It is finally spring at Woodleaf. It has been a very long time in coming.
We just finished the longest, coldest winter I have experienced in the 5 winters I have lived here. We had record snowfall and record rainfall. But hopefully it is over. But I remember last year. When we thought it was over and then on the night of May 22nd the snow came back.
You might ask how I know that was the date. Oh, because our daughter Katie was getting married here on May 23rd. Everything we had planned was for an outside wedding. We didn’t panic the night before, I actually laughed and wondered out loud “Really God?? at Katie’s wedding? After all she has been through?”
And the next day we woke up to blue skies and sunshine. It was a brisk day but it was beautiful. And I thank God for our many friends who prayed for a sunny day as they experienced the snow with us on the eve of Katie’s wedding to Nate.
I love springtime because it shows off the newness of life. When what has died in the cold realities of winter, begin to sprinkle the earth will beautiful greens and vibrant colors of yellow, pink, orange and red on the fields. Spring shows me that life has a way of starting again. That new beginnings are always possible. That the gloominess of winter bursts forth in the delightfulness of spring.
Wonderfully, it really looks like spring. The daffodils and tulips are blooming at camp. Yesterday I weeded two of the flower beds in front of the hotel.
And today I ate my lunch outside on my patio furniture that Scud had brought out yesterday. It was sunny and warm. I can’t tell you how blissful it was to feel the sun on my face and body and to be in shorts for the first time this year here.
I was delighting in the artichoke I was devouring. Its a California thing you know-these artichokes. They come from Watsonville and I wait for them each year and love peeling off the leaves and dipping them-today in a dill mayonaise.
As I was peeling them trying to get to the heart of the artichoke, I would cheat and pull away some of the leaves so I could be closer to the heart-the very most delicate and delicious part of the artichoke.
And then all of a sudden I had the realization that this is what God does with me. He pulls off the leaves to get to my heart. All the things that distract me, all the things that keep me from seeing Him in the midst of my everyday life. All the things that I think are important and deserving of my time. All the things that I want to give me pleasure. But often times, all the things that keep me from seeing who Jesus really is and what He is trying to say to me.
Its all about the heart. My heart. Your heart. He is trying to get to our heart so that we can see that He is really what is important. He is where we should turn, He is what should make our hearts beat. That the closer we get to Jesus, the more we should begin to pulsate with the heart of God.
Often I try to skip over the leaves of the artichoke to get to the heart.
But always God goes directly to the heart because He knows that it is there that we truly feel, truly show our true selves. It is our heart that He can penetrate so that we see HE is what is what is absolutely vital to our existence.
And so as spring begins to show itself at Woodleaf, I am praying that God can begin a new work on my heart. A heart that is open to Him and all that He offers me, a heart that will let Him transform me so that my heart looks more like His.