Hope

Hope is a funny thing. According to google (because who uses a dictionary anymore) it’s a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen. It’s something that we all have and all want and most of the time don’t realize we have it until we’ve almost lost it.

So often we forget what we’re hoping for if it doesn’t come to pass. We get down on ourselves, we get depressed and we start to feel like we don’t deserve things that we want. And that’s when fear sets in.

Friggin fear.

Every time we try and go for something and we don’t get it, we’re afraid to try anymore. We’re petrified to do anything or say anything or HOPE for anything so we just coast through life, day in and day out, going through the motions. What a miserable existence!

Guys, we weren’t created for this kind of life. We weren’t created to hide in the trenches.

We were created to sit with kings!

We were created to be unstoppable!

We were created for a life FAR beyond anything we could think, dream of or imagine!

Don’t believe me? Check out 1 Corinthians 2:9 –  But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Seriously! You haven’t seen it! And you haven’t heard all that God has in store for you! Which doesn’t mean “you have no clue so don’t even try to imagine,” but rather, you cannot out-dream God. Should I say it again? You cannot out-dream God! Did you get it? One more time:

YOU CANNOT OUT-DREAM GOD!!!

Get it? Good.

So how do you get your hope back if you’ve lost it? First of all, you have to stop listening to the wrong voice. When it appears The Lord is slow to speak, that’s when the devil will be quick to scream. If it’s not happy and doesn’t make you feel good, throw it back and demand something better. Don’t be afraid to ask for better thoughts! You deserve them!

Second, you have to stop standing in the wrong place. You have to stop standing alone. If the devil can isolate you, he can get to you. Keep yourself surrounded by people who love you and care for you and can keep you moving in the right direction. Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not saying the only people who should be around you are Bible Loving Jesus Freaks. Not the case. I’ve gotten through some pretty rough times with people who don’t even acknowledge that there is a God. Find people that love YOU and want you to succeed. They’re the ones that matter.

Third, you need to stop staring at the wrong thing. Never focus on what MIGHT happen as though it’s ABOUT to happen. When you become convinced that everyone and everything is against you…guess what…yeah. You get it. There’s power in your thoughts people.

And last, remember the promises that God gave you. He’s good on those. Trust me. Stop staring at what you hope He will do and start focusing on who you know Him to be. And remember that anything the devil wants to do to you, has to go through The Lord first. He’s got you covered.

Happy Sunday everyone!

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Birthday Wrap-up

AKA: My Friends Are Better Than Yours

Start to finish, my 31st birthday was fantastic! Before I even got out of bed in the morning I was serenaded by my friend Jim, his two girls, Alyssa (11) and Dakota (5) and his mom, Marie (aka: Ma). Not only did they sing the traditional birthday song, but they added their usual 3 other verses. Gonna be honest, I have no idea where they came from and they’re the only family that I know that sings them. I couldn’t even tell you what they are. Something about wishes coming true and things dropping…I don’t know haha. I haven’t been to enough Hackley birthday parties yet to be able to sing along, but I DO know that it ends with a high note, and that Dakota rocks it. Seriously, this started my day out perfectly, with lots of smiles and laughter. And how can you have a bad day if that’s where you start?

Work was pretty normal, well, normal for Xplore. My boss got the producers and project managers a whip. Like a legit whip, made in Mexico and “from good quality hide”. So a portion of the day was spent cracking a whip in our storage area 🙂 Like I said, a normal day at Xplore. My work wife, Kathy also made gluten free chocolate chip muffins which were delicious!

Now, last year I threw myself a HUGE party so this year I decided I was done. Trying to organize people and do something is just too exhausting sometimes, so I decided this year I was going to go to open mic night at Donahue’s in Madison and if people wanted to join me they could. No expectations, no feelings hurt if they didn’t come. This is what I’m doing, if you want to join me – GREAT! If not, GREAT! I mean, c’mon, I was asking people to stay out late on a Wednesday. I really didn’t expect anyone to come short of Julie DeNeen and a couple of her friends since this is a fairly normal Wednesday night activity for them, but I was wrong, because I have the best friends, coworkers and work wife ever! All these people showed up (including a few that came after the pictures were taken):

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It took 31 years, but I was finally officially surprised!

