Tag Archives: hope

Happy New Year


Is it wrong for me to say, “Goodbye 2015!  Don’t let the door hit you in the a@# on your way out!” Because, man, that’s how I feel.

It’s been a crappy year…a yucky, stressful year.  And I’ve been reminded that stress can do lots of horrible things to your mind and body…like make you tired and grumpy, make you gain weight, make you have pains where pains don’t belong.  Stress is an evil little heifer.  Mix her with a dose of sorrow and you’ve got a batch of blah.

So without much ado, I will go to sleep tonight and say goodbye to 2015 without looking back!

But tomorrow…I will start tomorrow with hope.  There’s something encouraging about the idea of a fresh start. One segment of life closes, another begins. One day ends, and at midnight, a fresh day blooms.  Our minds have been programmed to believe with each new year we have the opportunity to begin again…I kind of like that.  Don’t we all need the chance to feel fresh, to feel like new opportunities are possible?

Tomorrow, I will begin looking for new opportunities.  That is my resolution this year.  Taking advantage of opportunities means stretching, moving out of my comfort zone, and not being afraid of difficult situations.  Those are hard feats for me…I’ll be the first to admit it.  But this is how I see it: new opportunities could be as simple as being kind when others are being cruel, saying hello to a stranger, joining classes at church when I’d rather be lazy.  Opportunities could be as amazing as traveling with my family or pushing myself back to college.  Who knows?  The thing is to take the opportunity when it arises.

There is tremendous hope in those thoughts…a yearning for fresh, a desire for better, a wish that maybe, possibly the next twelve months will be better and stronger than the last.  Here’s hoping we all find that freshness, that push to move us forward.  Shouldn’t we in the very least refuse to stay exactly the same?  Shouldn’t we at least try to smile just a little bit more or laugh a little bit more?  Shouldn’t we cherish the good while realizing the bad will not win over us forever?  I sure hope so.  Hope will keep me going.





Where do you find grace?  Do you ever really look for it?

Grace tapped me on the shoulder this morning during church.  Sitting on a pew in the eighty-year old building, I glanced over to one of the towering stained-glass windows just as a beam of sunlight speared through.  After a long, rainy day yesterday, the arrival of sun shining through the brightly colored glass was enough to bring a sudden smile to my face.

It was enough to feel the whispers of grace.

Grace, to me, is that gentle reminder, that knowing tug that says hope is never lost.  No matter what, it never really is gone.  Grace is always waiting for you.  You only have to open your eyes and see it.  Grace is forgiveness, is love, is hope.

I’m working, slowly but surely, on my current book.  My current character, Maggie, is discovering grace after losing her memories and beginning again.  Amnesia has stolen every memory, every detail of her life beyond the past several months.  She’s on a journey of self-discovery, and often trips over her own feet trying to figure out life.


    The wedding feast was grand.  Grand in love, in joy, in smiles.  Tables covered portions of the backyard, draped in lacy pink cloths.  Candles flickered across the yard as yellow roses, purple phlox and white daisies filled vase after vase. 

    The bride and groom shined as devotion bloomed between them.  The children ran giddily among the tables, their laughter echoing into the warm night air, blending into the tilt of voices as stories were told, one after the other.

    People gathered throughout the yard, enjoying the summer feast of chicken and pork, fruits and pies, vegetables, fresh and stewed.  It was a night of celebration, a night of promise.

    Soaking it all in from her perch on the porch, Maggie let each scent, each whisper of noise, each sensation fill her soul.  In that moment, she knew gratitude, understood the enormity of thankfulness.  Her body was full.  Smiling into the night, she knew she’d been given the gift of life.  A second chance.  A new beginning.  And for the first time since awakening months before, she felt a warm rush flush her body.  A rush of love, of knowledge.  Something much bigger than anything she knew had blessed her.  Something she at last could identify as grace. 



I don’t put my faith in the hands of man.  They tend to drop you.  I don’t put my hope in the love of others.  They tend to forget you.  I instead know that the best is yet to come.  Someone much larger than all of us is in control – of me, of this world.  And for that I’m thankful.

Faith  may be the most beautiful word in the english language.  It implies devotion and strength but still, it’s a delicate word.  It’s almost fragile.  Hope is just as stunning and perhaps a tad stronger.  It gives a window to the future, a longing for what is just beyond our reach, but it too can be bruised and tattered when mishandled. 

The hands of man and the love of others.  How much control do they have over us?  How much of ourselves are we willing to hand over to people who have no right to control our lives and emotions?  Growing older, after living through wonderful times and heart wrenching encounters, I’m learning to let them have very, very little.  I simply refuse to let people who do not truly love or truly care batter two of the greatest gifts of all – faith and hope.   They both are nothing but an intricate, complex mesh of miracles, and I won’t waste them. 

My current character, Maggie, is struggling with the meaning of faith:

       Deep lines wrinkled her skin as she smiled and reassured, “I know it to be so.  Anyone who yearns to love, who is filled with the kindness that fills you like it does, will find it in return.  Hold on to your hope.  It will see you through.”


      “Yes, hope in the future being better, and faith, too, my dear.  Faith is what gets you through when you think there’s nothing left for you anywhere.”

      “Explain your concept of faith to me…,” Maggie urged. 

      Reaching out to pat her hand, Mrs. McGreevy warmly answered, “Missus, faith is believing in what you cannot see, in what you cannot understand.  It’s knowing that your dear Lord is taking care of you and your life, no matter how hard it is at the moment.”

      “But…I honestly don’t know if I understand.  There are so many things I don’t understand.”

      “You’re not supposed to understand it all, child.  Just have faith that things are going to be alright.  Let your heart believe it, let the thought fill you, and it’ll see you through.  That’s all you have to understand.”