When Christmas Cosmic Hope Comes Right Where You Are

No matter where this finds you, I hope you’ll recover some love here from an infinitely precious flow that will never run dry. So whether you are happily humming “Santa Baby” while shimmying around the kitchen with fresh-baked cookies or painfully moving through the days, struggling to even walk yourself into the shower, I hope you know that you’re the stuff of royalty. Your DNA is divine. You’re made of stars, for heaven’s sake. And I honor the You right where you are and not some future you, smooth-browed, polished up and “living your best life.” These are absurdly revolutionary days, and we have already faced enough hard things in the 2020s. I’m offering a pause. I don’t even know exactly what these fingers are going to type. Since it’s me, it may be a sensually complex sort of mystical pause. When Christmas Cosmic Hope Comes Right Where You Are, the shadows created by the grind of daily life become illumined opportunities.

A beautiful Frasier fir wreath, Swedish candelabra, and white fairy lights over my modern farmhouse sink for the holidays. #modernfarmhouse #farmsink #farmhousedecor #Christmaswreath #SwedishChristmas

Psst. I wrote this today in 2021 to replace a piece on a similar theme I shared in years past. Google wants me updating posts rather than creating brand new ones.

When Christmas Cosmic Hope Comes Right Where You Are

Let’s start with unpacking what I mean by Christmas hope.

This is immensely helpful to me:

Hope quote from Carmelite sister Constance Fitzgerald on Hello Lovely Studio. #hopequotes #christianityquotes #christmasquotes #catholicquotes

If necessary, read those words from someone far wiser than this blogger again and let them settle upon you.

Christmas decor in entry with red plaid scarf, red boots, zinc vase, and pom pom wreath - Hello Lovely Studio

For me, Christmas is not simply a birthday or a fantastic heritage story. It is an invitation to conceive and even birth cosmic hope.

Cosmic hope was alive in Mary’s yielding, flickering in the stable, lighting a starry Bethlehem sky. It was in our universe billions of years ago, and with you now as you breathe.

Yellow fallen leaves on my patio with vintage dining set - Hello Lovely Studio.

It is right under our noses all of the time and blooming JUST WHERE WE ARE.

Can you sense it?

Christmas citrus simmer pot with grapefruit, cranberries, rosemary, citrus, cloves - Hello Lovely. #christmasscents #simmerpot #citrussimmerpot

The implications of cosmic hope are heart-changing whether your views are conservative and you are prone to cling to the past. Heart-changing if your perspective is more liberal and you cling to the future.

For me, HOPE comes knocking at my heart’s door with a knowing smile in the sacred middle space of here and now.

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Hope asks for a humble spirit of unknowing, for a mustard seed of faith. Cosmic hope reminds me to cease clinging to those things covering my fear and creating my worth.

Because my arms cannot be crowded if I am to accept a newborn into them.

Magnificent vintage Christmas decor inside Trove Vintage with green 1860s cupboard filled with red buffalo check - Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #farmhousechristmas #countrychristmas #christmasdecor #primitives

My heart sinks with a heavy fullness when I get honest about how often I fail to open these arms. Weighed down with burdens, bitterness, and selfish desire, my capacity for new life is low.

Westies in plaid harness vests on a red tartan blanket - Trove Vintage on Hello Lovely.

Oh, the excuses and rationalizing! They are endless even as my daily denial is reinforced by modern culture. My labors largely become wobbly attempts to: quell fear, fill the void of loneliness with comfort, and collect affection from others.

Christmas citrus simmer pot with grapefruit, cranberries, rosemary, citrus, cloves - Hello Lovely. #christmasscents #simmerpot #citrussimmerpot

The routine grows so comfortable and commonplace sometimes I don’t even miss cosmic hope. I don’t have to miss it as long as I stay blindly asleep.

But when I awaken to truth, hope comes and the veil is lifted.

In the quietude of cosmic consciousness where I breathe thin air, I may even glimpse the star in the East.

Snow covered bench with bucket of Christmas greenery, wood lantern, and French mirror - Hello Lovely Studio
Our courtyard last Christmas.

I bring the gift of my will, uncertain where the journey will lead. I begin to let go of who I think I must be in order to be loved.

And though it’s hard and I prefer to resist, I allow the ache to ache.

A Deepening Hope During the Holidays
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It is only then I glimpse the baby in its purity, in its promise, in its perfect peace.

With humble desire, I seek the grace to empty my arms as deep longing grows.

