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I’ve been absent from this particular arena of blogging.   However, if you want to catch up on any of the other days feel free to go to www.hopefulheartsministry.com/blog  I did write, for the most part, every day…yet I was too busy to repost it on this site.  Forgive me!!!  One thing I know, as a survivor, is I try to overcompensate my perceived inadequacies by being a ‘people pleaser’ which has now left me a bit overwhelmed. 😉

I’m learning!!!


 LaurensweddingI can only imagine how many of you are thinking what in the “H” is Neal doing writing a blog on Shannon’s behalf?  Well I will let you know it started with me opening my big mouth while she was trying to vent on how busy she is and how she does not have enough time to compose this blog along with the thousands of other things weighing heavily on her mind and heart!!  Now for those who know me this probably does not surprise you that I interjected.

It brings me to the point of this blog!  So many times in our lives we see others in distress and either shake our heads, throw up our hands or gossip without knowing the whole truth!  Life is different and unique for each and every one of us and should be respected as such.  What may seem as a trivial task or unwarranted complaint to one, may seem like the world is coming to end for another.

Take for example Shannon’s situation and mine.  I feel she has all the time in the world, whereas, I am busy “actually” working for a living and trying to keep the finances in check for our family.  Now many of you have noticed the quotation marks because that is me usually undermining what she does during her day with the ministry and for our family.  No bigger slap in the face could be made, so men take it from me when I say regardless if your spouse works outside of the home or not, they are every bit as important (and in my case more important) than ourselves.  Respect one another and what they do and how they do it.

husband vs wife

Take this time of year to not only recognize the birth of Christ, but also what we have to be thankful for and how our lives are made special by our family and friends.  It was just this past weekend that I was humbled and reminded just how much me, Shannon and the boys are loved and cared for by our friends and family!!!

We all take for granted so much at times (especially me) and it’s time we open our hearts and minds to the daily blessings we all receive.  I personally am taking an extra step in pulling my head firmly from my backside and doing exactly what I am writing.  May God bless each and every one of you throughout this season.  You can start by being thankful that I will probably never open my mouth again so I will not be writing any more blogs on Shannon’s page!!  Remember, “It is what it is”!!!!!


Neal Deitz


I want to thank my dear husband for throwing himself under the bus for acknowledging the fact he saw his work as ‘more important’ or even more ‘stressful’ than mine.  I think he should write more guest blogs don’t you??  I personally think THIS BLOG by my dear husband is a HUGE ‘Just Show Up’ moment for me and I’m grateful. :D

One excellent point Neal pointed out that I did want to comment on is how we tend to judge others by their looks, size, stature, etc.  Yesterday I had the most eloquent blog scripted in my mind after attending the Mass for the Immaculate Conception which was also serving as a parish wide blessing for children.  I had the honor of lectoring at the Mass along side this young 12-year-old (possibly still 11) girl.  Every one was worried about her feeling nervous and concerned about reading in the ‘big’ church but when she went up to that mike she blew us all away.  She proclaimed the Word of God with every word punctuated as if it was the most precious word she’d ever spoken.

book by it's cover

She brought tears to my eyes.  Who was I to judge what this girl who is younger than my own children could do?  Who am I to take steal away a gift from God with my own judgment?

I didn’t get the chance to write that blog because I ended up praying with the family and headed to bed, too tired to put a finger to the keyboard.  With a rocky night of sleep, dealing with a teenager who’s stressed with projects/ tests/ finals I ended up with only a few hours of sleep and spending most of my day in the car traveling too and from downtown.  However, I did get the blessing to meet with a new young woman who I am working with through the ministry.  And one of her most troubling statements was how she finds herself treated now because of some mistakes she made in the past that can’t be undone (Ie:  tattoos, holes from body piercings, and the stigma of her past in general).

I looked at her and saw a beautiful woman who was very intelligent, had an extreme amount of love for her two children, desperate to know worth and love for herself.  Most importantly I saw a survivor who had the strength to come out of situations that I’m not sure I would have the wit about me to make it out alive.  She is pillar of strength and despite the obvious scars of her past I know she can do whatever she sets her heart to.    She was my nugget of gold within the chaos of my day.

So, kudos to Neal, for being right on for today.  I love you!!