Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Tea

We have had a return to winter as cold winds are making their way through the Midwest. I spent the afternoon warm and cozy on the Lazy Boy, watching Wives and Daughters (must get it back to the library soon). Just the scenery alone makes me smile... much less the costumes!. :)

There is a touch of Spring in the air, those little differences that promise warm weather ahead. Last week as I walked down the gravel road in the snow, I actually heard birds singing. Normally there is an erie silence while the snow is falling and I often feel quite alone in the world even with a farm in front of me and houses surrounding ours. It was good to hear birds again. Yesterday while passing the small lake near us, I saw mallards swimming... dozens of them. (Well, Christopher pointed them out first.) We figure they must be on their way back North and stopped for a refreshing swim.

I was thinking yesterday how the memory of this weekend's cold will feel good in the heat of August. How like human nature to want the seasons to pass when we are tired of them and have need of change. It reminds me of seasons in my own life that I now look back on with fondness.

For instance, when we moved to Detroit I thought it the end of the world (I once said Detroit was the only place I wouldn't want to live and then fifteen years later there we were... hmmm... God's sense of humor?). Now I look back with such fondness on those years and remember how peaceful they were. It is easy to look back when we know how that season of life turns out.

There are other seasons we want to move through quickly... those nights with a new baby at home or a teething toddler and we have weeks upon weeks of sleep deprivation; potty training that never ends; homeschooling a child who disrupts into anger easily and doesn't "get" math; seasons when we are waiting for the "right person" or when the marriage is tense due to outward circumstances; weeks of waiting for a check or a job; praying for someone to get better... times we wish were over and then we look back as years have passed us by and it seems we've only blinked and they are gone.

I was polishing silver last week and felt sad that I no longer felt well enough to have big parties or invite friends over for dinner. As I let my mind wander (a dangerous thing to do), I missed meeting Stephanie for lunch in between college classes; picnics as a family (those loaf of bread, jug of juice, and "thou" picnics), and hiking trails with Christopher as we searched for forgotten arrowheads in nearby parks. Seasons all past...

But then I began dinner in my cozy kitchen and later curled up with a book on the sofa and looked around at the home God has given us... an amazing miracle from Him. I realized that besides the health and financial challenges... I am content. I brewed myself a little pot of Candy Cane Lane tea and took my favorite fine china rooster mug off the shelf, curled up with a book, and was quite satisfied at how nice the rooms looked (it is amazing how much one can get accomplished when one's husband is out of town for the weekend!).

I read a book by Joni Erickson Tada where she states the older she gets, the more real Heaven becomes. I agree, as seasons of life have passed from one into another, I can see where living each season in an Eternal Perspective becomes more important with each passing year. For looking back and viewing each day in the light of Eternity sheds a light in the darkness, often not seen when we were passing through them.

I can understand a bit how Paul can state that he has learned to become content in each state he finds himself in... emphasis on having learned. :)

6 comments:

scrappy quilter said...

Another wonderful post.

I don't think the ducks will be back for awhile. It's very cold here and quite a bit of snow. Can't wait to see them and the geese. It's always a sign sprin is here.

Kimberly said...

I do agree that it is a learned behavior to be content. I'm still learning...
I, too, love Wives & Daughters. So does Pumpkin. If the music begins, he knows what movie it is. He'll even request it. Well, W&D and Cranford. Of course, Cars is still his first choice. He is only three after all.

We're in the midst of that season of potty training as you mentioned. This too shall pass...He's actually doing really well! I'm so glad I gave up a few months ago after just a few frustrating days and waited until now. The difference is amazing.

I was reading your daughter's post on their trip to England. I shall not covet. I shall not covet. I shall not covet. I would however, stuff mmyself in her suitcase if I could!

Hope you're enjoying your tea. I'm joining you with a cuppa Earl Grey myself. Warmth weather is on the way. The tulips and iris I tucked in to sleep this fall are starting to awaken.

I tidied up the front porch today while the boys napped. The cushion covers will be out of the dryer in a few minutes. It'll be so nice to sit out there this evening or tomorrow and just enjoy the fresh air. I'll think of you!

Well, I should go and not fill up so much space on your page! Besides, there are little boys to build lego houses with...Just taking a break. I've been building with them already for a long time this afternoon.

Sue said...

Brenda,
It never ceases to amaze me that when I read your posts, I really feel like I am right there with you! Thanks for the reminder of how quickly the seasons change...It is yet another thing we learn as we grow older.

Have a warm, healthy and happy week!

~~Deby said...

oh I have those moments too Brenda...where I think of the years and what I could do. Nowadays grocery shopping is a challenge....you are right contentment is learned and it is not easy..but being at peace with a book and a cuppa...well sometimes ...most of the time that is bliss...and yes, indeed...heaven is getting much more real as is the RAPTURE....
Deby

Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested I have spotted DVSs of Wives and Daughters and North and South as well as many other not often seen BBC movies for sale at Costco lately. Yes I understand the seasons of life. What was the old Ziggy carton...?... Something like.. right at this moment you think of today just as ordinary but later it will be a fond memory and a time you wish to have again. We take each day for granted and the weeks pass so quickly and the seasons go by like the wind it seems. The children grow up so quickly and the years fly by. So many times now the children bring up times and conversations they have had with us and I wonder where I was?...as I can't remember it at all!! :) But then I remember things and talks they have forgotten too. I wish I had made a diary of our days and added some pictures with it like an album of their lives...Jody

freddie said...

Dearest Brenda,
how good to read your relaxing post!
The cold has come back here in Rome too, we also call this week, the first of March, the BLACKBIRD WEEK... but don't ask me why...

Take care and keep in touch
br.freddie