30 Day of Thankfulness in November inspires Thankful 365 on HOPEannFAITH!


HOPEannFAITH Blog is about Intentional Living:Thinking Positively on Purpose. Love, God, Relationships. The Important Things in Life!

That being said, participating in 30 Days of Thankfulness on Facebook truly started a very purposeful and positive thing in my life! With all that is going on;  The Hubs going through rigorous chemo and radiation, which by the way, he is handling so very well, praise God, my youngest going to court and possibly facing incarceration, but willing to pay the price he deserves and just how life is through all of this, this daily recording of what I am thankful for had truly helped me.

That was one long sentence … I am grateful at this moment that writing is a creative venture so … :)

So I’ve decided, for me, that I need to keep this as a daily practice. Almost like a diary of my gratitude and blessings. A blog is a diary, if you really think about it. Just not so private, so as to keep the ups and downs of life out there so that no one feels alone in their challenging life.

Because I am incredibly grateful that stating my thankfulness for thirty days has shown me just how blessed we are. Just looking and recording, each day, what I was thankful for got me through some very rough days. This has inspired me to use my blog for 365 days of Thankfulness! It will keep that positive even in trials flowing and it will keep me writing … so looking for Thankful 365 here at Hopeannfaih tomorrow, December 1st!

I do hope you will join in. I hope this inspires you to count your blessings and be aware of all the love, beauty and joy, even during the hard times in this life, and be thankful, no matter the situation.

God bless.

New Author Showcase: Robin Tidwell’s release of Reduced!

Novelist – Robin Tidwell

I am excited to introduce fellow Helium Writer and

New Author, Robin Tidwell!

Robin lives in the St. Louis, Missouri area with her husband, Dennis, and their youngest son. She has a rather eclectic educational background, and finally finished her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. She has held a plethora of jobs, appointments, and volunteer positions, and tries very hard to make it through one week at a time without a crisis. 

Recently, August 28, 2012, Robin has published her first novel:  Reduced.

Back Cover

“REDUCED is a breath-holding, page-turner! The intense journey that author Robin Tidwell takes the reader on demands us to both care and ache for the characters as they bond together to confront an unsettling future by forging honest, loving, and sometimes painful relationships. This is an exciting tale told with enormous humanity and passion. Do yourself a huge favor and read REDUCED. It will leave you wanting more.”
- Bart Baker, novelist and screenwriter, author of Honeymoon with Harry.


   A devastating biological agent is about to be released, to be tested in remote areas. Rumor has it, though, that there is more to this than meets the eye. One group makes plans to hide out, and survive, in case that rumor proves to be truth. Meeting at an abandoned summer camp near St. Louis, Missouri, a dozen old friends gather after the alarm is raised. Life becomes more precious, more tenuous, as time passes. Government controls tighten, people are herded into the city…or killed. Towns are obliterated. And soon, the enemy agenda becomes obvious. Abby, like the rest, has special skills – each member of the group was chosen not only because of past ties, but also for their unique training and abilities. She will come face-to-face with death, bear the responsibility for a young girl, and endure the severing of childhood relationships in the most terrible way imaginable. From mere concealment to reconnaissance to aiding a rebellion, where will it end? Will the entire region be decimated, and who will be left alive to know?

Excerpt: [This is where I got hooked - the very beginning!]

   She took the phone call out in the hallway.

“No names. It’s time. Are you okay?”

“Yes. I’ll be taking the side roads.”

“Good. Someone needs to be picked up. See you soon. Good luck.”

Abby tapped her Bluetooth and disconnected. She stepped back into the locker room and cautiously peered around the corner. The office at the far end of the room had the curtains pulled shut tightly; she knew what that meant. She closed her eyes for a moment, saying a prayer, but only for a moment. It didn’t pay at all to be unobservant.

   She jumped when the curtain in the shower cubicle to her right moved slightly. A scarred, bleeding face looked out, directly into Abby’s eyes, and a pale hand clutched at the curtain.

