Feeling discouraged? Today Tamara talks about the relationship between goals and hope, a personal story of healing, and one thing that makes her smile.
What Everyone Ought to Know About Rebuilding Hope
Last week we had just a wonderful conversation with author Wendy Wilson Spooner, and she talked a lot about family and how none of us grow up in perfect families. But she also talked about two points I would like to discus today: First, is the message of never giving up, never losing hope. The second message is that you can heal from these hard times. And these are powerful messages especially for what we are going through right now as citizens of planet Earth. Lives have changed because of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus.
The Relationship Between Goals, Despair and Hope
Last week I got to preview a book, Personality Isn’t Permanent, that comes out in June from a friend of mine, Dr. Benjamin Hardy. He has a quote in this book which I want to share with you today.
He said, “Research shows you cannot have hope without a goal.”
So you need to have goals so that you can have hope.
Now this podcast is all about having hope. And I want to talk about loss of hope, dreams, and expectations which we are all experiencing right now. We’ve all had plans that have changed. We’ve had school change for children and parents. Life is not looking anything like we expected.
And when this happens, there is a sense of loss. There is a sense of discouragement, loss of excitement, and loss of anticipation. If you are anything like me, you have started to feel a little down.
I just want to let you know that this is completely normal. And that is because all these goals or expectations or dreams that we had are now gone. And so if you’re feeling down and discouraged, because all those old dreams are gone.
What to Do About Lost Hope and Dreams
So first pause right now and say, “It’s okay. It’s okay to grieve these lost dreams.”
Secondly, I want you to start using the creative powers of your brain. Start imagining a Plan B, a Plan C, or a Plan D. Start letting your imagination and your brain hope again.
What would that look like? I have already told my husband that when all this Coronavirus stuff is over, I’m going to go to Disneyland. For me, Disneyland is a happy place (for my husband it is not a happy place). But that is something I am looking forward to with hope.
So start imagining future plans, but I want you to also think of and start brainstorming things that you can do that bring you hope right now. Is there something you can rearrange in your room? So try to think of things that will bring you hope and joy. Because as Dr. Ben Hardy taught, “Research shows you cannot have hope without a goal.” So I would love to invite you to set a goal today.
Set a dream or an expectation to replace those broken ones. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it can be small. And start there because setting a goal means rebuilding hope. And that is what we’re all about right now we need to rebuild hope and it starts right in our own minds and in our own hearts. If you’re having problems, thinking of things, call a friend, and brainstorm together. Maybe you can do something together when this is all said and done. Because it’s fun to share that dream with somebody else.
Ideas to Get Your Brainstorming Started
I’m going to give you a quick list of possibilities.
- Do an art project or painting. When we interviewed Wendy last week, we found out she was an artist. Have you ever done or wanted to do a painting? Now is your perfect opportunity. You can even order the supplies online.
- Do Genealogy or Record Family Stories. Wendy is also an avid genealogist. Have you ever looked at your family history? Try setting up a free account on Family Search. You have ancestors that went through hard things? Find out those stories by calling a great aunt, great uncle, or grandparent and record those stories. Sometimes learning the stories from our ancestors help us realize if they got through that hard thing, maybe I can get through my hard thing.
- Learn How to Do Hair (or another compelling hobby). My daughter, who is a teenage girl, has been loving looking at how to do different hairstyles on YouTube. And she’s just really enjoyed learning different braids and how to take care of her hair. And that’s been really fun for her.
- Learn to Play a New Game. Our family loves the game Ticket to Ride. And we got an expansion called Ticket to Ride London. It’s super short and it only 10 to 15 minutes to play instead of the usual hour to play a game of Ticket to Ride and it’s really fun. Check it out on Walmart.com because it is on clearance right now at Walmart for under $10.
- Tidy a Room or Area of Your Home. I have a friend whose daughter has totally cleaned and tidied her room.
- Do an Online Training. I did some online training this past weekend. I did a three-day training on speaking and it was amazing and I learned a lot. Doing a Speaking Training is something that’s been on my vision board for a long time. So, do an online training, this is a great time to do that.
