Monday, February 22, 2016

February Reprieve {All's Grace}

Over the past few days my feed was alive with the joy-filled posts of my Mama friends, sending their kids out on a February day in Michigan to nearly 70 degree temperatures. A reprieve, it seems.

Winter hasn't been too dreadful this year. In fact, we never even got to go sledding because the only snow of any consequence was way back in early November and was gone nearly as quickly as it came. While we've had a few cold days, it has been nothing like the last few years with day after day well below zero. Still, Winter is winter and the bleak landscape is uninspiring at best and downright depressing at worst. With the warmth came sunshine and the haunting scent of Springtime just around the corner. So my mom friends and I, we threw open the windows and kicked the kids out and turned a blind eye to the masses of dirt they tracked back in. And it was glorious.

But a reprieve is just that, and nothing more. We'll return to regularly scheduled February programming here this week and once again the ground will freeze hard and kids flock to the heat vents first thing in the morning. But something changes when there's a break like that. We all feel it. Reminded of what is surely coming next, we are better equipped to handle today. We start to dream about Spring.

This Lent hasn't really felt much like Lent at all. I'm not sure if it's because it is so early this year, or perhaps because I'm not in that achy last trimester of pregnancy and all the emotional turmoil that that brings with it. Maybe it's because our months that proceeded Lent were already difficult and dark. I'm not sure, but I've felt an undeniable lift lately. Looking and leaning toward that promise of what comes next with an anticipation. I've been praying to be freed from fear and I'm realizing that fear flees when you hold onto the truth that there isn't a single day where God doesn't show up. Not a moment where I can turn to Him and say, "Well, what next?" I'm growing into a less formal, more intimate relationship here and the most marked result is an overwhelming calm. Abiding in it and coming to a place of surrender.

Maybe that's what Lent is all about anyway. With the ashes we acknowledge our impotence, and with that in place we are freed to lay it all at His feet and let Him sort it out. A reprieve that reminds us that Easter is for us. Sunshine is coming and we've got nothing to fear.

He's all Good. It's all grace.

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