The Gift of Hope
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope..."Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Last year, on June 25th, God gave me the most precious gift of hope. He literally gave me a "Hope" - Hope TerKeurst, the oldest daughter of my dear friend Lysa. God placed Hope with her sweet friend Joanna, and the Davidson family, in Addis for a few days before they went into the bush country where they would stay for several weeks on a missions. This was just a little over a week after we found out Aster was going to be ours.

God had placed Hope in the same city in Ethiopia, across the world in Africa, where Aster was in an orphanage. Hope was only there for a few days but she got to see, hold and love on our sweet girl, and then sent us photos. It was truly the most amazing gift!

Today they were together again playing and cuddling while I had a P31 meeting. Hope and Joanna came over to watch Aster, and it just happens to be their anniversary week! My heart filled with the memories of God's gift of hope.

God knew the plans He had for each of us, plans to prosper us with the richness of this precious child's love, hugs, sloppy kisses, infectious smile, sassy-frass spunk and contagious joy. I cannot imagine life without her! Thank you Hope (and Jo) for being such a beautiful part of her story.

"Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we could ever dare to ask or hope." Ephesians 3:29 (NLT)



Blogger Jill said...

Renee, I remember you sharing the story and the pics - what an example of God's amazing ways! He has been reminding me of His faithfulness as well recently and the HOPE He offers.
And just now you reminded me of some words I even wrote a year ago about the HOPE He gave to me. Thanks they were ones I needed to read!

We had a Rise and Shine meeting today and a few stories were shared of women recently talking about the promises they received - God is still working through that - pretty exciting!

Blessings to you Renee, Jill

Blogger Oh Dear said...

That story a year ago, had my mother in and law and I calling one another saying, "did you read...?" WAY cool!!! Thanks for the repost and looking at Baby Aster then and now. WOW!

I can't believe that has been a year ago already. I began following your blog while Hope was there with Aster and I have been so moved and bless though it.

Blogger Kimberly said...

I cannot believe it has been a year!!! I remember LOVING reading about how God gave you this tender and amazing gift last year. And I LOVE this post, too!

Look at how much she has grown! Look at how quiet, how timid, how small, how unsure she looks when Hope if first holding her. And then look at how she is just BURSTING with JOY and LIFE in the newest pictures! Your Little Miss Sassy-Frass makes me smile!

Oh, sweet Renee! I know she is a gift to your life, but obviously you and your family are also such a gift to HERS!

So thankful for God and for His amazing ways!
Love to you,
K :)

Blogger Playing Sublimely said...

Oh that picture at the top of your blog...just love it. I have come across you before, so nice to see you again.

Blogger Digging for Pearls said...

Wow! It's hard to believe it's been a year already! How good God has been to your family!

Blessings and prayers,

Blogger lisasmith said...

I just love how Aster has bloomed this year... I remember this from last summer too. I love how Aster's pictures are so full of hope (Hope too) in her expressions and well, she just seems secure and loved and pretty spunky too!

I was just thinking today about one of my favorite verses and it seems to fit so appropriately with your post.
"You will be secure because there is hope." Job 11:18

I've been meditating on the secure part all day but I think I'll spend the last part of today meditating on the hope.

Praying for you as you write... full of hope in finishing, secure in your calling. love you!

Blogger Pat said...

Precious HOPE, precious baby girl!
Amazing that a year has passed. Oh my, so many stories yet to be told :)

Anonymous Helen Martin said...

I so love the story of happily ever Aster.

Be blessed on this anniversary and every other!

Anonymous Allison said...

I have so enjoyed reading about your life since adopting sweet Aster. My cousin is there this week, in Ethiopia, to bring home the newest addition to their family, sweet Isaac. Her story is amazing and sweet too. Praying he would connect and bond with her this week, he grabbed her cheeks and kissed her today. Sweet! If you'd like to read her story, go to

Blogger Tammy Nischan said...


I was just thinking of you and wanted to stop by and say "I love you" and I hope we can visit at She Speaks for a bit!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful week!

Tammy :)

Blogger Lelia Chealey said...

Oh, I remember reading about this last year and crying. Especially when you had up your messages between Holly & Hope with all of your questions about her.


Blogger Tracy said...

Precious. thanks for sharing.

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