Friday, April 14, 2023

Nature is awakening from a long winter's nap

Last week, our landscape looked like winter except for the daffodils blooming out by the fence line.  After an early heatwave began a few days ago, all of nature came alive... in a good and not scary way. 

I have always loved Easter even though I did not grow up in a church going family.  My love for Easter and for Christmas are equal but in different ways.  As with most Americans, the Christmas season begins in our family at Thanksgiving and is pretty much celebrated all of December.

The house is decorated during this darkest month of the year, the light brought inside with candles, the Christmas tree, and twinkle lights  Perhaps that is why Christmas causes me to think more inwardly as it is also the season of curling up with a throw, a cat, and a hot beverage to contemplate the birth of Christ.

On the other hand, since we did not attend a liturgical church, Easter was a week to reflect on the life, death, and the Resurrection of Jesus.  Easter day was usually filled with joyful celebration at church and then with a meal that was pretty much the same every year.

Now we were enjoying the return of days filled with longer hours of light, the rebirth of nature (albeit slower here than with my southern friends), and the renewal of the soul.  I often feel like winter is the time to slow down and reflect while spring is the gift God gives us when life returns.  A reflection of the Resurrection that was and a promise of the ultimate renewal to come.

Our Easter season was made more special this year when Stephanie, Elisabeth, and Faith arrived for a quick visit the weekend before Easter.  Faith was to meet the young woman who will be her roommate when she goes to college this fall.  (How is that even possible?) Since I was not able to attend Elisabeth's wedding, it was wonderful that she took time off of work to travel with them.

They returned to New England, stopping along the way home to visit David at his college, in time for Maundy Thursday services.  I was praying a lot that day for safe travels as storms were predicted along the way where they would be driving and where my son was flying back after a conference in the nation's capital.

The ladies arrived home safely, although they had to drive through very heavy rain along the way.  Christopher's flight was hit with severe turbulence and they landed in a thunderstorm. He travels a lot so when he said this was his worst flight ever, it had to be bad.

I had messaged him that there were tornadoes heading from Louisville to Cincinnati and it turns out he was flying over them on his route home. People wonder why I dislike flying. My daughter teases me about being a weather geek.  I blame growing up surrounded by farms and farmers.  Weather is usually a topic of conversation most of the year.

I wonder how much of a mother's prayer life revolves around praying for their children as they drive, fly, etc.?  

I hope your Easter was a good one.  My son and his wife hosted the meal this year and I made and baked the favorites we always serve on our side of the family.  My daughter-in-law's mom did the same thing and we have had joint celebrations long enough that I know what to anticipate at each gathering.  I don't know what is in that orange Jell-o stuff but it is delicious and worth taking extra insulin.

I am still dealing with low blood sugar attacks and consequently moving quite slow on many days.  My doctor has me checking my blood sugar before going to bed each night and eating a snack if necessary but even then, I have either plunged too low (which is extremely dangerous) or my blood sugar rose too much (which is frustrating).

We had a nice conversation at my check up last week about what a wonderful thing the pancreas is and how people take it for granted.  I don't know if he is a Christian but I do remind him that God created all of our parts to be quite amazingly sufficient when they work right. 

There is so much in this life that we do not understand and we have to trust His goodness.  God did not create our illnesses, they came as a result of the fallen world.  However, are you hearing... as Billy Graham titled a book... the approaching hoofbeats?

I am, every day they get louder and louder!  My husband and I were talking about the darkness in the world this morning. As an Eeyore kind of guy, he was saying this world is not one he recognizes, anymore.  He will be glad to leave it. I fully understand where he is coming from but I reminded him what the darkness is telling us... the soon return of Christ to set up His perfect kingdom.

I think prior to 2020, I could give mental assent to the soon return of Christ.  Everything looked like it could be fairly soon.  I would discuss pre-trib or mid-trib rapture with friends but it was something I still thought out in the distant future.  Everything changed in November of 2019 as new laws began to be made and decisions put in place that would change... everything.

We were talking this morning how we never... in a million years never... thought America could change this quickly.  Not to mention the entire world actually looking like we are near End Time wars.  The chessboard is already set in motion.

Why can we go through this time, while not wanting to suffer or have our children suffer in any way, still filled with joy and anticipation?  Because my friends, Aslan is on the move.  Can't you feel Him?  Can't you hear His roar in the distance, becoming closer each day?

Many years ago, I read about a woman who was filled with dread over the coming Tribulation.  So much that it was adversely affecting her life. Until she had a dream where she was looking at a ship's radar and noticed a tiny blip on the screen. She asked God what that blip was and He told her that was the Tribulation years.  Just the tiniest, hardly noticeable, blip on the radar.  She never feared End Times events again after she awoke from that dream.

I have a key chain that I purchased, one for me and one for my daughter, that is small but easily slipped onto my existing key chain.  It shows a favorite quote of Aslan... Courage, Dear Heart. It also has a separate tiny figure of Aslan that reminds me not only of a favorite character from literature but of the Lion of Judah.

