Dreaming of Spring and Love

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This past week February arrived in a flurry of ice and snow. While I appreciated the snow days the blizzard brought, I have reached the point in winter where I start dreaming wistfully of spring and looking for ways to add some bright colors (yellow in particular) to the house.

Valentine’s Day is also coming up this week. While I understand that some people really hate Valentine’s Day, complaining that it was created by Hallmark for the sake of consumerism, or that it highlights some people’s loneliness in painful ways, or that it tries to cram romance into a single day rather than spreading it out throughout the year like good relationships should, I have always loved the idea of taking a day to intentionally celebrate those you love (including friends and family as much as significant others). Every year I try to find little ways to celebrate the day, whether with special treats in the morning or handmade cards for friends and family.

So last night, wrapped in a sweater with snow piled high outside, I made this simple, cheerful heart garland to hang above our front window.

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I began by cutting a whole stack of hearts out of old magazine pages, specifically choosing pages that featured warm yellows, oranges, and pinks, as well as bright florals. I interspersed these with hearts cut from the old hymnal I bought at the thrift store two Christmases ago, arranging them in a long line on the table to alternate the colors and patterns the way I wanted.

Then I sewed them all together, adding hearts from the stack as I went along.

It was so easy! Once the hearts were cut out, the sewing part took less than ten minutes. I foresee more sewn garlands coming up in my future…

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(P.S. It looks pretty great with my homemade curtains — which I still love)

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The Change of Seasons

A fellow gardener posted this blog about her overflowing garden (hello zucchinis….), ending with a provoking question about the what God might be speaking through the changing seasons, through “the juxtaposition of seasons, the constant rhythm of yearning in winter and overflowing fullness in summer”.

In my life, I feel like God has spoken a lot about His faithfulness in the changing seasons (particularly when I look back) and about sustainability in my walk with Him. The seasons in my life have changed numerous times, even just in the past few years, with seasons of abundance and fruitfulness alongside seasons that have felt as barren as any winter. I think those winter seasons expose my roots — or sometimes lack of roots — in a healthy way and force me to dig deeper into God until I touch the sustaining warmth and water of His presence. Often it forces me to abandon my comfortable ruts and venture into new places. But in every season, I can see His hand in my life (though sometimes not until I’ve passed out of the darkest, coldest time).

It reminds me of this passage from Jeremiah:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.,
whose hope is in the Lord.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

What about you? Has God spoken to you through the changing seasons?

Winter Walk

On Thursday Derek and I took advantage of the sunshine and went for a walk at Wildwood. The sunlight and the snow were stunning. Here are a few pictures: