Hope- 1) to cherish a desire with anticipation; 2) trust

Isn't hope a beautiful thing? I love it. One of my children even has that as a middle name.

When I am saddest in life it is when I have lost hope. It is the knowledge that things will turn out well. The desire for something better and the faith that it will happen. It makes the sad times easier and the disappointments more manageable.

Hope is necessary for life to go on. It buoys us up when all evidence points to the contrary.

Hope is necessary for birthing mothers. All around us we hear negativity. We hear comments about our beautiful roundness that are not beautiful comments. We might be chastised for planning a natural birth, when so many think that is just not possible and we should settle for whatever we are given.

When we plan home birth we hear horror stories about mamas and babies who wouldn't have "made it" if they were at home. When we plan breastfeeding we hear stories of women with no milk and starving babies. We are told to lower our expectations.

Do these things happen? Of course they do. Does it mean we shouldn't even bother? Only if we would rather plan for misery. There is enough of misery in the world without us planning on it.

But being hopeful is not silly or childish or pointless. It helps us see the joy around the corner when we can't see it yet. When times are the worst we need it the most.

I have been feeling somewhat hopeless about some things in my life lately. All I was left with, when I lost hope, was crushing, debilitating, misery.

I am choosing hope. I will choose it despite my fears about all the things that can and may go wrong. I will chose hope despite the evidence to the contrary and despite a past that discourages it.

Hope is worth the effort. Though not a guarantee of perfect outcome, it is a guarantee that as we plan we will be happier. It does promise us that if things don't go as we had hoped, we will still have enough light left within us to see the end from the beginning.

Here's hoping....