Amen

January 18, 2016
Filed under: Hope Quotes,Images of Hope,Musings — Leslie Carothers @ 10:19 am
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hope quotes, messages of hope, hope, inspiration ||www.messagesofhope.com As I was walking Sunday morning, I turned around to take a picture and this is the picture I was given. Then, this morning, early Monday morning, I turned on Facebook and a friend had changed her profile picture to this famous Bible verse from Lamentations 3:23.

The verse struck my heart immediately because it’s just what I needed to see this morning as my Mother heads back into surgery again at 7 am.

I was going to keep this fact of her surgery private this time, but I decided to share it with all of you, as it never hurts to have an extra prayer and dose of good energy surrounding those you love.

I hope, if you might be facing a challenging personal week ahead that, as you begin this new day, this new week, this Bible verse might be just what you need to see, too.

We are never alone in facing challenging times { everyone has something they are dealing with } and truly I have faith that…

“His mercies are new every day.”

Amen.

Leslie

www.messagesofhope.com
FB/MessagesofHope1 

#TheHopeBlog
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One Word

January 5, 2016
What one word will guide you in 2016-

What one word will guide you in 2016-Every year, for the past 7 years, I’ve chosen one word to guide my actions for the year.  Last year, in 2015, that word was *strength.*

Choosing #oneword is a wonderful tool for lending intentional clarity to the decisions you’re asked to make – or have to make – throughout the year.

For instance, here’s a little story about how I used this tool in 2015.

During the last quarter of 2015, my Mother got very,very,very sick. We almost lost her.

I spent my time in the hospital with her, at rehab with her and taking care of all she wasn’t able to do. The week before this happened, I had just helped move her into her new *forever* home, so there was a lot to do.

It was my joy to help take care of her, be with her and to help her heal as best I could, and I’m happy to share that today she’s back to playing duplicate bridge and enjoying her life, as much as she can, in her new home.

During that same time, though, I had to make a decision to move.

Why?

I wanted and needed to reduce my rent, which was raised to a sky high amount, more than the mortgage on most houses in my area.

As fate would have it, the perfect place for me opened up, in the perfect location, right across the street from the lake I love and down the street from the bird sanctuary I enjoy so much, BUT it was much smaller than where I had been living.

That meant downsizing, a lot. It meant more *things to do* in a life already crammed full of *things to do* during this time I was caring for Mom.

I knew it would be stress-FULL.

Then, I thought about my #oneword: strength. And I filtered this decision through that word.

I prayed for the strength, both physically and emotionally, to be able to accomplish this move during this already extremely stressful time in my life.

And, then, I did it.

I moved. It was hard, SO HARD, but now, with much less *stuff* in a smaller home, it means more, for me, of the luxury I value most:

Time.

Now, for 2016, my #oneword is *faith*.

What will your #oneword be for 2016?

