A Time of Hope

Greetings my dear brothers and sisters in Christ! I hope this finds you all well; September is drawing near and I believe Autumn is beginning to make her gentle, lovely self known, at least here in our little clump of trees. A few trees are just beginning their annual parade of color while temperatures drop to a degree more tolerable than July’s scorching heat. What a blessing it is to know that, as long as God wise hands will it, the seasons will continue the same course they began when the world was first created. Seasons come and seasons go, young boys grow into men and baby girls into women. Years ago, one young woman began to store her hopes and dreams in a chest with the intent of pulling out its contents in a home of her own. Perhaps her father bought the dark cedar chest especially for her or maybe the original Roos chest was a family treasure—something passed from one generation of girls to the next. I suppose we will never know; however, the feminine heart can guess what the chest contained. Mother Laughland’s famous Thanksgiving turkey recipe; a pair of crocheted baby-blue booties, a tea set she received for her sixteenth birthday and many encouraging Bible verses full of wisdom and instruction concerning womanhood. Perhaps her family was poor but no matter—she lovingly filled the cedar chest with home-made trinkets and old letters from friends. One day, if God willed, she would leave her childhood bedroom of rose pink and open her chest in a new room, crisp with white paint and bare walls ready to be covered, and give of herself to make her house a home. Once unpacked she would use the treasured hope chest as a storage for her quilts or maybe she would use it for a living room coffee table. Many years later, there was another young girl. This girl was born into a time when motherhood was given little honor and homemaking scorned. This foolish girl believed some of these modern day lies but then one day her Creator and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, got ahold of her heart. He began to change things, discard bad character, mold dreams and soon enough this young woman began to wish for a hope chest of her own. However, it was not to be. You see, hope chests are already expensive and when one lives in Alaska the shipping of such a creature could be outrageous. There was also the lack of space to consider—with two sisters sharing a bedroom there was little room for a chest. So this young girl waited, although she wasn’t very good at it. She tried to be content and patient but the virtues were difficult considering her spare internet time was given to “Hope Chests For Sale.” It took time but one day the young girl discovered that her own room could be her hope chest and, with a finally happy heart, she set aside her feelings of lack. Time passed and now this young girl was becoming a young woman; neon orange and fuchsia pink walls gave way to a softer more feminine blue and favorite stuffed animals began to find their place tucked beneath the bed. The want of a hope chest rarely bothered the young woman anymore although, I can honestly say the thought, “Oh, it would be nice to have one,” recently floated through her mind. However, it quickly passed and she began to help prepare the house for her soon coming aunt and cousins; they would be staying with the family for some time and soon the day of unloading the U-Haul arrived. While taking a moment to rest in front of the unloading ramp, the young woman heard a whispered, “This is for Frannie.” Her curiosity piqued, she quickly looked up and exchanged squinted glances of suspicion with her aunt and momma. Not to spoil the surprise, she quickly left—although I can testify that her smiling heart thought she was possibly getting a desk. Soon, the tired group headed home and after  rest and a much needed peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, the group began to unload the few pieces of furniture which would be stored within the house. Expecting a desk of some sort, the young woman was quite surprised when a large box (covered up by a blanket) lay in the middle of the living room. After unloading the last of the furniture, the family gathered together and the young lady’s aunt called her in. “Frannie, soon you will be getting married, and for many years girls would store there things in hope chests—so that one day they could use their things for their own family. Well, several, several years ago I felt the Lord laying it on my heart that you should have this. It’s your Great-Grandmother Chilla’s hope chest. Your momma actually thought of this chest too and a few years ago she asked me about it—not knowing that I already had it laid aside for you!” And with that beautiful and honest story Aunt Joy pulled of the blanket to show my own hope chest. Hope Chest Pics It is a lovely solid, cedar chest. And amazingly, it fits like a glove in my room adding grace and beauty. Isn’t it just beautiful? Hope Chest Pics 018 My great-grandmother Chilla Mutchler was the young woman who owned it before I. While I’m not completely certain, I believe my great-grandmother was in her early twenty’s during the 1930’s. A few scratches can be found here and there but to me I would not want it any other way. More Hope Chest Pics 004 Original Roos cedar chest. Est. 1871 More Hope Chest Pics 001   I am looking forward to filling this special chest with things that will honor and glorify God—my Heavenly Father who sneakily knew about this chest and patiently listened to my heart’s impatience nearly five years ago! :o) Yes, seasons come and go and I have finally been given a hope chest. I am so thankful for my time of lack and want—over a period of five years I learned the beauty and joy of contentment. Something which is invaluable! I also believe I will take better care of this family heirloom now that I had to wait for it; I’m almost certain I would have somehow damaged it while in my more careless days. I am not certain where my Lord, my Master, will take me over the next few years. I may still be single, serving at home or abroad. I may be living like the people I am trying to win for Christ—in a mud/dung house of Africa or in a poorly insulated home in chilly Mongolia. I may have my little yellow cottage and my chest may hold little trinkets for young one’s . . . I do not know. However, I do know that my God is Lord and I will go wherever He wants me. And you can trust that wherever that is, I will share the wonderful tale of how my God used my dear aunt’s heart, my Momma’s wonderings and a young girl’s dream to give her a lovely hope chest in His time. Trusting in Him, Frannie    “Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” 1 Chronicles 16:8

7 thoughts on “A Time of Hope

  1. Beautiful, Frannie! What a blessing to have a hope chest–I too have one, and love filling it with delightful things. 🙂 I'm so happy for you my friend. Know that you are in both my thoughts and prayers often!

    Much Love!
    Sonja

  2. That is a beautiful chest, Frannie! 🙂
    I'm sure you will be able to fill it with lovely things in which ever way the Lord leads you.
    God bless you.
    Love in Christ,
    Rachel

  3. Frannie,

    What a wonderful story…and so beautifully told! I especially was touched by the concept of contentment. For all things are in His time. May the Lord continue to bless you abundantly.

    Wishing you a Joyful day,
    Jillian

  4. I love how "sneaky" our heavenly Father can be! 😉 The chest is beautiful! I have lots of things to put in a hopechest, but they reside in plastic tubs at the moment! My mom has always said she will get me one when I graduate. I look forward to it! 😀

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