- Make a Vision Board. Speaking of vision boards, maybe you’ve always wanted to make a vision board so that you can put your new goals and ideas up there. If you don’t know how to do a vision board, get some training or watch some YouTube videos on it and make your vision board.
- Learn to Play an Instrument or Develop Other Talents. This is a great time to do online piano lessons, or online voice lessons. Maybe you’ve wanted to play the drums or xylophone. My kids are taking online piano and voice lessons right now on it, and it’s working. So if you’ve ever wanted to develop a talent, why not do it now? You’re stuck at home anyway.
- Learn to Cook a New Recipe. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to cook now would be a good time to do that. I’m including my favorite Caramel Popcorn recipe below, so you can make something new. (Please note that the original recipe is written in pencil. The recipe written in ink is 4x the original recipe–meaning it makes a HUGE amount of caramel popcorn).
- Sew and Serve. If you have a sewing machine, maybe you want to do some service and learn to make super simple masks. There are some very easy patterns out there. You can find a link here to the ones that I’m going to be making and my with my family. So doing service is fantastic or to find out what help is needed they in your area, check this link here.
- Try a New of Different Exercise Routine. Maybe you’ve always wanted a flatter stomach, stronger arms or stronger legs, find a routine and do that.
- Try Editing Photography. What about learning to edit photos online? Wouldn’t that be fun to learn to do?
- Go on Hikes or Get out In Nature. One of my favorite things to do is go on hikes with my family. We have done this a couple of times since the quarantine began. Hiking out in nature at our local state park is just fantastic because it almost feels like there is no Coronavirus quarantine.
- Read/Listen to a Book for Fun or Pleasure. Read a book for fun or for self improvement. If you don’t like reading, try an audiobook. You can even read or listen to my book, Normal for Me.
- Begin a Garden. If you’d like to garden, plant some seeds. Even if you have to do a small patio garden, you can grow something simple. For example, if you love tomatoes, grow tomatoes. They are always better homegrown.
- Learn to make a card.
- Plan a Vacation. My daughter is so funny. Last week she was looking on VRBO.com, which is a vacation rental by owner site. She was looking at little homes that you could rent in Iceland, and I was totally laughing. But she was dreaming big. She wants to go to Iceland someday and stay in a little home.
This is what I’m talking about guys. You can have little goals or big goals.
Kyngdom Organizer–What I Use to Write My Goals Down
I have a planner that I love using. It’s called the Kyngdom Organizer. It’s fantastic because it helps me set yearly, monthly, and then weekly goals. Then I break it down into daily goals which help me keep my priorities in check. This planner helps me put myself in my relationship with God first, my relationship with my family second, and then friends, and then blessing the world. And so as long as I keep those in order, I feel like I have the energy that I need to keep going.
With all of the change that’s happened, I’ve had to kind of relook and change some of my goals. And that’s okay. We’re talking about setting goals so we can have hope.
Set Your Own Goals!
You can do this. Start brainstorming right now so that you can set goals and keep moving forward. Perhaps you have stopped or stalled. Now it is time to have hope again. Start by setting some baby goals.
Look at the blessings of being stuck at home and set some amazing goals. Ask: What have I always wanted to do? Then start reaching for those goals.
Dieter Uchtdorf said, “Each time a hope is fulfilled, it creates confidence and leads to greater hope.”
Isn’t that fantastic? So every time you fulfill one of these goals or hopes, you get greater confidence which leads to greater hope. Once you finish goal, set another one. And once you finish that one set another one, and your confidence in your hope will grow incrementally.
Healing Takes Time
A second thing Wendy talked about in her podcast last week was that healing sometimes takes time. And how healing comes through Jesus Christ. I have found a lot of hope and healing because of Jesus Christ.
A Personal Healing Story
And I’m going to take you back a couple years ago, to when my husband and I were touring London, England. We visited London, Liverpool, and Manchester with his parents and had a great time. While we were in London, touring St. Paul’s Cathedral and having a great day, I found a monument that completely stopped me in my tracks. This is because this monument meant something to me. I found myself thinking, “Oh my word, it really happened.”
