Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Keep Hope Alive

From youth, most people have a hopeful attitude toward life, but as they age, sometimes they allow the feeling of hope to fade.  My belief is that, even if something seems hopeless, it is always better to maintain an optimistic view and keep hoping. "Hope we have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast," the Bible says. (Hebrews 6:19)

Often there are goals that seem never to be reached, and sometimes homemakers think the sameness of things (laundry, meals, dishes) will not end. When hope enters your mind, things can change for the better, for while you are doing the necessary tasks, you may be hopeful of moving on to something a little different afterwards. Though these types of hopes are shortly in the future,( perhaps within a day), they are worth hoping for. Having an interesting sewing project, art theme, or even an hour set aside to write a letter (or blog) are happy rewards to hope for.

Daily goals to look forward to are reasons to keep hope alive, but there are long term goals we all want, which may not be immediately seen, but still we strive forward toward them.  We hope to have success as  "guides of the home," (1st Timothy 5:14). To be organized enough to find things when they are needed, and to have a dwelling place that is a lovely place to see and feel, are things worth hoping for. To train up children to be good, polite, diligent workers with a strong sense of honor, is something worth hoping for. To look after the health and well-being and needs of our husbands is a goal worth working toward and hoping for. These things will not be seen suddenly, but with persistent hope and effort, may one day be seen. Hope is harnessed with faith, and "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."(Hebrews 11:1).

 Here is an easy way to understand hope: Even though we do not always see the things we hope for, we keep hope alive by having faith that these things will one day happen, and even though there will be discouragements, at least, if we have hope, our hearts continue to beat in anticipation. So, in times of indecision, hope for something better, and that happy thought will be the best motivator for continuing to build your life on the values that you believe in.

Some short term goals you might hope for are:
1. Preparing yourself for the day by getting dressed with dignity for the day at home. That way you will also  prepared to go somewhere if necessary. If you are dressed up (and I'm not speaking of formal, impractical clothing) it gives you motivation for an important job.

2. Planning an hour for each daily task: the dishes, the laundry, and cleaning up the areas that are used the most by the family members: the living room, dining room, bathroom, and bedrooms. These jobs can be delegated to others, also, but they should be able to adopt your work habits and your standards, through practice.

3. Setting aside time to do something creative or something relaxing that is renewing for your mind, each day. Go for a walk, pick wild flowers, look at scenery, laugh about something (it is good for your health) knit or crochet, dig in the garden, and offer prayers of gratitude to God, whether in sunshine or rain. These things help keep hope alive.

4. Stop for tea-time each day, no matter how badly things have turned out. Start using the best china you have and treat yourself well. Even a work horse is allowed to stop for a refreshing drink, and you are better than a work horse: you are the guard and the guide of the home, which in my opinion is the highest office in the land.

These are just short term goals that are not always achieved, but if you keep hope alive, you'll add a happy outlook to your live and develop a good-naturedness that will give you more hope.  It is difficult to separate the management of the home from hope, for without hope, your life's work is deadened.  

Keeping the home and guiding the family is more than just a materialistic, mechanical thing. It is a spiritual thing, for while you are caring for your loved ones, you are also giving them a hopeful life and building yourself up spiritually.

Eventually, these things will add up to a home living "condition" that will make it more desirable to be home than to be somewhere else, for as a homemaker, you can make the atmosphere anything you like and everything belongs to you.  There is no better reading room, no better holiday, or better writing desk or tea room than the one you provide for yourself.

Keep hope alive and you will build yourself up. Show that hope is alive in you by preparing for each day as if it were the most important event in your life, and maintaining a cheerful, optimistic ambition for the job ahead. Whether the thing you hope for is realized, or not, keeping hope alive is essential in keeping your sanity and keeping your mind and body functioning at its very best. Maybe your needs may not all be perfectly fulfilled, but if you lose hope, you are sunk for sure, for you cannot function as a hollow soul without things to look forward to. Even if these things never transpire, the hope you keep alive will keep your heart beating and your mind in tune with God.

I have chosen paintings by the California artist, Susan Rios, whose art always represents hope coupled with contentment. I have sent her scenic photographs on several occasions, and she has used parts of them for her wonderful paintings: a very gracious lady indeed.

