Hope in the Old and Weathered

Yesterday I talked about where I find hope, and how I keep the dreams alive that spring from it.  Have you ever noticed how inspired you feel when you receive a new pair of shoes or a purse?  This year for Christmas my oldest daughter gave me a purse.  And boy did I need one!  It is so great to have a female child who would notice this kind of thing and so carefully pick out a replacement.  I need her to be my personal shopper.  Oh to have enough money to just hire her to keep the pantry filled, the kids closet replenished with clothes that fit and the stained ones removed.  But I digress as I dream of such.

The point is this…I delighted in pulling apart my old wallet and placing all of my purse staples into the new one she had given me.  Do you remember when you were little and you were taken to buy new shoes?  Many times I left the store with my old shoes in the new box and my new ones on my feet!  I wanted everyone to notice my new (and many times white) sneakers.  At that age I was convinced I could run faster with the new footwear.  Now I know much better and even smile when I hear kids declare such, but I still take great joy out of a new pair of shoes.  It is easy to find hope in the new, whether it is a new year, purse, shoes, a book, toaster oven, sheets…and on goes that list.

But have you ever found hope in the old?

Yesterday before my sister left to go home for the holidays, she wanted to share a discovery she made a few days prior.  She was looking for a bike route for me to use that was off the somewhat dangerous highway that passes through our valley.  In her travels down old roads, she had stumbled upon something she knew I’d enjoy seeing.

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We are not sure if this house has always rested in this location, or if it was recently moved here.  The underside has been supported with new cement blocks and some of the older rotted boards have been replaced with new lumber.  Stones have been lovingly placed as supports at the edges of the house, so that the newer and more modern supports aren’t as obvious.

In addition to replacing portions of the tin roof, the windows have been boarded up to keep the elements out.

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The biggest indication that someone has hope for this building, is found in the way it has been decorated for Christmas.  Both windows hold candles and the door, which doesn’t completely fill its frame, is adorned with a simple vine wreath.

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As I sifted through these images and edited my favorites, it occurred to me that hope can be found in the old as well as the new.  What’s even better about finding hope in the worn and weathered, is that it is contagious.  When a neighbor cleans out an old weed filled flower bed and brings it to life with bright spring flowers, we are inclined to want the same thing for our adjoining property.  I dare say that the old houses around this one, are thinking…”If that old house can shine so brightly with its crooked and bent boards, what can we do with our home?”

It is easy to find hope and be inspired by the new and shiny, but real hope and satisfaction of a job well done, comes from seeing what can be in the old and worn, and then taking the steps to make that dream or image come alive.

While the joy of a new pair of shoes is wonderful, it is short lived and not nearly as rewarding as finding the hope in that which is weathered.  And I don’t think that anyone has ever been inspired by or found hope in my owning a new purse.

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