Word Up: Hope

Since my friend, Layla, is having a word of the year party (scheduled for early Monday a.m.), I thought that would be fun to join.  I am not one to often make New Year’s resolutions. Those seem to be lists doomed to fail for the most part, so why set yourself up for that?  But, as I approach my 5 year blogging anniversary the first of February, this is a good time to stop and count my blessings.

The Lettered Cottage

Choosing a word for the year seems to be a good way to start the new year off on a positive note.  A sweet word can stick in your head and heart and help guide the way through the days and months that lay ahead in the coming year.  So, why not a word?  I pondered and thought and read some devotions, bouncing a few words around that I thought I could embrace.

And I came back to one that continues to grip me.

HOPE.

At four letters, a little word, but a powerful word.

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(via Tumblr)

What do I put my hope in?  Who do I put my hope in?

 

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(via itthings)

Oh, that has certainly varied over the years.  As little girls, most of us hope for a Prince Charming to come along and sweep us off our feet.  A wonderful knight in shining armor that we can fall in love with and one who will complete our lives, bring us happiness and with whom we will live happily ever after.  Magical words.  You know, just like the fairy tales we grew up reading?  Oh yes, I had those hopes and dreams too, as a little girl blossoming into a young woman.  I looked for my Prince.  Found a few hopefuls and had my heart broken along the way.  Married this one and that one.  But, unfortunately, my Princes didn’t complete me, in fact made my life worse instead of better in so many ways.  I’m sure I was not the Princess they had hoped for either.

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(via Pinterest)

Those dreamy young-girl hopes were dashed.  Reality was not as I had hoped for in my dreams and life did not turn out as I had imagined.

What do you do when your hopes and dreams don’t come true?

It would have been so easy for me to give up with what happened in my life the last year.  To crawl under the covers and go into a deep depression.  Hide from the world. I could have easily stopped blogging.  How in the world do you talk about the ugly side of life on a happy home blog?   Grief, loss, and failure was a big part of all of that.

One year ago, I was sitting in a big house, alone, facing the realization that my life was about to change in huge ways that I couldn’t even imagine.  The man I was married to had just run away from facing some big responsibilities, instead choosing to leave me with the aftermath of his horrible choices, all of which created a domino effect.  A house that I had lovingly made a home for the past 5 years was going into foreclosure and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.  I was also sifting through lies and truth, trying to get to the bottom of what I was really facing.  I still don’t know the 100% complete truth, but I knew plenty enough then to know I had to get out of that situation as quickly as I could.  Edited:  My ex-husband ended up serving jail time in AL, facing some serious financial fraud charges.  Life can certainly turn ugly sometimes.

Feeling pretty hopeless at the time, it seemed that my life was crumbling to pieces.  I ran home to the safety of my parents, which is the best thing I could have done.

Oh, that the Lord has brought me this far!

And now, for me, my reality has taken me down the path of gratitude.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself, for the disappointments in life that have come my way, instead of wallowing in self-pity, I choose to keep hope at the forefront of my mind.

Not hope in a new man.  Nope, not that, not yet anyway.  One thing I have discovered in my personal journey is this:    No one person on this earth can make you happy and complete.  You have to find that in and for yourself and the only one in whom we can find wholeness and healing and true joy, is the one who created us.

Jesus Christ, he is my hope.  He is the man that I count on and rely on.  I know his promises will always be yes for me, promises for a brighter future, a good tomorrow.  And that gives me more peace and contentment than money could ever buy.  Not an easy life with no problems, but I know that He is always there to walk with me no matter how rocky the road.  And boy, was last year rocky.

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In spite of lost houses, failed marriages, and money woes, I’m hopeful for a future that will be better than anything I’ve experienced thus far.  Finding a little fixer-upper house will be one of those things in my future that I’ll be looking forward to the most.  I will be so excited when that happens and will wait for the right one, which gives me hope that I can find something affordable.  I just know it’s out there waiting for me!

