Goodbye Frozen Death! Hello Spring!

“In the bleak midwinter…”

Dead Tree Without Leaves Isolated” by Ohmega1982

Yup. That about sums up how I felt all winter long. Not snowy enough in my midwest to inspire instagram worthy landscape pictures. So cold not enough layers of thermal underwear warmed my little tush enough to get me outside to linger in winter fun.

This winter was just bleak…no wonder all I could see was the dead in it. 

As I was stuck inside with my two not-yet-ready for school kids, I often found myself feeling facing this bleak feeling. How many more rounds of “the wheels on the bus go round and round” was I going to make it through? (On a positive note, I now know how to use “creature power”…thanks PBS and Wild Kratts). I formally want to submit a name change for this winter. I was thinking maybe the Summer-Killer but I have decided on naming it Frozen Death. I can imagine my boys will have a lot of fun learning that in 4K class. Spring, summer, fall, and Frozen Death. Ok, maybe not. But it got me thinking…

Death is not a huge jump to describe winter. Nature shows us again how every stage of life is actually needed. The death of winter..the dormant seeds, the hibernating animals, the reboot of creation, will give way and let in a whole new, beautiful season of LIFE with Spring. I may not like its coldness or darkness. I may drink a bit too much hot chocolate and put on a few too many “warming pounds”. I may not like it, but I need it. Life cycles with death.

Easter is around the corner at my house. The kids are on “Spring” break (quotes because we never know quite how the weather will feel.) We are excited to have family time and in those times we will visit the idea of death. In our house, we honor the Easter season.

“Golgota” by bela_kiefer The story of the cross and the sacrifice made has an important message for us on the meaning of death. The remembering of Jesus’ death reminds me that there is a power so much bigger and stronger and grander than the loss. I am not asking you to get spiritual with me right now but just walk with me down this road. His death and then glorious resurrection is a beautiful mirror of the hope we can have when we face death.

We will never like death in any of its forms; death can by physical, but it can also be a lost relationship, dream, idea, and more. These deaths need not to be in vain ever.

Even from loss, life can spring up–through honoring a loved one and beginning a new journey with that loved one in mind; through the failure of an idea and new one springs up.

When our winter brings death, we have to hold on because just like the Easter story new life is on its way.

Hold on to hope even if the surroundings look bleak. If you can hold on, then hold on to Hope.

Goodbye frozen death…HELLO SPRING!!

HOPE

courtesy by freedigitalphotos.net: by adamr

For whatever life dishes, I’m trying to stay,

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This Week’s Just Desserts: Let me eat birthday cake!

Let me eat cake!

This post greets me near my next birthday and that means…BIRTHDAY CAKE!

Image curtesy of Idea go/freedigitalphotos.com

Image courtesy of Idea go/freedigitalphotos.com

My birthday is one of my favorite holidays (yes I said holiday and yes you should be able to stay home from work) because I really enjoy eating cake. As a matter of fact, when I became an official adult my rite of passage was to devour cake for breakfast. That’s right! My birthday, my rules! My birthday is the only day in the year set aside where:

  • I celebrate another milestone that is my life
  • I eat cake first at every meal
  • I become the object of celebration for anyone touched by my life

See why I enjoy them? But does anyone else see the problem here? I’ll give you a hint. It has to do with the word one.

Why do I celebrate life only ONE day?

I mean, we are alive each one of those  365 days in that year, right? I believe a quirky character with a need for good counseling and a hat fetish had it right when he partied for every happy un-birthday. Why are birthdays the only time I celebrate life when in reality each day is a gift (like the quote says, “that’s why it’s called the present”.)

Image curtesy of master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

At least that’s what the clingy stuck to my wall says. I wake up to that saying each morning, but I do not live like it. Do you? Aren’t you worth celebrating?  How do we stop talking about living life to the fullest and actually start living it?

I'm glad you asked!

Let’s start by eating CAKE.

C–Choose to Celebrate each day by giving thanks.

A heart full of gratitude can make even the worst day a bit better. Someone, somewhere has it far worse than you. Thankfulness doesn’t change our situations, but it doesn’t hurt either.

A–Ask yourself how you can make this day memorable.

Every birthday, my mom stayed up late or got up early to make sure our birthday banners, balloons, and posters were plastered everywhere the minute we cracked open our eyes. That memory stays with me reminding me how I was special to someone, and now I do the same for my children and my husband.

K–Keep a theme song handy.

No, I’m not kidding. Birthdays, and most celebrations if you think about it, carry a tune with them. I enjoy going to a restaurant and hearing underpaid, overworked people wearily slur, I mean, sing to me, “Happy, happy birthday from all of us to you. We wish it was our birthday, so we could party, too!”  Theme songs make everything more celebratory. You don’t have to go around singing it but having a tune in your heart helps keep you positive and on the lookout for good things to happen. And a cheerful heart does your body good. Even the most ordinary day can surprise you with an extraordinary event so be on the lookout for it. And if it doesn’t come today, then maybe…”Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow…” (I bet you finished singing that in your head didn’t you! Good theme song.)

E–EAT CAKE!

Don’t drop your diets or blame your next ten pounds on me, trust me baby #5 left enough jiggling poundage behind for ME {N} U. But take a moment in your day to treat yourself. Your “cake” may be a run in the park (which is fine, but please don’t look down on us cake eaters and we won’t trip you). Your “cake” may be..well…actual cake! Whatever it is, enjoy it and gather someone else around to enjoy it with you.

Birthday Cake was never meant to be eaten alone.

Image curtesy of stuart miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of stuart miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Birthday celebrations are always better surrounded by friends and loved ones. Maybe those surrounding you are not ideal, but they are in your life, quite possibly for a good reason. Find ways to bring more CAKE into your life and find good quality people with whom you can share.

You were created on purpose, for a purpose, so celebrate today…and every day!

image curtesy of stuart miles/freedigitalimages.net

image courtesy of stuart miles/freedigitalimages.net

God made you on purpose. Your life was not a mistake and neither was mine. Every breath we take gives  us one more chance to see and do something no one else can do because there is no other you and there is no other me. We can not ever be duplicated to the exact same person. And YOU and I have something to offer this world. Our birthdays and unbirthdays are events excellent enough to celebrate so eat that cake up!  And save me a slice!

A Very Happy Unbirthday to ME {N} U,

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