The In-Between Days

We have reached that odd time between seasons. Winter is not officially over, and spring has not begun. Although the mornings are frosty-cold, there is a mildness in the air.

New Life

There is a stark contrast between a bitter January morning, and a chilly March morning. The earth is softer, and patches of green appear on the lawn. We awaken to the robins’ songs, and end our days with the spring peepers’ chorus.

Our home is caught between seasons too, most notably in the form of projects. Every sunny window is filled with plants that are almost ready for the garden. They were started from seeds in the basement nursery, then moved to the kitchen and dining room after being re-potted. Seedlings include cantaloupes, Delicata squash, zucchini, cucumbers, basil and several variety of tomatoes, all waiting to set their roots into the ground.

A Fresh Look

Meanwhile, upstairs we have been hard at work replacing our worn wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood flooring. So far we’ve only completed half of the hallway. The detail work and endless hitches along the way remind us of our century-old home in Massachusetts that we renovated from top to bottom over 30 years ago. The renovations we are doing today in Virginia remind us that our knees and backs have aged 30 years as well. 😉

We are making these updates while looking ahead to the future, when we will sell this house and embark on our retirement. And while we are not opposed to updating our next home, we hope our renovations are limited to painting and pruning.

I’ve been thinking about these “in-between” days, when we are halfway between ending one stage and beginning the next. That’s very much like my life here on earth — I am somewhat comfortable where I am, but I never feel completely at home.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”‭‭ – John‬ ‭14:1-4‬

The in-between times call for quiet patience and steadfast trust. There is so much hope in our future!

Just as surely as the buds will bloom each spring, Easter morning will return each year to remind us of the hope of the empty tomb, and the eternal home that awaits us.

A Time for Selah

Spring is shaping up to be a very busy season in our house. In addition to the usual garden preparations, we are in the early stages of laying down a new hardwood floor upstairs. I say “we”, but I’m certain my husband will be doing most of the work.

My life is equally busy, as I am simultaneously participating in two Bible studies, and leading a 6-week Lenten PraiseMoves series at my church. I am also just finishing up a Board position within my local DAR chapter, and will be taking on several new roles in the near future.

Yikes! How will I ever juggle it all, and when will I find time to rest?

Press Pause

As I was contemplating all these commitments this week, a particular Psalm presented itself on two separate occasions. The first occasion was during a beautiful memorial service for a friend who departed this earth much too soon. The second occasion was just this morning while reading my Lenten devotion.

I don’t know about you, but it’s not often that the Lord strategically places one specific scripture under my nose twice during the same week. That is a generally good indication that He wants me to read it.

And so I did.

Psalm 84 begins . . .

The Blessedness of Dwelling in the House of God.

How lovely is Your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah”
‭‭- Psalms 84:1-4

One Little Word

Did you miss it? That last word keeps catching my attention. Selah.

I did a bit of research today and learned that the meaning of Selah is often debated. This Hebrew word appears 71 times in Psalms, and 3 times in Habakkuk. Many believe that it is a musical term meant to create a pause. The musicians and those singing the psalm were given time to pause and reflect on the words they were singing. Often this was during a long journey or pilgrimage to the Holy Temple.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah” – Psalms‬ ‭84:5-8‬

There it is again. Give ear! Listen.

O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.”‭ – ‭Psalms‬ ‭84:9-11‬

During this season of Lent, when so many activities are demanding our time and attention, it is important to pause. Take a breath. Reflect on the blessings our Heavenly Father has given us.

Spring is God’s gift to us all after a long, cold and dreary winter. Take this season slowly. Breathe it in. Watch the buds opening each day.

Above all, pause and enjoy!