Written by Robin Hurst


Today is my Father’s birthday.  I miss him deeply.  I was blessed to have written and read the “What I Learned from My Dad” to him on this very day last year.  I added some writing around the tribute to share as eleven days later as he unexpectedly passed on from this world to be with our great Father in heaven.  This is what I shared that day in May 20114All Time Favorite with Dad

My precious Dad moved on to heaven a week and a half ago. I miss him deeply. I know we all have special loves in our lives. My father was and always will be one of those for me. It is from experience I give YOU these words of encouragement. If there are words unspoken you wish you could speak to those still in your life whom you love in a special way – speak them. If there are loved ones who are no longer here on this earth yet you have words still to say – say them. God is an awesome messenger.

Just 3 weeks ago we were gathered for Dad’s 87th birthday. I wrote something special to read to him at his party. I am grateful these words were shared at a time I could feel his hand squeezing mine and could see the loving expression in his eyes.


By Your Devoted Daughter, Robin

copyright©Robin W Hurst 201420140507164236_00225A

I’ve learned to love with a generous heart instead of judge with a limited perspective.

I’ve learned to be kind because the world needs more kindness.

I’ve learned to ask questions about God as a way to grow my faith.

I’ve learned to be patient rather than quick to respond without thoughtfulness.

I’ve learned caring for others matters. Read more →

Back and Forth to Vista [part 3]

[missed part 1 of back and forth to Vista?
missed part 2 of Back and Forth to Vista?]

Throughout the next 11 months and a few weeks, I connected with Joy a couple of times by phone. I placed some orders with her for friends. It was a treat to have the opportunity to hear her voice throughout the year. She has this gift to ground my direction by her careful selection of words delivered with a thoughtful heart.

Yes, it was August again, time for more Tamales, more heirlooms, a couple new discoveries like fresh California figs and organic jams and of course, more Joy. This year I immediately began to seek out Joy’s booth location. They had rearranged the market so I must say that I was concerned that Joy may not be found at the market this year. Why didn’t I call her to let her know I was coming? Why did I think it would be a good idea to surprise her? What was I thinking? Ok, trust…there she was. Her booth was successfully filled with many other customers so I initiated the search for my word. I was ready for the revealing of what this next year would be bringing. All the words seemed to be blurring. They were not speaking to me. I was growing slightly concerned. Why was I experiencing confusion? Was this a message in itself?

All the others cleared from the booth and I said to Joy, “ I don’t know what to choose. Maybe I need to walk away and come back.” She said, “Girl, you have been grateful. You have surrendered. You have trusted. It’s time to be Triumphant!” “YES, I said. YES, I love it. It is time to be Triumphant!” I looked for Triumphant in her display. Joy looked for Triumphant in her display. Oh, I must need to replenish the Triumphant soap.

Wow! The reason the words were not speaking to me is because the word that I was supposed to embrace was not on display. How crazy. As soon as Joy said Triumphant I knew that was the word.

We talked about the development of the women’s retreats. I had moved closer to making my dream come alive but had not yet presented any retreats yet. The material was coming together and my heart was continuing to grow in the direction of helping other women live a more fulfilled life. As I was living this life of greater intention, my life was becoming much more rich and fulfilling. I was learning to let go, surrender, trust and have faith that God has a special plan for me.

I was pleased with my Triumphant attitude. I picked up some additional gifts for others as always. It’s a beautiful thing to share these intentions with others. I love to give the gift that share gratitude, joy, love and so on. To share those gifts with others is a blessing. Just as it was a blessing to walk away from Joy that day empowered with my new Triumphant intention. I was filled with confidence which could be seen in my stride as I stepped out in search of my husband. I could hardly wait to hear about his Vista FM adventure. We grabbed one more cup of coffee and traded stories each of us was anxiously ready to share.

Through the next 11 months I was learning more and more about Triumphant. My vision of a triumphant year was becoming clouded. Within the next few months my dear father was experiencing many complications from his poor circulation in his legs. We were growing in concern. Many actions were taken to improve his health situation. I even called my friend Joy and asked what products she might have (soap, oil, lotion, teas) that might aid with circulation. She immediately answered, “all of the Triumphant products aid in circulation.” Really? I reminded Joy that the intentions word for me this year was Triumphant. I asked her to send me the “triumphant works!” I was determined to provide whatever organic support I could for my Dad’s healing.

When Dad went into the hospital in October from a serious fall, he was triumphant. The Rescue Squad could not find a pulse. They rushed him into surgery. At the very moment that he was in surgery I was in a Bible Study unaware that he had even experienced a fall earlier that day. I thought that it was so odd that one of the women in our study prayed for angel’s to surround my Dad and for God to be with the Doctors. I was confused but did not mention it. When I got home, my Mom called. She said that Dad had fallen and that he just got out of surgery (at the very time the prayer was being said!) and that he was ok. He was triumphant. In the months ahead he would lose both legs. Again, his attitude was focused on healing, on what this new life would look, on progress every day. My Dad is the most patient and triumphant man I know.

One thing that I was beginning to understand about the meaning of triumphant that I had not earlier grasped is that triumphant does mean victory, to conquer, to succeed, however to experience this you must first overcome. I had not given much thought to the fact that you must first overcome challenges or adversity to be victorious. This required a bit of a different mindset for me than I had originally attached to the definition. Actually, I was kind of tired of overcoming but if my Dad could do it with such dignity and humor I could certainly embrace the definition more fully. I actually wanted to ask God, “please, can I choose a different intention for this year?” The word was already mine. The challenges had been set in place. The victories were also being delivered.

