I am sitting here with tears in my eyes.

They are spilling over and running down my face and dripping off my chin.

Most days I am full of joy. Truly. Most days I’m twirling my toes and clapping my hands and dancing in the aisles and giggling and laughing my way through life.

But today?

Today my heart is heavy.

I ache for people fighting for their homeland. I ache for the families of the friends I lost this week. I ache for the struggling and the sadness and anxiety and uncertainty that so many people are facing.

At the risk of stating the obvious.

Life can be so overwhelming.

And then?

I remembered a story I wrote years ago on this blog. I haven’t looked at it in years, but I went and searched and found it and it spoke to my heart and filled me with such peace as I read it. I had no idea when I wrote it all those years ago that I would need it today.

Just in case you needed a little hope?

Come sit by me.

This is for you.

This week we spent the evening listening to a choir performance by one of the twins.

It was a Quad-State choral festival about an hour away from us that started at 6:30 at night.

And just between us, to get there by the time it started required an effort of almost herculean proportions.


I had to corral everyone from their various after-school activities and make sure they were dressed in something other than an Under Armor sweatshirt and jeans and produce food for the journey and wait for my husband to get off of work and listen to 101 excuses as to why a sister or brother really shouldn’t have to sit through a choir concert their sister was singing at.

And by the time 6:30 rolled around I was not in a choir-listening mood.

Instead, I was exhausted.

I shepherded everyone into the auditorium and slowly sank down into my seat with resignation.

My daughter spotted us from the stage and waved wildly at us.

We waved wildly back.

Some of us a little more wildly than others.

Then the concert began and the notes from stage floated softly across the room.

The concert continued with several songs and then the musicians paused.

A hush fell over the crowd as they explained the meaning behind the next song.  The song was entitled “Inscription of Hope” by Z. Randall Stroope and it was based on words found scrawled on a cellar wall by Jews hiding from the Nazis in Cologne, Germany during the Second World War.

The notes began, then children’s voices filled the air and I sat in stunned silence as the words with their powerful message rang out across the concert hall.

“I believe in the sun 

even when it is not shining

And I believe in love

even when there’s no one there

And I believe in God 

even when he is silent

I believe through any trial there is always a way.

But sometimes in this suffering and hopeless despair

My heart cries for shelter

and to know someone’s there

But a voice rises within me saying “hold on my child”

I’ll give you strength 

I’ll give you hope

Just stay a little while

May there someday be sunshine

May there someday be happiness

May there someday be love

May there someday be peace.”

                                                                                                              ~by Z. Randall Stroope

Tears welled up in my eyes.

To have the faith to persevere in the face of overwhelming darkness.

To believe when it seemed there was nothing to believe in.

To have such hope when the future seemed hopeless and full of despair.

It is a lesson for us all.

I watched my daughter singing so earnestly up on the stage and my heart grew wings.

And with the words of the song ringing in my ears, I looked over at my family and reached for my husband’s hand and sent a silent prayer of thanks for the joy that sat beside me in that dark auditorium.

And for the reminder found in every line, every lyric….

….of the song that hope wrote.

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  1. Image for Lee Stearns Lee Stearns

    Oh KariAnne- your timing is perfect! We ALL need to see these powerful, uplifting words right now as we struggle to understand, help, share, support, adjust and keep moving forward! Thanks for sharing this with us today as you continue to inspire us with your talents, your joy and your compassion! God bless you as he blesses us all! Please keep using your gifts and your platform to lift us up in your special, unique way! We love you!❤️❤️🙏🙏

  2. Image for Joyce Joyce

    Thank you , reminders of the Hope of God in the most difficult of times. Peace and Joy that passes All understanding . May that same hope arise in us and live on . 🧡

  3. Image for Mary T. Mary T.

    This song is very true for today. I hope our prayers are uplifting the Ukrainian people. We all stand united with them.

  4. Image for Revonda Stordahl Revonda Stordahl

    Thank you for this post today. The world needs this hope. I continue to pray for the people of Ukraine.


    Kari Anne, I'm typing this with tears streaming down my face. Thank you so much for reposting this. We NEEDED this today. Let's hope and pray the people of Ukraine remain safe and steadfast. I'm going to type out the poem and frame it in my home. It means something for everyone.

  6. Image for Denise Denise

    That was beautiful and heart wrenching, reminding me we must care for and pray for those innocent victims of war. If I could hand them some hope today, I would.

