October 29, 2004

Empowering yourself

Begin doing what you want to do now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand -- and melting like a snowflake.
-- Marie Beyon Ray



My Story:

I came to a screeching halt. I stood in the middle of my Road. There was no Stop Sign, telling me that I couldn't move forward.

The Road forked, to the left and the right. But in between all my choices, I saw yet another path. This one was not paved. It was narrow. It even looked a bit scary and dangerous.

A Voice talked to me from deep within.

"Stop! What do you think you're doing? You can't do that! You can't go there!"

Before I even realized what I had done, I was sitting in the middle of the Road. I began to cry. I started feeling very jealous of others who passed me by. Some stopped along the way and encouraged me to stand up again.

"Come on, Hope. You can do this."

"Get up, girl!"

I didn't listen. Actually, I didn't want to listen. The thing I wanted most in that moment was to sit there and wallow in self-pity.

My leg was bruised. My ankled was sprained. Blood oozed from a gash in my knee. And I wanted to feel that pain. I didn't want help.

Something happened.

A bright light shone in my face. It blinded me. It startled me because I wasn't expecting it. That light is called Truth.

Truth is sometimes ugly. Sometimes painful. Sometimes sad.

But truth is uplifting. Truth is powerful. Truth is the tool that, when taken in hand, will lead you out of your misery.

I grabbed onto Truth. I held It tight. I embraced it. I welcomed it to embrace me. Right then and there I realized that the strength lied within me all along.

I could get up. I could move forward.

And it was okay.


Empower Yourself Today

The greatest power lies within ourself. The key is realizing who we are, where we are and what we want. How do you empower yourself?

Acknowledge yourself.
For a long time I only gave credit to others. Whenever someone paid me a compliment, I found a way to make it all about anyone else but me. You must realize that you are special. You possess awesome and unique talents and abilites that only you can offer. Take pride in yourself.

Grant yourself compassion.
I realized some time ago that in the past I was a judgemental person. I didn't want to accept that about myself. But now I understand that the reason why it was so difficult for me to forgive others was because I wasn't forgiving myself.

So you messed up. Everyone makes mistakes. You can't tie weights to yourself each time you make a mistake. If so, you will end up drowning in despair. Cut those ropes! Forgive yourself. Show compassion to yourself. You are worthy!

Authorization Approved!
Confidence in yourself is one of the most powerful gifts to give yourself. You will carry yourself in a different manner. And I promise you others will notice.

You carry your inner feelings on your outward appearance. You may think you're hiding it from the world, but trust me--you're not! We know. Breathe deep. Believe in yourself. Know that you are beautiful, inside and out. Give yourself the authority to be confident in everything you say and do.

Invest in Yourself
What is your greatest possession of everything you "own?" YOU! Never doubt that! You are either your own best friend, or your worst enemy.

Choose to be kind to yourself. Pamper yourself. Indulge in simple pleasures. Lift yourself up. You are strong and powerful. You must give to receive. Give something back to yourself each day.

October 28, 2004

Hope

There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them.
- Clare Boothe Luce


I once wrote a small piece about how people use my name in sentences. That has always bothered me. This morning, however, I am realizing that my name in itself holds great weight.

Of late, I have experience vast feelings of hopelessness. I didn't actually put that "label" on my feelings. But I felt as if all hope was gone. So I looked up the term "hopelessness." Here's what I found:


hopelessness: The despair you feel when you have abandoned hope of comfort or success

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

All of a sudden I had become a person full of negative energy. I thought I was hiding it well, too, but guess what...I wasn't. Every ounce of negativity that I hadallowed to enter into my being oozed from me onto others. You see, what you feel or tell yourself doesn't only affect you. It is a domino effect.

It started when I felt sorry for myself because my husband was away. Sure, those feelings are okay. But I took them to a deeper level within myself.

I began harboring the pain, hurt and anger. Instead of allowing myself to feel and live through these feelings, I buried them. I didn't want to let go of them. I wanted to love them and nurture them and let them grow.

This is not healthy.

As I loved my strange child, something else began to happen. I forsook everything that would bring joy to my life. I denied myself every ounce of happiness.

You know how when you sit in a tub too long you start looking like a wrinkled prune? Well, that was me. I sat in my tub of pain until I was wrinkled from head to toe. I couldn't even recognize myself anymore.

The ironic thing is that I knew that I was doing this to myself, but I didn't care. I had lost all hope.

I did everything except the one thing I wanted to do. I stopped allowing myself to be free through my writing. I didn't feel like I deserved to live joyfully. After all, my husband surely won't experience much joy in the upcoming year. So why should I?

Then something happened. My friend took a gigantic leap towards her dream this week. While I was extremely excited and happy for her, I felt strangely jealous of her. I went so far as expressing this to her. How selfish of me!!

Knowing that I had abandoned all my dreams and desires of becoming successful, and that I inwardly told myself that I didn't deserve to keep living my life while my husband is away, suddenly caught up with me. And then that feeling consumed me.

