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Hopegrams

Hope Rays

Shining the light of hope into dark places

Turn on the HOPE Light

Karen Sebastian - Friday, April 20, 2018

Turn on the Hope Light

Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change. James 1:17 TPT

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

Hope shines brightest in the darkest places. 

That's because it doesn't take a very large flame to make a difference. 

The other morning, I woke up in a funk. (Some have told me that I was acting 'normal.') 

I was looking at all I had to do and felt overwhelmed. Instead of exercising, I just felt like going back to bed.

I pushed through the exercise and moved on in to the stretches. At that moment, I looked over at the light streaming through the dining room window and decided to switch on my hope. 

It's a subtle switch that has no definite location in your being, yet it worked. I started looking at my blessings. I started looking at all I HAD accomplished the day before. 

I changed my perspective. 

I started praying for those who were struggling.

I started taking steps in the right direction for what needed to be done.

I released perfectionism and celebrated my progress.

I wanted to encourage you today to switch on your HOPE light.

STOP

This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

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RELEASE

Karen Sebastian - Friday, April 06, 2018

RELEASE

I know God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity. Ecclesiastes 3:11 VOICE

I stood up to lead the small group gathered in the funeral home in some old songs. We were gathered to celebrate the life a former classmate in Bible College. She and her husband had seemed so much older than us when we were in school. Now we can see that the years have blurred as we recounted her giftings, and shared what she and her husband had deposited into our lives.

The last few years of her life were difficult for her as her mind faded more and more to the point that she even forgot how to speak and could not swallow. Still, when we sat with her, her grip was firm and she followed us closely with her eyes. She knew we were there and she wanted to tell us so much. Last Thursday night, she had looked up with surprise in her eyes and wanted to talk. We're confident she was seeing angels.

It was truly a happy/sad gathering. We are happy for Norma that she has now been released to once again fully worship her Savior and get a hug from her beloved husband, Bob, who moved to Heaven years before. We are sad that we will not see her again on this side.

We sang her favorite hymns with all our might even though we had to fill in the blanks at times with LA-LA-LA since there were no words up on the wall. We clapped as we sang Victory in Jesus and cried while worshipping our Lord together as we sang how He can make something beautiful out of our lives. There really is just something about the name of Jesus. We all experienced a taste of eternity.

I pray that when it's my time to move permanently, that others will say that I never had a negative word to say about anyone. 

Release is bittersweet. I choose to enjoy the sweet memories.

This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




Routine

Karen Sebastian - Friday, March 23, 2018

Routine

Even though Daniel was aware the king had signed the ordinance into law, he continued to do what he always did. He would go home, ascend the stairs to the upper room—which had windows facing toward Jerusalem—and get down on his knees three times a day and pray to his God and praise Him. Daniel 6:10 (Voice)

Think fast - what is the main story you think of when you hear about Daniel (the one in the Bible)? 

Daniel and the Lion's Den

This verse is the secret to the successful outcome of the story of when he was thrown in the Lion's Den.

Daniel had a routine. He had "regulars" that he never missed. 

Prayer was one of those even after a decree that said that praying would cost him his life. This verse says that he did what he always did and trusted God for the rest.

Bottom line -- when the pressure mounts you will become what you do consistently. 

I am blessed to have married a man with awesome routines that have now been incorporated into my life - 
There are three things we do every day -
  1. Listen to the Bible reading on our phone
  2. Exercise for 20 minutes and stretch for 10
  3. Pray through our list
After over a year of doing this, I miss these routines when our schedule does not permit us to do them. 

I want to add more "regulars" to my life. I need the add the regulars of laughter breaks, more trips, and nurturing moments.

What about you? What do you do consistently? How has it helped you? What do you want to add?

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home



Beauty

Karen Sebastian - Sunday, February 25, 2018

Beauty

And I know God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity; we look back on the past and ponder over the future, yet we cannot understand the doings of God. Ecclesiastes 3:11 Voice

We were in a hurry to get home from Costco shopping. We took the exit off the main road and came to a complete stop! There had been an accident and the police and emergency vehicles were blocking the road.

How do you describe the irritation you feel when you face a road block?

After saying a prayer for those in the accident we took a side street to get around it. And that's when we looked up to see a gorgeous sunset that we would have missed if we had not been slowed down.

Beauty surrounds you every day so take the time to enjoy it. Slow down and enjoy the sunset (or sunrise... if you are an early riser).

A sunset can give you a sense of eternity once you realize the extravagant expression of beauty that God has created for you to enjoy. Each day is different. Each brilliant cloud can look like the stroke of the master's paint brush. 
 
STOP

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home


Why?

Karen Sebastian - Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why?

Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 TBT

Recent events with more school shootings and needless deaths of the young have left us breathless. After the shock sinks in we start to ask, "Why?"

I am a widow who was the full-time caregiver for my precious first husband for two and a half years. I learned a lot from him. I never remember him asking Why?

Now that is astounding because he endured ongoing muscle weakness due to an adult form of Muscular Dystrophy. In the latter years, his diaphragm failed and he relied on a ventilator for his very breath. 

I don't know how he did it, yet I am inspired by his courage and determination to not make his day about what he could not do. Instead, he focused on reaching out to bless others. His selfless determination left a legacy of purpose and tender care.

You may not know the reasons why something happened in your life. 

Would it really help to know? 

What you can know is that the Lord is ready to carry all your worry and stress as you give it to Him. He tenderly cares for you. Somehow in the scheme of things He has given us choices. 

I choose Him. 

I choose to trust in the true HOPE that God will work out the details and somehow make it better than if it had never happened. 

I choose to have compassion and extend that love to others.

STOP

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home



http://www.karensebastian.com/hopegrams/why

Wearing Love Like a Glove

Karen Sebastian - Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wearing Love Like a Glove

Put on love. Colossians 3:14

Today is a day when many celebrate love and relationships. Others feel sad because they don’t have someone special who will send them flowers, buy them chocolates or send them a card.  They are sad because they do not have that ‘perfect’ life they always dreamed of. I have the hope antidote – begin to share your love extravagantly with everyone you come in contact with no strings attached. You will be amazed at what happens as you share with no strings attached.

Nothing is required except a loving heart and a desire to bless someone as you put on love. Here are some free expressions of love:

  • Hugging
  • Telling that person what they mean to you
  • Writing on post-it notes words that describe and honor them
  • Writing on a white board what that person means to you
  • Smiling and making eye contact
  • Extending small courtesies
  • Making a slideshow with pictures of those you love
  • Baking favorite dish or cookies
  • Making a telephone call
  • Making time to listen with no interruptions
  • If you are far away, send a text with these same honoring words

Let me know what happens as you shower those around you with extravagant expressions of your love for them without expecting anything in return. The miracle of that principle is that the rewards will be amazing because that’s how love multiplies as we give it away to others. Encourage others to do the same as the Put on Love.

What did you do to express your love? What was the response?

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home

Agree

Karen Sebastian - Saturday, February 03, 2018

Agree - Five Minute Friday

I am God's incredible work of art. Ephesians 2:10 NLT


"Let every experience of your life teach you something that you can leave as a legacy. Once you agree with who God says you are, you will respond differently," I declared boldly to the women at a conference a few years ago.

Just then, I moved among the tables to address another side of the room. My shoe caught on the tablecloth and I fell flat on my face. Instantly, I became the message illustration.

You know that feeling when everyone gasps and you have a choice to make? I instantly popped up and holding my hands out in my best gymnastic pose exclaimed - "TADA!"

My prayer for you is that you agree with who God says you are. You are His masterpiece. You are His work of art. You are unique and precious.

STOP

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home

Surrender

Karen Sebastian - Sunday, January 28, 2018
Surender

Surrender

God is energizing you so that you will desire and do what always pleases Him. Philippians 2:13 Voice

A memory popped into my head the minute I saw the word for the Five Minute Friday. My first husband, Bill, had just gotten out of the hospital. He had almost died due to breathing complications from a simple procedure that would prolong his life. The worship team was practicing the Hillsong song I Surrender.

My heart protested. I felt that if I surrendered it would be the same as giving up the fight for his life. I felt vulnerable and weak. I started to cry. 

That's when I realized that this was a trust issue.

"Do you trust me?" I felt the Lord say to my heart.

"I want to... but...."

And there was the catch. I felt unable to move forward and live my life without Bill. Surrender was losing him.

That was a lie. I remember taking a deep breath. I remember letting go. I remember a feeling of peace like I had never felt before. The circumstances had not changed ... but I had.

STOP 

P.S. Bill did move to Heaven two years later. I have always had just what I needed when I needed it most. Surrender is sweet when you trust.

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home



Intentional

Karen Sebastian - Friday, January 19, 2018

Intentional

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 MSG

Every year I start with a long list of intentions (AKA resolutions) that I am going to accomplish. I start strong and begin to dwindle by about this time every year.

2018 was different. My word for the year is MOMENTUM and that has given me several new perspectives.

Celebrate small beginnings

You don't have to change everything all at once. Make a list of positive health changes and establish one new habit before you add the new one.

Rest first

My new year started with a bout of the flu. No fun. Still, I prayed more than I have ever prayed during this busy time. I was forced to rest because of exhaustion and it turned into a precious time of rest.

Bounce back quickly

What happens when life's challenges derail you from your resolutions? You make the best of it and lean in to Jesus. I hate being sick yet I love being in His presence. I don't recommend it as a way to start anything yet this morning I am grateful for renewed health and vitality. I am grateful for the ways He can redeem my time and allow me to get the tax stuff finished with greater focus than ever. Be intentional about your future steps.
STOP

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home



Comfort and Joy

Karen Sebastian - Friday, December 22, 2017
Comfort-and-Joy

Comfort and Joy

Matthew 2:10 “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.”


I enjoy decorating for Christmas and getting my family involved. I just had the best weekend ever with two days of carefully decorating the trees with non-breakable ornaments because of the two little princesses we have to help this year. The best part of having grandchildren is the opportunity to rewind and get it right. It's less about everything being perfect and all about the fun we can have. It wasn't always that way.


There was a point in my life when I became obsessed with decorating for Christmas. I started buying ornaments in July and had multiple series going. I had a themed tree in every room of the house and a big open house.  I would wake up early on December 26th to buy ornaments at half price. I lost the joy and the reason for doing any of it.


In my perfectionism, I wanted my house to look like a magazine cover. Instead of enjoying the time with family, I kept tweaking and fixing things. You combine that with procrastination and you have the recipe for disaster. I would marathon wrap on Christmas eve and be exhausted and grumpy the next day.


As I sit here sipping my cup of green tea and looking at the decorations, I am overwhelmed with the grace that comes when we give the Lord our painful memories. I feel sad that there were a few super crazy years, yet I feel excited about the future. I won't get upset if all the ornaments come off the tree or if one is accidentally dropped. People bring comfort and joy. God is restoring my joy and we are enjoying the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.


Dear Lord, thank You for continually working in our lives to conform us to Your image. Thank you for your presence and peace that can be the center of our home when we invite You in. Grant us the continual awareness and the comfort and joy that Your presence brings us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home



Hopegrams

Hope Rays

Turn on the HOPE Light

Karen Sebastian - Friday, April 20, 2018

Turn on the Hope Light

Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change. James 1:17 TPT

Today's writing is part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join us by writing for five minutes every Friday. Here goes...

Hope shines brightest in the darkest places. 

That's because it doesn't take a very large flame to make a difference. 

The other morning, I woke up in a funk. (Some have told me that I was acting 'normal.') 

I was looking at all I had to do and felt overwhelmed. Instead of exercising, I just felt like going back to bed.

I pushed through the exercise and moved on in to the stretches. At that moment, I looked over at the light streaming through the dining room window and decided to switch on my hope. 

It's a subtle switch that has no definite location in your being, yet it worked. I started looking at my blessings. I started looking at all I HAD accomplished the day before. 

I changed my perspective. 

I started praying for those who were struggling.

I started taking steps in the right direction for what needed to be done.

I released perfectionism and celebrated my progress.

I wanted to encourage you today to switch on your HOPE light.

STOP

This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home





 

RELEASE

Karen Sebastian - Friday, April 06, 2018

RELEASE

I know God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity. Ecclesiastes 3:11 VOICE

I stood up to lead the small group gathered in the funeral home in some old songs. We were gathered to celebrate the life a former classmate in Bible College. She and her husband had seemed so much older than us when we were in school. Now we can see that the years have blurred as we recounted her giftings, and shared what she and her husband had deposited into our lives.

The last few years of her life were difficult for her as her mind faded more and more to the point that she even forgot how to speak and could not swallow. Still, when we sat with her, her grip was firm and she followed us closely with her eyes. She knew we were there and she wanted to tell us so much. Last Thursday night, she had looked up with surprise in her eyes and wanted to talk. We're confident she was seeing angels.

It was truly a happy/sad gathering. We are happy for Norma that she has now been released to once again fully worship her Savior and get a hug from her beloved husband, Bob, who moved to Heaven years before. We are sad that we will not see her again on this side.

We sang her favorite hymns with all our might even though we had to fill in the blanks at times with LA-LA-LA since there were no words up on the wall. We clapped as we sang Victory in Jesus and cried while worshipping our Lord together as we sang how He can make something beautiful out of our lives. There really is just something about the name of Jesus. We all experienced a taste of eternity.

I pray that when it's my time to move permanently, that others will say that I never had a negative word to say about anyone. 

Release is bittersweet. I choose to enjoy the sweet memories.

