Friday, July 29, 2011

ripple. effects. or is it {A}ffects? either know what i mean.

one decision.
has a ripple effect.
at each and every moment.
even the teenie tiny ones.
even the ones we don't consciously DECIDE on.
isn't that crazy?

  a LOOK we don't necessary intend to have on our face...
our body language...
our laughter....
our sadness.....
our whispers....
even just our presence....

we consistently send forth ripple effects, AKA: our ENERGY. - out to all those around us.
at all times, in every moment.

when you really stop to think about it.
the interconnection of your life with the lives of others is SO beautiful. can cause SO MANY different emotions at all times.

no matter how hard we try...
we don't always get the results from our actions that we want...
even if we have the best of intentions.

so how do we find peace with the fact our lives impact other lives so very much?
how are we SURE that everything we do is causing the effect that we WANT it to?
sorry to is impossible.

people are going to interpret your words your actions, and just plain YOU - according to their own experiences.
they have no way of knowing where YOU are in your life, nobody shares ALL the same experiences.  they only know where they are, what they have been through.
....and ALL is interpreted accordingly.

every now and then people will misinterpret your intentions.
every now and then YOU YOURSELF will misinterpret your intentions.
PERFECTION in all of us is SO FAR AWAY.
and that is alright. 
we are just doing the best we know how with where we are at.
...and remembering that about EVERYONE is so very important.

we should use it always.  or at least try VERY hard to.
and along with that....
all you can really do is....
and go with it.

with confidence.
and FEEL the LOVE all around.
just the way you are.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Try. Just a Little Bit Harder.

Fail[fayl]: to be unsuccessful in trying to do something.

Impressive, are they not?  Famous actresses.  Exceptional athletes.  Unprecedented presidents.  Life-changing inventions.  These people are amazing.  Extraordinary, even.

But that is not what this video is really about.  While these people really were phenomenal, it was not about their accomplishments. 

This video is not about failure, either.

This video is about trying, no matter how big or small your goals.  It is about effort.  It is about guts.  And grit.  About having the courage to give something a try.  To give it your all.  Over and over and over again.  It is about taking a risk and doing something you are passionate about. 

Maybe you will fail.  Or perhaps you will succeed. 

But how will you know if you never try?

And that is the thing.  That is the keyword in the definition above.  It is not about being unsuccessful.  It is about trying, no matter what the outcome.  Just try.  You cannot possibly fail if you do not try.  Yet, if you never try, you will never excel either, will you? 

And if you never try, if you never take that risk, you will never really live.

Tonight, my birds, just try.  Do not focus on the outcome.  Rather, focus on your efforts.  On your courage.  Your guts, your grit, your passion.  Focus on yourself, and what you know to be true.  Do not worry yourself with what other people say.  Do not allow yourself to be dismissed.  Do not be bothered by doubt.  Have faith in yourself and know that if you try, if you take that risk, you will live.  And as you live, you shall fly. 

Ellie Otteson
Wings of Hope

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday. July. 25th. 2011

Happy Monday!!!

I would like give a very special Thank You to the New London Water Days committee for such a warm and friendly welcome. We had such a wonderful time participating in the Water Days parade.
We are in for a busy week again! 

We are still working on the pathways for the Fountains of Hope. Please watch for upcoming information. And watch for the pathway progress at the Fountains of Hope in Spicer (next to the DQ).

Thursday July 28 from 6-8 pm at Melvins on the Lake in Spicer, MN

Come celebrate a Night Out on the Town with Wings of Hope! We will have vendors for you to visit with including Tastefully Simple, Avon, Ali J boutique, The New U plus many others! Please join us for this fun filled evening.

 August 14, 2011. 

We are very proud and excited to have our Grand Opening for the Fountains of Hope! There will be food, fun and games for the whole family. Please watch for more details to come!!

September 24, 2011. 

Join us for Out of the Dark walk at Robin’s Island in Willmar, MN. Start time is 10 am. We welcome you to join out team, donate money to the cause or just come cheer us on! The proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).              

