Borrow Hope from God by Rev. April H. Cranford

Borrow Hope From God

In seasons of doubt, weariness, or fear we can borrow hope from God and our friends to help us persevere through hardship.

I am not a good borrower. There always seems to be an unfortunate set of events when I borrow items that belong to family, friends, or neighbors. I lean toward going without rather than borrowing an item because when I borrow an item, the item breaks before I return it. Whenever I borrow a book, coffee spills onto the cover. Whenever I borrow a sweater, I eat spaghetti and a stain ruins the garment.

Borrow Hope from God

Rev. Kathy Escobar shares in her book A Weary World that we need to borrow hope from God and others to see us through weary seasons of life.

I have used the word ‘borrow’ with tangible items such as borrowing a pencil but not with concepts such as borrowing hope. When we borrow things, there are at least three components:

  • Asking for the item
  • Completing the task
  • Returning the item.

We Were Designed to Depend on One Another

Perhaps, what we really dislike about borrowing is asking for the item. In the asking, we admit we lack something when we rather be seen in the light of having everything together. When we turn to God and others for help, we realize we were designed to depend on one another. Each time we ask and seek, we grow a little wiser and experience love a little deeper.

Perhaps, the difficulty in borrowing is the required follow-up. We may have enough energy in preparing, asking, and completing the task, but putting things back in their place or returning may be too much.

Borrow With Gratitude

The best way to follow up and return a borrowed item is with gratitude.

  • We let a friend know the devotional they sent us started our day off better than we had hoped.
  • We tell a colleague that their words spoken long ago directed us down a clearer path than we had hoped.
  • We write a thank-you card for a family heirloom, which passed down hope through the generations.

Borrow from Scripture

In Matthew, we see hope appear even before a formal request. Joseph borrows hope from an Angel that appears in a dream leading him to take Mary as his wife and to name his son Jesus. 

 “Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way…an angel of the Lord appeared to him [Joseph] in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

“Which means, “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:18-25 NRSV)

In Seasons of Doubt Borrow Hope

In seasons of doubt, weariness or fear, hope may appear from an angel giving directions in a dream, a friend leaving encouragement on your doorstep, or a memory while listening to a song that motivates you toward persevering in a hardship.

After the angel spoke to Joseph, Matthew includes words from the prophecies of Isaiah that a child would be born to a virgin and named the child Emmanuel – meaning God with Us.

Borrow Hope from God

We believe in a God who is with us. A God, who stands beside us in the hard times and rejoices with us in the good times. We know a God does not abandon us, even when we abandon him. Because of this truth, God knows what we lack. God knows what we need to borrow even before we ask.

Let us borrow hope this week by striving to remain present with a God whose love will never let us go.

Today’s guest writer is Rev. April H. Cranford. Discover her heart to “Match Mission with Joy” on her website, https://www.aprilhcranford.com/.

Hannah Wingert, Author of Yet Will I Praise Him

I’d like to introduce you to Hannah Wingert, author of Yet Will I Praise Him: Living and Parenting with a Chronic Illness.

Though we’ve never met in person, Hannah Wingert has positively impacted my life. Please join me in welcoming mom of four, fabric collector, and hero-blazing-cape-wearer, Hannah Wingert to our cozy corner.

Hannah is the author of Yet Will I Praise Him: Living and Parenting with a Chronic Illness. Hannah and all four of her children have hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. EDS is a connective tissue disorder, which causes constant sprains, dislocated joints, muscular pain, and fatigue.

In her book, Yet Will I Praise Him, Hannah Wingert articulates the struggles and emotions plagued by chronic illness warrior- words often difficult to express. When I read this book, I exclaimed, “She gets me!”

One Book in Three Parts

In the book, Wingert speaks to three areas of a chronic illness: “Living as a Spoonie”, “Parenting as a Spoonie”, and “Loving a Spoonie”.

What is a Spoonie?

What is a Spoonie? The term Spoonie refers to anyone with a chronic illness. This term derived from The Spoon Theory, went viral when written by Christie Miserandino on her blog, butyoudon’tlooksick.com.

Q & A with Hannah Wingert:

Q: How did you get into writing?

A: I’ve been writing ever since I learned how to do it! I wrote my first story when I was six years old and I haven’t quit yet. Writing took a backseat when I started having kids. Then I discovered blogging. Through my blogging and writing, I’ve made a lot of connections online and forged friendships that are still going strong.

