Birthday Reflections

 photo IMG_0688_zps2uipxmwi.jpg

A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my 28th birthday. Of course, birthdays are always a time to celebrate, but also a time to reflect. I went for a jog one day as my birthday was approaching, and on my way out of our driveway I passed some crocuses that had sprouted up in front of our house. It got me thinking about spring, and seasons, and life. I started to go through the whole “seasons of life” analogy in my head.

Spring is a time of new birth. The flowers spring up as the snow melts. The grass turns green again and the birds return from their winter vacations. There is a lot of rain and a lot of growth. There is Easter and all of the reminders of the new life we can have through Christ.

The spring of life is the season children are in. There is a lot of growth, lots of learning, and wonder, and messes, and fun. For those who grow up in a Christian home, this is when they first get to hear about Jesus and the new life they can have in Christ. There is so much activity during this season, and so much work, and so much to look forward to.

When Summer comes along, there’s lots and lots of sunshine. There are summer vacation plans, and beach outings, and work in the garden. There are flowers and animals everywhere you look. There are holidays and picnics, and lots and lots of baseball. Most people just love summer.

Summer in our lives is also full of life and busyness and fun. There are dreams to dream and work toward, there are years to look ahead to, and there are lessons in following the Lord. During summer most major life decisions are passed and we’re settling in to “normal”. For those of us blessed with children, these are the years we get to watch them be young, invest in our families, and enjoy the time we get to have living under one roof together.

Fall has always been my favorite season. Things cool down and slow down after summer activities wrap up. The leaves change into brilliant colors before falling off their trees. The harvest comes in and we get to celebrate with lots of good food and Thanksgiving.

In the fall of life we get to slow down a little (or maybe that’s just wishful thinking as I’m in toddler-season right now!). At least the busyness changes. We can enjoy the richness of our lives so far and thank God for the blessings we’ve enjoyed. For those following the Lord, there will hopefully be a harvest by now! A harvest of souls, led to Christ; a harvest of children turning into adults; a harvest of dreams saved for and fulfilled; and a harvest of the fruit of the Spirit in our own lives.

Then, there’s winter.

Now let me tell you, this is the part where I would often get stuck. I spent two years in Arkansas and the winters were dead, brown, and cold. I’ve spent many winters up North where the winters are bitter cold and bitter long. People seem grumpier, heat bills are higher, and my hands always get dry. Thinking about the end of my life as a winter season was just never appealing to me.

But as I was jogging and thinking on these things, I started to rethink winter. I decided instead to focus on the end of a calendar year. I LOVE the beginning of winter. It starts with the Thanksgiving feast and celebrations with the people we love most. Then there’s a whole month of excitement and build up toward Christmas: a celebration of Jesus come to us. There are quiet, snowy nights covered in the brilliant, glittering snow. There are festive days filled with Christmas music and Christmas baking. The house is decorated and everyone stays in more as the nights get darker sooner, but it gives me a good excuse to snuggle up and read quietly by the fireplace. Winter is peace and quiet, contentment and anticipation, fullness and joy.

Winter in our lives can be like that too. We enter a potentially quieter, stiller season. We can’t burn as much energy running around like we did in the summer, but we can learn and grow, and teach others. We can sit back and see the wonderful things God has accomplished in and through us. We can celebrate our walk with Christ and our anticipation of going home, going to meet Jesus.

I wrapped up these thoughts as I wrapped up my jog and walked back down the driveway to my waiting family. On the way inside I picked a crocus to put in a jar of water. Lydia, always full of questions, quickly inquired why I had picked a flower and I sat down to dinner to share with my family the thoughts I had during my jog. And I left that crocus sitting on the table as a reminder to enjoy this season as I celebrate another year.

Life Lately…

We’re back! Since I last posted the story of Dan’s new job, life has been a whirlwind. And, while things are still crazy, they are slowing at least enough for me to update you all on the past month and a half.

On September 24 we closed on our new house. Even though we had to wait for wood floors to be put in upstairs, we decided to move in anyway and camp out in the living room until they were done. Dan slept on an air mattress and the girls got a kick out of it every morning when it was time to deflate Daddy’s bed.

That Saturday we got a U-haul and moved all of our stuff into the garage, where it stayed for the next month before we could finally start unpacking.

 photo uhaul_zps8750f138.jpg photo uhaul2_zps546b9892.jpg

Every morning we enjoy the sunshine while we breakfast in our new breakfast nook. And Abby has been practicing her crawling skills by exploring every inch of the house (and eating anything she can find on the floor too).

 photo Abbyrolling_zpsfefdbf0b.jpg
 photo breakfastnook_zpsbb2191e8.jpg

In October, we celebrated the wedding of our friends, Aric and Hannah. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful wedding. They are certainly a beautiful couple and we will miss them as Aric serves in the military out in California.

 photo church_zps068ff12c.jpg
 photo militaryweidding_zps1bdcbd4c.jpg
 photo ArikHannah_zps0748f32c.jpg

We have certainly been enjoying the fall weather, and having a yard of our very own. On Saturday we all spent a large chunk of the afternoon raking and playing outside.

 photo LydiaRaking_zps8bb1d8a2.jpg
 photo Abbyoutside_zpsd07f4823.jpg

And while Abby has been crawling all over the place, Lydia has been working on her memory verses, including the books of the Old Testament and Psalm 23:


Mostly we are just trying to get unpacked and settled so we can spend this winter together keeping cozy in our new home. We are so thankful for this house, for the changes in our lives lately, and for the way God brings everything together to create such a beautiful story.