Tag Archives: hope

Advent

Growing up, I couldn’t talk without my hands. 

tis the season

tis the season

I had to animate to express my words. Ask my childhood friends; they’ll tell you. If I wasn’t allowed to use my hands in a conversation, the conversation ended. Can anyone else relate to this?

For almost two years, I’ve been learning to talk with my blog. 

The phrase “don’t blog about it” is the kiss of death. It feels very much like a challenge. Don’t blog about it? Oh, yeah? We’ll just see about that!

This past year I wrote about a lot of different things, including some subjects nice, Christian, mommy bloggers normally avoid: abortion, terrorism, politics, Chick-fil-A.

I fear I’m not finished yet. The stream hasn’t run dry. 

My mind is crowded with stories waiting to be told. They stand in line like patrons at the post office in December, restless and impatient. There are inspiring stories about attorneys who become novelists, dancers who become designers, soldiers who become entrepreneurs. Stories of devotion and loss and the able hand of Providence for people who are often overlooked.

self-portrait

self-portrait

There are more words to remember. More verses to consider. More characters to meet. More humor, I hope. More surprises, I’m sure. More Grace (much more Grace) and more Love (much more Love) to cover a multitude of sins. More meals to cook; I didn’t forget our recipe series. Autumn just unsettled me a bit and bumped me off track.

But now we’re entering winter.

Perhaps it’s good to be unsettled. It spurs me on to pursue Peace. To find a way to get the words out.

Maybe there will be snow this winter covering the ground like a clean, white sheet of paper. I imagine the endless folds of the Flint Hills flush with snow against the backdrop of a smooth, clouded sky. White, white, white. Punctuated by wind, wind, wind.

What words will be written on your winter? What stories will be told in the new year? Huddle together by the fireplace and drink a cup of kindness with me.

We’ve so much left to discuss. 

“But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings…” Malachi 4:2 NLT

Winter Song by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson.

Joyeux Noel

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.
Thank you for being part of this community.
Please join us for Reader’s Choice 2012 and a look back at some favorite posts from this past year. 

6 Comments

Filed under blogging, faith, life, writing & reading

Dare to Hope

I love Christmas. Really, I do.

pink poinsettias

it’s beginning to look a lot like…

I love that our culture still reserves a time to celebrate Jesus’ birth. But the churning of the holiday season is a mixed bag for me, and I’m not the only one.

After I published the bah-humbug-ish post Saving Duck this past Tuesday, my best friend, my closest cousin, and my brother all contacted me within a three-hour period. These people are more dear than I deserve, so their concern could be a coincidence. Just in case, I thought I better clarify.

First, I’m okay. You’re okay. God willing, we’ll all make it through.

Second, this is not a retraction of my thoughts from my last post. The unrealistic expectations of a perfect Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s are destructive. They steal our joie de vivre and drain our bank accounts. We question our faith and our sanity.

Now I know there are a few of you who would prefer I only write about shiny, happy things. I appreciate that, and I wish I could meet your demands.

But I can’t.

It’s not my intention to be a negative Nelly. I do write about fun stuff as well from misread song lyrics to missing underwire, from discontinued lipstick to dismissed hair accessories. But to me, it wouldn’t be honest or helpful to present as if everything is sunshine and roses (or pink poinsettias) when it’s not.

Yesterday I hung out with some Christian girlfriends. One caught my attention when she said, “I don’t really like this season. I mean I like Christmas, I just don’t care for all that goes with it.”

Her courage struck a chord. One by one, every woman recounted personal stories of how painful the holidays can be. My December dread didn’t seem so abnormal after all.

The wisest of all the women shared a story from when her kids were younger. She and her husband piled their little ones in the car and drove across three states to visit a relative for Thanksgiving. The trip wasn’t a surprise visit; the relative knew they were coming. Imagine their shock to arrive just in time to stand in the driveway and wave good-bye.  Grandma had made other plans to go out with friends for Thanksgiving dinner instead.

chocolate turkeys

don’t be a turkey

“We laugh about it now,” said my friend. “We joke and say, ‘Remember when Grandma left us on Thanksgiving?’ But at the time, it wasn’t funny.”

This is in part why we need other people in our lives. It’s why we need to tell each other the truth. It’s why some of us write and read and comment. How good to know we’re not alone. Others have walked this road or on it with us now. Many have survived. Maybe we will, too.

Walk on, pilgrims. Walk on.

Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease. Lamentations 3:21-22 NLT

He Walked a Mile by Clay Crosse. An oldie but a goodie.

Do you still dare to hope? Tell me more.

5 Comments

Filed under blogging, family & friends, life, women's studies

The 4-1-1 for the 10-4-12

Here’s the 4-1-1 for today:

when life gives you lemons

when life gives you lemons

  • Lisen and I posted our responses to last night’s presidential debate. Click Finding (Un)Common Ground to read both posts and participate in civil dialogue.
  • Yesterday the BlogHer Conferences Newsletter linked to An Uncommon Meeting. Now I love speed dating!
  • Tomorrow we’ll have a special guest post from a long, lost sorority sister-writer-SAHM who lives with Steven Tyler.
  • As if that’s not enough, there are more surprises in the works. Ones even I couldn’t make up.

