Thursday, September 17, 2015

Some Day I'll Be Older

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To two residents I've grown to love:

      Some day I'll be older. I'll be stooped over and grey... I'll probably be as forgetful as I've always been - I'll tell the same stories a thousand times and laugh at the same old jokes. My already daily nap time will probably be a good bit longer. I'm sure I'll be reading and writing for as long as I'm able, and probably singing too, though my eyes may grow weak, my hands unsteady, and my voice wavery.

    Sometimes I think about what it'll be like to be old - to look back on my life and hope I spent my years well. I've met so many types of elderly people, and I wonder who I'll be like...

This is what I hope. 

I pray I'm like you.

When I am your age, I pray I'm as beautiful as you are.

         I pray I'll have a love for the Lord that is deeply visible. I pray that  I'll continue to see the good things in life - that I'll show God's love by being truly thankful. I pray that I'll still speak of God's goodness, and pray for others, and encourage those around me. I pray that others will say of me, "She's a joy to be with. I wish we had more people like her," like they do you. I pray others will see Jesus in me, like I see Him in you. I see Him so clearly in you.

       For now I'll continue to walk this life ahead of me. I'll seek to be joyful - to be in step with my Lord...  I wanted you to know that though I haven't had the pleasure of knowing you long -
  You have made an impact on me.

Proverbs 16:31

Gray hair is a crown of splendor;
    it is attained in the way of righteousness.

~Ophelia - Marie

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Ramble About Hope

"HOPE: While the cynical souls of the world may see your bright optimism as a youthful naivete, you have come to understand that it is the hope of a better tomorrow that burns within you. You are passionate and idealistic. You understand that there is so much potential surrounding us, and we have only to tap into it in order to achieve great things. When others are burdened by the troubles of every day life, you transcend them and consider the beauty that the future brings. Your bright disposition infects everyone around you, as they too learn how to dream. As long as hope is alive within you, you will always be the very best that you can be!"

As I look at the answer to this silly little Buzzfeed quiz, I feel struck all over again by the word, "Hope".   

And so instead of reading, or playing with clay - or whatever else it is I want to do with this day off - I feel the urge to ramble about Hope... I'll get to the other stuff soon. ;)

 Hope, for me, is so tangled in the word "Trust". I believe there is Hope because God has awakened my heart to trust. I believe there is potential because I believe in a God that is bigger than our mistakes and weakness. I believe that the future is bright in some aspect or another because God is alive and active in this broken world. I believe God cares... That is why I see hope as such a beautiful thing.

Someone said to me the other day, "If we could understand fully, how much He does care, it would change *everything*."

Yes... I believe it truly would... There's not only hope for the future - there is hope now. God is here Now... He cares Now. Right where we are, no matter what we're facing - He cares, He loves, He sees. We have access to speak with Him - to be in His presence. To be in the arms of Hope.

I have been called naive...Perhaps in some ways I am. But I don't think having hope is naive when it's placed in the One who holds my life in His hands... To me, that seems to be the fullest form of good sense.

Sometimes it's hard for me to understand the worlds of others that don't see hope and beauty as starkly as I do. I know sadness, but even in writing, I'm still looking for the completion of hope. I feel the lack of hope at times - the sorrow, the darkness, the loneliness, the overwhelming sense that things in life are wrong and I can't heal them - I've been told I write it well. But I have the blessing of a, "the glass is half full" attitude... most days.

 I was sorting out those thoughts the other night as I talked with someone who thinks quite differently than I do. Who sees the dark spots as bigger than the light ones...  The weight of that feeling made me write.

Hey it's true -
I'm my own worst enemy,
Gathering the shadows no one else can see,
Tying up the knots so I can't get free,
Never really sure where I'm meant to be -
It's a mess I'm making,
But will You stay with me?

'Cause it's a battle in the dark
And I'm the only one here.
Am I alone here?
I can't see You here...
It's a battle in the dark
And nothing is clear.
Nothing is clear...
But I trust You are near...
Please show me You're near.

    I know the world is dark... I know there are pains greater than I can wrap my mind around - I know there is suffering and tears and bleakness and blackness that seeps down deep to the soul. I know there are nights of sobbing. Of sleeplessness. Of numbness. Of wondering if pushing on is worth it. I know there are days of fake smiles and tired eyes - of going through motions that everyone expects, but there seems no reason to care... I will not gloss over that fact, or say that that is "your choice" or that, "you could feel hopeful if you want to"... I know it's not that simple.... But I want you just take a moment to look at Hope with me. Even if you can't see it today, I'm praying you will in time... God loves you - you - more than you can fathom. He wants you to find hope in Him. You are His Beloved one.

Psalm 33:20-22

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield

In him our hearts rejoice,

    for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

Matthew 6:25-26
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?


1 John 4:9-10

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.





I've written about hope before. It's one of those topics that tickles in my brain and demands to have voice.

          "Since I have hope in God's promises to me, that should change my outlook on life. Hope is a funny thing - it can drive us to do things we may never well have done otherwise. It may only be a spark, but hope can make all the difference. The difference between taking a chance, and shrinking back. The difference between sickening fear, and quiet trust. The difference between reaching for a dream, or letting it die. The difference between caring for someone, or giving up. The difference between taking time to find joy, or only dwelling on the worst.     
    Mmm... Hope... I write that word on my wrist fairly often...thinking about so many, many things in life. It can be hard to remember at times to look around and have hope. Hope isn't just a feeling though. Hope needs to be grounded in the right place, in the right person. Jesus - our Savior, Redeemer, Creator and Friend. He is always with us. We are safe in His arms. He is the reason I can hope."

I pray you are reminded of Hope today... Of your need for God. Oh how great our God is, and how much He truly loves you. He loves you enough that He died for you. He loves you enough that He LIVES in you.
He loves you that much.

May God bless you and keep you,

~Ophelia - Marie