Patience Archive

Matters of the Heart

Posted January 24, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Those of you who follow me in social media (if you aren’t, why not?), you know that week before last I injured my knee. I slipped in ice while performing my pretrip inspection on my truck at 4am in Alabama. I endured several days of serious pain. It was my clutch knee.

Last Friday night, I took Austin (my brand new Freightliner Cascadia Lightweight truck) in for his very first oil change in Amarillo, Texas. On Sunday afternoon, Austin broke down in the middle of Wild West-and wild wind-Wyoming. God always provides. If you’ve ever driven on Interstate 80 across Wyoming, you know there is nothing there but it just so happened that when my truck broke down, it was at one of very few exits. Literally.  AND, there was one thing at that exit: a TA truck stop.

I coasted down the ramp, to the right into the truck stop (I didn’t stop for the stop sign. Nothing was coming), and into a parking space at the truck stop. I remained there for two days until the folks at my company had Austin towed 100+ miles into Salt Lake City to the Freightliner dealership.

Today is day seven of this adventure and I’m still in a hotel. The week has been a rollercoaster of events. My emotions have run the gammit from patient to furious, positive to hopeless, determined to wanting to chuck it all and pull Dakota (my bicycle) out of storage and take to the open road on him again.

Those who know me know I don’t have family. I can’t go cry on sis’s shoulder, get a hug from dad or have big bro punch someone’s lights out. But, I have you and so many of you have reached out in support. Emails, phone calls, texts, FB posts. The outpouring has been amazing! Thank you, by the way. I wouldn’t have been able to endure this week without you. But even with that, I have to admit there have been moments where I looked out to the surrounding snow capped mountains and felt all alone in a great big world.

Then it hit me. I feel and sense emotion on a very deep level. God gave me that gift so that I can understand what others go through on an experiential level. That way I can help them. He showed me decades ago that I cannot show others the way unless I’ve traveled that road. Remembering that took my attention off my troubles- and my broken down brand new truck- and to those I serve… and those whom I’ve never met who need to be encouraged.

I wanted to quit. I admit it. I wanted to tell the wonderful company I work for and the dealership who built Austin to take their broken down truck and shove it. But one thing stopped me. I’m not a quitter. I wonder how many people have been driven to the brink of their emotional cliff and jumped. I know some. I’m sure you do, too. I also know most of them regretted having made that decision.

I’m writing this in the lobby of the hotel in a nice comfy chair in front of the fireplace with a view of the rocky mountains. The ambiance is wonderful but the main reason I do it is when I’m all alone up in my room, my thoughts turn negative and my positive attitude that keeps me strong begins to crumble. I begin to suffer all alone in the silence of my room.

I know there are thousands of people out there who are doing just that. They don’t tell anyone they are suffering. Their tears are not seen. Their hearts cry at moments when others are not around. Their sad and painful matters of the heart are not shared with anyone. One day, they just disappear… or die a lonely death.

What I’ve been going through this last week has nothing to do with trucks, oil changes, my company or Freightliner. It has everything to do with my purpose to help others overcome… and to become. Someone has to know how they feel. They need to find the way through the emotional quagmire to freedom and then go back to show others the way.

I’m an encourager. I know that. It’s my God-given purpose. The Heartbeat of America blog will continue and I’ll continue to bring you stories from the amazing people I meet. In addition to that, I’m also going to share insights with you on matters of the heart. I’ve been working for a while on a new podcast that will be uplifting, encouraging and hopefully will help you see life’s events in a different light. I’m also considering BlogTalk radio.

I really need your help. You have all been so faithful and supportive both during my Road to Freedom Tour, and with my trucking adventure which I unwittingly termed Road to Freedom 2.0. Little did I know at the time that title would be so profound.

In the weeks and months to come, I will be sharing some deep things of the heart. Those things that pluck at your heart strings. I’ll share hope in the midst of what appears to be hopelessness. I’ll share stories of those who have overcome… stories of triumph, my own and those of others I meet along my journey.

