So the third part of my tag line is Hope.  Why hope?  There are two reasons.  I apologize in advance if this seems rather random. I pray you would see my heart in this even if the words are jumbled.

I see so many women out there who want to have a perfect home, a perfect child, a Pinterest-perfect kitchen etc.  We all do.  I’m not going to lie, I would love to have a Pinterest worthy house.  But the reality is that that is never going to happen. We move every 2-3 years and all of our stuff doesn’t fit decoratively (is that a word?) in every house. I live with four kids, myself and my husband (although he is MUCH neater than I am).  I am an incredibly messy person. But just because our house isn’t tidy according to the world’s standards doesn’t mean that you are a bad wife or mom or friend.  Are we finding our hope in Pinterest or are we finding our hope in Christ?  Will having the perfect home lead us to Christ?  Nope, not ever.   We must find our hope in God.  He is worth of our devotion.  God is a God of order, but there are seasons of life that are incredibly hard to keep a perfect home.  Right now my life feels like pure chaos.  I have a senior in high school, a junior in high school, a 7th grader and a 10 year old. I homeschool them all and that means that they are home all day.  I could demand all my children clean all the time, or I could allow them to have the freedom to talk with their friends and do school work etc.  But, I, like they do, hate cleaning. So I make them clean when I can’t stand it any longer.  (That is usually around 2 weeks, that’s my limit).  I know that they will be gone one day and I can have a neat and tidy house then.

I’m telling you that there is hope beyond the struggle to have it all perfect.  You are all loved by God right here, right now despite the disaster that your house may be.  Grace, all is grace.  There is hope in spite of the clutter and the crazy. There is hope beyond the clutter. There is hope beyond the chaos.

“While optimism makes us live as if someday soon things will soon go better for us, hope frees us from the need to predict the future and allows us to live in the present, with the deep trust that God will never leave us alone…” Henri Nouwen

The other part of Hope being a part of my tagline is because if it weren’t for the Hope that God gives, our family would not have gotten through the last 4 1/2 years.  In the fall of 2014, our oldest son, was diagnosed with a Non-germinoma germ cell tumor in his brain.  Despite 4 months of intense in-patient chemo and then 6 weeks/5 days a week of radiation, we are thankful that he is cancer free.  Through all of that HELL, and that was what it was, God was there.  Sitting beside us, holding our hands. During the treatment my mind was singular of purpose. After the treatment, after the “all-clear” came the crash.  The dark days of why us came into my soul and my mind. I can now say that the light is slowly crawling into the dark places.  The sun is creeping slowly and quietly into that valley of darkness and brings light into the dark spaces. I have had to hold to on Hope more than anything else during these last 4 1/2 years.  I have to hold on to Jesus despite my human fear that he wasn’t there.  

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” Hebrews 10:23.  

Despite the circumstances, we know that in the end God is faithful.  He is keeping His Promises. He is sitting beside despite our feelings.

I have a cousin who was stricken with ALS in the last few years.  His lovely wife posted a link to this on her FB page a couple of weeks ago.  This post sums up all the feelings I have had over the last four years.  I cannot be sickeningly optimistic because I know that sometimes life is crappy.  But I know that God is here in the mess.  And we are tied together in that mess because we are all here right now.  And God will be with us until the end (Psalm 48:14)

Oh the day when we will see his face.  We will be with him and we shall see Him as he is!  I cannot wait, but until then, we take comfort and peace knowing that we are alive and He lives and is present, sitting there holding our hands.

And so, I write this blog to tie us TOGETHER.  To find hope in community, but to find Ultimate Hope in Christ.  

Image from Pixabay – Welsh Mountains

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Shelly Miller



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