When Hope is Ignited…

Everything that is done in the world is done by HOPE.

~ Martin Luther King

     Today, January 15th, is a national holiday dedicated to celebrating the birthday of the inspirational Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. My post springs from this Dr. King quote, which speaks to the potent power of hope.

     The photograph was taken while we were in the Missouri Ozarks last October. The Hope Wilderness Chapel in Dogwood Canyon was one of my favorite stops.

     I told you in a recent post we were smack-dab in the middle of a remodeling project. Every kitchen and bathroom drawer and cabinet in our house has been emptied with contents scattered here and there! I’m TRYING to be patient—truly, I am, but I can assure you, I’ve been reminded a time or two that my character is not always well-formed!

     Hope helps keep my current reality in perspective. Patience is possible as I envision cleaned-out, freshly painted, newly-organized kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

Hope has a way of igniting vision. Hope assures us in some deep, interior place that the difficulty or pain of today will be different in our future tomorrow.

About hope, Pastor Ray Johnston says in his excellent book, The Hope Quotient,

  • “Hope liberates.
  • Hope unleashes compassion.
  • Hope encourages people.
  • Hope motivates.
  • Hope helps people attempt new things.
  • Hope motivates people to find new strength.
  • Hope propels people forward, even when it seems impossible.”

This Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, my prayer for each person reading this post is that hope will be ignited in whatever challenge you are facing today…

Sue Reeve

Thoughts About Acronyms…

     A few years ago, while still working for a government agency, I participated in a presentation on managing workplace stress at a conference attended by over 300 technical professionals. Our presentation was last on the schedule.

     I sat through multiple talks on topics about which I was totally ignorant, and, to be truthful, quite uninterested. As I listened, I became aware that one professional acronym after another was being used. Glancing around the large conference room, I had the feeling I was the only one who had no clue what they meant.

     Hoping it appeared I was taking notes, I began jotting down every acronym familiar to me, identifying a couple that had become helpful tools.

     An acronym is a word or phrase formed from the first letters of other words.

     Acronyms are used in:

  • Government (CIA – Central Intelligence Agency;)
  • Business (AKA – Also Known As)
  • Identifying an individual (SWF – Single White Female) or organization (AMA – American Medical Association)
  • Describing (OTC – over the counter) or informing (PST – Pacific Standard Time)
  • Expressing emotion (LOL – Laughing Out Loud)
  • Texting or Messaging, (BTW – by the way;).

     Today’s post isn’t a tutorial on acronyms, but I’d like to share three acronyms I’ve found beneficial.

     The first is commonly used in 12-step groups and helps people in recovery identify relapse warning signs. Any 12-step participant will recognize the acronym HALT, reminding him/her to ask:

  • Am I HUNGRY?
  • Am I ANGRY?
  • Am I LONELY?
  • Am I TIRED?

     A “Yes” answer is reason to stop and assess a vulnerable emotional state.

     The next acronym is one my friend, Ashley, taught me. Concerning “naughty” childhood behaviors, think of the word, HOT, asking:

  • Is the child HUNGRY?
  • Is the child OVER-STIMULATED?
  • Is the child TIRED?

     Soon after talking with Ashley, Ron and I watched our granddaughter. Emmi spent the night at our house, sleeping in a strange bed and getting up extra early. We’d taken her to McDonalds for lunch. She’d eaten mostly French fries. Then, we took her to the park where she ran around, climbed bars, went up and down slides and played hard with new friends.

     When it was time to go home and take a nap, our granddaughter ran away, balked when asked to hold our hand, pouted and then cried uncontrollably. I felt frustration mounting, afraid I’d lose patience. Then I remembered the HOT acronym. I wasn’t sure if my 4-year-old granddaughter was hungry, but there was no doubt she was over-stimulated and very tired. Extending grace, the acronym reminded me, was the best response.

     Three little questions within an easy-to-remember acronym reminded me to speak softly, gather up my granddaughter, rock and sing gently. Soon, the worn-out little girl was sound asleep. Grandma also napped, and because she’d followed one little acronym, fell asleep without regrets!

     The final acronym—THINK—has been one of the most helpful communication tools I’ve ever learned. Before speaking or pushing that “Send” button—especially during a tense situation—THINK,

  • Is what I’m about to say/write TRUE?
  • Is what I’m about to say/write HELPFUL?
  • Is what I’m about to say/write INSPIRATIONAL?
  • Is what I’m about to say/write NECESSARY?
  • Is what I’m about to say/write KIND?

How about YOU?

  • Are there acronyms that serve as helpful reminders to you? If so, we’d love to hear about them.

Now, in closing, I’d like to say, TTFN and TTYL[1]

Sue Reeve

  1. Ta-ta for Now and Talk to You Later! While Ron barbequed steaks for dinner when we were in Missouri last October, this rainbow appeared. The magnificent show of nature made a rainy vacation day feel worthwhile! I love this quote by Maya Angelou, a woman who really knew how to craft words!

Waiting for Change…

     I’m one of those unusual women who enjoys change. I tend to become bored easily, and like to vary my routine often. Even as a child, I embraced change, anticipating adventure in the unknown. This was a good thing since I attended seven different schools between kindergarten and 9th grade.

     While I like change, I don’t enjoy waiting for hoped-and-prayed-for change to come.

     The other day, the familiar words to a Fernando Ortega song gripped me in a new way. The lyrics of I Will Wait for My Change[1] are taken from Job 14. While pondering Ortega’s song, I re-read this passage of scripture.

     Job was going through a VERY difficult time, which is describing his condition mildly. The fine man, who’d reverenced God, purposefully living in God-honoring ways, was suffering emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Verses 13 and 14 (KJV) reveal the depths of Job’s despair. He was so low, he wanted to die, but in his vulnerable condition, he even wondered about his fate if he were to die.

“Oh, that You would hide me in the grave,
That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14 If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait,
Till my change comes.”

     I love the fact that despite his dire condition, Job determines he will dig in his heels of faith, waiting for his change to come. I’m speculating here, but I imagine Job was able to reach this determination because of a lifetime of trust he’d developed over many years.

     Right now, my life is undergoing a welcomed, but somewhat inconvenient, change. We’re involved in remodeling projects. At this moment, the contents of kitchen cupboards and drawers are housed in boxes and plastic containers in the living room. I’m excited about the change, but it is requiring extra attention and time.

     For that reason, the next few Listening on the Journey… blog posts will be brief. I hope short will be sweet, and pray words I write will help achieve my mission to always point readers to a “never changing God in our always changing world.”

Listening on YOUR Journey…

  • What change are you currently waiting to come?
  • How might considering God’s past faithfulness help you with your current waiting?

I’m praying for you and asking God to reveal Divine truth during your ‘season of waiting’…

Sue Reeve

Waiting for warmer weather. I have a feeling more than one owner of these sailboats at Bayview, Idaho, is waiting for change to come! Thanks, Ron Reeve, for this lovely winter image.

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGfXRUhKTXM