I like having things to look forward to in the future. “Beats” dreadin’ it, right? It doesn’t even have to be something BIG. In fact, some of my favorite things – are “small” things. Is the song by Julie Andrews who plays, Maria, going through your head now?
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens Brown paper packages tied up with strings These are a few of my favorite things
One of the many reasons I love Winter is that I love the feeling of expectation… of anticipation. You see… I know in a couple of months, the earth will awake. I love seeing frosty, ice-crystal tree buds, bright green with new life and colors peek-a-boo’ing at me all around my neighborhood. Nature holds it’s breath all Winter. As the temperatures warm and sap begins flowing in the trees, as the frost dissipates from the thawing ground to allow the first flowers to push up through the warming earth… nature exhales.
Perhaps I have a good imagination. But one thing I love about Winter is that there is a feeling of expectation, renewal, and life that builds a yearning in my heart even while the icy-cold fog greets me every morning. I know change is coming.
In many ways, this mirrors how I am slowly adapting to life. Life can be hard. If you haven’t learned that yet, sit down and brace yourself. It’s coming. Difficult days and trying times are a part of life. I realize I’m talkin’ like I’m as old as the hills. But at 45-years-old, I have lived enough of life to know there are hard times and good times in life.
When I’m going through a particularly tough time, I remind myself that this time will pass. Better times are ahead and I only need to persevere. Yes, I realize that there are times in our lives where it seems like “when it rains it pours… and our umbrella is broke”! You may be experiencing that kind of time. I’ve experienced them myself. Do you know what I’ve learned?
When I am experiencing a short-term, tough time, I’m able to grin and bear it and push ahead with this thing called “life”. However, sometimes it seems nothing is going right. Medical problems, personal loss, destroyed relationships, financial strain, and new challenges do NOT give us a feeling of exhilaration – rather, one of defeat. “That’s it, God!” (waves a white flag) “I give up. I’m done. Hello? Yup it is me, here! Chucking it all in… finished, quitting, stoppin’ right now. Stop the train, I’m gettin’ OFF”.
That’s when we need someone else to remind us of the days ahead. Ask for help. If you notice another who is shell-shocked by current life crisis, be their “someone”. We need someone to gently jog our memory about the coming tomorrow and the new opportunities, a “new normal” physically, and that “joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5 “… weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning“). You see… this “Winter” in life is temporary. There’s an “exhale” coming!
Problems suck. We all want a problem-free life. I remind myself as I’m experiencing new (and sometimes, old) problems, that good can come from these tough times. I grow stronger, more resilient, and even more content. During this Winter there is a feeling of expectation. I can feel my very soul stir and my senses tingle as anticipation races through my veins! There is very little we are guaranteed. But friends? Spring is one them. Spring is coming!