Look Closer

It’s been a long year, full of ups and downs. It has been a year of new experiences, moving into a great old house on almost four acres of beautiful land. A summer at home with the kids spent exploring our new, giant yard and tending our garden and fruit trees, discovering the dozens of flowers that blossomed around our property. Camping for a week with three kids in tow. Turning 30. A bright and golden autumn full of expectations and long walks in the country. It’s also been a year of disappointment, broken dreams, lost loved ones and learning that our four-year-old foster son would be leaving us and his sisters to return to his bio parents.

This morning I was standing in my kitchen looking out the window at the frozen land. The cold and the gray felt like it was seeping into my heart and I began to feel depressed. As I stood looking at the dead, winter landscape and thought about the disappointments of the year, I started feeling angry and envisioned setting something on fire or blowing something up so there could a least be some warmth and color in the world. (I frequently have melodramatic daydreams.)  I also debated crawling back into bed, but then I felt a nudge in my spirit like a whisper, “Look closer”.  Then I noticed that freezing fog had covered the plants in a thin layer of ice. Instead of going to bed, I decided to go for a walk. I got my camera and braved the 29 degree temperature. I walked around our property realizing that the ice gave the bare trees and brown plants a remarkable beauty, though at first glance they had appeared barren and ugly.

God has a way of using using nature to fill me with a sense of awe and remind me that things aren’t always as bad as they seem.

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. –Anne Frank

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Originally written on 12/7/2011

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