Finding Hope – {A Family Fire Post}

hope

Finding hope in a hopeless world–it is one of the greatest promises we have received in Christ. And yet, many of us struggle to keep hope as our foundation. According to Hebrews 6:19-20 (TLB)” this certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven, where Christ has gone ahead to plead for us from his position as our High Priest…”

How can our families experience and express hope as the anchor of our souls? Why use the picture of an anchor? An anchor connects a vessel to the seabed to prevent drifting due to wind or current.

Are you looking for more hope? Visit the Family Fire website to read more.

Let us Arise and Rebuild!

Continuing my journey with Nehemiah…This is inspired from the second chapter. Won’t you join my meditations on Nehemiah? If you’d like to start from the beginning, you can go here.

My world wonders why I mourn,
but my nation continues to suffer the consequence
of corporate sin.
We are blind and can not see
That when some suffer, we all suffer.

“What can one girl do?”
they ask.
“You are taking on too much care
over the misery of others.”
But still, I am troubled.

Another asks what bothers me,
and I tell them how my home is in shambles.
A few want to help, some with money
Others want to be my companions
On a long road to recovery.

When the road brings us to our destination
we find
that things are worse than reported…

Because those who have stepped over this mess
for a hundred years
do not see it any longer.
They have resigned themselves that this is life.
Hope has long ago grown wings and taken flight.

But when His Spirit arises, I find myself declaring,
“Let us arise and rebuild!
Arise out of the ashes, the crumbling ruins,
Let us remember who we are,
and Whose we are.
Together we can do this!”

But then, a miracle unfolds!
for those who have lived the zombified lives
of the walking dead
become alive again;
Alive to hope and ready to work.

Eulogy to the Death of A Role Part Deux

Almost a year ago, I wrote about the death of the role of mother. Of course I will always be a mother to my three children, but not in the same, every day, home school, stay-at-home mom way that I’ve been for the past nineteen years. You see, I’m enrolling my youngest into college…and in the flurry of excitement, visiting schools, filling out FASFA’s, scholarship applications and auditions, I hardly have time to feel anything…at least until the house is empty and all I can hear is the dog snoring and the refrigerator running. Because now, I am alone with my thoughts, much like the day I realized that I was the mother of an eighteen year old, I grieve. But this is far worse, all that there is left to who I was before motherhood and home schooling is a shadow.

I have heard mothers scoff at the place I find myself in. I have heard them criticize ladies before me who have wrestled with this identity crisis. They have whispered behind the back of this pained one, “That’s why I don’t believe in home education. If her focus was more on her husband, she wouldn’t be so lost right now. Home schooling is far too child centered, and not nearly enough helpmate centered.” I hope that our choice to educate our children and everything else that we have done was Christ centered and not people centered at all.

My husband recently lost his job; a job that he loved dearly. He anguished over it, and grieved over the fact that he was no longer associated with this company that he so loved and admired…and he only worked there for 2 years! I have been on this journey for almost ten times longer than he has, and yet no one blames him or thinks that he’s silly for feeling disappointed, and maybe even a little depressed. After much thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s normal to be saddened at the end of a journey. It’s kind of like the let down you feel when you come home from vacation, or after all of the Christmas presents have been opened; the “what now?” feeling.

I suddenly have all of this time on my hands, and I don’t want to fill it with just anything. I don’t want to give over my future to the first thing that comes along. So I guess in addition to grief, I feel a little anxiety, like a girl just out of high school who is deciding whether to get married or go to college. I mean this is the rest of my life, I must choose wisely! And though the feeling may be similar to the high schooler, I don’t have as much time to fix it if I make a mistake.

In the midst of all of this confusion, I do feel a glimmer of hope and excitement. I know that when I acknowledge Him…He will direct my paths. And His paths always drip with abundance. My prayer is that I don’t bend under the pressure of uncertainty, but rather that I bow humbly offering my life to His Majesty knowing that He has plans for me, and that they are good. So now I’ll encourage myself like David did. Stay still, and know that He is God. Don’t bend, but bow, these must be the words I choose to live by. For I am out of control, and let me tell you I’m not loving it. However, deep inside my heart I know that this is the only place to be; the place where his hand turns my heart like a compass to new lands and adventures planned out, just for me.

On Willy Wonka, My One Word 365 Project And Returning to 1000 Gifts

It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation….I Peter 1:3

Is this the way I have chosen to live?

Am I peeking around the corner with great expectation?

or am I waiting, crouched, arms over head, for the next blow?

I want to unfold the paper of life like Charlie unwrapped the silver from his Wonka Bar…

slowly…

carefully…

fully expecting to see that bit of gold.

I want to believe against hope like Abraham and Sarah,

and when hope seems bankrupt, I want to use my resources for others

like Charlie.

To buy someone else a candy bar.

And then when hope is replaced with a gift of giving

anticipation arises for what God can do.

and will do.

and has done.

And what I’ve got is much better than a golden ticket.

Because… I temporarily gave up on my list.

and the picture of beautiful expectation I had experienced dribbled cloudy like a watercolor painting being rained upon.

So I begin again,

a little more humble,

a lot more wise.

Expectation comes in that

His beauty and love chase after me

every day of my life.

Now to pen these moments

with expectation in community with dearest Ann:


91. For the always thought provoking writing of Madeleine L’Engle. “How marvelous is the ritual of the Holy Mysteries, the Eucharist, where we joyfully eat love.”

92. Flourescent ribbons unfurled across the sky.

93. Giant crunch hamburgers.

94. Laughing birds.

95. Chocolate pudding treat, unexpected in my bag.

96. A novel in my heart…

97. A daughter who says that everything is more fun with her brother around.

98. Neighborhood mysteries.

99. Big answers to small prayers.

100. New job opportunities.

101. Sand between my toes…in January…in the Chicago area!

102. A magical day of mystical findings for my book! Pioneer Chapel.

103. A packet of goodies from a stranger!

104. Hearing sandhill cranes a mile high in the sky.

105. Glitter in an old woman’s hair.

106. Buying a brand new $200 sportscoat at Penney’s for my husband for only $10!

107. Writer’s Calendar and day planner at the Dollar Store.

108. Daughter gets the coveted part of Elizabeth Bennett at Youth Theater!

109. Guest posting at my dear friend Renee’s!

Sharing with Michelle:

…sharing a playdate with Laura:

….finding heaven with Jen:

…hanging out with L.L.: On In Around button