Hope for the Holidays – Kim Lengling
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.
According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, Hope means: a feeling that what is wanted will happen; desire accompanied by expectation.
As the Christmas season is fast approaching, I find myself looking back over the years on my own childhood Christmases and, years later, the experience of Christmas as a new mother.
I believe that for everyone, the Christmas season brings with it many emotions along with hope, desire accompanied by expectation. Thoughts of Christmases past, loved ones who are no longer with us, and smiles when remembering little faces filled with wonder at their first glance of the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.
One such memory recently came to me.
Twenty-nine years ago, in the early morning hours, I woke to the smell of morning toddler breath and a small face an inch from my own with a whispered question. “Mommy, are you awake?”
As I try to come fully awake, the dog jumps up on the bed and places his face alongside this small person—both eager to begin the day.
Glancing at the clock on the nightstand, I see that it is 5:30 a.m. on Christmas morning. This is the reason for the up-close and personal wake-up. With a smile and a hug for both, I untangle myself from the blankets, climb out of bed and grab my robe.
I make my way down the hall and into the living room. I give the all clear, and soon after, I hear my daughter and the dog coming down the hall. Soon, I see my daughter’s small face peek around the corner. Her face is a picture! Eyes wide in wonder and her mouth forming a perfect “oh.” A moment later, the dog’s head appears around the corner as well. Two precious faces had noticed that Santa had indeed visited.
In that moment, I hoped that time would stand still. I wanted that precious moment ingrained in my memory so that I could bring it out in the years ahead.
Those moments in time, to me, are a big part of what the Christmas spirit is all about. Watching your children gaze in awe and wonder at their first Christmas tree when you turn the lights on, their excitement to see that Santa had come and filled their stockings and left gifts under the tree. Wrapping paper strewn all about the floor with the scent of breakfast filling the air. Early morning chaos. Beautiful memories.
My hope then was for my daughter to grow into a well-adjusted, mature and successful woman. Watching her grow over the years has filled me with awe and wonder, with days when I know I have the wide-eyed look as I gaze upon my adult daughter, at the woman she has become.
My hope for all is that you have those precious memories tucked away in your heart. Those memories that remind you that you have lived, loved, and laughed. Those memories that gave you hope for the future. Memories that you can pull out that bring a smile to your face on a dark day.
I am not naïve enough to think that everyone has pleasant holiday memories stored away or that many will have a merry Christmas this year.
For many, the holidays can be lonely. They can be filled with depression or anxiety, demons from past trauma or triggers that instigate PTSD symptoms. The holiday season can be the time of year when it feels so easy to fall into that dark spot. I know; I’ve been there.
The key is to not stay there! Look up, there is a light. It may be only a pinprick of light, but it is there. It may be a person calling you on the phone, it may be a song you hear on the radio, it may be a text from a friend. Those are all small lights that God has sent your way. Recognize them for what they are. Hope.
For those who may feel alone and without hope, I want to give you these words:
Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (NKJV)
Remember that God is always with you, even in your darkness. He is with the broken hearted, the broken, the lonely, the sick, the widow and the child. He is with us all, each and every day.
As this year’s Christmas season approaches, remember that our Father God, who loves without ending, is the God of hope. Place your hope in Him and be filled with awe and wonder.
For a short time, I will provide a discount of two journals for those who need a bit of encouragement, hope and focus. I want to provide a small light to lead you into a gentler day, one filled with light, smiles and good memories. Two journals that will provide a focus and, I pray, a sense of hope and peace.
This offer includes a Gratitude Journal with weekly Bible verses and the Find the Good, Be the Good journal, both available on Amazon and available at a discount from November 26th through November 30th. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Embracing Our Veterans, a 501c3 not for profit organization that provides furniture to homeless veterans transitioning into housing as well as meals during the holiday season. Providing hope with heart. Let’s all do our part to provide hope to those who may have a short supply at this time of year.
Kim Lengling has been writing since 2004 showcasing her faith, nature, love of rescue animals, and living with PTSD. She is a the lead author and coordinator of a collaborative 3-book series titled When Grace Found Me, the host of the podcast Let Fear Bounce and the host of The Write Stuff, the author’s voice TV Show. You can regularly find Kim out in nature with her trusty rescue dog, Dexter, chatting with the critters and coming up with new stories.
This Holiday Season, Kim Is Supporting: Embracing Our Veterans
Embracing Our Veterans, a 501c3 not-for-profit charitable organization (46-5201588), provides furniture and assistance to homeless veterans and/or those transitioning from homelessness into housing. Providing hope for better days for our nation’s veterans.