The holidays have come and gone in haste. The cold winter nights have faded into the distance. The slight breeze we enjoy in the morning air and sunset nights will soon subside, and the hot Louisiana heat will take its place. The gardens will bloom and prepare for the harvest, and the grass will grow faster and faster each week without fail. Porches will become gathering places, and sweet iced tea will become the prevalent drink of choice.
Most of us will take this time, if we haven’t already, to throw out the old and forgotten things that at one time we treasured. Old furniture we no longer use. A sweater or coat that has seen better days. We’ll organize and spring clean as we prepare for the next twelve months of ever-changing weather. The boxes and bags will start stacking at the end of many driveways, and the children have come out to play more and more. Spring and summer are special times of the year. Especially this year, after having missed it altogether last year, we are all primed and ready to mingle amongst family and friends. Many of us have reassessed non-essential things in our lives, and now hold a new appreciation for many things we’d taken for granted for so long.
We all carry baggage from the many seasons of our lives. Just as we do when we are spring cleaning and we toss something into a garbage bag, we do our best to put the old stuff behind us. But in doing so, we may also be discarding something valuable. We may even pretend something, such as a relationship that once mattered, now doesn’t. Like Mimi, my child’s faithful stuffed mink she wore around her neck when she was young. She wouldn’t let anyone take that mink off her, even to wash it. Yet it was stored away for years and almost discarded.
In the comparison of spring cleaning, we also cleanse our body and soul. A new start, like the blooms on trees. Every year without fail, they will die and wither away and fall to the ground. We often forget how stunning spring blossoms are when we witness the other seasons take their place. But still, after all the many months lying dormant, that plant will begin to bloom again. A beautiful new bloom will take its place, no matter how withered away or dead the last bloom may have been. The heat of the summer, the dying season of the fall, or the cold of the winter, can’t hinder the fruition of that beautiful process. In the first few days of budding, we are consumed with each new petal, as it resonates in our hearts that a new season is once again upon us.
There are moments in our lives when we all wish we had said or done something differently; those woulda, coulda, shoulda moments. We walk through the seasons of our lives, sometimes in haste, not savoring them for the beauty they each bring. The beauty of the fall leaves with their bright, beautiful colors just before they die and fall away. The winter frost on the ground as it sparkles in the light or the icicle that dangles like a shiny piece of glass waiting to drop.
Sometimes, in our rush to move through the seasons of life, we toss out what we should, perhaps? hold on to, much like Mimi, the stuffed mink. Spring is a new beginning, a time to renew and revive, but also a time to reassess. That doesn’t mean out with the old and in with the new, because spring is a time to take the nutrients provided through other seasons and to grow from them. A time to let the hurts and sorrows be replaced with a renewed sense of beauty and learning. God’s grace showers us every day of our lives. With each new hour, week or season He has blessed us with not only the forgiveness and opportunity to let the anger and pain fade away, but also with the wisdom to keep some of the stuff we want to forget because it’s easier, and to work through and resolve it.
Surely we are able to forgive and mend ties that have been broken, and soften hearts that have been hardened. There is nothing our God won’t forgive, as it should be true for us. It is pertinent that we water our heart, our lives, and relationships with grace as we do the flowers in our garden. You may be surprised to find the water for your blossoms and the grace in your heart will produce a bountiful harvest. As you take time this season to water and tend to your life, think of His grace in every aspect, every step. You can then appreciate all the beautiful things that will grow from all the seasons of your life and you can learn, when to toss out the trash, and when to keep the important stuff.
As seen in Modern Grace Magazine