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What Do You Hope For

January 16, 2023

Another Way for week of January 6, 2023

What Do You Hope For?

When I think about my father, one of the things that comes to mind is that he was a wonderfully positive and hopeful person. He would look on the bright side of things, and put his energies into changing the world. He literally wanted to help “feed the hungry people of the world” and engaged in projects to do that.

He also tried, in the 1950s, to reach across racial and cultural divides with friendship and understanding—in a very white town/community at the time. Later, he tried to bring employment opportunities to one community in the deep south and believed resolutely that pursuing peaceful resolutions to national and world problems was possible. He was not perfect, and did at one point have a time of situational depression, but he was able to come through that and chart new paths for himself and our family.


I like to think I was born with a little of his hopeful nature. But in all my years of writing this column (since 1987), I don’t think I’ve ever written one on “hope.” Other apt words for hope are optimism, expectation, confidence, anticipation, and courage.

When God created the universe, God shared with us the awesome gift of hope.

There are many beautiful things in this world (along with a lot of not-so-wonderful things) but let’s focus a few minutes on what hope brings to our lives.

Hope keeps us going when times are hard. Hope births imagination and creativity. None of us are too old to have hope, and none of us are too tiny or young to not possess it.

Our first baby, Michelle, looks around the kitchen.

Speaking of birth, one of the joys of becoming a mother was holding my little girls just minutes or hours after they had emerged from my body, and watching them look around. I know that a baby’s vision is not very good in those early hours or even days and weeks, but as their days continue in a safe and loving atmosphere, they begin to see the world and its people and begin to smile. Sure, they cry plenty too, but the smiles soon come and I think that a smile conveys hope, as well as love, comfort, and joy.

My Dad as very small boy, baby of the family, standing in front. One older sister, Susie, is second from right. The other women are friends or relatives.

So in the early days of this new year, consider what gives you the hope, anticipation, and joy of a newborn. We can be like babies or new earthlings, eager to test out what our days will hold for us.

That can be hard, for surely we are also burdened with work to do, problems to solve, aches and pains to bear, anger and issues to resolve. Even in the darkest moments of life, there is hope for eternal life.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world,” said Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the early 1800s. Her confidence led to helping other women speak up and lead those looking for hope and change in the early decades of our country.

Many mentions in the Bible give us something to hang on to in the (sometimes) bleak midwinter. Here are some personal favorites:

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 13

I will end with this from Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in God, so that you may overflow with hope.”


What gives you hope? Comment here or write to me at Another Way, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834, or email

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of ten books, most recently Memoir of an Unimagined Career. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. Your story shows that you have always operated with hope. I remember thinking as I read your memoir, “If one thing doesn’t work out, Melodie will find another way.”

    Your photos are treasures. Happy Monday! 😀

    • … I like your thoughts, Marian, especially how you used the name we had chosen for my column clear back in 1987…. “another way.” Yes, I do deal with workarounds quite often!! And so nice of you to say what you did about the photo treasures. Sorry I’m so late in responding today, it was busy busy busy.

  2. Nancy Schaffer permalink

    When my husband went thru his long periods of depression 1&1/2-2 years – hope for better days were what we cling to.

    • Sometime it would be so nice to talk with you in person again. That would be a great day! I like your comment of “hope for better days were what we cling to.” <>

      • Nancy Schaffer permalink

        Melodie- I would love to come and visit sometime, especially now that I’m not working. Would that be possible on your end? The map says I’m only 4 hours and 36 minutes away. Nancy

      • Absolutely! I know you’re not far away! We have two extra bedrooms and it would be fun to do some sightseeing–have you been to the Shenandoah Valley? EMU? etc. I will send you a private message so we can text…. 🙂

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