Pause, Ponder and Pray #6

Pause:  Breath in peace…let out anxiety and stress…breathe in calm…let out worry and frustration.

Ponder: We all have to-do lists. Our to-do lists probably don’t include the items in the image. What would our life look like if we included these reminders in our “have to do” list?

Pray: Pick one thing on the list above. Ask God to help you be more intentional about including this in your daily to-do list.

Pause, Ponder and Pray #5

Pause: Take a deep breathe in…and breathe out. Take a deep breathe in…and breathe out.

Ponder: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Finding out that you or a loved one has cancer of any kind is overwhelming. Cancer brings a type of chaos into one’s life that is difficult to wade through. Unless someone has heard the words, “you have cancer” it’s hard to fully understand what the cancer journey is like. You may not know what to say or do. One response you can never go wrong with is prayer.

Pray: For someone with cancer. (If you’re not sure what to say, simply use the prayer in the image.)


Do Something Different

A lot of us are looking to make some positive changes in our life, but we have no idea where to begin. My suggestion is to do something different.

When you’re willing to do something different, you are telling yourself, your subconscious mind, and the entire Universe, “I’m asking for a change and I’m willing to DO something about it now.” The Universe responds to DOING since it actually means you’re starting to also BE something different.

You don’t even have to know what to do, at least not at the start. Doing ANYTHING different, that seems like it MIGHT head in the direction of what you are looking for, is a step in the right direction. You can make adjustments as you go. You can fine-tune the changes you are asking for later, once you get the hang of doing something different. The point is this: DO SOMETHING — ANYTHING — DIFFERENT.

Let’s say you have the same habit of never having enough money in your bank account, but you never know where it goes. Something different might be getting an old-school notebook out and writing down your expenses. Or if you want to be fashionably high-tech, you could get an expense-tracking app, AND USE IT. This one small act for many people has been the beginning of getting their financial affairs in order by doing something different.

Or let’s say you realize that you are being sucked down the social media rabbit hole, feeling as though you don’t exist without the infusion of other people’s perfectly-curated lives into yours. (Hint: if you’re rabidly checking your phone at every non-busy moment, this applies to you.) Doing something different might be taking designated hours off during the day—or even just ONE HOUR off during the day. (Note: picking one of the hours while you’re sleeping doesn’t count!)

One courageous journalist I know of took an entire 30 days away from “social.” Now THAT is something different! (You can read the chronicles of her journey HERE.)

Now, I’m not suggesting that you go cold turkey like that unless you have a lot of personal strength and courage, and the willingness to dynamically change that area of your life. Sometimes making a bold move like that will be what’s required. Many times making a small change in the direction of doing something different will create enough of a change to give you a different perspective and get you out of the rabbit hole.


1. Write down the top three areas of your life that you feel need a bit of an overhaul.
2. On a scale of 1-10, how important is it TO YOU that this area change?
3. Now ask yourself this question: “What’s the easiest thing I could do different, starting now, that would allow this area to change?”

Now here’s the cool part: when you ask a question, you open doors of possibility that didn’t appear to be there before. It’s like staring at a wall, and all of a sudden a door appears when you ask the question. When you ask, “What it’s going to take to change this area?” you put your attention in that direction, and the world around you mobilizes to give you an awareness of exactly that.

So, for example, let’s say you feel like you never have any time or space to yourself. Your batteries are getting run down and you don’t know what to do about it. If this sounds like you, one of the things that may come up when you ask that question is: “spend some time alone nurturing you.” And of course, your mind goes into all the reasons and justifications why it’s not possible.

“You’re too busy.”
“You have kids.”
“Your family, job, and social media obligations take up all of your time.”
“You’ll never get all your work done…”
And on and on and on and on….

That’s the way your mind works. It is always giving you the reasons why you can’t, not the way in which you can. So when you ask the question about what you can do different, give your mind a break. Let it know: “I’ve got this. Go take a break.” And let your childlike sense of wonder and possibility run the show for a few minutes.

If you have to, use logic to outwit your mind. You could look at it this way: if you don’t do anything different than you are doing right now, what will your life be like in 5 years? Better, worse, or the same? Probably worse, right? I mean, if you don’t change things now, when will you?

Also, what if all the reasons and justifications your mind comes up with are exactly why you haven’t been able to change this area in the past? So, tell your mind to shut up for a moment, and do something different.

In doing something different, you might find that you also start to BE different – with yourself and with the people around you. You might notice that the people around you notice a difference in you and start to change as well.

I know one woman, a married mother of four kids, with her own hair salon, who felt like she was always drained. She asked herself, “What’s the easiest thing I could do different starting now that would allow this area to change?” She took one of the tools I give to people in my workshops, which is to take half an hour for herself each day.

She started to get up really early in the mornings, and went for a walk in the small forest right behind her house. The sensation of being in nature was totally nurturing for her. She sent me an email two weeks after starting this, saying that she had finally used this tool after two years of hearing it and thinking she didn’t have the time to do it.