I have no idea if God will bring love into my life again.  If He does, then I’ll know it and be ready for it, but it’s not going to be something that drives me.  Besides, anyone that comes into my life will have to run the gauntlet of family and friends.  They’ve got my back.  A complete background check wouldn’t hurt either. :)

I can be content single, enjoying my friends, both single and married and loving life.  I have a joy and a purpose and blogging is a big part of that.  God has blessed me so much this past year in bringing me through the torrential rain, into a place of safety and peace.  And gratitude.  And joy.

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(via Etsy)

Jeremiah 29:11 says it so well and is one of my favorite verses of the Lord’s love for Israel.  I can hold this promise in my heart as well.

This year, I will have hope in:

  • First and foremost, Jesus as the Lover of my Soul.
  • My family, who love me unconditionally
  • My friends, who support and love me through it all
  • My purpose and work, from sharing this blog with all of you to experiencing so many new and exciting things that I know are going to come along this year, including a brand new blogging conference, Haven, that I’m privileged to head up here in Atlanta.
  • New opportunities and open doors that I can’t open myself, but only God can do. I gladly trust Him to do that.
  • Enjoying life one day at a time and really reveling in the journey.  Living life like never before.

And my hope is this, that these words will speak to someone out there who is losing hope, wondering if there is an answer for you.  Does God really care about you and your situation?  I hope my life and experiences will speak to you and let you know that yes, there is hope, always.  When we trust in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He will never let us down.  His plans are so much higher than anything we could ever dream of.


(Lamplightart.com)

We all face trials and difficulties in life and what and who we put our HOPE in will determine the outcome.

I know I’m not the only one who has gone through divorces and disappointments.  It happens all the time to so many women.  No one ever goes into a marriage with intentions of failing and you can come out of divorce feeling like a great big Loser, with an L on your forehead.  For those of you who have experienced hard marriages, I feel for you.  I know exactly how it feels to live in disappointment, deception, emotional pain, and loss.

If you found your Prince Charming as a young woman, had his babies, and are now living happily ever after, you are blessed indeed.  Be thankful every day for that!  It didn’t happen that way for all of us.  That was my dream too, to meet my Prince Charming, have a couple of kids, and to live happily ever after following God’s perfect plan.

One thing for sure, I cannot give up.  YOU cannot give up!  We must keep going and know that there is a reason for it all.  Hard times make us stronger.  I’m definitely stronger than I’ve ever been, but my strength is not in myself, it is in my Lord.  Not on what I can do, but on what He can do. When I am weak, He is strong.   It feels so good to lean on Him and not try to fix it all myself, as I so have a tendency to do.

And one thing I know.  Nothing is impossible with Him!

Nothing, do you hear me? 

Hope.

A small word, with a heaping helping of meaning.  Hope endures.  Hope believes when we can’t see.

Do you have a word you are clinging to this year?  Please leave a comment if you do, I’d love to hear it.


- Rhoda


Comments

  1. An absolutely beautiful and honest post! Thank you for sharing it with us!

    I love the word hope and it’s the one word I always tell me teenagers; that there is always, always, hope and that this too shall pass!

    Thank you!

    Gail

    My word? Joy!

    • Kelly Feltzer says:

      Thank You so much for your candidness, and openess. It is so refreshing to hear honesty. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I wish you the best!

      Kelly F.

  2. Blessings to you. When I read about your parents, I think of mine, who are now gone. I know they would have helped me the way yours have been there for you. I’m praying you have an extra good year in 2012!

    • For me the word is grateful. Grateful that I sit here today, a stronger, confident, happy woman, grateful that I was not destroyed by the one person I trusted for 26 years of my life.

      Grateful that I serve a awsome God, who loved me through the darkness, who loved me enough to bring me out of where I was living, and back to his loving arms.
      Grateful for my family, and friends, my church family.

