Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Red Head

A bright red head bobs up, down, and all around the bare-limbed hickory tree at the edge of the woods.  Birds frolick in the purple, wiry vines that have grown below the towering canopies.  One sits upon the round picnic table, weathered to the same tan sported by its hopping friend.  And then, in a quick spurt across the window, they are out of sight.

Where are they going?  To what destination does their current flight fit their fancy?  Where are you headed, friend?

Sometimes my path seems certain.  Plans and goals spread into the horizon like steady stepping stones.  But, no matter how carefully I place those stones, they never seem to stay where I expect them.  It can be frustrating to try so hard only to find that time pushes me out of the sight I thought I knew.  And you, friend?  Are directions changing and you feel helpless to start anew?  Is time too stealthy for your liking?

May hope guide you as life twists along unexpected paths and places seemingly unploddable spots in your way.  Take a look at those bobbing birds and let the joy that comes from knowing with certainty your journey's end buoy your spirit when the current views seem clouded and threatening.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Seed Packets

Whispers of snow sweep here and there.  Woodstove warmth kneads my back as I sit at the kitchen table, flipping through seed magazines with my husband and sipping hot chocolate.  It's heartening to think of a lush garden growing fresh fruits and vegetables, especially on a day that promises flurries.  Hope lingers among the long winter days.

Soon, seed packets in hand, we'll be poking holes in tilled soil, nestling seeds of various sizes.  And as the days slightly lengthen, little sprouts will grow to bring a dazzling and quite yummy yield to our family.  So much from little packets with the tiniest of contents.

Is there something in your life that seems tiny, friend, but brings the greatest joy to your life?  For me?  My life is covered in abundant blessings blooming from little bitty origins: baby hugs and smiles, first steps teetering across the floor, inquisitive comments from a loquacious three-year-old, loving words and glances from my husband, encouragement when least expected, prismed light sprayed across the room by a suncatcher.

And you, friend?  What tiny seed plants hope and joy for you?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Galloping Boots

Joey's grandmommy bought him boots for Christmas.  And now, my energetic two-year-old is galloping around the house in his new boots.  Sometimes, he wears them with socks; other times, he wears them mismatched on his feet.  He even gallops barefoot in circles around his boots.  Regardless, Joey's wide smile remains.

Today, we are waiting for an apple pie to finish baking.  The stove's timer beeps it's one-minute alarm.  "It's done," Joey proclaims, peering through the oven window.  "See!  It's done, Mommy!  It's done!"

And although Joey is delighted that the pie is finished baking, he will not even attempt a bite of that ooey-gooey, cinnamon-swirl apple pie with crumb topping.  Alas! Joey greatly dislikes fruits and vegetables.

I should take a lesson from my son.  No, I still plan to eat the pie!  But, perhaps I should show more enthusiasm even when I'm confronted with something I usually consider to be arduous, dismal, or otherwise extremely unpleasant (like scrubbing the toilet or sharing a pie).  I should add a gallop to my daily stride and chase away any threatening rain clouds.

And you, friend?  Can you add some gusto in that task you have to do?  Or, might you paint a happy smile on your face and then feel it soak into your soul, too?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Strutting Peacock

A local farmer owns some peacocks.  On occasion, one of these proud birds crosses the road without concern of approaching cars.  So, rounding the turn to the peacocks' farm, wary eyes will avert disaster.  The peacock's sleek tail trails behind him as it lurks forward in graceful strides.  Sun-sprays flash color from its feathers.  Even with a monstrous metal vehicle careening toward it, it's calm and steady.

Watching the peacock finish its slow stride in front of our car, I long for grace under pressure, too.  Tongue-tied and eyes downcast, I feel insecurity creeping up my face like a warm blush.  Perhaps I've said something I long to take back or I've been left out or I'm unable to smooth out my emotional crinkles so as to speak in coherent sentences instead of blundering sobs.  Regardless of the circumstances, I want to hide away in my Savior's hug and flee from the challenges that confront me.

Do you have moments like that, friend?  Let us take comfort together, knowing that if we take God's hand we will hold onto a grace, working through our weaknesses, that brings Him glory.