A thrill of hope: What do you hope for?

News | December 3, 2020

In the words of the famous philosopher, Jon Bon Jovi, “Miracles happen every day, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.”

The birth of our Savior to a virgin obviously qualifies as a miracle. I would love to step out of my wheelchair and walk forward to the alter to take communion once again. But after countless trips to world class medical facilities, I have accepted that is unlikely to happen. Still I have deep gratitude for the blessings in my life that I have come to perceive as miracles.

I am grateful for a job that enables me to leverage technology in a way that allows me to work. I am grateful for students who inspire me every day. I am grateful for a husband who encourages me to say “thank you” instead of “I’m sorry” when I need assistance. I am grateful for two children that Steve and I regularly refer to as the best thing that ever happened to us. Does this gratitude represent a miracle? It does to me. Does gratitude provide a path to hope? Every day.

My hopes are less dreams for the future than gratitude for the present. I hope to learn something new every day. I hope to inspire my students as they inspire me. I hope to prepare my family to be confident in their abilities and firm in their worth. What do you hope for?

“We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5.

Joan Baril, wife of Steve and mom to Pete and Mary, lives in Davenport with husband, her mom, and her dog Roscoe. She teaches in the College of Business and Technology at Western Illinois University, and takes great pride and joy in her two children.

5 Comments on “A thrill of hope: What do you hope for?”

  • Judi Berkley

    December 4, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Your optimism and daily gratitude are a reminder for all of us where true joy and happiness lie! Thank YOU!

  • Marcella Barnhart

    December 3, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    Beautifully written Joan. She teaches us all with her strength, hope and honesty.

  • Debbie Case

    December 3, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you Joan. You truly are an inspiration to all of us who know you. I love your message of “My hopes are less dreams of the future than gratitude for the day.” I think those precious words are beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  • Judith Smith

    December 3, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    You are truly an inspiration to each of us.

  • Duane Haas

    December 3, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks. You are an inspiration. Amazingly powerful person.

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