36 Hope Expands:

36hopeexpands(36 Hope Expands. A series of 36 ways to expand compassion in our daily lives.)

I saw a project on Pinterest. Thanksgivings have passed, and I never followed through. (I’m awesome at pinning- very not awesome at completing something that looks/tastes normal.) Ever seen this website Pinterest Fail– where good intentions come to die, also Epic Pinterest Fails? This is me, every day.

Yesterday we finally made our thanksgiving tree for the month of November. Every night at dinner each one of us will add one more leaf for something we are thankful for.

I want to live in gratitude.


No, this is not pin-able. It is our little tree.

I know being thankful has a way of re-shaping our hearts.

What seemed impossible softens. What once went unnoticed becomes meaningful. Mostly, the grace of God becomes a consolation that draws you to your knees.


My first leaf was this: Ellie’s art work.

When the kids were little, my writing desk was in the living room. Now that they are growing up, I moved it to our little extra room upstairs. It’s snuggled up next to our guest bed, and that is about all that fits, the bed and the desk. I was so excited for my own space, but something happens every time I enter. Another presence is there watching me edit over my shoulder, laying her magazine pages over the bed, dropping markers, rifling through the desk. The minute I started creating the thanksgiving tree, someone was next to me cutting like a mad woman. Sometimes I come upstairs and find things like this paper clipped to my folders.


My ingratitude for not having a quiet space softens. I know this is more important. I know that God’s grace has been so good to me… that we have layers and layers of purpose.

What would your first leaf say? 


11 thoughts on “36 Hope Expands:

  1. Pancreatic cancer, for showing me that life is made up of large meanings writ small; an opening flower, a sleeping dog, seeing the gegenschein a couple of hours before dawn on a sparkling clear night.

    I thought life was all accomplishment and ambition. I am glad I will not die a fool.

  2. Both of you have me in tears. Lisa, so lovely to see Ellie’s beautiful heart (a reflection of yours). Andrew I’ll have to look up ‘gegenschein’ but so touched to read that your eyes have been opened to beauty, through this painful trial. Thankful for eyes to read your post, see Ellie’s drawing and read Andrew’s comment.

    • Ellie is a keeper… and I’m so thankful for Andrew’s always wise insight too. And I’m thankful for my Aussie friend who has brought me such joy from far around the world.

  3. so inspiring, as always. thanks, lisa :).
    i’m thankful for grace. life. for the relationships God’s placed in my life: family, friends..it’s good to think about these things.

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