Welcome as flowers in May

blog022It’s May Day, but I didn’t find a basket of flowers on my doorstep.  Instead I found a very wet porch!

As a young girl, I always fancied dancing and singing around a May Pole on May 1st but never actually did that.  I do remember filling a paper basket, which I made at school, with flowers from my mother’s garden and placing it on my neighbor’s porch one year.  It was one of those sweet, simple spring traditions of yesteryear that I wonder if children even learn about today.

Spring time always makes me hope for the best.  And that reminds me of this quote I once read by Susan J. Bissonette:  “An optimist is the human personification of spring.”

Come May, the optimist in me always expects days filled with cheerful sunshine and warmth, but reality often delivers the exact opposite especially this early in the month.   And today is no exception since it is yet another chilly, rainy day with more of the same forecast according to the Weather Channel.

I’m employed by a non-profit organization and every year in early May we hold a walk-a-thon type fundraiser in our hometown riverfront park.  Today we held it in the rain just like we did last year and again we were forced to switch to Plan B.

blog031Plan A is to begin the walk in our park’s amphitheater, which this year is still covered with flooding river water.  Plan B is to hold registration at a local church, then walk in the rain.  We always appreciate the loyal few who help us, rain or shine.

Spring has proven fickle again this year yielding lovely, balmy weather one day followed up with a chilly, dreary one.

Yesterday I took advantage of sunshine and nicer temperatures to stroll around our country home yard and notice signs that indeed spring is here, even if the weather isn’t exactly cooperating.

Let me share a few of the tell-tale signs I observed.   Suddenly, our lawn has sprouted bursts of yellow everywhere.

Dandelions!  These hearty plants are weeds and most people try to eradicate them from their expanse of green, but out here in the country, that’s a battle we can’t win.

Dandelion seeds lift up into the air and twirl and sway through the breeze and land in our yard continually.

But there’s something about these happy-faced spots of perky color that makes me smile.  They remind me of my childhood when each spring I would pick dandelion nosegays to bring inside and present to my mother.  Mom would place them in a glass of water as if they were the most prized flowers in her garden, and she had plenty of those.

Next on my walk, I spied little glimpses of purple and as I leaned over closer to the ground, I saw one of my favorite tiny flowers – violets.  Another reminder of childhood.  My mother taught me a different name for these delicate little flowers; she called them johnny jump-ups.

blog032I can only assume it’s because quite suddenly they seem to jump up out of the ground.  They don’t last long, so you have to really search for them.  In my yard, there are only a few areas where they appear.

“When April steps aside for May,

Like diamonds all the rain-drops glisten;

Fresh violets open every day:

To some new bird each hour we listen.” ~ Lucy Larcom

Soon one of the bushes in our back yard will produce one of my favorite scents – lilac.  I absolutely go giddy with glee when blooms on the lilac bush open up and I can cut huge bouquets of those delicate lavender delights to brighten up my kitchen table.  Their fragrance is so sweet, I can hardly wait to smell them.

Mark Twain once said, “It’s spring fever…. You don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

Yes, I definitely have spring fever on this first page in Chapter 5 of my Opportunity book, but unlike Twain, I know what I want – sunshine and warmer temperatures!  Plus I’m overly anxious for those beautiful May flowers that April showers promise.

And that thought reminds me – because my blog was recently Freshly Pressed by WordPress, I’ve gained some new subscribers.

I am excited to have you join me here at Mama’s Empty Nest!  My prayer is you will find something here to reflect upon, or something to inspire you, or maybe just cause you to smile.

So welcome to you, new readers!   “You are as welcome as the flowers in May.” ~ Charles Macklin

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Silver liquid drops of grace

pexels-photo-355844.jpegI don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade today, but I must comment on the rainy season that seems to have a good grip on a major portion of our country.

Every where I wander, I overhear snippets of conversations complaining about the rain and chilly weather which seems to have my neck of the woods in a headlock.

I’m not Pollyanna – the character in the children’s novel by the same name written by Eleanor H. Porter – who always has an optimistic outlook.  I become just as easily discouraged as anyone and don’t always “look on the bright side.”

So I’m not crazy about the chilling rain we’re experiencing either, but I think God is trying to teach me a lesson about complaining and His grace.

If you search hard enough you can find some great inspirational thoughts about rainy weather.  Someone once said, “And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”  True enough.  I especially like the idea of looking up, not just to be an optimist, but to really look up to God, who is there for me in balmy weather as much as baleful times.

Supposedly the legendary baseball player Satchel Paige once said, “Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”  I like that sentiment.  How often I turn to God in prayer when I’m saddled with burdens, but I need to converse even more with Him when life is superb.  He wants to hear my praise and my joys and my thankfulness.

One of my all-time favorite Christian music artists is Michael W. Smith.  I’ve seen him in concert a couple of times and his music never fails to inspire me and bring me closer to the God I worship.  I’m not certain in what context Smith said this thought, but I appreciate his words. He said, “Healing rain is a real touch from God.  It could be physical or emotional or whatever.”

That reminds me that rain washes away the dirt and grime, making earth clean and renewed.  Isn’t that what God did when He saved me?  He removed the ugly from my life, washing it away, making me clean and whole and yes, healed and renewed.

In the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 11:13-15, it is written, “So if you  faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today –  to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul – then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.  I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.”   God, in His omnipotence and omniscience, knows exactly what I need when I need it.  He provides what I need, even the rain in my life, to bless and bring me into closer fellowship with Him.

Many years ago when I was a college student, I read several works of literature written by the late American writer John Updike, but I never realized until recently that he was a believing Christian.  I found this quote by him and for me, it is a keeper.  “Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.”

Grace does fall down on me like rain, it washes over me, it cleanses me, it redeems me, and then it renews me.  And without grace, I would not have life.

Instead of complaining about the rain, I’m choosing today to rejoice just as the prophet Joel told us in Joel 2:22-24 (New International Version) -“Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness.   He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.”

Despite my propensity to allow dreary weather to affect me negatively, I will rejoice this day.  Why?  Because I know Jesus as my Savior.  My joy, my fulfillment, my satisfaction is in Him alone. I want to serve Him, to know Him better, and grow in my relationship with Him.   I pray you will desire that “new wine and oil” as well.

Finally, here is a quote by another American writer.  Langston Hughes said, “Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”   Please let the following video sing over you and let grace fall down over you like silver liquid drops of rain straight from the Father’s throne.

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com