“Go,” said the dying girl. “You can’t help us.” Abby turned and left.

Hooked right from the beginning the story engages the reader and the characters and scenes are fully fleshed out, ready for the emotional connection that draws the avid reader in! I am loving reading Reduced! ~ Me. :)


Post-apocalyptic novel or prescience? Reduced is a world where mankind’s worst enemy is itself, and survival seems an impossible, distant hope that is buoyed and sustained only by the unexpected love of a child. Robin Tidwell makes you look at today’s world and wonder where humankind’s future lies.” ~ MJ Logan

Reduced is on sale now and can be found at Amazon.com, where the Kindle edition is also available … you can start reading Reduced in minutes using whispernet! Just click this link and get Reduced!

Still More Reviews Here!

Places to find Robin Tidwell and her writing:

Reduced – the Novel

All on The Same Page Bookstore



happy reading my friends. :)



Today was my birthday … It’s been a loooong week, with stress and heartache and me wondering why all this must be. I don’t question God when my tender heart’s wounds are opened and splayed wide by circumstances and by the people I love and then must forgive. I don’t blame God, I tend to blame the one’s I love, who don’t seem to love me back … I don’t know why … and that question will go unanswered, because it’s not that they don’t love … it’s that it isn’t the love I long for. Selfish … maybe … it’s complicated and has left many a tender spot in need of healing.

It always surprises me the depth of healing this heart of mine needs.

Then I remember … they love as best they can in the darkness … and I live in the light, the light of God’s deep and enduring love for me … for ME … and then I remember to pray, first that the tenderness of my wounds would cause me to pray for those I love … who love differently than I … and I pray for forgiveness for my selfish need for this love …

Psalm 25:5-7

5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,    for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 6 Remember, LORD, your tender mercy and love,    for they are from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth    and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me,    for you, LORD, are good.

Then … just as I begin to live I’ve done it finally … pushed Him to turn from my sinful nature He, my God, comes along side me and envelopes me in His presence and I realize the tenderness of this heart … is His reminder that I am weak without Him, and that the wounds remind me, though He’d rather I didn’t have them, to press into Him …

So I will remain tender of heart … and I will learn to use this tenderness to press into the light more and shine forth brighter for those that I love that still gravitate to the light …

 Join us over at The Gypsy Mama, where we write, unscripted, unedited, for 5-minutes, each week! This weeks prompt is “Tender” … how does your heart interperet it?Blessings Loves!https://seg.sharethis.com/getSegment.php?purl=https%3A%2F%2Fhopeannfaith.wordpress.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost-new.php&jsref=&rnd=1327728401385

… Catch …. it’s Friday!

Good morning, Loves … my sweet reader friends who bless me with your attention. Once again it’s Friday, when most weeks I hook up with Lisa-Jo @ thegypsymama.com and her group of 5minute writers; writing my heart for five unedited, poorly spelled and formatted minutes. No worries about grammar or sentence form … just sharing or venting or confiding in and with the group.

This week is the prompt is one that CAUGHT me off guard. Pun intended, you will see … :) A tough one, but when I rested mind I realized something did, instantly, crop up when seeing the prompt.

So please hook up and join us … we love to share this time and space with you. Follow the links provided to blog hop over to Lisa-Jo’s blog to connect with the group and write … write … write, with us!

Ready … Set … GO!


We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:5

Words … we work with words … we create with words … Words

The bookends of our lives. We begin with Good morning and end with Good night, but in between do we use GOOD words.

When we volley our words about in print and in conversation do we realize that they are caught in the mind and hearts of others?

Do we always remain aware that once someone “catches our drift” of thought and word that those embed themselves in the other becoming the seed to a thought … to a hurt … to a malady.