If this resonates with you, I would like to ask you to help me in the following ways:

Please pray that God will lead those who need to hear this message to the blog, the podcast and any other media outlet that opens up.

Please share the blog with others in your social circles and ask them to pray about doing the same.

Please comment on the blog. I will do my best to respond to each comment as my life on the road allows. I utilize a service called LiveFyre to filter out spam from my comments so you’ll have to sign up once and be approved by me to leave comments. It’s not an email capture and sell scam. LifeFyre is my spam filter service. It’s completely safe for you to give your information to.

That would mean so much to me as I ratchet up my blog a notch or two and include matters of the heart. So many of you have asked for this. God is showing me it’s time to do it.

Thank you all for being such faithful supporters during the Road to Freedom Tours. Your encouragement has kept me going forward, helping to heal the wounded, encourage the discouraged and bring the truth of God’s joy to a hurting nation. You honor me.

This blog post is long today but for some reason, I cannot bring myself to apologize for its length. God bless you, my friends.

 

 

 

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When the Unexpected Happens

Posted January 19, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I spent last Friday night in a truck stop getting my brand new truck’s first oil change. On Sunday, after enduring extremely high winds in Wild West Wyoming, a “check engine” light came on. Immediately afterward, my “stop engine” light came on. Since I was driving right into the evening sun, I could not read any of my gauges.

As God would have it, I was right at one of the very few exits in the middle of nowhere. And, there was one of a handful of truck stops right there. I coasted off the exit ramp, into the truck stop and pulled my truck away from the sun. A quick inspection of my gauges revealed a serious loss of oil pressure. It was almost at zero.

I was stranded inthe middle of nowhere with a delivery appointment in six hours and I was a hundred miles from my destination. And, as luck would have it, my Auxillary Power Unit (APU) also died, meaning I would have no heat in my truck. It was cold out. After all, it is January and I was in the mountains of Wyoming.

I made the necessary calls and within four hours, they’d located another driver to come pick up my load. It was only a few hours late for delivery. Not bad considering where I was. In the meantime, I would babysit his trailer until he could get back to retrieve it and deliver his load which coincidentally was being delivered to the same place mine was.

I had very intermittent internet connection on all of my electronic devices which made communicating with anyone (including my dispatcher) quite a challenge. I did have phone service… most of the time. And, to top off the adventure, an unexpected two inches of snow fell overnight.

Lovely. Just lovely.

Some of my friends and fellow truckers thought I was taking things very lightly. After all, in the world of trucking, “if the truck ain’t rolling, you ain’t making money.” But I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t concerned. There was nothing more that I could do other than what I was doing. It was just one of those things.

If getting upset would have repaired my truck and gotten me back up and running, I’d have tried that. But “upset” is not a certified mechanic and therefore could not help. It would have been useless. So I went into the restaurant and had a nice, hot meal. I went to the trucker’s lounge to write blog posts. I caught up on reading and writing I’d not been able to do for days because I’d been running hard since coming off home time.

What am I saying? Two things really. Life happens. It rains on the just and the unjust and if I have a breath in me, life is going to happen. Secondly, getting upset about it only makes things worse. I become miserable and I make others that way as well. Why do that? It’s destructive.

When the unexpected happens–and it always does–I just make the best of it. Roll with the flow. Do what I can and put the rest in God’s hands. It’s life and it’s ALWAYS and adventure. 

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More Than You’re Capable Of

Posted August 14, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

From the Farm in KYI did not post this as early as I normally would for two very important reasons:

1) I was exhausted from Monday’s 4 thunderstorm day and needed a really good night’s sleep before I wrote this.

2) I wanted to make sure I formulated this idea before putting it in print.

 

At the beginning of this adventure, I told you I’d not only share the good, but the bad as well. Monday was surely the worst “bad” of this journey… perhaps even in my life.

As I look back on that time, I realize I was accomplishing much more than I”m capable of doing in myself.

The rain was coming down so hard, I could not see more than a few feet in front of me. I’d picked up about fifteen additional pounds in Kentucky Countrysiderainwater on my tent and gear. Thankfully my panniers were waterproof.

