Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Season of Winter

For the past several years, the holidays arrive with all their activities and then the New Year in which we celebrate a fresh start…  January.  The month of my birth, so another celebration to look forward too.  However, something has changed in me.  While I've battled ongoing health challenges for years, a new "phenomenon" has settled in.  By the end of the first week of the New Year, my body is exhausted, shaky, muscles extremely tight, my eyes weary. No matter what I do to support or encourage my body, winter settles in for a stretch and my body wants to be "dormant" or go into some type of "hibernation."   And, I don't like it one bit!  

But, getting frustrated or angry or ……….. doesn't help and likely puts increased pressure on my tired and weak body.  All I can do is embrace it and realize that REST becomes my #1 priority.  If I'm on the computer too long (and it's a very short time frame that my eyes will function on here), I feel woozy and my neck muscles tighten up and my throat feels a bit constricted.  Sleeping longer hours or naps are a must.  Today, I got up with Blaine for our morning devotions, ate some breakfast after he left and went back to bed (around 6:30 am) and while I woke up a few times through the morning, my body did not want to wake up until around 11:30.  And now, I'm heating up leftover red lentil cauliflower curry to bring warmth to my body…  I'll walk the dog and take a shower and rest again.  Short walk with Blaine (after work) and rest this evening.  And repeat this routine daily for who knows how long.  

But He (the Lord) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

Can't say I enjoy "boasting," as Paul did, but I am sharing the reality of my journey - but if I encourage or help one other person then so be it!  However, he does tell me that in sharing my weakness, Christ's power is made stronger in me and I welcome it! So should you.  During the winter season, I rest in Christ that His power is made all the more in me.  I don't want to journey through this life in my own strength, but in His.  And yet, I am so often reminded that the world tells us we must be useful and productive.  The world has little use for someone like me.  I have seasons where I can accomplish much.  I also have seasons where I can "accomplish" little by the world's standards. 

There is little time for rest, wouldn't you agree?  What if the world has it backward?  What if we're looking at the world and this life upside down?  Or through rose-colored glasses?  

One of my maple trees in dormancy last winter

We can look at the natural world.  Some would say that plants and trees are "dead" in the winter.  While they have no active growth happening on the surface (that most see with the naked eye, although signs of life may be there), much is happening below the surface and underground (in the soil).

This visual example brings much hope and excitement to me as I live in acceptance of this "weakened" season in my own life when January arrives.  Maybe it's SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and I need more light. Living in the Pacific Northwest (and I know of some people that leave for sunshine and the tropics for a time during our dreary winter months) can be very challenging.  I've had some professionals encourage me to move to a sunnier climate, but my Lord has not directed me to do so.  For today, I don't have answers.  I am thankful I have a Heavenly Father who does and that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper, our counselor, our teacher, our physician to help us here. 

And daily, I give thanks to God for Blaine.  My husband, my best friend, my supporter and encourager, my warrior.  I don't know how I'd make it through the winter season each year without his love and prayer support.  He is truly a priceless treasure and blessing from God to me!

And, come Spring, buds will burst forth and then tender, young leaves.  Soon, the tree will leaf out fully and eventually form seed pods.  When Autumn arrives once again, the tree will showcase great beauty…  Hope.  New life just below the surface.

Usually by mid-February, I begin to sense an increased level of energy in my body and I begin to come out of the weakened, fuzzy state that has been my existence for several weeks.  I feel alive once more.  

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  John 12:24

While, I don't consume wheat any longer - this example is not lost on me.  Sunflowers.  One seed produces countless seeds.  Trying planting one and experience it for yourself.

You could plant corn, amaranth, quinoa…  Plant a seed of a plant that produces seed and then count the number of seeds from that one plant.  
I continually stand amazed.

And this verse above, it's really teaching us that we must die to self in order for our lives to produce many seeds of blessing for others.  Our Lord works through our lives to touch others lives, if we allow Him to.

And in the midst of choosing Christ.  Trusting God.  Allowing the Holy Spirit to guide, direct and use my life for Kingdom purposes.  Learning Eucharisto.  Giving thanks. Seeking Joy. My heart is also greatly saddened by loss too.  Even in this, I choose God.

Today, I am reminded that we must carefully consider what choices we make.  Years ago, when I heard this song - I Surrender All by Clay Crosse - I chose to sing those words in a prayer to God.  Even though it has been costly in my life and I have often thought, "What did I do?," I just listened to the song again (and you can listen to it by clicking on the song link above) and while it brought tears to my eyes, I said YES once again…  God is so good.

Atti, Bo Peep, Little Red and Sussy enjoying a sugar pumpkin last January.  How I miss my girls.  They were a reason (a purpose) to get out of bed every morning, even when I was at my weakest….  

And, I believe.  I trust, that one day, God will restore Joy Bell Farm and chickens to our lives.

May our amazing and wonderful Lord bless you and keep you today.  May He make His face shine upon you…  You are loved.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Abundant blessings on your day... Joanie