Q: What prompted you to write the book “Yet Will I Praise Him?”

A: After being diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, the next logical step for me was to read a book written for moms living with a chronic illness. I only found one book. Although it was helpful and good to read, it wasn’t written from a faith-based perspective so I decided to write one.

Q: What does an average day look like for you?

A: After, I get the kids off to school, sit down for some time with God, and then spend the day doing household chores, making phone calls, answering emails, etc. with lots of breaks as my energy and pain levels dictate. Between all four kids and I, we usually have 1-3 appointments or therapies a week so on those days, our schedule is a little bit off, but we’re used to it so we make it work. The clinic is over an hour away so sometimes it feels like I live in my van.

Q: If all your household “chores” were complete, what would be your favorite way to spend the day?

A: With music playing on the Alexa, I’d alternate between reading, writing while sipping a chai latte. I also enjoy sewing clothes. I am trying to reduce my huge fabric stash by making new things for my kids and me to wear.

Q: Name one life lesson that you didn’t want to have to learn, but you are grateful you did, and why?

A: I’ve dealt with health issues my whole life (which make perfect sense now that I know I have EDS), but I always had the assumption that it would eventually get better by making excuses such as stress from work, I just had a baby, etc.

When I was diagnosed, it finally hit me that this was my life and I needed to accept that my health problems weren’t going anywhere. I went through a period where I was very angry about my EDS, but eventually, I worked through it with the grace of God.

I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily thankful for my health issues, but I am very thankful for how I’ve learned and grown closer to God through them. 

Depression has been an ongoing part of my journey, and I want people to know that having depression does not make you a “bad” Christian.

Hannah Wingert

Author, Yet Will I Praise Him

Q: How can we support you?

A: Share my book! My main goal for my book is for it to reach the people who need it the most. I have a huge burden for other moms going through situations similar to mine.

Friends, Yet Will I Praise Him, is available anywhere books are sold. It is also available on Kindle.

If you or someone you know has a chronic illness, this book will be a valuable hope-filled resource.

Yet will i praise Him

I’m April Dawn and This is My Month

April Dawn This is my month

Hi! I’m April Dawn and this is my month. There’s always been a bit of fun, joking, and curiosity behind my name. So today, on April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d plunge into some interesting notions surrounding me and my name.

I’m a July (not April) baby!

Contrary to what most people assume, I was not born in April. My birthday falls in the heat of July.

My mother chose two names, one boy and one girl name. Regardless of the month, her daughter would possess the name, “April Dawn.”  If was a boy, my father wanted the name, Shawn Oliver. (Being that my maiden name starts with a ‘B’ that child would have horrible initials.) Thank the Good Lord, I am a girl 🙂

My parents are not hippies.

When my husband’s extended friends and family received our wedding invitations, they  doused him with the same question, “Are April’s parents’ hippies?” To them, the name April Dawn sounded like the name of a free-spirited love child. In reality, my husband’s Irish/Italian family is far more robust and lively than my quiet farm-raised family. The joining of our family resembled the union of the Portokalos and Miller family from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” (This is still my favorite all-time movie!)

 

My sister and I were both given the birth name April.

For many years my sister and I differentiated ourselves by the phrase, “Big April and Little April.”

From my toddler years through my teen years, my parents served as foster parents. After much prayer, another April wobbled into our home. My mom kept this little girl in the church nursery and felt prompted to pray for her. Over many weeks, my parents, who had been fostering for years, learned this younger April was entering state custody. Already positioned in the foster care network and known to the child, my parents advocated for her. Little April teetered into our home and our hearts forever. Five years her senior, we used the term “Big April, Little April” until her legal name change.

Meaning of April Dawn 

Latin scholars derived the word April from the noun Aprilis, the fourth month of the year, and from the Latin verb aperire meaning “to open” because leaves and flowered opened in April. [1] The name Dawn offers promise, hope, and light. [2] The inner nerd in my comes alive when I learn about the origins of words and names. Imagine my delight when I discovered my name means to give promise, hope and light.

April Dawn. First and middle name.

Even before my parents adopted my sister, my parents and friends referred to me as April Dawn. To this day, If someone uses my first and middle name, I take it as a cherished throw-back to life in the 70s and 80s.