If I lost my footing, slipped or got out of balance and dropped my bike, I would have not been able to pull it back upright. 

I pushed up Balls Hill in six inches of rain water rushing down the hill in the opposite direction. I have a shoulder injury. It was the end of a long day of climbing really tall hills. Each time I planted my foot, my leg wobbled unsteadily. I was at my limit.

I wanted to crawl into a ball like a rolly-polly bug.

Kentucky HillsideSuddenly the faces began a slide show in my mind. One by one, my heart replayed the encounters I’ve had along this journey. The lives God has touched through our paths crossing. I thought of how their lives will improve for them having faced their fear and found their freedom.

I realized that I would not be used of God to help more women overcome their fear if I rolled up in a ball and called it quits. A strength rose up from within me. Something more than I’m capable of in myself. With a new commit–for them–I defied the elements and pushed up that hill. 

Looking back on that moment, I realized a few things that I want to share with you:

1) God doesn’t usually take over until you reach the end of yourself. Had he done that before, I may have accidentally thought my strength was improving with the exercise I’m getting. What’s more, though I’d reached the end of my strength, God’s strength is limitless.

2) No matter how bad the conditions become, there is always–truly, ALWAYS–a way out. I was able to get to a home where Pat gave me sweet tea and her husband, Charlie, loaded my soaked bike in the back of his truck. He drove me the last three miles to my destination. 

3) The decisions I wanted to make in that desperate moment would have been the wrong one. Thankfully, God has shown me over Chief Latiga Campground, AL 4and over again that I should not make decisions in those heated moments, but rather get through the incident, then reassess. I’m so glad I did!

4) Never make a life altering decision before you’re rested. Now that I’ve had a couple of nights indoors in nice, soft, dry beds, I know I need to press onward. Without the rest, I may have hitched a ride with a southbound trucker. 

For women who are faced with fear after a violent assault, these principles apply to their lives as well. That’s why I’m writing this today. I want them to learn from my desire to quit and from my turning to God, relying on His strength.

No matter what you’re facing, through God’s unlimited and all-powerful strength, you can accomplish more than you’re capable of. You may reach the end of your own strength, but that’s where He takes over and continues to move you in the direction He wants you to go.

Rely on Him! He will get  you through whatever you’re facing. If God can empower a drenched and drained 56 year old woman in the middle of a blinding thunderstorm to push her bicycle up a mountain in six inches of rushing water, He can help you with whatever you’re facing!

Trust him today! You’ll be glad you did!

 

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Why I Didn’t Stop

Posted July 26, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

As you read this, I’m pedaling away from my hometown of Huntsville, AL, westward toward Mississippi. So I’m sure I’ll run into all sorts of people, places and stories. I can hardly wait!

If you have been following my Road to Freedom tour, you know that while climbing a very steep hill, I took a forty foot tumble down to the bottom of a ravine. It took me over an hour and a half to get Dakota and me back up to the top of the ravine. Fortunately, we were not much worse for the trip.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I was going to pack it in and abandon the tour. When I tell them I have no intention of stopping, they marvel at how strong, courageous, and gutsy I am, particularly after hearing of the sprained shoulder and cracked rib I endured.

I’m amazed at this. First of all, I’m not doing this for me. Otherwise, I would probably still be sitting in my recliner chair occasionally glancing at Dakota sitting in the corner of my dining room. Since I’m doing this for women who are suffering from PTSD, how could I not keep going?! Because of a little tumble?

Life is full of uphill climbs with a fully loaded bicycle. Sometimes it rides smoothly, while other times we tumble off the edge. That’s just the way it is. Life wasn’t designed to always be fair. And we weren’t meant to stop living life when we tumble of the edge.

Each of us is bigger than tumbles of the edge. God created us with the ability to climb back up, reload and keep pedaling toward our goal and destination. It’s in all of us. And it’s free. All you have to do is tap into it.