 While there's life, there's hope. ~Cicero 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why Now?

The first answer that comes to mind is another question... Why Not? Should you stop doing something just because you are being questioned on your timing or what inspired you to start in the first place?

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 w/ Pastor Paul

Ever done the right thing, but it turned out to be at the wrong time? Even the right thing at the wrong time will probably not have the desired effect. Ever needed to tell a friend something, but should have waited for a better time? In life timing can be everything – the difference between failure and success, or greater success.

Businesses time their news releases for maximum effect to positively impact stock value. Politicians hold press conferences at the optimum time to make the evening’s national news. The nervous teen agonizes over the best time to ask that special girl on a date. A hopeful suitor carefully plans the words, place, and time to “pop the question” to his prospective bride.

It is always a good time to open our hearts to Jesus Christ. We will never be too good; we can never be too bad; we will never do so too soon, nor have waited too long. This generation, needs men and women with a loyal and intimate relationship with God, a working knowledge of God’s Word, and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit to understand our times and know what God would have done! The question for each of our hearts is: “Are we willing to be one of those?”

For those interested in receiving Pastor Paul's messages, please e-mail Pastor Paul ( and mention you would like to be included.

Why Now? As I think about the question more, I find that it IS all about the timing. "Now" is a equal and opposite reaction to an action. It's a consequence or better yet a reflex to an act(s) that will affect the lives of others and cause a ripple effect of positive change. Whether big or small, organized or unorganized, we all can make a difference. We just have to want to.

Our prayer for this week is that we learn the times and seasons of life, and live wisely.~ Amen

Sara Lester
Wings of Hope

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Imagine this:  A two-year old girl falls down a well and is in danger of drowning.  Without hesitation, the community invests incredible amounts of time, effort, and money into saving this young girl.  And fortunately for everyone involved, they do.  But why would they do this?  Why would they save this baby girl, who has done nothing of note, contributed nothing to society?  I mean, she has no money, she is often self-centered and naughty, and she doesn’t have many friends or loved ones besides her immediate family.  So why would people care about her well-being?

As you well know, it is because this two-year old girl, this loveable toddler, has unconditional human worth.  Regardless of her age, her status, or her contribution to society, this tiny little person has worth, and she is just as precious as any other person on this earth.  Perhaps she has not done much of “worth” in her two years, but she certainly has worth as a human being.  Regardless of who she is, she has a core-self, and that core is worthy of love, respect, and positive regard.  Just as everyone’s is. 

…As it is defined by psychologists, self- or core-worth means that all people are indeed equal.  It means that we are equal because we are human.  This kind of value or worth is not comparable.  It is not competitive.  And it is not conditional.  The worth or value of a person does not need to be earned, nor does it need to be proved.  It just exists.  It always has, and it always will, so long as this person is human.  And as long as they are human, their worth needs to be recognized, appreciated, and accepted. 

So, if it so easy to answer such questions about saving a two-year old girl, to see her value as a person, I wonder why so many people do not value themselves in such a way.  I wonder why so many people do not have self-worth, or question their value, even while they recognize the value of others.  Why they might think that because they may not fit a certain mold, that they are not as worthy as those who do.  I wonder why people are so hard on themselves when they make mistakes, when something does not go as they had hoped, or when people treat them poorly.  Too, I wonder why some people assign more or less value to a person because of what they do or do not have, how they do or do not behave, the mold that they do or do not fit.

…Quite often, we allow ourselves and others to be defined by externals: by successes and achievements, families and friends, abilities and appearances, social status, material belongings, and the perception of other people.  Of course, externals may influence many parts of our lives.  They may impact our thoughts, our feelings, or our behaviors, and they may influence how we relate to others and the world that we are surrounded by.  They may influence how we experience our worth, but they do not change our value in and of itself.   

So what happens when such things do influence our core worth?  What happens when we allow external factors to define or equate who we are, be it for better or for worse? When we undervalue ourselves, and overvalue our surroundings?

