Looking Back on Spring

Spring is the busiest season. Plants and animals are waking up after their winter rest, and there’s so much to do - flowers to grow, eggs to lay, babies to feed! Everywhere you look there’s something happening.”
— Nicola Davies, Outside Your Window; A First Book of Nature

Time to look back at Spring-to acknowledge the hard and take note of lovely, to find connections, themes, and newly learned things. So, today on the blog I am linking up with Emily P Freeman to share what I've learned this past season. She compares this practice to an anchor for the soul in a fast moving world. I agree and I invite you to join with us either on your blog or in your journal.

Here are 7 simple things I have learned;

 

1. Coloring as a reward

Do you use a planner or an agenda? I use the Sacred Ordinary Days Planner. I write about it often because I love it so much. It outlines the liturgical seasons, provides a short prayer for each day, gives a Bible reading plan to follow, shares great quotes about faith and rest on the weekends, and offers space for listing 3 main tasks you want to complete each day. After the task there is a space for coming up with a reward. One reward I have found to enjoy this past month after completing not so fun tasks like laundry or cleaning is to color! Currently I am loving Emily Freeman's new coloring book based on her book It's Simply Tuesday.

 

2. Ediblend {health + home}

Have you heard the quote bloom where you are planted? It's one of my favorites. I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have lived here my whole life. It's  far from mountains and oceans. We only have a barely there river going through the city with some man made lakes a few hours away.  The weather here has an awful effect on my allergies too. So to maintain a positive perspective I seek out the good and the lovely around and in town. This Spring I discovered a new shop around the corner from our neighborhood which has healthy treats that I love; Ediblend! So cheers to finding local treasures that help us bloom where we are planted! #hometowntourist

 

3. Merlot Cheese

Are you throwing a party anytime soon? To celebrate finally getting moved and settled in to our renovated home I hosted a little get together. My mom recommended I try merlot cheese with herb + garlic crackers. It was delicious. I picked up brie as well, but found I didn't like it much. 

*artwork on my walls in photos below by Lindsay Letters!

 

4. Eastertide

The weeks leading up to Easter are my favorite!!! Not all is green yet, but there are hints that leave us with expectant hearts. The daffodils first, which are a symbol for new birth, then the dogwoods and the tulips. I feel a lightness watching kids hunting for Easter eggs while the season  reminds me of the possibility of the impossible-of miracles. Rainbows appear from my kitchen window. Oliver and I stop what we are doing run out into the street barefoot leaving dinner on the table. I take pictures and he is happy to be outside for a quick moment.

But I haven't quite known how to feel about the weeks after Easter. As a student then as a former teacher too I was ready for the school year to be done- my motivation dragging. The super busy season filled with celebrations and social events stretched this introvert too! Also, dread sneaks in thinking about the scorching Summer heat nearing. 

But this year as I was using the Sacred Ordinary Days planner I learned of a name for this time period; Eastertide. It lasts 7 weeks after Easter Sunday. This year it began April 16th and ends June 4th. "This time period is sometimes called the Great 50 Days. The season ends with the day of Pentecost, the celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. " -Sacred Ordinary Days Planner 

The themes are crucifixion, praise, resurrection, victory, and life. 

Just giving this time period a name seemed to help me, as did setting aside this time to turn my eyes towards God and give Him praise for miracles He has done in my life.

 

5. Bioluminescence

The metaphor I keep coming back to is one of bioluminescence, the chemical process by which organisms—fireflies, some deep-sea fish, and other creatures—emit light.
— Theoluminescent; Oh Seeing and Being Seen by John Pattison @ the Rabbit Room

Analogies that tie together science, faith, & beauty make my heart sing!!! This past weekend reading and learning about bioluminescence sparked a sense of awe and wonder in me. Here is a link to the article; Theoluminescent: On Seeing and Being Seen & thank you to Emily Freeman for sharing this article in your weekend links!

 

6. New favorite artists

Do you like finding inspiration on instagram or pinterest? I love to discover new artists. One of my favorites from this spring is @clover_robin . I took ideas from her technique to create some of my own similar art. 

Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy you will find your self.
— Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

Art by @clover_robin;

Below is my little art experiment inspired by her technique. 

 

7. visuals & wisdom

 Lately when I need wisdom or advice I have noticed visuals are the most effective.  For example, you may have heard the line "comparison is the thief of joy" or "don't compare yourself to others", but what is more helpful for me is the advice to "stay in your own lane" or "focus on your own lane". I visualize the path God has set before me- relationships, work, creative projects etc. and can better focus on that. This month I was reading through the book Daniel and it was the images from the story that brought me wisdom & encouragement. God shut the mouths of the lions to protect Daniel. Daniel was in an unfair situation with people plotting maliciously against him, but he did not kick, scream or show his offense, instead he prayed and trusted God. God in turn took care of Daniel.