On this night, as I drive along out in the boon-docks, I see the countryside differently than I ever have before. Maybe the moonlight is different. Maybe my frame of mind is just different. For as long as I can remember, I have always been surrounded by fields of growing things. Much of the produce for our country is grown here so it’s all just a part of my scenery, taken for granted. I don’t really see it anymore, but tonight two images stand out.

As moonlight spills out over the rows and rows of barren trees, going on for miles, it strikes me how each and every one of these trees is frozen in a pose. Each has been pruned back–standing, reaching toward Heaven, as if in an expectant, waiting pose. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting to come to life again. Waiting to bloom. If trees could think, it’s as if there’s no doubt in their mind that the blooming will come although they currently stand bare, naked, ugly. Their day for beauty is as sure as the dawn.

I am in that place–pruned back, stripped and bare. Feeling dead and wondering when the blooming will begin.

Further down the road, my eye grabs the image of the old, broken down, gnarled tree–also bare, worn out, looking anything but beautiful. Yet intertwined down low in it’s branches is something, full of life, blooming. Such contrast.

I wonder, is that me? Worn down, broken, exposed, gnarled, crippled by life, but yet areas of me are blooming despite the core of me?

I am still trying to decide which one symbolizes me more in this place where I am at. I wish I could share openly about this place, but suffice it to say that it is winter.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

Maybe I’m a mixture of these images that play through my mind. God’s word promises me that this is merely a season. I may feel like the inner part of me is going to shrivel up and die before Spring comes, but yet I have hope–I am like those trees that are waiting in expectation. I know without a doubt that God will bring the blooming again.

Yet as I trudge through each day of this harsh winter season, I must find ways of blooming, no matter how small, for my survival. That is why each day I push myself to do the hard eucharisteo.

Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle. ~ Ann Voskamp

Daily I pry open my eyes to seek out eucharisteo even when it hurts because I need a miracle. I need something to get me through this season. I need to find grace, thanksgiving and JOY no matter what.

152 – Crocheting in the warm sunshine.
153 – New family pictures finally in frames.
154 – Simplicity of a C*stco hot dog.

157 – Sunlight warming my toes in flip-flops.

164 – The natural way DOP grabs onto my hand as we walk together.
165- Hugs abundant, wiping away the grumpies.

199 – Kids who help around the house without being asked. Done as a gift to Mama.
200- A big, fluffy bed I don’t want to get out of.

202- The folding of Littlest One into my lap as I type.
203 – Young eyes reading, opening up a whole new world.

206 – Yielding to the pleas of a child to come play.
207 – Eager ears listening as I read out loud inside a creatively built fort.

211 – Holding hands with my man.

217 – The smile of my man, just for me, from across the room.

232 – A basket of freshly folded laundry done by the loving hands of The Talker while Mommy has a headache.
233 – Two brothers conspiring together to do good.

237 – Every hard work step that DOP takes because each one is a miracle.
238 – The whir of the sewing machine.

240 – Hearing His voice in the most ordinary of places.

Some days and some seasons, eucharisteo is easy to find. Yet there are moments like these when I can barely breathe because the pain cuts so deep. These are the moments when I cling to the searching and finding of what will bring buds of new life if I just press on–clinging to eucharisteo in the hard. These gifts of being able to see beyond myself are like seeds of hope. Seeds of promise that this season shall pass and something beautiful awaits me.

I stretch my hands toward Heaven in expectation of the blooming…


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3 Replies to “Winter”

  1. The Gilmores

    This is a beautiful post and written on the same day I was writing on a similar theme. Thanks for being honest and sharing even the hard eucharisteo with all of us.