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Archive for the ‘hope’ Category

promise-of-something-new

A new year.

I love standing on this side of the doorway – looking back briefly to see gifts and graces that fell from the hand who gives all.

Then looking forward to all things new, wondering what awaits, knowing it won’t all be good things, but that it will all be God things that will ultimately be for my good.

Like a fresh blanket of snow just waiting for me to walk in leaving footprints, some days will be easier to embrace the adventure and blaze my own trail, and other days hesitation will hold me back without a sure path to follow.

Uncertainty can be a bit like a wilderness – not knowing, not seeing any further than this present moment, confused by all the possible paths.

But maybe this present moment is all I need to focus on when the unknown overwhelms. This moment, this present moment is where I am, where God is present. And it is gift to be here.

And what about those days when it seems we are wandering in brush and brambles or drifting in uncharted waters? Unsure of what to do, we do nothing but attempt the motions of normalcy – whatever that looks like. It’s on days like these that we are challenged to trust what is hidden, what eyes cannot see.

What if we look at the wilderness like this:

‘When nothing is sure, then everything is possible’ – Margaret Drabble

and then this promise:

‘For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness.’ Isaiah 43:19

Isaiah speaks sweet promises. A pathway through the wilderness. No need to hesitate or be fearful, just trust the way maker who goes before us.

And then the promise of something new. He’s already begun it. The seed has already been planted. God’s plan is already in motion. With open eyes, boldly trust and blaze your trail into the possibilities.

Happy New Year.

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Unwelcome Gifts

snow psalm

Another snowfall.

This one not welcome.

Pretty, but not wanted.

It’s March.

Yesterday the air was warm.

Spring will come early this year, and I am anxious for it.

Instead, this white falling from above.

I know there is a reason for it,

this delay of season’s change,

and I know Spring will come in God’s timing, not mine.

So I sigh, murmur thanks, and get out the shovel.

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There’s been a lot of unwanted snowfalls lately,

unwelcome gifts –

a dear friend loses her battle with cancer;

another struggles with depression – wandering in what seems like life’s desert -trying desperately to find direction;

another gives up everything he knows to figure out what went wrong though he followed God’s call.

 Snow may fall quiet but at times it’s a blizzard.

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We all have tasted disappointment,

 felt the sadness of heart break

when life doesn’t go the way we wish it would.

We look at what has been placed in our hand and say

‘What is this?’

Like the Israelites in the desert, we look at this manna –

white falling from above

and ask

‘What is this?’

“What is this that God wants me to walk through?

I don’t understand.

This is grace?

This is what God thinks is best for me?”

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And though we don’t understand,

He asks us to trust Him.

He asks us to gather up this manna every morning,

this big, heavy thing that doesn’t make sense,

and receive it as a gift –

as grace.

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 And instead of asking ‘why’,

He asks us to simply say

‘thank you’.

Wait, what?

Be thankful for this?

Be thankful that my friend is no longer here?

Be thankful that I’m stuck in a place where I don’t want to be?

Be thankful that life is not turning out how I thought it would?

Turn my pleas into praise?

*

It isn’t easy,

it’s a trust thing –

and we can trust our heavenly Father with everything.

He knows the manna-gift is not welcome –

He hears the heart’s cry,

But He knows what’s best for us and this manna is meant to nourish.

*

So hang in there, the snow won’t last forever –

it’s already beginning to melt.

There is hope.

There is comfort –

God is in control.

As you hold this manna in your hand,

He holds you in His.

*

– blessings,

Tracy

 

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Hope that Overflows

Some words we overuse so much that they lose their real meaning, like the words love and hope. How often do you use the word ‘hope’ in daily conversation?

Today’s post is by guest writer, retired pastor, Rob Hankwitz (my awesome brother-in-law).

Thanks for reading!

Advent dec 11

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“I hope we win the game.” 

“I hope it doesn’t rain.” 

“I hope I get an A.” 

Hope is dodgy commodity.  We invest 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon to watch football yet our team is 0-8.  Hope here is not too legitimate. 

We get all the food and picnic supplies together and drive to a picturesque spot yet the chance of showers is 90%.  Hope here is not too realistic. 

We spend time thinking how it could turn out or it might turn out and that miracles do happen yet time spent studying for a major exam was measured in minutes not hours.  Hope here is not too logical. 

For us hope is little more than a wish, a desire, a want for a certain thing to happen or to be the case.  Regardless of how sincere, hope leaves considerable room for doubt and uncertainty.  For 1st century citizens hope was much different.  Paul uses the word with precise purpose as he addresses the Christians in Rome. 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

Just as God is not a fond wish, so also the hope He gives is not an earnest desire.  Recall His power and providence in your life.  Remember His love and leading in days you thought there was none.  Live in the hope He offers, the certain and constant confidence He freely gives to His children.  Being absolutely sure of His grace for the present and for all eternity, be filled with the hope of God.   

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Illuminating Hope

Advent Dec 3

it’s the candle of hope that illuminates

this first week of Advent.

hope.

can you imagine life without it?

hope is what we cling to

when darkness consumes and overwhelms –

darkness of tragedy

darkness of illness and of disappointments

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yet it is always there –

this hope that lights that darkness

this hope wrapped in swaddling cloth

that lies there in animal trough,

a hope that never disappoints

a hope that anchors the soul

*

faith may flicker, but we never should feel hopeless

for when we reach out and cling desperately

to God and his faithful promises,

He is actually reaching out and holding us.

Find joy in this hope

and share it someone who feels hopeless.

*

blessings,

Tracy

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A Hushing of the Soul

Advent 2 GNL

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in between Thanksgiving and Christmas

is the forgotten season of Advent

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Advent means coming

it’s a season of waiting & growing anticipation

a season of hope and peace

as we await the coming of Jesus

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Christmas easily overshadows this special time

funny how the season’s rushings

should be more of a quiet hushing of the soul

a time to reflect

and renew the spirit

*

find a few moments today to be still

light a candle

remember what we are celebrating

like Mary, ponder all these things in the heart

*

blessings,

Tracy

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Welcome December

Advent 1 no gnl

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welcome December

welcome anticipation

this month-long celebration

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there was a time when i found myself actually relieved when Christmas was over

too much stress crowded out any joy

finding the perfect gift

creating perfect memories for my kids

lists too long of to-do’s

 

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since that regretful Christmas,

i’ve commited myself to finding the joy

each Christmas season

to slow down

to be still

and focus on what’s most important

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i encourage you to find time every day

these next 24 days

to pause

reflect

to savor the joy of the greatest gift given to us . . .

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“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11

Blessings, 

Tracy

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 birdsong 2
i love to listen to the rain
i even love a good thunderstorm
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it was during a stretch of all-day rains this past spring
that brought a revelation along with the soaking of the earth
through the storm
in the rain
i heard it sing
a sweet, bird-sung melody
*
really?
a bird?
singing in the rain?
so strange
yet so beautiful
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it reminds me of this quote from Emily Dickinson:
‘“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all ‘
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there in the darkness
there in the valley
there in the hard days
hope is there
singing to the sweet melody of God’s promise
‘I am with you always’
– Matthew 28:20
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this storm will not crush you
it will make you stronger
it will draw you closer
to the great I Am
to the One who saves
the One who loves
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‘those who hope in me will not be disappointed’
Isaiah 49:23
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listen for it
hope is singing
hope is there
no matter what you are going through
He is with you
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and He will not disappoint
*
 blessings,
Tracy
 

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