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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
Finding the sacred in everyday life
Day 1 of Hope — and a free journal page
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About this blog
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
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Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.\x34
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By simplyfaithful
Feb. 13, 2013 9:26 a.m.



IMG_1407Benjamin loves a good party, and he had been planning one for Valentine’s Day since before we put away the Christmas tree. In January, he dictated his guest list: Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Jay… and soon after we discussed the importance of having Tootsie Roll Pops and red velvet cake.

IMG_1404The day of the party there were red streamers to hang and balloons to tape in place. Dishes to wash. A toilet to clean. Crowds at the store and crankiness among the boys at home — so much that I felt foolish for celebrating. How could I put the l-o-v-e banner on the China cabinet and invite people in when I felt my life was such a mess? How did my gift for my 5-year-old turn into a stressful burden?

IMG_1420

So, I did what any reasonable mom would do. I put myself in time out. I snuck to the top of the stairs and sat there until I decided that I could celebrate even if things weren’t perfect, that things like love and hope and joy were meant to stand in the midst of the mess. That they aren’t a magical place that we arrive at but a choice we make all along the way. And if I couldn’t choose hope and celebration over squabbling brothers and cobwebs, how would I ever choose hope when the real struggles hit? How could my feeble hope possibly anchor my soul?

I got downstairs in time to watch Benjamin arrange Little Hug Fruit Barrels in a circle around our heart candle and put the Swedish Fish in a dainty dish.

And smile.

And laugh.

And have a great party.

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Thank you, all of you, for joining us for the 40 Days of Hope project. Each day during Lent, we’ll share something about hope here — something that we pray inspires you or encourages you. We’re also planning to share free journal pages for you to download, We don’t quite have 40 yet, so if you’d like more information on submitting one, please click here.

Marketta and Tanya

Marketta and Tanya



Today’s journal page was designed by Tanya Herrold, whom you may remember from an article she wrote on having a peaceful dwelling. Her father has been waiting for a liver transplant for more than four years, and frankly, his health is declining. He has been in the hospital for the last three weeks and the family would greatly appreciate your prayers. “My hope comes from God,” she said. “The only option I have is to put my trust in Him.”

To download today’s journal page and write your own thoughts, please click here.

Here’s a glimpse…

Day1

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