Helping me hope

September 1, 2008 | My Jottings

This little bird perches on a lamp in our bedroom, near a chair where I often sit to write in my journal, or to read and pray.  It was a recent gift from my friend Lorna.  This cardinal appears as if he’s looking over the shade and down on me where I sit in the chair.  And when I pause in my pondering and glance up, I’m reminded of how my friends and loved ones have helped me hang on to hope.

I have two collections. One is a blue and white cup/mug collection, and the other is of cardinals in all shapes and sizes. Both collections were started for me, by friends and family who gave me a gift and then just kept adding to the collections over the years.  My flock of cardinals has a very personal and meaningful beginning. People began to give them to me after hearing the story of how God used a real cardinal to bring much-needed hope to my heart during a dark time in my life several years ago.  Someday on this blog I will tell my cardinal story, and soon I will also share the children’s story I wrote about it.

Today I am celebrating how the people I love have been helping me hope.  There are cardinals all over our house, and each time I see one I’m reminded of the kindness and empathy of those who have sent these red birds flying my way.  Sometimes I look at a cardinal gift and it makes me grin wide. Other times I feel my heart still deeply moved that people have come alongside me and said, in essence, “Remember God’s promise?  Remember how He brought hope to you that winter morning years ago? Look at these cardinals and remember the faithfulness of God.”  And that’s exactly what cardinals remind me of – how trustworthy He is and how good He has been to me.



Here is a gift from my friend Su and her husband Danny.  When the wind blows, this cardinal twirler spins in such a way that sunlight flashes dramatically off its many sections, almost like fireworks.









This cardinal thermometer is on our kitchen French doors that look out on the back yard.








A little cardinal sitting innocently on a pine cone, in a bookcase.









Our Miniature German Schnauzer Millie always has her eye on these big birds, a fun gift from Su. I have a pair and so does my husband Michael.  Why not look extremely cute while holding on to hope?







I drink my home concocted Cappuccino Cooler in this mug almost every morning.  Helping me hope, and also to wake up.







The small cardinal on the left was a gift from some friends called The SAGs, who will be the subject of an upcoming post.  The big guy on the right was from my daughter Sara.







This sweet pair (although where are their plain tan wives?) sits in our bedroom and was a thoughtful gift from a friend named Sharla. She heard me share about how beautifully God brought hope into my life through one little red bird outside my window, and gave me this gift to tell me she took hope from the story too.



I decided not to take photographs of every cardinal I’ve been given, or we would be here all day.  And that’s not counting all the cardinal Christmas ornaments we have.  But I have learned something about how wonderful it is when friends and family see you disheartened and struggling, and then start giving you reminders of what God can do.  Because in the dark, we often forget His power and goodness.

I love these cardinals.  Each day they’re helping me hope.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.    Romans 15:13


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