The funny thing is, I almost didn’t make it! I got a call from a friend in need and since my friends are my family I will drop anything for them if I need to, it’s just how I’m wired. Julie wasn’t having it though

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At that point I knew something was up, but I didn’t know what. I started to try and figure it out (maybe she made you gluten free cake and doesn’t want it sitting in her house) but then I was like No Jess, just leave it be. Don’t take the fun out of it for her or you. Roll with the punches and see what happens. And I’m so glad I did. (Disclaimer: my friend is ok, it was just a BAD day and he had every right to feel everything that he was feeling.)

Come to find out, my work wife, in cahoots with my bestie (pictured below) were the ones behind the surprise.

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Kathy took care of getting people from my work circle while Christine took care of the rest. I seriously love them. Every time I turned around there was someone else there who I wasn’t expecting to see! Even my BOSS came! Apparently everyone was instructed to say they were busy or make an excuse of why they couldn’t come. They lied to me! But with good reason, so I’m over it.

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Yesterday was easily one of my favorite birthdays. I’ve never felt more loved and blessed by the people I’m surrounded by from the moment I woke up to the second my  head hit the pillow. My heart is full 🙂

Simple Things

I’ve started to write a new post a couple times in the last few days but always stopped because I didn’t know how to move past the first sentence. Or even the title, really.

One was going to be called “The Story of the Girl Was Too Nice” and I was going to write about how, by being too nice, I find myself in situations where guys think that after a sentence (that’s usually grammatically horrific if it’s online) they can hit on me and get in my pants. HA! Not gonna happen! Nothing will get me to run faster in the opposite direction! I was also going to write about the different lines they’ve used – my personal favorite being “I feel like God put you in my life and we’re supposed to be together.” OH REALLY? That’s interesting, cuz He hasn’t said a damn thing to me, and we’re pretty tight. How about we table this and wait til He tells me something. And then we never talk again…probably because I’m avoiding him.

The other was called “Joy Robbers” and I was going to list out the things that steal our happiness and how we can fight them. But then I decided to stay in my unhappiness and not try and figure out how to get out. Isn’t it funny how sometimes we’re so content to be uncontent? Pretty sure I just made up that word because it has the red dashes under it with no suggestions, but stick with me on this one.

Why are we so happy to stay unhappy? (That one works!) Is it because the squeaky wheel gets the oil and if people aren’t trying to make you feel better it means they don’t love you? Maybe you just need to feel something, anything, and since pain and sorrow can be all-consuming, in a weird and twisted way it makes you feel alive. Maybe you grew up in an atmosphere where the bad things were always talked about. No one cared if something great happened, that only got a few minutes of conversation. But the bad? Psh. Hours!

Guys. That’s no way to live! I won’t toss out the cliche lines that we all could probably recite about the number of muscles it takes to frown or how important it is to surround yourself with positive people. They’re all true, but they also mean absolutely nothing to you when you’re in that place. Like “Turn that frown upside down!” How about I turn your FACE upside down! haha! Instead, I’ll just tell you what made me feel better today.

  1. I went to church (aka: home)
  2. I got some really good hugs (you know, the ones where you refuse to let go of the other person)
  3. I talked to a 5 and 11 year old about what kind of super powers we would want to have, what we would do with them and what we would do if we were ghosts. (I would fly and be invisible and randomly turn things off on people, like at the good part of the movie haha) And I watched another 11 year old doodle about love and flowers – because let’s face it, kids have a way better perspective on life and being happy, whether us adults want to admit it or not.
  4. I’m gearing up for a nap as soon as I post this (because a good friend once told me that when all else fails, you need a crap and a nap haha)

And that’s where my title comes in: it’s the simple things. Don’t overlook the little things that happen in your life, because there’s a good chance they’re the crumbs that were left to lead you to the big things.