Jan. 6, 2018

And the Secret Word Is... HOPE!

“Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone; you’ll never walk alone.” Rodgers & Hammerstein

I’m sure you recognize this wonderful piece of music from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, Carousel, which debuted in 1945 and is still being performed here and there around the world. This song is sung by Nettie, who runs the local seafood restaurant. Her friend, Julie, a factory worker, married the incredibly handsome and totally wrong for her carnival barker, Billy Bigelow. Julie has told Billy she is expecting, and he, in a misguided effort to provide for his soon-to-be baby, engages in a robbery and is shot to death.

Julie weeps over his body and sobs to Nettie, “He’s dead! Nettie, what am I gonna do?” Nettie replies that she’ll come stay with her, she’ll keep going and then sings, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” This song reduces everyone in the audience to tears and is truly one of the greatest lyrics ever. Sung at many high school graduations, by the way.

When I wrote this blog piece a year ago, I had no idea that I, too, would be in that same position as Julie, sobbing to my family that my beloved John was gone and what am I gonna do! Well, life does somehow go on and three months later, I’ve found that though there’s not a minute I don’t miss him, I’ve managed to keep going, through many tears, which is pretty much what Julie did, too.

There’s a concept going around, brought to my attention by Michelle Griep, successful author and blogger. Look her up, check out all her books and be amazed. Anyway, the concept is to pick one word to be your New Year’s resolution or mission statement for the year. There was even a book a few years back: My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. This is so cool as you can immediately dump those high-minded and probably impossible resolutions like reading all the great books in one year. Seriously? Have you ever looked at the list of Greatest Books? Here’s the first few:

1 . Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.

2 . In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.

3 . Ulysses by James Joyce.

4 . The Odyssey by Homer.

5 . War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

6 . Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

7 . The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.

8 . Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

I repeat, Seriously?? There are some of you out there who have read these, but most of us are happy with a new Stuart Woods or James Patterson thriller, or maybe a new John Grisham. Here’s one I’d really like to read:  “Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant To Be,” by Rachel Hollis.

There’s always lose ten pounds, donate all the clothes that don’t fit and have butter stains on the front to the Salvation Army and on and on.

The word I picked last year is: HOPE!

And I’m going to pick it again this year. I’m going to lean heavily on HOPE to help me make wise decisions about my future. I’m HOPING for a number of children I know who have medical problems: Brooklyn, Caleb N., Jake and our own Jessie. I’m HOPING that this year will bring what they all need in the way of healing.

So much has been written about HOPE:

“HOPE is the little voice you hear whisper “maybe” when it seems the entire world is shouting “no!”

“H.O.P.E. – Hold On, Pain Ends”

“The only difference between those who threw in the towel and quit and those who used their energy to rebuild and kept it going is found in the word...HOPE.”

“Once you choose HOPE, anything is possible.” Christopher Reeves

“Where there is HOPE, there is faith. Where there is faith, miracles happen.”

This picture is of hot air balloons floating over the Arizona desert that our Texas family and I saw just a week ago. There is such HOPE in seeing these gaily colored balloons lifting up and up and up.

So that’s my word again for the year, HOPE. I’m hoping you’ll pick one that will work for you. My beloved John, now seeing so many who have gone before us, and most especially his Lord, would like this.... HOPE!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a HOPE.” Jer. 29:11