Are you a “don’t quit” type of person or are you a “Ok, that’s it. I get the message. I’ll quit” person? Some of the most incredible successes in life happened to someone just past where they wanted to quit.

Did I want to quit when I broke a rib and couldn’t move my arm for a couple hours? Umm, yes. Heck yes. But did I? No. Am I glad? You betcha! The greatest blessings of my trip came right after I decided I’d keep going!

That will happen to you as well. So, just make a decision now that you will NOT quit. Keep going. Rest if you must but don’t quit. You and the world will be glad you did!

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Blessings Out of Nowhere, USA

Posted July 23, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.
Camping in the Pavilion of  North Glencoe Baptist Church

Camping in the Pavilion of North Glencoe Baptist Church

Sunday night was quite an exciting adventure. I got caught in a very large and powerful thunderstorm. The good news was that I found refuge in McDonald’s. The bad news was that would close at 11pm. 

In the middle of nowhere. In the middle of the night. In the middle of a blinding rainstorm. I think that sums up the three strike rule. 

A call to the police department just confirmed they would not allow me to pitch my tent anywhere. So, I did what any female traveling alone in a strange town on a bicycle on a stormy Sunday night would do. I prayed.

I finally saw a nice looking elderly lady come in with what appeared to be her great grandson. I asked her if she was coming from church. She proudly said she was. I explained my dilemma and she referred me to a Baptist church a half mile up the hill. I packed my stuff back onto my bike, put on my rain gear and turned on my lights. 

I prayed my way to the church. Thank God there were still people there. The pastor said I could pitch my tent but suggested I walk my

Something will always get in your way. Relax and enjoy it!

Something will always get in your way. Relax and enjoy it!

bike about a half mile up a trail to their recreation facility where they had pavilions. I could pitch my ten under one of those and stay dry for the night.

The Lord faithfully provided!

The next morning, I packed up my gear and was on my way. My next destination was Huntsville, AL. Though I had no plans to go to Huntsville at the beginning of the trip, for whatever reason, the Lord was sending me back to my roots. I was born in Huntsville. That’s where my parents were laid to rest. I haven’t been back to Huntsville since 1996. 

And, no worries. The only thing standing in my way was 75 miles and two mountains: Sand Mountain and Montosano. No big deal, right? After getting a stern warning about hit and run drivers in Boaz from a police Leutinant in Atalla, I headed north, toward the brick wall that awaited. 

Right before the ascent of Sand Mountain, I stopped to pray and mentally prepare for the hardest ride of my trip, a car pulled over in front of me. A man got out, walked back to my car and said, “D0 you know what’s up ahead, lady?”

Unfortunately, I did.

At first he offered to take me over the mountain. I was grateful. We loaded my gear in his car and Dakota onto his bike rack. When he found out I was headed to Huntsville, he insisted on taking me the entire way: 60 miles one way. Apparently, the storms were moving in rapidly from the northwest, right where I was headed.

Author Suzy Parish and family at Rosie's Cantina. Pure Heaven!

Author Suzy Parish and family at Rosie’s Cantina. Pure Heaven!

He preached to me the entire trip, except for the few moments it took to buy my lunch. He gave me a can of maze to protect myself. I accidentally left it in his car, along with my cycling gloves but it didn’t matter. I have warring angels surrounding me anyway.

Right in the middle of nowhere when I least expected for anyone to reach out and help, God brought them right to me. As I write this, I’m sitting comfortably in the home of a writer friend in Huntsville. We had dinner at Rosie’s Cantina, an amazing Mexican restaurant. Tomorrow, we will visit my parent’s graves. 

I never thought I’d head this way. It started in Atlanta, where I started elementary school and continues now in my hometown of Huntsville, AL. Right in the middle of nowhere, every bit of help I could ever ask for just showed up on a US highway. It showed up on a dark, stormy Sunday night and pointed the way to a dry pavilion. 

If you’re in the middle of nowhere right now, look around. God’s blessings are there. And, they are more than you can ever think, hope or imagine. 

