Advent Week 1: Hope

Yesterday, the first Sunday of Advent, our family had the privilege of lighting the “hope” candle at our church. Truth be told, I had to bribe my son with the promise that HE could be the one to handle the fire and light the candle, but we made it! We also gained a child (our friend’s son was sitting with us), so that was fun!

Admittedly, the holidays are always a mixed bag for us. In one hand we hold anticipation, the beauty of connection with friends and family and the meaning behind the reason we celebrate… In the other hand we hold sensory overload, (My kids are like the canary in the coal mine when it comes to sensing we are doing too much! Anyone else?), unmet expectations and the loss of loved ones who are no longer with us.

Enter: hope. What does hope look like for you this season? Over the course of the week I’ll be sharing some photographs I have taken over the years that inspire a sense of hope in me. Each day I will update this post with a new image. I’d love to hear or see what hope looks like for YOU this holiday season!

Photo taken in 2012 @ The old Slave Market in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
This one goes out to those longing for hope to rise in the midst of darkness.
Here’s to holding out hope for all the prodigals… AND all the older sons who stayed home. I find myself in both.
Sometimes you can see Hope in the distance, but there is an ocean separating you from it. That’s how I was feeling when I took this shot 2 years ago on the rocks at a beach in Maine.
So much has happened since then…
I was not alone.
Another shot from Tanzania, this one from my days as a teacher living in a remote village in the mountains (2008). Clean water brings hope to so many in the developing world…and I so often take it for granted. Lord, have mercy!

Just keeping it real… sometimes Hope shows up in a cup of coffee and some time away from the daily grind. Can I get an “amen”? (Photo taken during my Spiritual Direction cohort, August 2022)

Let Hope arise in the form of open doors, open tables, community, music, creativity…
This photo was taken at the Magnalia Homestead Foundation (8/22) which exemplifies all of these values in such a beautiful way.

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