hopesightings

finding hope and sharing it

YOUR WORD…YOUR FOCUS…YOUR YEAR January 1, 2018

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 7:31 pm
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It’s that time again…

New year

New beginning

New hope

New challenges

New paths

New mysteries

New disappointments

New knowledge

New experiences

 

Are you ready for 2018?

Are you going to dive into 2018 with a guide or map? Or

Are you going to dive into your new year without a compass?

Your choice

I choose to have a focal point

The word God keeps placing on my heart for 2018 is CREATE

This will be a year of CREATING through…

My walk with God

My role as a wife

My role as a mom

My role as a daughter,

sister,

aunt,

friend,

neighbor,

volunteer and

leader of Hope for Our Sisters

 

I cannot wait to see what the ultimate CREATOR

CREATES through me and my life this year…

if only I choose to fully follow and obey Him each day

with courage, trust and hope

 

What will be your guiding word for 2018?

What word has been pressed into your heart?

 

© 2018 by Brooke F Sulahian

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I Crossed the Line (Continued…Stage 2) December 13, 2016

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 6:56 pm
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line-in-the-sand

Looking back, the line I crossed is hard to see

– The beginning of this journey

Where have I been, you ask?

On an AMAZING JOURNEY with my Savior

A journey filled with discoveries, discomforts, acceptance, surprises and hope

I am getting to know Him as if for the first time…all over again

I am learning His core truths…again

I simply want to sit with Him…inhale Him…be filled by Him

I want to find Him around every turn in the road…like a child seeking his or her shadow

I am hungering for Him like never before

Wait a minute…

In my excitement, I am getting ahead of myself…Let’s pause here to see how this all came about…

How does God speak to you?

For me He often uses books…this journey? No exception

Chasing Francis (by Ian Morgan Cron)

I came across the title while reading another book

I actually forgot requesting it from the library

I read it anyway…why not? I like to read

This book rocked my heart and spirit as I saw the hard truth about myself

– I had intellectualized my relationship with God

– I was better at DOING my faith than BEING with my Savior

– I missed the active sense of the Holy Spirit indwelling and guiding me

I had gotten off track…again

Incredibly moved and struck by this book, I asked Tim, my husband, to listen to the book on cd

I wanted…needed…someone close with whom to process it

I lacked the words to express my thoughts but knew it was important

I knew God was up to something…something bigger than me

I was struck anew a few weeks later as I approached a Franciscan Guest House for a weekend retreat

A Franciscan Guest House after reading a life-changing book about Saint Francis?

This was no coincidence…

God was up to something new…

But what?

Thank you for walking with me. See more of my journey in my next update

© 2016 Brooke F. Sulahian

 

THE JOURNEY TO GENERATE HOPE June 4, 2015

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 7:04 pm
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silhouette of friends jumping in sunset

When you face obstacles in your efforts to serve God, you know you are on the right track.

This was my mantra on this journey as we faced one obstacle after another. However, there was great reward in the end. Here is the story…

Winter of 2014: “Let’s invite people to a dinner called Generate Hope to raise funds for a new prevention program in Angola.” We set the date for May 3rd. We reserved the venue in Melrose. We publicized the event. We waited. Will anyone come? Will people want to hear about Hope for Our Sisters, the women and girls we serve, and our desire to eradicate fistula? Will people show up?

Yes! People from all circles of my life (family, donors, mentors, team members, friends both old and new) signed up! We hoped for 50 people and we sold out the event at 75! Amazed!

January 2015: For the fundraising portion of the event, I suggested a Paddle Up Auction. This was new to our team but they went with it…trusting my judgment. This is risky. Would people participate? Would they engage with this approach and help us fund this prevention program? Our goal was $4,000. Would we even come close? We would have to wait and see.

May 1st (two days before the event): We received a call that the venue needed to close temporarily. Really? Oh my! We felt shock, sadness, and dismay. However, that quickly turned to courage and action to find another date and find it soon. May 31st at the same venue was secured. We notified all guests. Would this keep guests from being able to attend? Would they still want to attend?

