Five Minute Friday: Build

Gentle Reader,

Spent last night at a middle school basketball game. Brought back memories of my own years playing the game. Always had fun, but I was never good. Glad I discovered that my talents lay elsewhere. It’s easy to get over the disappointment of not being a great athlete when you busy yourself by being in plays and writing for the school newspaper.

Kate says: build.

Go.

Do you wanna build a snowman?

I don’t know how much of the white stuff we’ve gotten today, but it’s been coming down for hours. The big, fluffy flakes that are beautiful at Christmas but annoying by February. Long, heavy icicles dangle from the tree just outside the window, breaking off every so often, disappearing into the drift below. The few hardy birds that stick around during the winter months circle above, searching for something. Both of my dogs alternate between sighing and snoring, bored with being cooped up in the house but unable to fight the urge to sleep the hours away.

Can’t blame them. Feeling drowsy myself.

I wonder about my pioneer ancestors, the ones who trekked across the country in the hopes of making a better life for themselves. Their moments of stir-craziness must have been worse than ours. Granted, much of their time was taken up with simply surviving, but still. And for them, not a soul for miles around, the lowing of cattle too stupid to take shelter in a barn the only break in the silence.

Normally, I love silence. I love having the space to breathe and think. But at this point in the season, it’s just oppressive. Almost as if the snow wants to smother us.

Yet, for all my crankiness, it’s still a wonder to me that each flake is unique.

With that, my thoughts turn. Are there seasons in Heaven? What kind of home is God building for us there? Will I have the greenhouse I currently long for, filled with lovely flowers and the freshest fruits and vegetables?

When I think on that…maybe the snow’s not so bad. Maybe it’s still beautiful. Maybe it’s still a wonderful expression of God’s great creativity.

Maybe I can go ahead and be grateful for this moment.

Stop.

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Unexpected Treasures

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Gentle Reader,

I didn’t get up as early as I planned today, but I did get up earlier than I usually would on my day off. My inclination is to beat myself up for that shortcoming, but I’m choosing to instead focus on the small victory. It may not have been 6:00 a.m., but it was 8:30 a.m. and that’s better than 10:00 a.m. Lifestyle changes aren’t solidified in a short four days.

The dogs and I donned our winter attire (yes, I dress my dogs in sweaters) and took a walk. Our usual loop through the neighborhood was transformed into an icy obstacle course. I laughed as I watched the fur balls try to avoid stepping in the snow. They were not pleased when I took them through a beautifully unbroken stretch of powdery stuff in one of the common areas.

I stood in that now pockmarked expanse and took a deep breath of freezing air. All was silent around me. Intricate snowflakes landed on my vest, my hair. Unbidden, a song of praise arose in my throat, spilling out at the exact moment a small group of birds began to twitter.

Arriving back at the house, I settled down to stretch and do my Bible reading for the day. Right now I’m in the book of Job, which isn’t usually looked upon as the most uplifting of stories. I was surprised to find this unexpected treasure:

Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects;

Therefore, do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.

For He bruises, but He binds up;

He wounds, but His hands make whole. – Job 5:17-18 (NKJV)

I have experienced a long season of discipline and difficult growth. Didn’t feel good at the time, but I can honestly say that I am grateful for the fact of it. God loves me enough to put me on the right road. He tenderly cares for the blisters that arise from the unaccustomed terrain. He holds my hand. He shows me lovely things.

My journey to faith. (15)