Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Fresh Awareness

Seasons come and seasons go, days, weeks, months... they blend together, and the years go bye. Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall. Also the seasons of life - infancy, childhood, youth, young adult, middle age... and on.

What is on my mind today is, in a way, a combination of the two types of seasons- nature and life.

I am in a season that I wish I weren't, widowhood, but that being what it is, it has given me the opportunity to reflect upon the seasons of nature in a fresh awareness.

How many of us have gone through the years and, yes we notice the flowers of spring, the foliage of and sun of summer, the color of fall, and the brisk, starkness of winter (though with a beauty of it's own). We all are aware of it, but do we really see it? The intricacy of the seasons?

Over the last 20 months, with the turns my life has taken, I have had the opportunity to began to see these things in a new way. Not just the glance of the day, but with eyes that have slowed down to really see them.

During the 14 month of the cancer battle, my life slowed down to a pace that I hadn't had in many years, life was lived and appreciated in a new way, truly in the moment by moment. Carpe Diem... most of us think of that phrase as "Seize the day." The reality of it is that it's meaning is; 'enjoy the day, pluck the day when it is ripe.' Well that is what Glenn and I began to do during that time, and I am thankful for that, I have some wonderful memories from that horrible time- God is amazing!

After Glenn passed, my life had to make a shift from the slower pace we had been living, I had to hit the ground running and work began to consume my time. The good thing, because my job involves driving, I am able to still take advantage of the lesson of slowing down, I now observe the world around me more.

It's amazing what you see when you are looking!! I've always noticed the seasons in a way that was fairly observant because it's what I love to photograph, but this year I saw it at a new level.

When you go by a tree only once or twice a day or week, you don't see it bloom into the fullness of summer foliage; you just notice, wow the tree is giving some great shade! You see a flower bed go from nothing, to all of a sudden, wow- color! In the fall the trees are green one day and colorful the next time and then empty the time after that.

What I saw this year from my car was an amazing progression of the seasons. I started in June, and the trees were coming into their fullness, I watched them make that progress from thin leaves to the fullness of the season and then something extraordinary this fall, I literally watched the trees change color. When I make deliveries, there are some trees that I pass 10-30 times a day, well, one Saturday I was working a 10 hour shift and about 4 hours in I began to notice something the color change of the trees during that time was noticeable to my eyes... it was like watching the mercury in a thermometer go up. At first I was skeptical of what I was seeing, so I started making mental notes as to the color level and by the end of the day a significant change had occurred. So amazing!!! I wish I had had my camera that day, it would have been cool to have a time lapse series of pictures.

How incredible to watch the hand of the Lord, as right in front of my very eyes, He 'painted' on the colorful canvas of His creation that day, and showed me those brushstrokes. It changed something in me, I now have a new sense of awareness of the world around me. I now watch for the opportunity to see the Master's touch on the things around me, I want to see each and every brushstroke, not just see periodic paintings.

As I have pondered these things, I am suddenly hit by the realization that I must relax and understand that He is 'painting' me into a new season right now, my life is a changing canvas, it feels like a winter season at the moment but I know that the Master is painting me into a spring one... I have no idea how long it will take to get to that next period picture, but I know it will come, and I will trust each brushstroke that He makes upon my life.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Dory" Moments

PSA 62:7​-8
In God is my salvation and my glory; ​​The rock of my strength,
​​And my refuge, is in God. ​​Trust in Him at all times, you people;
​​Pour out your heart before Him; ​​God is a refuge for us.

The last couple weeks have been a mixed bag for me, I've had some really, honestly, good days... no emotional swings, just good days.

That being said, I have also had my "Dory moments" and a couple of "Dory days."  What do I mean by that? Well in the scene I posted above you see Marlin, Nemo's dad, becoming gripped with fear about things again, especially when he can't see a way out. Then we have the ever upbeat Dory encouraging him and forcing him to press forward with this little ditty...

Hey Mr Grump Gills You know what you gotta do when life gets you down?
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming
 Just keep swimming swimming swimming
What do we do we swim, swim, swim
OH HO HO How I love to swim
When you WAAAAAANNTTT to swim you want to swim

She sings it, takes his fin and just presses into the unknown.

At those times when a wave of emotion hits, or depression I think about Dory... no matter what came up, she remained upbeat and confident, always pressing forward. This is good advice for all of us, press forward with confidence through these days or moments. I know that my strength is in the Lord and it is from Him and through Him that the strength to do this comes.

I have had people that have said they are amazed at how I am doing, I appreciate this, but I want them all to know that it is ONLY through God that I am doing well. How I have gotten through the last 5 months; well really the last 19 months, is that each step is in Christ, and taken with the resolve that I will move forward. Some days that is easy, some it is hard and some days it is done via auto pilot, but it is always with determination-- I will continue to press on into the work that the Lord has for me, I may be in a 'port' now and then, but I will continue to "swim" through each challenge that may arise. There is no point to stagnating or retreating, there is no gain in that, gain is made by trusting in the Lord and moving forward in life.

Glenn may be gone from this earth but I am not, and as long as I am here, then I know there is a reason and I will continue to seek the Lord for His calling on my life, both in the spiritual and the practical. I've even started dreaming about what it is I want to do, now it's time to pray for the Lord to work it out so I can pay my bills doing what I love instead of just what will do for now. (I am thankful for my job, but it doesn't give me joy or even a bounce in my step.) My delight is in the Lord, and I will trust Him with my future.

Psa 37:3-5 ​​Trust in the LORD, and do good; ​​Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
​​Delight yourself also in the LORD, ​​And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD, ​​Trust also in Him, ​​And He shall bring it to pass.