      God has the most beautiful plan ahead for you Rhoda, and I look forward to following you along the way, to see his plan revealed.

  3. Hope is one powerful and meaningful word. I “hope” that 2012 is filled with hope for you, Rhoda! :) My word for the year is…”possible.”

  4. Rhoda,
    This was a beautifully written, heart-felt post. “Hope” is the perfect word for you this year. It reminds me of the Latin motto of South Carolina. “Dum Spiro Spero” which means “While I breathe, I hope.” I’ve chosen the word “Grow” for myself.

  5. I think a story about picking yourself up and being bigger than what is happening to you is even better than a “happily ever after.” Thank you so much for sharing this post and for continuing to inspire us!

    Allyson
    http://cupcakescandycanes.blogspot.com

  6. I too have chosen hope as my word for 2012. In order to keep going one must have hope that it will work out the way it should be.

  7. You are the best Rhoda!! Thinking of you and sending love your way!

  8. Thank you Rhoda for your lovely post full of hope! I appreciate your honesty and encouragement and know others will too!

  9. every word you speak is so true for all of us. Thank you for this post.

  10. Hi Rhoda, I just love your post about Hope. I went over to another favorit blog of mine A Fine Farmhouse and she was sharing hope too from a quote of Jane Austen from Sense and Sensibility. My word is FAITH.

    Truly magical and inpirational.

    Thank you!

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you for a beautiful post!! You are an amazing woman and certainly an inspiration!! I miss seeing you regularly so much. Thank you for your honesty in the blogging world – it certainly needs it!!

  12. Such a great post, Rhoda. God truly is our Hope, wouldn’t want to be walking this earth without Him! My word for the year is “Step” as in take one, and step out in faith. Thanks for always being so open and inspiring!

  13. A student says:

    Thank for sharing the real reason for hope!

  14. Rhoda, you are a special special person and an encouragement to so many. Thank-you for sharing your journey. I wish you blessings too great for you to hold!!

  15. Rhoda, I read your Blog daily and feel as if I know you and your family and love keeping up with you and all your adventures. Thanks for sharing in your last post. Just know you are an inspiration and Iove that you did not let your experience become who you are. I did not have a word for 2012 but always a scripture and now I have a word, I love HOPE. Thank you again for passing it on. Bless you my friend.

  16. Rhoda,

    Thanks so much for this post. You continue to inspire me. I have followed your blog now for over a year and just love your positive attitude. I know you have had a difficult time this last year, but I do have hope that you will weather the storm. Please remember that you are touching so many lives in such a positive way. Bless you!

    Becky

  17. Rhoda,
    This may be my favorite post of yours, ever! Hope is truly a gift from God. Everything we see around us is temporary. But He and His Hope is eternal. Hallelujah!
    Your post is filled with hope, joy and conviction. You are an inspiration in many ways, but in your testimony is your greatest blessing to others.
    Thank you for living your life by our wonderful Lord and Saviour living in you!

  18. Ah, my friend ~ you are such an inspiration! I, too, have travelled the road of divorce, failure, grief, along with single motherhood and financial distress. HOPE is the BEST place for you to camp out… no doubt about it. I find myself now in a place of busy happiness, thanks be to God. This year my word is BALANCE. I’m still raising children and step-children and I must find my balance. And I’m starting with Him.
    Peace, xo Heidi

  19. What a beautiful post! Praise God that He is there for us in our darkest hour. I don’t know that I would have survived last year without Him. My word–Determination. I’m tired of sitting by and allowing life to happen to me. This year, I’m taking the bull by the horns and making things happen. Here’s to a fantastic 2012!

  20. Amen. That is one beautifully written post. Hope is a great word and a great thing, indeed! Many blessings to you in 2012.

  21. I HOPE you have a wonderful 2012. My word is service…

  22. Rhoda,
    The Lord used you to encourage me tonight! I am going thru a VERY difficult time, and I need to be reminded that I DO have HOPE because I have HIM, even though it seems that my prince has turned out to be a frog!!

