Finding Hope in a New Decade

When the clock struck midnight in the wee hours of the morning, we all found ourselves facing a new day, a new month, a new year and a new decade. January 1, 2020, launched a new beginning.

It also launched new opportunities, too. January 1, 2020, is the fresh page in the story we’ll begin to write for the upcoming month, year and decade.

Oh, wow!
Blank pages can seem intimidating;
they can seem exhilarating;
they can seem empty;
they can seem full of chances.

Not a writer? It’s okay; most of us aren’t. You’re still writing a figurative story as you live your life, even if you don’t put it down in words.

It’s only fitting that we spend a bit of time reflecting today on what we’ll “write” on the pages of our 2020 story. What we want to write CAN be what gets written, but we have to look within to get it done.

Read that one again: What we want to write CAN be what gets written, but we have to look within to get it done.

It’s been said that the only things that are guaranteed in life are death and taxes, but I think change is inevitable, too. Change can present opportunity, and opportunity is a part of what lies ahead.

Certainty may come in change, death and taxes, but how can we control what 2020 brings, while we begin writing our story? As much as we want to be able to control our circumstances (and therefore, our story), we often aren’t able to do so.

What we CAN control are these:
Our choices,
our words,
our actions,
our deeds,
and our thoughts.

If you’ve read the writings on this dot-com for any period of time, you know this is a frequent subject of mine. It’s a frequent subject, because when the struggles of life clash with our desires of life, investigating the next steps often takes looking within for answers.

The answers and the path forward always lie within our own choices, words, actions, deeds and thoughts…no matter what our life, job, spouse, family or circumstances seem to be.

This new day, new month, new year, and new decade are ready to be written. Here we go!


If you’d like to read more about choices, you can search it in the search bar on the home page of Hope Surrendered, or you can click hereherehere or even here. [There are other writings, but if you’re still clicking on those re-direct links, you’ll find them.]


I’d love to hear your thoughts about what lies ahead for you as you begin living your 2020 story!

What Nakedness Reveals

Fall is the celebrated season to break out the flannel, boots, and pumpkin spice, yet it’s also a time to see immense change happen in nature. We’ve just watched what was once growing, green, and full of life burst forth with bold vibrancy before all-too-quickly fading into drab tones, weathered stiffness, and the preparation for dormancy.

The trees have been shedding what’s left of their leaves, and the storms which are due to arrive soon will likely finish off whatever remains.

Trees can be a window into our soul. It can be good to let go of dead things, but doing so can also leave us feeling naked, feeling exposed and feeling vulnerable. Being uncovered—and letting others see our realness—can be a challenge.

I’ve been gone from the visibility of published writings here for a time, and it may be a while until I post again, but I’m here now. Here…in the moment because of the trees. Much like the trees, life and change can be a process to shed what is seen by others while being brave enough to reveal broken branches, burls of curled wood, and scattered parts that were once full of life and purpose.

Don’t you feel like this at times?

Yesterday, I took a walk in the forest behind my house. The sound of silence from the trees contrasting with the crunch of the dried and fallen leaves beckoned me. To be able to look up, look down, and look around—seeing the divergence of what is alive, what is changing, and what is dead—reminded me of how we are much like these majestic creations that blend together in a forest. There is beauty to be found in every season—with trees and within ourselves, too.

It’s easy to see the forest, yet harder to see the tree within the forest. …that is, until we get up close to see the tree for what it is:

  • The tree is changing with the seasons of its life;
  • it’s letting go of that which is dead while standing strong;
  • it’s giving life to a network of tiny organisms resting beneath its cover;
  • it’s offering fruit to other living creatures;
  • it’s preparing to rest;
  • it’s patiently waiting for the next season;
  • it’s readying itself for rebirth…and growth…and beauty to come.

Those trees—and you—isn’t this what your life has been about, too?

“Trust the journey.”

It’s what I say to myself when forward progress is slower than it seems it should be.

Trust your journey.

Trust in the season in which you find yourself.

Trust in the seeds you have planted while getting to where you are today.

Trust in the change that has taken place.

Trust in the work you are doing to prepare for what is coming.

Faith is not a moment; faith is a journey.

Seasons change.
We change.
Life gives us opportunities to be the change.

As much as you might miss some of what’s been left behind, trust in the opportunity ahead that has been created by being willing for forge a new path after letting go of what may no longer serve the same purpose for you.

It’s okay to be naked and exposed for a while. 

It really is!