Almost Red

A few minutes on my porch swing with a glass of cheap but surprisingly good wine.

Shannon has Leighton with him at the farm spreading mulch.  Rivers has finished her homework and Leah and I have now finished her spelling assignment.

Dinner is in the crock pot and it’s so warm and nice outside.  So I just sit.  And sway.  And listen.

Birds.  The distant sounds  of other children playing.  The strain on the chains holding me.

The great ball of fire is making its descent.  I notice the Bradford Pear trees in my neighbor’s yard blooming.

I’m rocking…Swaying…Sipping and admiring the almost red polish on my toenails.

I’m hopeful.  Almost refreshed. 

Yesterday someone I love and have watched grow into a beautiful young woman text messaged me a question about a scripture she was reading.  I gave her my thoughts and told her that when I read the Bible I try to remember, especially when I don’t really understand it, that Jesus was always motivated by love for all people, all of the time.  I pressed send and then my heart confronted me.

Do you still believe I’m motivated by love in your own life? 

Later I sat outside with my girls while they enjoyed the nice NC weather.  Finally.  I watched Leighton, my 2-year-old, chase a butterfly.  I smiled inside. 

So much to be said for smiling inside.

My life is changing.  Rearranging.  It has been for a while but I am a slow mover, careful and analytical.  I’m afraid of making wrong choices and afraid I’m wrong, period.  I watch her chase this butterfly and experience a shimmer of wonder.  So ordinary.  So cliché.  And yet there it is.

Here it is:

Seasons change. 

For me, this past winter has been long and hard.  Cold and rainy and too many snow days.  Too many days confined inside.  Too much grey.  Too much bleak.  Too much time alone.  In so many ways.

I think because winter was so trying, the butterfly chasing was all the more precious.

I think because winter was so cold and lifeless, porch swinging with a glass of wine and birdsong is all the more restful.

Almost red toenails and flip-flops mean something extra.

Spring is here.  Winter, as hard and long as it was, did not last. 

Nor does the winter season of our hearts.  I think when we live in the ripeness of summer we forget that seasons still change.  We somehow think we are immune to uncomfortable circumstances.  Storms.  And when they eventually come we break down into a million pieces because we can’t understand it.  Are truly shocked by it. 

Except seasons always change.  Even in the coldest and most dreadful of times there is a work in process in the recesses of our souls.  Maybe we forget, for ourselves, that Jesus is always motivated by love but we still must know it’s true because it’s the thing we have to give.

So we give it. 

Trees bloom and birds sing and babies chase butterflies and we make hard choices and life goes on.

And He’s giving to us, motivated by love.  Still.

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