Stay sane. Stay sweet. Stay tuned…

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3 NIV

Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe. Beautiful. Even when it hurts, even when it’s hard, even when it all just falls apart, I will run to You ’cause I know that you are Lover of my soul, Healer of my scars.

So how’s your week going?

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under blogging, faith, life

Lincoln’s Dream

With the Republican National Convention underway, a quote from a famous Republican is apropos for Wednesday Words to Remember.

Abraham Lincoln quote: last best hope

I wonder if Abraham Lincoln was speaking of the freedoms and privileges we enjoy in America that many in the world still do not.

Liberty to vote for our leaders. To transfer power without war. To worship as we choose. To bear arms. To own property, pursue education, and start businesses.

When Lincoln was alive, liberty had not been fully realized by all Americans. Was he thinking of the great trial of his presidency, the Civil War?

Did he believe that preserving the Union meant the freedom of all Americans would be one day be realized and spread to other countries? It would appear that was the hope of his dream.

There’s another possibility.

A Hope that transcends personal and political freedom. I wonder if this Hope was also what Lincoln dreamed for America and for the world.

Why did Abraham Lincoln say this? Can America be the “last best hope of the earth” again?

wednesday words to remember

Comments Off on Lincoln’s Dream

Filed under America, words to remember

Hope Blooms

What’s this growing in my backyard?

sunflower bud

Sea creature. Filigree.

sunflower filigree

Spiky crown.

sunflower crown

Unfolding.

sunflower burst

Yesterday it bloomed. Look closely.

sunflower bloom close up

Now tell me there is no Creator. Are you sure? Look again.

sunflower white spider close up

Now tell me there is no God.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to Him. Psalm 24:1 NLT

Thank you, thank you, that after the long night, You are Sunrise

Where do you see God working in the smallest details of your life?

10 Comments

Filed under faith

Along the Way

The day before the Tony’s, I watched an interview with actress Judith Light. Remember Judith from Who’s the Boss?

Judith Light

Judith Light, image from wikipedia

She shared how she started her career with preconceived notions about the types of roles she would and would not accept. When her expectations were unmet and she wasn’t offered the roles she desired, she began to look at what was being offered to her. What doors were open.

A soap opera. A sitcom. Eventually Broadway.

She stopped fighting the current and sailed on it instead.

A day after the interview, Judith was awarded a 2012 Tony for her performance as Silda in Other Desert Cities.

You and I may never win a Tony, an Oscar, a Pulitzer, or a Fortune 500 ranking. But we all sail this current. We all run this race.

There is much to be gained along the way.

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. Acts 20:24 NLT

Only Love by Wynonna Judd. Out of all the flags I’ve flown, one flies high and stands alone.

What’s being offered to you? What doors are open?

4 Comments

Filed under life

Cassatt, Norton, Bacon

We’re missing three books.

are you in there?

Must have been lost in the move. Incorrectly packed with garden tools, baby toys, Christmas decorations. Shoved into obscurity in the basement or garage. Jumbled mess of relocation.

The coffee table book we bought in Chicago in 1999 was the one that tipped me off. Oversized tome documenting Mary Cassatt’s work. We’d seen her paintings at The Art Institute’s special exhibit that year.

We carried Cassatt home. Held her on the city bus and the elevator up 35 stories to our apartment of blinding white walls. Lugged her to St. Louis. Cordoned her off from the ordinary books. Separated from the pack. And now she is missing.

I hope Norton is with her. The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry is fat and stout. Ten-pound bag of sugar. Required reading for a circle of writers, hopeful and green. Emblazoned with red and orange that year, I can still see it.

Long before I had a dog of my own, Norton tagged along, shadowing me. Begging to be played with and petted and fed. I’d scratch his ears, brush his coat, and watch dreams fall out in the shedding. He slept in a basket beside my bed, cushioned with transient catalogs and nonfiction. I hope Norton’s with Cassatt.

And I hope they’ve found Seduced by Bacon. The youngest of the three, this gift from a business colleague. We displayed Bacon in our kitchen. The kitchen we’d demolished. Filled with rubble, chaos, and 90-year-old dust. Rebuilt with fresh dry wall and slate, marble and ceramic subway tiles, wood and stainless steel, and blue paint named Amelia that wasn’t quite green or gray.

Bacon came to us as we hawked the kitchen and its house. No room for another book on such carefully staged, ready-to-show shelves. So Bacon stayed in the kitchen where it belonged. Guests chuckled at its name. A cookbook attesting the truth. “Seduced by Bacon,” they’d say. “Now that’s my problem.”

These three are lost. My heart sinks and drowns, buoyed by weak hope. They’ll turn up. We’ll find them again. Normalcy will come on a day unexpected. On a Monday or Thursday, a day of no consequence, I’ll open a box labeled dish towels and there they will be. Smiling, recovered, taking full breaths of air. They’ll ask me what happened. Where are we now? What took me so long to find them?

And I will answer I don’t know. Today I don’t know.

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:4 NIV

Norton found

The Lost Get Found, Britt Nicole.

Epilogue

Between the time of writing and publishing this post, I found The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry in a box in the basement. Norton now resides behind the glass doors of a bookshelf in my office where I can keep an eye on him as I work. Cassatt and Bacon are still missing.

Have you ever lost a beloved book or other item? Did you find it again? What was that like, the losing or the finding?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

6 Comments

Filed under life, writing & reading