The Very Appropriate, Tangible Representation of Resurrection and Hope

It never dawned on me, until much later in my life (after Matt pointed it out - to be exact) how poignantly timed the celebration of Jesus's resurrection, as all of creation (in our parts, at least) is replicating that exact, profound regeneration.

Our first asparagus for the year!  (And harvest, for that matter...except that we had one over-wintered carrot.). It was so flavorful and juicy.  Asparagus is planted deep and pulls up valuable minerals from well down into the soil.  Aren't you glad I took the time to educate? πŸ˜‰πŸ˜  


I love the color.  I love the life.  I love the hope.  (I do not so much love the rain, or especially a cold and rainy Easter...but I have learned to forego the pleasures of sunshine for the quantity of life it later brings.)

We had the entire weekend off from school, from work (excepting Matt), from baseball, from everything.  Please don't tell the baseball moms how much I enjoyed my time.  I mean...I, too, have developed a love for the sport, but...I've got so much going on over here.

Like, the constant tension of trying to keep these two apart.  I title this "We are best friends, as long as Oswald stays just out of reach."  I feel bad that I am angry with Oswald when he comes downstairs.  But the stress...I can't help think "You idiot!  Do you value your life?!!  Go back up stairs...and STAY there!"

Speaking of...I think you would be proud of me.  I am learning that I don't have to pick up every need I see along the path of my life.  In fact, I am starting to realize how ludicrously intense are my feelings of responsibility to the world.  For example, I started noticing a tension in me as I drove past certain unkempt arenas - houses or roadsides - along my routes.  As I noticed and began to pay attention, I realized that I literally carried the needs around me as my own burdens.  ("Oh, that house is going to need a lot of work to come close to being inhabitable!"...  "Who is going to take care of all this trash on the highway?!!!"..."The potholes are out of control.  What are we going to do?!  So much work!!") What a preposterous concept.  And when I realized the senselessness of the burdens, I have begun to lay them down.  It is as if I have tipped the first domino in a very long series, as I rapidly target unreasonable "burdens" and obliterate them from my obligation.

I did not say I lay down ALL burdens.  The boys found this poor little guy in the dugout during a chilly morning game.  I know.  I know.  It's a mouse...or a shrew.  Despised in many contexts, but...I so value life, and I so, so, so LOVE anything baby.  πŸ’” There was not much I could do but find a little nook in a tree and build up a nest of leaves and mulch.  He was not there the next day, but I think it's safe to assume his mama came back and found him and everything ended well for the little fella.  And if you have other suspicions, you can kindly keep them to yourself!  

I am left to simply prioritize the burdens I feel are my own to carry, and let someone else do the rest.

It's very freeing, indeed.  (Consequently, I have quit having so many dreams about tornados.  Added bonus!)

There you go.  Oswald sneaked some cuddles from the Cuddle King while Jesse was out with Xander.  And speaking of Evan and dreams...I quote directly: "Dreams are cool, because it's a little show you get to watch while you are sleeping."  πŸ’•  Thank God he is spared from the ones in my head...

Being gentle on myself is really helping me be more content and less...well, burdened.  It enables me to take on bigger items, like helping students and clients through crises.  And I think that is a valid purpose!  I still regard it as a strange calling.  This week, I had a client ask me why I went into counseling.  Well...I don't think it's every young girl's ambition, "I want to be the person who shows up when someone is completely devastated by tragedy and trauma."

But then, I have always admitted my affection for Holden Caulfield.  (After all, we are nearly of one mind!)

I was honest with the kid.  This is just where the path has led me to be.  I was a very traumatized child, and I never, ever told anyone else anything that was hurting me.  It was incredibly lonely.  I don't want any child to ever have to go through all those hard things alone.

Oh, Xander.  She painted this egg and then proceeded to deliberately crack it, so she could call it , "Who killed Kenny?"  Then, she started working on an entire "cracked" series.  I admire her creative mind, and I am so grateful we have survived her teens and she is employed to support her own constant whims.  (We will eat the "untracked" ones.)

I have always had a helper heart, and my experiences have led me to empathize with those who are troubled (particularly children).  Who am I to question where He has brought me and how I have arrived.  Yet, I am continually stupefied by the shoes I wear.  (Are you SURE?!!  You want ME to do this????  You are aware who we are talking about here...that ancient anxious and helpless little girl...).

It hit me, more mildly, this morning, as I set out the kids' Easter gifts.  One chocolate cross.   I am so happy to have found these. One package of peeps. I hope no one complains about the odd one out.  Why on earth would they give me one set of "Peeps on a stick" instead of replacing it with a normal pack?!!  One gift card each: Starbucks, Starbucks, Panda Express, McDonald's. Note to self: Do NOT forget the Valentine's Day tragedy.  Keep Jesse away until these are removed from his reach!  I stepped back to admire the display.  GOOD GRIEF!!  We have FOUR children.  One, two, three...FOUR!!  How one earth did we get here?!!  And how DO we manage?

" did I get here?

Oh how DO the days go by?  (My head is constantly talking.)

My pastor asked this morning, "Where is your hope?"  I hope (pun intended) I have NEVER left anyone to wonder.  My hope is, unilaterally placed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, from whom I receive the gift of being called a righteous child of God.  And it is my firm belief that there is a blessed eternity for those who believe.

It is a scary concept, eternity, but I refuse to ignore truth in the wake of fear. (I think it's safe to assume no one will ever call me shallow.) I have developed, over time, quite the ability to face deep and terrifying things with relative calm...and this hope πŸ‘†is both the how and the why. 

As for now, I will hunt like prey the things in my life that bring me joy, and I will be consciously intentional about appreciating each and every matter how minor.  I will search for beauty and call it out by it's name, because this keeps me in the wake of all the ugly.

We didn't get to "Sanibel" this year, but I appreciate the pictures she brought home as a reminder it is there.  And I have been.

Most of all...first and foremost...I will appreciate the place that He has given me.  Right here in the heart of a loving, united family, filled with (LOTS) of people who are here for each other...especially when it really counts.  We are not a perfect family.  (I insist that does not exist.  Facebook and YouTube...and CERTAINLY Hollywood...can produce some very realistic frauds, but...where there are no blemishes, there are lies and exclusions filling the gaps.). In the sum, I am grateful we are open and communicating and striving together through these mountains and valleys of life as an O'Hara.  That's all I can ask.

Much love and HAPPY EASTER!