What one word will help you clarify what you should do, when you’re asked to or need to, make a decision this year?

~~~

I leave you with this image I took on my morning walk across the street to the lake.

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Have a blessed New Year ahead, dear readers, and know > you are never alone.

There are so many stories we know nothing about.

Everyone is going through something, but, with faith {and friends}, we pull through.

And…if you need to be lifted up right now,

I invite you to join the community of kind, caring people who leave positive comments over on Messages of Hope’s Facebook Page at

http://facebook.com/MessagesofHope1

 

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Beautiful Bible Journaling Pages

November 4, 2015
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Bible Journaling || Image Credit:http://tiffanydoodles.blogspot.com/2015/02/bible-journaling-art-freebie-proverbs.html#.Vjn7OWSrT7dGood morning, friends of Messages of Hope. How are you? It’s been a little while since I’ve written a post because I’ve been spending almost every spare minute of the past two months either working at my main business, taking care of my mother and the *things of her life* because she got terribly sick { but who, through the grace of God and good nursing care recovered and is just now back home as of yesterday } and downsizing dramatically and moving into a new home, myself.

I had so much to do and many times I felt overwhelmed. What helped me get through it all was prayer, eating clean so my own mind and body stayed clear and healthy through it all and the prayers, positive words, thoughts and deeds of my friends on Facebook and in real life.

However, yesterday afternoon, I had an emotional meltdown. Moving my Mom back into her own home from rehab was extremely tough – and it ended in a bad way. I felt terrible, she felt terrible, and yet it happened.

The tears would not stop. I walked out and got in my car and just wanted to run away – forever.

What happened next, though, was this:

I didn’t start my car, I just sat in it and cried and cried. And then, a tiny voice within me came through and said to me, “Leslie, you have to go back upstairs to your Mom’s front door and knock on it and not leave things like this. What if she dies overnight? Do you want this to be the way it ends?

And I did go back upstairs. And the fact that I was able to do that, {because I was angry – very angry at that moment, which is the emotion that pops up when you feel hurt and/or wounded} was simply through the grace of God.
Bible Journaling ||http://homegrownhospitality.typepad.com/homegrown_hospitality/bible-journaling/And when I knocked on the door, Mom answered, and, although she was still upset, too, she put a cool cloth on my forehead and poured me a glass of chocolate milk.

Bible Journaling || www.homegrownhospitality.typepad.com And because I also believe in the power of synchronicity, when I woke up this morning, still feeling tender, this is the very first thing I saw when I sat down to check on my friends on Facebook.
Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 6.10.14 AMFriends, we all know that millions of people the world over are caregivers or are the ones being cared for. I know that this tiny *slice of my life story* that I’ve shared with you today, is but one drop in a very, very big sea of stories just like it.

I know, though, that when I pray and a tiny space of forgiveness opens up, for myself and for the *other*, I always find comfort. I hope the same can be true for you if you’re dealing with something similar.
Bible Journaling || Image Credit: http://stephanieackermandesigns.com This describes things perfectly this morning.
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And this is what I plan to do today, and I hope you will join me.
Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 5.06.42 AMMy sincere thanks to the women who created these beautiful Bible Journaling pages I’ve shared here today and if you’d like to find a Bible journaling image to help you through a challenging time, too, please see this Pinterest board where you can find more:

http://pinterest.com/timewarpwife/bible-journaling

And just one more of these, because I love them so.
Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 5.36.37 AMHave a blessed day.

Leslie

#messagesofhope 

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Designing A Life You Love

October 12, 2015
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#TheHopeBlog || www.messagesofhope.com || Illustration by Patricia Alix -Villa of www.fancygirldesignstudio.com in SingaporeAs we all begin a new work week today, I ran across these wonderful illustrations created by Patricia Alix-Villa.

The words in the one above started me thinking:

Am I consciously designing, little by little and step by step, the life I want to live?

I have to say, for many years of my life, I did not, consciously, design a life I would want to live. I let spontaneity and the needs of others rule.

Today, I AM mindfully designing the life I love…and want to live for the rest of my years, but it’s taken me a long time to get here.  I am in the process of de-cluttering and moving into a much smaller [ 750 sq.feet! ] home that puts me across the street from the place that brings me the most joy, the place where I can watch the sun rise over the lake by crossing the street and ride my bike to the bird sanctuary 1/4 mile away.

This makes me happy!!

Are any of you de-cluttering and living with less? Are you designing the life you want to live, a life you will love?

If you are, friends and readers, I’d love to know, in the comments, what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and what made you decide to do it. Your story is as important to me as it is to everyone reading #TheHopeBlog. You never know how – or when – or where – your words will have an impact on someone else’s life, but for sure they will.

#TheHopeBlog || www.messagesofhope.com || Illustration by Patricia Alix -Villa of www.fancygirldesignstudio.com in SingaporeSometimes, it’s easy to forget what this illustration says, below, when we’re not mindful of designing the life we want to live, right?
#TheHopeBlog || www.messagesofhope.com || Illustration by Patricia Alix -Villa of www.fancygirldesignstudio.com in Singapore
And I’m adding this, because I just love this illustration of Patricia’s.
#TheHopeBlog || www.messagesofhope.com || Illustration by Patricia Alix -Villa of www.fancygirldesignstudio.com in Singapore
Have a beauty -FULL week ahead!

Thank you for being. I appreciate YOU.

Leslie
~~~
#TheHopeBlog

