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.


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:


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


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Designing A Life You Love

October 12, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 5.00.02 AM

#TheHopeBlog || || Illustration by Patricia Alix -Villa of 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 || || Illustration by Patricia Alix -Villa of 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 || || Illustration by Patricia Alix -Villa of in Singapore
And I’m adding this, because I just love this illustration of Patricia’s.
#TheHopeBlog || || Illustration by Patricia Alix -Villa of in Singapore
Have a beauty -FULL week ahead!

Thank you for being. I appreciate YOU.



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


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

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You are Beautiful Just The Way You Are

October 5, 2015 (3) || #messagesofhope || || ||
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?





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