When this happens, when our core value is based on something extrinsic rather than intrinsic, we become unstable, conditional, and undervalued.  This happens because we have allowed something outside of ourselves to trump the internal, most true parts of ourselves.  We then lose sight of our core essence, of who we are and the beauty within us.  We lose our authenticity and our security. 

…When worth is separate from externals, however, we experience life much differently.  All of a sudden, we are much more resilient, much more stable, objective, and reasonable.  Our perspective transforms and our thoughts and feelings become more positive.  We are able to distinguish feelings about events from feelings about ourselves.  We are kinder to ourselves, more patient, rational, compassionate, and loving.  When we separate our worth from externals, we experience both ourselves and our world much more openly.

And so, my precious birds, look within yourselves and see your worth.  Embrace your human core and the essence of who you are.  Appreciate that which you are surrounded by and have gratitude, but do not measure your worth by these things.  Instead, hold them tightly to your heart and revel instead in the beauty that is uniquely you.  Remember that your core, your worth, is whole and complete, but it is not completed.  That you are an ever-changing work of art of immeasurable value to the world, to your loved ones, and to yourself. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy Monday!

Here is you what’s happening at Wings of Hope!

· July 18, 2011. We are picking rocks out at the Duininck Gravel pit at 6 pm for our cobble stone pathway at the Fountains of Hope. The pit is located on Co. Rd 9 near Eagle lake. Come join us if you can! Make sure to bring plenty of water to drink as it will be a hot evening!

· July 20, 2011. We will be planting trees donated from Green Lake Nursery at the Fountains of Hope in Spicer, MN at 6 pm. Plus doing a little sprucing to the landscaping. We are very excited to announce that channel 8 news will be filming footage for their Community Happenings broadcast while we are there!! Please join us if you can!

· July 23, 2011. We are will be in the New London Water Days parade. The parade starts at 11 am in New London, MN. We would love to see you there!!

· July 28, 2011. We are hosting a Night on the Town with Wings of Hope. We invite you to join us at Melvin’s on the Lake from 6-8 pm. We will have vendors for you to visit with including Tastefully Simple, Avon, Ali J boutique, and The New U! Please join us for this fun filled evening.

· August 14, 2011. We are very proud and excited to have our Grand Opening for the Fountains of Hope! There will be food, fun and games for the whole family. Please watch for more details to come!!

· September 24, 2011. Join us for Out of the Dark walk at Robin’s Island in Willmar, MN. Start time is 10 am. We welcome you to join out team, donate money to the cause or just come cheer us on! The proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Please continue to watch for more upcoming events. We appreciate your support!!

Wings of Hope

Once you choose hope, anything's possible. ~Christopher Reeve

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Different is Good

As many of you may know, I work with clients as a life and wellness coach at a wellness center in Willmar. 

…This week, a new client walked through my door that really stood out to me.  She was one of those people that is hard to miss, both because of her appearance and her out-going personality.  She is sweet, has a great sense of humor, and has the capacity to be incredibly sensitive.  After talking for only a few minutes, we found ourselves laughing along with one another while also discussing several heavy topics that are normally not so laughable.  At one point during our session she said to me, “I know this isn’t funny.  But if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.”

And that was how our session continued.  This woman shared many details that I found positively heartbreaking.  It was not because her life had been traumatic, tragic, or defeating in any way.  Rather, it was because there were so many aspects of her life, some even minute that had compounded on one another to create the life-consuming problem that she had come to see me for.  She had so many issues that had been going on for many, many years and they had finally caught up with her, slowing her down and making it quite difficult for her to function as a healthy individual.

What exactly was it that moved me, if she made no mention of catastrophe, crisis, or disaster? 

I was moved by the courage she displayed when she walked through my door.  To finally take her life into her own hands.  To ask for help.  I was moved by her willingness to face uncertainty dead on and try to do something differently.  By the insight and awareness she displayed when she finally realized that her problem had gone on too long.  That it was too big for her to handle alone.  That in order for her to live life happily, she must take control and make a change.     