Words … caught as in a mit, cradled and readied to be pitched back or to another …

Like a pitcher we throw out our thoughts and feelings in words and sometimes they go home … or foul … or sometimes … sometimes they just walk, they encourage and empower … allowing the other release to attain a base for their efforts.

Sometimes our words, caught in a heart, are a home run!


My son was a catcher on his little league team … always frustrated, wanting to be the pitcher, but his pitch was uncontrolled within that small space between the pitchers mound and the batter’s plate. However, as catcher his arm became a cannon and he instinctively knew where to send that ball for optimum play.

We are like this with our words … we are the catchers here at 5 minute Friday … and when Lisa-Jo pitches the prompt we Catch, consider, and then throw our words out there for others to ….

HEADS UP!!!!!!!!!! CATCH!


Blessings Loves!

Picutre: Unknown source: Google Images

This has been a 5 minute post!

New: Bloom Where You’re Planted … 5 Minute Friday

 Welcome to 5 Minute Friday.

Here’s how it goes. We are all writers and always think about writing; but we also compare and question if we are “real” writers. So Lisa-Jo so creatively decided on the five minute writing prompt: imperfect posts, nothing particularly profound, simply five minutes of focused writing.

No true editing, no worry in regard to grammar, font or punctuation … just a concentrated truth from the heart on the prompt provided!

So join me and pour out what is on your heart today!

Today‘s prompt: NEW … Lisa-Jo pooled us all on facebook and this gem won!

Remember … set the timer for 5 and … GO! 

Bloom Where You Are Planted

I am not who I was yesterday … God‘s mercies were new this morning when the sun rose and I get to be whomever I choose today. I get to be the Andrea God made today! Let’s hope I don’t alter that vision of beauty and perfection! :)

Life has been a trial of late … but I am finding in the newness of this overcast morning, sun hiding behind the cloudy haze, that life is the trial. I am running a race and the finish line is in a new place each day, but at the end I get a shiny new trophy of God’s acceptance and adoration.

New … I have a new opportunity each day to be positive … to change my perspective … to polish the tarnish off of my silver lining.

Each sunrise is a new watercolor to entice the new me to perfection, though God does not require this …

Each evening sunset eases the feeling of old to calm, and prepares me for the new day … where I can again decide to strive for God’s path …

What’s new today? Me … Wonderful to meet you here!


This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old
life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

This has been a 5 minute post!

Now you … Link up with all of us at Lisa-Jo’s the gypsymama!

** Scripture and picture added after the five minutes; though both were intended before the writing began. :)

Change Your Thinking: Change the World

Change Your Thinking by Maryellen

“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” – Ralph
Waldo Emerson

At any given point in time, you’re only one thought away from changing your thinking. What thought can you change today?

(Author: Maryellen Smith)

Self Reliance was a writing prompt that was supposed to last 31 days. As you can see it continues far past the announced time frame of the original prompt … so they keep coming.

I found early on that I DID NOT resonate with the prompts. The spent an inordinate amount of the prompts on the same concept, simply worded differently. Like those psych exams I took, when I was a social worker, to see if I had the ability to help others consistently (and let’s be honest, to make sure I wasn’t a sociopath) before I was employed.

Therefore, I really didn’t participate as much as I would have liked to, in the prompts. I did participate, however, when I was able to see the Faith of Emerson’s writing; where it appeared that the people who were running the prompts either did not see it (how that was possible, I don’t know) or chose to ignore it.

Like the prompts and the psych tests … repeating a thing or action over and over does not make it truth. It simply proves insanity!

You know the definition: Insanity is doing (saying) the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome.

Yeah … if you are intelligent (sane) that thinking doesn’t fly. This is a given, as you are sane. :)

That (long-winded explanation) being said, I liked this prompt so I will write, because it does not require me to rely upon my …

‘Self Reliance’

… which I am not supposed to do. I am directed to rely upon God‘s knowledge and not my own understanding. We are directed to let go and let God.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

My fate does, most certainly, rely on my thinking (my internal attitude).