#messagesofhope 

www.messagesofhope.com 

~~~
Please join me in spreading messages of hope to those in need on..

FB/messagesofhope1
INSTA/messagesof_hope
TWITTER/messagesof_hope

And gratitude to you, Patricia, for your beautiful illustrations that can be found on:

fancygirldesignstudio.com

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What Helps You Live Happy?

October 2, 2015
MOH_Happy

www.messagesofhope.com || FB/MessagesofHope1 || INSTA/Messagesof_HOPE || Twitter: Messagesof_HOPE Life doesn’t always take us in the direction we want it to take us, and sometimes it can be really hard and throw us way off track.

When that happens, as has happened to me recently due to my Mom getting very sick and having to go into the hospital after major surgery and then into rehab, I search for ways to get back, as fast as possible, to what brings me joy.

One of the things that brings me joy is color.

Another thing that brings me joy is writing.

Another thing that brings me joy is expressions of creativity in illustration, so I decided to combine my loves today and find illustrations about ways to live happy.

Just writing this post, reading the words on these illustrations and making these pretty, colorful collages to share with you has improved my own happiness quotient by 50% already today!

I hope looking at them and reading the words in them help you find ways to live happier today, too, no matter what you might be facing.

www.messagesofhope.com || FB/MessagesofHope1 || INSTA/Messagesof_HOPE || Twitter: Messagesof_HOPE

www.messagesofhope.com || FB/MessagesofHope1 || INSTA/Messagesof_HOPE || Twitter: Messagesof_HOPE
And, if you have a little more time, here are links to two posts I read that really helped me.

The first one is about what you can do to live happier, based on the neuroscience behind happiness. Please don’t miss reading this, I think you might find it really interesting, too, as the author shares why certain actions really can make you happier, based on what happens to your brain chemistry when you take those actions.

http://bakadesuyo.com/2015/09/make-you-happy-2

and this one has beautiful, colorful graphics [one is at the bottom of this post] and lots of good tips

http://the greatist.com/grow/how-to-be-happy-long-term 

Please let me know in the comments how you get back to your center of happiness and balance when you’re having a rough stretch in your life, either here in the comments or over on:

http://facebook.com/MessagesofHope1 

Thank you!

Have a blessed day.
In gratitude.

Leslie 

www.messagesofhope.com

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Rely On Him

September 3, 2015
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Quotes || #TheHopeBlog || www.messagesofhope.com These past few days, I’ve been helping my Mom move into her new home. She’s 85 and this is her *forever home.* I know many of you have done the same thing, or are planning for the same thing, or are in the midst of the same thing. 

If it all seems a little overwhelming to you, or exhausting, as it has to me at times, I hope you will look back and reflect on this quote I’m sharing today and know, as I know, that when you’ve reached your limit, He never has…and never will.

No matter what you may be going through, know:

You are safe.

You are not alone.

Hope quotes || You are not alone || http://messagesofhope.com || Image Credit: Katrina Maxwell Photography

You can ALWAYS rely on Him, and until He answers… maybe you could call a friend, call anyone, write in a journal, enjoy your favorite activity or go for a walk in nature to regain balance and perspective?  I’ve done all of these things, and I can share:

It all helps ease the overwhelm.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed by what life is throwing at you?

I’d love it if you’d share your own ways of coping, in the comments. Whatever you share is sure to help someone who may need your words of wisdom, who is reading this post.

In Gratitude.

~~~ 
Leslie 

#TheHopeBlog

http://messagesofhope.com

#messagesofhope 

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The Legacy of Dr. Wayne Dyer

August 31, 2015
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Rest In Peace Dr. Wayne Dyer || www.messagesofhope.com || Image Credit and Collage: Leslie Carothers

 

Were you as influenced by the writings of Dr. Wayne Dyer as I was? His notions of personal responsibility and spirituality changed my life when I was young.

