You will love her new book – AND make sure you have a listen to her moving new song at the end of the article.
Hey remember that time when everything sucked and you thought your whole world was going to end and then it didn’t? Or when you thought the worst possible thing would happen and it did but you kept right on living and kicking ass? I just wanted to remind you of that – Helena Mc Neill
CUP OF COURAGE by Helena McNeill.
I am a creative soul, a singer and musician, who has always expressed my story through music and writing. I’m also a wife, mother, friend and Danish pastry addict. My life may be similar to yours – a crazy mixture of love, laundry, joy, hard stuff, mess, stress and Netflix therapy. Oh, and there is a dog, just to add to the chaos. I also have a child with a severe disability. This part of my story often plunges my heart into unexpected adventures. Somewhere in that busy life, I try to steal a moment to myself. This usually comprises of me huddled over a sacred cup of coffee. There’s something so comforting and familiar about it. I pause and exhale, and somehow mysteriously feel better equipped to get on with my day. It’s like I received a dose of courage to keep going.
I think our souls need that too sometimes – a shot of inspiration, just enough to keep us going. Maybe it’s a word, a thought, a story or song that resonates with us, giving us exactly what we need at that moment. It may be small, but there’s power in the right word at the right time. It speaks to us and we are encouraged. It lifts us, infusing hope. Sometimes that’s all we need – for our soul to be lifted up, enough to get through the day.
The book CUP OF COURAGE is a collection of one-minute thoughts and reflections from my everyday life. The words are simple, honest and raw. It’s written by someone on the same journey as you, wading through the same stuff we all live with. It’s a book that can be slowly sipped or quickly gulped down, whatever you prefer. It’s my hope that as you read, courage rises in your own soul, drawing out a stronger and braver you. Maybe you’ll feel the joy trickle in through the cracks as you realise you are not alone and discover there is still so much hope in your story. There is a beauty to be found in the middle of our messy, challenging lives. We just need the courage to see it.
This book is the perfect gift for a friend going through a challenging season, or someone you know who just needs some encouragement in their life.
How did the book come about?
After sharing my own story in my first book TRAVELLING TIPS FOR THE JOURNEY OF LIFE, I created an online community on FaceBook@helenamcneillartist that gave permission to authentically express our faith, love and struggles in the glorious mess of our lives. My goal was to help others see beauty, even in the difficult days, to explore gratitude and what it means to live with brave love. CUP OF COURAGE started online as a weekly FaceBook Post. I wanted to pour a drop of encouragement into someone’s cup each week. Turns out a drop can go a long way, so I poured all those drops into one cup and created a book! While brainstorming ideas for the book’s design, I happened to glance at all the artwork of my thirteen-year-old girls scattered around our house. I realised my artists were right under my nose! Jaz started sketching cups and they were the exact quirky delight I envisioned. Lucky for me, she works for chocolate. I needed colour to enhance the words on the pages so Sunny created some original paintings at home with me. Voila! My husband Jay guided my jumbled words into an easier read and fired up our studio to record and produce my new songs. I know, he’s wonderful. Did I mention he cooks too? This book became a family affair, and rightly so, because they inspire the courage in me every day.
CUP OF COURAGE SONG
I wanted to write a song that could encourage people as they face their tough stuff. Life can be damn hard sometimes, and I wanted the song to be honest and truthful in acknowledging that fact because it’s important to not pretend everything is ok when it’s not. We’ve gotta deal with our stuff. My own story requires me to find courage daily and I have heartbroken moments of feeling the raw grief and frustration too. It hurts. But life is bittersweet, and the beautiful stuff is slam bam right next to the sorrow. I am learning every day that I can choose to fill my cup with hope and joy in the midst of whatever I am facing. The song CUP OF COURAGE gives us words to sing out over our lives every day – words of courage, hope and strength. You can sing it with tears in your eyes (I have) or just let it wash over you and fill your cup as you listen. The song reminds us of the one unchanging powerful truth that I hold on to with all my might these days. This truth is the rich, strong brew I fill my cup with every morning – the truth that we are never alone, that God is with us, helping us find our way through the mess. And this truth is enough for me. It lifts my soul. It whispers comfort and strength to me at night, and courage as I face a new day each morning. And hey, of course, I fill my cup with a good brew of coffee too, let’s not underestimate the uplifting role of a hit of caffeine.
Helena McNeill is a singer-songwriter-speaker-author. She has worked in numerous churches as a singer, worship leader and creative arts director. She performs at churches, events and house concerts. Helena and her husband Jay reside in Melbourne, Australia, with their twin daughters Sunshine and Jaz.
To contact Helena or purchase her books and music, go to www.helenamcneill.com
You can also find her on Facebook: @helenamcneillartist