Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Beyond the Wall

On my drive to work this morning, I saw a pair of colorful birds fly across in front of me as I pulled up to a stoplight. My eyes followed them to a flowering tree where they lit. Orioles! A pair of them. It stirred my excitement as I watched them playfully flit from branch to branch and take off in flight again.

They landed on  tree inside the maximum-security correctional institution, which is surrounded by high stone walls. Yet, despite their surroundings, they were free to fly about as they pleased, even beyond the wall.

It made me thankful for my own freedom in Christ. Because I focus daily on abiding in him, I need not be dragged down and paralyzed by the weighty things in life. My attitude is positive; my perspective is hopeful. In a sense, I can live above my circumstances because Jesus is with me wherever I go. His counsel, His strength and His provisions are as near as I choose.

Lord, your constant love gives us confidence to be the best we can be. May we live in a way that brings hope to those who stumble in darkness. Thank you, Jesus, for the great freedom we have in you.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Special Memorial

In summer of 2012, Ted and I dug up a bunch of overgrown daffodils in our garden and separated the bulbs. Oh, how they'd multiplied!

We gave some to friends and planted the rest along the back of the yard, giving them room to grow and spread out. Not wanting to waste a single bulb, Ted tilled up more and more space and we planted for hours until all the bulbs had a home. We had the satisfaction of completing the project together and talked about how we could look forward to all those blooms in the spring.

The winter was long, and when I first saw all the daffodils sprouting, I smiled in surprise because I had forgotten about them. Besides, I had a lot on my mind with Ted having been in the hospital for weeks. I thought about how they would make a cheerful homecoming when Ted got out.

Then on May 2, 2013, Ted went home to be with the Lord, but the daffodils burst into bloom as we planned his funeral. It was bittersweet that Ted wasn't here with me to enjoy them, but they reminded me of the new life Ted was beginning.

Now, on the second anniversary of Ted's passing, the daffodils' smiling faces appeared in perfect timing. Each year, I will recall the wonderful time we had working together on this. Each year, they bring with them the hope of a new season. Life goes on, and God makes all things beautiful in His time.

At the time of the planting, we did not have a clue that Ted's cancer would take a turn and that he wouldn't be there to see them in Spring. He could not have known we were planting his memorial garden together.

God, thank you once again for the wonderful husband you gave me, and the many memories we made that I will cherish all my life. Thank you for the daffodils; they are great reminders of your unfailing love, and his.