Dorothy Day quote about Mary at Christmas - Hello Lovely Studio.

Cosmic hope comes quietly. It comes in a radiant glance of mercy, in a tender touch, in a breath of heaven. What a divine gift to recognize it and welcome it into surrendered arms!

Vintage Silent Night sheet music to print and frame - Hello Lovely Studio. #sheetmusic #christmasdecor

Here’s the thing. Cosmic hope is not waiting for me to arrive to some moment in time I have my shit together, where my body-mind-spirit are tidily balanced and all of my interpersonal boundaries are healthy.

This may be hard to hear, but friends, this moment may be as good as it gets…and whether it is or it isn’t, it’s ripe for cosmic hope.

Cat watercolor custom pet portrait from minted in white frame in a cozy corner of our bedroom - Hello Lovely. #catwatercolor #petpainting #catpainting

The holidays pose a peculiar challenge because they stir up mixed feelings. Even if your focus remains on a holy birth or giving gifts, your personal circumstances may still be overwhelming.

Christianity quote about hope by Walter Brueggemann on Hello Lovely. #christianityquotes #walterbrueggemann

You can seek and find and Google all sorts of ways to recover your bearings and calm.

Yet I’m not sure anything is as helpful as simply slowing down, noticing your breath, and humbly requesting help. We can ask for grace. We can seek fresh eyes to see the Cosmic Hope pulsing within the reality of our daily lives.

For example, my life often involves creativity and renovation, and the work might just remain a series of pleasant projects and collected memories.

B E F O R E – a kitchen transforming

But the work is actually a work of art, a story of incarnation, of transformation, of becoming.

White Shaker kitchen with Christmas wreath over sink - Hello Lovely Studio
A F T E R – Hello Lovely Studio

In the small things, in the re-structuring and in the renewal, I am learning to see how the Light of the world sees me.

Swedish candles at window over farm sink with Christmas wreath and fairy lights - Hello Lovely Studio

That Light somehow deems me a worthy home for royalty. How can it be?

Oh this transforming light! It must truly be a RENEWING RADIANT GLANCE OF MERCY.

Related image

Unlike 21st century DIY whole-house renovation, the mysterious mechanics of interior transformation and whole-making are beyond me.

I only know I sense a trustworthy energy feeding me from a lighter realm while somehow holding absolutely everything in the cosmos together.

B E F O R E – a DIY labor of love

Let’s face it. Most days, the eyes of my heart are closed, and where I remain in my head and ego, I cannot see the everlasting.

Thank God each new day is a chance to awaken and transform. To become still enough to surrender thoughts, judgment, and mental chatter as an emptying of self.

B E F O R E – the dining room transforming

The soul opens and becomes more permeable to deeper sacred knowing and unknowing.

I express this not with certainty, but in pure wonder:

Belgian style living room and dining room - Hello Lovely Studio
A F T E R – Hello Lovely Studio

a heart can become Bethlehem where something new may be born.

Fresh branches and gold balls on my mantel - Hello Lovely Studio

Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

How to welcome a deeper, divine fullness of CHRISTMAS Cosmic Hope into our hearts? How to awaken to the gift given?

Ilia Delio helps me come closer to answers…listen to her wisdom here:

In all honesty, I share this vulnerable, mystical, experiential territory with awkwardness. With a tenderly fragile heart prone to growing quite heavy during the holidays.

But heart pain can be transformed too.

Rather than numbing, repressing, or transmitting the weight of the pain, I can heartfully surrender it, place it near the manger alongside Frankincense and Myrrh.

Christmas is an opportunity to keep relearning the depth, intimacy, and sublime joy of greeting the divine with a soulful HELLO, LOVELY.

Pure joy.

Thank you for your prayerful support through the year. It matters deeply.

If the holidays feel unkind, hang in there…I’m with you, and you can always hit reply should you thirst for encouragement.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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36 Comments

  1. December 12, 2017 / 6:03 pm

    Michele this is such a beautiful post. So many struggle during the holidays and it is a beautiful message to share that they are not alone. I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by the love of your family and friends and the love and peace of Jesus.

