. Love and kindness are never interfering (we both know that’s an excuse for inaction). And yes, we all have a ton of distracting tasks and weighty to-dos, but giving to others is the best way to get right in your own life.

The poverty of hope is not something that I, you or any of us can tackle solo—we must turn to each other in humility, care and mercy to share the hope we have and reverse this trend of poverty in our neighbors, families and communities.

Start by showing up for the next person you see . . . a smile, a bright hello, an offer of assistance, a prayer . . . every little act is an investment in their life and your own.

Worthy of Reflection

Worth a Thousand Words

September 17, 2017

Do you feel worthy? Of your blessings, of your life, of love. Worthy of compliments from others. Worthy of feeling confident in your own skin. Worthy of praise for your actions. Worthy of celebration for your personal triumphs. Worthy of happiness.

Worthy is a tricky, funny word that trips many of us up. It begs for recognition . . . but that recognition may not always feel like roses and rays of light. Sometimes our ability to feel worthy is influenced by the world, our hurts, our hangups and our fears. Worthy becomes a distant cause and may seem a far cry from your present existence.

However, worthy is not about looking the best or performing the best. Worthy is about feeling a glimmer of care within yourself. It begins with a deep inkling of hope and grows with patterns of nurture. Worthy is whispering, “I believe in the goodness in me.” and “I feel love washing over me.” and “I am worthy of realizing my dreams.”

I challenge you: speak a 1,000 words of worthiness to yourself. Begin with things like, “I love myself.” and “I am beautiful.” and “I delight in my existence.” and “I rock!”

Worthy is worth daily reflection. Whether it’s tallying your finer points or simply owning the here-and-now you, it takes practice.

When you give into thoughts of what you lack, how you don’t matter or why you don’t deserve something, you devalue yourself. You are worthy. You are remarkable. You are you for a reason.

You are exactly where you need to be but not where you will always remain. You are worthy, my friend. Hear me and repeat this as often as you need to make it real.

Oh, and when you feel stronger, freer and more hopeful . . . pass it on by sharing 1,000 words of worthiness to those around you. Strangers, friends, strange friends. You feel me.

Bumps on the Journey

April 14, 2015

Every road in life, at some unknown juncture, has the potential for bumps. As I sit here literally bumping from pregnancy on the morn of my 33rd week, I can honestly say that life has given me a bunch of blessings and a few more bumps in the last year than I saw coming.

Now, I love cliffhangers, surprise twists and new experiences, so it’s safe to say that God loads me up on such things. I also know that being Scottish, tinged with reddish locks and an eldest makes my approach to life direct, independent and often feisty. Admissions aside, I’m finding that calm, spiritualism, support, understanding and joy are far more of what I seek to cultivate now than anything else.

I look at all the ways I express love to others—cooking, long listening sessions, playful banter, coffee or wine delivery, little notes of encouragement, concierge style question answering at odd hours, funny faces, virtual hugs, supportive advice (when requested), prayers, and trying every day to be a better me who is more Christ like.

This ride is not easy, nor is it filled with ticker tape parades, bouquets of flowers or constant attagirls. It’s rough, messy, painful and often draining . . . but it’s a gift. I need to chant that to myself every night and every morning, through marriage struggles, distance from loved ones and the physical trials of pregnancy.

Humbly, as you face your bumps, remember the following:

  1. What you say, do, show and share sets the tone for what you get back
  2. Starting from a place of love always leads to a better destination
  3. Hurtful words are often a cry for support from others, but don’t accept abuse
  4. You deserve a break, a quiet bath, a coffee escape, a movie or a moment away
  5. Surround yourself with those tuned to God, to love and to hope

I’m bumping with you, friends. For me, finding solid ground is as much about looking up in surrender as planting my feet firmly down.

Anchor Yourself in Light

February 13, 2015

One afternoon last week, I found myself exhausted and foggy. As sometimes happens, I had let my energetic tank dip past E. So, I decided that a bath would be necessary to unwind and try to salvage the remaining productivity of the day.

If you have a bustling existence, like mine, then you know that doing anything in the self-love category often comes with a time trade-off. Somehow, I managed to get the kids situated and leave my husband to his studies long enough to sneak into our master bathroom. I adjusted the blinds to let the outside, natural, soothing light stream in and started drawing a bath.

As I waited for it to fill, I recalled that I had a lovely bag of lively colored bath bombs from a local artisan. When I dropped half of the crumbly ball into the tub, something magical happened . . . I smiled like a little child playing with paints.

Bath Bomb Rainbow

In true “bomb” fashion, it was a fizzy explosion of color and scent. I watched it morph and glow and take over the tub. As I slid my foot in, I even tried not to disturb the rainbow dancing on the surface. However, my glee overcame me and I began using the bubbles as clown hair, funny shapes and towers of color.

Sinking into the warm water, I angled my head to look up and out the window above the tub. There, more magic unveiled itself. For a moment, I was this beautifully majestic tree swaying in the breeze and flirting with the sunlight. It seemed to be draped in a halo of calming, bright hope.

Sunlight Through Branches

What all of the bubbles and beaming reminded me is that we must (you and me) make time to anchor ourselves in light. The light never fades, moves or abandons us. We simply must reach for it, bathe in it and remember that it has the power to cleanse our spirits.

Keeping a Promise

December 2, 2014

In January of this year, I made a promise. I committed that ALL of my earnings from sales of “The World Needs Hope” this year would be given to support a cause that, in a word, humbles me to my core. If you missed my post, you can recap by visiting “Giving It All for Hope.”

Now, as I sit here on #GivingTuesday, I approach this topic with a deeper reverence and an even more intense passion. As a mom-to-be and stepmom to two awesome kiddos, my heart aches for any parent who feels hopeless, helpless and desperate enough to leave their child on the street to the fates. No judgment, only compassion.

So, I honor Pastor Lee’s efforts and remind you (yes, with a nudge and much emotion) that you too can help. Visit kindredimage.org to learn more, to donate and to show the world that every life matters.

And yes, I’m absolutely giving every penny I make through the close of the year to this cause. If you choose to make my book a gift or pick up a copy for yourself, you’ll be supporting children and sharing hope. Here’s the link to Amazon.

Unselfie Giving Tuesday