As many of us know, this is no easy thing to do.  It is not easy to live life staring such problems in the face every morning.  Nor is it easy to make a change.  When we have been doing things “our way” for so long, it is difficult to relinquish that perception of control, to ask for help, and to imagine doing something differently, much less knowing what to do differently and actually doing it.

…Change can be hard.  Change can be scary.  Change can be confusing.  And sometimes, change is none of these things and it is just different.  Regardless of what change feels like, though, it is quite often necessary.  It is necessary in life because change leads to progression.  To growth.  To the betterment of one’s self and one’s life. 

Just as my client had recently learned, the journey of life does not happen in our comfort zone.  There are times in our lives that we must venture out to unknown territory and test our limits.  There are times in our lives that we must be uncomfortable.  For it is these times that we learn what we are made of, discovering who we really are and what incredible feats we are capable of. 

Spread your wings a bit higher today, my fearless birds, and do something differently today.  Remember that you would have never learned to fly had you never made a change. 

Ellie Otteson
Wings of Hope

Friday, July 15, 2011

journey. it is long...but so very short. you journey through life choose your destination wisely  ---- but don't hurry there.  
you will arrive soon enough.  
wander the back roads, the forgotten paths, the unknown ways,  as you keep your dreams in your heart as the light that guides you.  

seek out new voices, strange sights and bold ideas.  
such things are rich for the soul. 

....if upon your arrival you find your destination is not exactly as you dreamed it would be, don't be disappointed - think of all you would have missed if not for the journey there.  
know that the true worth of your travels lies not just in 
where you come to be, but in who you became along the way. 
-written by linda stanton

who we become along the way...
that is so huge.
who we become along the way...

a couple years ago - very soon after making some very poor decisions in my life someone wrote THIS on their FACEBOOK page.
and my heart KNEW it was just for me.

i had heard it a MILLION times.
read it often
i had quoted it MYSELF..... 

due to CERTAIN circumstances at that moment in my life.....this was a HUGE REMINDER - and it really MEANT something.  
light. bulb. moment.

i think we just need to know that really, without doubt. we are perfect in every way.
where we are at.
....the VERY MOMENT we are there.
no matter WHERE everyone else is at the very same time.

in the last couple years....
i have made decisions - lots of them that were not all necessarily aligned with WHO i am.
...and guess what  - finally - i have realized,  that is alright.
it is more than alright - it is perfect....
in every SINGLE way.

creating ourselves is a VERY beautiful thing.
with every RIGHT decision - or quote, unquote - "WRONG" decision - not to mention - EVERY typical decision in between,,,
we are painting the canvas of our lives.
 a story.
whether it be moments of tragedy.  or beauty. mystery. simplicity. or just plain boring.
it is all necessary to get to where we are going.
ya know?

last night i attended a sweet little party.
so many different walks of life where there.
80 years old down to....the youngest in the room - perhaps 30?
that is a 50 year time span!!!
we all laughed...and appreciated every minute together.
i took a moment to look around at the wealth of experience.
from the woman that could not have ice in her drink due to health reasons in her old age, to the mama sitting on the leather recliner nursing her first tiny baby.
each one of them, inside....feels the same.
wanting to hold on to dreams, life, full of anticipation of what is to come.

no matter what -
we ALL continue to CREATE OURSELVES - at ANY and EVERY age.
so as you take your adventure forward in this life.
keep in mind.
YOU are your very own artist, .
a canvas is in your hands at EVERY moment.

add every color you desire.
over and over and over again.
i know you can.
i know you will.

no matter where you are at on your journey.
and really try to LOVE every single step.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Please hear what I'm not saying...

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well
as without, that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.

My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.

That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to, I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.

So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.

So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying,
what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,
but what I can't say.

I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me.

Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me
the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books say about man
often I am irrational.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.

~Charles C. Finn

Psalm 94: 18-19~When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Sara Lester
Wings of Hope

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When your plate gets too full...

