Keeping Hope Alive, Instead of Throwing in the Towel

A “happy” my oldest daughter gave me for Christmas. My first encounter with my “New Year’s word” for 2022.

I love that.

Expect with confidence.

It’s an anticipatory emotion.

The world needs a lot more of this. Hope in the midst of the whirlwind.

Let me just say this before I move on. We never know what a person is dealing with, especially if they have a smile plastered across their face.

This morning at work, a woman appeared at the kitchen door. While I was making coffee, she asked me if I was the one who wrote all the messages on the fruit out front. I told her yes. She thanked me. She told me she appreciated me for the breakfast. (Just as a reminder again, I’m a breakfast Hostess at a hotel) She told me she wanted to let me know now how much she appreciated me for what I was doing. She said, “You never know who is still going to be here today.”

I responded with, “To be honest, as much death as we are seeing, we don’t know who won’t be here tomorrow. We need to tell people today how much we appreciate them. Thank you so much.”

She opened up after that. She told me that’s why she was in town. A death. She had several recently. One was self-inflicted. This completely broke my heart to see the pain in her eyes.

Can you imagine what people are going through in these tough times?

She looked down and tears filled her eyes and so did mine. I asked her name and told her I would be praying for her and her family. She was worried more for her family than herself. She knew who she believed in. I just stood and talked to her a while, encouraged her to keep holding on. We said our goodbyes and we were both left sniffling and in deep thought.

This story leads me to my word for the year. HOPE.

People need HOPE more than ever before.

I have to confess, this past year was a very rough one for me, with lots of changes.

My youngest daughter, hubby and grandbaby finally moved into their own apartment last January, after living with us for a while.

My hubby retired.

We both got covid at the end of July.

I had a fall, which led to a bout of vertigo.

His retirement changed our financial status, so I went to work, getting up and staying up from 4:30 a.m. until bedtime. And being on my feet all day… This shut me down mentally and physically. I could not tell you how many posts I’ve started and not finished last year. (This one is actually a combination of one I started at the end of last year)

And then my oldest daughter, her other half and 4 of my grandchildren are living with us right now. 😳🤪🤡 I love them all, but with two blended families living under one roof, there is no quiet time to be had. I’m actually writing this post, sitting in my car at the city park! 😂 And of course two county trucks had to park to my left, conversing to each other out their windows. 🤦‍♀️ It would seem there is no “quiet time” to be had – anywhere! 🤡 Oh well… 🤷🏼‍♀️

The above scenario woke me up from a dead sleep about two months ago. (And I was sleeping so good… 😔 😢) The outlet burned out in our master bath. I had a small heater plugged in at the time but not turned on. When it sparked, all I could see was flames which made me sit straight up in bed. Reminded me of one of those black and white movies (back in the day) when Count Dracula woke up and sat straight up in his coffin.

To make a long story short, this reminded me of the times I’ve faced burn-out in stressful situations before. We may get to the end of our rope, but there’s always an outlet that can be fixed.

I’ve heard it said the circumstances that happen to us are just “life.” Mere happenstance.

Perhaps it’s somewhat as Job states it best, “man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.”

But I believe the steps of a righteous man are ordered.

Regardless, we certainly can’t escape those troubles no matter how close we are to God. As a young Christian once, I thought living for God would be my ticket to all sunny days and no more rain in the future forecast. 

I soon discovered it rains on the just and the unjust. We just have to learn to dance in the mud puddles. Roll with the punches and the thunder.

Never Lose Your HOPE

Keep it alive and burning as a candle and a well of water gushing through our soul.

Life is worth living. Hold on to hope. Keep the faith. Choose joy. Fall down seven times, get up eight.

This car I saw in a parking lot could be a poster for Hope. When I saw it, Hope flooded my soul! It looks like it’s been through hades, but it’s still running. A bowling ball dent in the windshield did not stop it. It’s scarred and battered, but look at the front fender!….3 hearts.

Jesus loves you friend. He hasn’t left you. He’s right there “loving” you through it all.

Never, ever give up.

I love you. And so does Jesus. You can make it!

41 comments

  1. You are so cool! Love the fruit. 😊

    That fire! 😱

    You had quite the year! 😓😁

    I’m so glad you found a nice place to write. Maybe it will be quiet next time.