    • michele
      Author
      December 12, 2017 / 9:13 pm

      Thanks, Elizabeth. I know it’s a bit of a melancholic, heavy sort of post so I appreciate the kind words. 🙂

      • December 20, 2021 / 2:01 pm

        Michele, this post could have been written today for these incredibly hard last 2 years! Did you re-work for the times or is this for the most part the same post from 2017? Whatever the case the message is still beautiful, and speaks to my heart today as it did all those years ago. Be well my friend, find peace in your day and where ever else you can. You are in my prayers. xo

        • Michele
          Author
          December 20, 2021 / 5:04 pm

          Thank you, friend. I wrote it today and replaced what was there from last year. The spirit of the piece is the same, but I’m different than I was a year ago. I’m in need of more hope, and the quote from Constance Fitzgerald that I read last week sort of undid me. I know comments from past posts can be confusing – Google doesn’t want me creating new posts, it wants to see the old updated. (So different from what God seems to want from me which is A BRAND NEW MIND! Hahaha.) I’m so glad it is speaking to you. I love hearing from you and send my love. xox

  2. PJ
    December 13, 2017 / 4:00 am

    Beautifully written, Michele! This is such an inspirational piece.

    • michele
      Author
      December 14, 2017 / 9:42 am

      Thanks for reading, PJ. Peace to you.

  3. December 13, 2017 / 5:40 am

    This is such a beautifully written post and echos some of the feelings I’ve experienced in Christmases past. This year is different as we are moving and not decorating and my home is nearly bare. As I wrote to a friend last night, I think that in the simplicity I might sense His Presence more this year than any other.

    I don’t know where you’ve been Hello Lovely, or why I’ve never seen this blog before but I can’t wait to read more. I can tell I’m going to love it!

    Thank you and have a blessed holiday season.
    Patti

    • michele
      Author
      December 14, 2017 / 10:05 am

      Thank you for finding me and adding so much beauty to this post, Patricia. So happy to hear you are sensing His Presence in the simplicity, and I think I know just what you mean. Peace to you, new friend. 🙂

  4. Alice Genzlinget
    December 13, 2017 / 6:59 am

    Beautifully and wonderfully put.

    • michele
      Author
      December 14, 2017 / 10:00 am

      Thanks so much for reading and for your kindness, Alice. Peace to you. 🙂

  5. Kathy
    December 13, 2017 / 7:21 am

    Beautiful, Michele. I love the thought of transforming heart pain by placing it near the manger! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

    • michele
      Author
      December 14, 2017 / 9:59 am

      Thank you for reading with such a lovely heart, Kathy. Merry Christmas to you and yours! 🙂

  6. December 13, 2017 / 7:50 am

    You have such a beautiful way with words my friend! Know that you’re not the only one feeling overwhelmed in TJ Maxx. It’s hard to measure up to the holiday ads I see on TV. My life isn’t that perfect ? But Bethlehem IS in our hearts and the light ALWAYS overcomes the darkness. xoxoxo

    • michele
      Author
      December 14, 2017 / 9:43 am

      It is so comforting to feel joined, and I honor you for doing this for me. Thanks for being a radiant source of light and encouragement, friend. xox

  7. Kristin Dimmich
    December 13, 2017 / 8:20 am

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I pray peace of our Savior Jesus for you during this season. I have always loved Christmas although because the passing of our oldest son several years ago I found it so difficult. Even though our holidays will be forever missing the one who is no longer with us, I have once again found the joy in the birth of our Lord. Having 2 little Grand boys helps with the joy as well! Peace to all your readers.

    • michele
      Author
      December 14, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Thank you for the loveliness of your vulnerability, Kristin. Thinking of you this very moment and praying that love will meet you just where you are in your grief and loss. I’m so encouraged by your words “once again found the joy in the birth” which is so life-giving and beautiful. So happy your grandchildren shine so much light in your darkness and sending peace to you and yours. 🙂

  8. susan
    December 13, 2017 / 9:05 am

    Oh my, you are richly blessed. God created you to do exactly what you are doing. Thank you for your honesty and for allowing the love of God to flow through you to others.
    May we all feel His glory and love during this Christmas season.
    Blessings to you and your family.
    Susan in MT (wintering in AZ)

    • michele
      Author
      December 14, 2017 / 9:44 am

      What kind words to share. I receive them as a precious gift, Susan. Peace and love to you, friend.

  9. Rhonda
    December 13, 2017 / 12:19 pm

    What a beautiful heart and soul you possess. And, how lucky we all are to gain inspiration from you. I tend to feel sadness at Christmas because I lost my mother December 27 of 2004. I still feel the sadness during the holidays after all this time. However, I try to remind myself how truly blessed I am, especially when I see all the devastation in California amid the fires. Thank you for reminding me once again of my blessings, of which I count you as one.

