Hope

Faith. HOPE. Love.

Hope.  Why is hope always such a challenge for me?

Love, I can do (at least I try).  Whenever I struggle, I do my best to remember the love that was given to me on the cross.  It leaves me speechless.  Suddenly, accepting someone where they are and offering a hand of help seems like a small effort compared to His offering of love for me.

Faith.  I can do faith, because there is something that just won’t allow me to let go of my faith.  I can’t help but see him in everything, even when I am determined NOT to see Him!  My heart won’t let me live without faith.  I have tried.  That small, quiet voice always gets too loud for me to ignore.

Faith brought Gabriel to the virgin Mary.

Love kept Jesus on the cross.

But hope…

It was hope that brought Him out of the grave.  Hope that those near and those far off would fully know Him, so that we could be reunited.  Hope led the children of Israel out of Egypt.  Hope sent Ruth to Bethlehem with Naomi.  Hope held Mary while she held baby Jesus, and again when she looked up at her dying son.

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When I was struggling to get pregnant (I should say; struggling to STAY pregnant), hope seemed far away.  Waiting for good news, not having any control, only getting bad news, and still trying to be hopeful was hard.  Anyone who has struggled with miscarriage or infertility understands how difficult it is when someone minimizes what you are going through and how chaotic your life feels in the waiting.  The little hope you have managed to scrounge together can be squashed so very easily.  For what seemed like forever, this was the story of my life.  But hope…..

One very difficult day, Hebrews 10:23 lept from the page;

So, let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.

How could I ignore this?  How could I not have hope after reading these words?  This God, My Savior, saw ME.  He heard me, and these words written so long ago were FOR me.  Hope changes everything!

At times, hope still gets away from me.  I don’t know why.  I am pretty sure I will never know why this trips me up.  But I have faith in those words.  Love wrote those words.  Those words are forever.  They bring hope no matter how far I wander from it.  No matter the struggles.

I don’t know if your struggle is with a relationship and the hope for restoration is getting farther and farther away.  It may be that you feel lost and the world seems dark no matter how hard you try to see the light.  Maybe it seems like you have been praying about the same thing for years and years with no answer.  But hope….
He is faithful.  You are enough.  He sees YOU.  Grab the hope that seems fleeting and hold on to it, don’t let go.  Seize it.  He who promised is faithful.  He sees your faith, and your love and wants you to have hope too.

Hope will darken the chaos and light the road before you.

I am going to choose happy this week by CHOOSING HOPE.  Will you join me?

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October is My Happy Place

I’m sure if my hubby had to guess, he would say my favorite month was either May (Mother’s day, our wedding anniversary, and nurses week), or December (my birthday, his birthday, and Christmas).  It’s one of those questions we would get wrong if we were playing the Newlywed game!  But no matter what he says, my favorite month is October.  The world around us gets more beautiful with reds, oranges, and yellows.  We get to have soup, chai tea, and lots of pumpkin.  Jeans and sweatshirts, cute fall boots, and fall bonfires are commonplace.  And best of all: FOOTBALL!  Needless to say, this is my absolute favorite time of year!

So, it is with a grateful heart that I say,

Hello October!

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Another thing that I cannot help but remember during these crisp mornings and shorter days is being pregnant.  I was like wayyyyy pregnant with Jaden in October during 2000.  He was born November 3rd, so October was the last month that Clint and I were just, well…Clint and I.

We nested together while the leaves turned beautiful.  We turned our little starter house into a home ready to welcome a baby.  Looking back, we should have slept the entire month of October! But hindsight is 20/20, and how did we know then that we probably wouldn’t sleep another night all the way through?!!

I even remember the last day of October that year….I was leaving home to be induced.  I was also praying, with all my heart, that I would NOT have this baby on Halloween!  After all, he needed his own day; not a day filled with pumpkins and little goblins!  Little did I know, that by the end of the whole experience I would have done anything to have had that baby the minute I walked through those hospital doors; no matter what day of the stinkin’ year it was!  But, like I said, hindsight is 20/20.

Now, that little 5# 11oz baby boy is taller than me, weighs more than me, and fills my heart with more joy, frustration, love, and pride than I could ever imagine.  We left home that day a couple and returned days later a family; a family that just kept on growing!

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Still, this month, in my humble opinion, is the best!  It’s my favorite for all the things that it is, and for all the things that it held for us during that time before Jaden was born.  I hope that we will be able to hold those days in our hearts and remember what it was like to be two.  Because soon, there will again be Octobers where it is just the two of us, and we won’t need to talk about homework, or homecoming, or parent/teacher conferences.

What?!  Wait….really?!  There are days that I cannot even imagine this scenario!

Do you remember the days when it was just the two of you?  Is it hard to find those memories buried beneath the falling leaves of a growing family?  I want to challenge us to find that time again.  I want to encourage us to make each other a priority even when it would be so much easier to make the kids, and the schedules more important.  It’s not going to be easy!  There are going to be a thousand excuses; most of them valid.  However, we all get the same amount of time each day, let’s make an effort to remember how we became us.  Let’s take a little bit of that 24hrs we all get to look back at who we were and who we are becoming together.

As hard as it can be during these days when the kids are all consuming and the schedules are overwhelming, it’s important to remember why we chose each other.  It’s important to remember going to movies at midnight just because we could.  How fun it was to jump in the car and end up in Chicago because the weekend was wide open.  I know that taking long walks with no where to be, sharing long kisses while watching TV, and sleeping in on Saturday morning may be a thing of the past, but the reasons why we chose each other shouldn’t be.  I have a responsibility to make my relationship with my husband a priority, and not let it get lost in the chaos of these new Octobers.

I love this guy who I chose with my whole heart!  But, you know what?  I love the guy who he has become even more than I could have dreamed on the day that he chose me too!  Today, I will choose happy because I have the best partner during these beautiful and chaotic October days!  It can be as little as leaving me a note on my coffee cup and making me laugh during homework, or as big as holding me when life is overwhelming, but he still shows me he loves me.

 

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I have to admit, I am kinda looking forward to the Octobers of the future, especially with him by my side!