Hi! I’m Hope.
Sounds like a tall order doesn’t it? That’s because it is. The story of my naming goes something like this -My parents struggled with getting pregnant. My birth was the fulfillment of their hope. So they named me Hope. Literally Hope Hope. My middle name is Nadine, which means Hope. Once hope arrived, the floodgates opened. I was born to newly Christian parents who would soon find themselves in full-time ministry raising 4 very active children. I’ve been trying to live into that name ever since.
Just try being mopey with a name like Hope.
In the fall of 2000, my senior year of college, I started working as a hostess and setup on a blind date with one of the waiters. I avoided our love story as long as possible but finally caved for this man whose purpose in life was to serve others. He followed and supported me through seminary as we began our life together. We were on track towards full-time missions when the unthinkable happened. Our baby girl was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and life took an unexpected detour (unexpected for us, never for the one who holds us in His arms).
Life took a new form. Survival.
Our St. Jude Story became all consuming. Work, education, and ministry took a back seat. Debt, fear, and frustration piled up. My husband, the one who lives to serve, saw one option. He re-enlisted and my life as a military spouse began.
I wrote a book titled Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me A Better Wife (Ambassador Int 2015) that stretches over two deployments. It shares the struggles, heartbreak, and passion that comes with loving a spouse an ocean away. It is for those who find themselves on a side road unlike any they had planned for. It is about finding joy in unlikely places: loneliness, cancer, deployments. It is about realizing that your dreams were not rewritten, they were simply revealed.
On these pages, I share the things that I cherish, the things that bring me joy.
I find joy in writing. Life is worked out in words. Words connect us and bind us to one another. Stories teach us to see the world through another’s eyes. The can equip or tear down. My goal is to share words of inspiration, words that matter, words that draw us all a little closer to one another and to Christ.
I find joy in marriage. When I met my love in 2000 I never could have imagined the adventure we were about to embark on. He took an English Major Pacifist with dreams of being the next Amy Carmichael and introduced her to a world of sacrifice, military spouses, war, and the struggles that come with each. It’s been a challenge to find my footing at times. I’ve grown a lot and discovered the complexity of protecting and loving. Did I mention we met at a restaurant? My husband has dreamed of being a chef and he has the skills to back that dream. We are in the midst of launching his food blog RedGryphonTavern.com and would love for you to join us. I’m less of a sous chef and more of his technical writer – he’s the one with the culinary talent!
I find joy in being a mother. As my children grow I only share what they give me permission to share. Afterall, this isn’t just my story. It is our story. I adore my family and the honor of being a mother to three individuals growing into their own callings.
I find joy (and comfort) in books. I often share what is on my bookshelf. Litfuse Publicity sends me books in exchange for my reaction and I love passing my opinion and suggestions on to you. Introverted bookworm is my happy place. A blanket, cup of tea, and a book (preferably one by Cynthia Ruchti) are all I need for comfort on most days.
I find joy in Jesus. A question in passing, a parable that reveals itself to me for the first time, a discussion from our weekly Pastor breakfast, these things often spur thoughts that I then share here. Whether it’s the woman at the well reminding me there is only one I can rely on or the parable of the 10 virgins reseen through the eyes of a waiting military spouse it is my hope that we grow closer to Christ together. My joy is found in faith, in studying Scripture, and in exploring it together.
I hope you will come alongside. I hope you will find safety and comfort in these pages. I hope we will be friends and share our stories of grace side by side. For now I write from the desert of El Paso, TX but who knows where this crazy journey will take us!