The other day I was told by someone, "You know Angie, this is way too much for you to handle.  You aren't going to be able to do all of this."  I was very angered by this comment.  I thought to myself, "Really?  Thanks for all of the support."  Then I thought of this quote: 

When the world says, "Give up", HOPE whispers, "Give it one more try!"
-Uthor Unknown

So, I had to remind myself that I am in charge of my life and I get to decide when I can't "handle" something.  I wasn't always good at knowing when enough was enough for me and knowing when my body just couldn't take any more.  I am getting better...I had to learn that it was ok for me to say, "No" to people because there are times that I just can't put anymore on my plate.  I have also learned to ask for help (which is NOT easy for me).  I am the kind of person that wants to do a good job--to the point of perfection...with work, with homework, with parenting, keeping my home neat and in order etc. 

For me this meant:
1. I didn't leave work until all of tha paperwork was off of my desk and I had everything completed accurately
2. I had to sit down every night and do homework til midnight
3. I couldn't miss ANY of my kids' events (sports, concerts, award programs etc.)
4. I had to come home every night and clean my house to my CRAZY standards

Because I did all of this...I would drive myself crazy and be way more busy than I actually had to be.  I would work myself up to the point of getting completely stressed out and getting sick if I hadn't put in enough time or had things to perfection.  This is something I worked on in took a while...and I am still working...I look at it as a 'work in progress.'  I have come to understand and realize that I have to set priorities and not everything has to be perfect all the time. 

 So, now this means:
1.  I make a list at work of deadlines and complete projects in that order.  I make sure I have everything completed that HAS to be done that day...not everything on my desk.
2.  I know I don't have to work on homework every single day.  I have realized that I can get everything done if I work on it 4 nights each week instead of 7.
3.  I'm not a horrible parent if I can't make it to every single event of my kids'.  However, either my husband or one of my parents has to be at the event to take pictures for me :)  
4.  My family, work, and school are my priorities right coming in way in front of the other two.  And, because of this...I will never be inside cleaning instead of outside playing with my boys ( I used to do this).  If my house doesn't smell, we have clean clothes, and their aren't ants and flies swarming all around...I am good to go!!

These are changes that I had to make in order for me to be a good mom, a good employer, and a good student.  I CAN'T do everything and that's really hard for me to admit.  However, because I know what I can and can't handle, when to take a break, and when to ask for help...I know I am a lot stronger than when I had to do it all myself.   
So, don't let others tell you that you can't handle it...instead, take time to set priorities and understand when you are getting too full and that you can't put anymore on your plate...

Angie Rudningen

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How ARE you?

“How are you?” is such a simple question.  It is a question that most of us ask and answer every single day.  “How are you?” is rather reflexive for many of us.  We say it as a greeting, as a formality, as a habit.  And we usually answer this question simply and positively, giving a quick, “I’m good!” or a “fine, thanks”.  We say and hear “how are you” exchanges so many times a day that we often don’t realize how much we actually do ask and answer this question.  So much so, in fact, that we often do not pay attention to the answers, either. 

Think, for just a moment, about how many times you have heard that one little question today.  How many times have you asked “how are you”?  How was the question asked?  Was it a form of hello?  Just a quick exchange?  And how intentionally was it asked? 

Now, consider the responses you have given and received to that question.  Did you reply, “I’m good!”?  Did you hear, “Fine, thanks”?  Generally, we tend to say that we are doing well.  That things are going just fine.  We tend to keep it short.  We tend to keep it sweet.  And we tend to keep it surface-y and impersonal.  Quite often, we don’t listen closely to the answer of “how are you”.  And quite often, we do not expect to hear an answer that substantial or meaningful in any way.

So what would like it be like, then, if someone asked you, “how ARE you?”  How would you feel if someone took the time to investigate exactly how you are holding up?  How might you feel if someone expressed a genuine interest in your feelings, your well-being, the current events of your life?  What might you think if someone would not accept a “fine, thanks” for an answer?  If they insisted that you tell them more.  That you must have something to say, and they would like to hear more about it.

