When Spring Doesn’t Show

When Spring Doesn’t Show

As I sit here writing, on the second day of Spring, I’m cupping a large warm cup of coffee and wearing black and gray — leggings, tall suede boots, two tanks and a sweater. I don’t feel overdressed.

While the calendar may tell me it’s Spring as of yesterday, the thermometer marked 18.9 degrees this morning as I got the kids ready for school {see Instagram feed}. I woke to yet another covering of snow. Two days ago, the rain froze and pinged against our windows as it fell and caused a two-hour school delay. My 8-year-old daughter literally burst into tears Tuesday night when she saw the cold forecast for the first day of Spring.

How can it be so cold on the first day of Spring?

I try to explain that Spring is really just a date to mark, a date from which the weather should start to gradually warm. It’s certainly no guarantee.

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Last night, I couldn’t get warm. True, our indoor thermometer showed 62 degrees in the master bath as I readied for bed … not exactly a toasty temperature, but pretty typical for our house. But, instead of dealing with it, as I have all winter, my body decided it was done. No more sucking it up and shivering; I wanted to be warm, bonafide, cozy warm. So, I pulled on long PJ pants, a tank, and a long-sleeved top. I layered a hoodie on top of that and zipped it all the way up. I climbed into bed and pulled the thick comforter up to my nose. Still cold. I got out of bed and put slipper socks over my regular socks. Still cold. I put the hoodie up over my head. Still cold. I closed the bedroom door and cranked the space heater up to high. Still cold.

So, I thought of God, and how comforting it is when I connect to Him as a loving Father {rather than viewing Him as a distant almighty or judgmental God}. I asked Him to hold me in his arms, and I finally stopped shivering and fell asleep.

***

This Winter in most of the East has been cold and long, from a purely meteorological standpoint. From a spiritual one, it’s been a heady combo of bleak and joyful for our family.  The pure joy I’ve had in blogging, following my God-sized Dreams here and here, and making meaningful connections through Holley Gerth’s God-sized Dream Team {the book launch team for her newly released book, You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream} have sustained me with a smile on my face many days.

Yet, some days, fear and misgiving come roaring in, threatening to overcome, often spurred by illness, bone-chilling cold, and exhausting days caring for three kids {oftentimes with a husband who’s out of town or totally snowed under by work responsibilities}. We are also walking through the unknown with our second child, who was diagnosed this fall with an autoimmune disease {which I write about here}. We’ve been blessed to see remission of most of her symptoms, but we’ve also experienced some of the not-so-pleasant side effects of daily medication. We’ve gotten all too familiar with the inside of Children’s Hospital, where we go for a monthly overnight, so our daughter can receive IV treatments.

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We can’t know the future, which with autoimmune disease, can go one of three ways: 1. Total remission 2. Remission with flare-ups 3. Chronic with continual medication needed. We are learning to walk with that uncertainty, in prayer and trust — and, often, honestly, just relegating it to the back of our minds for now.

That’s our Winter. It’s slowed us down. It’s made us seek the warmth and comfort of our Father’s arms.

It’s made us doubly appreciate the small things, like the sunshine {when it decides to show}, the sound of our daughter’s laughter more often than her tears {now that she feels so much better}, and the time we spend with family and friends.

We’ve found the joy that floods in when we count our blessings, rather than enumerate our wounds. <—Tweet This!  We’re learning to praise our God, Winter and Summer alike.

 Where’s your heart today? Winter or Spring?

The day is yours, and yours also the night;
you established the sun and moon.
 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
you made both summer and winter.

Psalm 74: 16-17