Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On Hope, Words, and Remembering

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It was everywhere. It was written on chalkboards and spelled out in Scrabble letters. Sometimes it played in the back of my mind like a tune that won't go away. Other times it hung over my head like a banner emblazoned over my life. Everywhere I've went, through the highs and lows. It has been there.

My word of the year is hope. And hope I have. In January, what I really hoped for was some relief from the past year that had left me beat up, worn out, hopeless.

In the spring I flew to the Missional Women conference and hope held my hand when I publicly shared a part of my story that had been known to only a select few in private. A month later I began to share that story here in hopes that you would be as gracious as the women in that room were.

Summer found me busy, overwhelmed and in need of a break. So with hope for the power of less I gave up a lot of things for a month. It was good and right. But at the end of the month I picked them all back up again and added in some more.

So here I am in Fall (my favorite season of the year) with less than 100 days left of this year. Once again I've had to lay things down in search of less. I know God is working in my heart in some new ways. And so I hold onto hope uncertain of the future but trusting The Source of Hope for what lies ahead.

This has been my first time choosing a word of the year and it really has made a difference. But I don't think I would have held onto it throughout the entire year if I hadn't had so many visual reminders around my home. If you're wanting to be reminded of hope perhaps the new Letterpress Blocks would help you hold on to it or whatever you're needing to remember most in this season. You can use the interactive interface here to customize any word you choose.

I'd love to hear how the power of words have helped you this year in the comments below.


  1. Lovelle Ellen GerthOctober 9, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    I love the powerful statement that you expressed that stated, "hope held my hand." Romans 8:24 says, "For in hope we are saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth?" Hope isn't seen. It is felt and it is knowing. Little tangible reminders are so good for reminding us of what is not seen. This is such a great post. Thank you for sharing.
    ~Lovelle from DaySpring

  2. Lovelle, thank you for stopping by and for the encouraging reminder. I'm so happy you're part of the DaySpring/(in)courage team. I've enjoyed getting to read bits of your story through your mom's blog. You are both truly blessed.

  3. I'm not sure much else, done individually, is as powerful as the simple act of writing it down. Whatever "it" may be. This reminds me of Liz Gilbert's conversation about finding your word in "Eat, Pray, Love".

  4. Great reminder, Renia. Anything written down becomes more alive and real

  5. Becky Teegarden RunyanOctober 30, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    My word is SURRENDER. I need to let God handle/control it..I can't.

  6. Amen. Great word choice, Becky. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Hope has held my hand as well, it was the word the Lord gave me for this year too...and it was in songs and it was in devotionals out of the blue and it is on my wall in the form of a plaque that was just for me in a store. It has made a difference in my life to have a word instead of resolutions, the Lord has made Himself so real to me just by sending a song, or devotional on days when hope felt distant. It actually made me laugh sometimes because I would hear a song I have known for ages, and never noticed the word Hope in it...and just at the right time, it would come on the radio and I would again hear the Lord whisper through that song that He sees me, He knows me and loves me just as I am...and I would have hope again to make it through another day.

  8. Karen, thank you for sharing. I love hearing your experiences with "hope." I'm glad God has used it in both our lives this year.