hope is sensible {CELEBRATE This Week: 220}

I’m glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is plug in the Christmas tree lights before any other lights are on. I use a flashlight to find the outlet and light the tree while sleepy wisps are still clearing from my mind.

The coffee starts to brew and I sit on the dark end of the couch soaking in the tiny white lights. Sometimes my resistant for only one set of lights in the wee hours of the morning crumbles and I light the banister too. The tree and the stockings make my heart warm.

Over the years of building a forever family I’ve been worn at the holiday season. Love is not easy for children from hard places and over-the-top love within a season of irregular schedules and unpredictable events can make even those of us who love Christmas the most wonder if we should wrap up the white lights.

Christmas joy is a result of met expectations. We must be careful with our expectations or we can become disenchanted. Sometimes we might consider giving up hope.

I did.

We have been a forever family for kids from hard places for more than a decade. This is the first Christmas that hasn’t rolled in with turmoil and I wondered if maybe Christmas isn’t worth getting all giddy about.

Plugging in a strand of lights is an act of hope. Like most acts of hope, it makes me feel ridiculous.

The world tells us to worry and demand results. 

Never will these responses heal broken people.

When we’re in the thick of the hard, battling for what’s right in a world that offers grotesque and malicious, it is easy to forget that hope is sensible. 

We’ve had eleven frightful Christmas seasons. Kids from dark corners work to destroy joy and peace. That’s what happens when we let the world inside our homes and hearts. Hurting people hurt people.

I sit on the dark end of the couch with white light twinkling. It’s different this year. I like to think it’s because my precious kids from very hard places no longer need to confirm forever.

There’s less need to sling vicious words or wield wild fists. They’ve discovered forever. 

Healing is not restoring perfection. Healing is scars. When hearts are broken and broken again and hurt slices souls, humans must discover if love is worth letting in. We test love in all kinds of ways, twisting and pushing on the hearts of those who want to be close to us, those who proclaim to be real.

It’s not just children from hard places who test others.

Because if we’re honest, we’re all from hard places. We’re all fighting weary battles. We’re an orchestra that creates a cacophony of human emotions. 

It’s easy to be scratched by hard hearts. 

The only sensible choice is hope.

For me hope is plugging in one more strand of white lights. For Andy it’s watching a game with his buddies. Sam places a train track around the tree, and Jordan plays video games with his best friend. Hannah organizes her closet and Stephanie choses to believe that the world does offer good.

This week she was in the car with Andy and said, “Dad, I’ve figured out the secret to being happy.”

“What’s that?” Andy asked.

“You just do the right thing and then no matter what happens, it still feels good.”

Hope is sensible. This season I celebrate seeing the fruits of hope.


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  1. This is beautiful, Ruth. My favorite verse that I cling to is all about hope. Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Anytime we shine our light in whatever capacity we have, we are extending hope. God bless you and yours, Ruth.

  2. Love the messages that you are sending out into the world. Your daughter Stephanie has made a wonderful connection between being good and feeling good. I am still reading your book, savoring every chapter.

  3. The older I get, the more I feel that hope is the single most important thing – it allows us to love, it allows us to heal. I love the way hope anchors your post and your life, Ruth.

  4. It's good to hear about your ideas of 'hope', Ruth. I do love that “Hope is sensible.” It feels like there is no better way that to keep hope in our hearts. And I love Stephanie's words. No matter what, if we know we've done good, nothing else does matter. Thanks for sharing wise words.

  5. This is just a beautiful reminder about so many important parts of this season. Thank you for reminding me that even when hearts are scratched, there can still be hope. It is the only thing that makes sense.

  6. Hope is sensible. Those words ring so true. And I love that for each person in your family, hope means different things. What a gift you are to your family and to us: “Because if we're honest, we're all from hard places. We're all fighting weary battles.” And yet, your words and your light shine bright and remind us to keep hoping (and plugging in those white lights.)

  7. “Hope” the thing with feathers that perches on the soul. I enjoyed reading your references of hope during the Christmas season. We gave our daughter the middle name, “Hope”, and I'm always in awe of the many meanings and the Light that Hope gives to many. Everyone's journey is different as is their experience of the holiday season. As always, Ruth, thank you for sharing your positive outlook. May you and your family feel the presence of Spirit and Love this season.

  8. What a beautiful post, Ruth. This will remain with me: It's easy to be scratched by hard hearts. The only sensible choice is hope.” I need to ponder this more when I turn in tonight. Faith, hope, and love-such gifts from above! I am responding late to #celebratelu but everyone has been in my heart.