Every year round about Thanksgiving, the same question always comes: “Mom, what do you want for Christmas this year?”
I remember Christmases from my childhood, when my brother and I would study the Sears-Roebuck toy catalog, all the while dreaming of the things that would show up under the tree with our names attached.
As a child and into my early teen years, things seemed so important. Amassing the newest and greatest toys or fads and comparing our holiday inheritance with friends upon our return to school following Christmas break. “What did you get? Want to know what I got?”
I was deeply honored to be interviewed recently on over a half dozen radio programs nationwide regarding the current state of violence and political unrest in the United States, from my perspective as a neuropsychologist and mental health provider. While the questions asked in each interview were varied, basically, each radio show host wanted to know how do we make sense of the violence in America, and what do we do about it?
Despite the tragic recent events in America, I maintain that we can still have hope.
“You’re going to be with me, right?”
A boating accident found my youngest son spending a Sunday afternoon in the emergency room. Then several weeks later, surgery was inevitable. As we sat at the dinner table the night before surgery was to take place, our son began asking questions. Up to that point, he seemed nonplussed and unconcerned. But the night before told a different story.
We had known the procedure was necessary and not elective for a couple weeks, but this was the first question my son had asked about the procedure.
Plans had not gone as I’d hoped. I’d planned, I prayed, I did my part, and yet, I was left feeling disappointed, discouraged, and frustrated.
I don’t know if that has ever happened to you, but sometimes we pray and make the best-laid plans, only to be left wanting, unfulfilled, and discouraged. Did we hear God right? Was He even listening? Was there something blocking the answer to prayer or the fulfillment of His promises?
I put in my earbuds and started my run. The story began again and started setting the scene for the chapter. I was listening to my favorite audiobook. Each chapter in the book had a saying that was insightful before starting the story. The saying for this chapter was “The only thing you must not lose is hope.” My brain started going as I thought about that quote.