To print this for your notebook, go here.

If you have men in your family who want to keep hope alive, go here for the men's version of this post.


Gayle said...

Such a good post, I am printing this one off to read again later.You always know how to get to the heart of the matter and offer gentle doable steps to take.God Bless you for your efforts.

Denise said...

Once again, this was just what I needed to hear today. The past couple of weeks haven't been easy so this is really inspiring!

Lydia said...

There is a great deal of contentment in hope, because hopeful people are not anxious. They may in fact appear very calm and relaxed, because of their hope. Once you have hope, you gain assurance.

Anonymous said...

Oh I really like this post Lydia!

I have implemented many of your suggestions, and I have to share that my day and my life is filled with contentment since then :)


Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia, this is exactly what I needed to hear today. I have been struggling with infertility and it has started to really get me down. Your post was like God telling me to not become hopeless. It is sometimes hard in this day and age to be a christain woman without a large family. People around you often assume that you have chosen to only have one child ( as the saying goes, 'one and done') I know I have to grow personally not to care what others think. Still this adds to the pain of not being able to have more children. Anyway, thank you for your lovely post. I am going to resolve to work on having hope even when it seems impossible. Alissa

Lydia said...

Even with no possibiliy in sight, hope is more beneficial for your body than despair. Despair can be very destructive in many ways, and if you are in despair, you might not be any good to anyone who needs you.

Anonymous said...

This was such a lovely post. It is such an important reminder that applies to homemakers in any stage of life. I think it is very kind of you to share your valuable insights. Your wise words bring hope and light to the lives of countless homemakers, including me!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I need to get some tea and stop reading the news. I am waiting for the Supreme Court's ruling on the health care act since it may impact the religious adoption agency I am signed up with.

Barbara said...

I have taken one of your recent posts about demoralization to heart. It applied to me. And now this one about hope applies even more. I've been discouraged about some situations, but I am going to take courage and write out the things there are to hope for. Thank you again for inspiring us.

Lydia said...

Hope is not actually the fulfillment of anything. It is keeping it in mind and working toward it. Hope can help a person endure to the end, even if the goal is never seen in this life.
It is better to live and die with a hopeful heart than to waste precious days in gloom and doom.

Paulina said...

Lady Lydia,
Thank you again for an uplifting, encouraging post! Susan Rios is a wonderful artist...her paintings are so feminine and dreamy. Your blog is truly one of the loveliest things I look at each day!

Mrs. B said...

I needed to hear this today...thank you for your timely words of truth and encouragement....I always glean much from your words of wisdom!!

Blessings to you!!

Barbara Neubeck said...

A beautiful post.
Hope is definately better than despair.
Thank you for your lovely words.
God Bless
Barb from Australia

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I am 36 and have prayed and prayed for a baby for years. I want to give up hope sometimes and you rekindled my HOPE in Jesus that one day I will be pregnant and have a beautiful baby. God bless you

Anonymous said...

I also needed to hear this today. I am a housewife (22 years married this Saturday!) and have two children who are now 18 and 20. I homeschooled our children. I am still busy and needed...however, I begin to wonder what else I'm supposed to be doing now that the end is drawing near. But I still have things to do and maybe in a few years, there will be wedding and grandchild and it will be very nice to be here when I'm needed once again! Hopefully!

Anonymous said...

A lovely post-I've been discouraged lately that I will never get to be a stay at home mom, so I really needed this. Without hope we will waste precious time and sometimes be very grumpy that things will never improve.

thank you so much for the time you put in every day to encourage ladies

Judith said...

Thank you so much!! I am behind on reading my blogs as last week was a very busy family week. This touches the spot in my heart that needs this encouragement so badly.

I have stopped to rest with a glass of ice-tea and a cookie to read for a minute before going on to the next thing. You are such a blessing!!

Softbreeze said...

As always, Lady Lydia, you find a way to inspire and uplift others. May you be blessed.

Trish said...

I agree with everything in this encouraging post, Lydia.
You are so right - "It is better to live and die with a hopeful heart than to waste precious days in gloom and doom."
Amen to that!!
bless you..Trish xx