“The field was full of robins today, Mom. I think God knew, because we’re human we’d need all these little hope signs to get through each day... wouldn’t it be so dark without them?!
The conversation went on to consider Noah and the sign of hope God placed in the sky. A string of colors after the rain, the imprint of His promise, the stamp of an unchanging God that neither shifts nor wavers in all His ways. My girl noted that we too get to have the hopeful rainbow as our own, just as Noah did. A generous God, not subject to partiality in His promises, but a seeker of humble hearts and willing hands. A giver of beauty and goodness even in a broken world.
We sit and chat for another 30 minutes before dinner prep. It’s sometimes heavy and sometimes silly, hardly reflecting the delicate teacups we sip from. But whatever the discussion, the direction always moves toward God and His care for us. Whatever the weight, the prow shifts to His word and His love.
I asked myself a simple question recently; are you casting your eyes on the Shepherd or the sheep?
Isn’t it true that we as believers tend to look at the sheep around us and forget to look to the One in charge of the flock? We spend more time evaluating the actions of our fellow sheep-mates than the unfolding story written by the Shepherd Himself! Have we forgotten that not one sheep stands in comparison to The Good Shepherd? This is probably why sheep oftentimes will ignore the voice of the Shepherd to follow the flock, right over a cliff!
Listen to the voice of The Shepherd, bear fruit with repentance, sing of the good things He has done in your life, don’t dismiss the routine of the night sky and the rhythm of the seasons. All are from God and from all comes hope! Hopefulness is life-full-ness. And I think life-full-ness should most certainly be a word one day!
Let the little signs of hope fill you and remind you of what’s true and good. And thank God for every bud that dots the tips of the trees today and every shoot that pokes from the warming ground. Give glory where glory is due and let hope signs fill your days!
Teatime for seven on a Sunday evening, oh, bless my soul! We arrived home from a weekend away with Cassidy after visiting a college and it felt so good to be home and rubbing shoulders down the length of our handmade table again with all its cracks, chips and shifting boards. Home. It’s a place intimate to each of us and dearly missed when we can't get to it.
Cucumbers sliced thin and layered onto English muffins thickly spread with honey goat cheese. Oranges sliced and arranged were quickly scooped up onto the littlest one's napkin, hot tea with milk for him as well. Fresh mozzarella dotted a crusty round loaf I purchased at the grocery store after church, along with a blueberry cream Bundt cake. It felt special and cheerful on what seemed like day 1,000 of cold and snow.
And it's no surprise to me, I knew I’d feel this way in March. A weary longing for all that’s warm and colorful and free, like a summer day. We stopped at a conservatory on our way home, and well... I’ll just show you.
I hope you feel a little warmer now!
The snow is beautiful in its own way, no doubt. But there's something deeply life-giving in spending time in a thriving garden oasis. We need color, we need warmth, we need life from seed to maturity, and we need to set our eyes on all that holds beauty, so we know what to leave behind for those after us. And not just in plant form, but in every way.
It was a discussion around our table one afternoon - what you leave behind you. The question was: When you enter a room are you leaving behind peace and joy? Do you add creativity and inspiration to each conversation? Is laughter and encouragement on your lips? Of course, we all answered no, not ALL the time. But it's the goal! (At least when appropriate as there's a time to mourn in every life)
To be a life-giver means you can look forward into the lives of others and know that in time they will grow and mature and many of the hard days will pass them by, so you need not weigh them down with the what if's, God knows all the possibilities and still chooses to hold us near. There's no fear in His love and all worry is cast away with its perfect timing. We can be strength givers to those we encounter by trusting God's hand in their life, we can choose to set our minds on things above even in the midst of dark times and we can look for all that's good and lovely and show others what we've discovered!
The snow piles up outside yet again and I'm off to crack fresh eggs onto a hot skillet for two little boys with empty bellies. I hope you too find ways in your day to refresh those near you and leave behind an abundance of cheer for days to come!
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
"My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass." Psalm 102:11