Day 9 of Advent: Recognize that Hope is All Around

As we move into the shortest days of the year, the tug of war between darkness and light is ever-present.  And with the tragic events of the past few weeks and months, how do we have faith to find and resonate hope?  Hope is all around us.

At times like these, we just have to work harder to find it.  Here is a list to get you started turning off the noise and opening up to hope:

  1. Turn off the 24-Hour News and Turn up the Positive News Sources.  While I watch the news daily, I have found some sources that balance hard and soft or uplifting stories.  CBS’s Sunday Morning and the reporter Steve Hartman are my first stops.  I subscribe to the Christian Science Monitor to feed my need for deeper analysis of complex international news and focus on the mix section where they share movies, books and people making a difference. Read the Friday and Saturday editions of the Wall Street Journal.
  2. Friend or Follow Positive Groups, Magazines, Boards or Inspiring People on Social Networks.  A year ago, I made a commitment to stay positive on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Tumblr.  My first step was to shed or unfollow the folks in my network that were too political and/or too negative.  The next step was to follow Guideposts, George Takei, Upworthy, Dayspring, Road Trip Nation, Brene Brown, and Holley Gerth.  There are others, but these are my favorite places to bring a little hope into my day.  I also follow a network of Christian Ministers on Twitter, inspiration in 140 characters–brilliant!
  3. Reach out to People from your Past to say Thank You to.  When we say thank you for something a person did for us that made a difference in our lives, we spread joy and show gratitude.  Recently, one of my former students (from 15 years ago) found me on Facebook and wrote a beautiful letter thanking me for being her teacher.  It meant the world to me!  Who do you need to reach out and say thank you to?
  4. Focus on the Positive with your Reading.  My favorite author of my youth, Madeleine L’Engle inspires me daily through her poetry, articles, books and spiritual writings.  Who inspires you?

Madeleine L’Engle wrote the following in 1973 to remind us that we can find hope in difficult times…

The Risk of Birth
By Madeleine L’Engle

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.
That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn-
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.
When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn-
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

Look for the hope that is all around us this Advent.  And let hope shine from you, so that others see hope too.  You may be the only hope they see all day. 

Shared by Marcie Doll

4 responses to “Day 9 of Advent: Recognize that Hope is All Around”

  1. Thanks for this, Marcie. Love all the concrete suggestions. I especially love that thanks to you, I now have a copy of “The Risk of Birth,” which was one of the readings at yesterday’s Advent Concert. Wonderful reminder.

    • Karen,

      Thank you, surprisingly, I wrote this one on Friday night before the Advent Concert. And my post for Christmas Day is the last reading from the concert yesterday. It’s amazing how God works in all of us.


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