Welcome to the Hope Chronicles Blog Hop and Kick-off! We’ve been waiting for months to share our journey with you so keep reading for a new letter from sweet, spunky Rosa and also for information on some fabulous (!) prize packages that will be given away this week. So first off, what is The Hope Chronicles?

The Hope Chronicles is a blog hop and journal between 5 historical romance authors. Our desire is to bring you lasting hope through these letters, grounded in the hope of our Lord that does not disappoint, and written from the fictional viewpoints of each book’s heroine. We’re so glad to have you join the event. Each day this week, a new Hope Chronicles post will go live, complete with a journal entry and a new giveaway for that blog post.

To read more about the project and enter to win the one-of-a-kind, hand-inscribed Hope Chronicles journal, which bounced from state to state until all five of us had spent some time with it, click here.

To find your way to the other four blog posts and enter each of the five Hope Chronicles prize bundle giveaways, read on! We have a list for you at the bottom of this post.

In these blogs you have a chance to read what was handwritten in the Hope Journal and today we start with Rosa’s entry.

My Hope: Rosa Garner

Never did I think I would write a letter to myself. Lists of items for market or sketches of embroidery designs—these I write. Nothing more. The lady on the train held this book before me. Her face glowed with strength. Her voice carried tones of an angel.

“You write in it,” she said. “A letter to yourself.”

And so I thought her loco.

I must’ve laughed because my mother-in-law frowned. “Rosa,” Louise said, “it’s a journal. With the journey we have ahead, you ought to record your thoughts. Someday you’ll enjoy looking at how far God brought us.”

But I cannot write on a train. The book jumps beneath my pen. Two pages I blot and rip out. Now I am home. At my husband’s home in Texas, rather. His farm that he abandoned for Mexico. His farm he will never see again.

Write my thoughts? They are these—

Why should I walk ground that belonged to him while he is buried beneath my soil?

Why should his people welcome me when mine rejected him?

Was God’s plan for me ruined when Mack died?

 

 

This pattern will go on a cloth to cover a table. I will use thread the red of the cardinal for the inner petals, gold for the outer and the green of the parrot for the leaves.

If someday I read this to remember my thoughts then I should record that it is May of 1878. The exact day I do not know, but I will learn it soon enough. I will mark the passing of each sun solemnly. In three months Louise must pay her taxes. How she will do this I do not know, but if she does not she will lose our farm. I will lose Mack’s home.

I hold a chick in my hand. It squirms. Its sharp feet push against my palm struggling for freedom. Is this how it escaped from the egg? I imagine it in darkness, growing bigger every day. The prison growing tighter every day. I do not like small places. My lungs squeeze until I see the sky open above me. But the chick doesn’t know the sky. He doesn’t know what he will find when he cracks the egg.

I tell Louise this. Every day our worries weigh more. I can’t see even a crack of light in the shell. She says that God keeps it dark so we will have faith in Him.

She says, “Es pues la fe la sustancia de las cosas que se esperan, la demostración de las cosas que no se ven.”

She is proud of her Spanish.

I remember Hebrews. I remember that hope in the dark is faith. What I do not know is when the shell breaks will I be free or will I be breakfast?

Louise says I have not hope. Louise sees gold in every stream. Louise sees silver on every fish. I see the truth.

I track our spending at Mr. Bradford’s store and see our savings dry up. I watch our crops and know they will only feed the two of us through the winter.

She is wrong to think we will succeed, but she is also wrong to say I have no hope. If I had no hope would every minute of daylight find me in the fields? Would evenings find me beneath the kerosene lamp stitching my embroidery?

My hope isn’t for show like my white camisa. My hope is like my boots. It is not pretty, but necessary for the job. Louise sings without worry. Not me. I pray while I tend the sheep and while I sow the seeds. I do not know how we will succeed, but I hope and my hope is stronger when it is on its legs working.

Someday I will rest. My feet will stretch out before me. I will hold this book in idle hands and I will laugh at my past worries. I will remember my dark concerns and glory in the future that was finally revealed. I look ahead to that day…but it is not today.

Today I go to shear sheep at the Garners’ house. The work will not wipe away my fears, but it might give us a few more coins for our collection. It might keep my hope alive, pushing against the darkness until I discover that long-sought for crack of light.

 

Rosa’s Prize Bundle

This prize package includes an autographed copy of Sixty Acres and a Bride, a Mexican Wedding Bowl hand painted by Jose Angel of Zihuatanejo, a doily embroidered by the ladies of Primera Iglesia Bautista Petatlan (First Baptist Church, Petatlan, Guerrero), a stainless-steel mug (not shown) and a package of King Carlos Chocolates.

One lucky winner (from the U.S.) will be randomly chosen from the comments on this page. Entries will be closed on November 12, 2012, at 12:00 noon (Pacific time). To place extra entries please share links on Facebook and/or Tweet with the hashtag #hopechronicles…then comment again to tell us about it.

To enter to win the original journal comment here.

 

We invite you to join us each weekday this week as we hop through cyberspace and history, gleaning hope from each heroine’s journey.

Monday, November 5th: Regina Jennings  (Heroine: Rosa Garner, Sixty Acres and a Bride)

Tuesday, November 6th: Joanne Bischof  (Heroine: Lonnie Sawyer, Be Still My Soul)

Wednesday, November 7th: Amanda Dykes (Heroine: Georgianna Wentworth, Upon the Waters)

Thursday, November 8th: Karen Barnett (Heroine: Abby Fischer, Shaken)

Friday, November 9th: Sarah Sundin (Heroine: Mellie Blake, With Every Letter)

Thank you for sharing this beautiful journey with us!

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