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT

The only way I change my fate is to change my thinking, and with my thinking changed, I change my attitude.

The bible says:

1Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

If mine is the doctrine of the world … which our first scripture warns against, I become self-reliant. Self reliance, for me, leads to grandiose thinking and reasoning. It leads to an attitude of entitlement and self centeredness. These are the things the world endorses.

“Every man for himself”.

A personal character defect of mine.

When my doctrine becomes the Word of God I become reliant, dependant, upon God, my creator. The Man with the plan; Jeremiah 29:11. I can crawl out of my self thinking and self-exalting and relax, knowing things are being handled at a higher level of thinking …

Isaiah 55:9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

When I change the way I think about where I am today, with the understanding that the plan is God’s, not mine, then I begin to believe His Word as to who, what and why I am.

My attitude becomes that of a loved child who is encouraged to succeed, expected to succeed; therefore I succeed.

My attitude becomes one of the child who is loved and sees the need to give that love out. I know that others, who do not know that they have the backing of the Creator, as I do, need me to extend that UNCONDITIONAL LOVE to them.

Our pastor said somethingdifferently yesterday.  Something I knew as a truth, yet he was able to illuminate it for me, He said:

Compassion much overtake empathy.

I heard this in my Spirit:

“My empathy for you is useless, unless … my compassion for you moves me to action.” This is God thinking … Kingdom thinking.

When I change the way that I think … I change my fate.

When I change my thoughts to God thoughts … I change the world!

Blessings Loves

[at a] Loss … in five {not}

       Happy Friday Loves ♥

       I’m joining the ladies over at The Gypsy Mama again this friday.

       Where we share our hearts, in five minutes or unedited, unchanged writing. This prompt is not about the writing. It is about the heart of the writing, the story or the writer and the unedited emotions evoked by the prompt.

So put your eraser and your inner critic away for 5 and show us your heart on this weeks prompt … [it's a hard one, and Lisa-jo has loosened the time limit ...]

{ I have battled this prompt for quite a time this morning. Typing and deleting thoughts and concepts, not for asthetic writing purposes, but because I would get to a point and be at a loss … pun, very much intended.

I find my best writing is words that actually belong to the Spirit of God. You, my loving readers, resonate best to what God has to say through me, rather than me trying to convey God through my writing. So I struggled and then God, faithful always, tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, “are you at a loss?”

Loss … Go …

I stand at a loss with this subject. Literally!

In my constant quest for Wholeness and Serenity I find that this subject flies in the face of those positives.

Loss asks me to view the tatters of my life … the discarded things that made me ill; physically, emotionally, mentally and Spiritually.

So what have I loss(t) that was good to loss(e)?

I’ve lost the priviledge of ignoring my health. In this I have found a better way of living.

I’ve lost my desire to please my mother. In this I have gained a peace that is only troubled when I allow her to rattle the latch of my gate …

I’ve lost my parenthood to my son’s adulthood. In this I am gaining [I haven't mastered this one yet] a different view of the boys who have become men.

I’ve lost my bustling full house to an empty nest … not sure what will be gained here, now.

Over the years I’ve lost and discarded some hard things. Mostly little by little. Somedays I think, ‘when was the last time…?’ Therein is a great loss, because I didn’t even realize there was a loss.

When we look back we will realize there has been tremendous losses … tiny losses that we didn’t feel fall away, and tragic losses that took huge chunks of our hearts with them. But at the end of the day this is a life.

And life does what life does … it moves and adjusts and fills in where things have been lost.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed
away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17


{not sure I am happy with this post. but that is what five minute friday is about, right? I wrote, at the end, my heart. when I look at this one it seems small and unexplained. but then, how does one really explain the loss in a life accurately in these tiny containers we call words? Loss is an integral part of life … without it new cannot be added. and God wants to add to our lives, abundantly, and that requires us to loose those things that are not of Him.}

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see
it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the
dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

Blessings Loves.

