Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.




Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hope Chest


As a senior in high school she knew what she wanted in her future...to be a wife.  When graduation came around, parents, family and friends were inquiring what she wanted for graduation.  Although she was already enrolled in one of the largest Universities in the country, her eyes were more focused on becoming a wife.  She anticipated the day she would be engaged and began to prepare for the fulfillment of her dream.

Instead of the usual accessories asked for by a college co-ed, she asked for a "hope chest".  Family and friends were more than thrilled to start the collection of household items, even if a proposal had not occurred.  Her Dad was delighted to buy a well-crafted, "piece-of-wood" for his daughter.  Her style at the time was contemporary, having no clue what her decor would be when she finally had a home.  The "hope chest" was bought, walnut with straight contemporary lines and lined in cedar.  Each celebrated occasion the "hope chest" was added to.  Everyday dishes, stainless steel flatware, linens, a wooden rolling pin and a bunny rabbit cookie jar.  Each item added to the chest brought anticipation of the fulfillment of the dream.
Yes, it has survived all six children, and yes, five boys and a hubby!  No scares!
There is very little that remains from the items placed in that chest over 32 years ago.  The dishes have long been broken, the flatware was mainly lost outside in the dirt from her boys, linens worn out and the rolling pin has fallen apart... but the bunny rabbit cookie jar remains.

Her "hope chest" still sits at the end of her marriage bed, continuing to be filled with memories from her union...  baby books, baby clothes, children's awards, pictures, shoes, and cards collected through the years. In other parts of the world, it has the name "glory box"... an appropriate name for a box of life's treasures.

This year, I am going to find my own daughter a "hope chest", one that she can start collecting her dreams in. I am sure her style will be very different from mine.  Hers will come for her 20th birthday and I am sure she will fill it with different items.  My prayer is that her "hope chest" will one day be filled with dreams that have gone beyond everything she could have "hoped" for.

My "hope chest" still has room to hold memories from my grandchildren one day....maybe it will be passed down and enjoyed in the future by a granddaughter or great-granddaughter.  Maybe I will be able to place the first item in her "hope chest".  Maybe they will see it as their "glory box."

Do you have a "hope chest"?  I know Kim at Field of My Dreams has a hope chest...maybe she will share her memories also.  Whether we have a "hope chest" or not, I am sure we can all tell about how our dreams have been fulfilled beyond our imagination.   Spring just seems to pull me back into dreams and the magical days of youth...how about you?

26 Joining in with more words:

Mildred said...

A beautiful post Janette. How wonderful to have the bunny cookie jar after all these years. I like your idea of passing your hope chest along to a granddaughter or great granddaughter one day. What a priceless treasure.

Farm Girl said...

Hey Janette, What a good idea for a post. Of course I will. I might even lift the lid and show what is inside. Thank you for mentioning me. I have my grandmothers hope chest too, but it is in Oklahoma. I still feel the same every time I lift the lid and smell the ceder it still reminds me of those dreams of being a wife and mother.
Thanks for the reminder and for mentioning me today.
Have a wonderful weekend.

So, I Begin this Journey...... said...

Hello Janette!
I am out of circulation in my blogging community!
What a sweet post..... SO VINTAGE too!
Love the hope chest & the Bunny cookie jar is adorable. Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

Sandy said...

I love your hope chest and little
bunny. One day while I was at work
at the newspaper my sweet mother
had a beautiful cherry hope chest
with oak inlay delivered to my
apartment. I was so surprised when
I came home that evening to find it
there. I still have it and now that
she's with the Lord it is even more
special to me.
Thanks for such a sweet and endearing
post today. I enjoyed it. =0)

Mary R. said...

I remember hope chests! I didn't have one, but did manage to collect things for my marriage 41 years ago!

no spring chicken said...

One of our dear friends is a luthier (builder of stringed instruments). He's an amazing craftsman. A year prior to her engagement, Hillary commissioned Steve to build her a hope chest. She too knew even before she began courting Monte that she wanted to be a wife and mother. She received the chest just 1 week before the wedding. She had him inscribe a verse under the lid. When you lift it you read (large and beautiful script)~
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Beautiful post, and I'm coveting the cookie jar. Oh dear!

Karen said...

What a wonderful post to come back to. This is my first one to read in quite awhile, a very meaningful one! I have one too ~ my husband made in wood-working at college 28 years ago. Doesn't quite blend with my style of decorating, but holds such a special place in my heart & loaded with treasures.

Canadagirl said...

I think a hope chest is one of the BEST gifts you can give a daughter. I so enjoyed hearing about your journey of your chest and how it continues on in such a beautiful way.


Blessings and ((HUGS))!
-Mary

Lisa said...

