“Faith is like a bright ray of sunlight. It enables us to see God in all things as well as all things in God.” St. Francis de Sales
When I stand at the desk adjacent to my "ball chair" in my office, my view overlooks our front yard and the beautiful jacaranda tree planted in our median. The Los Angeles jacarandas are legendary. When Greg and I moved into our home in May 2017, the tree in our yard was in full blossom. Purple rained down on us for weeks, sticky but sweet. Then something bad happened to our tree and it began to show signs of sickness. Last year, we actually called the city out to take the tree down. We were convinced she'd met her demise. The municipal tree surgeon, who likely didn't relish the idea of an afternoon spent chopping, pointed at one small cluster of leaves and told us that our tree was still alive and simply needed more water. We were unconvinced. But we decide to give the old girl at least a bit more time and love.An update on this week's work and upcoming fun from @LisaHendey and looking for signs of hope. Click To Tweet
We remained unconvinced for the past several months, as the tree barely grew leaves and continued to look sickly. But last week, even amidst the quiet of the pandemic, something wonderful started to happen: small clusters of purple began to show themselves amidst those brown, brown branches. Today, as I was walking, I looked up and marveled at the color. It's still not back to our "purple reign" of 2017, but it's a major improvement over last year. I'll take it.
Looking up at the tree, I thanked God for her beauty and paused to admire a few hummingbirds who were happily feasting in her boughs. Hope exists, even amidst so much pain and sorrow. We have to force ourselves of that and remember to look for those small, often unseen signs. Here in Los Angeles, our safety orders continue to urge us to shelter in place. I look back on the past few months as a time of stress, anxiety, and dormancy. But my jacaranda reminded me today that even though it may be imperceptible, God has been working on me. Who knows what currently imperceptible signs of hope might flower as a result of work being done inside me during this time of pandemic?
Here are some of my personal highlights from the past week:
- #PrayStrong Contest: There's still time to enter the contest I mentioned here last week. If you head over to my Instagram account (@LisaHendey) you'll find all of the details on how to enter to win this lovely "PrayStrong" gift package: a beautiful PrayStrong long sleeve shirt, a "do small things with great love" cap, and a "Keep Calm and PrayStrong" tumbler. To see the entire line of PrayStrong goodies, visit www.PrayStrong.com. Enter by 5/15!
- When I'm Not Me Anymore: My "Lisa Hendey & Friends" podcast last week was one that really hit home for me due to the topic discussed: dementia. Even if you're not a regular listener, I urge you to take 20 minutes and listen to my conversation with Rhonda Hoffman - listen here or on your favorite podcast platform. If you enjoy the podcast, please consider subscribing and leaving a review.
- Novena Redux: Last week, I had the great gift of leading Day 8 of the Mother's Day Novena at CatholicMom.com and featuring one of my favorite saints, St. Zelie Martin. The entire novena is prayed through the intercession of Our Lady. Since May is her month, it's not too late to pray the novena, which you can find here in full.
- Storytime and Something New Too: Just a reminder that my Paraclete Press products (I Am God's Storyteller and the "Kids and the Saints" DVD are on a great sale for the month of May. Find the products here. Last week, we were able to share all of the endorsements for my new children's book "I'm a Saint in the Making"! I'm happy to say that all of those "blurbs" are now featured over on Amazon, so go here to see what people are saying about the book!
- Conquering Coronavirus: Over at OSV, I was blessed to share an interview with Teresa Tomeo about her new book "Conquering Coronavirus: How Faith Can Put Your Fears to Rest". Find our conversation here.
- Proud Mom Alert! Know someone who is interested in music lessons? I'm psyched to share that my favorite musician and son, Adam Hendey, is now offering virtual private lessons on a limited enrollment. Adam teaches guitar and mandolin family instruments, tin whistle music theory, and composition with emphasis on folk and popular music. Learn more here.
A question for you: What signs of hope have encouraged you this week?