    I have not thought of a word for my year! I am just trying to figure it all out, like you running to the safety of my parents. (with all my little chicks tucked under my wings. )

  23. May God’s richest blessings be yours in 2012. Love your blogs!!

  24. This is an absolutely beautiful post. I have a feeling you will be blessed in the years ahead. I always enjoy reading your blog.

  25. What a beautifully written and heartfelt post Rhoda! Watching you this past year has been such an awesome testimony of your courage and grace and your love for God. I’m honored to be your friend and to have watched you triumph over circumstances! Hope all around for 2012! It’s going to be a good year :).

  26. I have followed your blog for some time & knew that there had been something tragic happen to your marriage. These past few months you have shown a sweet spirit, living with your parents, being a part of your sister’s family, and reaching out in the blog world. Thanks for being so open in this post & telling your story. May you be blessed in the coming months with whatever good things God has in store for you.

    I think my word for the year is going to be “forgiveness”. Our family has been through several stressfull events over a period of about 8 years. It is so hard to accept when someone you care about is so deceived by others, that they will no longer listen to the ones that love them. I think we are living in times when Satan attacks our families. So…I have a few things to work on–forgiving others & forgiving myself a little bit also.

    If you listen to Southern Gospel, listen to the YouTube of Lynda Randall singing “He Will Carry You”.

    Blessings!

  27. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post and for inspiring all of us how to make lemonade from lemons. Blessings to you in 2012.

  28. Dear Rhoda,

    Thank you for this honest, poignant post. You have been through so much hardship and heartache last year and handled it all with grace and dignity. Keep your chin up and remember it’s never to late to start living happily after after! {I know from experience!}
    Never lose hope.

    Your Friend,
    Deborah

  29. Happy 5 years Rhoda! You are one special lady :)
    I know that this year has been a tough one for you. I have lifted you up in prayer and sat back and watched you bloom. The Lord has done some wonderful things through you Rhoda. You have shared your story and strength with so many. Keep letting your light shine. I adore you~

  30. Rhoda! What a beautiful post. Hope is powerful thing!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN

  31. I was writing my word of the year post when I saw yours pop up on Twitter. My word is courageous, and one of the things I want to have courage for this year is sharing more about my faith in God on my blog. Reading your post was like a shining message from God, reminding me that we are in His hands. Your attitude and sweet faithfulness through the struggles of life were used to give me the courage to face my own fears. I am so sad for the things you have had to go through, but I want you to know that you have blessed others by sharing them. Much love to you sweet lady ;-)

  32. Bravo, for how you have lived your life this past year and for the inspiring words you have posted here. There are a few of us out there, I am thinking, that were in need of some encouraging words this weekend and this message speaks volumes to us. I often look to the Proverbs quote that you always have on your blog but today, your words have especially lifted me up. Thank you for sharing.

  33. Judy Clark says:

    Rho:

    It was one year ago today that I called your Mother and asked if I could come over. I knew their Daughter, my friend was in trouble. I think that my word for all of us who know you is “thankful”. I am so thankful that you are here with us safe and sound. God has truly brought you to a wonderful place of safety and recovery. May He continue to bless you in the days ahead. You are loved.
    Judy

  34. What a well written post… I will be forwarding this to TWO of my dearest friends who have been dealing with divorce and disappointment for a few years now- I hope it touches them.

  35. Debbie Gilbert says:

    Rhoda,

    I just love what you shared and thank you for telling MY story…… Jesus is the lover of my soul also. I spent many years looking for love in all the wrong places as He quietly waited. The Lord has taught me so much in those dark moments (or months and years) and He will continue to teach me.

    At this time in my life, HOPE just seems too far away so I will I have to hold onto your word and those of others until it becomes me. Thank you for giving me a glimpse into your world and thank you for continuing to blog through your difficult times.

