What’s Sidling Up Behind You?

The worry’s been creeping in again.

Hunched over a library computer today in between carpool trips, I scrolled website pages, scribbled notes, and slipped into anxiety. I don’t know about you but for me it can masquerade as proactiveness or “being prepared,” yet the truth is more subtle. It’s about control.

Photo Credit: Flickr user, DeSales University, Creative Commons cc license

Earlier, in between lunch and carpooling teens, I scrounged up my green corduroy shoes and headed out to the backyard. Above-high temperatures of sixty degrees in a Minnesota spring has left an entire state giddy. Crouching beside cedar mulch flowerbeds, I brushed brown soil off spiky green and white variegated crocus plants, their growth a gift in slow motion. Giant purple crocus blossoms will be next. Three chunky daffodil or tulip plants poked nubby green heads from behind an oregano plant, and my fingertips brushed them excitedly.

Sliding long metal pruning sheers from their plastic sheath, I sliced and crunched out last year’s dead branches, making room for spring’s new growth. Beneath a cascade of rumpled crisp leaves, I spied them: small round purple and olive-colored oregano leaves unfurled in the warm sun. Crushing the herb in my fingers, I raised my hand to smell the heady fragrance.

Several hours later, back from the carpooled class trip and the library research, I’m feeling out of sorts, grumpy, and unsettled. Do emotions hit you that way too? Sidling up from the rear, they are faceless and vague. I’m often unaware of their effect until I sense it in my shoulders or recognize it finally in the quiet tumult inside me.

Relaxing my shoulders, rounding them up and back in circles, I capture my thoughts too, which have been spiraling unnoticed inside. Images flash in my mind of the nubby new life sticking out of the ground. Growing taller each day, the sight of them brings bubbly joy to me because I know the beauty they pack. Brilliant purples, magentas, crimsons, creams, yellows, and oranges are folded just out of reach within clumpy green budding plants or hidden still under ground. I know they are coming, though.

Life surges. Beauty awaits. New growth hovers, and you have to linger to see them fully.

And these truths about our Artist God’s ability and character crackle away last year’s brush from within me too. Hope and peace sink in, and I repeat the truths of who he is. Remembering that changes take time, I’m eager to see what he’s growing in me. And what he’s growing in you.

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  1. Unknown on March 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    The fact that you're looking for growth through our Savior is proof of your wisdom. It's also a good reminder for me to be looking for His new work in me. Thanks, sister.

  2. Alecia Simersky on March 11, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    There's something about Spring and new life. All that was dead is being reborn and brought back to life. Our God doesn't let the smallest of details go unnoticed. His son died and was brought back to life. We are made new by His death and resurrection. And all of nature attests to this. So powerful!

  3. Cheryl Barker on March 12, 2016 at 5:38 am

    I love how spring is such a season of hope. New life , fresh beginnings, Easter. May God bless you in special ways this spring, Jennifer!

  4. Linda Stoll on March 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Jennifer, yes, you're so very spot on. Those emotions often come in sideways or creep through the back door. They're not always in our face, and usually need some kind of acknowledgement or examination so we can move on in ways that are healthy and lifegiving.

    Being outside helps us work through whatever it is. That's why I love spring's arrival! It won't be long …

    Weekend graces to you …

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