I was numb when I heard yesterday that he passed away. His family posted this note on his Facebook Page.
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As we begin the week, and with Labor Day a week from today, I want to start by asking you, dear readers, to spend a moment in silence, wishing this beautiful man and soul a peaceful transition into the next phase of his life.

One thing that’s for certain?

The legacy of Dr. Wayne Dyer will live on forever.

Many will write about his books, his speeches, his famous friends etc. but…

Did you know he was raised in a series of foster homes and that his father, an alcoholic, abandoned his family when he was 3 years old?

Did you know that, over his lifetime, he helped raise over 100 million dollars for public broadcasting?

He changed his life, and in so doing, he changed ours.

He WAS #messagesofhope for millions of us, the world over.

Here are two of my favorite quotes of his that have influenced and inspired me over the years. I invite you to please share yours, too, in the comments or over on the Facebook Page of Messages of Hope at

http://facebook.com/MessagesofHope1

Dr. Wayne Dyer Quote || www.messagesofhope.com

Image Credit: *watercoloring* on Zazzle || Dr. Wayne Dyer quote || www.messagesofhope.com

Image Credit: *watercoloring* on Zazzle. [ Please click here if you’d like to purchase her map images.]

I hope you will join me in sending deepest condolences to Dr. Dyer’s family and all who care so deeply for him over on his Facebook Page at:

http://facebook.com/DrWayneDyer

He was a transformational spiritual leader and a great humanitarian who had a gift for turning complex ideas into words that could pierce our souls and #makeadifference.

May he rest in eternal peace.

~~~
Leslie Carothers

http://messagesofhope.com 

Opening image credit: my own. 

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Imagine

August 20, 2015
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Image Credit: Kunito Imai || www.messagesofhope.com
My encounter with a homeless man, and how it impacted me, is the topic of today’s post, dear readers.

Here’s the story.

Last weekend, I saw a homeless man at my local street corner with this sign,

“I’m not a drunk, I’m not a drug addict, I’m a former Marine trying to get by.”
image of homeless man || Collage created by Leslie Carothers || http://messagesofhope.com

That stopped me cold and this was the next thought that ran through my mind, “Even if this man’s sign is a lie to get money, what if it’s true?” and then my next 2 thoughts were:

“Who am I to judge because there but for the grace of God go I?”

“What if he’s a homeless veteran that fought for me so I could sit here in my air conditioned car in the middle of 100 degree heat about to turn in to this parking lot so I can buy fresh food for the week?”

I rolled down my window and dug to the bottom of my purse to give him money. The smile he flashed to thank me lit up my world. It was pure sunshine. 

After that happened, I started thinking about The Butterfly Effect, Edward Lorenz’s famous discovery that a very small change in initial conditions can and will create a significantly different outcome. I started thinking about how many homeless people think they don’t matter, that they don’t make a difference, and never will again.

This man didn’t have anything material to give, but because he gave me his smile, he changed my thought patterns. He made a difference.

What if just 3 of us, like the 3 butterflies whose wings are fluttering in tandem in the opening picture of this post, practiced non judgement towards the homeless we see?

Could we help them know they still matter, that they are not alone? Could that be the key to unlocking their sense of hope for a better future – and ours?
John Lennon Monument - NYC || Image Credit: Ramy Majouji || www.messagesofhope.com

If you love John Lennon’s famous song like I do and have a few extra minutes, click the image above to listen to and see the original video of him singing IMAGINE.

It has been viewed over 20 million times.

#andtheworldwillbeone
#messagesofhope