  7. Image for Tammy Tammy

    KariAnne, this post was beautiful. With the lost of friends, we have all be telling each other how special we are to one another. How much the friendships made through this mentoring group of yours means to us. Beautiful friendships have been made because of you bringing people together. Christian women finding one another and developing the most amazing and treasured gifts of friendships to last a life time. Women supporting each other and lifting one another up. Thank you for being an amazing mentor and friend to all of us. You are treasured. And, with all of this sorrow in the world let our lights shine brightly. Let us make a difference in a world of hatred. Let's us love and continue to lift others up. Do what we can to make the world better. xoxoxo

  8. Image for Kimberly Whitehurst Kimberly Whitehurst

    I have all your books; I read your blog. I am a fan of not only your classic, tasteful decorating but your honest (and often hilarious) outlook on life. You remind us it’s ok to be imperfect and that life is best lived by embracing those imperfections. However, having said all that, I believe your greatest gift is your faithful optimism and your ability to share that with others when they need it most. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    That song has been making the rounds. It does remind all of us to have hope, faith, love and to believe in democracy. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Image for Jan Jan

    KariAnne, Thank you so much for sharing. We all need hope considering the state of our world. Praying for the people that have experienced war.

  11. Image for trudy nickelson trudy nickelson

    Your words, your way of asking me to take a seat beside you..... so beautiful and personal. And then to share such a beautiful story and song with me. You have a purpose my friend and I'm glad you're not afraid to share it. Blessings to you and all of us as we continue to believe in God's promises and pray for those in harms way through Christian love and faith.

  12. Image for Merri Jo Merri Jo

    A precious reminder to keep our eyes on the One in control—the Hope of our souls. Thank you for the blessing of your post, Kari. Not just the words, the content on the page, but for your heart & the essence of YOU that you share in your writing.

  13. Image for Tamela Kirby Tamela Kirby

    As I read this message this morning my heart was full. I have been thinking and praying for Ukraine. I can remember when my husband and I visited the Holocaust museum in DC some years ago, how eerie it was to walk through the museum and imagine the hate Hitler felt for the Jews. As I walked I tried to think how one man could brain wash so many people into his beliefs. I pray that history is not repeating itself. This song brings such comfort. God does have the final say in all things and I pray there is good that comes from this evil! May God be with Ukraine!!!!

  14. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Thank you for your beautiful post and your constant positivity. You uplift me every day with your humor and your faith in God. I wish I could have heard your daughter's choir singing this song. Blessings to you and hope for the people in Ukraine.

  15. Image for Darlene Darlene

    Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing and bringing hope! ❤️ " When my heart is overwhelmed lead Me to the Rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2

  16. Image for Kris Kris

    We sang He Will Hold Me Fast in church Sunday. Our pastor saw this post on YouTube of Ukrainian believers worshipping by using that song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktD5HJF1o70 Please check it out.

  17. Image for Be Be

    Thank you for sharing as I have struggled with not being able to hear from my friends in Ukraine who took such care of me on my 3 mission trips. I assure you the words of that song are the way they live day to day and their trust that God is watching over them makes my faith seem sooo tiny. Thanks for writing your heart!!

  18. Image for Tammy Tammy

    Thank you so much for sharing and especially including the words! It was just what I needed to hear and it came right after I re-noticed the sign in our home that says "Be still and know that I am God...". Thank you for being an encouragement!

  19. Image for Kathy W Ryder Kathy W Ryder

    As I was returning home this morning from taking my 11 year old grandson, Ryder, to school, I started talking to my Lord and praying for the people of Ukrane. I came home and was checking my emails and saw your beautiful post about this inspirational song. I wrote the words down, but wanted to hear it in music. I went and googled the Miami Childrens Virtual Choir that so graciously sang this message of Hope. Thank you KariAnne for sharing this as I shared it on my Facebook page. Everyone needs this inspirational lift.

  20. Image for Debi Foley Debi Foley

    Just what I needed this morning. Thank you during such difficult times to bring some hope to our lives. Bless you. Debi

  21. Image for Anne Anne

    Beautiful! Thank you! So much needed to read and experience the beauty and emotion of this. Prayers for the innocent people of Ukraine.

  22. Image for Lois Kelly Lois Kelly

    Thank you so much for sharing this song and your thoughts! I needed this today! Very touching and appropriate for a time such as this!

  23. Image for Renee Renee

    Words that ring true today. Prayers for the people of Ukraine and those around the world who are oppressed, have lost hope but still believe that days will be better. Thank you for sharing this lovely song.

  24. Image for julie marshall julie marshall

    This is a such a poignant message KariAnne. May the people of the world pray for the end of this war in Ukraine. My friend Irena was visiting last week. She is from Irena and for the past 35 years, she has lived here and become a US citizen. She was my nanny for 16 years. Now she has three nieces in Poland and many friends there as well as in Ukraine. It is such a scary time there. May the world unite against the efforts of Putin to aggressively invade a country.

