The energy of hope

There’s a famous saying: “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” I think you could almost say that without hope, we cease to live. We may be breathing, but we’re not living.

Hope and energy are intertwined. I remember my grandmother, Theola, often saying that she hoped to get to her quilting, or her flowers, or some chore outside. As she grew older, she was often short of energy. But I never knew her to be short of hope. She was a woman of simple goals and great faith. Her world was small by most standards. But she was a well-spring of hope.

I saw the loss of hope in my dad when he began to lose his life to cancer. It wasn’t fast, and it was hard to watch. I would visit and try to encourage him, to infuse him with energy and strength and expectation…to bring back his hope. But I couldn’t do it. My mom couldn’t do it. He had hope for life after death. But he couldn’t hope for this life anymore.

Hope is the positive face of a to-do list. When my dad was dying, he wasn’t making plans for next week. Plans are for the living, and they require expectation of fulfillment, and energy to accomplish. Hope is fuel and food to the spirit.

“It’s the possibility that keeps me going, not the guarantee.”
― Nicholas Sparks

I hope so many things. I have hope for personal dreams, for family, for health, for good things to come. I hope for those I know and love, and hope for those I know only a little, or not at all. Hope is an active and intentional desire. It isn’t neutral. When you express hope, you feel strongly. You believe in what you hope for. Sometimes we wish with all our hearts. We hope to high heaven. We have high hopes. We dream big. Hope sustains us. It is a force of the universe.

Hope is such a little word, and so casually used. I think we forget how important this small four letter word is to life. Hope is looking forward, not behind. Hope is positive, not blind. Hope acknowledges grace and potential. With hope, possibilities are all around. Hope allows the story to write itself, work itself out in good time. Hope reminds me that sometimes things happen
not at once, but at last.

I remember hearing my dad say that he had a hard time going to bed; he always hated to give up the day. He and my mom were often up late, working on projects, pursuing their hopes. She still works late at her desk. I’m more of a morning person. But whichever end of the day you find inspiring, the thing nudging you out of bed or keeping you up past your bedtime…it may look like work. But I believe it’s really hope, disguised in everyday garb. Hope keeps us going, whispers that it will be worth it…plants a seed-thought of what’s next.

“Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.”
― Martin Luther


  • January 18, 2013, 7:54 am  Reply


    • January 18, 2013, 8:48 pm

      Thank you! Hope empowers us all! ~ Sheila

  • January 18, 2013, 9:56 pm  Reply

    I don’t like going to bed, either. There’s always something I would rather do than sleep. But without hope, I might never get up. Good post.

    • January 26, 2013, 9:30 pm

      I’m so impressed with your faithful blog posts! I can’t get to mine every day, and I’m sorry to say, sometimes even every week! You obviously find time every day to be creative and to write…good for you, whichever end of the day it comes from! ~ Sheila

      • January 27, 2013, 12:00 pm

        Thank you, Sheila. It stems from a deep desire to get into the Bible every day. I decided years ago to blog my devotions, so that’s one way I make sure that I get in a devotion every day. it works together to keep me faithful.

  • January 19, 2013, 6:30 am  Reply

    How beautifully said…Your expression of HOPE was lovely…I too…find me saying, “I hate to give up the day!”…making myself go to bed …then, sleep comes quickly…

    • January 26, 2013, 9:28 pm

      It must be your creative spirit keeping you up at night! I’m a huge believer in the importance of finding your time of day that you have energy. Makes all the difference in the world! ~ Sheila

      • January 27, 2013, 1:19 am

        I also have a cat that thinks when she’s up…I’m to be up…I didn’t know I would have a “baby” to look after when I was “old”…

  • January 19, 2013, 7:38 am  Reply

    “Hope is looking forward, not behind.” AMEN to that, Sister!

    sometimes hope is hard to come by and in those moments, I have to turn inward and find it where I didn’t expect it – within.


    • January 26, 2013, 9:26 pm

      Yes, it feels good to find strength within in hard times. Enormously empowering! I found that for myself in the last couple of years…still learning to grow my own strength…I think it’s a life skill that you can’t develop until you need it. But thank God, I am learning! ~ Sheila

  • January 21, 2013, 6:13 pm  Reply

    Good timing for this post. And wonderfully written. Hope is indeed powerful.

    • January 26, 2013, 9:06 pm

      Thank you Renee! I’m sure after your recent experiences with your mom you are feeling the need of hope! Blessings to you as she recovers. This week has reminded me how important hope is to life…scary experience with our new little grandson. But good now! ~ Sheila

  • January 27, 2013, 11:19 am  Reply

    what a wonderful post – hope really is everything and you have illustrated that so well

    • January 27, 2013, 11:56 am

      Yes! I’ve had to really step up and follow my own advice in the past several days. Makes me think, for sure! Easy to talk about hope when life is just rocking along. I really believe everything I said. I’m just reminded that tough times can come out of nowhere, and that’s when hope and strength are most needed. ~ Sheila

      • January 27, 2013, 12:00 pm

        you are not kidding–tough times are when you have to put action to your thoughts

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