Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Everything Has Its Price

Another Excerpt from My Next Book

The sun is shining, but the wind is still blowing.  I’m wondering how long it will be before I can sit on our porch without a coat.  Spring here in Montana is not like the ones I grew up with in Arkansas.  Filled with blooming flowers and singing birds.
          Here, it’s mostly still brown, and the trees’ limbs are bare.  Some of my friends have a few crocuses peeking out.   Maybe I need to plant some of those.  The daffodils I planted when we moved into this house have stopped coming up or blooming.
          This is the hardest time of year for me, March and April.  We’ve been in the grip of winter since late October, usually.  So desperate for spring, but it comes so slowly—bits of sunshine, interspersed with clouds, rain, wind, and even snow.
          “Please, just come for good,” I say.  But it doesn’t.  Just keeps playing hide-and-seek.  What I call spring won’t get here until after Mother’s Day.  It will last a week or three, and suddenly it will be summer for six weeks, if we’re lucky.
          I guess it really is true that the four seasons here are Winter, June, July, and August.
          But there are a couple of good things about long winters.  First, the mountains look more impressive covered in snow.  And second, while driving in the mountains and foothills, you can see more of the vistas when the trees don’t have their leaves yet.
          Everything has its price.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

To Plan or Not to Plan?

I know I'm paraphrasing Shakespeare, so I hope he doesn't mind.  With the Shelter-at-Home orders due to COVID19, I've been facing a challenge I've never encountered before.  We all have, I know.  Over the past three weeks all the plans I had for the next five months have gone out the window.  Or into the trash.  And yes, I know I'm not alone.

My quandry is whether to have a schedule for my empty days or not.  I've always been a planner, with a daily schedule on my bulletin board and a well-marked calendar on the wall. Setting up a new schedule has the appeal of helping me cope with everything and giving me some stability.  And a way to make sure I don't 'waste' my time.

On the other hand, now that the calendar is gone, along with the schedule, I feel a strange sense of liberation.  I can do what I feel now, go with the flow.  Though I admit I find myself playing Solitaire on my Kindle a lot.  But maybe I need this bit of down time in a stressed life.

Hmm...I'm not sure which is better.  To schedule or not to schedule, that is the question.  Any ideas out there?

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Beyond Words

“Cast all your cares on him, for he cares for you.”  I Peter 5:7

One morning I woke up and I believed this again.  Gone was the voice in my mind that said, “Yeah sure.  So you say.”  Or “Whatever.”
Where did it go?  Will it come back?  I actually don’t know, but I don’t miss it, either.
One thing I remember about yesterday is that I finally realized it’s okay to let yourself grieve and question God. He knows we humans can’t help it.  It’s what we are.  I was wrong to expect myself to always be upbeat and positive—to keep wearing what I knew as “The Mask”.
God wants to let us grieve, and he even wants to grieve with us.  We humans can’t help asking, “Why, God?” He knows that, and he lets us ask, even though he doesn’t answer.  Now I see this is how he shows his love for us.
And then, somehow, he helps us move past the unanswered.  Instead he reassures us that he still cares, that he will still walk with us--even though he won’t always answer all our questions.  For instead of endless explanations and words, he just gives us a spiritual hug.  And somehow, we awake one morning and realize we are loved—beyond anything that words can ever express.