    People need hope and you are excellent at spreading it Renee. 💕

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You have had lot going on the past year Renee. But staying close to God has kept you going and also given you the strength to be there for others ( like you did for that lady)
    Those messages in the fruit was so sweet and I am sure it does make people’s day when they read it.
    Hope is a beautiful word for this year.
    May he bless you in all that you do.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Manu, your words have been an encouragement. Thanks so much for blessing me! I pray just the tiniest gesture would bring hope to someone who is weary. May we all be the salt and light this year to those who need it the most! Praying Jesus gives you a double portion this year. 🙏🏼💜🤗

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Such an insightful post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and circumstances. You are an inspiration. It made me think of an encounter I had with a cashier a few weeks ago before Christmas. She looked tired so I told her, “I appreciate you being here.” She cracked a smile and said, “Thanks. You’re only the second person who told me that in the last month.” It was a stark reminder to me of how I need to see and appreciate the people I encounter everyday. Blessings to you. May God strengthen you. Thanks for taking time to write this post. I appreciate it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I dearly cherish your gracious words, CG. Thank you! You will never know just how much your appreciation meant to that cashier. It’s people like you who make a bad day better for someone who really needs it. Thank you for taking the time to respond and read this post.
      I appreciate all my friends who visit here at my blog. God Bless every one of you! 💜

      Liked by 3 people

    • Oh my goodness, Brenda, you totally understand then! Thank you a bunch for the prayers. I am grateful for them. Bless your heart, I will totally be praying for you, as well, my sweet friend!😮🙏🏼🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your word! We all need hope after these past 2 years!

    I can tell God is using you in mighty ways at your job! I’m sure every person you take the time to talk to, you make a very big impact on them. I’m sure they see Jesus in you that’s why the feel comfortable opening up to a stranger.

    I hope you get to slow down and find some quiet time this year!

    You are a great example and I look up to you!❤ Happy New Year and keep being awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

    • V, that means the world to me coming from a godly young Christian lady as yourself, and it extremely humbles me. 😭 😭😭 Thank you, my sweet and beautiful, friend! Thank you for letting God use you so many times here to be a blessing to many! I think sometimes we can get lost in all the noise and distractions at times, this world brings our way -but- GREATER is HE who lives in all who invite His Spirit inside their heart!🙏🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼Happy Happy New Year! I can’t wait to hear more about your dream job and how God is shining His Light through you! 💜🥰🤗🙏🏼😁

      Liked by 2 people

  5. HOPE is what you present every post despite your own struggles and trials. My friend , Everytime I read your post I see how gifted you are to encourage and raise Hope in all of us. Don’t know where I’d be at if you hadn’t given me hope all these years. God Bless you my sweet friend. 💯❤️You!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Someone else actually gave me the idea, and I went with it. I loved the chance to add a few of my own thoughts to put a smile on a face here and there. People seem to be losing hope everywhere. It’s the very least we can do, to put a smile on someone’s face.

      Bananas are way easier to write on. 😆 Thanks for your blessings and praying blessings your way! 💜

      Like

  6. You writing on the fruit 😮👊🥰

    To you it may not seem like a big deal…just giving positivity to clients..but could be a life changing message to the one who picks it up!

    Totally freaking awesome. And something I have never seen some before!

    You have had a lot going on. May 2022 be a true blessing for you and your family sis!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe, Stu. Your words mean more than you will ever know. Thanks from the bottom of my heart, my friend. I hope we all can make a difference this year in all the “little things,” and touch someone’s life the way Jesus has touched ours! Pay it forward.
      I’m looking forward to ‘22 being a better year and am very “hopeful.” Wishing you and yours the same. By the way, I just left a comment on the award Debbie gave you on her blog page.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. the hearts on the beat up (but running) Nissan is such a fun find.
    The holiday cards I sent this year had the word “HOPE” really big with a nice glitter design

    and some years I had a tough time finding the right cards to send – but this year – the cards found me – and were exactly what I wanted.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What a sweet and encouraging post Renee!!
    I love what you said here: “I soon discovered it rains on the just and the unjust. We just have to learn to dance in the mud puddles. Roll with the punches and the thunder.”
    Good mindset!!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There are some days when we hang on to hope for a given situation. With continued faith in God, we begin afresh with each day. Renee, adding you to my prayer list. May God continue to light your way with signs of His heart-filling hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Richard, there have definitely been a lot of days through this walk with God, we’ve had to have faith for the day. Thanks so much for the prayers! They are appreciated. May we all see His reminders we always have hope. 🙂

      Like

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