~~~
Leslie Carothers
www.messagesofhope.com

#GivingHopeAHomeByGivingBack – Forever – To The Charities You Care Most About
~~~

If you would like to read about the entire vision for Messages of Hope, please click the link below.
http://messagesofhope.com/the-story-of-messages-of-hope-2

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Breathing

August 14, 2015
www.messagesofhope.com (3)

breathe || hope quotes || www.messagesofhope.comWhen I’m feeling anxious, I breathe. Long, deep breathes. In……out….. in……out…… in……out. No matter where I am, and no matter what’s going on around me, I can always rely on deep breathing to center and calm me.

Could this maybe work for you, too? If you’re not used to taking long, deep, breathes, I would like to encourage you to try it. It may not work the first, second or third time to calm you down and make you less anxious or fearful or whatever you might be feeling, but, I promise, if you make it a regular practice, your own breathe will become your best friend in reducing your stress levels and allowing you to think more clearly.

Breathing helps because when you’re concentrating on taking those long, deep breaths, your mind isn’t focused on whatever else is occupying it and you are supplying your body with oxygen.

You can sit at your desk or in bed, or on the couch, or anywhere, and take long, deep breaths….in….out….in….out.

Soon, your mind will become as clear and calm as this.
calm ocean || www.messagesofhope.com
And if you want to, add in prayer and/or meditation to your breathing.

If you do, you will see and feel, over time, your ability to calmly handle the stress and/or calamities that come your way, [and we all have them] – shift.

Breathing is free.

Breathing deeply heals.
the cross || prayer || www.messagesofhope.com

Has a deep breathing practice shifted your life? If you’d like, please share your story in the comments. Many will see it and your story might be just the story to help someone make it through another day.

YOU can #makeadifference
#messagesofhope
~~~
www.messagesofhope.com

#givinghopeahomebygiving back – forever- to the charities you care most about.

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How Do You Recharge?

August 5, 2015
- Nature does not hurry, yet everything

- Nature does not hurry, yet everything

Good morning!  As I look at this image I’m sharing with you today, I am reminded of the famous quote by Lao-Tse:

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

I’m the kind of person who gets anxious when I have a long to-do list, I want to get it all done, right now.  Are you this same kind of person? I need to remind myself that usually, at the end of every work week, everything on my to-do list, that seemed overwhelming at the first of the week, did actually get accomplished – or most of it.

In the middle of a busy week, a busy day, a busy moment, I we might not be able to go to the beach and sit in a bright red Adirondack chair for hours on end, but I we can stand up and take a walk for a few minutes in nature and breathe deeply of fresh air and remind myself ourselves, that I am we are making progress. This is my way of re-charging and re-focusing and it helps.

I think sending our body’s cells little #messagesofhope and affirmations is a good thing to do. Do you?

Do you say positive things to yourself, to thank yourself for being such a hard worker, whether you’re working inside your home and living by yourself, or working inside your home and in the community as a Mom or Dad taking care of kids and/or elderly parents and volunteering, or whether you’re working outside of your home, taking care of the needs of a business and then going home and tending to the needs of yourself and others?

What is your #redchair moment each day? How do you relax and recharge? What positive things do you say to yourself to remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can – even on those days when laying on the sofa is the best you can do? And PS: we all have those days – trust me on that one.

Please share your ideas with me on the tag #redchair and, with your permission, I will share your first name + last inital and your ideas in a future post so we can all learn and be inspired by each other about how we each recharge to keep ourselves in a positive, hope-FULL frame of mind!

http://messagesofhope.com
I invite you to also share your re-charge ideas with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the tags: #messagesofhope + #redchair – so I can see them and re-share them with the friends of Messages of Hope on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

http://facebook.com/messagesofhope1 
FB/MessagesofHope1

http://twitter.com/messagesof_HOPE
TW/@messagesof_HOPE

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INSTA/messagesof_HOPE 

I wish you a wonderful day ahead, full of tiny re-charging moments that re-energize you, and, if you’d like to pin or share this beautiful image taken by Pamela Koudelka, with the quote on it by Lao-Tse, please pop on over to http://messagesofhope/hope-quotes, where you will find it.

Thank you!

Leslie Carothers

www.messagesofhope.com

#givinghopeahome…by giving back….forever 

 

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