    In HIS Mighty Name,

    Dehbie

  36. I love your word Rhoda! I think my word for this year will be TRUST. It seems in the last three weeks, the devil has been whispering fearful words into my heart. I want to learn to trust God in every situation. You would think that at 56 years old, I might have learned to resist the devil( so he will flee from me) but he is still around, seeking to destroy God’s children. I have seem Satan really test some of my friends this year( I count you as one of my friends!) and I have seen such great examples of Christian courage. Thanks for being an example to us all!

  37. I appreciate your testimony so much and praise God for this blog-avenue that you have to share it.
    I can relate in many ways. I have claimed every verse you listed on “hope” over the last few years. Oh my goodness, where would we be without HOPE? And He alone is our hope.
    I came across another good word in my time with the Lord this morning: Nevertheless. 1 Chronicles 11 talks about David deciding to take Jerusalem as his capital. The people living there said “You will not get in here. Verse 5 says, “NEVERTHELESS, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.” And verse 9 gives the reason, “And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him.”

    The world, our flesh, and the devil may tell us we can’t, we’re defeated.. . but NEVERTHELESS, with God, all things are possible!!

  38. The word HOPE is a wonderful word with amazing power. He who created you will certainly sustain you through this, and I thank you for being so open; your story will surely inspire others. I have learned that God absolutely works all things (the good, the bad, the ugly) together for the good of those who love Him who are called according to His purpose (paraphrased Romans 8:28). Which leads me to my word of the year, PURPOSE. I want to be intentional about all I do this year; to do all things with purpose, and to keep God’s purpose for me at the forefront of my mind.

  39. Thank you. This post is what i needed today…

  40. “Hope maketh not ashamed.” I think about that at times and conclude that although some hopes and dreams are piecrust, hope in the Lord’s unfailing love never disappoints or embarrasses us. Thank you for your heartfelt, honest, profound post.

  41. Wow Rhoda, what an open and powerful post. Thanks so much for sharing so much of yourself and your wisdom. I have hope for you too and I “hope” to have the same power of a positive outlook and faith that you have shared with all of us. Take care, Laura

  42. What a powerful and uplifting post. Rather than turning bitter (which would have been understandable), you have hope. I love your word and think it is a perfect fit for you. You are such a positive person who graciously shares her life’s lessons. You are an inspiration! Hugs to you.

  43. Rhoda, you continue to be such a great source of inspiration and HOPE to me. Keep up the great work. God has amazing things in store for you in 2012, I’m sure. 1Cor. 4:8-12.

  44. Sorry, Rhoda. Make that 2 Cor. 4:8-12.

  45. Thank you so much for being “Real”.. I relate to so much of what you are going thru…. 2011.. has not been the best of years “financially” speaking… but like you I am blessed beyond words to have a family who loves me and a “Savior” who will never leave me nor forsake me….. You have encouraged me so much this morning!! My word for the year 2012…. “FAITH” …… like a mustard seed… such a tiny thing…the smallest of seeds but when planted .. grows and grows … into a tree large enough to provide shelter for the birds….Just a little mustard seed faith .. believing that with God alllll things are possible!! thank you Rhoda

  46. friend,
    mayby one of your top five best shares.
    always remember, “you is kind, you is smart, you is important”.

    and the congregation said “AMEN!!!”

    hugs,
    p

  47. Thank you for the words of encouragement! Needed those today. I am so thankful to have found your blog and enjoy it everyday.
    Blessings,
    Jen

  48. Rhoda, this was a beautiful, heartfelt post. I know where your hope is and has always been, you have let us know that in the past. Now more than ever does your hope shine through. I know with time you will find peace, contentment and joy again in your life. You have had quite the journey and your are glorifying God by sharing all of this with your readers. Thank you for your continued blogging and sharing,
    xo Kathysue

  49. I am so happy to see you standing on the promises of God. Our hope is found in nothing less. Thank you for sharing with us and encouraging us.