I’ve learned to trust God to a greater degree than I have ever trusted before. God is great and mighty… even in Nowhere, USA.

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Never Give Up!

Posted June 28, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

business man with laptop over head - madI have to admit, I’ve been tempted to give up on my blog for the last two weeks. I’ve faced all sorts of challenges since WordPress became MojoMarketplace. I have been sorely tempted to toss my computer in the river and never look back.

But then I thought of you. I remember the notes, emails and personal phone calls you’ve sent telling me how much my blog has meant to you over the year and a half I’ve done it.

I couldn’t quit. Of course I couldn’t quit. If I started this blog with a purpose of encouraging you, that hasn’t changed. No matter how frustrating it becomes when technology doesn’t work properly, I must continue to do what I committed to doing. 

I know you get discouraged from time to time when things don’t go according to plan. It would be easy to walk away from it. Living Man Using Laptopwith that decision is a different story. Giving up almost certainly leads to emptiness, lower self esteem, feelings of loneliness and ultimate dissatisfaction with life. You don’t want to go there.

Here are  a few tricks to help you never give up:

Make the decision before things fall apart. When you’re in the middle of a frustrating battle, that’s the wrong time to decide what to do. You need to make the personal decision BEFORE the fight begins that win or lose, you will not quit.

Be faithful to your purpose. Having that reason to keep moving forward and working through the challenges will provide the energy you need to do what you need to do in order to get things back on track.

Communicate your challenges with those you trust. Vent to them. Ask them for prayer. Get it off your chest. You’ll feel much lighter and be able to pick up your torch and run like the wind.

Happy Girl on computerMake the best use of the tine you have. If you’re waiting for the techno-geniuses to fix your problem and get you back on track, don’t just sit and stew. You’ll overcook yourself. Instead, do something else. Plan your next move. Write your next chapter. Create a new product or service.

Don’t let the inevitability of “something will go wrong” ruin your day. And more importantly, when it happens, never give up! Don’t even think about it! Trust me on this.

What’s the most frustrating thing you’ve faced lately that made you want to give up? What did you do? Share it here!

 

 

 

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It’s Friday, and I’m FINALLY Back into My Website!

Posted June 21, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Hi Everyone,

Man Using LaptopSo sorry no encouragement has gone out to you in a week. I’ve been working all week to have my website restored. It seems that WordPress is now MojoMarketplace. Somehow it was incompatible with my amazing webhost, Bluehost.com.

It took a week of challenging technical jockeying in order to get things back up and running. I’ve learned a lot this week, ten of which I’ll share with you here:

1) Running or riding my bicycle for long distances is a lot more fun than trying to figure out how computer programs went wrong.

2) The modern age of technology is a beautiful thing… unless it goes wrong. Then it is a demon.

3) Patience is underrated. I never thought I had time for patience. Turns out I was wrong. In the end, it prevailed.Scared to death

4) Marathons are 26.2 miles. Technical issues are 26.2 light years long.

5) If I threw in the towel and walked away, the only one who would suffer from the abandonment is me. The cyber-techno-geeks would only move on to the next person waiting in their call queue.

6) Computer program issues make me homesick… for a simpler time when all I had to worry about was shucking the corn and shelling the peas on the back porch while sipping sweet tea.

7) Technical issues are unnatural. If I get sunburned, it will heal. Pulled muscle? Same thing. Broken arm? Yep. Broken computer program? Uhhh… nope. It won’t heal on it’s own. 

Young Man Cycling in a Forest8) A bad day in the mountains is better than an entire week with the brightest techno-gray mattered geniuses on earth. 

9) It really is possible to survive being locked out of your own website. Seriously. I’m alive. 

10) Life isn’t about blogs. Blogs are about life. Looking back on the week from cyber limboland, I can somewhat humorously write about my dilemma. Otherwise, what would I write about today?

Welcome to summer!

 

 

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[Podcast] Three Feet From Gold!

Posted May 1, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Gold Bars
Today’s episode tells the amazing true story of someone who lost millions just because they gave up right before they hit pay dirt. Feel like quitting? Before you do, listen to today’s podcast. 

