You’ve been hoping against hope, because deep down, you still believe,
even when everything else around you tells you there’s less hope than
a snowball’s chance in hades.

I held a wooden box that held my father’s ashes this year. How can a man who was larger than life to you be reduced to powdery ash and weigh less than a few pounds in your hands?

How can children get cancer & marriages fall apart, & jobs & hearts get axed, & debt loads & dreams explode, & the trajectory of your story go south, & you end up on some unlikely detour you never asked for, that you never dreamed of, that you never wanted and now you only want out of?

How, on almost the longest, darkest night of the year, can Advent’s first Sunday begin with hope?

Resource: The Keeping Company
Resource: The Keeping Company
Resource: The Greatest Christmas with Free Ornaments
Resource: The Keeping Company
Resource: The Keeping Company
Resource: The Greatest Christmas with Free Ornaments
Resource: The Keeping Company
Resource: The Keeping Company

I’ve spent more than half of the year waiting on a coroner’s report when what I’m really ache waiting for is resurrection.

Your craning neck can ache as much as your breaking heart, you waiting, and hurting, and hoping, for a lost one to come home.

There can be emptiness at your table, in your bed, in your Christmas card, in your heart, that you can never fill.

“You don’t need a reason to Hope — you only need the Person of Jesus. And He is Coming.”

You can feel it, even now in the dark, in longing, in the unknown:

It can be brutally hard to hope in the pitch black dark.

But it’s not hope unless it’s hard… and you know it:

Hard happens. And that’s exactly where hope happens.

To hope against hope — is to hope with nothing but hope supporting you.

Lean your Hope against Hope Himself and you can withstand anything for He is with you.

To hope against hope is to lean all your hope up against Hope Himself — and let Hope Himself support all your hope, let Hope Himself take the weight of all your ache and grief and your whole world, let Hope Himself BE all your hope.

When you’re pushed up against hopelessness, push your hope against Hope Himself –and what greater can ever come up against you?

Resource: The Greatest Christmas with Free Ornaments
Resource: The Greatest Christmas with Free Ornaments
Resource: The Keeping Company
Resource: The Greatest Christmas with Free Ornaments
Resource: The Keeping Company

Hope against hope — that the emptiness will fill, that the wound will heal, that the miracle will happen, that the ashes will rise, that the prodigal will come home, that the marriage will mend, that the page will turn, that the next chapter will dare to bring any dreams come true and more than enough grace to meet you and carry you through, regardless.

“Lean your Hope against Hope Himself and you can withstand anything for He is with you..”

In Spanish — all three verbs… waitexpect hope … can be the very same word: esperar.

The hope mongers know that it is all the same:

Your very real waiting … holds very real hope… which holds very real expectations — and verily, verily, Jesus really holds it all.

What you don’t know how to live through, Hope Himself will carry you through.

On the eve of Advent, I stood in the checkout line at Home Dept and wept because you can bring home a stack of lumber and renovate this old world, but there is no way to renovate suffering out of this heartbroken world and there are people we love who won’t be coming home this Christmas or ever.

We carried lumber home, through streets lined with Christmas lights, and the whole hurting world really does dare to light hope in the dark.

Lean your Hope against Hope Himself and you can withstand anything for He is with you.

You don’t need a reason to Hope — you only need the Person of Jesus.

And He is coming.

* * * * * *

Just a little invite? Come experience a Christmas like you’ve always dreamed? 

So come Christmas morning — you’ve unwrapped the greatest gift you yearn for — more of Him.

1. The Whole “Night Before Advent” Kit is free for you right here [just scroll over the photo, and then click on download]

2. The Free Printable Advent Calendar is here for you in red, or in snow blue or chalkboard black [just scroll over the photo that pops up, and then click on download]

3. And the printable bookmark of the poem: “The Night Before Advent”

4.  Advent begins this weekend & we open the pages of these books like an Advent Calendar & begin: The Greatest Gift (adult edition)  and Unwrapping the Greatest Gift (family read aloud edition)
annnnd? The Wonder of the Greatest Gift (pop-up edition with your own 14 inch tree, 25 days of readings, 25 day advent flap calendar, hiding all 25 Biblically inspired ornaments! For any age) 

Click over to The Greatest Christmas & check out our whole library of free printable ornaments, cards, gift tags, gifts boxes, Sticky Notes for Your Soul, Advent Calendars and more — our gift to you for The Greatest Christmas

Looking for all of the free Christmas printables mentioned here?

You Can find them all right here under ‘Free Tools’