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HOPE for Christmas

This Christmas, instead of material items, my list is filled with HOPE.
You see, it doesn’t matter if I have money or I don’t. Maybe I’ll be able to buy my kids what they want and then again maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll get that diamond ring I’ve been wanting {I know I won’t}. This year I’ve decided THAT is okay.
I’m at peace because what matters to me is that HOPE returns. As I decorated my Christmas tree this year certain ornaments evoked powerful memories. Memories of twenty-two Christmas’ gone by. A beautiful life flashed before my eyes.
I remember back when Doug and I started out on the journey of life together. We had such hope in our eyes and looked towards the future. A bright future full of raising five beautiful children. Buying our first home, getting that awesome job, enjoying a vacation beach home, and buying nice cars. We had the whole package, the American Dream, this was our beautiful and blessed life.
Then the unthinkable and unexpected happened. Everything went away. Over the last two years we have spent many hours in the refiners fire scrambling to make sense of it all. One lay-off led to another job in a different state, where that led us to yet another lay-off. I’m here to say that at some point one begins to lose hope. When you lose hope it feels like you’ve lost your life, which is not a fun place to be.
A few weeks ago while decorating my tree I was reminded of HOPE. I hung my nativity ornament carved from an Olive Tree that a dear friend brought back from Bethlehem. I touched the beautiful wood and traced the lines of the star, Joseph, Mary and Jesus. I remembered why Christ, our Savior was born. He lived to give hope and gave me the ultimate gift. He gave his life that I might return with Him again.
I hung the golden angel that another friend gave me as a token for her appreciation. She was a single mom and couldn’t afford a sitter so I watched her children for free after school until she was home from work. I had given her the gift of hope that year.
I hung sweet picture ornaments of all my children as babies and remembered how many hopes and dreams each one of them have. As a mother I have given selflessly to help them with their hopes.
I hung “let it snow” Garland in my tree and remembered many nights as a child hoping it would snow. Fast forward years later to memories with my children hoping it would snow for those beautiful moments together sledding or staying home from school sipping hot cocoa by a warm fire.
As I placed the Star a top the tree I remembered years past when the children took turns placing that very star a top our tree. What excitement, joy, and hope was always in their eyes.
Then it hit me. Hope is a noun but it can also be used as a verb. The times where I had the greatest amount if hope I was giving hope too. Christmas is the season for giving and this year I’ve decided I will give HOPE. There are so many ways I can give hope! And do you know what? As a result my gift has come early! How grateful I am for HOPE.
Merry Christmas

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