When Hope and Joy Come Home to Stay

Our vacation was nearly over by the time we ventured out of the lake house together, made the short drive into a tiny town called Wamic.  At our destination, we opened the door and stepped onto the creaking floors of an old house, now home to a coffee and consignment shop.

We ordered our drinks and wandered the house slowly from room to room, upstairs and down.  Treasures lined the walls wherever we looked, and I turned each corner with excitement, wondering what might be waiting for us in the next room.

And then I saw them, perched on a shelf.  Hope and Joy calling my name.

I looked long and pondered whether I had a place for these birds to come home to.  But the longer I pondered, the louder Hope and Joy whispered for me to take them home, take them to heart, live them out.

As I placed them on the counter, my grandma exclaimed over them and my mom told her that Hope and Joy were some of my favorite words.  But I turned and said, "Not just words, Mama."

No, not just words.  Hope and Joy.  They are life and beauty and glory and God

And they are now perched on my desk, perched on my life, perched way down deep in the soul-home of the God who breathed them into me.

Hope and Joy have made a home in my heart.  The gratitude overflows.

553.  Vacation finally here, journey finally beginning

554.  Sun streaming in the car window, landing on yarn blanket

555.  Rainbow's full arc spread out beside the freeway in the middle of a hailstorm

556.  Low wisps of cloud, hovering over hilltops

557.  Wispy afternoon moon blending into cloud puffs

558.  Rainbows in the road spray, sun glinting after downpour

559.  Crocheting hands silhouetted against the seat back

560.  Steepled red brick church standing in the evening light

561.  Green hills at sunset

562.  Dairy Queen stop before the last stretch of the journey

563.  Empty road, empty sky, sun setting beside us

564.  Desert lands still green with spring

565.  Six cows grazing together amidst endless open space

566.  Sitting in the backseat, eyes peeled for Glory

567.  Sun orb slipping behind horizon's cloud bank...

568.  ...then clouds opening to reveal blinding beauty once more

569.  Flat hilltops dotted with tree silhouettes at dusk

570.  No pressing concerns except to watch the sun go to be while we drive

571.  Grandma waiting for us at road's end

572.  Hello hugs

573.  Car unloaded, settled into my room

574.  Discovering an electric blanket on a borrowed bed

575.  Falling asleep warm and cozy...

576.  ...and staying that way all night

577.  Waking up to the sound of geese happily honking outside the window

578.  Lying awake in bed with no reason to hurry and get up

579.  Face buried in Hope, soft and warm

580.  Searching for the Gratitude Journal in the dark of early morn, not wanting to forget His gifts

581.  Sitting across the breakfast table from Grandma, listening to animal stories from country life

582.  Patch of muscari blooms in the middle of the back lawn

583.  Mom and Grandma side by side, bent over a puzzle

584.  Crochet project finally finished, laid out for admiration

585.  Mom recovering from migraine, rejoining the fun

586.  Digging through Christmas fabric, making plans for stockings

587.  Resting in the bedroom, listening to the women chat

588.  Bowl of Grandma's chili for dinner

589.  Pulling out a new bag of yarn, stitching the beginnings of more beauty

590.  Plans made for tomorrow, another day of resting, creating, and being together

591.  Waking up to the sound of geese honking again--this never happens at home!

592.  Yarn laid out across the floor, four women deliberating over color order

593.  Decisions made, blanket taking shape, beauty unveiled

594.  Unpacking Grandma's teacups, listening to stories of the past

595.  Hours in the rocking chair, drinking tea and crochetting

596.  Grandma offering baking lessons, Mom learning how to make the pumpkin roll

597.  Mom accidentally covered in powdered sugar

598.  Mountain of mashed potatoes for dinner

599.  Meatloaf with blueberries--so good!

600.  Sharing the craft table, watching others' art take shape

601.  Laughing over silly things late at night, feeling joy deep down

602.  Plans for tomorrow that involve cheesecake, silk scarves, and Christmas ornaments

603.  Waking up to sun on the water after a day of all rain

604.  Lake smooth like glass and reflecting the trees

605.  Pulling out the blanket project first thing, more circles of color being born

606.  Listening to Mom and Grandma as they stretch out crocheted snowflakes, pin them in place

607.  Cheesecake baking in the oven

608.  Putting on shoes for the first time since arriving

609.  Four of us finally read for a trip into town

610.  Wandering through rooms full of treasures, excited to see what might be found

611.  Sipping hot chai while doing the wandering

612.  Hope and Joy sitting on the shelf, whispering for me to take them home, take them to heart, live them out.

613.  All of us leaving Lexi's Place with treasures tucked under our arms

614.  Back to the house and back into slippers

615.  Puzzle coming together, last missing piece found on the floor

616.  Last evening together, full of eating, crafting, and movie watching

617.  Bags packed and ready to go, a few more hours to enjoy

618.  Dozens of scarves piled on the dining table

619.  Four of us gathered around, trying new ways to wear beauty

620.  Laughter at the process and the failures

621.  Discovering beauty, holding it in our hands

622.  Making plans for "next time"

623.  Goodbye hugs

624.  Grandma standing in the doorway, waving and blowing kisses until we are out of sight

625.  A dozen deer grazing in a neighbor's lawn as we pull onto the road

626.  Sun shining bright as we head toward home

627.  Cloud shadows laying across the blue-green river water

628.  Talking about family history on the long drive home

629.  Dairy Queen stop, ice cream for dinner

630.  Space Needle finally coming into view, home soon to follow

631.  Car unloaded, bags piled on the floor, knowing the unpacking can wait until the morning

632.  The welcome feeling of being home

633.  Imaging what the real Homecoming will feel like


  1. you captured beautifully our days together, they were so precious. Thank-you for being a part of it.

  2. feels like I went with you - such vivid descriptions - and I *love* Hope and Joy!

  3. i love, love, love hope and joy.

    a lot.

    such a beautiful and wonderful post.

    you paint such vivid work pictures and always, always point to Him.

    and those birds...i'm in love.

    so glad that we are giving thanks together.

    you bring such joy to my heart.

    love to you, dear friend.


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