Have you ever been asked that different kind of “how are you”?  Have you ever been taken back by someone’s genuine concern for your well-being?  Has it ever caught you by surprise or touched you when someone took the time to ask about you?  And have you ever asked this sort of “how are you”?  Have you ever stopped to consider how someone is doing and taken the time to find out?  Have you ever asked someone how they were and truly cared about their answer, no matter what it might be?

I hope so.  I hope that you have both given and received this kind of question.  I hope that “how are you” has been asked in such a way that you could not give a patented “pretty good” answer.  I hope that you have also done the same for a friend.  I hope that you have taken part in this meaningful exchange because it implies that you are fortunate enough to have sincerity in your life.  That you have consideration, concern, and lovingkindness for one another.  This suggests that you and your loved ones are not so absorbed in yourselves that you forget about the well-being of others.  It demonstrates care, and that assumptions, formalities, and cover-ups are not being made.  That you have compassionate and thoughtful care for one another, that you feel invited and secure enough to talk about your experiences.  

Today, my beloved birds, ask “how are you?”  Seek out a real answer, and consider what you hear.  Take time to show your fellow birds how much you care, how much they are loved.  Venture out of your normal routine, and take the time to tell someone how you are.  Give them the chance to listen, to wrap you in their wings of lovingkindness.  Connect in this way, my songbirds, and I think you will be surprised with what you learn, what you say, and how you feel with this new kind of “how are you”.
Ellie Otteson

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's Up at WINGS.

I hope everyone is enjoying this hot summer weather. Summer has defiantly arrived!

We want to thank all of you for your support during the 4th of July festivities in Spicer. We had such a good time!

We are excited to participate in the New London Water Days Celebrations! Come to New London, MN and join in the parade, games and inflatables, street dance and fireworks. This year's theme is "Small Town Heroes...A Tribute to Our Military.

  • July 21-25 in New London, MN.
  • Grand Day Parade is July 23, 11am.
  • For more information go to

Wings of Hope will be participating in the Grand Day Parade, watch for your opportunity to support us and our mission to reach out to our community. We appreciate your support!

Have a wonderful week!


"Hope is the dream of a soul awake" ~French Proverb.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

what is "it".....

i posted this statement on my facebook page.

‎..."it" is a sweet, sweet blessing when the past starts to become the past. 
the pain fades...and life starts to become less of a blur. 
2 years of growth = 30 years of insight. 
i would say "it" REALLY is ALL worth "it"....100%. 
broken heart and all. 
moving to the next phase....a little bit stronger....

when you say "it" is all worth it....what exactly is "it"?

"it" is something different for each and every single one of us.

you have your very own "it" that makes life worth living. 
life worth coming back to.  
life worth holding on to NO MATTER WHAT.

here is the beautiful thing...

YOUR  very own "it" has brought you to the place you are. 
did you know that?

"it" can be and has been SO MANY things.
happy, sad, confusing, enlightening and EVERYTHING in between.

each "it" has a novel behind it. 
a meaning. 
a CHANCE for your SOUL to become all "it" can be.

"it" is something that adds to the very essence of our being.
each "it" is and was necessary.
no matter how crazy, or lost or confusing or exhilarating or heart wrenching "it" is at the time your are experiencing "it".

"it" is a gift.
straight from the heavens.
handed right to you at the very moment you need "it"

two little letters.
who knew "it" was such a big deal?



 always will be.

so go with "it"
don't sweat "it"
"it" is what "it" is....
make "it" yours.
be brave.

that is "it".


"What Are We Working For?"

Success is Simple... do what's right, the right way, at the right time. Doesn't that sound uncomplicated?

But what if, what you think is right, the right way, the right time, is not how all people see things? Do you wait? Not start at all?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 w/ Pastor Paul

Message: “What Are We Working For?”

