January 23, 2015

when springtime comes in January

There was this perfect day in Austin this past week.
In the middle of cold dreary days was this warm, sunny beautiful Spring day.

It didn't belong in the middle of Winter, but was such a gift.

We found ourselves at the park watching our kids ride bikes around the pond and playing fetch with our dog. It was one of those moments you take a deep breath and try hard to soak in the memory so it will never be forgotten. Those moments everything just feels right. It was sweet time with family and I was so grateful. 

I've been thinking about seasons a lot lately.
How they cycle, the character of each season and how there is joy to be found in each.
Much like the seasons of the year are the seasons of life right?

This past year has felt much like the winter to my little family.
It was the hardest year of our lives colored with small things like sick kids, changing a flat tire in a hail storm and a totaled car… 
as well as big things like cracked dreams, health issues, broken relationships and death of loved ones.
 It was a year of suffering, pain and disappointment. 

BUT, in the midst of those things… were these moments of pure beauty. 
These moments that were wrapped up like gifts straight from a God who loves us reminding us that he was indeed in the midst. 
Things like the gift of a new truck, a couple of sweet getaways, memories of lost teeth, pool days, the boys starting Kindergarten, Della learning to tell jokes, friends who speak life, purpose given, dreams restored and the year ending with Camp putting his faith in Christ as his redeemer and savior. 

The juxtaposition of great joy and great pain was perplexing, but kept reminding us of the personal God we serve. He loves us intentionally, leads us with purpose and is writing a great story with our lives. 

This year has left us feeling bruised and tender, but somehow stronger and more certain. 
We look a bit more like Jesus and have learned the hard way how to have the "perfect peace" that is available to those who trust in Him. 
And we wouldn't change that for anything.

But just like seasons change, we feel a shift in the seasons of our life. Somehow I am entering into January with Springtime in my heart. I can almost smell it. 
The warmth of a God who has drawn near and the smell of new purpose and growth blooming.

At the beginning of each year, Jake and I get away to reflect on the past year and pray over the next. We ask God to give us vision for the year, a theme to abide in. 
Over the past couple of years God has called us to go wide. When starting a church and learning to live intentionally in our community, this was necessary. 
But this year, we feel like our calling is changing… and we are embracing it.

Go Deep.

This is what we have heard from God. 

Go Deep
in our relationship with God,
with our kids,
with each other,
with a few people in our community,
with a few people in our church family,
in our giftings…

it's time to go deep and not spread ourselves so wide.
And you know what? 
It feels like Springtime.

It causes me to pause, take a deep breath and walk in the freedom to prioritize the few things God has called me to and do them well.
Will I do this perfectly? Of course not! 
But I will struggle well to discern what to say no to and where to go deep.

What is God calling you to in this new season?

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