Thursday, January 6, 2011

Never Give Up Hope

Each year, at Christmas, I introduce a theme for the following year.  I am not a fan of making new year's resolutions.  Instead, I choose a value, or a virtue, an area in which I feel the need to grow, or change.  During the Christmas holiday, I decorate my home and tree with symbols, signs, and colors that get me thinking about the new theme.  My Christmas cards are designed (I make my own) around the new theme, as are many of the gifts I choose.   This year's card (click on images to see larger):
Card Front:                                        Inside of Card:

With the dawning of the new year, I begin to study and learn about my theme for the year. I continue focusing on this theme throughout the year.  Last year's theme was peace.  This year, I chose HOPE.  As I look at the world around me, it's easy to feel despair.  Life seldom gives us our own way, and joy sometimes seems far off, or only meant for others.  In choosing to look for the beauty around me, in nature, myself and in others, I find hope.  I choose to believe in the goodness of others, even if it's difficult to see sometimes.  Love and hope counter anger and depression.  It's in giving love that I find joy, happiness, patience, and empathy.   I'm finding that I can make a difference, one person at a time.

I cannot always change someone's unhappiness or problems, or even my own, but I can always do a little.  A smile or thoughtful gesture, a kind word, or a helping hand brings hope and love.  I look for ways to bring these gifts to others.   It costs nothing and is easy to do.  And when someone takes the time to be kind to me, or smiles, it immediately makes me smile, and I want to pass that feeling along.  Then an amazing thing happens....I start to feel better about myself, and find a renewed hope.  My article gives some ideas of ways we can bring blessings to others.

Baby steps.   It's in living with hope, and doing what I can to share the message of hope whenever I can, a little at a time, that eventually makes a big difference.

As I start to research this subject, I'm finding so many resources.  Of course, God has lots to say about hope in the Bible (Romans 5:3-5; 8:24-25;15:4-2; 2 Thes 2:16; 1 Peter 1:13; Col 1:5; Hebrews 6:18; Jer. 29:11.  There are volumes of articles and books written about hope.  Joyce Meyer often speaks about hope, and it is the thrust of her ministry, Enjoying Everyday Life.  Here's the link to Joyce's website if you really want to be blessed.

I leave you with this scripture, which brings me comfort and encouragement:

For I know the plans I have for you
declares the Lord, plans to prosper you 
and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jer 29:11 



  1. I too choose a word or theme each year; its a wonderful way to re-focus life when it goes awry. I loved reading your thoughts. May your New Year be filled with all that you dream of and hope to accomplish.

  2. So glad to see this new blog from you! The verse from Jeremiah has turned up in so many places and times for my family that it has turned into a family verse! Thank you

  3. Thanks for inviting me to your blog. You write beautifully and you have inspired me to search for "hope" this year and you have peaked my curiosity to share in your inspired thoughts and ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  4. One thing I do that not only helps me, it also helps others who are in contact with me. Everyday I say out loud "today I CHOOSE to be happy". It seems to give me a whole new perspective. It helps lesson the little annoyances we face everyday and therefore gives me a kinder heart to those around me.

  5. Thanks, Carol. You're right, having a theme helps me to focus on what is important, also. Thanks for your comments.

    Sue - The Jeremiah verse is a terrific family verse! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    Linda - Great to hear from you. Keep looking for "hope," and you'll find it everywhere. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

    Sylvia - Thanks for stopping by, and your idea. I love the idea of confirming out loud that you choose to be happy today. Great way to start the day!