  50. Wonderful post! You are such a wonderful Godly example of how to fast adversity. You have truly inspired us all.

  51. WOW! It’s crazy how similar our paths are right now! Hope is a great word. My husband abandoned me with our three kids, and I had to sell our home fast and move across the country to be near my parents. (Then the house I sold collapsed down the hill with half the neighborhood and those poor people are stuck– sometimes God is rescuing you from something far worse when he lets those bad things happen)

    YES have HOPE. Being single is great, the fairy tales aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, and Jesus is a better friend than any husband could ever be. Good things are ahead. Bless you on your journey!

  52. Wonderful words of encouragement. Thank you for sharing. After years of making wrong choices, I have come full circle and totally agree with what you said, no one can complete you in the way we think they can. God is where our focus needs to stay.
    Thank you again for sharing and I pray you are blessed beyond measure for 2012.

  53. aaahhhhh Rhoda, I have Hope for you too! ♥

  54. life is hard.
    life can be ugly.

    life WILL be hard. It is a fact.

    but we do have a choice: live it with hope, or live it without hope.

    Rhoda, this post, and your words are amazing. Simply amazing.

    “in this world, you will have troubles. but take heart, I have overcome the world.” – john 16:33

  55. Hope was not my word for last year; joy was. However God used that word and truth to encourage a refugee woman who was a widow and has 2 young children. To share that word in Him was a privilege. During the Christmas celebrations she attended , the Word Hope was a stand out to her. Her heart has been encouraged and she is now studying the Book with another believer!

  56. Blessings to you, and thanks so much for the inspiration that you
    shared in your wonderful writings. The New Year brought a crisis, and I
    now I am deep in thought dealing with that. But will cling to the Hope
    that you describe and look to the Lord for guidance during this
    time.. May God Bless you and best wishes for a happy Year!! Dawn.

  57. Charlotte says:

    I don’t often comment, but, I have followed your blog for several years. I was so sorry to hear of all the problems you were having last year. You have done an amazing job of moving forward and not letting the past drag you down…… Kudos to you…I’ll keep reading…..

  58. Gina in S FL says:

    Maybe my favorite post of yours. Inspiring. My word has been JOY for a couple of years. Just trying to savor the joy in everyday simple things like the way the clouds look against the sky while driving in my car. So much joy to behold!

  59. Hey Rhoda! What a beautiful post. I wasn’t a blogger last year so I don’t know your story that well but sounds like an aweful roller coaster ride. I’m so happy to have found your blog and am glad to hear you are hopeful! Hope is a pretty powerful sense of “being” :)

  60. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Wow, Rhoda. This is truly a heartfelt, inspired and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing, and taking us along on your journey. Thank you for opening your heart and your life to us. You really ‘commenced to preach’ there. Very very good.

    My word for 2012 is Joy. I’m convicted that I need to be a more positive person, to work on, and learn to be, more of a glass-half-full rather than glass-half-empty kind of person.

    Your post has inspired me to put more effort into getting my own post together and up. And I’m sending this post along to someone very dear to me who had a rocky year last year, too.

    Donna

  61. Rhoda, what a wonderful post and it brings to mind a word important to all of us – grace. You have been given so much grace to overcome the setbacks in your life and through sharing these moments, you have given your readers the hope that through God’s grace they too can overcome life’s obstacles. Thanks for putting your heart and soul out there for us today. It makes all the design stuff pale in comparison.

  62. Rhoda, sounds like we have lead similar lives. My last marriage ended 9 years ago and left me filing bankruptcy and my home being foreclosed upon. It was devastating. 5 years later, I was able to buy a home – something I never thought I would be able to do again on my own (and a legal secretary’s salary). It’s not the big nice house in the nice neighborhood like I lived in before. It’s small and it’s cute and it’s mine! I have lived on HOPE – and faith in my Redeemer. How wonderful it is that we serve the same God. The same God is watching over both of us and loving us and giving to us the things that our husband would not. Thank you for sharing your story and, most of all, for sharing your faith. I don’t know how anyone makes it through difficult times without good friends, family but, most importantly, a relationship with Jesus Christ! May God continue to bless you.

