Are you a hope*writer?

join for a week for $1!

My friends at hope*writers closed to new members Friday night.

However, for those who just weren’t sure, who wonder if they’re a writer, who wonder if a writing membership is worth it . . .

They’re offering a one-day, one-dollar, one-week trial.

You can join hope*writers for a week for $1 and see if it’s for you.

If you stay beyond a week you’ll automatically continue as a member at the regular price.

This will give you full access to the entire writer's library, to this week's Tuesday Teaching and to the private member community.

If you don’t want to stay just cancel before 7 days.

It’s a great way to take a step forward in your writing.

Click HERE to learn more and join today.

P.S - this $1 trial is only available until midnight PST tonight! Then hope*writers closes for membership. They only open their doors a few times a year.

I'll Be Witty Tomorrow, Vol. 3

What do you hope for in 2020?

How’s everyone doing?

We’re sixteen days into the final January of this decade. (p.s. How many of you got reprimanded by the fact that this isn’t a new decade?)

Regardless of the math, I’m claiming 2020 to be a year of HOPE.

Greg and I choose a word for the year and then form our goals around that word. We aren’t hard-pressed to that word all year because sometimes it changes as we go through the year.

This year we wrote down our goals with HOPE in mind. Honestly, whenever we write goals, there’s always HOPE in the back of our minds. But this year, we’re being intentional about looking for HOPE.

We all need to do that don’t we?

Hope for healing. Hope for answers. Hope for our children to walk closer to God. Hope for reconciliation. Hope for peace. Hope for the pain to ease. Hope for the work I do to be used by God. Hope for clarity. Hope for peace. Hope for celebration. Hope for _______.

What do you HOPE for in 2020?

Sacred Space by The Irish Jesuits

I have been on the lookout for a devotional for 2020 and earlier this week, Tsh mentioned this book on Twitter. I am glad to make this a part of my daily routine.

And how fitting that the first entry I read for the week of January 12-18 was this quote:

Life is often a desert; it is difficult to walk in life, but if we trust in God it can become beautiful and wide as a highway. Never lose hope, continue to believe, always, in spite of everything. When we are before a child, although we have many problems and many difficulties, a smile comes to us from within, because we see hope in front of us: a child is hope. And in this way, we must be able to discern in life the way of hope which leads us to find God, God who became a child for us. He will make us smile; he will give us everything.

– Pope Francis, On Hope

Look for hope. 🤓

I Wander as I Wander by Future of Forestry

I know it’s a song from a Christmas album, but after my friend Tara told me about this song and the beauty of the music, it takes my breath away every time I listen.

Listen for hope. 🎻

Jennifer Garner on a roller coaster! This wins. Also, this is me on a roller coaster.

News anchors gag on-air over co-worker’s horrible holiday artichoke dip!

Laugh with hope. 😂

Native Bar Soap, the coconut + vanilla scent.

Smell like hope. 🤣 (but seriously, this is important–do you live with teenagers??)

What’s on your list for Read, Laugh, Listen + Can’t Live Without this month? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to next month’s newsletter.

p.s. there are a few affiliate links in this post, you can find them listed here.

What I Learned in 2019

Keep writing the words.

You know what’s funny? I spent most of 2019 thinking it was already 2020!

I think it’s my aversion to odd numbers and odd years. I’m a weirdo, I know.

Every year is full of joy, sorrow, grace, forgiveness, difficulties, accomplishments, new friendships and some that you let go, laughter and tears, books you loved and some you couldn’t finish. 2019 had its fair share of all of those, didn’t it?

As we end the odd year of 2019, I spent some time reading through my journal and Instagram captions to pick out a few nuggets that I wanted to remember from this year.

  • Beauty can be found even when the scenery is gray, cold, and harsh.

  • Everyone needs a friend that’s not afraid of the rough beginning and messy middle, and who sticks around for the beautiful ending.

  • What’s more important? To be healed or taught and transformed?

  • Hope for healing and if not that, hope for whatever I can learn along the way.

  • Help your kids chase their dreams and keep supporting them when those dreams change. They will change like the seasons, embrace each one.

  • Learn to persevere in the ordinary.

  • God is good, all the time. Healing takes time.

  • The true test of perseverance comes in the midst of each season and I need the visual reminders of those seasons. It’s how God makes himself real to me.

  • The ability to get along well with others and considering them more important is rooted in kindness and servanthood. Sow it into the DNA of your family. Imagine the benefits that will reap into the next generation.

  • When you persevere through pain and surround yourself with people that love you unconditionally, healing will come.

  • Any type of pain is unwanted but it can be a powerful healer if we allow it. The perseverance that it takes to endure pain yields beauty in our character and exudes hope for tomorrow.

  • God can turn any situation into a new beginning. It may require humility, grace, forgiveness, a steady hand of endurance—or a combination of all the above. The end result? Hope.

For so many writers when the are going through hard seasons, the first things to go are what we’ve convined ourselves are a luxury. But if we let those things go, that often becomes what keeps us stuck.

If we want to get unstuck, the answer is not to let go of the things that make us feel most like ourselves but is to embrace them and move towards them in a way that might be really messy and might just be writing for ourselves only, one line a day.

We’re not saying you have to publish everything you write, but we are saying you have to keep writing the words.” Emily P. Freeman, hope*writers co-founder

Happy New Year, friends!

Let’s bring in 2020 with the thoughtfulness of some of the things we learned in 2019 and keep writing the words!

Disturbing Your Peace

Not your typical Christmas greeting

There are so many things that can disturb your peace.

Loud music. Flashing lights. An argument. An illness. Cousin Eddie showing up unannounced.

Our peace was disrupted when I woke up last Friday and couldn't really get out of bed because of extreme exhaustion. We had plans this week to travel and to spend some time with family in North Carolina. 

We made the decision to stay home.

Plan B became Plan A. My friend Karrie told me that growing up, her mom always told her that life is all about how you handle Plan B.

Is it always a bad thing when your peace is disrupted?

The answer is no.

It’s an opportunity to grow. To change.

The path of peace for us is to hand ourselves over to God and ask Him to search us, not what we think we are, or what other people think we are, or what we persuade ourselves we are or would like to be, but, ‘Search me out, O God, explore me as I really am in Thy sight.’ Oswald Chambers

The peace that passes all understanding comes from Jesus, not from the absence of those things that disturb our peace, but in the midst of them.

True peace is a journey that will be disturbed time and again as we allow Jesus to uncover the areas in our life of misplaced peace.

What’s disturbing your peace this Christmas? Take a closer took and see it as an opportunity to grow.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

A Letter to Myself in Six Months

an assignment from my health coach

Dear Caroline,

In six months, REMEMBER:

  • how far you’ve come and the progress of healing that has happened in your health journey, especially when you are having a bad day.

  • to prioritize your mental and emotional health as well as your physical and spiritual. They all work together.

  • that food is not the enemy.

  • the default is to always go for that walk!

  • when anxiety hits, box breathe and then talk out loud. If someone is with you, talk to them. If you are alone, open up Voxer and record yourself talking. Talking helps, even if you are talking to yourself.

  • to practice playfulness, you have a tendency to take things too seriously.

  • you are not alone!

Thank you, Neeyaz!

What would you say to yourself six months from now?

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