Beautiful Day

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Themes

It is here again!  Spring carries with it so much beauty, great contrasts, and the hope of new life.  I thought I would share some of the themes of our spring so far.
The past couple of years I have tried to do something fun to recognize the first day of spring.   There was a local gathering at a park, but it was a very rainy day and we opted to stay home.  So, we had our little spring tea party lunch and we had fun making these... 
and even more fun eating them!


I have a resident ornithologist, I think.  She very much loves birds and enjoys caring for them (and photographing them).  She made this super-recipe suet for them and we have had hours of fun watching the birds from our dining room table.  Yes, the binoculars keep close at hand.  We think it's especially fun to hear our littlest one say, "birdie" in his cutest toddler way.

This time of year my children are always eager to eat outside.  Yesterday they took their lunch out and were promptly met with a shower.  No problem...just grab an umbrella!  It's also the time of year to catch up on garden work--the last bit of clean-up or pruning, preparations of the soil for this year, weeding, planting cool weather vegetables, and playing with dirt piles in the cul-de-sac until they find their home in the garden beds.
Spring is usually the time of music recitals.  Over the years that has included many piano and choir recitals.  This year....something a little different.  The children (and Daddy) took part in a state fiddle contest!  It was a whole new experience, and a great one!  It was, however, a very LONG day!  We enjoyed the music and the diverse range of talents.  One of the highlights for me was this jam session (above) where a mix of ages played music together.  I really appreciate opportunities for generations to work together and interact with one another.  These long-time members were so helpful to the youth and would even pull them out of their comfort zones, as each one took a turn leading a song.
Another highlight for me.....seeing my husband work with our children in preparation for this day.  He was more nervous than they at his first contest (even though he was not being judged).  I was so blessed to see this daughter of mine take courage and decide to play in the contest just two weeks before when she watched a DVD of last year's contest.  She has not yet taken a single formal lesson or class.  She has absorbed it all by listening and quietly practicing.  And she had to play three songs.  She amazes me.  They all do!

We had quite a storm brew through here yesterday.  It was a short-lived surprise and kind of exciting.  Country Girl snapped these photos and I think this one with the plum tree blossoms and dark clouds shows just what kind of contrasts spring can bring.  I think it is a little symbolic of the storms I've felt in my heart the past couple of days.

After the storms come the reminders of hope.  Isn't that what this iconic symbol, the rainbow, given to Noah after the greatest storm of history, represents?  I think God knows we need these reminders continually.  We are a people prone to forget.
This word is not so unique to spring, but it is a lesson I need repeatedly.  As I am studying/memorizing parts of the book of Romans this year, this verse has been living in my mind and heart lately:
"because although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."
~Romans 1:21-22 NKJV (emphasis mine)
There is something critical about gratitude that changes our hearts.  It also seems to serve to protect our thoughts and hearts.  I have not begun to probe the depths of this verse or its context yet, so I don't want to slap a simple understanding over it.  However, God makes it clear throughout Scripture that gratitude is essential and that its counterpart is harmful.  "Holy Week" always seems to be a time to pay close attention to the state of my heart and examine attitudes and I have been in great need of doing so this week.  Gratitude is closely tied to praise, and this chorus has been echoing in me:
"This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long,
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long."
~Blessed Assurance, Fanny Crosby

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