"Being joyful isn't what makes you grateful, being grateful is what makes you joyful" -Ann Voskamp
I would love to say that spring has fully sprung, but the fact is, here on the prairies we are still facing below freezing temperatures at night this week, so it is still cold and my heat it still on.
Signs that spring is coming are popping up: tractors cultivating the soil on the fields, longer daylight hours, grass beginning to turn a shade of green, the chorus of birds chirping in the morning.
Not that ice and snow aren't beautiful in their own way, but long Canadian winters deepen the ache for the warmth of sunshine, the subtle smell of pine and the tickle of grass beneath your feet.
When we moved back to Canada four years ago, I didn't understand the people around me and their devotion to the summer months, spending hours online to book summer camping, in particular. Acclimitized to 6 years of life in the tropics of Africa, this eagerness for a season which lasts a mere 3 months seemed odd.
Now, four years later, I finally understand...and find myself impatiently waiting in that virtual line-up to book our own summer camping sites.
Waiting with anticipation for spring to truly arrive, waiting for social freedoms in the midst of a pandemic, waiting in a virtual line-up...a lot of waiting these days.
"I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for theLord." (Psalm 27:13-14)
As we wait for seasons to change, we can be confident that we will see the goodness of God. Even though we may have to search diligently, with intention and effort, His goodness is ever-present around us. The moments right in front of us, remind us that He is here, that His Spirit dwells within us, and of the grace He has given us in Christ. As our thoughts move toward Him, our hearts stir to gratitude, awakening us to our hope in Him.
Have you experienced moments of waiting lately?
As I've seen life shift the last few weeks, here are a few things I'm grateful for in this season of waiting:
1. The Care of Teachers
Facilitating home learning isn't what they signed up for. Creativity in the classroom now extends through paperwork or Zoom, into the homes of families. I have been grateful to receive emails, phone calls and Zoom meetings for the kiddos as they interact with their coursework at home. At the beginning of this year, our kids entered public school for the first time; now back to home learning we are in our own rhythm and routine again. But I have really appreciated the care and effort of our teachers through this process.
2. A Healthy Family
Celebrating the '3 Year Transplant Anniversary' of our youngest daughter this April was very exciting. As the pandemic was taking hold in Canada, there were many questions about her risk and immunity in regards to the virus, especially given my work in the ER and the potential risk of bringing the virus home.
Our checkup was a phone call, he gave us great news about her blood test results, that her body is continuing to make her immune cells and they continue to function well within her body. It's so amazing! God has been faithful to guard us in peace and give her body the healing it needs. Our health is not something easily taken for granted these days, and we are truly grateful.
3. Decreasing Intensity at Work
At the start of pandemic protocol there were many changes to my work. It's not the fault of anyone, just the evolving nature of a pandemic. Policies about using PPE, resource allocation, isolation precautions and protocols. New ways to prepare for work, by putting my cell phone in a ziplock bag, packing into a pillowcase, showering after a shift, all meant some extra time and thought for every shift. After a few weeks now, most kinks are ironed out and we have adjusted to the new normal.
The winter months are usually faster paced in our home, with the kids' activities, so when spring arrives, we usually take a break; my papers for the semester finished, Awana was over, and the hockey seasons completed. As the lockdown began, we have been able to regroup, rest and enjoy our time together...and learning how to BE together, again.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Ps. 100:1-2)
What are some things you are grateful for this season?