  63. I too, have had to deconstruct my home and face up to some ugly truths in the last few years. I am finally filing for divorce this year. This blog posting helped me feel less alone. Thank you for writing everyday and bringing beauty and inspiration into all of our lives.

  64. I’m so sorry that you had to go through all of that but so happy that you had faith to lean on HIM. He will bring you through it, keep on hoping and praying.

  65. Candace Yergensen says:

    Rhoda,
    Thank you for your vulnerable and honest post….I came across a verse the other day that spoke to me,””I’ll run the course you lay out for me if you’ll just show me how.” Psalm 119:32 The Message
    I love that you have hope, and can speak into other girl’s lives, who are experiencing dashed dreams and plans. Love your BLOG! Blessings, Candace

  66. Rhoda, you are such an inspiration…a joy to ‘know’ you. What a message you have just sent out! I am so proud of you and for you…I just love your sweet parents too. Best wishes to you this year.

  67. Rhoda, I was to touched by your post. Hang in there and keep the faith. I’ve been single since 1989 and raised 3 kids alone and now I’m an empty nester. Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday on the OWN network sure has some things that lift the spirit too if you haven’t seen it. I wish we all lived closer and could meet up for one big ladies blogger party. Keep up your wonderful blog. You’re in my prayers. Thanks for sharing.
    Robin

  68. Rhoda, know that you have touched many you will never meet – and I am one. I’m humbled by your faithfulness! A beautiful testimony from a beautiful lady. Thank-you! May God’s peace be yours.
    Colleen

  69. Hi Rhoda

    What a wonderful post! You are so courageous to share so much of your life with us, but I see from many of the comments, you have given encouragement to others. I too have gone through the “broken dreams”and have a few years of difficulties and stress. I am happy to say I think I have reached a good place, not my version of my happily ever after, but nevertheless, it’s a good place. I’ve learned to live alone, depend only on myself, excel in my career, and most importantly, not be sad when I close my eyes to sleep. So my word for this year is ‘grateful’. I am grateful that the recent past is behind me, I have people that love me and stand behind me, and that I have picked myself up and stood tall. I hope that your hope becomes grateful by this time next year! Hugs to you!

  70. Wow! Amazing post, Rhoda. How wonderful that you are using your circumstance to glorify God!!! He truly is the Author and Perfector of our lives, and your trust in him is such a witness. I have read your blog for years, and this is your best post yet. :) Praise Him for the hope that you have……

  71. I sincerely HOPE 2012 brings some peace and closure for you. And a little fixer-upper for you to nest in! Hope is the perfect word for you–stay strong, Rhoda.

  72. Thank you for sharing this post. You are absolutely right that often times we look at others and think they have it all. The truth is we are all fighting a hard battle to various degrees. I wish you all the best as you face these challenges.

  73. Late to comment, but just wanted to say, been there, and it really does get better. Not just better than right now (which, I’m guessing, wouldn’t take much!), but better than what you had before. Hope you can grab onto whatever higher power works for you, and don’t let go, and look back only for the purposes of figuring out how not to go there again.

    My own falling apart is the thing that got me interested in the whole idea of making a home, so our journeys are a bit backwards in that. I’ve got a life today I couldn’t have imagined 6 years ago. It’s better than anything I once thought possible. I wish the same for you.

  74. What a wonderful testimony! I have read your blog for a long time but never have commented…I am sending a cheer of support and admiration to you right now!!

  75. Hope. What a beautiful, life changing, awesome word!
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    Lisa

  76. I really love this post. You are an inspiration. Your life is a wonderful testimony to God’s faithfulness. He will NEVER leave us or forsake us.

