I love that the first day of Advent 2017 began for me with a blazing white shooting star in the early morning sky and ended with the rise of this year’s only supermoon.
December’s superman with a few city lights below
It felt fitting, then, that I might begin this busy season by thinking about the color white. Or rather, revisiting that color. After all, white was the first in a 2012 series I shared with you celebrating the colors of Christmas. Maybe these posts will feel like old friends, or perhaps something new will speak to you this time around. I hope you’ll enjoy them throughout this month and slow down at least a little to ponder the colors of this season.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations. — Isaiah 61:11
I’m more than a little bit addicted to the Olympics right now (you, too?). Perhaps this post will encourage you to take a few moments away from the games’ coverage to walk through a garden. Today marks week three in the series of tours through some of my California friend’s gardens.
My friend whose garden I feature today loves sharing goodies from her garden. When I was going through a rough patch this spring, we met for coffee, and she showed up with a bouquet of camellias from her garden. They cheered me for days.
She’s one of my writing group friends, and invariably, she brings herbs from her garden to share. The last time we gathered, she had mint by the bag full for us.
Today marks the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday. You may have eaten pancakes for dinner last night. You may have declared yourself off Facebook for the season (several Facebook friends bid us all adieu in posts yesterday evening).
In last week’s post, I mentioned that instead of giving up something for Lent this year, I’d be adding something in: prayer. Specifically, I would like to lift up your prayer requests each day.
Some of you have already sent requests to me, and I lifted those up in holy, quiet moments earlier today.
We’ve had a recent cold snap, and though last week I may have poked gentle fun at rainy day behaviors out here in California, I have to make fun of myself this week. I am quickly losing my tolerance for cold.
Monday’s cold weather brought a bitter wind, and all I wanted to do was hide inside—after a morning run, of course. I have to dust off the winter running clothes every now and then, right?
It was cold here over Christmas, too, and when I returned from balmy North Carolina after the holidays, I knew I had to tackle a winter gardening chore: pruning the roses. (Not my favorite gardening activity, I’ll confess.) I left three stems taller than the rest because small buds graced them, and I hoped they might bloom, despite freezing temperatures in December.
One bud finally began to open within the last week. So I cut all three buds to bring inside and finished the pruning chores.
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” —Mark 11:24
I’ve spent the last year praying harder for rain than any other time in my life. We experienced drought years in North Carolina but nothing like the drought here in California.
I know it won’t rain every time I pray for it (we’d be in trouble if it did). But I also believe the drought here will end. If it were up to me, it would end this year. God may have other plans. In the meantime, I’ll keep praying and believing.
As a result of God’s answers to my rain prayers lately, I’ve had a lot of rejoicing to do. We have gotten almost five inches of rain this month already. I’ll be honest: I’ve had a few days where I had to remind myself that I needed to rejoice and not mumble even a little about the timing of particular deluges (like the one at that half marathon I was just a few minutes into last fall).
Yesterday was one of those days. The last thing I wanted to do was take the dog out for a walk in the cold downpour. I waited as long as I could and finally reminded myself that I don’t mind being out in the rain. I also take some small pride that my dog is no sissy when it comes to weather. Plus, the rain gave me an excuse to pull out my galoshes, unused in more than a year. Continue reading →