Hope is the Daily Choice

Hope is a Choice … Again and again

The holiest of all holidays are thosememorial

Kept by ourselves in silence and apart,

The secret anniversaries of the heart …

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The longer I live, the more I realize how unsettled life becomes. I don’t know if being settled is the divine plan for life. I think the plan is more likely for us to be disturbed. Disturbed into action, forced exploration.

It would be easier to find a comfortable place to settle, but life has a way of unsettling, of pushing me out of my comfort zone. Note to self—comfort is important in underwear and shoes! I need firm foundations and footwear to navigate the Life journey.

Ten years ago, this was the funeral day of my son and daughter. This day does not bear the emotional weight of the day of the accident, but March 5 always tugs my heart. It was also the same day of my father’s funeral, fourteen years earlier. And the words spoken that day as the woman in black knelt beside two caskets about to be swallowed by the earth. the graveside service concluded … she was the last to leave–this woman dressed in black turned out to be me, between gaping twin holes, pieces of her heart in caskets. And she whispered to the ground, to the air, to the emptiness, to the darkness she forced the words out of her mouth …

We do not grieve as those without hope … But would that hope carry her? She prayed it would. And I am here to tell you that she has fought for that hope, been graced by it and continues on the journey. Hope comes in different forms, in small glimpses, a sunrise, a flower in asphalt, a baby’s smile. Struggle is often hope’s companion.  It also arrives as a gift, and if hope is a gift, there must also be a giver of it. Gifts are meant to be opened and shared,  not to collect dust on a heart shelf. Hope carries many people through dark days.

Words that have challenged and encouraged me this past month, from the book of Blessings by John O’Donohue. To Bless the Space Between Us: From A Morning Offering

May my mind come alive todayIMG_2632

To the invisible geography

That invites me to new frontiers,

To break the dead shell of yesterdays,

To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have courage today

To live the life that I would love,

To postpone my dream no longer

But do at last what I came here for

And waste my heart on fear no more.

A song by Phil Wickham – dedicated to many others who look forward to a reunion in Heaven:

Heaven Song, by Phil Wickham, album—Heaven & Earth, released 2009.

with lyrics:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqLulbmdbLg

Heaven Song /same song with images:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U-hOMunpWo

Artist: Phil Wickham Album: Heaven & Earth Released: 2009

Barefoot in Summer

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott FitzgeraldDSCN8181

When winter hangs long in the prairies, spring blips and barefoot season is upon us. I called my usually optimistic mother, on a day of sit outside on the deck weather. She agreed, and then added, “Before you know it we’ll have snow again.” We all need a little Mennonite in us to spit rain on a bright day.
Summertime therapy for the blues … go barefoot, plant flowers, get new sandals, eat ice-cream, wade in the water, spend as much time as possible outdoors, all without apology. I want to run on greener pastures, I want to dance on higher hills … that is a line from a song I heard this past week, and it has me dancing now, as I see the hills around me turn green. There is much beauty in this world and I want to keep my eyes open … After all as my mother says–Snow is around the corner.
Thinking of barefoot I dug out this poem from a year ago:

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