  77. I have followed you for many years…. Marveled at your creativity…Admired your love and devotion to your “Heavenly Father”.. and your constant love and devotion to your family and friends… They are all with you Rhoda.!!! We do have you in our prayers…. you seem like a family member of mine…. HOPE is an awesome word to choose for this new year…. I am also having some challenges…health issues…and will be retiring from my lifelong profession of Nursing…. I will miss it beyond belief…. but I am “hopeful” my retirement will be “OK”??!!… We have 3 precious children and 7 equally precious grandchildren…. I will continue to follow your blog… and just think of you daily…. xoxoxoxoxoxo

  78. How honest and forthright your post is! And how great to hear how you are holding up! Some times it is so hard to “let go and let God” but how buoyed we are when we do! Thank you for sharing.

  79. I have been following your blog for 3 or 4 months now and so appreciate your hope in the Lord and for the future. Today I needed to read that when I am weak he is strong. My mom is going into hospice in the next day or so and my heart is broken. But God will be strong when I cannot be. Thank you for this wonderful blog. I admire your strength.

    Rebecca

  80. Velvet Hodges says:

    Thank you so much for being “transparent”. I know your words are such an encouragement to so many. We were never promised a bed of roses. Life is hard. Our beautifully wonderful God sees it all. Nothing goes unnoticed by Him. And, yes, through it all we can have hope, joy and love trusting in the one who knows us best, Jesus.

  81. I came over here from the Lettered Cottage’s word of the year linky party because I was struck with your word-HOPE. I was trying to decide on my word and was thinking faith or hope and then when I came over here I knew it would be hope. We have had terrible financial troubles due to my husband being out of work for 2 1/2 years and when we hit a crisis in which the next step coming would be foreclosure I asked the Lord”Is this what you have for us ?”and I pleaded with Him to give me a verse and He gave me Jeremiah 29:11 and the crisis passed and we still have our home. Everything is still very tight and touch and go financially,but I have HOPE that things will turn out for the best. I’ve never been good at making friends and always end up crying when I read posts on these blogs about women friends and have been praying about that as well and then Nester started having a series on friendships and I found out that I’m just an introvert and that there are ways to still make friends and once again I have HOPE. So for the year ahead instead of getting swept up in discouragement and Satan’s lies I will have HOPE-hope in my Lord who will never leave me nor forsake me-HOPE in His goodness and mercy which is new everyday. Thank you for your beautiful post and putting your hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. I will be doing the same.

  82. Your words touch my heart very deeply. My word for this year is Hope, too. I shared it on my blog recently. You and I shared some of the same words and Scriptures. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Hold onto the hope that is only found in God.
    ~Adrienne~

  83. Don’t know if you have found a house yet. I stumbled across this one, which might suit you well. Sylva, NC, 116 Mockingbird Lane, for $32,500!

  84. Oh Rhoda this post was SO encouraging for me! I know all of what you are saying but it sure is nice to hear it again when you need encouraging! I have a lot going on in my life as well but I know that God will see me through it all as well. He’s just so awesome like that! There is a song I used to sing in church all the time and when I first heard it I just cried and cried. It was soooo encouraging! I started singing it in church and lots of folks loved it as much as I did even though I didn’t sing all that well. Awhile back I heard the song on the radio and I hadn’t heard it in a longggggg time. I KNEW in my heart God allowed that song to be played at that very time to encourage me and to let me know everything was going to be alright. Anyway I don’t know if you have ever heard the song or not but it’s a Southern Gospel song, and the McKameys sing it, God on the Mountain. He’s still God when things are going wrong and He’s STILL God when they’re going good as well.
    I to try to tend to things myself and have to stop all the time and say no, this is Gods! Let HIM handle it. I know you’re going to do just fine because God is going to help you just like He helps us all when we ask and depend on Him! :)

  85. I have started reading your blog lately and was wondering if Lauren is your daughter. I find your story inspirational.

  86. FAITH…that is my word!

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