Holding onto Hope
Thanksgiving comes as the darkening of the days lengthens. A month till the Winter Solstice creates an early retreat from outside into the quiet of the question - what to do with myself? Thanksgiving this year, comes with the challenge of being grateful as restrictions take one more thing away.
Thanksgiving is a tradition, a holiday of recentering. Generations old and young meet in the middle and life is cultivated, deepened, enhanced. Growing up, our family only gathered as the immediate members. I envied those with large gatherings of cousins, aunts and uncles. We were small, six in total. Remembering back, I think of the seasons of change represented in the family. When my grandmother moved into the nursing home with Alzheimer's her seat was empty. When my oldest sister went to college down in Texas and we were in Michigan, her seat was empty. When my other sister married the changes continued. Yet Thanksgiving marked more than the shifting members. Thanksgiving meant a moment of focus on what I was really thankful for.
This year above all else, I am thankful for hope. Found in hope is the essence of all small wishes and possibilities. When we hope, we are the closest to dreaming with our eyes wide open. We walk in belief that everything will work and in the end we'll find our way. Hope is pure in the power to just keep going. That's why I have placed a Hope sign in my window so I see it every time I look outside from my vantage point in my chair.
Lately I've heard echoed the sentiment that we can't wait for 2020 to be over. Disappointment awaits holding onto this hope. A magic switch or restart button is not waiting on the eve of the new year. That's not how life works. That's not really directing hope in a beneficial way.
When we focus our hope inside, the desire to become a better person places us in a position to achieve our goals. Instead of waiting for everything outside us to change, the hope inside waits for us to find the time to reflect and regroup.
Hope is small, but mighty just like the true treasures in life. The grand makes an impression, but the little calls us to listen.
Our lives are filled each day with little wonders, blessings, tokens of kindness. Overlooking these small gems creates discontent waiting for the prize of the day. Each day is truly a gift filled with many many little blessings. Silently each little seed of goodness experienced daily is sown into our hearts waiting for us to take notice and grow a grateful grace inside.
Focusing our hope on what we have to be grateful for prepares our hearts to be humble. It's a humble heart that is ready to receive the greatest gift of all - abundant life worth living. Romans 5: 3-4