• See the beauty woven into the fabric of life • Hope is like drops of dew amidst fragile strands shining in the light • Outward fragility can belie strength and purpose • When sticky situations rear up, hold on to what is good and kind • Dishonesty builds tangled webs of deceit • Nurture that which builds lasting relationships and overcomes storms • Attend to tremors and shakings signaling significant arrivals • If caught unaware, we run headlong into that which can trap us • Know there is still purpose when we are dusty and spent • Recognizing our smallness builds humility and empathy • The spider’s mountain is still a mountain • We are nourished as we are being formed • Be one who draws others to receive healing • When ragged and torn, turn to God who makes us new
– From “Reflections from the Everyday” Charlotte-Anne Allen
• A good foot rub relaxes body and soul • We often take things we use daily for granted • Comfort is bare feet on the cool grassy ground • Bringers of good news are like sunshine after a cloudy day • Be mindful of where you go and whom you walk with • Travel brings new discoveries and renewed relationships • Stand firmly for goodness and justice • Consider possible consequences to avoid slipping • Some paths are full of rocks, roots, and washouts • Wisdom speaks from experience • Heed words of wisdom to avoid stumbling • It’s good to put your feet up and breathe after a busy day • Walk through life seeing interruptions as positive opportunities • Follow the feet of our Shepherd
–from “Reflections from the Everyday” Charlotte-Anne Allen
Brrr!! The calendar says springtime, but cold rain, sleet, and snow have been falling! Some people find the cold season invigorating. For me, those first buds and sprouts are a promise that warmer days are coming and with that promise comes anticipation. Even as the earth stirs as from sleep, I too stir… contemplating the year ahead and the winter past. It reminds me of some verses from a seldom read passage in the Song of Solomon, which my father loved: For lo, the winter is past. The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth. The time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
I look forward to new opportunities and growth, windows open wide to greet fresh air, and summer gardens and lawns. Even the responsibilities of work, church, and family seem more enjoyable. It is easier to turn loose of the “stuff” that tends to pile up during cold, lonely, or difficult seasons. When faced with challenging times, my mom would often say, “this too shall pass” … and she was right! Even as winter passes into springtime, so life moves on. Mom’s reminder and optimism was much appreciated, not that all would always turn out as wished but that we can be assured that God would get us through.
How my impatient or hurting self sometimes struggled to see that though. It is in more recent years that I have come to better experience the peace God provides for each day. Snow melts and sunshine warms! That’s why I love the springtime. Flowers appear. Singing comes. Life is renewed.
*Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (also known as the Song of Songs)
“Ahhhh!” Tearing plastic wrap off to place over a plate of food takes a knack! Have you ever wrestled with it, only to end up with a wadded mess or pulling out half the roll in attempts to get off a small piece?! After carefully pulling the mess apart or taking the whole roll out of the box and rolling some of it back up, the job is finally done.
I am reminded of a young child fearfully clinging to a parent when faced with a new situation or new people. It may take time to calm those fears as hands pat, kisses convey love, or words explain. That clinging speaks of a trust and a need which is basic for us all.
The psalmist spoke of clinging to God. “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” Like the child clinging to that source of security, when we hold determinedly to our source of help and strength we are comforted.
Likewise, when I climbed the ladder to the roof of our house to clean out the gutters (Yes, I did that!) …I clung to the ladder and to the snow guards, secure as the work was done.
We have that same security in God as we cling to Him and to His words. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, said to “cling to what is good.” Sometimes things may seem to be a wadded-up mess, but when we stick with God, He helps us work through our difficulties. Our lives reflect His presence… Because He is our help, we can sing, confident that His hand holds us up.