30 Seconds for Hope – During my years of raising a hyperactive son, busyness and stress often set a trap to discourage me. Yet in the time-cracks of those days, hope would arrive when someone—anyone—would offer words of encouragement. Just a few seconds of truth-telling could rekindle my optimism. Tidbits of truth convinced me the future was bright! Since it often just took a few seconds, I want to offer you the same. I’m promising words of encouragement in the first thirty seconds of every future blog article. Don’t lose courage! Come here often and take 30 seconds for hope.
And now the full story:
“I don’t even have time to take my vitamins,” I muttered as I glanced wistfully, no angrily, at the vitamin bottle resting in the cupboard, undisturbed for days. I was dashing past that cupboard to intercept my shrieking ten-month-old Charlie as he attacked his two-year-old brother’s block tower. Racing toward a rescue, I saw the vitamins and felt a pang of guilt about my neglect. But taking a vitamin seemed impossible. Each hour I barely had time to gulp a few swallows of water for survival, much less take off a bottle cap, shake out a vitamin, and put the lid back on. Other urgent, pressing needs dictated my life.
What had happened to the sane life I’d once known? Charlie had happened—my super-active, super-twinkly-eyed, super-challenging second child. I’d been busy and challenged with the first baby. Taking care of myself had been a stretch even then. But now with a hyperactive child, it was impossible, or so it seemed.
I’d first noticed Charlie’s activity before he was born. He’d wriggled and kicked and punched so much I couldn’t believe it was just one baby. At birth his activity level only increased. Nursing didn’t relax him; it fired him up. I’d never seen such flailing arms and legs from a nursing baby. But now that Charlie crawled, non-stop supervision was my daily task (on top of all the other household responsibilities for keeping my family alive).
Before this I’d not only had minutes to take vitamins, but also hours to leisurely read and reflect on important matters of life. Time to ingest hope from the Bible’s paragraphs. Time to tell my journal all the words of hope I’d gathered from these heavenly promises.
But on this day, the vitamin issue symbolized the entire reality of my new life. Tyranny from baby and toddler essentials ruled my days and threatened to keep me from caring for my own needs. In this new world, how would I find some hope?
The answer came when I learned the art of gleaning hope on the fly—just like I learned to take a vitamin on the fly! I discovered it only took a few seconds to find a promise to ponder. I kept an inspirational magazine on the couch where I nursed the baby. I paid attention to a friend’s encouraging words when she called to work out meal plans for a Sunday social. And I stashed a Bible in the bathroom. Thirty seconds for getting some hope, that’s all it took.
Now I’m not talking about a glib “happy.” Sometimes circumstances were yucky and grief ran deep. But then, and especially then, hope was a lifeline. I certainly had times when tears flowed, but even then I learned to hang onto truth while I cried—truths that brought hope. Hope could rule, even when I was sad.
I still use this art often—the art of finding hopeful truths and clinging to them when life seems crazy. It doesn’t take hours of searching to glean hope for the moment. Nuggets of truth can be obtained in an instant; then hope is captured by believing that truth. Whenever you gather encouragement in present tense, the truth reframes your mind and provides continuing courage for the next now.
Just a few seconds. That’s all it took for me, and all it will take for you, too. I’m giving you this place for linking into thirty seconds of hope. Don’t lose courage—you can always take 30 seconds for hope.
Because there’s always time for hope.