The Flowering of The Cross

March 27, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 4.48.02 AM

flowering -of -the - crossThe Flowering of the Cross is an Easter tradition that touches my heart. What is it? Each Easter, churches ask their parishioners to bring flowers from their gardens to decorate the Cross.

The flowers symbolize the Easter promise: the resurrection of hope and new life after the pain Jesus experienced dying on the cross.

Click the MORE button and be uplifted by beauty! Happy Easter!
the-flowering-of-the-cross
I love the simplicity of the picture below, and how seniors and children and parents are participating in this together.
What a wonderful memory for everyone.

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 5.14.48 AMI also love how all of these different congregations, be they Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, etc, all , in their own unique ways, and despite their differences, create these beautiful flower crosses on Easter that symbolize the resurrection of hope and new life.
Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 5.15.29 AMDoes this tradition touch you as much as it does me? 
Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 5.17.36 AM
the-flowering-of-the-crossIn this last picture below, it’s hard to know what’s going through his young mind as he’s placing his flower on the Cross, but whatever it is, this memory, this image, will be with him through a lifetime.
He will always be able to look at it and remember that no matter what trials he may be facing, Jesus faced those trials for him already, and through simple faith in the promise of the Cross, he will always be forgiven and given another chance.
And so will we all.
the-flowering-of-the-cross
Happy Easter to each of you! 
Happy-EasterLeslie

” messages of hope – giving hope a home by giving back – forever “

Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

If you’d like to read a lovely post on how to make a small flowering Easter cross,
perhaps for someone you know in a nursing home or in the hospital,
please click
here.

#beautyheals 

Like & Share

    Share Button

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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 5.07.08 AM
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

 

Like & Share

    Share Button

You are Beautiful Just The Way You Are

October 5, 2015
www.messagesofhope.com (3)

www.messagesofhope.com || #messagesofhope || http://instagram.com/Messagesof_HOPE || http://twitter.com/messagesof_hope || http://facebook.com/messagesofhope1
This pretty pink illustration says it all for me today. I hope you will really take its message into your heart, as I have, despite all that is going in my life right now:

You are incredible,adorable, lovable, wonderful, powerful, perfectly beautiful, just exactly the way you are….and I would add: inside and out, always.

I believe words, read into our minds, have the power to heal, do you?

~~~ 
Leslie 

#messagesofhope

www.messagesofhope.com

Instagram

Twitter
Facebook

Like & Share

    Share Button

Rely On Him

September 3, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 6.33.21 AM

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 

Facebook
Twitter 
Instagram
G+ 

Like & Share

    Share Button

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.

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
G+ Community

 

Like & Share

    Share Button

Following Your Intuition

August 9, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 1.42.18 PM

Angels in clouds || Image Credit: Leslie Carothers || www.messagesofhope.com
This morning, Sunday morning, August 9, 2015, I participated in Kumud Ajmani’s #SpiritChat on Twitter, something I’ve been doing for years now, along with people from all over the world and from all walks of life, who come together for an uplifting hour of conversation and sharing about topics of spiritual interest to them.

This morning’s chat, guest hosted by nationally known career coach @MaggieMistal, [formally the director of learning and development for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia ] was on the wonderful topic of intuition. I don’t know Maggie in real life, but I really enjoyed her thought provoking questions and reading everyone’s responses to them.
Trust your instincts ||  www.messagesofhope.com
I’ve long felt, but now know, after reading everyone’s answers to Maggie’s  questions, that intuition is always with us, but we may not be ready for, or always like, the intuitive guidance we *know*, in our hearts, we are receiving.

Have you ever been stuck – in fear – that if you act on your intuition, the rest of your life might fall apart, as you know it?  Has that thought ever stopped you from acting on strong internal guidance?

I have and I’ve delayed my own flow because I haven’t been ready to trust. I haven’t been ready to let go of my fear. What if? What if? What if? plagued me, and sometimes continues to plague me.

And I now know, for sure, I’m not alone.

However, when you are truly following your intuition, even through your fear, there are sometimes signs that seem to be unmistakable. To help you feel less afraid. Signs that seem to come from above, that say “Just trust.” Just trust that everything will work out.

Just…have faith. 

On the day I launched this site last weekend, I was out taking my normal morning walk. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I was thinking to myself, ” In just an hour or so, I’m going to be sharing with everyone I know this site I’ve been working on [and delaying out of fear ] for 2 years –  is actually now live on the web.”

The logo for http://messagesofhope.com

Internally, I was excited, but I was also scared. It felt so personal to me. Like giving birth to my baby. Almost too public. I wondered if it would resonate? Would people like it or would they just ignore it?

So, I did what I do. I prayed while taking my morning walk that people would not ignore it. That they would understand the vision and the mission of #givinghopeahomebygivingback -forever, and that they would want to help me create this vision to help the charities they care about receive money – forever.

And the big elephant in the room?

Would they support it even though they knew it also meant I might make money?

Would people understand and be ok with the idea that Messages of Hope is right now, a for-profit *social good* site  until I die, when I can then give 75% of the net profits [versus 20% now, when the ecard portion launches this fall ] to the charities people care about, forever, since I don’t have children to leave anything to when I go?

I didn’t know and I still don’t know. I am simply acting on faith.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 12.38.33 PM
As I was thinking these thoughts, I looked up.

And saw the angel wing cloud in the opening photo of this post that continued and continued to grow, right in front of my eyes. I took 6 videos of it, so I could always have them to remember the moment. I’d never seen anything else like it. It was the only cloud in the entire sky.
Angel cloud from www.messagesofhope.com
I got chills all over, and I’m getting chills again, thinking about it, as I type this.

It was, for me, an unmistakable sign that intuition has guided me on the right path, even though I can’t see one step ahead to what will become of this.

Many of you don’t know I’m a trained labyrinth facilitator through the http://veriditas.org program Dr. Lauren Artress founded at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

Image Credit: http://wari.cat, yoga at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on the labyrinth
If there’s anything that walking the labyrinth so many times, and holding the energy as I witness others doing the same has taught me over the years, it is this:

just put one foot in front of the other, and you WILL reach the center, even when you can’t see it.

This picture by famed yoga photographer, Wari Om Yoga Photography, [and the one above it showing people doing yoga on the labyrinth ] shows how we simply sometimes have to stretch ourselves to believe it, act on it and have faith that, by following our heart felt intuition, we are on the right path.
yoga on the beach
Friends, I’d love to hear, in the comments, your thoughts on how you’ve followed/or are following your intuition, your own inner guidance, despite fear.

Please don’t be shy. The more honestly and vulnerably we share, the more we help each other grow into living our best lives.
***

Leslie Carothers

Messages of Hope
www.messagesofhope.com

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

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
G+ Community

 

Like & Share

    Share Button

Menu
Menu