My Dad continues to model such courage, gentleness, kindness and love. I am grateful to be an intimate witness of his triumphal life. He gives all he has to others. He has cared for countless many as a physician. He delivered half the babies in our home town. Those babies now are caring for him in his sweet time of need. I am grateful to witness first hand what triumphant really means.

As this year of challenge and triumph concludes, it is 11 months and a few weeks later and we are gladly headed back to Vista for what is next.

As I reflect on the past year I review the challenges but I also reflect on the rich goodness. I am grateful for the opportunity to share several women’s retreats with women who are experiencing altered, more fulfilled lives because their hearts heard a message that they were ready to embrace so that they could begin to flourish on a new level. I am living a life that is filled with greater significance. I am surrounded by friends who lift me up, provide me with perspective (whether I like it or not) and who teach me greater things about life and relationships than I knew existed at the time before I choose surrender.

I can hardly believe that this is the fourth year that I am returning to Joy’s little slice of heaven for me. This year’s word is believe. There is so much for me to embrace about this word. This beautiful word of intention. One thing that I have learned over the years of visiting Joy Blessman is that a simple word brings a fullness to life if you choose to embrace fully all that the intention brings with it.

I am grateful for this little place in Southern California called Vista. I return every year in anticipation of my new perspective forward.

Right this very moment, for the first time I realize that this IS what Vista means; Vista: a comprehensive awareness of a series of remembered, present, or anticipated events, a mental view of an extensive period or series of past or future events.

I am grateful for my friend Joy. I am grateful for all that has transpired and I am grateful for the anticipation of what is next.

August of 2008 Surrender
August of 2009 Trust
August of 2010 Triumphant
August of 2011 Believe
April of 2012 Courage… my word arrive early this year. That is a story in itself.
August of 2013…

As you return to your Vista, what is your WORD OF INTENTION?

Back and Forth to Vista [part 2]

[Did you miss part 1? click here to return to part 1 of Back and Forth to Vista]

As my husband and left California and headed back to every day life I continued to linger in the word surrender.  There was so much going on in my life that was not all goodbut the message continued to play over and over in my head to just let go and to continue to be grateful that all that is.  I had a roof over my head.  I had a husband that loves me.  I had food to eat every day.  I had clothes on my back, clean water to drink and so much more.  I decided that I needed to dig deeper into this surrender thing.  What was I supposed to surrender?  How does one go about surrendering?  Why couldn’t I have chosen a different word?


I began praying, “please God help me to understand how to surrender.”  I started to spend some quiet time to think about all that was good and to even look at all that was hard as a way to appreciate goodness.  I even started to learn that sometimes the hard leads to more goodness.  It leads to a deeper understanding of all that life has to offer.  I was learning that no matter how hard I try to control every outcome of everything in my life, I’m not in charge of the outcomes.  That was a realization that I did no embrace right away.  I used to think that if I would just try harder, work longer, talk more to express my point of view, do more, be more perfect that the outcomes would just be better.


It was not until I began to let go of the outcome that life began to be more.  With the letting go came a greater level of peace than I’d ever experienced.  I thought that peace would come when I got it all right not when I became less concerned about getting it all right.


As the secret to surrender was really beginning to reveal itself to me it was time to head back to the West Coat for our annual trip.  We planned to return to the Vista Farmer’s Market for the Heirloom tomatoes, the breakfast Tamales and of course, more Joy.  So much had transpired this past year.  I could not wait to see what intention was next.  I walked into Joy’s booth with no expectation of what the next word might be for me.


There it was, shouting, nearly jumping off the shelf.  I did not even really see the other words all around it.  It was time to move into the next intention.  For a moment I thought, am I deciding too quickly?  But then I looked at the word on the soap, again.  I smirked at myself for even questioning because this year’s word was Trust.  I thanked Joy for the gift of intentions that she provides.  We chatted a little bit.  I purchased a couple of candles and started to move on.  Something stopped me.  Something made me turn around.  Something said yes, Trust, go back.


I entered Joy’s little slice of the world and shared with her that I had written and goal just 3 months ago that I plan to teach women’s retreats.  This was a new goal but I felt convicted about it.  I shared that I could see a room filled with women and Joy’s intentions soaps.  We shared a smile that connected the two of us.  My question for Joy was how do I choose which intentions to share with these women?  If I attended a retreat and there was a bowl of intention soaps for everyone to choose from, I said I might feel like “someone else just chose my intention and now I’m going to have to settle!”  That would move this beautiful gesture into one that could cause lose, pain, conflict and so on.  Joy looked at me and without missing a beat and said, “Robin, you fill the bowl with Surrender.  Everyone must start with surrender.  All other intentions follow that.”


Wow.  How powerful was this message.  Yes, surrender was so important.  It is the beginning of receiving and accepting.  A bowl full of surrender could not be a more beautiful message to share.  My only question at this time, “what about love?  Are you sure we should not fill the bowl with love?”  Again, she smiled and allowed the light within her to come out.  She said that love should fill the room as everyone is moving toward surrender.  Love should fill the room for you as you present.  We agreed that a love candle should burn throughout the retreat to “fill the room with love.”  I was elated.


Can you imagine?  I almost did not turn around to share my dream with Joy?  I thought why would my dreams matter to her?  But I remembered that I had “Trust” in my bag and that now would be a good time to begin living that intention.  I am so grateful that I listened to the positive voice within me and not the one of fear.


There were many opportunities to question trust through the next 11 months and a few weeks.  There were also many more opportunities to simply trust.  My journey of intention was leading me to live a deeper life of faith.  I was learning to trust God sometimes even more than myself.  I was learning that when I trusted God for the outcome that not only did I experience more peace but I was also experiencing more joy.  Joy that comes from the inside out.  Joy that brings light to darkness.  Joy that fills the room with love.

…READ part 3 of Back and Forth to Vista…