Benjamin loves a good party, and he had been planning one for Valentine’s Day since before we put away the Christmas tree. In January, he dictated his guest list: Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Jay… and soon after we discussed the importance of having Tootsie Roll Pops and red velvet cake.
The day of the party there were red streamers to hang and balloons to tape in place. Dishes to wash. A toilet to clean. Crowds at the store and crankiness among the boys at home — so much that I felt foolish for celebrating. How could I put the l-o-v-e banner on the China cabinet and invite people in when I felt my life was such a mess? How did my gift for my 5-year-old turn into a stressful burden?
So, I did what any reasonable mom would do. I put myself in time out. I snuck to the top of the stairs and sat there until I decided that I could celebrate even if things weren’t perfect, that things like love and hope and joy were meant to stand in the midst of the mess. That they aren’t a magical place that we arrive at but a choice we make all along the way. And if I couldn’t choose hope and celebration over squabbling brothers and cobwebs, how would I ever choose hope when the real struggles hit? How could my feeble hope possibly anchor my soul?
I got downstairs in time to watch Benjamin arrange Little Hug Fruit Barrels in a circle around our heart candle and put the Swedish Fish in a dainty dish.
And have a great party.
Thank you, all of you, for joining us for the 40 Days of Hope project. Each day during Lent, we’ll share something about hope here — something that we pray inspires you or encourages you. We’re also planning to share free journal pages for you to download, We don’t quite have 40 yet, so if you’d like more information on submitting one, please click here.
Today’s journal page was designed by Tanya Herrold, whom you may remember from an article she wrote on having a peaceful dwelling. Her father has been waiting for a liver transplant for more than four years, and frankly, his health is declining. He has been in the hospital for the last three weeks and the family would greatly appreciate your prayers. “My hope comes from God,” she said. “The only option I have is to put my trust in Him.”
To download today’s journal page and write your own thoughts, please click here.
Here’s a glimpse…