Tag Archives: spring

MARCH MADNESS

Strange to think that when we wake up tomorrow it will – officially – be Spring. We can walk out the door, and it will be sunny, warm and perfect. Right?

March Madness is never like that.

“March is the month God created to show people who don’t drink what a hangover is like.”~Garrison Keillor.

I laughed today when I read this. “In like a lion – out like a lamb” popped in my mind right afterwards. I laughed again. Spring and March Madness seems to go hand-in-hand with twisty, twirly weather, and this March seems to be no different. February spoiled us this year with its extended warmth and lack of snow. March is just doing what it always does.

Rock n’ Roll. True Madness.

Yesterday, we had a warm beautiful day when out of nowhere, a wind whistled, rain belted the quirky house while the sun continued to shine. Dogs and I stood at the back door, sun in our eyes, wind blowing small limbs from the trees across our back deck, and then we looked at each other. That swirly wind had just blown the kitchen window screen out of its resting place, across the sink and onto the floor. 10 minutes later there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The dogs barked, and I laughed again.

Jewish wisdom says that manifestations within our world represent much more than just the things we can feel, smell, see, and touch. They are the physical representation of the essence of our linear time references…past, present and future.

Solid – fixed in place – not changing. In rabbinical thought, it is like our past. The past is fixed in place. It doesn’t change no matter how much we would like it to do so. Best yet, it is understandable when we look at it because all our questions are answered.

Liguid – malleable – displaceable – just like the present time frame. One decision can change the shape, color, direction, flow. All we have to do is put our finger in – take a step – make a choice. The questions pull at us – is it changing for the worst – changing for the best – why is it changing – how is it changing – – – will I like it?

Gas – nebulous – foggy – just as the future sits in our thoughts. It’s kinda there. We can almost see its shape but not quite. Our questions are now legion. Uncertainties shift each time we look at it. Just trying to grasp it can be frustrating and illusive.

“For it is by faith that we walk and not by sight.”~2 Cor 5:7

I am not a good student of languages, but I do enjoy trying to figure out Hebrew just for this reason: it seems to link all the important things of our lives through each separate letter of the language – grouping them into words and hidden hints of more beyond what is seen. The word snow in Hebrew, שֶׁלֶג, shows that just as snow goes through all the stages – gaseous vapor to solid to liquid – so too do humans go through all the stages of – past to present to future. Those who have come before affect us just as we affect those around us and eventually affect those who come after us.

My fallible mind looks at that one word and wonder how could an ordinary man somewhere – way, way, way back when – come up with that grouping of letters that understood the scientific process that snow goes through and link it into one entity?

March Madness is more than basketball. It is the madness of trying to decide if we should dress in layers, carry an umbrella or pull out the heavy coat again. Can I leave my windows open all day or should I turn on the gas logs? The Hubby wonders if he should ride the motorcycle or lock the four wheel tires in on the truck. That is why I just havta love Spring. It is His physical reminder that we need to not only walk by faith but live by faith.

Trust the plan.

Trust the Creator of the plan.

Trust that March leads to April when the broken seed burst forth with new life.

Trust the Son that was broken and burst forth with new life.

Trust that there is a reason to love the craziness of March Madness. [google images]

A FORSYTHIA BUSH

mar 17 c

You can never tell what kind of discussion will pop up in an a room full of kids, but I should have known what today’s topic would be – after all – it is St. Patrick’s Day.

“Ouch,” one of my co-workers said.
“You’re not wearing green,” laughed a 5th grader.
“I am, too,” he replied. “Isn’t this green?” he asked me.

It was mint green. In fact, my shirt was also mint green, but no one messes with Miss Grandma. 20 minutes later – two smart phones “google”ing images of mint green, and the argument was still on-going.

Gotta love St. Patrick’s Day. Gotta love the Irish blood that flows through my veins. Gotta love spring.

When I got home, the forsythia was in full bloom. The yellow blossoms wide open forsythia mar 17 2015and beckoned me closer. It is the smallest forsythia bush I have ever had the privilege of growing. I planted it in 2013, but it wasn’t happy in the first spot. Didn’t grow. Didn’t blossom. Didn’t thrive. So last year, I dug it out of the red clay. I loosened the dirt around its roots, and chose a new spot. I added new soil and mixed it with the denser dirt of our small plot of land. Today it smiled at me, and I smiled back. It was resurrected.

“Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.” Jn 11:1

Rabbi Yeshua had a good friend. His name was Lazarus. Most of you probably know this story. I know it was one of the first stories I ever heard. A man died. Buried for 4 days. Wrapped up like a mummy with tons of material binding him tightly. A big rock covering the entrance to the tomb. Sisters confused and in mourning. Jesus wept and then commanded. Stone rolled away. Lazarus walked out.

“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” Jn 11:4b

Many lessons are buried (so to speak) in this one story..patience …conquering fear…walking in faith…conquering death. Buried even deeper in this story is the foreshadowing of another path – one that the rabbi himself would soon walk – one that would bring forth an even greater miracle – one that still is overwhelming in its conceptualization – FORGIVENESS GRACE – a path created by the sacrifice of a Son that would lead us back to the Father despite our sins.

