Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Stones of Hope and Joy

"May the God of hope
fill you with joy and peace
in your faith,
that by the power
of the Holy Spirit,
your whole life and outlook
may be radiant with hope."
Romans 15:13 Phillips

A text conversation with my teenage daughter...

Naomi: When are you going to be back, Momma?

Me: 20 minutes. I stopped at Ten Thousand Villages for rocks.    

Naomi: Oh, I love that store. Why do you need rocks?

Me: Joy and hope to go with wisdom and strength.

Naomi: Oh cool! See you soon. Focus on the road.


Why do I need engraved rocks? Sometimes I just appreciate a touchable reminder of vital words in my life to help me "focus on the road" ahead. I squeeze these smooth stones tightly in the palms of my hands on days when the strength, wisdom, joy, and hope don't come on their own but the tears and fears do. I don't know why that helps, but it does. I see them every day on my desk, too. Memorial stones. Perhaps someday I shall have 12 of them, like Joshua gathered in the dry riverbed when the waters miraculously parted, and then piled on the banks of the Jordan for a remembrance? 

I already had stones for strength and wisdom. Now I have them for joy and hope, too. I think of hope as looking toward the future, but it still keeps me going right now. Brighter days will come, so I can press on. I think of joy as flowing from within, from what God is doing inside me, not what is going on around me. 

May I see the miracle of a way made through the deep and murky water, then pillars of fire and smoke to guide me through the wilderness. May I gather these memories of grace in my heart. May I pile up my dreams of hope and joy for the future.

I hope the same for you, too.

More posts on joy and hope and my rock collection:

For hope and joy,
Virginia Knowles


Inspire wall rack
V.I.P.S. (Very Important Post Script) I bought the rocks at Ten Thousand Villages, a store on Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. It may be in the ritzy section of town, but its real heartbeat is for the poor around the globe. What are their hopes and dreams? Safe communities? Clean water? Health clinics? Literacy and job training? A micro-loan to start a small business? A creative way to eke out a living for their families? Ten Thousand Villages partners with the Mennonite Central Committee to give opportunities to artisans and entrepreneurs around the world. It's a hand up, not a hand out. 
Twist of Fate necklace and
butterfly pin
Three of my four stones (strengthhope,and joy) were crafted in India by TTV partner TARA Projects, a fair trade program for community development and business. 

You can find beautiful jewelry and home decor on the Ten Thousand Villages web site. (I own several pieces, thanks to my kind daughters.) My other posts that mention Ten Thousand Villages:

What can you do to bring joy and hope to our neighbors around the globe?


  1. The rocks with words are fun - I have stepping stones in my garden ... and one says Peace, one says Love, there is a Hope one and Faith... I love it. This year I separated them into different areas so now I have my Peace Garden... and Hope Garden and etc. :) Fun and good reminders. :)

  2. Ooohhh, what a great idea! I've never seen these and now I want some too. It was a joy to find you through Still Saturday. I would love to have you share your heart at the Saturday Soiree Blog Party at http://faithalongtheway.com.

  3. I really love this idea!! I have one smooth rock about the size of my fist (the size of my heart) that reminds me of how God can take my heart of stone and make it into a heart of flesh. Thanks for sharing this. I am glad to have stopped by. Nice new blog you have here.

  4. Your daughter is so sweet. Those stones are definitely charms for your family. God bless you.

  5. So glad you stopped in for my post on Lenten stones! There is something beautiful about stones as a reminder. I will have to check our ten thousand villages store for the stones, they are lovely!