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  • Hope Gibbs

Embracing the Power of YES: A New Chapter in Motherhood and Writing

As a seasoned mother of five, spanning over twenty-six years, the word "NO" has practically been etched into my vocabulary. We mothers are the gatekeepers, the rule enforcers, and the ones who ensure bedtime routines are adhered to and schedules are kept in check. Yet, as I find myself transitioning into the realm of an empty nester and a blossoming novelist well into my fifties, I've embarked on a thrilling journey of saying "YES" to every opportunity that knocks at my door. This shift has not only transformed my mindset but also revitalized my perspective on life itself.

For decades, my life was governed by structure and duty, leaving little room for spontaneity or indulgence.

"Chocolate cake for dinner?" NO! You need your vegetables to thrive and flourish.

"Can we sleep on the roof?" NO! You'll plummet to your demise! (Yes, it's a true story with my four adventurous boys.)

"A vacation in Costa Rica?" NO! The land of venomous snakes is no place for us! (Another true story: I regrettably passed on that adventure.)

Admittedly, I might not have been the epitome of a fun mom with my brood. However, with the release of my debut novel, Where the Grass Grows Blue, I've resolved to loosen the reins and embrace the uncharted waters of life. It's time for this old dog to learn some new tricks.

The transition from "NO" to "YES" has been nothing short of liberating and exhilarating. Last fall, on less than twelve hours notice, I found myself agreeing to appear on a morning show, setting off a whirlwind. A journey to a book fair in Louisville, followed by numerous television appearances in Nashville, speaking engagements, and features in various magazines and newspapers. And each time I was asked to share my passion for storytelling, whether at a retirement community or a book club gathering, all because I said “YES!”

One of the most cherished “YES” moments occurred right in my hometown of Scottsville, Kentucky. I was honored to speak at the Allen County Historical Museum and Genealogical Society, reconnecting with familiar faces who had shaped me into the person I am today: educators, church leaders, and pillars of our community. It was a poignant reminder of the journey that led me to this unexpected role as an author, a title that still feels surreal. All because I said that simple word….”YES!”

Hope Gibbs discusses Where the Grass Grows Blue in Allen County Historical Museum and Genealogical Society

As I navigate this exhilarating new chapter of my life, embracing "YES" isn't merely about seizing opportunities; it's about wholeheartedly embracing the unknown. I’m starting to love venturing beyond the confines of my comfort zone.

To all the mothers out there who've spent, or are spending, those years entrenched in the world of "NO," whether it's enforcing bedtime routines or resisting indulgent whims, I implore you to embrace the power of "YES." Though it may feel unfamiliar initially, trust me, it’s an adventure worth every step.

What have I learned this year? It's never too late to embark on new adventures. In the immortal words of Nike, "Just Do It." Even if it’s just a baby step, it can change your life forever. You’ll never know unless you try.

As always, here's a recipe from my book, Where the Grass Grows Blue. This one's from Chapter 12: "Amazing Gracie"—the Willow Creek Baptist Church potluck scene. IYKYK. Enjoy!

Hope Gibbs Potato Salad from Where the Grass Grows Blue

Leeta Ray’s Potato Salad

• 8 large potatoes, cut into chunks

• 1 medium white onion, diced

• 1 green pepper, diced

• 4 hard-boiled eggs, diced

• 1 cup Miracle Whip

• 1 tablespoon milk

• 1 teaspoon sugar

• 3 tablespoons of yellow mustard

• Salt and Pepper to taste

• Paprika for dusting


1 Boil potatoes until tender, then set aside to cool.

2 Mix the other ingredients in a bowl.

3 Gently stir in the potatoes, sprinkle with paprika, and chill.

Three Things I’m Obsessed With in March:

Curb Your Enthusiasm: I was introduced to this gem during my recovery from knee surgery, and I've been hooked ever since. Farewell to the last season.

Mama D’s: A new culinary oasis is just a mile from my doorstep! Southern delights, live tunes, karaoke, and trivia – what more could a gal ask for?

My daughter’s Goodreads account: Bursting with pride as she falls in love with books and dives into the literary world. Momma couldn't be happier.

Until next time….


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