(A little tribute to Adele and the never ending melody replaying inside my head as of late!)

Hello Hope

Maybe, like me, you find yourself on the other side of the calendar year way too quick, long before you finished wrapping up the year, or even wrapping all of the Christmas gifts.

If I were completely honest about Christmas this year, I would have to tell you that it came and went. I never finished decorating the tree (the 2-1/2 foot tree that you pick up by the top with one hand and carry up the stairs from the basement). The sparkling gold-wire star is glaringly absent. Three ornaments hang from limbs. Two came in the mail; the other was a gift from a student who rides my husband’s school bus.

The mantle never did get dressed up with piney garland, candles, trees and the new brown plastic LED JOY marquee I picked up at Walgreens, one of the three places I shopped for the holidays.

Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus are on the dining room table with two sheep. The three wise men, a shepherd, camel, palm trees and an angel never saw the outside of the storage box. Jesus, Mary and Joseph barely made it out by the skin of their teeth in the narrow window of time between wiping the dust off the dining room chairs and cleaning the bathroom faucet of leftover Thanksgiving Day smudges the morning before our guests arrived for our traditional Christmas Day brunch.

I sit here now in the middle of our living room with the large white garbage bag of wrapping paper, open gifts strewn about the couch, a pile of pretty packages tied up with string in front of the fireplace still waiting to be delivered, an unfinished 2015 calendar/planner, and we are already on our first week into the other side of the calendar, 2016.

Facebook feeds remind me that I get a fresh start, clean slate, and brand spanking new year to get things right, to start anew, to resolve to be more, to do more, to recreate my life, to redefine myself. To some that may look like hope. To me, it looks like the other side of the calendar. While a new year brings hopeful possibility if we choose to walk in it, we are still at the mercy of the day. I know, you know, we have seen the trouble that is in a day.   There is enough in each one.

This year I hope that I am cancer free, free from all cancer. 2015 brought a new diagnosis of breast cancer and months of treatment. That was not what I was hoping for. The day before that diagnosis, I learned that a follow-up colonoscopy declared me 4 years free of colon cancer. I was hoping for that.

Our home became a refuge to ¾ of our children (and their children) this past year due to circumstances which we did not hope or pray for in 2015. But they all landed on their feet, and we once again have our empty little nest waiting for the next unexpected egg to drop. Hopefully, the spare bedroom upstairs will finally become a writing retreat in 2016!

We sold a lakeside property in March. We had big hopes and dreams for that place. We were going to move there. It was going to be a respite for the weary. It was half built. My husband is a carpenter. But after nearly 10 years of trying to finish the place, diagnoses, the changing economy, a downturn in the real estate industry, cancers, surgeries, weddings, funerals, travels, and all the trials and joys in each and every day, we finally let go of those hopes and dreams because we became the weary. Too weary to fulfill those hopes and dreams. And six months later we are counting it a blessing.

You see, I am saying “Hello” from the other side of the calendar full of hope not because it is a new day, a new year full of new possibility, a new resolution, a goal, or plan or dream list. While all of those things are good and may be profitable for my life and yours, I know one thing is certain, nothing in this world is certain.  And I cannot put my hope there.

I am saying “Hello” from the other side of the calendar because I know Hope. The person. The God of Hope. He is my Hope. My only Hope. Our only Hope.

Hope is not the blank page, the new day, the New Year, the clean slate. We, you and me, our hope does not come from days in a calendar. It comes from a person. The very personal person, God. The God of Hope!

Real Hope never changes. Hope is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Hope is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Hope made it out of the storage box, came down from heaven, lay in a manger, and even walked among us healing and teaching and performing all sorts of miracles, doing impossible things with impossible people, like you and me.

I don’t know what this side of the calendar this side of heaven will bring in 2016, but I do know where my hope comes from.  How about you?

Tell me, where does your hope come from? What are some of your dreams and hopes for 2016? I’d love to pray for you and your loved ones that the same Hope that came into this weary world 2016 years ago would be your Hope too.

“Hello” from the other side of the calendar! May the Lord bless you and keep you this New Year and fill you with hope.


Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12

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Kelly lives in St. Louis County, MO with her husband. She shares her story where it matters for juvenile justice, parenting prodigals, to encourage cancer survivors, brain injury survivors, and their families. Prayer is her love language. She is happiest when she is with her family or on her belly in snorkel gear floating wherever the river runs with the fish racing below her, sun rays streaming through the ripples onto the rocky bottom and the sounds of the world distantly dim. In addition to blogging here at the Consilium from time to time, she leads In ONE Accord, a Facebook live prayer event at The Consilium Prayer Room where we come together to pray scripturally as we take our eyes off of our circumstances and onto the mighty gracious attributes of God. You can find her learning how to take care at her blog Curare.

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