A New Season

Not everything in life is as predictable as the seasons. Some mornings we wake up only to discover that everything has changed while we were sleeping.

I awoke last Wednesday morning to the realization that I may soon be back in the job market. Faced with an unexpected financial predicament (related to my current job) I am now making some difficult decisions. Sadly, this could mean leaving a career I love.

This sudden change of events has been quite daunting. Just when we were planning for our retirement, I now need to polish my résumé. And I haven’t had a job interview in eight years.

My head is swirling. Where do I begin?

Diversionary Tactics

Saturday morning my daughter and I went plant shopping for our front garden beds. In the afternoon I did some yard work. Then I took a nap. In the evening we had dinner with friends. Since my day was spent creating tactical diversions, I managed to avoid the inevitable job search.

I know I can do this. The problem is . . . I don’t want to.

This is not how spring was supposed to begin. Everything else is on schedule. Our peach tree is blossoming and the Redbuds are about to open. The Peonies have emerged and the Forsythia is blooming. There are weeds to pull and flowers to plant. The patio needs sealing and the grill needs cleaning. A job search was not part of the plan!

A Song in My Heart

Today our children’s choirs sang a song called God Is Here With Me by Christopher Hogan. One verse in particular struck a chord with me.

God is in my heart when I am sleeping,

God is in my heart, right here in my sleep.

God is here with me, Alleluia!

It reminded me of how many sleepless nights I have had lately. But as I tossed and turned, I kept hearing songs in my sleep. Each time I awoke, a song was playing in my mind. Every night was a different song, but always a hymn or anthem we were singing in choir. I am certain that the Lord placed these songs in my heart to comfort me.

I have no idea how my current situation is going to end. Right now I am staying focused on each new day and trying my best not to worry.

God is here with me, Alleluia!

 

A Delicate Balance

Do you remember a game called “Don’t Spill the Beans”? It was always one of my favorite games to play when I was a kid. As I recall, the beans were evenly divided into trays, then each player took turns adding one bean at a time into a little pot. The pot was suspended in a plastic holder that tipped a little bit each time a bean was added. At some point, one too many beans was added and the pot spilled over. The player who spilled the beans had to keep them all. The game ended when one lucky player was able to get rid of all their beans without spilling the pot.

The Tipping Point

I’ve had days lately that felt a lot like that bean pot. New problems kept piling on each day, threatening to tip the balance. Every time I thought things were finally settling down, another bean was added to my overflowing pot. My days were spent trying to keep things balanced and in control.

I’ve learned that whenever I feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges, it’s time to step away. It’s amazing how even a small change of scenery can give you a whole new perspective!

Simple Joys

Yesterday was a good day to visit Mom. She is always so happy to have visitors, and I love to see her smile. We took her outside to get some fresh air and sunshine before returning to her room.

My cousin sent her flowers last week, and I marveled that they were still fresh and colorful on her windowsill. And the spring bulb garden I brought three weeks ago had finished blooming, but the leaves were still lush and green. All the flowers and plants brightened Mom’s room, and they bring her so much joy. It’s really that simple. My brother told me how her roommate and all the nurses love the flowers too. They change the water daily and pinch off the dying blooms. Clearly, the flowers are thriving with all the attention — and so is Mom.

Fresh Perspective

My drive alone in the country is always enjoyable, as I get to sing along with my favorite Christian artists on the CD player.  (Here is one of my favorite tunes from For King and Country.)

Shenandoah Valley is coming alive again with green grass and grazing cows dotting the hillsides. The parking lot at the Appalachian trailhead at Bear’s Den was overflowing with hikers. The median on the road I travelled was carpeted in blooming daffodils. Sometimes God answers our prayers through scenery and song. “See, my child? I am still here.”

Later in the day I spent time weeding our garden beds. Their roots were deeply embedded in the winter-hardened clay soil, but I persisted until the task was finished. It was satisfying work for a  warm Saturday afternoon.

All-in-all, it was a better day. A smile and a hug from Mom, and a good dig in the garden, then suddenly my bean pot was balanced again.

We never know what weeds the next day will bring, but we can always find a moment of joy when we take the time to seek it. Let it wash over you!