Today’s post will be a little different, but still encouraging, I pray! I thought I would take a little time out and talk about how the Lord led me to start this blog, what keeps it going, and – Lord willing – the plans I have for its future. By now, those of you who regularly read the blog know that I talk about myself in a limited way, but prefer to keep the focus of Daily Hopeful on the Lord, the Bible, and the hope that can be found therein. Today, you’ll hear a little more about my journey, and – as many of you have asked – why I have chosen to blog anonymously.
I started Daily Hopeful back in November, after retiring (for the time being, at least) my first blog, Daily Thankful. Some of you have read both blogs, some only read Daily Thankful, and some of you have only ever known Daily Hopeful. To this day, I am amazed that anybody (outside of Jesus) has any interest in what I write, and I am grateful for each of you.
Some of you know how I started blogging: I felt a clear direction from the Lord to start a daily, anonymous gratitude and prayer blog. Never mind I was going through one of the most difficult seasons of my life, and that I’ve never been able to keep a journal for longer than a few weeks! Anyway, It wasn’t like I could say no to this directive, since at the time, it was one of the few areas of my life where I sensed God’s clear guidance.
Why anonymous, you may wonder? Well, God made that pretty clear at the outset – this was never meant to be about me. I am merely the scribe, and He is the Author. Perhaps this will change, but so far, the direction has not shifted at all. He will let me share some details from time to time, but that’s about it! 😉
And so I began, with the full expectation that I would just continue with Daily Thankful indefinitely. However, isn’t that the funny thing with the Lord? The moment we begin to expect a certain outcome for our lives, He changes the plan – often with little or no advance warning.
He made it very clear that if I continued with my first blog, I would be doing so because I enjoyed how it had grown, but not necessarily because He was calling me to stick with it. Would it have been sin to keep at my first blog? I don’t think so, but would I have had any peace about it? I doubt it.
So my plan was to stop blogging altogether and walk away. But that was not His plan. No, the direction was now to start another blog focused on hope – with a similar format, but with a slightly different focus (which was not 100% clear to me at the time). And so I obeyed and started the blog you are reading today. The Lord also made it very clear that Daily Hopeful would attract a slightly different audience – those who perhaps desired something a bit different than what Daily Thankful had to offer – and that there would be many who did not follow.
And He was right, on both counts. It was a bittersweet time.
It was a bumpy start for sure, and for those of you who hung around from day one, I appreciate you. I was soooo frustrated and almost gave up several times, but some of you encouraged me to keep writing and trusting the Lord’s plan. And so I did, although I was feeling quite wobbly about everything.
It’s kind of ironic, actually – when we finally let go of expectations and simply write from the heart – for an Audience of One – things start working themselves out on their own.
Much to my surprise, Daily Hopeful has touched my heart in a way that I never quite expected. Yes, thankfulness is good and important, but there is something about hope – expectant hope, as these verses from Romans 8 emphasize – that fills us with a sense of optimism and trust that things will be alright in the end.
Also, it is remarkable to see the Lord at work in this blog, and to also learn and be inspired by the writings of other bloggers, too. As other bloggers have observed, there’s something special about the community here at WordPress. Dare I say it? Ministry is going on here. The Holy Spirit is at work, and I feel privileged and honored to be part of such a vibrant community.
Anyway, my plan was to stick with Daily Hopeful through this fall, and then launch another blog that the Lord put on my heart, called Daily Prayerful. I started to think that I would have a collection of Daily blogs (Thankful, Hopeful, Prayerful, etc.), and that I would just keep writing on a different topic each year until the Lord told me to stop.
And I suspect that I will still do that, someday.
However, I observe that the Holy Spirit is still working here with Daily Hopeful, so until I get a spiritual “red light” from the Lord, I’m going to keep going – whether one person reads my posts, or many more.
After all, at the end of the day, it’s not really about the numbers, is it? No, what the Lord is doing here is about keeping me – and perhaps you as well, since you’re reading this – focused on expectant (or what I call “faith-filled”) hope. It’s not easy to maintain this hope at times, but it is so very necessary, don’t you think?
So I’ll close with a recommendation that you carefully meditate on the verses listed below, especially the last line:
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Be blessed, dear friends. And never stop hoping! ⚓️