We have had the most beautiful stretch of days here in Buffalo-- sunny, 70's, blue skies. An early spring for sure. It is a welcome change of pace to the dreary gray winters that we can tend to have, though this last year's winter was pretty mild in comparison to Buffalo winters of the past.
One of my very favorite things about living in a part of the country that has four seasons is the time of transition in between each season. I suppose on some levels that it is ironic, because in many areas of my life I am not a big fan of change; I don't like surprises (I know...boo hoo on me!), and can tend to get antsy about veering from my schedule in the day to day.
That said, I suppose I have always been a person who enjoys the thrill of visiting a new city, there is something exciting about wearing new shoes, enjoying a house update, trying a new food...
Perhaps that is the beauty of four seasons: newness. It's less about transition and more about seeing things with new eyes, experiencing them for the first time. The first warm days, the first daffodil sprouts, the blooms on trees in spring. Later in the year I find myself eagerly anticipating the briskness in the fall air, the need to pull out a sweater, and the inevitable first snowfall. Funny how that happens.
I think that sometimes when we live the same lives for too long we stop noticing the beauty around us. If the daffodils were always there, I would eventually stop noticing them. If the air were warm all the time I fear I would not have experienced the joy of feeling it to newly on my face as I was jogging yesterday. With newness comes increased awareness, something we all need in our lives.
As I was taking in the beauty of the day yesterday I wrote these words...
"Finally sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, lovely and admirable-- if anything is excellent and praiseworthy-- think about THESE things." Philippians 4:8
Today is one of those days when all that surrounds me feels right, and pure, lovely and admirable, excellent and PRAISEworthy. Today is a day when I am abounding in praise. Praise for the beauty of the sun, and the pale blue sky. Praise for the accumulations of wispy white clouds, and a silent breeze. Praise for the songs of the birds, the trees, even yet without leaves. Praise for the laughter of a 3 year old, and the curiosity of a 5 year old. Praise for my breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between.
Praise for a strong heart and mind, legs and lungs, which allow me to run and feel the glory of God in it.
I am abundantly blessed and grateful for it all.
I know that the true work comes when the sun is not shining. When the birds are not singing. When the days feel long, and hard and tense. Can I offer praise in those moments?
It is my prayer that my faith would deepen to a place in which that would come naturally; natural praise even on the dreary, hard, crazy days. Praise in the good moments and the bad, for God is good in them all.
For now, for today, I will be in the thankful moment. I will store all these things in the back of the mind that can tend to be anxious, I will ponder them and cultivate them in my heart. I will have hope that they will be a fresh pool to call from when the heart needs to be filled again.
I will observe, I will enjoy the gifts, I will give praise.