This is a blog written as a part of Five Minute Friday prompt. Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home




Routine

Karen Sebastian - Friday, March 23, 2018

Routine

Even though Daniel was aware the king had signed the ordinance into law, he continued to do what he always did. He would go home, ascend the stairs to the upper room—which had windows facing toward Jerusalem—and get down on his knees three times a day and pray to his God and praise Him. Daniel 6:10 (Voice)

Think fast - what is the main story you think of when you hear about Daniel (the one in the Bible)? 

Daniel and the Lion's Den

This verse is the secret to the successful outcome of the story of when he was thrown in the Lion's Den.

Daniel had a routine. He had "regulars" that he never missed. 

Prayer was one of those even after a decree that said that praying would cost him his life. This verse says that he did what he always did and trusted God for the rest.

Bottom line -- when the pressure mounts you will become what you do consistently. 

I am blessed to have married a man with awesome routines that have now been incorporated into my life - 
There are three things we do every day -
  1. Listen to the Bible reading on our phone
  2. Exercise for 20 minutes and stretch for 10
  3. Pray through our list
After over a year of doing this, I miss these routines when our schedule does not permit us to do them. 

I want to add more "regulars" to my life. I need the add the regulars of laughter breaks, more trips, and nurturing moments.

What about you? What do you do consistently? How has it helped you? What do you want to add?

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home



Beauty

Karen Sebastian - Sunday, February 25, 2018

Beauty

And I know God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity; we look back on the past and ponder over the future, yet we cannot understand the doings of God. Ecclesiastes 3:11 Voice

We were in a hurry to get home from Costco shopping. We took the exit off the main road and came to a complete stop! There had been an accident and the police and emergency vehicles were blocking the road.

How do you describe the irritation you feel when you face a road block?

After saying a prayer for those in the accident we took a side street to get around it. And that's when we looked up to see a gorgeous sunset that we would have missed if we had not been slowed down.

Beauty surrounds you every day so take the time to enjoy it. Slow down and enjoy the sunset (or sunrise... if you are an early riser).

A sunset can give you a sense of eternity once you realize the extravagant expression of beauty that God has created for you to enjoy. Each day is different. Each brilliant cloud can look like the stroke of the master's paint brush. 
 
STOP

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home


Why?

Karen Sebastian - Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why?

Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 TBT

Recent events with more school shootings and needless deaths of the young have left us breathless. After the shock sinks in we start to ask, "Why?"

I am a widow who was the full-time caregiver for my precious first husband for two and a half years. I learned a lot from him. I never remember him asking Why?

Now that is astounding because he endured ongoing muscle weakness due to an adult form of Muscular Dystrophy. In the latter years, his diaphragm failed and he relied on a ventilator for his very breath. 

I don't know how he did it, yet I am inspired by his courage and determination to not make his day about what he could not do. Instead, he focused on reaching out to bless others. His selfless determination left a legacy of purpose and tender care.

You may not know the reasons why something happened in your life. 

Would it really help to know? 

What you can know is that the Lord is ready to carry all your worry and stress as you give it to Him. He tenderly cares for you. Somehow in the scheme of things He has given us choices. 

I choose Him. 

I choose to trust in the true HOPE that God will work out the details and somehow make it better than if it had never happened. 

I choose to have compassion and extend that love to others.

STOP

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home



http://www.karensebastian.com/hopegrams/why

Wearing Love Like a Glove

Karen Sebastian - Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wearing Love Like a Glove

Put on love. Colossians 3:14

Today is a day when many celebrate love and relationships. Others feel sad because they don’t have someone special who will send them flowers, buy them chocolates or send them a card.  They are sad because they do not have that ‘perfect’ life they always dreamed of. I have the hope antidote – begin to share your love extravagantly with everyone you come in contact with no strings attached. You will be amazed at what happens as you share with no strings attached.

Nothing is required except a loving heart and a desire to bless someone as you put on love. Here are some free expressions of love:

  • Hugging
  • Telling that person what they mean to you
  • Writing on post-it notes words that describe and honor them
  • Writing on a white board what that person means to you
  • Smiling and making eye contact
  • Extending small courtesies
  • Making a slideshow with pictures of those you love
  • Baking favorite dish or cookies
  • Making a telephone call
  • Making time to listen with no interruptions
  • If you are far away, send a text with these same honoring words

Let me know what happens as you shower those around you with extravagant expressions of your love for them without expecting anything in return. The miracle of that principle is that the rewards will be amazing because that’s how love multiplies as we give it away to others. Encourage others to do the same as the Put on Love.

What did you do to express your love? What was the response?