As we walk through these coming months and years, what better advice can anyone give but from the Lion who came back to life because his enemy did not know the deeper magic (the Narnia magic) existed. Courage, dear heart.

Until next time...

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Narnia key chain... here.

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lynneinMN said...

Thank you... for bringing a smile to my face, and peace to my heart, as I've been dwelling too much on the things of this world. He IS on the move, and all will be made right. Amen.

Brenda Leyland @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

I'm so grateful for those words you have at the top of your blog post today, Brenda. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. That line was a great comfort to me many years ago when I was going through a rough time.

Thanks for a lovely read today ... wishing you great joy as Spring unfolds and makes our world alive again.

Brenda L.

Vee said...

Always nice to find a post here. Similar discussions go on in our family. I am like Mr. Coffee... eager for rescue. Goodness, your grands have grown so quickly. My daughter had a head on collision this winter...much prayer before and since. It's what believing mothers do.

Morning's Minion said...

It takes vigilance to keep the balance between fear of the many 'tribulations' looming and the promises that Christ will be with us--'even to the end of the age.'

Anonymous said...

Dear Brenda, I have read your blog for years, but I'm such a lurker and feel like what I say doesn't really matter. I'm like that in person, also, very much a sidelines kind of gal.
Anyway, I read a post from Brenda at It's a Beautiful Life a few weeks ago and she mentioned how important comments are to encourage the author. I managed to post a comment, then realized I probably ought to take time to thank YOU for all your time and energy and effort and encouragement that I've taken advantage of but have never taken the time to acknowledge. So, here I am saying, "thank you!"
I've even prayed for you over the years as you've shared your health struggles - not that you'd have known it since I never told you :( - grrr!
I wish I were more at peace at the thought of Christ's return. I used to say half-jokingly, "even so, come Lord Jesus!" when faced with some rather insignificant trial. Now as you say, since 2019 and especially 2020, when I think that my son is NOT walking with Jesus, I fight panic and dread at His coming. My head and my heart are so messed up as I struggle with trusting and believing...then not...and back again.
Sometimes I think I just need to get those words out.
The point of my comment is to say that I need the encouragement you give and that I so appreciate you sharing what the Father has put on your heart.
God bless you and keep you,
Carolyn Stutz

Ann Stevens said...

My husband and I have been having the same type of conversations. Things have changed and are changing so rapidly it is hard to keep up with everything that is going on. It is strange that we have known for so long that these difficult times would be coming before the return of the the King and now that the beginning of sorrows is here it is a bit hard to comprehend. The future looks rocky for sure and it is only with the strength of the Messiah that we will make it through and stand before Him to rejoice.

Sherry said...

the time is near.. this i believe!!
i'm in agreement with your husband as to the
state of this world being something unrecognizable..
thankful we have excellent and trustworthy bible
teachers yet available to watch/listen to regularly.
sets things in perspective, gives hope, and concentrated
study opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Thank you from me also - a long time reader but infrequent poster. As more and more corruption is being revealed and my heart becomes heavier and heavier, I so very much needed your post. Aslan is on the move, yes. I think I need to go back and reread the books; it has been a long time. It is too easy to let myself sink under the weight of the worldly revelations in direct opposition to what the Lord tells us to do.

Thank you for your wise words now and over the years.

Aritha V. said...

What a lovely blog post! It's refreshing to read about the change of seasons from someone who isn't particularly religious but who appreciates the spiritual significance of certain times of year. I completely relate to the feeling of slowing down and reflecting during the winter, while the spring is all about renewal and growth. It sounds like you had a wonderful Easter, with family visiting and lots of delicious food. And I'm glad everyone made it safely despite some stormy weather! As for your low blood sugar, I can't imagine how frustrating that must be, but I'm glad you have a doctor who is helping you manage it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.

Anonymous said...

Missing you! Hope all is well and you’ll post again soon!
Laura C.

Angela said...

I do hope you are ok Brenda.hugs

Lori said...

Hope all is well with you, Brenda❤️

Sherry said...

"courage, dear heart." holding that close to my heart.
this broken world needs Jesus.

A Woman that Fears the Lord said...

This was such an encouraging post. I'm sorry it took me so long to come by for a visit. I hear the approaching hoofs. I think of heaven more and more. I was thinking about rewards today and listened to a few sermons on that topic. I continue to downsize with my children in mind. My body is decripifyingl. :-) I appreciate it when you write about this season of life in relation to eternity. I find so little encouragement. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Brenda, I hope you are feeling better and that you are enjoying lots of good times with your family. Dee/NY

A Woman that Fears the Lord said...

I thought I had left a message but it's not showing up. You are one of the few blogs I still visit when this old brain remembers. Hope you are well. I appreciate it when you write about this season of life as our bodies prepare for heaven. It's hard to find many writing about it.