The theme for Invisible Illness Awareness Week this year is Visible Hope. Bloggers this week are posting photos of the things around them and people that speak hope despite their pain. So today I am sharing my visible hope.
I am surrounded by things that speak hope into my life. For me, these are the things that help brighten the dark days and make them more bearable...
A cup of tea.
A cup of tea is comforting in the morning, especially in my 'cup of hope'. This mug is a great daily reminder of the hope that I have in God.
Lying in bed and looking at the stars is what I look forward to the most on a bad day. They help remind me that I am not alone, that the creator of the universe is with me. He puts the stars in the sky every night, surely He is in control of my life. Stars are beautiful. They are a reminder that there is light and beauty in darkness. They shine hope. I cannot fathom how anyone can look up at the stars and not believe that God or something exists.
Sprinkles remind me of my childhood. I loved indulging in fairy bread at birthday parties. I looked forward to coming home after school and scooping icecream into a cone and dipping it in sprinkles. I still love sprinkles, and on a really bad day, I'll make myself some fairy bread because it brings me happiness. Sprinkles give me hope that one day I'll be just as happy as, if not more, than I was in my childhood years.
Receiving flowers always brightens my spirits and encourages me to hold onto the hope that one day I will feel better.
I wore these boots before illness struck. They were my favourite, and still are. I would only wear them for a couple of hours to a place where I knew I could sit down if I needed to, as they aren't the most comfortable boots to wear. They do look amazing with spring dresses though, and the healthy me chose fashion over comfort any day. I can no longer wear them as they are just too painful with fibromyalgia and arthritis. I get burning pain in my feet after standing for a while - and that's with wearing flat shoes! Seeing these boots in my wardrobe though remind me of how hopeful I was and how hopeful I should be.
Worshiping God is what I live for. I listen to my favourite albums in the shower everyday. Focusing on God's love for me and my love for Him helps take my focus off how much I hurt. Encouraging and uplifting lyrics speak hope into my life and strengthen my faith. My favourite album right now is Love Without Measure by Parachute Band. I especially love the song You Remain.
I love wearing pretty floral and frilly tops. I don't dress up that often as I don't get out as much as I used to but that doesn't stop me from buying any more - I still have hope for better days and seeing my wardrobe filled with pretty tops confirms this. When I do feel up to going out for a bit, putting together an outfit and getting all dolled up makes me happy, and when I wear a new top out, I feel a little more hopeful.
Spring is my favourite season. It's spring right now here in Australia. Seeing the flowers in my backyard start to bloom excites me. It's an opportunity to literally stop and smell the roses, and find hope in the simple things that are often over looked.
Every time I go for a walk is proof that I am making progress. I always hop off the treadmill feeling much more hopeful and positive.
Birds and butterflies.
Hearing birds sing in the thick of winter in the early hours of the morning outside my window encourages me to hold onto hope. Butterflies remind me that change is possible, that I can grow despite my circumstances, and that beautiful things will come from them.
There's just something about baking cupcakes that inspires me to dream. These turkish delight cupcakes were a real hit.
Reading blogs, and writing my own has been my lifeline. I am now more hopeful, because I know that I'm not alone, and that there are people out there who share my feelings. I wrote about this in Finding hope in the loneliness.
Reading the bible.
I love my bible, and that's not just because it's covered with my favourite two colours! Speaking out scriptures and claiming God's promises for my life brings me hope for the future. My favourite one is Isaiah 40:31.
Glitter nail polish.
I can't help but feel happy and hopeful when rockin' some glitter nails. Love me some silver sparkly nails.
CFS recovery stories from Leigh Hatcher and Alastair Lynch have given me incredible hope. I will be forever thankful for their courage to share their stories.
This is actually a garden plaque, but I though why put it in the garden when I can sit it on my craft studio desk and look at it everyday. It motivates be to believe for the impossible and dream big. It reminds me to believe in my recovery from CFS. It also inspires me to believe that life without rheumatoid arthritis, endometriosis and fibromyalgia will be possible too one day.
My illness may be invisible, but my hope is visible.
What things give you hope?
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