That which concerns me…#Trust 30

Speak Less by Laura Kimball

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This
rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the
whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you
will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you
know I.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I once received a fortune cookie that read: “Speak less of your plans, you’ll
get more done.” What’s one project that you’ve been sitting on and thinking
about but haven’t made progress on? What’s stopping you? What would happen if
you actually went for it and did it?

(Author: Laura Kimball)


 Hey Loves…Its Thursday again…and here we are sharing in the Shortest post as possible…no rules, just our hearts and words that move one another. You know the route, click-through the pictures to find out what each prompt is about and join us! We would love to share this space with you!

Let My Words Be Few..

I, once again, have a different view of this profound quote by RW Emerson. Do the authors creating these prompts not see God in Emerson’s words. Do they not see his faith, as peculiarly as he states such? Do they not see both the light of spirituality as much or more than the light of profound intelligence?

Ah, but I digress…my interpretation…

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. “

Each one of us has a calling on our lives. A dreamy thing we do, well, excellently, something we love to do and would do as much and as often as we could. Yet, we often hear, first from parents, then from those in the world who don’t understand or frankly would rather we not succeed; that we cannot do that thing, for several reasons that these nay sayers promptly list for us to prove their point.

It’s frivolous, you’ll never be able to support yourself, and much worse, you’re not smart enough, or you’re not good enough … and to think these are people who love us, people who think they are helping us. Uh, who needs a nemesis when we have friends and families, right?

What I must do, implies that we do not have a choice, that we are compelled by this particular task. It appears more a desire than just a tedious task… What I must do …

I could say: What I must do is what concerns me … we are shown in the bible that only God and ourselves know what our calling is. The fact that there are those who would tell me what I am to do with my life does directly conflicts with scripture … and I live my life by the scriptures of the God who created me.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” Colossians 3:23

Upon reading Emerson’s quote here, this scripture was my first thought.

“This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the
whole distinction between greatness and meanness.”

“…equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life.”

Doing your work for the Lord is an act of faith and passion.

I believe I have been called to write. Yet, it is hard to reconcile in my mind. I hear those who profess to know my duty better than I. And I hear me … agreeing with their worldly assessment of my calling, my desire, my compulsion to please this inner voice that tells me, now, louder than the worldly voices, that yes I can.

That I must … do my work unto the Lord and to TRUST Him wholly …and He will cause my thoughts to become agreeable to His will causing my plans to be established and to succeed. Proverbs 16:3

I have been lead to write a book on Psalm 91 … I suffer from the magnitude of this assignment and the voices that tell me I am not a good enough writer. Worse, I agonize in a fear of success; the fear that success would mean uncomfortable changes, complications in my life. I am by nature a creature of comfort and complacency; character defects.

Fear stops me …

What would happen if I took a step of faith and did this thing?

I would please my Father God. I would fulfill my calling, or at least the beginning of it, anyway. I would be fulfilling a lifelong dream.

I would succeed, as I know I would, if I would only do my task with the faith that God has given me. His faith … and the things born from God’s faith do not fail.

If I did this thing … I would be helping others to find TRUTH and TRUST in the promises of God. In this I would find the blessings of God in my life.

Faith is the direct opposite of fear … When I write this book I will have conquered fear.

Here’s to knowing that the things that Concern me are perfected by God! Psalm 138:7-8a

Blessings Loves ♥

Afraid to Do…#Trust 30 on Few Words Thursday!

Let My Words Be Few...

