Friday, March 13, 2015


Sometimes I wonder how anyone above the Mason-Dixon line survives winter without becoming a serial killer. Seriously. Winter is always hard. I think I just forget how hard, and it catches me by surprise. Every. Single. Year. If it weren't for nearly twelve hours of plane flight delays, I'd be sitting on the beach in Nicaragua with one of my closest friends drinking in sunshine and rest and fellowship. Instead I'm sitting in the Houston airport beneath the same gray dreary skies that haunt Nashville and sifting through endless pages of AP curriculum material and pedagogical research on grit and self control while receiving text after text documenting yet another delay.

This winter, like this travel day, seems to stretch on forever.

But this winter is also a beautiful season. The extended cold is actually good for my favorite trees. Both the cherry tree and the lilac in my yard need a cold winter to set the blooms, and the colder the winter, the more majestic the blooms should be and the more bountiful the fruit. Although still early, I've started checking them regularly for buds, desperate for my favorite signs of spring.

After pouring myself into the lives of so many students and parents this year, I looked around about December and realized that all the safe people in my life - close friends I could trust to love me even when I fall apart - had vanished. It's not that they weren't safe or we weren't friends anymore, but I had let single parenting, crazy long work weeks, and geographic distance become excuses for not intentionally investing in some of the relationships I needed most. I know that isolation from community makes me vulnerable to a host of sins, so I took an even scarier step and signed up to meet with a counselor.

Since then I've been doing some of the ugly work of winter. Some dying, some pruning, some intentional sowing. It's hard work, but good work, to dig in the soil of my soul and intentionally root out destructive thoughts and patterns. Maybe that's why this winter has felt so long, but I am continually thankful for his promise that all things will be made new. So I keep looking for those buds.

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