Tag Archives: hope

clouds rolling by…

A Prayer for a Divided Nation

yes, we appear to live in bleak times where man stands against man, women against women. we wonder how we’ll ever get through it. the rhetorical words from each side seems to be coming fast and furious, as if there are spitting fire. it is easy to see doubt, to have dispair. Many people, for health reasons, like me have no choice to put on our blinders or anxiety will take us. the amount i’ve written so far has kicked up the anxiety, yet again.


i must live with hope and walk by faith that peace will return. there is a saying those who don’t learn from him story are doomed to repeat it. i say bring it on.

Let us not forget in our country’s history that father has taken up arms against son and brother against brother, once in my life time. remember 3 score and 3 years ago, the civil rights protest? i choose that word as oppose to riots because all people are created equal. seperate but equal just doesn’t count. yet we made it through and the nation began to heal. the peace, however uneasy and the results far from perfect, and some people still battle long after the protests have ended.

let us not forget that fathers took up arms against sons, brothers against brothers just 7 score and 16 years ago, in a great civil war. it even got to the point that a group of states seceded from the nation. after many years and thousands of lives lost, the nation slowly began to heal. we made it through. the return to peace was uneasy and far from perfect, and some people still seem to be fighting the battles long after the war has ended.

for the first time in our nation’s history, the divide is not about race, but this time more about class, rich against poor. i find it ironic the man chosen to heal this divide by the populate is one of the riches men alive.

my hope is like the two times before in our history, we will make it through, and the nation will slowly begin to heal. that there will be a return to peace, however uneasy. it is inevitable, like the two times before there will be people who fight long after the battles have ended.

that’s my hope, that we make it through like the two times before us. that’s where my faith is, however misguided, that we can return to peace, however uneasy and with results far from perfect.

Father, my heart grieves for our country. You tell us that any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a housedivided against itself will fall(Luke 11:17). Our country is so divided, and it pains me to think of our nation falling. But I know we cannot stand without you at the center.

We know we must honor you, recognize you as Lord and Savior. We must acknowledge our sins and failures. We must be willing to surrender to you, to follow the plans you have for us. As a whole, our country has fallen away, turned our backs on you.

But, for the sake of the faithful remnant, we call on you to be merciful to us. You know there are those who continue to choose you, who continue to seek your face. You know there are faithful ones who desire to honor you, to…

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stones-pano

hope diary

there is the long established gratitude diary. people who write in a gratitude diary usually write about 3 things they are grateful for. this helps them to reframe their life, since they take the time to recognize the often overlooked things they miss or don’t recognize.

gratitudes live primarily in the present or the past. “i am thankful for the blue sky, we have today,” would be an example of a present gratitude. “i am thankful for the gift that i received,” would be an example of a past gratitude. though not as common, future gratitude exists, too, with statements like, “i’m thankful that grandpa is coming to visit.” i see gratitude as a mostly current or looking back convention.

for a book i am working on, i have been exploring hope, what it means and how to express it. i see three primary expressions of hope.

  • encouragement: i see encouragement as a work or action that serves to reengage someone’s drive. hope through encouragement comes in the form, “i know you can finish that project of time.” that is a expression of hope, hoping for the timely completion of the project. this is primarily an action of the future.
  • acknowledgement: i see an acknowledgement as any statement or action that helps someone feel better about who they are and where they are in the moment. an acknowledgment might be, “i like you were able to put your head down and finish that project.” since acknowledgment are in the moment, they are mainly in the present.
  • affirmation: i see affirmation as a positive statement of someone’s qualities , abilities or characteristics. “you  do a really good job with your woodworking.” while a statement of the past or present, the recognized quality, ability or characteristic likely isn’t going away anytime soon. “you have a pretty smile”. hopefully the smile isn’t going away and carried into the future.

so hope is from the far end of the time spectrum as compared to gratitude with overlap. i’ve also observed both with myself and others how depression has the ability to rob both hope and gratitude. the struggles with hope and gratitude are not restricted to people facing depression, but more of a societal problem. many people, me included, have a hard time expressing gratitude or feeling hope. without those, people not only miss the good that has happened to them, but also discount the capabilities toward good they possess.

while gratitude gets a set of importance through the many people who do gratitude diaries, hope doesn’t get the same seat at the table. i would say looking forward carries the same importance as looking back. with that in mind, where are all those hope journals?

my challenge to you: if you do a gratitude journal, i honor you. there’s a little more to be done. let your gratitude diaries serve double duty also noting three of your hopes, whether it’s a hope tomorrow, next week or even next year. if you’ve done either, it’s time to look at the good that has come to you and the capabilities toward good that you have. don’t let the emptiness caused by the lack of hope and gratitude cloud what you have did and what you can do.

so, you up to it? are you ready to recognize the hope and gratitude that is in your life? try it, it may make a world of difference.

great blue heron

frozen (in)

my friend had a tough time with her sprained ankle. the pain impeded her ability and she self-admitted she was isolating.

it got to the point where she seemed to be coming out of her shell. we even planned to do something together. the next day, she came down with a cold. this ended up to be one of those horizontal colds. you might know about those; it’s a cold where not only is horizontal the preferred position, but it’s the only position. needless to say, our get together got postponed.

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return from lake 22

dreams

on an editorial note, this marks my 200 quote. make sure to congradulated me on persiverence.

…she never had dreams
so they never came true…

j. geils band

Lampi’ve heard these words hundreds of time before, since the release of freeze frame in 1981. frees frame, by j giels band was one of the few albums (albums, remember those? you know: vinyl) i had in high school. today, the words took on new meaning.

when depression gets deep and the suckitude increases to level too often seen, depression becomes like a thief in the night, clearing out a room in my mind or stealing other even more precious items, like the ability to dream. dreams become a memory of the way things use to be. as hard as i try, the ability to imagine a dream becomes an impossible task.

with dreams gone, how can they come true? they can’t. life becomes like a prison whose has no idea of release. no wonder so many like me in the depth depression struggle with despair.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAfor the most part, thankfully the story does not end there. somehow a crack appears in the seemingly impermeable wall. somehow a thought of how life might look like after depression somehow implants itself in the mind. that implanted seed makes things that like a seemed impossiblity just a month ago now seems like them might be doable. with that, hope returns.

the leap from hope to dream seems less undaunting. i allow my mind to wander to how things might be outside this room of darkness. the room becomes just a little less dark and those very hopes slowly get converted into dreams. with that, as life becomes a little less dark, the lights of hopes and dreams, the absence of despair, begin to make life feel kind of normal again, and that is a good thing. here’s to good things.

stones-pano

a needle in a haystack

this is based on of a post by my blog friend shoe1000. I thank her for inspiring me.

imagine a haystack. the hay in the haystack represents all the noise of getting through depression. hiding in that stack are the potential keys for getting to the other side of depression. these could be anything from medications, friends, support groups, therapy or even your aunt mabel’s advice on how she made it through her depression by sitting in a mud bath daily until her depression went away, “Oh, in ’bout six months i reckon,” as those words still echo in your ears.

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bird in the reeds

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

thanks to all my old and new readers, alike.  i reactivated my blog after a 14 month hiatus from, your guessed it, depression! more like despair. that sucked about 10 times worse than depression. depression, for me, feels like I have a fight change, despair, not so much. it feels more like i’ve been beaten.  personal advice, avoid despair at all cost! It has no redeeming values what so ever.

I feel thankful that hope has returned to my vocabulary. hopefully,  2015 will include publishing s new book. more about that later, though.

click on for the full report.

Click here to see the complete report.