defiant hope

In Inspiration, Still Life

There is an old saying about March, “If it comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.” How I hope this folklore saying is also true about the new year.

My family has had a rough start to 2018. With each harsh blow, we seem to hang onto each other with a fierceness that makes our hearts beat with a defiant hope. Our confidence to count on each other’s love, grace, and encouragement has made each harsh blow a reminder of our strength as a family.

I am reminded again and again how we have weathered hardships before, and how each time, we have come out knowing how to love better and how to experience that love at a deeper level.

This seems to be one of the patterns of life we all experience. No one is immune to the harshness of Winter. We all get our moments of hopeful Spring. We each feel the love-filled warmth of Summer. We each feel the slow, mundane days of Fall. Sometimes the seasons of life magically fit with the seasons of the year and other times our soul is in a dark winter in the middle of a warm summer. Either way, it seems our soul season takes precedence over the yearly seasons.


As my soul is in the middle of a winter while the Northern Hemisphere also experiences their winter, I am reminded again of my beautiful hope tree, the Japanese Magnolia. If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know I love this tree. My last post here was about my excitement that she had begun to flower. I capture her blooms every year, and every year she reminds me that hope blooms in the winter. I can count on hope year after year, winter after winter.

I need her reminder each year.
I need her blooms of defiant hope to take me through the current winter and the soul winters to come.

What is something you can count on when your heart is in a cold, harsh winter? What do you capture year after year that brings your soul the hope of spring?


~Staci Lee


  1. I have come to take courage in your magnolia photos. They whisper, “not too much longer, not too much longer. Spring will reach you in her time.” Much love, friend, and thank you.

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