A practical twist

Practically speaking now, one place where I go with these concepts is a hope list.

Each morning, I try to list three tangible gifts I hope to receive from the Lord that day. It’s the “Thanks List” concept popularized by Ann Voskamp, in reverse. I find that as a melancholy, I look backward with enjoyment more easily than forward with hope. So I list what I have not yet experienced.

Scriptural hope is a confident expectation, rooted in the character of God.

I do not list “Bank error in your favor—Collect $1,000.” I do not list “Caribbean cruise.” I do not list “Eight hours of solitude.”

I try to list concrete things that I really think are going to come my way from His hand—or could come, if I reached for them. Sometimes they don’t happen. It’s okay; there is always another day. And He surprises me with other gifts along the way.

The point is, the exercise turns my eyes forward in hope, confidently expecting to come face-to-face with God’s goodness multiple times in my ordinary day.

Here are some from my archives:

  1. Hum of a sewing machine
  2. Flicker of a candle
  3. West Coast music
  4. A tidy house (He and I are going to bring it about, see?)
  5. A new dress
  6. Time wrapped in an afghan
  7. Sparkling bathrooms
  8. Something warm for supper
  9. Hanging laundry in the sunshine
  10. A cup of warm tea
  11. Seeing chaos brought to order
  12. Talking with a friend
  13. Good food purchased
  14. Truth-nourishment from Scripture
  15. Creation of beautiful trifles
  16. A nap
  17. The pleasant sound of rain

“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

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11 years ago

Love this idea!

11 years ago

What a neat twist on counting blessings! I just might try this!

11 years ago

Thank you, thank you for this beautiful series, Shari. Your nature sounds so very similar to my own that it gives me a wistful feeling. And I love this exercise. I like to think of myself as a thankful person and it’s not hard for me to write long strings of thanksgiving, but I like the HOPE perspective.

And isn’t West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir heavenly? Dan’s sister Monica recently gave us a CD. I’m afraid Dan is seriously jealous of the man who sings the solo in Blessed Are They. 🙂

11 years ago

So glad this post wasn’t titled “Hope and Change.” We’ve had enough of that lately.

11 years ago
Reply to  Not The Boss

Hey, hey, Boss, you better watch it. I like this kind of hope. It’ll definitely bring change within. I think I’m going to try this discipline. Sounds like it’ll bring forth loveliness in my day, along with anticipation.

Shari Zook
11 years ago
Reply to  Renita

Whoopee! You know she’s my real sister when she stands up for me against her brother. 🙂 But he’s talking about Obama’s platform–Hope and Change. I considered naming one of my posts that just for fun… He he.

11 years ago
Reply to  Shari Zook

Yeah, I consider you a real sister too! 😉 and I think we all know a little much about Obama’s Hope and Change, right?! We use the phrase around here, too. That would be a great blog post, tho.

LaDonna Nice
11 years ago

Love this idea!

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