the advent of my hope

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It’s the time of year where the light is always low, stretching the shadows on and on and on.

And this year as advent starts I’m wrestling with hope.

My oldest is 6 going on 15.  He’s been mouthy and disrespectful lately.  He is always finding lines and pushing them.  Discovering his boundaries and limits.  I know this is him testing things and oh is it a test to me as a mom.  He is a hard nut and there have been some really hard days with him lately.

November has been a month of odd medical things happening inside my own body.  Symptoms and questions that I can, in the comfort of my own home, search on WebMd and not like the answers google tells me.

The shadows stretch out in front of me long and shifty.

But this week, advent starts.  It starts, amazingly, astoundingly, rightly so – with hope.

Last Sunday evening we made salt dough.  We stuck our hands into the sticky mess of it and, divided it up, rolled it out and formed the letters H O P E.  We baked it until it was solid.  Set.  Firm.  Secure.

My lips started humming before I my brain caught up to what song my heart was remembering.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame.
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

My hope is built.  God reached down into the sticky mess of it all and spelt out H O P E in the blood of Jesus on the cross.  The very same babe who was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger.

I can hope in all sorts of things.

I can hope that my son wouldn’t be such a hard nut to crack.  That parenting him would not be such a battle.
I can hope that next week there will be easy answers to my medical questions.
I can hope in sweet frames and shifting sands and long stretched out shadows.

And all of those will disappoint me, even break me.

Except.  Oh except for the hope that is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

Hope that is firm.  And fixed.  Solid.  Painted by my sweet littles hands and sitting on my mantle.

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