What causes or helps us gain true success in life?
- When we work enthusiastically.
... Success then comes when we work with all our might.
- When we work with integrity (honestly).
... In our walk and work to become successful, not only do we work with all our might but we do so with a reputable result in all our labor.
- When we work skillfully.
... In other words, we are to be teachable in our endeavors throughout life. – Never come to the place where we feel we cannot learn something new.
- When we work efficiently (find time to work through significant and important things in life).
... Using wisdom and soundness in our procedures and practices in life constitutes success and brings successful conclusions even in the midst of weighty matters that will most definitely come our way.
- When we work cooperatively.
... Ecclesiastes 4:9‑10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
- When we work persistently.
... So, along with the excellent characteristics above (working enthusiastically, with integrity, skillfully, efficiently, and cooperatively) we are to work persistently, having a will and desire that won’t give up until the job or requirement is completed.

Here are three directional helps followed by three exercises for completion:
- Three ways to improve integrity...
... follow through
... show up
... admit mistakes
- Three things to help attach value to things...
... make a list
... set goals
... plan
- Three things to ask ourselves individually about working...
... Why are we working so hard?
... Is the pay off worth it?
... Why will it satisfy us?

For those interested in receiving Pastor Paul's messages, please e-mail Pastor Paul ( and mention you would like to be included.

Success IS complicated. But if you do what's right, the right way, at the right time your hard work will reflect the feeling of success onto you. Success doesn't happen once in a lifetime rather it occurs over and over. Learn as you go and apply what you can. There is no such thing as perfect, keep that in mind and keep moving forward.

Our prayer for this week is Almighty God, Whose Hands hold all matters of life, give us grace of success in the work that we do. Help us to give it the careful thought and the strict attention that will lead to success. Watch over us and govern our actions, that we may not tarnish its perfection. Show us how to give our best, and let us not despise the labor that is necessary to complete it. Give us the blessing of Your help and guidance, and suffer us not to fail. In Jesus' name. ~Amen.

Sara Lester
Wings of Hope

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


A belief, as defined by the dictionary, is the psychological state in which an individual holds a premise to be true.  To have beliefs, or a belief system, is very human.  Our beliefs, in part, help us conceptualize the world, and make sense of our experiences.  Beliefs may be based on evidence, personal values, and convictions.  They may stem from socialization, or they may be deeply personal.  A belief may be quite accurate as defined by reality, or it may be entirely untrue when measured by the same standard.  Beliefs stem from personal convictions, thought processes, and feelings, and they vary greatly from person to person.  Beliefs are not right or wrong, valid or invalid.  They are beliefs.  And they are deeply personal, and very valid and true to the person that deems them to be so. 

Take a moment, my birds, and reflect on your beliefs.  Do you tend to form your beliefs based on factual information, or are your beliefs more difficult to prove as “true”?  Do your beliefs stem for your background, upbringing, peers and society, or do you hold them contrary to popular belief?  Do your beliefs incorporate religion?  Spirituality?   Moral values?  Human nature?  Are they based on your perceptions, judgments, schemas, or experiences? How are your beliefs representative of your thoughts and feelings?

Think now, for just a moment, about how your beliefs serve you.  How much do you rely on your beliefs to guide you through this world?  How flexible or rigid is your belief system?  Do you compare them to those of others, or label beliefs as right or wrong, better or worse?  How well do you know and understand your beliefs?  How much consideration do you give to the beliefs of others?    

And finally, I would like you to consider what you believe to be true about yourself.

As you do this, perhaps you will become aware that your beliefs about yourself are secure, reassuring, positive and empowering.  That you are able to accomplish anything you choose to do.  That even while you have both strengths and limitations, you are a uniquely beautiful and  gifted individual.  You have worth.  You are valuable.  I hope that as you reflect on your beliefs about yourself, you feel self-love, self-awareness, and self-efficacy.

But what if you do not?  What if, when you reflect on your beliefs about who you are, you realize that your beliefs are quite limiting?  What if you believe that you are a lost cause?  That you are not good enough.  What if you believe that you cannot make a difference in this world, that you are dispensable?  What if you believe that you are faulted, or at fault, when things go wrong?  What if you believe that love is conditional, that you must fit a mold in order to be loved, accepted, cherished? 

What happens then, if you realize that you are harmed by your very belief systems?

