one girl's journey to let go of the rulebook and embrace her already abundant life
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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....

For when the words write themselves. On me.

“I go to prepare a place,” He said. Sometimes that place is within driving distance. A quiet retreat center near Omaha, in this case. The drive a three-day journey. Each mile a wearing down of the callouses that had grown around me. Each passing exit an invitation to lay down another layer. The ones that had been added to my spirit so slowly and subtlety, I had no sense of how many it would take before the numbness wore off. Nor how exposed the long-neglected feels would become. “Come away with me,” He whispered, “and let me show you the story of your life.” The words wrapping around me in hugs. In song. In conversation. In scripture. In nature. In laughter. In tears. In silence. Abundance. Peace. Blessing. Faithfulness. Grace. A feast of words I was unaware of my hunger for. Until I came open. Exposed. Turned inside out. I went to a writer’s conference and didn’t write a thing. For I was the canvas, not the pen. ___________________________________________________________________________ Linking this reflection of Small Wonder with my friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Chripczuk, who hosts a Community of blogging Beauty Hunters at her site. Because our Big God shows himself in the most amazing small ways.#smallwonder...

forty-one candles (#smallwonder)

I thought by now… is a dangerous game to play Especially on a birthday morn It beckons I do not bite For all the well wishes and awaiting adventures I do not have time for such silliness Instead I watch the bay Its ripples ever towards me Wave on wave of more and new and washing and renewal and memories Promises kept More to come The tide –both creeping in and waning out– pushes waves of favor my way So I find I cannot think of things not yet done As I sit with the hallelujah of what’s been done in me ___________________________________________________________________________ Linking this reflection of Small Wonder with my friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Chripczuk, who hosts a Community of blogging Beauty Hunters at her site. Because our Big God shows himself in the most amazing small ways.#smallwonder...

Coiled springs and Blooming trees

The Bradford Pears are blooming. The trees, that is. It happened overnight. Literally. Invisible buds on Friday. Delicate white blossoms on Saturday. In every yard. All. At. Once. As if God Himself came low to the ground and spoke into the anxious roots, breathed on the tiny buds a single word. “Now.” Maybe He did. And still it catches me off guard every year. The waning days of winter have wound us tight. Anticipation building like soldiers circling walls waiting for the trumpets to blow. Like wanderers in the wilderness trudging old ground dreaming of milk and honey. Like dry bones in a valley coveting a breath of life. Like a coil compressed, waiting for… Well, a spring. From root to tip. From sap to bark. Our cells tingle with the coming of new life. Even when the evidence of it remains hidden. Listen closely. For God is coming near. Your “Now” is on its way. ___________________________________________________________________________ Linking this reflection of Small Wonder with my friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Chripczuk, who hosts a Community of blogging Beauty Hunters at her site. Because our Big God shows himself in the most amazing small ways. #smallwonder...

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