Spring Contentment

First Violets of the SeasonWe may pass violets looking for roses.
We may pass contentment looking for victory.
– Bern Williams

The recent rains and warm sunny days have contributed to our lawn growing into a shaggy green carpet these last days. I am an avid supporter of keeping the lawn mowed and looking somewhat groomed.

I must admit to being a little obsessed when it comes to my mowing technique.  I tend to do the thing where I mow in a different direction each time I mow. This offers me four directions to choose from. I also like a rotation for those four choices.

My husband, on the other hand, is of the thought process…..just zip it off and you’re good. (This should not surprise me as he has the same idea when it comes to haircuts.)  He doesn’t bag the grass or rotate directions. I am grateful he does mow though!  We have a large farmyard and have not owned a riding lawn mower for the last 20 years or so.

We decided years ago that instead of a walking exercise program in the summer we would have a “push the lawn mower” exercise program. It is definitely a workout as our push mower is also NOT self-propelled.

The first of the season mowing always seems to take the longest. There are sticks to be picked up, rabbit holes to be checked for baby bunnies, and it takes so much longer avoiding plants that are just beginning to peep through the soil. It could be that my eyes are just getting older and it is harder to see all those things…..it could be that….but then again….it could just be the time of year.

I was so glad to see the little patches of wild violets were starting to bloom. I was also glad to see that they were so short the lawn mower just skimmed over them. They might be a weed in my lawn; but they are so bright and cheerful as they peep up at me as they nestle in their leaves.

It was exciting to see the hostas are beginning to push up through the soil, the peonies have sent up tall burgundy colored shoots and the bleeding heart I planted last year, survived and even has a few blooms on it already!

 

I started writing this post about our first lawn mowing of this season. As I started wandering around taking pictures today….my focus kind of changed and evolved into more than lawn mowing. Have you ever had that? You start out in one direction and you kind of make this detour……maybe several detours…… all over the place?

I went outside to get those pictures for this post and saw my husband disking up last year’s corn stalks in the bottom field. We have rain in the forecast for the next few days so it is time to get going on things like lawn mowing and field work.

I love the view that we have of the field with the river in the background. I have a feeling I had time to enjoy that more today than my husband did. I am pretty sure he was focusing on his work, while I was focusing on watching him work!

I also noticed that the tree that refuses to die has once again sent out new leaves from some of it’s branches. I used to give my husband grief about how ugly the tree was and how it should be taken down……but I have since changed my opinion.

The Tree Still Lives.....Sort Of

I have come to the conclusion that any tree that works that hard at keeping somewhat alive should be allowed to fall over in it’s own time. The tree also serves as a roost for owls, hawks, wood ducks, eagles, geese (I have no idea why a goose would sit in a tree … but they do),  and it also serves as a home for our squirrels.  I guess it earns it’s way, not by how beautiful it is, but by how functional it still is.

There is something to be learned from that tree. Never give up. No matter what you look like…..God can use you. No matter how battered, there is still a beauty if you are willing to see. I have come to appreciate that tree as much as the flowers and plants that come back each spring…..maybe more as the lessons it teaches me are so timeless.

There is a certain harmony, a certain rightness to the tree coming back to life each spring. Just as the violets and grass returning each spring; the tree stands as a witness to faithfulness and new beginnings.

 

“There is something very special about Spring.
Almost Spiritual.
Not a surprise that Easter coincides with the season……”
George
https://theoffkeyoflife.com/about/

 

 

 

 

 

Old Years and New Beginnings

Twilight.JPG

I walked outside last night to lock my girls in the coop for the night. The minute I stepped out of our garage door and walked across the driveway I noticed how still it was. The wind had died down, there were no traffic sounds and all I heard, as I walked, was the crunch of gravel under my feet.

The sky was darkening quickly and the horizon was displaying the last light of day in a thin yellow ribbon. Evergreen trees in the backyard were silhouettes against the coming dark of night. It was truly the space of time between day and night where the world lies hushed and waiting…..hanging onto the old day and yet ready to give way to something new.