Hopelessness.

Not because of someone else's succes, but because of the despair I had been feeling from abandoning all hope of my comfort and success!!!

What a HUGE wake-up call!!

When stark realization slaps me in the face, well, that's a pretty hard pill to swallow. But it went down. And I survived.

Only you can let go of hope. Nobody can take hope away from you. And it is as easily picked up as it is put down. The trick lies in knowing yourself, realizing where you messed up and the willingness to admit your mistake then pick yourself up and try all over again.

Today I start anew. How about you?

October 27, 2004

Success

(While searching for a source of inspiration, low and behold I inspired myself! So today I share with you an oldie, but goodie. Because I think words are like wine, they get bolder and better with time.)

What does success look like? Does it drive a brand new car? Does it keep up with the latest trends in fashion and wear expensive designer clothing? Does it walk with an air of arrogance? Is it haughty; never reaching out a hand to someone in need? Does it look down its nose (outwardly OR inwardly) at those who appear to be less fortunate than they?

Is success rude? Does it interrupt others? Does it finish other's sentences? Does it overlook the one who truly deserves the advance on the job and instead gives it to a "friend." Does it fail to notice the hard work, time, and dedication that others put into some particular thing, and observe only the negatives about that same person?

Can success be defined as educated? Is success only achieved by a degree? Are life's lessons just erased, and discounted as success? Do hardships and trials take away from one's success?

Is "overnight success" real? Is "success" that is handed to you on a silver platter truly success?

I am successful. Not because of who I know, or where I go, or what I am. I am successful because I set goals for myself and I work hard to achieve them. I am successful because I am a good mother. I am successful because my children know that I love them. I am successful because I am a respectable wife. I am successful because I believe in myself and my aspirations.

My success does not depend on anyone else. My success will come totally from within. My success is dervied from time, effort, and hard work.

I am a success!

October 21, 2004

Truly, truly I do

Pre-mobilization photo

I love my Honey Bunny. I truly do. And because I miss him so much, I decided that I would blog about him tonight while I'm sitting here dreaming of him. If reading sappy lovey-lovey things bores you, then feel free to yawn your way to another blog. ;)

What do I love about him?
  • He's kind.
  • He's funny.
  • He's silly.
  • He's caring.
  • He's compassionate.
  • He supports me unconditionally.
  • He "gets" me.

(My list goes on for miles.)

How did we meet?
  • At church.
  • The first time I met him, I thought he was the goofiest person I'd ever met.
  • I told a friend that if Robert were the last man alive on the face of the earth, I would never marry him. (Boy, did I ever EAT those words!) ;)


Did I say, "YES!" immediately when he asked me to marry him?
  • NOPE!
  • He asked many times.
  • I was afraid to say, "YES!"
  • He didn't give up.


When did he first ask me out on a date?
  • At our church Christmas banquet.
  • My friends conspired to help me against me and "accidentally" seated us beside each other.
  • He came up to me afterwards and asked me out.
  • I responded in the only way I knew how (smart-aleky) and said, "Noooooo, Robert!"
  • I was joking.
  • He thought I was serious.
  • He just said, "Okay," and walked off.


So how did we end up together?
  • I had to suck it up and work up my nerve to call him and tell him that I really did want to go out with him.
  • He gladly asked me out again.
  • The rest is history.


Sometimes I forget what my life was like before I met Robert. And sometimes I can't imagine what my life would be like if I never had met him.

If I searched the whole over, far and wide, I would NEVER find another man who would be so wonderful to me. It's amazing to know that I am blessed with a best friend and husband, wrapped all up in one sweet package.

He's my Honey Bunny and I wuv him!

October 18, 2004

Be gone, Evil One!

Drats to that old evil People Pleasing thing that rears its ugly head within me!! I am working so hard on doing the things that I want to do, and being me but it isn't that simple.

Just when I think I am moving forward, It rears Its ugly head again. It stifles my ability to think clearly. It makes me doubt myself. It makes me paranoid. It plays a song in my head, the title of which is, "You're a failure, and you'll never be anything but!"

Where's my weaponry? Where's the sharp words of courage and self-belief? Quickly now I must reach deep within myself and pull out the courage that I know lies within. Victory SHALL be mine!!

P.S. Never fear, all is well. I just thought it would be fun to create a humorous post about the silly things I deal with sometimes.

*Keep on keepin' on

I am quickly learning that no matter what I do, there's always something said or done that won't sit right with someone. It's frustrating. But I know that if I just continue doing what God tells me to do, and use my talents for His glory, something good will come from it!

Prayer: Help me, Jesus, to forgive those who hurt and abandon me. Show me how to be kinder to others around me. Help me to have an open heart and mind. And bless those who love and dislike me. Make me more like YOU!

