When my 16-month old daughter falls

When my 16-month old daughter falls, skins her knee, gets up, wipes the blood and starts off again…This gives me hope in mankind’s ability to get up and continue the journey, realizing a little blood is the price of admission to the show we call life!

Brian – Arlington

I was sitting in a 12-step recovery meeting

It was a Friday night. I was sitting in a 12-step recovery meeting listening to those around me introduce themselves. I had been invited by a friend who was on slate to give her testimony, a deeply intimate invitation into her very private struggles.

Everyone was friendly enough, yet I was acutely aware that I was a new face in the room.  Would everyone think I was one of “those people” whose dysfunction had driven them out of the shadows and into the punishing light of public confession?  Shouldn’t I be given a visitor’s badge?

And yet, as the meeting began with beautiful, stirring worship music….I let myself feel the truth of what I am – one of  “those people.”  A fallible, weak, tempted and stumbling human, created by God and yet so often unlike Him.

It was liberating to be in a room of people who have had to drop the façade of self-righteous perfection.  God and His mercy are found in the light of honest self-awareness.  He can handle any of my mess as long as I acknowledge it.

We all need to know how to move on from our failures.  I saw “those people” doing just that at a Celebrate Recovery meeting and it gave me hope in restoration. Hope in the power of repentance and making amends. Hope in God’s desire to rescue the brokenhearted. Above all, hope in living honestly in view of my own weakness.


In a season…

In a season that I am fighting desperately to save and fortify the deepest essence of what makes me unique, I have felt helpless and hopeless.  But, I have realized that hope is just a feeling and feelings are created.  I can create hope by taking action, deciding to believe for more, reading, writing, associating…

When you aren’t sure how to find what you’re looking for, sometimes it can surprise you by being there just as plainly as the name-tag on the waitress at the Buffalo Wild Wings that reads Hope.  And that gives me hope that NOTHING is hopeless.

Heather – Dallas TX

My father-in-law died just months before…

t_IMG_0629My father-in-law died just months before I met my husband. All I know of him I have learned through a few pictures, one video and stories retold by those who did know him. Most of those stories reflect what we now call a dead-beat dad, although back in the 70’s we didn’t yet have a term. He left his wife and three children when my husband was only 2. His children did not see him again for many years. I’m fairly certain he never paid much child support.

In later years, he was able to re-build relationships with his children, but those young years were gone forever.  Then, in February of 1996 he was in a terrible car accident caused when a young man committed armed-robbery and then proceeded to engage police in a high-speed chase. The assailant ran a red-light crashing into my father-in-law and killing them both instantly. When he died, Calvin had a Jim Croce cassette in the tape deck.

The other day, while in my husband’s car, I popped out the tape to see what he was listening to — his car is old enough to still have a cassette player. Even though it has been 13 years since his death, it was Calvin’s tape I found in my husband’s deck.

Even though his father was mostly absent in his young life, he still had an undeniable impact.  How much more will my husband be able to impact our son.

This gives me hope in fatherhood.

Dana – Dallas

…leaving the concrete jungle…

jhellwigLast week I had the privilege of leaving the concrete jungle of Dallas to hang out in the Ozarks of Arkansas and Missouri. When I was in college there, I hated it. I wanted the bright lights and the big city. I wanted the urban American experience. I wanted to work in a high rise downtown, eat at trendy restaurants, wear fashionable business suits and let the world know how sharp, smart and snappy I was for landing such a life. Fifteen years later I crave the shady trees, the flowing water and the peaceful pursuit of silence.

This atmosphere gives me hope that all I’ve worked for isn’t lost.


My 18-month old said…

My 18-month old said “I love you” the other day.  This gives me hope that I may be doing at least one thing right.

JH – Dallas TX