 

Fast-forward to Adulthood

I began my writing career with the blog titled “Red Chair Moments”. During that time, I signed off each post as “April.” But, as my professional writing career developed, and I received payment as a freelance writer, I added back my middle name. I said goodbye to my first website, Red Chair Moments, and relaunched under my name April Dawn White. Why? I researched and discovered several other writers named April White. Some of these writers do not share the light of hope in Christ I desire to display for my readers.

👉What’s the story behind your name? Please share!

Hugs & Hope,

April Dawn White © 2021

[1] http://wordcentral.com/cgi-bin/student?April

[2] https://www.names.org/n/dawn/about

 

When Your Heart Needs a Friend

Where do you turn when your heart needs a friend? I’m not talking about the gym friend or the book club friend. Instead, a friend who’s walked through hell and still has a hallelujah in their heart.

When your heart needs a friend, you need someone who’s been where you are, fought similar battles, and survived with joy? Do you have such a friend?

I Woke Up in the Land of Oz in Need of a Friend

I know what it’s like to wake up in an unknown place or circumstance. Like, Dorothy, I also woke up in the Land of Oz. One day, in 2015, I woke up totally paralyzed. Sporadic muscle weakness, which occurred for months, one day led to paralysis. What’s happening to me? How long will I be here? An explosion of unknown experiences surrounded me, like Dorothy in a Technicolor™ new and confusing land.  

Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis

Thirteen months after experiencing debilitating symptoms, doctors renamed the Land of Oz, Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis. Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis affects one per 100,000 people. [1] It is lonely to possess a rare disease. Daily, I battle emotional isolation. No one around me understands the random paralysis, fluctuating weakness, daily pain, and embarrassing impaired cognitive functioning.

My Heart Needed a Friend

My heart needed a friend who shared the same rare illness. God sent Nancy. Mutual friends introduced us via email and we formed an instant connection. (Only God could arrange mutual friends to know two people with our odd illness.) You could imagine my delight when I discovered she had a meeting near my town. Prior to her return flight, we shared a table at Panera. I sat across the table from someone with my illness. I sought comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only Dorothy in the Land of Oz. For the first time, I knew someone truly understood me.

I peppered her with questions about the illness, her treatment, knowledge of doctors, counseling, etc. But most importantly, her friendship filled me with hope. Hope that I’m not alone on this journey. Hope that I have another person who understands this chronic illness. Better than an aromatherapy (which I use) she infused me with hope through prayer and power in Christ’s name. Nancy’s friendship penetrated my weary heart and helped me renew my faith in God.

God doesn’t call us to fix other people’s problems but to walk with them.

A true friend is someone who will listen without jumping in with a “fix-it” mentality. But rather, someone who is “quick to listen and slow to speak” (James 1:19).

We are relational people, not created to live in isolation. This was on Paul’s mind when he wrote, “that you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Romans 1:12).

You Are Not Alone on this Journey

Friend, whatever battle you are facing, know you are not alone. God sees you and He cares for you. Seek refuge in Him and find comfort in the words penned by David (perhaps when he was in the desert), “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).

Singer, songwriter Cody Carnes wrote a beautiful song that captures the essence of this message. I suggest you listen to “Run to the Father” and allow the words and melody to saturate your soul.

If your heart needs a friend, please allow me to be that friend to you. You can reach out to me on my website, subscribe to AprilDawnWhite.com, on Instagram @ aprildawnwhite_author, or on Facebook @AprilDawnWhiteAuthor. Thank you for your patience if I take a few days to respond.

~April Dawn White

© 2016, 2021 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

Photos by Tom Wheatley, Gabor Szuts, & Takahiro Sakamo Unsplash.com

[1] http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1171678-overview#a6

New Year’s Queso Mishap

I had a New Year’s queso mishap. I think I lost a powder-dipped fingernail in the queso. I made a queso dip for the kid’s NYE gathering. When I looked down while stirring the artery-clogging goodness and noticed a missing fingernail. It’s possible the nail popped off at the grocery store or in the shower, but I didn’t notice its absence until I stirred the queso dip.

Last year, I learned how to DIY powder dip manicures.  In full disclosure, this was not because of COVID salon restrictions, but because I am cheap frugal.  I mean, why spend boo-coos about of money on nails. I’d rather save the money and buy a shirt or shoes from TJMaxx.

