Anticipation

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My world looks different than it did a few weeks ago.  My sidewalk, street, and neighbors have disappeared.  Branches, nests, power lines and roof ridges are disappearing as well.  The leaves are back; they are lush, beautiful, and full of life but they obscure the view of what lies beneath and behind. I forget and then am surprised at everything that is revealed when the leaves go away in the fall.

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The idea of things being hidden and later revealed fascinates me every spring and fall.   (Sometimes I feel like a small child staring at her hand, turning it over and looking from every angle.  Stopping to look intently and getting a glimmer of something different for just a little while.)

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My life has recently taken some big turns, and the heavy leaves of newly changed circumstances make it impossible to see what lies beyond.  I can only trust and pray as I move forward, because I can’t see a thing. A poor analogy, perhaps, but it helps me remember that circumstances are usually temporary (like leaves), and that things have not really disappeared, I just can’t see them.

As I think about the immediate future I know for sure that there are some very challenging times ahead in my personal life and in my work.  But I also know that I need to make room for the good things—for God’s blessings as they arrive, because they surely will. 

I chose a word to help me watch and wait: ANTICIPATION.  I printed it and put it above my desk at work and I have it at home as well.  A quiet watchword to remind and encourage while the leaves obstruct my view.DSCN1178

Extravagant Signs of Life

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Even though buds and blossoms always come in the spring, every year I marvel that these delicate, fragrant signs of life come from something that looked dead a short time before.  Beautiful blossoms in colors from pale to vibrant emerge from living plants that are usually bare, sharp, and covered in rough, scarred bark.  It seems so unlikely but we expect it, and know with certainty that it will happen.

I wonder at the picture of it—the cycle of extravagant flowers bursting out of bushes, shrubs and trees remind me that hard, desolate, dormant times can produce surprising beauty in us as well.   Shouldn’t we then expect, encourage, and celebrate it in ourselves and those around us?