Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hope That Doesn't Disappoint

"What we're all searching for is hope that won't disappoint us, that won't leave us hopeless in the end. And we all want to convince ourselves that what we have placed our hope in will deliver. ...You are asking it to give you peace of heart. You're asking it to give your life meaning. You're asking it to give you purpose and direction. You're asking it to give you a reason to continue. You're asking it to get you through difficulty and disappointment. You're asking it to free you from envy or anxiety. You're asking it to give you joy in the morning and rest at night.  Now, that's a lot to ask of anything. The fact confronts you with this reality - if your hope disappoints you, it's because it's the wrong hope.

Sturdy hope that does not vanish with the constant changes in situations, locations, and relationships that make up all of our lives - hope that simply will never, ever disappoint us - can on be found in one place. It is not found in a certain thing. It is, in fact, a person, Jesus. Whether you realize it or not, he is what your hoping heart has been searching for, because what you've really been searching for is life, real heart-changing, heart-satisfying life - life to the fullest, life abundant.

...True lasting hope is never found horizontally. It is only ever found vertically, at the feet of the Messiah, the One who is hope."

Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies

This was such a timely devotional reading for me after the inauguration and the prostests that followed, specifically the women's march on Washington which did not in any way represent me as a woman. I aspire to more worthy role models than those who participated in that, but that's another post for another time.

"Hope" has been the rallying cry for both sides of the political debate for some time. Obama promised that he was the change we hoped for. Current protesters flaunt signs declaring "hope not fear" and other variations of the theme.

Our hope will never be found in a person. People, no matter how powerful or how much they promise , will always disappoint; will always fall short of our expectations.  I respect the office of President but my hope is not in Donald Trump. He has not shown himself to be a righteous or Godly man so let's not pretend he is and think as believers that we can put our hope and trust in him as "one of us", but he at least seems open to things of faith and the Lord knows his heart. Time will tell if he will be a good President and I'll be praying for him as scripture instructs us to pray for our leaders, hoping he will do right and not disappoint. I would do the same if Clinton had been elected.

My life was not going to be ruined either way depending on an election. It surprises me that so many people, especially fellow believers, think theirs has been. God was, is, and will continue to be in control. Nothing ever happens that doesn't pass through His hands first. We can have hope knowing the outcome of the election is by God's design - whether for judgment or blessing - and that He places people in power to fulfill His plan, not the agenda of a political party or our personal wishes. That's where my hope lies.

"Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God." 
- Psalm 146:3-5

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Looking Ahead to 2017

I really have no resolutions or goals for 2017. It's more about continuing to build on the positive things from 2016.

I have been seeing a naturopathic doctor (who isn't new age, thankfully) for a little over a year now and have seen improvements in my health issues as well as losing 45 pounds so far. She suggested the Whole30 plan and it has worked great for me. I blog about my health journey at Rethinking Thin.

I haven't done much blogging otherwise. This past year I just didn't have the words to share what was on my heart spiritually and emotionally and needed to draw in and focus on myself. I think the election stuff was difficult for a lot of us but for me personally, it was a good year because I don't let politics or what others say or do determine whether my life is good or bad. God is in control no matter what and nothing happens that doesn't pass through his hands first so that's where I put my hope and trust.

Our son got married so we are officially empty nesters now and I love it. Yes, I miss having my adult kids around but I do like having the quiet house to myself and the fact that when I clean now, it stays that way! We also remodeled our kitchen and I am enjoying it a great deal.

Our granddaughter Tilly is almost 3 and delightful (see the photo below and I'm sure you will agree! lol). And our second daughter is expecting her first baby in March so I'm happy to become Grandma again.

So for me, 2017 is a continuation of what I'm already enjoying with one difference. I turn 60 in January. It's a milestone birthday that I'm struggling with but I'm trying to keep this quote in mind as a positive focus:

Moving forward one day at a time.