Also, next week I will be interviewing author Beth K. Vogt about her latest novel, Catch a Falling Star, being released May 7th by Howard Books. You won’t want to miss that. I’ll be giving away a copy of her book next week.

Have you grabbed your free copy of my latest E-book, The Power of One: How Being Authentically YOU Will Change the World? If not, click here to request your copy. See the box on the right side of the page.

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Keep Digging!

Posted April 4, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Gold BarsYesterday I was a guest lecturer at a University’s Physician’s Assistant master’s level program. These students are at a point in their training where they’re tired, stressed out, nervous, and in some cases, discouraged and stuck.

Before I delivered my lecture, I told them a true story about a man back east in the 1800’s. He had a dream of striking it rich in the Colorado Gold Rush. He got buy in and investments from many of his relatives, friends and others wanting to cash in. He loaded up a wagon and went west.

After staking his claim in the Colorado Rockies, he began mining. And, he found gold, at least at first. But after mining for a while it seemed his claim dried up. Instead of finding gold, all he found was hard rock. He tried to dig through it but it was backbreaking. He thought of all those back home who believed in him, who expected him to bring back their fortune.

At the height of his disillusionment a junk man passed by and offered to buy his equipment for pennies. He miner gave up everything and headed back east in failure. Meanwhile, the “junk man” knew what was waiting just beyond the rock and began to dig where the miner left off.

Three feet later he broke through to the largest vein of gold in Colorado history. He became a very wealthy man. The miner goldminers26could have as well, if he’d convinced himself to keep digging. He worked several jobs to pay back the money others invested and he died in poverty.

The junk man ascended to wealth and aristocracy. He lived the life of luxury. 

I ended the story by telling these students to keep digging! They’re three feet from gold! 

No matter how tired you are of trying, you must keep digging. No matter how discouraged you feel, no matter how much you want to pack it up and go home, keep digging! Why? In your entrepreneurial dream, right now you are only three feet from gold! KEEP DIGGING!

Rest a while if you must. Regroup and breathe in a new resolve to stick with it. How long? Just three more feet. That’s how long. How l

ong will it take for you to break through? Who knows but you’re three feet from gold. You must keep digging.

Three Feet From Gold Book CoverPlease don’t pack it in. It’s too soon. You’ll soon hit a vein of the purest gold and you’ll fulfill your destiny. Never, never, never give up. You owe it to yourself and to the world. No matter how discouraged, exhausted or disillusioned you become, always remember, your dream is too important to remain unlived!

What are you mining for? Do you feel like you’re about to strike it rich or like you’re up against hard shale? Share it here!

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Which Would You Rather Be?

Posted March 19, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

After decades of being a student of life and history, I’ve come to realize one truth:

Some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue.

 There are days when you fly high above everyone else and can just dump everything that stinks onto some bronze lump that’s stuck on the ground. Other days you are stuck in on place, unable to move, and get dumped on.

What’s worse, you can alternate roles with each of those several times throughout any given day. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad… and yes, even the ugly.

The Pigeon

Pigeon

  • Pigeon soar above it all. They also are eaten by bigger birds, get hit by airplanes get burned in chimney smoke.
  • Pigeons are fed by people in the park. They also can be plucked to death by their siblings for that last piece of bread.
  • Pigeons have a great sense of direction. They also will freeze rather than changing direction, even if it’s for their own good.
  • Pigeons are very strong. They also are a dingy gray.

Statue at City Hall of Melsungen

  • Statues are dumped and it really stinks. Yet they remain unmoved.
  • Statues get tarnished by the climate they are in. And yet, they remain unmoved.
  • Statues erode as centuries pass. Any yet, what’s left remains unmoved.
  • Statues get overlooked and ignored. And yet, while everyone around them scurries frantically, they remain unmoved.

So tell me, which would you rather be, the pigeon or the statue? As for me and myself, I’d rather be a statue.

What about you? Which would you rather be? Share it here!

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