She snuggles in our bed with her head in my lap, and I comb my fingers through her long, blonde hair. I am still amazed that she has blonde hair, but I can see hints of golden brown peeking through. It seems to be getting darker as the days grow shorter and colder.
She’s not ready to wake up yet, and I don’t blame her. We had our first snow today, and the sun is still hiding behind the clouds, as if the sudden burst of winter cold scared it back beneath its covers.
Eventually, she looks up at me and says, “Mama, I want to go to the park.”
We have a sad little talk about how cold it is and not today but maybe tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow. Her eyes are filled with tears. We talk about the fun we can have inside, the games we can play, the pictures we can color, but her heart is set on the park.
I’m always anxious to hear what she’ll say when she wakes up in the morning. Most often it’s, “I want you.” Sometimes it’s, “Snuggle me.” And sometimes, after a particularly good night, when she’s gotten lots of rest, she wakes up with a story tell. The other morning, she sat up and looked at the pillows around her and said, “This is a pumpkin. Come sit in my pumpkin with me.” And for a few sweet moments before it was time to get dressed and make lunches, we pretended to have tea and entertain her animals friends. I ignored the clock and sunk into her world of pretend, and it was beautiful.
I’m reading A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman along with the iBloom book club. It’s about the art we were made to live, and the art we were made to make. It’s about all the little ways that God comes out of us and into this world, reflecting His glory and shining His light, and how that happens in and through the unique way that He made each of us. These made-of-dust hands and wounded hearts are meant for important work.
One of the really important questions Emily asks is what makes us feel truly alive. If you were to take a few minutes to stop what you’re doing and write that down, non-stop, without editing yourself — not your wants, not your outlandish ideas, not your deeply-held hopes — and for a few sweet moments, ignoring your critics, what would you say?
Sometimes the desires and hopes of our hearts seem so tangible and so real, we can almost touch them. We can feel the warm sun on our faces, even when the thermostat refuses to rise. The fact that the air is blistering cold stings our hearts, and yet we hang on to hope, and we say, “Someday soon, when it’s warm outside…”
When winter drags on and it seems as if the clouds will never lift and we will never see the sun again, we know that the sun will come. The cold will endure for a time, but if we just hang on, spring soon will be here.
It’s difficult sometimes to give voice to those first thoughts, the things that sit deeply within our hearts, that truth that we know, that hope that is so real and somehow still seems impossible to be true. But hope does not disappoint.
“… And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
~ Romans 5:5, NASB
This hope that we have, we have because of a living and loving God who has made His home in our hearts. It’s not to say that we get everything we want, or that everything we want is what is best for us. It is most certainly not to say we’re entitled.
Hope is a gift and a necessity. Those first thoughts, those deepest desires, those closely held dreams – they’re a gift from the One who made us. So hang on, dear friends, to that hope that you have. Give voice to it. Let it live and grow in your hearts.