hope reevesI grappled with what I wanted to share with you during this season. After careful and thoughtful reflection I chose Hope. Hope is the belief that the events and circumstance in our life will have positive outcomes. Hope adds optimism to a dream.

Can hope transform your life? How do we create hope from despair? Despair is the complete absence of hope. Hope, on the other hand, allows us to recover from our setbacks and become successful.

There have been a few times in my life when I almost gave up hope. Thankfully, just a few. One relatively recent event stands out.

When the recession of 2008 occurred, I experienced masked despair. We had a thriving business that stopped thriving. Our business debt was off the charts. We were optimistic and had invested in mucho inventory. Business is cash flow. Without it survival is tenuous.  One morning I woke up and said out loud, ‘enough is enough – let’s go to work’. After a while hope began to return.

I put the SOAR process to work. My desired outcome was simple –  find a way to manage our debt without losing our assets.

I contacted each supplier and worked out a payment plan – I didn’t wait for them to contact me. Those 30 and 60 day accounts stretched into 12 and 24 month accounts. Not one creditor added any interest or penalties. Situations occurred. When the time came that I couldn’t make the next payment in full, I let them know in advance.

We phoned and or emailed each of our prior customers to let them know that we had moved the business into our home and they were welcome to visit us there by appointment. Many of them came back to us. Especially our long arm quilting customers. Naturally, our customer base suffered since we lost walk in customers. You know, the difference between breakeven and a profit.

The short version is that it took a few years, with a lot of belt tightening and developing other sources of income, to get our credit ratings back to excellent. Now our mailbox is full with credit offers instead of past due statements.

Shane J Lopez in his book “Making Hope Happen” shares a number of similar and more dramatic stories of hope. I was drawn to the title since I have “Make It Happen” slogans around my office.

Visualize your desired outcome. What does it look like to bring your hope to reality? What are you doing to make it happen? What are you feeling? Who do you see helping you get where you want to be?faith hope and love

Faith, hope, and love. When we lose hope we can lose faith. Faith sustains many of us through difficult times. When you find yourself questioning your faith and hope, turn to love – “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (Corinthians 13:7) Hope will happen when you let love in.

May the year 2016 be filled with eternal hope for you and your loved ones.

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