My heart was hopeful all weekend for a phone call from someone I had reached out to after a communication breakdown. My hope diminished as the silence grew; they never did return the call. As sad as I am about any damage done, I will still love hopeful for this friend. I don’t discard the shattered hope. I pick it up and glue it back together.
I was hopeful once to have a daughter one day, but the Lord had designs for 4 sons in my life. As hope sunk on that dream, I loved hopeful and watched God’s perfect plan unfold. I now have 4 priceless sons, plus a few treasured college girls that have stepped into my life and become like daughters to my husband and me.
Every day I find myself hoping for one thing or another. They don’t all work out, but the human heart still continues to love hopeful. And when the hope becomes a reality–oh!–what rejoicing!
When my hope is weakening, I just love this verse about receiving a fresh batch of it each day with the Lord’s mercy:
“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin again fresh each morning. I say to myself, ” The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:21-24
The audacity of Hope.
Hope is resilient; gently bold and daring. A game changer through life.
Love knows no limit to its endurance, no failing of its hope.
This morning I went for a walk in the neighborhood. It was blustery and cold. Since it was also trash day, some lovely aromas greeted me and some extra barriers were in my path, including a couple large boxes hinting strongly about who got a big screen TV just in time for Superbowl weekend.
My spirit was downcast as I was missing my girlfriends who have been my winter walking buddies for years. Four pairs of running shoes sound more confident than mine alone. I trudged uphill against the wind, listening to their vox messages and holding them close from afar.
My heart was heavy as I prayed about a 3-week-old struggling in NICU, a friend wrestling with relationship hurts, another friend with a parent in the hospital, and one of my parents making a big life transition. I pressed on and rounded the corner.
Piled high on top of a trashcan was a bag of leaves with a note attached: “Just to say: Thank you!”
It warmed my heart and lightened my spirit to see someone reaching out to a hard-working stranger. Not a typical “love note,” but one with heartfelt sentiment just the same.
As I continued my walk, I thought about how this kind gesture may brighten the day of the intended worker, yet also each person passing by on the way to work or school today.
Sometimes we don’t know what to say or do to help someone who is hurting or struggling. If we are able to reach out just a little — even a small gesture with a simple message, Love Wins. Every time.
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
Love one another.
Love won another…
February is the Month of Love. And with Valentine’s Day right in the middle, romantic notions abound. Love is ” in the air” and commercialism has capitalized on this holiday so strongly that it’s hard for V-Day to live up to the high expectations we’ve placed on it. Many are doomed to fail before they even try! Society does enough to deflate the self-esteem and worth…
Let me share a different slant on this Monumental Month of the Heart: God is Love.
What if we miss it each year completely? I’m a bit older than 29, (ha), and this is just now a new thought to me!! So I took the word LOVE, and wrote it out on several sticky notes. Each day I write an adjective/verb underneath the word Love, and then let the Lord begin to reveal His heart on these words in relation to His Love. I think you should try it with us. Let’s turn February into a way to purpose LOVE in to all and everyone each day. I want to make every day of this month a tribute to God’s Love; I want to see new ways to show Love; I want to hear, taste, see, and be Love, the way we were created to be.
Next week, we will share a few of our LOVE NOTES that we have been collecting. Our hope is that you will discover many more because our God is Love.
Imitate God, therefore in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with Love, following Christ’s example. Ephesians 5:1-2
When we think of joy, we often think of a child’s beaming face on Christmas morning. All of the anticipation that has been building is finally at its peak. That little body is all atwitter ready to leap into the magic of Christmas. Each of us probably has some keen memories of Christmas mornings past, some that were fulfilling of all the hype and perhaps a few that were found lacking.
How long does that intense feeling of full joy last? Are we able to summon that same level of anticipation to see what our heavenly Father has in store for us each day…
or does our joy feel like it’s in bits and pieces?
As adults we seem to catch glimmers of joy yet somehow that robustness of childhood joy eludes us. There are many references in the Bible about having a child-like faith. Perhaps the concept of unbridled JOY is a natural unfolding of that child-like faith: grab it with intensity and don’t let go!
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for JOY and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14
Maybe we need to follow our children on this one…
–to discover the joy unfolding all around us, in the big and small details of everyday life
–to embrace the messy
–to surrender our agenda
–to adopt a child-like curiosity and anticipation of good things to come…
Seeking joy throughout the year…
in the ordinary days,
not just dusted off at Christmas timewhere can you find YOUR joy today?
One of the many joys we have both learned as Boy Moms, is to embrace the sheer pleasure of destruction in our sons’ worlds. I truly believe that a few of our kids only humor us with our Christmas tradition of Gingerbread-making because they know the day will come at the end of the Holiday Break when we will bring them all together again for: Demolition Day!
Yes, we are “those moms” that give our sons Nerf guns and hammers and on the count of 3… let them wreak havoc on our cookie creation. The whole thing is usually reduced to rubble in seconds while the two of us try to capture the fleeting moment for a scrapbook, dodging bits of gingerbread and candy flying past us!
This is how we look at it: children are constantly told to “be still, be quiet, don’t touch this or that, stop running…” It must be so difficult to contain all that frenetic energy bundled up in these growing bodies, AND obey all the adults that want them to stop acting rambunctious! Of course we can’t have children completely run amok (!!) but there should be some balance in their behavior training.
There are times we can create appropriate moments to run, yell, jump, wrestle, and touch everything in sight. So that’s what this day is about for our Gingerbread Warriors. They anticipate this day greatly, and we all dive in to the fun of it. So when we say “be still,” they can, because they trust us to tell them when it is time to “run with abandon!”
Enjoy the “play”; these moments are treasures tucked into your children’s hearts. They will become more important to you than all those moments they were quiet.
“Open my heart, Lord, to the gifts of this day!”
My husband and I once scurried to an out-of-state hospital to be with friends in need. Their baby girl was in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit due to some birth complications. Phone calls and fervent prayers just didn’t seem like enough in that particular situation. We felt like we needed to have boots-on-the-ground, to be physically present to give them support. Right before their infant daughter went into surgery, we gathered in a loose circle and offered up our prayers. We prayed for the surgeons to be guided well, for the baby to be stable throughout the procedure, and for our dear friends to be surrounded in peace…that a wave of peace cover them during this tender time.
The surgery went exceedingly well. Their precious daughter was discharged shortly thereafter and our friends were able to return home with her snugly in their arms.
Several months later when our families got together, we rehashed those heart-wrenching moments and were able to laugh about our prayer being misheard as “swirled peas.” Our friend added that his “wave of peace“ felt a lot like nausea.
Now, whenever we have a prayer request, we do take it seriously and commit it to the Lord. But we also can look at each other and pray for “swirled peas.” Sometimes a hint of humor can make the serious situations just a little more manageable. If it gives us a bit more strength to endure a difficult time, then that is healing, too.
“The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29:11