  25. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    Thank you for sharing this post. So inspiring. We must pray that the people know we stand with them; for who knows who will be next...our world needs all our prayers and our hope for a better tomorrow for all. There is evil in this world -- we are witnessing it now. There is also courage and hope in the world -- we are witnessing it now also.

  26. Image for Judy Brodston Judy Brodston

    Thank you for sharing this, for Ukraine, for our broken world. So many of us lose hope and are in need of these words.

  27. Image for Laura Laura

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful song of hope. We all need some hope for all of the people in this world that are going through very troubling times. Your blog is always so uplifting and I appreciate that. It’s one of the highlights of my day.

  28. Image for Elizabeth Elizabeth

    Thank you for sharing, these are indeed troubling times and it is hard to watch the suffering in "real time" and then continue as if there are not so many suffering and dying.

  29. Image for Deb Deb

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I copied it onto a simple page and will frame it for my quilt room -- I think we all need reminders that we aren't 'in this alone' and it makes news like this a little easier to handle. It's the childrens faces that haunt me. We can't really do anything other than contribute funds for others who in are the midst of helping, but prayer and remembering that He is in there, guiding and loving all those who are suffering makes all the difference, at least to me.

  30. Image for Pam Pam

    Karianne, This was beautiful and I am going to read this at my son's funeral. My son died from an overdose last week - we had no idea he was using drugs. He was 35 and a shining star. He had a good job and his own home. He never felt like he was good enough and dealt with feelings of depression over the years. My husband and I don't feel like there will ever be sunshine or happiness again but I want to believe one day there will be. My heart also aches for all the Ukranian people and the nightmare they are going through. I want you to know you are the best and keep inspiring us with your writing. Thank you, Pam

    1. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

      Oh, dear Pam. I can’t begin to imagine your pain right now. May God give you comfort and peace in these dark moments. May your son rest safely in the arms of the Lord free from all suffering.

    2. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Pam, Oh sweet friend. Words cannot even begin to express how much my heart is hurting for you. Your son sounds so wonderful. I'm so so sorry that you are going through this right now. Sending all the prayers from my heart to yours. KariAnne

    3. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

      I am so sorry for your loss. Your son was troubled and depressed and you could not help him, but he is in heaven now and feeling no pain.


      Pam, just want you to know that we are keeping you and your dear husband in our prayers. So sorry to read about your dear son. We pray that you will feel God's arms of comfort wrapped around you.

  31. Image for Barb Ostrom Barb Ostrom

    Karrianna: Incredibly touching story as I teared up reading it. Yes, we need hope. With all that is going on in the world today we most definitely needed to read this story. Thank You!!

  32. Image for Danae Danae

    Thank you for sharing. In these times we need hope for Ukraine and for all that's wrong with the world and our own country.

  33. Image for Olga Haberl Olga Haberl

    Today, before I headed out, I prayed with such a heavy heart for those being affected in Ukraine. Thank you for sharing this story. I needed to read it. One day we will ache no more; we will cry no more. Until then, we wait and pray and hope God will work all things together for our good. Blessings & hugs to you and to all who read your words. ~ Olga

  34. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Thank you Kari Ann, I feel the same as you, we were listening to the news and I was overwhelmed with sadness for Ukraine, we pray God has a plan and the good succeed! Glad you looked for this!!

  35. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    Thankyou Kari Ann, This was such beautiful story and what I needed to read today. A positive,inspiring story of faith and love during the worst of times. I pray for those facing war and the death of loved ones , loss of their homes and the terror all around them. May they know God loves them and that his light will conquer the darkness. God bless you and your family and may we all pray for peace.

  36. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Karianne, thank you for this story, as we need it now. People are hurting all over the world, but especially in Ukraine, and they need our help!!! How someone with such little hope and despair could write such a beautiful song is beyond me, as I would not have been able to be so optimistic!!!

  37. Image for Lori Lori

    Thanks for this KariAnne. I often wonder why there are so many mean, hurtful people on this earth. It boggles my mind. I do believe that kindness exists, lately it's been tough though. This was uplifting and much needed. Prayers to the people of Ukraine and all the families involved....even the animals that are being displaced.

  38. Image for Jan Jan

    Tears are flowing. Thank you for sharing this. I needed to hear it. I feel our nation and the world are so corrupt. I'm having a hard time with these things. The words to that song are comforting and I need to hear them every day.

  39. Image for Gale Gale

    Karianne, Thank you so much for sharing this timely message of hope on a personal and world level for our confusing times right now.

  40. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Beautiful post, sweet friend. I am so thankful for that you have brought all of us together to encourage, celebrate, support and even grieve together. The most incredible group drawn together by you that has benefited us all. Thank you.

