A word: Hope

By Leslie Parks - Tuesday, December 09, 2014

I look down the row of parked cars, my eyes scanning each side looking for a parking space. I turn down another row again looking for a place to park. After 10 minutes of circling the parking lot I finally find an empty spot. I squeeze out of the car, since I can't open the door very wide. The parking spots are meant fort mini coopers and not a van. The skies are grey and the clouds hang as one giant blanket blocking the sun from my face. I open the back and grab the grocery bags happy that I've remembered them. I walk into the store with a throng of other people. None of us smiling but the bustle and hustle is present. Christmas music is playing overhead but the children aren't laughing.   I'm on an errand in between activities and time is quickly slipping by until I need to get the next child to the next activity.  I need to be quick. The morning was filled with teaching and cleaning and cooking. The afternoon is filled with errands and more activities. The evening is filled with homework and more activities and more errands. December somehow adds on even more demands than a normal month. Quick I feel the time slipping through my fingers as if I'm trying to scoop a gallon of water with my hands. No time to pause and slow down to look and enjoy the displays. No time to feel the excitement just the pressure to make it perfect. That has been the status quo for the last I don't know how many years. I could sum up December with one word: overwhelming. This year though I have a new word: HOPE.  I don't want to make it perfect.  I don't want it to be exciting. I don't want it to be hyped up and then forgotten. I made a decision back in October to be calm during the month of December.  I want to enjoy it with the kids not make it enjoyable for them. I am taking the month off to focus on the correct things during the month. I love youth group but I am spending time with my husband. My mornings are slower. I ordered a devotional from naptimediaries.com. Advent is the title. and I read from the Bible each morning and then the corresponding devotional. Love it. I also read the devotional from Shereadstruth.com.  They are two different devotionals but they both speak about Hope.  Hope as in a guaranteed expectation of things to come; healing for the broken hearted, comfort for those who are sad, rest for the weary. By the time Christmas has actually come I am beyond weary but this year I have Hope. I don't have to do everything, I can say no. I don't have to be everywhere, I can stay home. I am purposing to take time in the stores, to smile, to admire the hard work with the displays and to have Hope that this year is different.

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