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

 Facebook  | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter | Home

Agree

Karen Sebastian - Saturday, February 03, 2018

Agree - Five Minute Friday

I am God's incredible work of art. Ephesians 2:10 NLT


"Let every experience of your life teach you something that you can leave as a legacy. Once you agree with who God says you are, you will respond differently," I declared boldly to the women at a conference a few years ago.

Just then, I moved among the tables to address another side of the room. My shoe caught on the tablecloth and I fell flat on my face. Instantly, I became the message illustration.

You know that feeling when everyone gasps and you have a choice to make? I instantly popped up and holding my hands out in my best gymnastic pose exclaimed - "TADA!"

My prayer for you is that you agree with who God says you are. You are His masterpiece. You are His work of art. You are unique and precious.

STOP

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

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Surrender

Karen Sebastian - Sunday, January 28, 2018
Surender

Surrender

God is energizing you so that you will desire and do what always pleases Him. Philippians 2:13 Voice

A memory popped into my head the minute I saw the word for the Five Minute Friday. My first husband, Bill, had just gotten out of the hospital. He had almost died due to breathing complications from a simple procedure that would prolong his life. The worship team was practicing the Hillsong song I Surrender.

My heart protested. I felt that if I surrendered it would be the same as giving up the fight for his life. I felt vulnerable and weak. I started to cry. 

That's when I realized that this was a trust issue.

"Do you trust me?" I felt the Lord say to my heart.

"I want to... but...."

And there was the catch. I felt unable to move forward and live my life without Bill. Surrender was losing him.

That was a lie. I remember taking a deep breath. I remember letting go. I remember a feeling of peace like I had never felt before. The circumstances had not changed ... but I had.

STOP 

P.S. Bill did move to Heaven two years later. I have always had just what I needed when I needed it most. Surrender is sweet when you trust.

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

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Intentional

Karen Sebastian - Friday, January 19, 2018

Intentional

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 MSG

Every year I start with a long list of intentions (AKA resolutions) that I am going to accomplish. I start strong and begin to dwindle by about this time every year.

2018 was different. My word for the year is MOMENTUM and that has given me several new perspectives.

Celebrate small beginnings

You don't have to change everything all at once. Make a list of positive health changes and establish one new habit before you add the new one.

Rest first

My new year started with a bout of the flu. No fun. Still, I prayed more than I have ever prayed during this busy time. I was forced to rest because of exhaustion and it turned into a precious time of rest.

Bounce back quickly

What happens when life's challenges derail you from your resolutions? You make the best of it and lean in to Jesus. I hate being sick yet I love being in His presence. I don't recommend it as a way to start anything yet this morning I am grateful for renewed health and vitality. I am grateful for the ways He can redeem my time and allow me to get the tax stuff finished with greater focus than ever. Be intentional about your future steps.
STOP

Please join a vibrant community who blogs for five minutes on one word every Friday by clicking here.


Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

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Comfort and Joy

Karen Sebastian - Friday, December 22, 2017
Comfort-and-Joy

Comfort and Joy

Matthew 2:10 “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.”


I enjoy decorating for Christmas and getting my family involved. I just had the best weekend ever with two days of carefully decorating the trees with non-breakable ornaments because of the two little princesses we have to help this year. The best part of having grandchildren is the opportunity to rewind and get it right. It's less about everything being perfect and all about the fun we can have. It wasn't always that way.


There was a point in my life when I became obsessed with decorating for Christmas. I started buying ornaments in July and had multiple series going. I had a themed tree in every room of the house and a big open house.  I would wake up early on December 26th to buy ornaments at half price. I lost the joy and the reason for doing any of it.


In my perfectionism, I wanted my house to look like a magazine cover. Instead of enjoying the time with family, I kept tweaking and fixing things. You combine that with procrastination and you have the recipe for disaster. I would marathon wrap on Christmas eve and be exhausted and grumpy the next day.


As I sit here sipping my cup of green tea and looking at the decorations, I am overwhelmed with the grace that comes when we give the Lord our painful memories. I feel sad that there were a few super crazy years, yet I feel excited about the future. I won't get upset if all the ornaments come off the tree or if one is accidentally dropped. People bring comfort and joy. God is restoring my joy and we are enjoying the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.


Dear Lord, thank You for continually working in our lives to conform us to Your image. Thank you for your presence and peace that can be the center of our home when we invite You in. Grant us the continual awareness and the comfort and joy that Your presence brings us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Author, speaker, corporate trainer, ordained minister and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. Her books will inspire you to embrace hope no matter what you are going through. To increase hope and improve relationships with yourself and those that you love, sign up to receive Karen's emails.

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