  41. Image for Jo Jo

    This morning, after referring to your long-ago blog about paint choices, sheen, the best white, my husband and I went to our local Sherwin Williams and bought tons of paint (thank you Karianne) and then as the day wore on and my heart was heavy with what is happening in the world, I read your blog. From paint advice to encouragement in reminding us of the precious gift of hope in the direst of situations, you have ministered to me in such a variety of ways. You've blessed me today!

  42. Image for Joann Joann

    Thank You! Really needed your kind and inspirational words. We always have to be Hopeful during such difficult times and remember our Blessings.

  43. Image for Debbie King Debbie King

    Dearest KariAnne as I read your post I felt like you were reaching out to me with those beautiful words. I lost my beautiful mother, my friend and the sister I never had last week. I am so heartbroken and so lost. My husband has been so wonderful but there is no way to explain the loving connection between a mom and a daughter. I hold mom’s rosary every night until I fall asleep. It brings me peace but then the next day begins and reality sets in. I don’t know how God chose to give me to mom but I am forever grateful for the gift of mom. Thank you for your beautiful, meaningful post, Dear KariAnne. It touched my heart in so many ways tonight. 💜❤️


      Debbie, I am so sorry to read about you losing your precious Mom, dear friend and your "special" sister. I know your heart is aching. I will be keeping you in our prayers. May you feel God's arms of comfort wrapped around you as you go through this difficult time,

  44. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    We sang that in my church choir years ago, and I had forgotten all about it. We struggled with it because it really choked some of us weepers up a lot. It is one of the most beautiful songs of all time. I really needed this reminder. Going on YouTube now to listen to it again. Gotta find the CD recording we did of it - stashed forgotten somewhere. Ah, sweet sweet sweet. Thank you.


    KariAne, thanks from the bottom of my heart for such a beautiful post. The "Inscription of Hope" song by Z. Randall Stroope has such powerful words in it which were penned on that cell wall in Cologne, Germany so many years ago. I wish I could have been there to hear your daughter's choir sing this. Just reading these words brought tears to my eyes. Our hearts ache when we see the horrible things that are happening in the Ukraine. These dear souls have gone from a peaceful life to one that is so uncertain. Such a beautiful country and now to see what's taking place is just horrible. How they all need our prayers. May we all take those words and put our trust in the Lord. "May there someday be peace!" Thanks for sharing your faith, KariAnne! God Bless you! Keep on being "special you"! You are loved and we thank God for you.

  46. Image for N J N J

    Thank you...just Thank You! These words are amazing for all the points you made. Our hearts break for Ukraine and are always near in our thinking and in our hearts.

  47. Image for Linda Scott Linda Scott

    Thank you Karianne for such a thoughtful message today. Our Administration needs to make the US energy independent again and that would cut off Russia's oil supply which is the life blood of it's economy and that one act would stop Putin dead in his tracks with these senseless and sickening acts of violence on the beautiful people of Ukraine. Plus it would stop rising gas prices. As we pray we need to pray for God to give our leaders good sense so this can come to an end once and for all and the quicker the better. Genocide has no place in this world! May God Bless all the people affected today and everyday. It helps to know we are all walking around with heavy hearts so we don't feel isolated. So thank you for the courage to put this in your blog and I tried to tame my political side. Now back to my creative side!!

  48. Image for Karen Karen

    Thank you so much for these awesome words. No matter what, there is always hope found in Jesus! We live in a world searching for satisfaction, if people would ask the Lord in their life and change turn from their wicked ways. Thank you again for sharing this story with us. God bless you and your family!

  49. Image for Becky Becky

    Thank you, KariAnne, We all need a renewal of hope every day in challenging times. Your message provided that renewal for me today. Tears and hope. Thank you.

  50. Image for Juliet Juliet

    Beautiful memory, beautiful song … and now tears are running down my cheeks. God bless the brave people of Ukraine and anyone living their lives in despair. xo

  51. Image for Maria Maria

    This is lovely ❤️ I have a question. It is completely off topic and I wonder about it often when I read your blog. Why are the twins or some story about them often featured yet your boys never are? It took me forever to even realize you had other children! I am not even sure they are all boys or how many others there are. Not that it’s any of my business of course. I just often wonder…

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      It’s the simplest of answers! The boys don’t really like to be featured. There are so many stories about them over the years—but once they got into college they didn’t really like it! :)

  52. Image for Edith Edith

    Kari, I know this powerful piece of music. Our combined McKinney ISD Elementary Choirs have sung it several times in their Choral Celebration concerts, and even young children get the message. It never grows old and is so appropriate for today’s world. Thank you for calling it to mind and posting for all your followers to see and be comforted in the midst of trials.

  53. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Yes, the tears stream for those suffering the demise of their beloved country and many having to flee. It is devastating. I, too, pray for them. Those lyrics are wonderful. Thank you for sharing them. ❤

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