Monday, January 19, 2009

Filling our hope chests

As we’ve talked about hope in the last week or so, I got to thinking about hope chests. They’re not as popular today as they once were, but I think of all the hope that goes into preparing a chest for a new phase in our lives – whether it’s marriage, a writing career, or a new baby. While these chests do not always look alike, they all collect things. It might be a drawer in a dresser or a cardboard box in the closet. The hope chest that I worked hardest on was really a file cabinet that I filled with stories in my quest to become a published writer. Many of you know the work that goes into polishing your stories so a publisher will buy them. It is the same solitary, tedious work that girls used to put into embroidering pillowcases for their wedding days. The satisfaction of work like that is that we can pray, and dream, as we go about it. I don't know about you, but I like that quiet steady activity.

What kind of hope chests have you had in your life?


  1. I'm not much of a hope chest person. I have one box of highschool and college memories. I have one box of my wedding dress (which was my mothers, I wore hers at my wedding--so it's very old). Then, I have my photo album of my wedding and honey moon. Maybe I should fine ONE nice box for everthing (well, except the dress, gotta keep that in its own sealed box). But the rest would be nice to have in one spot.


  2. Lynnrush -- Sometimes I think we have hope chests and don't realize it. We're just working for our dreams or saving our memories. Sounds like you've done that, just without the box! The only thing I think the box adds is to make it all more intentional.

  3. Janet,
    So very true. I wrote 5 novels before I made my first sale. Writing is hard lonely work. That's why blogs like this are great. I get to talk to someone else!

  4. Lyn -- You are absolutely right. Writing is very solitary at times. That's why it's good to 'talk' to each other this way.

  5. I have a huge Rubbermaid container. And before that, it was a box than a big electric blanket came in. :) And they hold all my momentos--old love letters and photos, dried flowers from dances, tickets from concerts, homemade mother's day cards from the kids, hospital baby bracelets...

    I never did have a true hope chest, although I always wanted one. But my parents knew me well. They said I would just pile clothes on it and bury it! LOL


  6. I remember wanting a hope chest so badly growing up. A company came to our high school and made all of the girls drool with these huge beautiful cedar hope chests.

    I remember thinking about what I would put in one if I ever got one and how I would use it in my life.

    I never got one of those big hope chests, but my parents instead gave me this gorgeous antique buffet that I started putting things in. It had way more room than a hope chest and I filled every drawer and cabinet to the brim. LOL!

    Sadly I lost it in a pole barn fire right after my husband and I got married...nearly 15 years after receiving the buffet from my parents.

    The good news is I had taken all of the stuff out of it in preparation to move it into the house.

    Great post!

  7. Missy -- Rubbermaid works!

    And, Cheryl -- sorry about the fire. Glad you at least had your things out of it. I imagine some of them were handmade (and lots of work).

  8. When my husband and I were first married, we attended a family camp with our church. We surrendered our lives to serve God as missionaries or whatever He desired. For years we served in a lot of ways, from cleaning the church, puppet ministry,Sunday school, ect. Each little thing, I think of as an item in our hope chest. Who would imagine that 27 years later God would send us to the mission field! Our hope chest prepared us for where we are now, telling others of Jesus the hope of eternal life. God is so good to give us dreams, even if it seems to take forever to see them fulfilled, it's so worth it not to give up.


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