Do you have things like that in your past where all of a sudden something will remind you of it and you’ll think, “That was real. That really happened.” Sometimes we are reminded of traumas in our past. That is what I experienced when I found myself face to face with a monument of the the fallen soldiers during the Falkland Island War, which happened back in 1982.
If you’re like most of the world, this war means absolutely nothing to you. You would walk by this monument just like you walk by every other monument or crypt in the basement of St Paul’s Cathedral. But because this monument meant something to me, I had to remembered some trauma that had occurred when I was young child.
The Trauma and Healing
You see, my family lived in Argentina for three years when I was a little girl and my sisters and I went to Argentine schools. We were there during the Falkland Island War. I remember this war because it was painful to me because when the United States sided with Great Britain the Argentines really hated the Americans. And because I happened to be the only American these children knew, they took some of their hatred out on me. It was very difficult.
So sometimes complete healing may take 30 years or more like it did for Wendy, and like it did for me. I remember touching that monument in the basement of St. Paul’s Cathedral, with tears rolling down my cheeks. I was reminded that I had a trauma that I needed to have healed. I knew could be whole with God’s help. Sometimes healing takes time.
We don’t necessarily forget the bad thing, but perhaps we find the lessons from it. Instead of looking at the trauma as something negative, we look at it and find the blessings.
God can heal all wounds even those we experienced a long time ago. Wendy told us the story of finally healing from her sister’s suicide and how it took her 30 years to process things.
Tip for Healing
Don’t be judgmental on yourself or critical of others, because sometimes things take time to completely heal from. Give the hurt to God and ask Him to help you with it. Journal about it. Find a counselor to help you through it. I have found that as I have turned to God with these traumas, He has blessed me with healing.
I would like to wrap things up with a scripture. I have been studying scriptures on hope for the last few weeks. There is a short scripture I really want to share with you found in 1 Corinthians 9:10. And these three words are what I want you to focus on today, “Plow in hope.”
And you may be wondering, what the heck does that have to do with anything? When you are feeling down or discouraged, I want you to think like a gardener I want you to, “Plow in hope.” I want you to set those goals and dreams I want you to pretend and imagine that life is moving on. Because it will move on and reach a new normal.
So we’re going to plant seeds because it’s springtime so that we can harvest hope and dreams in the summertime. For me, as a avid gardener, this means that right now in my kitchen I have little pots of plants growing all over my kitchen counter. They bring me joy. I know that come middle of May I can finally plant them outside (because that’s how late our last frost date is here in Utah).
What little things can you be doing every day to plow with hope or to add hope for that better future? This verse ties into setting those goals, which we talked about at the beginning of this episode. So plow with hope! Don’t let these hard times keep you down. Set good goals.
And remember that if you’re struggling with some trauma that God can help you heal eventually.
I’m so thankful for the power of hope and for the power that God has in my life and that He can have in your life too.
A Fun Visual Picture
I want to conclude this episode with something fun. And that is a picture image I am including below.
One of the things that most of you know about me is I have a son with low functioning autism. He brings me great joy. He is so much fun, and I just love and appreciate him so much. Every morning when he wakes up, he walks down stairs and he sits on the arm of the couch, criss-cross applesauce. Now, Nathan is a big boy. He is 21 and fully grown. And when he sits on this arm of our couch criss-cross applesauce it is the cutest, sweetest picture because that is not how you and I sit on a couch. We sit on the cushions of the couch. He sits on the armrests. I don’t know how he finds that position comfortable, but he sits there several times a day.
And believe it or not the armrests of my couch–only the right side (because he doesn’t sit on the left side of the couch armrest) are bowed down. Our poor little couches have endured years eight years of Nathan’s sitting on the armrest of the couch. This picture just makes me smile, and I hope it makes you smile as well.
And do I care that my couches are bowed? No, not really. Because I look at those couches and they make me laugh. So find something that makes you laugh today. Hopefully this made you at least smile a little bit. Have a wonderful and hopeful day.