Yes! Although we lost a few of our most consistent and generous supporters, 97% of our original guests could make the new date! YEA!

May 16th (two weeks before the event): We received a call that the original venue would not be ready. No dismay, shock or sadness this time. I knew we were onto something that was going to be very special and we were not going to let anything get in the way. God was behind it all. After many prayers, calls and emails, a new venue was secured. Better yet, this venue was enabling us to provide our guests with a more upscale and pleasant evening at the same cost. I believe this is where we were to be all along. Again, all guests were notified. Would our guests still come? Would they stick with us after yet another change?

Yes, and better yet, we had more guests sign up. 90 people registered!

We are not done yet. God was still on the move…I could feel it throughout this journey.

May 31st (the night of the event): We decided to start the Paddle Up bidding at $400 and work down from there. However, this changed suddenly. A donor came in the door and shared with a team member that God led her to give us a large sum. After I learned this sum was $1,000, I knew God wanted us to start the bidding there. With tears in my eyes and goose bumps over my body, I told her we would start the bidding at her bid. This felt REALLY RISKY. $1,000 is a lot of money but we felt it was what we were to do. We thought about quickly moving the bidding down to lower numbers, but our MC suggested that someone might want to give $900. With a big gulp and a prayer, we went with it.

My prayer leading up to Generate Hope was to simply expect God. I have learned that if I expect specific outcomes from our events, I can focus on those and not see the larger picture or the other fruit that is being produced. So I prayed to expect God. Well, He showed up in a big way…

At the end of the evening, our guests had pledged not $4,000 but over $10,000!

Looking back, we could have decided not to take any risks. 1. Not held the event for fear that no one would show up, 2. Not held the Paddle Up Auction for fear of it not working, 3. Not started the bidding at $1,000 for fear of it paralyzing our guests. However, we took the risks because He gave us the courage to do so. Yes, I had moments of anxiety and fear, but they were quickly washed over by His peace.

We were certainly onto something special and how fun it was to share such a momentous evening with family, donors, mentors, team members, and friends both old and new.

After this journey together, I believe every guest left changed. I know I did.

© 2015 by Brooke F Sulahian

 

Finding Jesus in a Gallon of Paint April 17, 2014

Filed under: Hope — Brooke F. Sulahian @ 12:52 pm
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white-paintCan you really find Jesus in a gallon of paint? I did.

Have you ever had one of those days when you knew you needed to stay at home? Even though you had good, life-nourishing plans on your calendar, you had this sense that you needed to wipe the slate clean, stay home and let the day unfold? Today was one of those days for me.

Strangely enough, I had a strong urge to paint. I could not see a connection to Lent or Easter, but the urge was strong so I decided to give it a go. As I prepared to start, I figured I would do something later that would draw me closer to God. This was going to be productive time.

Now this project is long overdue. The trim in our kids’ bedrooms is an incredibly dingy off-white and it looks even more so with our son’s “Startling Orange” and daughter’s “Carnation Pink” paint on the walls.

Isn’t it amazing what one coat of paint can do? The transformation is incredible. The old paint gets covered and even areas in need of repair can become hidden to the naked eye. Just like new. Or is it?

As I was marveling at the change in their rooms, I got to thinking about the change in me almost fourteen years ago when God cleaned me up and made me new in Him. I had spent many years in a pit of depression and was covered with spiritual and earthly mud and muck from head to toe. I watched as He gently cleaned me off and dressed me in white, much like I did when painting today.

But then it hit me…God works from the inside out.

Not only was I clean on the outside, but He cleaned me through and through. God’s transformation is at all levels and forever. My paint provides only a covering and will chip away requiring another new coat.

I had set out to paint today, yet God wanted more. He used a gallon of paint to remind me of His restoration of me, which was only possible through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross long ago.  Jesus died for my sins opening the path for me to approach God. Jesus paved the way for my healing and yours.

What are you up to today? Keep your eyes open…you may find Jesus in unexpected places.

© 2014 by Brooke F Sulahian