Jeremiah 29:11-13

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Blackberry Winter

   Feeling a little bit like a stranger in a strange land these days... work finished for the school year, waiting to go to the beach, drinking red wine and sitting on my porch wrapped up in a blanket in May.   Feeling a little guilty, too, with time on my hands.  I'm not used to having the afternoon and evening stretching out in front of me with nothing I have to do... reminds me of a long, unbroken, unmarred stretch of sand leading down to the water, sun hovering just over the horizon, waiting for that flash of green before it disappears until the next morning.  Sigh.  There are some things that are just too beautifully simple for words to adequately express.
     To go from such a frenetic, haphazard pace to this gentle stillness almost takes my breath away.  I'm trying to embrace it, but it does not come easily to me--the slowing down, the intentional seeking of peace and quiet.  I'm so accustomed to busy-ness, chaos, drama, chatter--it almost seems surreal to be in my house on a Tuesday afternoon, free to nap on my bed with my pup, or listen to some new music or write or read without interruption.  Very strange indeed.  But quite lovely in its simplicity.
    It's ironic that I am feeling such peacefulness and contentment exactly one year after ending a very tumultuous and stress-filled time of my life.  I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3, especially verses 4 through 7:  "... a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak...".

      God's time is perfect, even when we don't realize it until we are on the other side of it.

     I am so amazed that even when I make bad choices, even when I lose patience, even when I argue with Him, even when I don't love others the way I have been commanded to, the Lord continues to remind me He loves me by bringing people into my life at exactly the right moment, by showing me my blessings through the life and death of a friend, by enriching my relationships with my children, by prospering my business despite bad times.  I am grateful and humbled beyond words.  I know I don't deserve it, but I appreciate it.  It makes me want to go back to Nava and love on those children again.
     A couple more days of this blackberry winter, of shivering on my back porch in the midst of May and then seven days of heaven on earth...
"Sea Joy"
Jacqueline Bouvier
When I go down by the sandy shore
I can think of nothing I want more
Than to live by the booming blue sea
As the seagulls flutter round about me

I can run about--when the tide is out
With the wind and the sand and the sea all about
and the seagulls are swirling and diving for fish
Oh--to live by the sea is my only wish.