Signs

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When I look at this sprig of Mississippi cedar leftover from Christmas, I’m not entirely certain that our Georgia winter has run its course, but I’m ever so aware that Spring is certainly flirting wildly with us.

Might I suggest that you make some time to get out and flirt back this weekend?

Margin is just waiting to happen…go find some for yourself!

 

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“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

 

 

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“Spring drew on…and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that hope traversed them at night and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.” –Charlotte Brontë

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.” ~Bern Williams

Grace and peace!
 

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Back to new basics

“A rut is a grave with both ends kicked out.”  –Mama

I’ve heard her say that all my life…and she’s probably not far from the truth.  After all, getting in a rut means you’ve done the same thing over and over and over for so long that you probably don’t even have to think anymore about what to do next.  While there’s something to be said for consistency, I’m not a great fan of mindless task-doing.  Over the past 6 months or so, however, I’ve had the opportunity to begin longing, not for a rut, but a schedule.  I love the order that comes of doing things in rhythm and creating a pattern of behavior that helps me feel settled and at ease.

Now, that doesn’t mean that the behavior has to be mindless, but it does mean that once the mundane items are marked off the to-do list, there will be more brainpower available to be directed toward more creative endeavors…and I have really missed being able to do that.

I’m looking forward to creating new rhythms for this place.  I’m looking forward to creating new friendships and creating new opportunities, new plantings and new views, new words, new art and new thoughts.  I’ve missed having the time to write and the number of blog posts that have been written mentally in the dark and gone unpublished are more than I’d like to think about.

I’ve actually had a schedule of sorts over the last few months:  travel, unpack, pack, travel, unpack (repeat, repeat, repeat…) and I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m ready to change the tasks on the schedule.

Most of the things in the house have been unpacked to find new homes and those that haven’t are in boxes for donation or awaiting the arrival of new pieces before they can be placed in order.  It’s good to have an idea about where most of your stuff is and while the house is coming together nicely, the shop tells a different tale at present.  Oh, we’re making progress there, too, but it seems slow in coming, perhaps because it is finally spring—the season of new birth, new plants, new blooms, rebirth, resurrection and renewal—and I’m longing to get outside and revel in the absolute wonder of it all.  Oh, how I have longed for this season this year!

As I’ve been unpacking all of our accumulated stuff, I’m unpacking new thought processes, as well.  I’m slowly establishing patterns of behavior for this new place and finding that my heart is feeling right at home here as I do so.  I’ve created a “nest” for my morning time with God and have really enjoyed getting back into His Word in a deeper way.  I’ve acquired a new library card and located two libraries and a couple of garden nurseries nearby along with more than a few antique stores.  I’m settling in, but I’m not inclined to settle.  There’s something about this place that calls out for new things and that excites me.

Yes, I’m establishing new patterns and looking forward to new things…and I think I’ll plant some new bulbs in that old rut I had before.  Who knows?  Perhaps there’s still time to see them bloom this spring.

For your weekend…

“See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.”  Song of Solomon 2:11 (NIV, 2011) 

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Take a virtual stroll with me through my garden…or (better still) take some time to explore your own this weekend!  May God bless you as you take the time to enjoy the arrival of another glorious Spring!

Grace & Peace!

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Very Early Spring
The fields are snowbound no longer;
There are little blue lakes and flags of tenderest green.
The snow has been caught up into the sky–
So many white clouds–and the blue of the sky is cold.
Now the sun walks in the forest,
He touches the bows and stems with his golden fingers;
They shiver, and wake from slumber.
Over the barren branches he shakes his yellow curls.
Yet is the forest full of the sound of tears….
A wind dances over the fields.
Shrill and clear the sound of her waking laughter,
Yet the little blue lakes tremble
And the flags of tenderest green bend and quiver.
                                                           ~Katherine Mansfield
*all photos taken by Becky Childs

For your weekend…

“Not what we give,

But what we share,

For the gift without the giver

Is bare.”

~James Russell Lowell

 

My cousins near Des Moines are expecting about 26” of snow over the weekend.  Winter is still very much on their minds.  Other friends are dealing with flooded areas and still others are continuing to clean up the debris from recent strong winds.

Here in Mississippi, the rain has passed, the weather is balmy and the wind is soft…and with all of the blooming buttercups in the yard, I’m having a hard time restraining myself from doing some Spring Cleaning out in the yard.  It’s still too early.  I know this from years of experience…of doing the garden clean-out before winter had truly passed.

Knowing that I will most likely have more cold weather to endure doesn’t remove my desire for some good old-fashioned Spring Cleaning!  (Oh, come on!  You KNOW you can’t wait to do it, too!—grin)  Since I can’t be out in the yard quite yet, I’m focusing on the inside for now.

My idea of Spring Cleaning may be a bit different from most people.  I like to look around the house and see what needs to move on out to bless others.  Actually, I do this several times a year.  My husband has joked that he has had to keep moving in the past not to be included in the clean-out.  He’s wrong about that…I need him to help me with getting some of the heavier items out of the house!

I am not a minimalist as far as home decorating goes, but I’m definitely not averse to seeing some “blank spaces” as I look around a room.  I’ve had a rule for years that when something comes into the house, something must leave the house.  That forces me to make buying decisions very carefully.  If something catches my eye, my first thought is, “Where would I put it?” and my second is, “Do I love that more than something I already own?”  If not, then it stays in the store.

Sometimes our things move on to friends, sometimes they get sold, but most of the time, they end up at a local charity shop.  I love the idea that someone else can make use of these things and be able to purchase them at reasonable prices…all the while creating a benefit for others who are in need.

At the risk of moving this in a political direction, the current state of our economy has created a larger group of people in need of assistance; people who are not content to take government hand-outs, but are having a very difficult time making ends meet.  Donating to local charities—whether in cash or in donated goods–means some of your own neighbors may be able to receive additional assistance or even make purchases at prices that are still within their strained budgets without feeling embarrassed or having to do without the things they need.

So here it is…your challenge for the weekend:  start going through your cabinets or your closets and start a ‘give-away’ box for a charity in your area.  Most of us have more than just the bare necessities and many of us have more than we will ever use.  Don’t make this a big deal—just pick one side of your kitchen and clean out those unused pots, pans, dishes, glasses, etc. OR use this as the opportunity to go through your clothes closets and get ready for the upcoming change of season by cleaning out those things you no longer love or that your kids have outgrown.

It’s “not what we give, but what we share…”  What will you share this weekend?  I think you’ll find you’ll be blessing yourself as well as others nearby!

Overlap

FYI:  The thermometer on the back porch said it was 32 degrees Fahrenheit here this morning. (For me, that’s winter! lol) A stroll through the yard, however, reveals that summer is determined to hang on a bit longer here in Mississippi despite what the dropping digits say…

There are fresh blooms on the hot pink petunias and red geraniums that reside on the upper deck.  A volunteer vinca joined the geranium late in the September heat and they’re both still looking pretty perky against the browns and golds of fallen leaves out in the November drab.

daffodils, mums and fallen leaves

A look down the row of potted Japanese maples reveals brightly colored mums…and a few rogue daffodils that might be just a touch out of  season…for now.

My favorite, however, must be the forsythia out by the mailbox.  Clothed in colors fit for fall, she’s already prepping for spring…I don’t want to rush it or wish my life away, but this one inspires me and already I dream of bright yellow blooms…

This one will get me through the winter.  What’s your plan?