Me and Pauly Juice box photoRecently, I’ve been searching through boxes consisting of sweet memories. Pictures, notes from high school friends, and beautiful love letters from my husband is what I’ve been finding. It started out as a quest for an old journal and ultrasound pictures for my book. Instead, I’ve been taking a trip down memory lane where laugh lines ceased to exist and potato chips metabolized as if they were calorie free.

There are three things which come to mind when looking through old pictures of myself:

  1. Wow, look how young I was!
  2. Wow, look how thin I was!
  3. Wow, look how young and thin I was!

You are probably thinking, “Wow, look how vain she is!” Please don’t judge me yet; there’s more to this story.

Last week, I was looking in the mirror while applying my makeup. It was early in the morning. If you are over the age of 40, then you will identify when I tell you all lines on the face look deeper in the morning. (If you are over the age of 40 and you cannot identify with that, then I’m real happy for you. Except that I’m not.)

I have an ever-deepening line to the left of my mouth. (Yes, I’m aware I examine my wrinkles fine lines too often. I’m working on it.) Early in the morning it seems very deeply creased. As I was staring at myself with foundation in hand ready to do battle, I realized how silly I was acting and smiled. It was at that moment I saw where my smile reached. It settled right into the spot where that pesky little line resides.

It’s growing on me. And not just literally!

The laugh lines which were missing in the pictures from my 20s were because I hadn’t experienced nearly the amount of smiles cross my face. 20 years ago, my joy was just beginning. And I’m learning that true beauty resides on a joy-filled face! Not just mine, but yours also!

My journey, as I hope you will soon read in my book, Nothing to Hold but hope, (I know, shameless plug!) was definitely filled with many sad days, but I learned to smile through them. Not because of my situation, but because of the hope I held for tomorrow.

Right now, your situation might not be anything to smile at. But please do not allow Joy to escape your life completely. Find joy inside hope.

Hoping for a better tomorrow is what will carry you through today! (Tweet that!)

And if you know me at all, then you know my definition of hope is Jesus. He is my sure hope. I pray He is yours as well!

If I could sit down with you over a cup of coffee and see into your laugh lines, I bet we would discover some hope there. My guess is that joy lives deep inside those lines, even if you don’t remember it. I would venture to say that you have more hope and faith than you think.

God is pursuing you. He created you and He loves you. He cares about not only your largest concerns, but also your smallest. He is the God of hope and new possibilities.

Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

-Isaiah 43:19

Rediscover hope today, friends! Deep Inside the nooks and crannies of hope lives the possibility of new things!




PS: I’m still looking for redemption in the fact that my potato chips don’t metabolize the way they used to. Stay tuned… or not.





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