that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.

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First Sunday of Advent.

The first candle symbolizes hope.

It was last year sometime at church when our Pastor was talking about the ‘Trinity of Prayer’. His recipe for prayer is comprised of three parts:

1. Asking the Lord to have mercy.
2. Telling Him how much I adore Him.
3. Putting it into His hands.

As I have put this into practice, I am continually filled with joy and hope in the simple fact that it is not about what I, me, can or cannot do, but it’s about giving all over to God and He can handle it. With this joy comes an unexplainable hope; a hope to believe in when things are confusing or curious or hard. It always gets a little harder to maintain hope when things are going awry or it’s the end of a semester or I start worrying about things — “borrowing trouble” as my mom would say. Today I was reminded of the sweet irony of the end of the semester is during the happiest time of all… hope for the Saviour, the King, and it makes everything pale in comparison.

I don’t know where you’re at, who you’re with, what you’re struggling with, but I encourage you during this advent season. Hope is the greatest thing we can put into this life, and you can always have hope when it feels like you have nothing left. Sound cheesy? It’s totally true. And if you’re struggling to find the hope of this season, through the lights and candles and the oh-so-apparent reminders of the birth of a Jesus who loves you ever so much, let me hope a little for you. (You can e-mail me… blog comments are hardly private kate5253 at gmail dot com…I want to be there for you) I will pray for you and encourage you and wait in joy for the things that are promised to you. I am convinced that someone out there is lacking a little hope and I am further convinced that we should be spreading our own.

I am so excited about Christmas, the quiet anticipation as the days go by. Not for presents or exams to end or to go home, but the peace and wonder at the most amazing gifts that we’ve been given. Answered prayers or coffee with a friend or the simple reminders of what is possible when we ask for God’s help and mercy; love him deeply; and place our worries and sorrows into His hands.

We all need a little hope sometimes, so please, let me share mine with you if you need.

Have a blessed 1st Sunday of Advent. I promise there are exciting things to come.

grace and peace,