This week has been a blessing for me. A while ago I heard someone say that she tries to live with “margins” in her life – meaning that she tries to live with a bit of extra time in every day to be able to appreciate the beauty around her. I’m sure she was quoting someone famous, but I don’t know who, and she didn’t cite her reference.
Over the past year I’ve begun discovering the importance of “living with margins”, and what exactly that means. Sometimes this is a conscious choice (and battle) to not schedule every moment of her day; sometimes this is simply a choice to look for the beauty found amongst the unavoidable busy. It’s a way of living life.
Starting a week ago today, I’ve had the gift of very large margins. Last week Friday did not go as planned. Not that it was a bad thing (hence the reason no post last week – sorry)! I got to see people I hadn’t planned on seeing, chat with them, and took a friend grocery shopping. And then I got to go to a (planned) game night. It was a great day – just not the blog-writing, sewing, productive one I had planned!
Most of my days since then have been similar to last Friday, mostly because other plans were cancelled. It was absolutely brilliant. I have time to spend catching up, and not feeling guilty as I sit and listen to the rain, or taking pictures (can someone say ‘therapy’?) of pretty flowers, or hanging out with friends and youth kids, or really soaking in some wise words of a book, or of a song. The week has not gone according to plan A…or plan B…or sometimes even plan C, but since I have the time to discover what plan D is, it’s really no big deal. And I love that. I want to live my life – as much of it as possible – this way.
I need to learn how to schedule such time into each day; I need to learn that I don’t have to schedule each moment of every day. It’s NOT a waste of time if there aren’t plans in my calendar.
It’s a different way to spend time, a healthier way. It’s good. I cannot tell you how relaxed my spirit is. I can breathe again.
I feel pretty confident in stating that spring is finally here. Granted, I live in Colorado, so we might be in for another snow fall – or not. If we do get more snow, it won’t stick around long.
It is SO refreshing to walk out the door and smell fresh air full of the scent of newly-growing things. While I love winter, I have been waiting for some time now for green grass and the beauty of sun illuminating thin petals of tulips and pansies and creeping flox. There is something about this time of year that makes a girl SO glad she’s alive.
I know of people who love a certain season so much that they wish they could only live in the one. But each season needs the others to make it happen.
I mean, without winter, without the time for the earth to rest, to be gently replenished through snowfall and cooler temperatures and plant-leftovers, spring wouldn’t happen. We might not be able to see all of the good that is going on beneath the brown, forgotten grass or in the barren garden but good, vital stuff is happening. And then, when the time is right (and usually so much later than when I’m ready for it) spring quietly spreads over the land so quietly that often I don’t notice it until quite a lot has happened and it feels like spring just showed up over night.
The thing is, this happens in us too. We can pray and pray and pray for God to do something specific in us, or work soooo hard to conquer something, or get frustrated that nothing is happening. But growth is happening – it might just be a winter season, where you need to rest and replenish before the purples, reds, yellows, blues, and greens of spring burst forth from you. God likes to work in secret on us for long bouts of time before showing off what He’s done.
So don’t give up hope, if you’re hoping for growth in yourself. If you’ve been praying for God to help you to forgive someone, or to be able to conquer some specific sin, keep praying, keep doing whatever it is He has asked you to do. If you’re feeling “stagnant”, as occasionally I do, don’t give up. Think of that time as the very end of winter. You’re practically itching to grow because you sense it is time.* But don’t worry, He IS doing a good work in you, and He WILL complete it. In His time, in His way, probably when you aren’t even looking for it.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
*In my experience, that itching can mean one of two things. The first – like I said, God is ready for your personal growth to burst forth for all to see. Or second – God is causing in you a stirring for growth because it is time you and He work on that – which probably means you’re going to need to trust Him through the coming winter. So trust, and do as He prompts, because He is doing an amazing work!