When it comes to spring, I have this insatiable need to start over, have a better outlook, feel fresh and new. It has to be a seasonal thing, much like cleaning out my closet, making room for the bright shirts and swing dresses instead of the heavy coats and worn out shoes. On Sunday, as I greeted families attending our church and later as I watched Les Miserables at home, I understood why this need thrusts out of its' place where it has been hiding all winter: tomorrow has come, a new season has arrived, and Jesus has defied all laws of science just so I can live free another day, another spring.
Easter seemed so early this year but it was in fact right on time. For me, at least. Because Easter this year was more than the meal, the new dress, the perfect picture. It was about realizing that life is a gift, death is real, and love conquers all.
Families don't eat the Easter ham and grandmothers don't cook the favorite dessert just because. No, we gather out of love, to celebrate this victorious new day, new season, new beginning to the way we view life.
Love has to reside inside us for it to come out of us and reach others.
Jesus taught us that love is a sacrifice of self for others. Boy, do I need that lesson right now. During lent, I was gently and acutely aware of how selfish I really am. I've been told that I'm selfish since I was a little girl and each time I heard the words they stung; like a hot skillet touching the flesh. But, this year, as I finally admitted my selfishness, I breathed deeply, asking for help. I realized this Easter that I am selfish but Jesus is not.
And, if I look deep inside , I can discern his voice over my flesh.
And, that voice is love.
And, it's not too late to get past this and have a better tomorrow.
I thought becoming a mother would prove to everyone (and myself if I'm being totally honest) that I wasn't selfish. But, as my toddler twins beg for my attention, dinner has yet to be made, laundry is everywhere, work is heavy, all I want is to run. Run to a place where I have no responsibility and can just focus on me. This past year, moving closer to family has given me more opportunities to take time for myself. It's been such a treat but it has made my selfishness increase instead of decrease. Some days I've abused this alone time and it has caused more loneliness, less rejuvenation. I think last week, as I refocused my energy on my family, I realized that I'm less selfish when I pass out love instead of just focusing on what matters to me. And suddenly, I had nothing to prove.
Even if snow is on the ground where you live, spring is here. Jesus is offering us this chance to grab his hand and delight in the reawakening of our hibernated, selfish souls.
1. bright eyes to start your day: having enough will to get out of bed, be alert, and begin a new day
2. nourishment in the slow instead of frantic in the fast: slow down, sit, breathe in spring because it only lasts for a little while
3. dates with dad: he is the boy who will walk you down the aisle one day and give you away...cherish this man who gives you so much.
4. a place to kneel: life is so incredibly hard if we do it on our own...finding a spot to offer your humble pride in prayer can change your life.
5. warm breezes: may they sweep you up and set you free. open your arms, tilt your head toward the sky and inhale deeply.
6. curtains pulled open to allow sunlight to invade your insides: don't let your soul hide behind dark drapes - be authentic and let his light in.
7. local honey drizzled on fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuits: can't think of a better food to start your day, pick you up at lunch, or offer you comfort in the evening.
8. destinations unknown: travel with your spouse or friend, have an adventure, don't worry about the schedule.
9. parties to celebrate miracle lives: another way to say thank you for another day with the precious people you adore.
10. play dates where shoes are lost and smiles are found: go to a park or a friend's house, don't stress over having it all together and just. be. happy. because your responsibility will still be there even when you leave the playground.
11. nights for walking: the best way to get what's off your chest and absorb God's beauty and grace.
12. fields full of families on blankets and flying kites: enjoy your Saturday and leave the housework at home. spring is a gift for families to enjoy one another.
13. for sale signs signifying courage to take new steps: pray for direction and pray for who will live in that home once you are gone.
14. notebooks to capture memories and dreams: even if you don't say your heart out loud, write it down. there is something incredibly powerful that happens when you see the letters of your heart written.
15. strawberries to remind us that life is tart and sweet: without the tart, we wouldn't know just how sweet life really is. so allow the tart instead of controlling; allow it to contort not only your face but your soul into a position that offers sweet sacrifice enabling you to grow.
16. bold colors to stimulate our souls and energize our brains: get caught in color and let it move you!
17. a new bloom of flowers brings a new bloom in you: what better way to have hope for the future?
18. mama's bed for slumber parties: go ahead, break the rules every now and then. take a deep whiff of their freshly washed hair and hear the steady rhythm beating of their hearts beating in the middle of the night.
19. finances to bless others: if you can, what's stopping you?
20. words to keep in your pockets: some words we need to hold on to; these words help us find the strength to press forward, believe.
21. friends to shower: laugh big, hug tight, and show the people most important to you just how much you care about them.
22. candlelight dinners on the back porch: tuck the kids in bed, pop the cork, eat the steak, and take time to talk.
23. the smell of fresh grass after a mid-afternoon rain: reflect on how rain washes the dirt away and watch the tiny green heads grow a little taller.
24. fresh bread to welcome new neighbors: how scary it is to move somewhere new; why not give a little comfort?
25. first toe's dip into the water's edge: you know it is going to be icy cold but you do it anyway. dare to accept the challenge of this crazy thing we call life.
Be sure to download these 25 Reasons to Come Out of Hibernation this Spring for free today. Make up your own 25 reasons too. What are some of your reasons?
Till next time, let your light shine!