    • michele
      Author
      December 14, 2017 / 9:52 am

      Thank you for adding to the beauty by sharing your loss, Rhonda. Each Christmas I feel compelled to reach out to those who may have mixed feelings about the season – the emotions and excitement trigger painful memories in many of us and can cause us to feel alienated. I hope I can offer reminders and comfort that even though despair may be stirred up, we are NOT our feelings or thoughts, we are lovely souls experiencing them and need not feel shamed or damaged because of them. I am so grateful to have you following and uplifting me with your encouragement and light. xox

  10. December 13, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    What a beautiful post. Merry Christmas to you. And thank you.

    • michele
      Author
      December 14, 2017 / 10:07 am

      Thanks so much for reading and for your kindness. Merry Christmas, friend. 🙂

  11. Karen H.
    December 15, 2017 / 11:02 am

    Simply beautiful, Michele. You have a way of blessing others with your words of inspiration and encouragement. May you and yours feel the Peace of His Presence this season and all through the year. Blessings to you.

    • michele
      Author
      December 15, 2017 / 12:32 pm

      Thanks for your kind encouragement, Karen. Peace to you, and thank you for reading. xox

  12. dee
    December 20, 2020 / 5:52 am

    Thank you for your beautiful post. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Michele
      Author
      December 20, 2020 / 11:16 am

      Merci beaucoup – peace to you and yours this Christmas.

  13. Barbara
    December 20, 2020 / 1:20 pm

    Your generosity of spirit and love of beauty and grace is so calming and uplifting. Thank you for all you have done for your readers throughout this crazy year, while in the midst of your own turmoil. Wishing you and your family a wonderful year, filled with peace, improved health and respite from the storms. Blessings to you and yours.

    • Michele
      Author
      December 20, 2020 / 8:33 pm

      What a blessing your words are as they add beauty here and to my heart. Thank you for all of the support and encouragement. So grateful. xox

  14. December 21, 2020 / 1:41 pm

    Hi Michele, your words are so beautiful and tender. You touch everyone in your path❤️
    God bless you and your family this Christmas 🙏
    XOXO

    • Michele
      Author
      December 21, 2020 / 3:18 pm

      Thank you, Holly. Thank you for the lovely Christmas card and another year of friendship. It is such a pleasure to watch you on your artful journey and connect across the miles. Peace to you and Ron, and cheers to 2021!

  15. Christine
    December 20, 2021 / 11:24 pm

    Beautiful Michele. The only thing that would make this better….having tea in person with hopeful conversation.

    Your words bring encouragement to weary hearts. xo

    • Michele
      Author
      December 21, 2021 / 10:16 am

      So grateful to have you here, and yes, wouldn’t tea be lovely since the shared synthesis of hopeful ideas and collaborative spirit could expand and flourish beyond screens and ads and barriers? Merry Christmas, friend. xox

  16. Linda
    December 21, 2021 / 8:19 am

    Your finger, (and soul, spirit, energy) is on the pulse of Our universe, beautifully written, and a gift to all who have read this. Thank you.

    • Michele
      Author
      December 21, 2021 / 10:12 am

      Humbled and blessed by your kind words – thank you for reading and taking the time to leave lovely footprints here. Peace to you.

  17. lee
    December 23, 2021 / 8:46 pm

    “Here’s the thing. Cosmic hope is not waiting for me to arrive to some moment in time I have my shit together, where my body-mind-spirit are tidily balanced and all of my interpersonal boundaries are healthy.

    This may be hard to hear, but friends, this moment may be as good as it gets…and whether it is or it isn’t, it’s ripe for cosmic hope.”

    Love this, you have helped me so much to come to the season with my spirit intact. Thank you for helping me find balance and truth and the joy of the season. You more good than you can ever realize. And thank you for mentioning James Finley, so interesting. Prayers to you

    • Michele
      Author
      December 25, 2021 / 8:19 pm

      What a blessing your words of honey are to me right where I am. Thank you for reading with such tenderness and openness and taking the time to share your heart. We are muddling through together, and I’m so grateful to be in good company. Peace to you.

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Deconstructed Wingback Bed
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Kinston Wood Bench
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Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
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Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
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Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
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Jute Area Rug
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Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
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French Country Farmhouse Baskets
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White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
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Highback Armchair
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Round Woven Placemat Set
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Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
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Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
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