When Spring Comes Reluctantly


I’ve been working against a deadline.

On Monday I will have completed another year of life. 42 of them so far. Another circle around the sun. Another cycle of life. Another end. Another beginning.

It has not been lost on me that the day falls immediately after Easter this year. It did the same 11 years ago when I was cradling a week-old baby in Sunday services. How fresh a resurrection message falls on days like these.

Emerging from Darkness. New Life.  A Birth Day.

In preparation for such a day – especially against the backdrop of Lent – I could not help but think on the need for some dying in my life. On the giving up. The letting go.

What needed to die to make room for new life?
What was I not willing to carry forward into my 43rd year?
Where was my surrender less than everything?

I often do my best work against a deadline.

But the frost on budding trees tells me this. Sometimes Spring comes reluctantly.

It comes in fits and spurts. It comes in fully blooming pear trees outside the tightly closed windows where the furnace has turned back on. It comes in pollen-covered sidewalks traversed by coat-covered people.

Spring does not bow to a deadline. Awakening comes in its own time.

I, too, am coming reluctantly to the turning of a page. As glorious is the spring, the winter lingers still.

There is more dying to be done.

There will be celebration over the coming days. Family. Easter. Birthday.
There will be warm days and deep laughter and lots and lots of life.
There will be Spring.

But deep at the roots – where the darkness never eases – it is the breaking  open that lives on still.

There is no deadline on that.

for the promise of sweet breezes

I fight the survivor instinct that tells me to revive.

There is a time to die.

My four decades of doing things my way have brought me no closer to the prize – to the wideness of grace, to the deep well of peace, to the loftiness of lightness in my being.

It’s time to stop doing. And start dying.

Some things are a swift and merciful kill. So many others linger right on the edge. My will. My way. It gasps for breath and begs for salvation.

Oh, how it wants more time with me. But as my Jesus himself modeled, the only path to salvation is through death.

Spring is not as sweet without the winter.
New is meaningless if there never has been an old.
Resurrection never comes without first the dying.

And so it turns. Each tick of the clock marching back around to itself.
Circle after circle after circle.

Daily. Moment by moment. My will; my way; my striving; my doing.

It dies.

And from its decay blooms a more glorious way. Higher. Deeper. Wider than my striving could ever have imagined.


Tightly still tucked upon itself.
The bud not ready to bloom.
I think for a moment I am her.
But, no, she is not yet me at all.

Go lower. Past the leaves. Down the stem. Under the surface.
Into the darkness.
I am not bloom, but seed.

Tightly still tucked upon itself.
Refusing to unfold.
Unwilling to die.

The breeze it carries a memory. Of sweet daisy blooms.
Into the soil it penetrates.
And the decaying seed – for the sake of a promise – releases just a bit of its skin.

The tiniest sip of living water expands me beyond today’s bindings.
There is no option but to crack.

To unfold.
For More.

To make room.
For Life.

Go for Launch

I spent my day at Kennedy Space Center.
And beyond the wonder and awesomeness of it all, I kept coming back to this thought…
It’s the dreaming and “could we really” that takes all the guts.
It’s the planning and the testing that takes all the stress of trial and error.
It’s the liftoff that takes all the energy.
Once you get into orbit, the travel takes care of itself.

All the fuel. All the boosters. All the fire. All the smoke. All the umph is required at the start of anything. Overcoming the gravity and inertia of status quo is the absolute hardest part of any process.

But there comes a point, sometimes a sudden one, where moving through space and time is nearly effortless. Where the circling of the Earth is natural and smooth.

It took a lot of jet fuel to get me to today. Years before the boosters were even ready to fire. More during the countdown. Only to be met with the body-punishing exit from the place that held me down for far too long. An escape from this atmosphere takes everything you’ve got. And then some.

But I’m starting to see a day where that world fading away in my rearview mirror. Its pull waning.

It’s more floating than flying. More peace than push & pull.

Just maybe, I’m on my way to finding an orbit.


What journey awaits you, friend? The energy it takes to get there will be Immense. Expensive. Exhausting.

And Temporary.

So start the countdown and do not fear the launch. The reward is already waiting.

There’s Only One Size of Brave (Brave Every Day)


There are many varieties of brave. But only one size.

Every brave is big.

That’s one of the things I’ve discovered during October. During the Brave Every Day series. During write (most) every day. During reflecting on the word brave. My own and that of others.

Getting out of bed in the morning. Brave.
Sharing your story. Brave.
Listening with out Speaking. Brave.
Trying something new. Brave.
Forgiving yourself for being stuck. Brave.
Asking for help. Brave.
Admitting you need a different kind of help. Brave.
Giving help. Brave.
Saying No. Brave.
Saying Yes. Brave.

They are all Brave. They are all Big.

There is no possible way to NOT be Brave Every Day.

Living is Brave.

Lessons on Spinning and Battlefields from the State Fair (Brave Every Day)

My mind is younger than my body. A discovery I made about 5 seconds into the Tilt-a-Whirl. And 5 minutes after when I was still steadying my steps.

But it was the swings that brought a bigger lesson home.

Everything looks easier from the ground.

On terra firma, the seats above seem easy and breezy. A leisurely spin around the park. It’s not until your own feet are lifted that you notice the height — and the way the center pole rotates to create a dip and rise during the round and round.

I have Brene’ Brown to thank for introducing me to the Theodore Roosevelt speech that comes to mind as I circle high above the North Carolina State Fair.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Lessons Learned…

  • People, in general, are exceptionally good at masking their feeling. True understanding requires a different view and deeper questions.
  • What looks simple and ordinary from one perspective is really an act of bravery. Until you get in that position yourself, don’t expect to understand what another is experiencing.
  • It’s OK that other people don’t really understand my struggle. It looks different from where they are standing. Therefore, their thoughts on my battle should be filtered through the light of whether they are speaking to me from the mud of the arena floor or from the safety of the stands.
  • I’m deeply grateful for those who get dirty with me in both my strength and struggle.
  • I ask forgiveness from those I have shouted to from the ground while they do their flying through the air.
  • Even when you don’t really know just how fast the spinning is and how long its effects can last, it’s still more fun than not doing it at all.


brave-squareIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October — reporting on ways I reach out to bravery in my everyday life. (See all posts to date HERE.) To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email.


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