If you’ve read my blog this week you know that I have joined the #Trust 30 Challenge that was inspired by Emerson’s 208th birthday, The Domino Project is republishing a work of art that’s especially relevant today. Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson urges readers to trust their intuition rather than conforming to the will of the majority.
This Thursday…and probably the remaining Thursdays in the month of June…maybe July, as I backtrack to the days I missed, I will be combining my FWT posts with my
contributions. So as usual FWT has minimal rules…which can be found when you follow the link connected to the picture. You can also follow the Trust 30 button to participate in this provocative writing prompts. I hope you’ll join us. I would love to share this space with you!
Now this prompt actually belongs to yesterday…however, I never received it in the e-mail so I am writing it now…these Trust 30 prompts are NOT easy…and some of them will probe in the hidden places of a soul. Like this one:

The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.”

What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.

(Author: Mary Jaksch)


She was afraid. Afraid to tell…He said they wouldn’t believe a little kid. He threatened to blame it on her. He confused her. He loved her, treated her nice when mom and grandma were around, but then…

He changed. He got scary. He hurt her…He hurt the baby…


This is the scary stuff that one day I will write about. But…what is scary now, is he was right! He was right…they didn’t believe the little girl (s); there were 4. He was right, they didn’t believe the angry teenagers, there were 4.  Worse, the mother didn’t help until her youngest girl was a full-blown alcoholic adult and demanded that she confront him (her brother!). Leaving the oldest girl more bitter and angry, at 30 something, than she had been prior, because when she asked her mother to believe her she didn’t. She accused and berated, she didn’t help.

What is scary to this day is that the mother of 2 of the 4 still harbors her brother. Still demands that her daughters respect…

What is scary is the rage, the wrath, that is born in such pain and betrayal. What is scary is that one lives and learns to love with this barbed wire wrapped around ones heart. What is too scary to write down, right now, is the realization that children continue to live and endure what  I …this little kid endured, growing up learning love wrong.

What’s too scary to do is write down the acts performed, that caused the work to get to the place of wholeness that  I …that little girl, now woman, enjoys today. It’s scary because of the pain it will cause…Him, Mother and so many others.

Is it really that important to document this process to wholeness??

Yes, I believe it is…so I strive to get past the fear…and put down the words that will help heal a little kid…

Blessings Loves

Few Words Partners: Join us! We would love to share this space with you. :)

Please go and visit HOLLY @ Withado.wordpress.com  , my faithful FWTH partner, and show her some love!

Clicking My Heals…Dreaming of the Emerald Isle – #Trust 30

 The Prompt…

I’m not certain where in this challenge this prompt came in…maybe #1, I don’t know, I entered on the 6th day…

Like I said though, I am attempting to go back and document the ones that I missed.  :)

If we live truly, we shall see truly. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?

(Author: Chris Guillebeau)

It’s true, not everyone wants to travel the world, and I am one of those. I don’t dream of white sanded beaches with tranquil and transparent ocean views. I don’t dream of hiking up mountains and camping at Yosemite Park! Not even the Grand Canyon strikes my fancy.

Odd, maybe, but I am a true and conditioned home body.

However, there is one place, maybe two, I would like to visit, if I could click my ruby shoes together I would LOVE to experience…

Click your heals 3 times...

The Emerald Isle – Ireland – Donegal County, to be specific. Donegal is where my family is from, according to the research of my maiden name O’Donnell.

Kylemore Abbey - Donegal, Republic of Ireland

O'Donnell Coat of Arms

Isn’t she a beautiful land…green and miles and miles of serene beauty. I’d like to see her and possibly meet distant relatives from my Celtic Roots. With a bit of research I found this: Donegal Studies which told me that I am a descendant of Celtic royalty of sorts.

Not a girl of romance any more than I am a girl of travel…I found the information romantic and thrilling. Descending from Gaelic Royalty with Midieval Castles and wars and such just speaks to my primal love of all things midieval and celtic.

King Arthur and the Round Table tales, I dream of stories like these about my ancestors!

I truly don’t know how or when, but I intend to find my way to Ireland the home of my forefathers and foremothers.

Interesting fact…Celtic women were treated equally to Celtic men. They were warriors and mothers. I come from hardy stock!

Blessings Loves ♥