*Repost from June 5, 2004

October 16, 2004

Uncovering the cover-ups

You can't whitewash your sins and get by with it; you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.
- Proverbs 28:13 (The Message)


Ah, that stinky human nature! What is it about us humans that makes us think we can cover up our sins and hide them? Even if we are successful at hiding them from others, God see and knows all!

I wonder if we forced ourselves to become more aware of God's presence in our lives, if that would change us. What a revolution we could start if we all started living according to the five Jesus senses:

  • Jesus is watching.
  • Jesus is listening.
  • Jesus is feeling.
  • Jesus is tasting.
  • Jesus is touching.


No matter where we are, or what we do, Jesus is there by our side. We might be able to cover up our sins so that our friends and family can't see them. But what does that do to us?

Each time we attempt to cover a sin, we apply layers of shame, hurt, and guilt to ourselves, compounding the situation. Imagine this. Each time you sin and try to cover it up, you are putting on another shirt. How many shirts have you put on just over this past week? Do you have so many layers of clothes (covered-up sins) that you can barely walk now? Are you hot? Bothered? Irritated?

Now imagine peeling away each layer of clothing as you ask God for forgiveness and welcome His grace and mercy. How does it feel as you disrobe each layer of shame and guilt? Can you feel the weight lifting off your shoulders? Don't you feel lighthearted and free again?

This is God's desire. We all sin. We all fall short. But THANK GOD we can find forgiveness and mercy at the foot of the cross! Make your way to Him today and leave it all there!

October 15, 2004

Busy as a bee

"If you did not look after today's business then you might as well forget about tomorrow."
- Isaac Mophatlane


I didn't realize that I neglected my blog all week! And bless your wonderful heart if you have clicked back each day, waiting for something new. I do apologize.

So what have I been so busy doing, you ask? Working on Mother Devoted, my newest venture. I am gathering resources, building a website, collecting information, going through some terrific submissions. Mother Devoted launches January 2005, and the time is drawing near!

I have also been busy working on other websites. It seems sometimes like there aren't enough hours in one day!

The last thing I will share with you today is that I have begun charting a new course with a coach. With Lynn's perception and nudges, I am beginning to live my life for ME once again. It's been WAY too long!! If you are seeking improvement in a certain area of your life, give Lynn a try. You get a complimentary call, which is DEFINITELY worth your time! There are absolutely no strings attached. But I think you will be happily surprised at what you will get out of a free 30-minute conversation! When you email Lynn to make an appointment for your complimentary call, tell her that "Hope Wilbanks" sent you!

October 12, 2004

Create Positive Energy

I must admit that I have been down in the dumps for three days now. I blame most of my mood on the weather. It's been rainy and yucky. And of course, I miss my Honey Bunny.

So this morning I am working my way to a better, more positive mood. And what better way to do this than to crank up some good praise music! While sitting here listening to my favorite online station, I thought, "Hey! I should share the love!"

If you have a good internet connection, open up your Windows Media Player and connect yourself to Z88.3 (in Florida). They play positive, upbeat tunes 24/7. And I wuv 'em! CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE WEBSITE AND LISTEN!!

October 11, 2004

Changes

As you can see, I have changed things again. I was not happy using the other interface, so I'm back to Blogger. I saved the most important files from the other program I was using. Everything has been deleted in order for me to publish, using this same url. Otherwise, I would have to change links again, and I don't want to do that.

I will customize the look here, but for now that is not at the top of my to-do list. I'll get around to it when I have extra time.

In other news...

Website Design by Hope
I now have three website design accounts! Business is slowly building. How exciting! If you need a website but don't have the "know how" or don't want to do it on your own, EMAIL ME with your full name, email address and telephone number and I will call you and give you a FREE quote. No strings attached, of course.

Cup of Hope
If you haven't ordered your copy of the Premier Issue of Cup of Hope, you don't know what you're missing! There are still a few copies available, so hurry and order one now! Only $2.00 per copy! I pay for the shipping. ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

I am also in the final stages of binding my new Cup of Hope zine. Just wait until you see it!!! It is small enough to carry around in your pocket or purse and filled with lots of inspiration and encouragement! I can't wait to get those to you!

If you still haven't signed up for my FREE Cup of Hope e-zine, you are truly missing out! Here's what subscribers are saying...

  • "Wonderful, wonderful. Thank you Hope for your gentle reminders that stir up goodness and great ideas of the way we should be! God Bless ya! Good work!" - Cindy Irish - http://www.itsmysite.com/beeskneezcom/


  • "Just wanted to say I enjoyed the latest Cup of Hope." - Audra Silva - http://writingmom.bravejournal.com/


  • "Your mention of plucking fresh fruit was heartwarming. As kids, we had peach trees from which we could pick and eat the fresh fruit. And those peaches were wonderful! But every now and then, we'd find a worm inside what we thought was a good peach, and we'd have to pick another instead. The rotten ones were tossed to the animals. Thanks for bringing back for me such a warm memory. And for another great lesson to consider." -- Dar Arechederra