hope

God Doesn’t Waste Time

“I wish I were already a grown-up,” my ten-year-old daughter said. “Then I could actually be all the things I want to be.” She looked out the window of the car, her blue eyes longing to see every dream come true. A chef, a mother, a teacher, Commander in Chief. Her vision for the future changes with each turn of the calendar page. She looks ahead at what could be, what will be. As she [Read more...]

The Powerful Connection between Pain and Hope

As an Occupational Therapist, I deal with other people’s pain daily. As soon as the introductions are over, I ask about pain levels. “Do you hurt anywhere? On a scale of one-to-ten, how much pain are you in? Describe your pain.” Most people I encounter are in some kind of pain, so much so that I sometimes become numb to pain. When chronic pain hits someone you love, it is both heartbreaking [Read more...]

10 Powerful Truths to Fight Financial Discouragement

For anyone living check-to-check, nothing lifts the spirits like payday. In the days leading up to payday, we bite our nails as we check our shrinking account balances. The minute the direct deposit hits, we can breathe a sigh of relief. Margin feels good after living so close to the red line. That’s why they call it breathing room, right? And for anyone living check-to-check, nothing can [Read more...]

The Gift that Promises Forever

It wasn’t the gift I expected, but it promised forever. On our second Christmas as a couple, I held a secret wish in my heart as I sat beneath the Christmas tree. David and I planned to walk the aisle in August of the coming year. In my mind, Christmas seemed like the ideal time for the question and the ring. I opened my gift, a rectangular-shaped box wrapped in thick red paper. Inside the [Read more...]

The Carol of Traveling Sounds

“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” ~Marjorie Holmes The sound of travel thrills me. My earliest memory of this auditory obsession dates back to the early 80’s. I remember walking up and down the dirt drive in front of my grandparents’ old chicken house just to hear the gravel crunch beneath my Jordache sneakers. Besides listening to my grandmother read, it was my favorite thing to do at [Read more...]

The Light of the World Brings Hope at Christmas

Don’t you just love this time of year? As soon as the turkey is cold, many people rush to the attic for the red and green boxes full of Christmas decorations. They tack lights to the eaves of their house and hang treasured ornaments on the branches of pine-scented trees. The smell of cinnamon and sugar plums rise from strategically placed candles. Ceramic Baby Jesus rests safely in an [Read more...]

How to Get Rid of Glass Half Empty Gratitude

I have an almost-teenager at my house which means sour attitudes float around here like pickles in a jar. My middle schooler is generally an optimist, but this stage of emotional development sometimes sabotages her sunny disposition. Phrases like “I will never…” and “it’s always…” transform temporary hardships into eternal absolutes. Hope flutters away as [Read more...]

Numbers Make a Lousy God

Another rejection letter hit the inbox last week. A popular site for women sent out the woohoo’s and thank you’s on the latest round of submissions. Perhaps you received the polite “thanks for playing,” too. Did your heart sink a little? As I submit my words for approval and receive rejections (or worse, the rejection of silence), my writer heart sometimes sinks low. I [Read more...]

Loss of Hope, Loss of Love

Do you ever get the feeling something bad is about to happen? In my younger years, I loved to watch horror films. Something about the anticipation of disaster thrilled me. The innocent girl walking down the steps into a dimly lit basement. The fateful decision to enter the creepy woods while a killer is on the loose. In each scene, the music was key, letting me know when something bad was about [Read more...]

Don’t Play with Matches and Other Bad Advice

One blistering hot day, I stepped off the deck and found my daughter holding a magnifying glass over a smoking leaf. She used a cheap toy to magnify the power of the sun’s light in order to start a fire. I complimented her use of scientific principles and then reviewed fire safety principles with her. Don’t start a fire—not with matches, not with a magnifying glass, not by [Read more...]