I thought of that story today as I looked at the small forsythia bush. I thought about it again as I watched the sun set from our patio and watched the small bud coverings drop close by my feet. Spring brings the bright colors of the early flowers: tulips, daffodils, crocuses, forsythia. It brings the fuzzy buds of unfolding leaves, and the winter white softness of pussy willows. It brings the music of birds as they begin their mating journeys and nest building. It brings silly debates over the color of green. It brings resurrection. It brings GRACE. It makes Miss Grandma smile and send a prayer of thanks – over and over again.peace

Water Power

“I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt…I will go with you…” Gen 46:3-4

first spring flowersApril showers bring May flowers. Well – actually – our first flowers appeared at the end of April. People down here tell me that was a little late. However, I’ve decided that spring flowers in NC are just as beautiful and wonderful as the spring flowers I left behind in OH. After a long winter (and yes – it was long here as well) their bright colors and sweet fragrance permeate the air, and you just want to spend all your time outside soaking it into the memory banks. This year has probably been a little more special since it is the first one we’ve experienced. Seeing the bushes bloom with color and bees, watching the birds build nests, and establishing our gardens has been a blessing beyond any expectations.

Of course, it isn’t all fun. There are all the changes that the husband and I have been working on implementing…most of them to accommodate 2 trucks, 1 stump grinder, 1 fishing boat, 1 motorcycle, 1 scooter, 1 four wheeler (which the dogs love more than anything), 2 kayaks, and 1 aging Murano named “Adam”. Adam is, of course, is not so lonely now and much happier to share his one-car driveway as he did in OH, but it is sometimes a an interesting journey to back down the driveway to the cul-de-sac on which we live. However, that is what stewardship is all about…sharing in the act of creation with what Our Father has given us.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am Your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Is 41:12

Do you notice how often God or His angels or His Son say – “Be not afraid…do not be afraid…do not fear”. I read somewhere that phrase was one of the most oft repeated set of words in the whole Bible. They are also almost always followed by the simpler words – “I am with you…I will go with you…I am with you ALWAYS…”

graavelWalking a new path is always difficult. Leaving a home that you built from scratch inside and out to come to a strange land and start all over is rather…hmmmmmm….crazy??? In any case, here we are – building new fences – hauling loadwalking stones after load of mulch and gravel, sinking stones into the red clay for walking paths or interesting designs – painting rooms – transplanting and planting new bushes, flowers and veggies – and thanking God every morning and every night for His promises to be with us.

There was a Rabbi named Akiva. He was not a very learned man and did not pay much attention to his faith until he was 40. It was during this year that he happened to pass a well and noticed a rock with a hole carved in it. He inquired who had shaped such a wonderful rock and was told that the dripping water from the well had, over the years, worn away the rock until it looked the way it did. That is when His life changed. He reasoned that if water could wear away the hardness of stone, than surely the Torah could penetrate any hardness within his own heart, and God would fill that hole with love.

I thought about this story today as I watched it rain all afternoon (3 1/2 in). Some of the mulch washed down the hill. The red clay softened as it soaked up the wetness coming from the sky. Small gullies appeared in the garden. If I remember correctly, in Jewish tradition, water is often a metaphor for the WORD. Is it any wonder that softness overcomes hardness? Love overcomes hate? It was His message throughout His three year ministry. All we have to do is watch the rain..be it in April or May or any other month…and remember: Love in all things – for God is walking beside us…softening the ground, carving out a space for His love to bloom into gorgeous bouquets and plentiful food for all His creation.

Baruch Ashem, Adonai. Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is One.

ryndi and koay

Lenten Journal #18

WEEPING PUSSY WILLOWSpring has hit NC. The pussy willow is fuzzy and soft. Many of the trees are breaking out in flower or leaf. Purples, yellows and pinks are pushing up through the brown earth. There is something so special about watching nature wake up, stretch and open its eyes for the next few months. It is my favorite time of year and it seems like I’m always jumping from one foot to another waiting for it to get here. I may be impatient, but Our Father always knows the perfect time.

“…when the fullness of time came…” Gal 4:4

For centuries the vineyard had been growing. Some years were good years, and the fruit of the vineyard produced a marvelous crop of fruit. Other years the people who tended the vineyard lost their focus, and the vineyard withered of drought and disease. Over and over, caretakers rejected those who came and offered water and healing from the Source of Life. Until finally – in the fullness of time – the Source sent a part of Himself to the vineyard – bearing more water and healing blessings for the dying vineyard. Even so, many of the caretakers howled and drove the Blessed Bearer into the ground.

“From the LORD comes deliverance…” Ps 3:8

But this time, Blessed Bearer rose from the ground, sharing His water with all that would drink and gave healing blessings to all who would seek. Once again, new vineyards began to blossom in the deserts of the world. Some caretakers pulled the wax from their ears, removed their blinders, filled their buckets with water and called out:

“Deliver me, my God!” Ps 3:7

Lucky for all the vineyards of the world, “in the fullness of time”, the Blessed Bearer will return. Spring will erupt in all of its glory, water will flow through the deserts and …

“…everything is possible for one who believes.” Mk 9:23images