Monday, April 13, 2020

Embracing Easter, Spring, & Changes

Yesterday was Easter and we were blessed by a Nor'easter Winter storm.  While it didn't dump much more than 3ish inches, it was a hard switch from the day before that was in the 60s, warm, sunny, and we had a picnic dinner out on the deck.

Yup, I know it's still early Spring and we live in Minnesota.  It was so nice seeing the lawns green up, the sogginess of Winter drying out, and bulbs starting to pop up growing so much each day.

I keep reminding myself that my oldest was born during a snowstorm and we went home in an ice storm.  His birthday is April 11 and most years we are either getting snow or it is almost 70.

It still doesn't change the fact that an April snowstorm is not my favorite.  At least today the sun is back out and there is blue sky.

We a bit of an unusal weekend.  Saturday my oldest turned 7 and Sunday was Easter.  In the 7 years since he was born, the two things haven't been on the same weekend.  This year both things were simple, probably more simplier because of the stay home order we are under still.

Yet, my oldest said it was the best way to spend his birthday.  He was happy and content, grateful for the blessings.  And all were grateful for the blessings that Easter brings.

Easter brings a sense of peace, renewal, and joy.  Spring brings a sense of growth and newness.  So combined it takes this new season to new places, perpectives, and purposes.

Having the stay home order, two special holidays, and a Spring snowstomr can make for an interesting time.  But with a mindshift it can still bring many blessings.

We have switched to making things simple and full for peace, joyful moments, being grateful, and content.  Sometimes things are waht they are and there isn't much we can do about it.  Other than our attitude and mindset.

While I may have this picture in my head of how it should be, look like, want it to be that may or may not be.  And you know what?  That is okay.

Are you embracing this time?  Yes, I know the implications of what is happening and can happen.  Yes, it is scary, uncertain, tough.  But it can be freeing, joy~filled, and simple.  One can get wrapped up in the numbers, the possibilities, focus full on all the negative.  Or one can accept it for what it is, do their part as needed and when, make changes as needed, but still be positive.

For years my mom has been forwarding me quote of the day emails.  Here is today's:
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.”
Willie Nelson

Anytime in our life we can go one of two ways, the negative perspective or the positive.  There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the emotions that we are facing, whether it is fear, worry, anxiety or joy, harmony.  We can still focus on the blessings in it all.

But if we allow ourselves to stay in the negative it will spiral, it will keep going and will bring us down.  We can be in the positive frame of mind, while still acknowledging all that is going on around us.  Disconnecting where we need to, releasing as needed, being honest and real about the situation and our own emotions.  The emotions and behaviors have others do not need to bring us down, we do not need to carry them along with our own, and we can remain positive despite the choices, attitudes, and behaviors around us.  We can still create a place of peace, feeling of joy and more while being guiding and empathetic.

So during this time, where are your thoughts going?  What attitudes are you carrying with you?  What are you creating in the space around you?  

Is there anything you can embrace?

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

It's April, It's Spring ~ Full of Emotions, Change, Newness, and Growth

So each month I have a focus word with an overall word for the year.  March's word was release and my year word is light.

It is interesting how release showed up big.  When March started our calendar was full, but still had some room for down time in it.  We went from a full calendar to an empty one in the matter of a week.  Our usual schedule was no longer going to work.

I knew going into March how full it really was going to be.  I was mostly ready, but told myself April we were going to change it up and slow it down.  And I wasn't going to plan so many classes and activities so close together. 

Then mid March came.  Day by day each of our planned things was canceled, closed, or extended.  It was almost like God saying, why wait until April, let's start now.

I will admit, it has been a bit surreal the past few weeks.  The weeks begin as we normally would, but by the end of the week we are shifting.

Yet I feel that we were already shifting.  As we move further into Spring, it is starting to show.  The daylight is getting longer, the sun is out more and warmer, trees are budding out and so are gardens.  However, I wasn't ready for a quick shift.

While the kids have embraced this shift much quicker than I, I am going there a little slower.  Trying decided where to make changes.  Hence the reason behind the word release.  I know I have a lot to release and by making small changes that would allow me to be open.

Letting myself process all that is going on much in the way one would to release grief.  Because in all honesty, that was the process my emotions were going through.  Yet I am finding out more of my true self during this time and where God is leading me.

Sure, I would like to be having the kids do their swim lessons, yet they had been asking for a break.  We were going to do a break come Summer, but it came sooner.  I do miss my Bible Study Fellowship Group, as do the kids.  But I am meeting via zoom and still get to connect with my group, the kids are getting weekly videos for their lessons.  We had a few fun Fridays and weekends planned, like zoo classes, art class, and a mini vacation to the North Shore.  Each of which was either canceled or delayed.  Yet, we were able to get art kits to go, can watch the happenings at the zoo, and our trip is postponed with potential for a day trip soon.

We may not get to do the things we were hoping for or planning on, but we do get to try out some new things, new ways.  Much like the new growth that is happening on the trees and in the gardens, we are growing, changing, and learning.

Interestingly enough, my word for April is steady.  I am working on steadying myself much in the way one would find grounding and keeping it.  I am grounding myself with God, in God through prayer and devotions, scripture and focus work  in Acts (for BSF) and Holy week.  Added bonus, my kiddos get to come along for the ride.  I am arming myself little by little, more and more with God.  Then from there I am branching out and steadying myself in each of my roles.  Working towards an inner peace and harmony that will carry throughout (still a work in progress).

Where else steady and light will come into play is yet to be seen.  We are only a week into April.  I still have more to release I am sure and can definitely steady myself in areas with more confidently as we go through the month.

Spring is going to look different this year than any other year, as is Summer.  But what some of what will be different will truly be for the better, that I am sure of.

Where do you need to find release?  Or what in specific do you need to release?

What can you can you do to steady yourself?

My prayer to you is one of hope for you.  Despite the way the surroundings may look right now, I pray you see the blessings that are there, seek joy, release to lighten your load, make room for rest, and let the gift of grace you have carry you.