These last few days of 2016 are rather like that space of time. We are busy trying to wrap up the old year while our thoughts are beginning to focus on what the new one will bring. The past year brings back so many thoughts and memories. Things we did accomplish….things we did not get done. New people we have met and friends and family that we will not meet this side of heaven again. New jobs, new hairdos, new additions to our families …….changes…. sweet and some bittersweet.

Some of last year we cannot wait to be rid of. Plans that did not work out and caused us pain.  Memories we might like to toss out…. like the Christmas tree after the season. Some memories are not quite so easy to toss out. Some consequences must be lived with.

Some memories we will hold onto tightly. We will keep them close and cherish them. The time we spent with people we love and who love us are like pictures in our minds that we can “see” and just smile at the memory. These are things that time cannot erase.

Last year brought some wonderful things.  At least into my life. My children encouraged me to blog and I have met some amazing, wonderful people while doing so.  The kids just grin when I speak of some of you; as if I saw you just yesterday; when in reality I have never met you in person.

I have been privileged to share in your lives and have been thoroughly blessed by that fact.  I have been honored to pray for you during this past year and look forward to doing that in the coming new year.

So many thoughts can run through my head as I stand outside watching the day turn to  night. Thoughts of people and their lives, their hurts and their joys. Thoughts of places I have been this past year and places I hope to go in the coming year. Thoughts of things accomplished and things still on my to do list when it comes to faith, home, health, relationships and fun.

That space of time between day and night is a great place to pause and reflect. It is a place of hushed, reverent wonder. It is a place where the soul can dance. It is a place to offer your thoughts and prayers for peace when it comes to certain memories and thanks for others. It is a place to ask for renewal in the year to come.

My prayer for all of you in this coming year is joy, peace and hope. May you have joy in the everyday things, peace in adversity, and hope in every breath you take.  May you be blessed and may your soul dance…..

 

 

  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19

 

 

New Beginnings

Water Over the Dam.JPG

This is my normal day to do a blog post and it has been a busy day as we have been gone for most of it. I needed a little inspiration so I headed over to the daily post. I saw there was a photo prompt for a photo that speaks of  New Horizons.

I started looking through my photos and came upon the one I posted above.  It was taken at a small park in a town 10 miles from where I live.  I love this park and through the years we have taken our children here to picnic, to fish, and to just walk around. I am looking forward to taking our grandchildren to enjoy this park in the coming years.

Water going over the dam in this park, speaks of new beginnings to me. Once that water is over it is not going to be getting back to the old place it came from.  So much of life is like that……once a choice is made you cannot go back and you must press forward even if it is difficult and uncomfortable. Sometimes life just carries you over places you don’t want to be and sends you down a stream you had not intended to go.

You can either look at this as a negative or an amazing positive. With a new year just around the corner, I think there is so much opportunity to make fresh starts and try new things. I am not a resolution maker ( I really don’t like failing!) so this is a concept I need to work on.

It is a great time to let go of those things that you cannot change and those things that do not matter. You know…that one situation that just peeves you to no end because you cannot and will not ever be able to fix it?

New Year’s is a great time to use as a starting point for that project you have always wanted to try…..for that book you wanted to read…..for that bible study you wanted to do…and the list goes on. I am going to try look at this coming new year as an adventure to be explored, as a gift I have been given to grow, to learn and to just “do”.

I hope the New year finds me more compassionate, more willing to see another point of view.  I hope it finds me focusing less on things that don’t matter and more on things like people and relationships. I pray that my mind is fixed on God and what that means for practical day to day living.

May the next couple weeks find you and me thinking of the adventures to be had in the coming year. May we see the new horizon as a positive.   May we focus on the view beyond the rough water going over the dam of life and on the living stream beyond.

 Brothers and sisters,
I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14