She said she was having energy again for the first time since she had her second child and she felt a sense of hope in her world, rather than the despair that had been there before. She was having her.

Two weeks. Half an hour a day. That’s not much effort or time to get control of your life again, and have a sense of energy available. Just saying!

She was willing to #dosomethingdifferent.

What about you, dear reader? Would your life get better if you chose to do something different? Starting today? Even right now?


Spero is always in need of caring Foster Parents for adolescents. If you have been thinking about how YOU can do something different and make a change in this world become a Foster Parent. It is easier than you think with Spero Foster Care. We provide an entire team to surround your family, to be there when you have questions or are in need of extra support. If you want to #DoSomethingDifferent join the movement to become a Foster Parent. Contact Spero Foster Care Supervisor, Shalynn Malone at 618.315.9906 or 

Join the movement and #DoSomethingDifferent!

article featured on the Huffington Post Website

Pause, Ponder and Pray #4

Welcome to week 4 of the Pause, Ponder and Pray series from Rev. Deborah Pollex.

Pause: Breathe in and say to yourself, “I am.” Breathe out and say “unique.” Repeat.

Ponder: You are unique and different, and there is nobody like you in the world, so why do we compare ourselves to others?  Envy can make us miserable and is usually an expression of insecurity. When we feel inferior, we get envious. When we have low self-esteem, we feel threatened by people who are more beautiful and better dressed as well as those who have more status, more education, and more charisma. Recognize your uniqueness. We don’t have to envy anybody, instead let’s focus on becoming all that God created us to be!

Pray: Thank God for three specific gifts, talents, or traits that make you unique.

Pause, Ponder and Pray #3

As we enter our third week in the Pause, Ponder and Pray series we are happy to also make our Spiritual Services page available. Here you will get to know Spiritual Life Coordinator, Rev. Deborah Pollex and more about the Spiritual Life program offered to our youth. This page will be updated with specific prayer request from our agency and youth, as well as information on Our Conference Our Kids, a mission of the United Methodist Church.

Pause: Breathe in and breathe out, notice your breath as you inhale and exhale.

Ponder: Grief never really ends. But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love.

Pray: Ask God to comfort someone who is mourning.

Pause, Ponder and Pray #2

Thank you for checking back for week 2 of our Pause, Ponder and Pray series by Spero Spiritual Life Coordinator, Rev. Deborah Pollex.

Pause: Breathe in while silently saying the word, “Peace.” Breathe out while silently saying the words, “Be still.” Repeat.

Ponder: We all have stuff and situations in life that panic us. Fear saps our energy and leaves us feeling depleted and hopeless. What are your fears today? Be honest. Read the scripture in the image.  When we listen to God’s words of peace and believe them, we allow them to work their way into our innermost beings and settle the fear and chaos within.

Pray: Talk to God about one of your fears.


Pause, Ponder and Pray

Did you know that Spero Family Services had a Spiritual Life Coordinator.? Rev. Deborah Pollex, began at Spero over 3 years ago. She has weekly spiritual life groups with the youth who live on the Mt. Vernon campus, takes the youth to church on Sundays, has creative groups with the children at Spero Bright Start day care and serves as a mentor and offers guidance to the many employees of Spero. Each week, in addition to the many other things she does at the agency and for the United Methodist Church, she offers an email of inspiration to everyone who works at Spero. We would like to offer this to each of you as a reminder to slow down and reflect on all that life has to offer. Check back each week for the new Pause, Ponder and Pray series. To learn more about the Spiritual Life services offered at Spero contact Deborah Pollex or check back for the new Spiritual Life section on our website.

Pause, Ponder and Pray

Pause: Breathe in, slowly and deeply. Breathe out, slowly and deeply. Repeat.

Ponder: Some days are great. Things go as planned and you bounce from meetings to tasks to your private life and feel wonderful. Then there are other days. When something important unexpectedly goes wrong. Or when you feel sorry for yourself and just want to go back to bed. Days when you don’t feel motivated at all. The simplest way to turn a day, week or month into something more positive is to turn our focus to gratitude. We can always find something to feel grateful for in our life.

Pray: Thank God for this month…no matter what happen.

Back To School Drive

As you know, school will be starting up again soon.  Hard to believe the summer is half over already!

With this time of year comes many needs for kids, including school clothes, shoes, and school supplies. We are asking for our community’s support.

Spero Family Services will be collecting school supplies for the youth of our community programs, such as Wraparound, Bright Start daycare, Family Foundations and others.

Donation receptacles can be found at these locations in Mt. Vernon:

  • Mount Vernon Main Campus – 2023 Richview Rd
  • Spero Counseling & Wellness Center – 107 N Shiloh Dr, Mt. Vernon
  • Brightstart Daycare – 104 South 32nd, Mt. Vernon

If you’re out shopping, and would be willing to purchase and donate something from our wish-list, we would appreciate it!  Or, if you would like to donate a monetary gift to help us purchase items of need, please click the ‘Support’ button  and we’ll do the shopping for you!

Thank you in advance for helping our kids be successful in the upcoming year!