If you come to the realization today that you are the victim of limiting beliefs, I will tell you that you are in luck.  You are luck, because you have the power to change those beliefs.  You are in luck because the first step to changing your core beliefs is to identify them.  You are in luck because you have made a self-discovery, you now have greater self-awareness, and you are now closer to making positive changes in your life.  If you have identified a belief that is not working for you, you are able to change it.  You are able to combat the negative self-talk, and replace it with positive dialogue.  And as you practice doing this, you will be able to shift your perspective, changing how you look at the world, and slowly but surely, changing your beliefs about yourself.  And once you are able to do this, you will instantly change your reality.

Today, my cherished birds, take a moment to examine your beliefs yourself and the world in which you live.  I hope you notice that these beliefs are positive and empowering.  But if any part of them is not, remind yourself that they do not have to stay this way.  Remind yourself today that while your beliefs do define your reality, you may change them.  You may do anything you so choose to do, whether you believe it or not.  You may change your reality by changing your beliefs. 

Spread your wings just a bit wider today, my birds, and challenge your beliefs.  Sing songs of praise to yourself today and cherish your beautiful individuality.  Revel in who you are, and believe that you do indeed hold the key to the life of your dreams.  Believe that you may fly, spread your wings, and soar.
Ellie Otteson
Wings of Hope

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Seize the Day

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers. The ones who see things differently- they're not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things ...They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do." -Jack Kerouac

…Last night, one of my dearest friends said to me, “Each day is a new opportunity to reinvent yourself.”

I love that.  I love the simple, yet bold truth in that statement.  Because each day truly is a new opportunity.  It is an opportunity to start anew.  To persevere.  To change.  To reinvent yourself.  To revolutionize your life.  To leave your mark on the world.

...How many times have you put something off until tomorrow?  How many times have you said you would start “later”?  And how many times have you postponed “later”, or not gotten around to whatever it was that you have been meaning to get around to?  Has there ever been a time where you said to yourself that you would make a change “once things settle down…” or “after I am through with this…”?  Has there ever been a time where you told yourself that you were too busy, too stressed, or spread out too thin to commit yourself to something meaningful?

If any of these statements sound familiar to you, you certainly are not alone.  Every one of us has procrastinated at some point.  Every one of us has felt that we have too much going on to take on something new.  And there are definitely times when these statements are valid.

But what about when we allow these statements, these beliefs about our selves and our lives, to prevent us from creating the life of our dreams?  What about when these statements are not the truth, but are instead excuses not to reinvent who we are? 

Take a moment and reflect on that thought.  Have you ever told yourself “not now” when you really meant “I’m scared”?  Have you ever failed to try because you were afraid to fail?  Have you ever impeded your own progress in life because the fear of the unknown, the uncertainty, the risk involved was just too daunting?  Have you ever fell into the trap of inactivity because you were overwhelmed by the work involved in pursuing your dreams?  Have you ever waited for things to improve rather than improving them yourself?  Have you ever settled for complacency when something better was calling your name? 

Have you ever considered that the only thing truly standing in your way is you?

...It is natural to feel scared, overwhelmed, and uncertain when we are faced with change.  It is natural to encounter obstacles, twists, turns, and difficult terrain in this journey called life.  It is natural to be faced with decisions, to take new directions.  Just as it is quite natural to change, evolve, and progress through life.       

So think now, for just a moment, about how exciting, how empowering it would feel to take matters into your own hands.  How confident, brave, and inspired you would feel as you took the road less traveled by.  Imagine the validation you would feel, the insight and knowledge you would gain, the experiences you would revel in as you pursued your dreams.  Imagine what your life would look like, just who you would be, if you took the opportunity presented by each new day to make a difference. 

My courageous birds, your day has come!  As the sun rises each morning, take the opportunity to spread your wings just a little bit wider.  Soar that much higher.  Wrap your wings around each day, seize it, and make it yours.  Open your heart and your mind to the possibility that each new day brings.  Reinvent yourself.  Create the life of your dreams.
Ellie Otteson
Wings of Hope