Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Tea

The flowers are springing up, 
the season of singing birds has come,
      and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
Song of Solomon 2:12

There was something different about a morning this past week.  As usual, I pushed the button to start the coffee maker, took my thyroid medicine, and looked to see where Miss Victoria had parked herself (usually viewing only her back side as she's perched on the back of the sofa looking at the outside world through the curtains).  But this morning... what was it that I hadn't noticed before?

Birds... the predawn symphony of bird songs.  Oh, I'd seen many more birds and I'd heard them on my walk down the gravel road to the rural mailbox but this was the first morning I heard them singing before dawn.  I smiled as I knew (despite the weather forecast) spring had truly arrived.

My soul is beginning to come out of its' late winter slump.  As I wrote a dear friend recently, I've felt so far from God.  My Bible had not been moved in weeks and I'd not been able to read any devotional books.  I was dry and parched and it felt like the chill went through to my spirit.

My heart would cry out, asking Him what there was that had come between us... deliberate sin, unknown trespasses, unforgiveness, not dotting an i or crossing a t?

I believe I knew in my heart that it was none of the above.  Yes... it is true that one's heart grows cold as one does not read the Word or talk to Him.  Not due to some legalism or rule but having everything to do with the fact Christianity is a relationship with a real Person.  One grows further apart from anyone they do not communicate with...

It wasn't until I heard the singing of the birds and felt the warmth of sunshine as I gently worked the soil... pulling the old dead away to make room for new life with my rake... that nature helped me know.  My soul felt like that which was dead but I knew differently.  In truth, it was much more like the greeness of new life peeking up through the dirt.  It was coming awake after the long, dark, cold, difficult winter in which illness started in my flesh and affected my spirit.

As a young Christian, newly coming to know Him in the Jesus Movement, I heard those who were my age now talk about finishing strong.  I couldn't comprehend what they meant.  How could one who walked with Him ever become lukewarm... or worse... walk away?  It didn't make sense.

Until one walks many miles on life's journey and has had (what they believe is) one too many storms ravaging their path... winds and rain and hail and desert and darkness and loneliness and loss and the cold of winter and the heat of the summer sun... all along the path of their life.  As they journey from youth into middle age and then into old age, they feel they have been chewed up and spit out by Life.

Those who finish well come to understand that His mercies are new every morning.  They look forward to "the time of the singing birds".  They learn in their journey not to fear the cold but to realize they must keep walking the path until the time of refreshing begins.  In spite of how they feel... there is life within... His life.

Those who finish well do not finish perfectly, they will enter Heaven out of breath with bruises and scratches.  Only those who do not make the journey... or who walk away from it... do not show the affects of that walk.

Those who finish well know the crown does not go the fastest or the strongest... but to the person who crosses the finish line... who has not given up in the darkness of the winter days of their life. 

As life returns all around me... life is flowing back to the soul.  Spring has come.  I know I can finish the journey.


Sally Clarkson said...

Wonderful Brenda,
Praying for renewal for you. Loved your post. Spring is such a picture of life renewing and your post was beautiful. Grace and peace today.

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing. I've been in that place for a while now, but am just waiting for that reawakening. Linda

Vee said...

Oh, Brenda, thee should be writing a devotional yourself. This comes at an interesting time and after a stressful week in my corner. My grandmother began to roam the halls at night hearing angel choirs and my back was balking. So we've given some thought already to what you've shared and I will tell what I've read here today. Brenda Leyland has a wonderful quote posted this morning, too. I'm so thankful for your willingness to be transparent.

Anonymous said...

This touched me deeply this afternoon, as I know what it feels like when you get overwhelmed by life. Thank you for reminding me not to give up.


scrappy quilter said...

Awe the dessert time. I'm in it right now yet I know that's exactly where God wants me/us to be. That's when we truly learn to trust Him and not give up. I can't wait to see what God has in store for you in this spring "season". Hugs

Mrs.Rabe said...

Vee hit the nail on the head for me about what I so appreciate about your blog...transparency. Thanks for sharing real life, the good and bad.

Dorothy said...

Dear Brenda,
The following quote from you today is going in my compiled book of quotes:
Those who finish well come to understand that His mercies are new every morning. They look forward to "the time of the singing birds". They learn in their journey not to fear the cold but to realize they must keep walking the path until the time of refreshing begins. In spite of how they feel... there is life within... His life."
Thank you for such an encouraging post. I so enjoy reading your blog each day.
Blessings to you and yours,
Dorothy in Arizona

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries™ said...

Dear Brenda,

Thank you for so frankly putting forth this topic. Being imperfect creatures...I've always assumed that everyone has these dry times...but your post makes me feel not so alone. Carol's analogy was spot on.

Your writing also brought to mind C.S. Lewis' analogy of God being akin to a fountain of water. He notes that the fountain is available to us at all times and we may partake freely. Yet, being human, we sometimes become distracted and wander away (a.k.a. the "dry" times). It's such a gift to know that we need only to ask to be led back to that nourishing/healing font. It's lovely to imagine you drinking long and deeply. It resonates in your words. Bless you my friend.


Connie said...

So well said and so true. Spring is the awakening time - and Easter is not far behind. What a awesome happening! A new life - so grand.

Sallie@aquietsimplelife said...


I recently posted a devotional from "Streams in the Desert" that was closely related to this. I'll share the link as people might find it encouraging.


What wonderful encouragement and insight...thank you.

Anonymous said...

Well written entry, Brenda...I like how you put your thoughts together here. I have walked many pathways that gave me the same emotions and thoughts. Thanks for sharing. My hubby noticed on his way to his car to leave for work today, "Hey, the SINGING birds are back again." We have lots of birds around all the time because we feed them, but now more varieties are showing up. You are right. We only get a VERY few days of spring (or fall) here...we mostly have just winter or summer. So we have to enjoy to the max, those few days.
Blessings, Elizabeth

Barb J. said...

I am being forced into some "new beginnings." Although I was so upset at first that I felt God was abandoning me, I now know that He doesn't leave us... we leave Him. And He is always waiting when we decide to come back.