faith, family, fitness, ministry

Signs of Spring~An Old Friend

There is nothing quite like sunshine and signs of Spring to put a “spring” in my step (excuse the pun).  Lately I am seeing signs of Spring everywhere!  The weather is changing, the temperatures are rising each day, and the sun is doing much less hiding these days.  The tulips and daffodils are all popped up in the yard, their happy green stems and leaves are ready to bring forth their pretty blooms, soon…very soon…I can feel it!

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I’ve traded in my Winter boots for my trusty pink Nikes.  It has felt so great these past few days (or has it been a week or more now) to get out of the house and not have to be bundled up to the umpth degree!  It’s not quite warm enough to completely shed the coat just yet, but I will admit that I took it off today and sat in the sun while Agnes played at the park.

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Agnes and I walked by our old apartment this week…the first apartment the hubs and I lived in when we first landed in Budapest…where we lived as a little family of two…in that apartment we slept on an uncomfortable bed, but we also made many memories in our beginning years here on the mission field…our first Christmas abroad was in that apartment…we celebrated our 4th, 5th, and 6th wedding anniversaries while living in that apartment…we had game nights in that apartment and lots of fun with friends…we celebrated Pash and Ruth’s engagement in that apartment…I could go on and on and on about the memories made in that little apartment where we first lived in Budapest, but today I want to talk about an old friend just outside of the apartment.

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I fell in love with my old friend, the wisteria vine outside that old apartment my first Spring in Budapest.  It’s a beautiful vine, well established on the gate/fence/railing around the apartment complex.  In the Spring time I would love walking past it when we left the apartment to go our on adventures.  There is quite a bit of wisteria that grows around the city here, the dripping lavender colored blossoms are to die for, GORGEOUS!  But the vine that grows by our first place hold’s a special place in my heart!  That dripping vine brought me joy when I was homesick knowing that if it was in bloom then Summer would be here before I knew it…it brought me excitement that Winter was indeed over and Spring was in bloom…it brought color and warmth into our lives after long gray Winters.  I looked forward to his dripping purple blooms each Spring.

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When we walked by the old apartment I had to check out my wisteria vine, my friend…and I indeed saw signs of Spring!  The vine is still brown and gray, it looks like a bunch of dead sticks wrapped around the cement fencing…but if you look closely, you see signs of life, signs if Spring!  Oh the joy it brought me to see these precious little buds that will soon become lavender blossoms just dripping luxuriously.

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I noticed something else about this familiar old friend…his little branches had been cut and pruned…many of his branches had been snipped right off…but that didn’t stop him from producing new buds that will grow into the blooms I so love to see…in fact the cutting probably helped him switch over from Winter dormancy to Spring life.

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I also noticed, perhaps for the first time in all my years of gazing at this precious vine, the thickness of the vine itself.  I couldn’t help but think that the thickness of the vine itself must be the reason it can sustain all the cutting and pruning and still flourish in the Spring and Summer.  The vine is rooted and sustains itself throughout the Winter.

What about us?

What about us in the gray/brown pile of sticks Winter time?

Are we being sustained by the vine?

Are we part of the vine that is rooted deep?

Our lives cycle in seasons and Winters don’t last forever.  Are their signs of Spring in your life?  Are your branches being cut back and pruned because Winter is almost over and it is time to bring forth buds that will bloom?

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Oh how I love that precious wisteria vine…I feel like he is my old friend, a steady in our time here in Budapest…he reminds me that Winters don’t last forever and that we can live through the cuts of the Master Gardener’s sheers…he faithfully blooms every Spring and warms my soul much like the sunshine does when it stops hiding.

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All these signs of Spring make me excited for change and newness of what God might be doing next in my life!  I love looking ahead to the future and daydreaming with my Lord about what He could do with me in this next season!  I am SO READY for Spring to be here, but I am also enjoying watching it come a little closer each day.

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