Remember the ads for hope chests that used to run in Seventeen magazine? I still remember looking at the ads! I love that you are carrying on the tradition with your daughter.:)

Sassy Granny ... said...

What a fabulous tradition is the hope chest. I don't have one, but my mother did. I used to love to sit by the hour and smell the cedar-scented contents, much of them lace-laden. She had things that belonged to her mother, a fan (that I broke), a crocheted hanky, a gown (perhaps her wedding dress), and many other treasures.

I hope it's a "hope" that sees a resurgence. There's just something about savoring the best from our lives.

Kathleen

Shanda said...

What a great post. I never had a hope chest as I grew up overseas and never carried earthly possessions around with me as we moved. After readying this blog, however, I think it would be a wonderful thing to buy for my 17 year old daughter as she begins hoping for her future. Thanks!

Theresa said...

Ooh I love hope chests! I never had one although I did receive a few items to put away for when I was married. I want to start one for my daughter though, what a treasure!

Vee said...

Hope chests are such a lovely idea. I'm glad that you were an old-fashioned kind of gal and requested one. My older cousin had one and I secretly wanted one, but I nver had one until a few weeks ago when I brought my grandmother's into the house. I'm using it for storage and I love that wonderful cedar scent, which is still going strong. How interesting that the cookie jar is the one thing from the original items that remains. He's cute!

Cora said...

That was wonderful!! It is good to see how an item has come on down through the ages. Glad to see the bunny still made it!
It is nice to still have the chest and see you filling it with love! Let us know who the next proud owner will be.

Debbie said...

I do have one! I actually didn't start filling mine until I was nearly engaged. I love that you started filling yours earlier.

Now you have me thinking that I should turn the girls toy chests into hope chests. Currently, they hold dolls and memories still too precious for the attic.

I love it that your daughter will be starting one right now.

Debbie said...

I didn't have one until just recently when I got my great grandmothers and had it restored...I always wanted one for just the reasons you listed. My mother had one too that she gave to another one of my sisters (causing somewhat of a problem, haha...she had no idea the memories that were attached to that thing for all of us girls ~ I think she knew I especially had wanted it which was why she gave me my grandmothers) We bought one for Melody the day she graduated from high school. It is soo beautiful and she is filling it with her treasures now. She did NOT collect things for when she would be married when she first got it though. She filled it with memories right from the start....This was a great post Janette. Hope you are having a good week-end. HUGS
lOVE the cedar smell too!

Carol said...

Janette,
Hope chests are a lovely tradition. I never had one, but my dreams have been fulfilled beyond my imagination and I am so thankful to God for my many blessings.

Bethany said...

I did not have a hope chest. It sounds lovely and I will certainly want to have one for my daughter. Thank you for sharing.

Sonja said...

I had a hope chest too, but it was a plastic or cardboard box, can't remember which. This has made me all nostalgic now. I think starting one for the grandkids would be a good idea for me. How did that tradition get lost along the way? Everyone used to have a hope chest when I grew up, I don't even remember what was in it, but it was the whole idea that we loved! Your bunny is precious, and I'm so glad he has survived. He could probably share a few stories too! :)

Christine said...

Written straight from the heart!
A Hope Chest holds more then things. It holds dreams, passions, and the future.
Best gift you could give your daughter.

Angel said...

As nostalgic and sentimental as I am, I never had a hope chest. I love this idea though. Beautiful post!

A multi-dimensional life said...

What a priceless treasure! Your memories are even more priceless...and the fact that the hope chest has become a "glory" chest, is even sweeter! I "hope" that your daughter has a similar beautiful story to share one day!
Such a heartwarming post!!! xo

Sue said...

I adored this post, Janette, To have such a priceless gift, and then to be able to empty it and fill it with wonderful memories is PRICELESS!! You have taken the phrase of "A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING" to the highest pinnacle. How awesome is this. And now to begin again with your daughter is even more AWESOME!
You my dear continue to inspire me. You need to write a book.
Now I want, I want that bunny, so hand it over!!
Hugs,
Sue

Sharon Kirby said...

This was so precious. I just had the sweetest picture of you as a young girl, storing up treasures for the future she dreamed about. And then it came true.

I think doing the same thing for your daughter would be a wonderful idea.

I never had a hope chest - but I had a heart full of hope. I guess I still do. And that is the part of me that has still stayed a little girl - a little girl still wildly in love with her friend Jesus.

GOD BLESS!

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Oh, my goodness, I do have a hope chest. It was hand crafted by my precious Dad out of solid walnut and lined with cedar. I got it for graduation and it is still being used to this day and like you, I hope to pass it on one day. I use it for my sweaters now, but over the years it has held some precious treasures.

Blessings to you!

Jessica Heights said...

Hope chests are so sweet!!! I can't wait to start them for my girls! :)

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