There aren't many things in life I love more than the first day of spring - even if it's snowing, like today; just knowing that winter is technically over brings a new lightness to life. Spring usually coincides with rebirth in my heart as well as the outside. I've found that God points out dead parts of me that need his breath of life [or that I just plain need to get rid of] during the winter, but for whatever reason, it usually takes until the sun starts shining, I can hear the birds in the morning and dormant bulbs start popping up through the ground for me to act.
Recently it's come to my attention that as much as I would like to say my life is focused mostly on the eternal and that I seek the kingdom first [we live in the Hood! we lead a missional community! we 'get it'!], it's not really true. For a little over a year, since finding out I was preggo with Ornery Boy, my life has been pretty self-focused [justifiably, and probably necessarily, so]. I had to do what was best for the little person inside me [no more walks through the Danger Zone to the library downtown, or really anywhere once it got so freakin hot, or just eating cookies for lunch . . . and dinner] and get ready for him to join us [lots of time spent inside cleaning and organizing rather than out with the neighbors]. And then I didn't go back to work, and fell in love with being a full-time mama [which I know has eternal significance - but what Ornery Boy really needs from me is for me to love Jesus more than anything!]. Thus, mid-winter found me planning lots of house and garden projects and desperately wanting a new couch, since I had been spending so much time sitting on our current one. This is pretty much all I thought about. Nevermind my neighbor who's on her last leg and doesn't know Jesus, or the clinic around the corner at which I'd made it a goal for the year to serve.
Thankfully, Jesus loves me too much to leave me there or let me settle for things that don't actually matter, and thus don't actually fulfill me.
He usually gives me statements that stick in my mind or that I need to work towards making true; here they are.
You can't take it with you.
“Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions . . . But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
We will fix our eyes on the One who will last forever/We will hold on tight to the only real treasure/We will not lose heart/We will not lose hope/We will give our lives to the One who will last forever [Sanctus Real]
"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are - as you used to call it in the Shadowlands - dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning." . . . All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before. [C. S. Lewis]
Pursuing anything but Jesus, even if it isn't sin in itself, is still not pursuing Jesus.
There's a difference between how much you pack for a visit [Earth!] and to live somewhere permanently [Heaven!].
So that's where this Vernal Equinox finds me. Still planning/doing house projects? Yes. Obsessing over them as if they were IT? No [most days]. Instead of how can I make my house awesome?, it's how can I use the home God's given me to impact eternity? Trying to fix my eyes on Jesus and keep eternity in mind amidst the diapers that need washing. Reminding Ornery Boy that though he's the cutest thing in the world, he's still dead in his sins and in need of Jesus, just like his mama. Doing my best to seek out time to spend with friends, some who know Jesus and some who don't yet, both of whom keep me on track.
And I think "You can't take it with you" is going to make it onto the living room wall for which I spent so many hours pinning ideas . . . I need symbolic things around to remind me - like the time at camp when I was more in love with Handsome Husband than Jesus so I plastered some Bible verses over a picture of his face [HH's, not Jesus'] by my bunk . . . and then he saw it. Awkward if anything ever was.
Here's to new, real life!
Oh, and here are my favorite first day of spring sandwiches. Leave out the pepperoncini; serve with fries and fruit and sweet tea. Perfect.