The Trick is in the Set-Up

The trick to DIY dip manicures is the set-up.  The set-up is crucial for a good foundation for the nail primer and powder coating to adhere. Skipping the proper set-up will cause the nails to pull-away or fall off during New Year’s queso mishap.

DipWell suggests these steps for proper powder dip set up:

1) Cut cuticles

2) Buff the nails with a 180-grit nail file

3) Remove excess oil from nails with alcohol. (Not Pino, but rubbing alcohol.)

I skipped these steps because my cuticles look all right and I didn’t think it was crucial. But with a missing nail and a saucepan full of queso- I was wrong.

 

Why am I writing about a missing nail and a New Year’s queso mishap? Because it all about the set-up. How we set-up our morning and plan our day will determine our attitude, outlook, and whether or not we have fingernails in queso. 

Will you join me in the New Year to try to avoid queso mishaps? It won’t always be easy. But if I have you to help hold me accountable we can do it together.

What is something you want to do this year? Read new authors, experiment with new recipes, focus on intentional relationships, create new crafts, or journal?

 

My Plan for 2021

This year, I am reading (or listening to) the Bible chronologically.  By reading the Bible in order, I hope to gain a better understanding of the historical context and culture surrounding the events.  I recommend the free YouVersion Bible App. You can choose a book of the Bible and the version, King James Version, NIV, etc. I am choosing the Message Translation (MSG). This app also has an audio feature, which I love.

If this interests you, here is a website: https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/chronological.html .

Big News Flash!

Drumroll please…We have a book coming out this year. Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart will hit the bookshelves this spring. Will you join Marilyn Nutter (my co-writer) and me for the excitement? We created a private Destination Hope Facebook group. An interactive community designed to share hope in hard times and in daily living. Link arms with us and join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1837806079708594.

I don’t want you to experience the mystery of “Is there a fingernail in my queso?” So let’s join forces to make take one step at a time. Don’t worry, I’ve already stumbled by not finishing this letter before the start of the New Year. We’re not going to be hard on ourselves this year. Grace upon grace.

 

Add an 🖐💻👍 in the comments below if you will join me in the New Year without short cuts or mystery queso ingredients. 

Hugs, hope, and queso,

April White

P.S. No one was harmed in my queso mishap.

 

12 Verses About The Lord is Our Keeper

“The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.” (Psalm 121:5, NKJV)

In the midst of my bout of Covid induced isolation, I struck Scriptural gold. More valuable than an precious metal, I unearthed the phrase, “The Lord is your Keeper. (Psalm 121:5).

As a chronic illness warrior, I’m no stranger to feeling below par. But this virus amplified my usual symptoms and added a few more. {By the way, my fever never exceeded 99.7 and I never lost my sense of taste or smell}.

The isolation is the worst part of Covid. As the CEO of the home, who’s going to take care of me if I’m isolated? The answer came in Psalm 121:5, “The Lord is your keeper.”

12 Verses About the Lord as Your Keeper:

 “He will not allow your foot to be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalm 121:3, NKJV)

“Behold, he who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:4, NKJV)

“The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.” (Psalm 121:5, NKJV)

“Deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.” (Psalm 33:19, NKJV)

 

The Lord is Our Keeper
The Lord is Our Keeper

“You shall keep them, O Lord, you shall preserve them from this generation forever.” (Psalm 12:7, NKJV)

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8, ESV)

“For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.” (Psalm 91:11, NKJV)

“For the Lord will be your confidence, firm and strong, and will keep your foot from being caught [in a trap].” (Proverbs 3:26, AMP)

Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9, NKJV)

“You shall keep them, O Lord, you shall preserve them from this generation forever.” (Psalm 12:7, NKJV)

Friends, whether your season is full of joy or ambiguity, you may rest in the knowledge that the Lord is Your Keeper.

©2020 April Dawn White

Images courtesy of Canva.com

The Lord is Our Keeper

Did You Know… 

Advent is the season of preparing our hearts for Christmas. The word “Advent’ is derived from the Latin word adventus meaning ‘arrival’ or ‘coming.’

This year’s Advent season is November 29-December 25, 2020. 

Marilyn and I wrote Christmas Hope: Advent Readings for 2020, as our gift to you. 

 

 

The Lord is Our Keeper

Download your free gift by clicking the button below.fin

 

 

 

 

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