Typical scenario: April arrives. Spring sweeps out March slush and mush, the winter dolldrums, and any spiritual staleness that strains my perspective. Temps heighten and it's high time to rejoice. Easter and rebirth! Tulips stabbing through the soil! Tweeting birds and twittering hearts and all that!
This year? Yeah, you Midwesterners know... April brings us this.
As my step-mother likes to say: "Rude Tuna."
It kind of makes it hard to rejoice. Much less "REJOICE!!!!!" (Which is how the word should really be pronounced, like trumpets heralding God's good stuff.)
So what do we do when it's hard to find the divine in our lives, much less celebrate it?
Today I'm going to try to force it. To choose joy. To stubbornly sidestep the snow and slush and focus on the good. My tulips are still out there, up to their shoulders in snow, soldiering on. The tough upright green shoots haven't slunk back into the soil. And so as much as I want to slink back into bed — nursing cramps and an insomniac's lack of sleep and too frigid temps and a case of the blahs — I'm going to be grateful for the glimmers and gifts God gives. I'm counting reasons for joy.
61. The inspiration to journal through 1 Kings (a book that, frankly, didn't inspire me all that much).
62. Fleece.63. Our furry dog, warm and licky and loving, reminding me that a little affection goes a long, long way.64. Crayon shavings turned to stained glass crosses, catching my eye all the more against the snowscape.
65. Public radio.66. Garrison Keillor's voice, like family lore that vibrates in your bones and tells you who you are, where you come from, and why you matter.67. The life and wisdom of Chinua Achebe. The chance to listen to him through his book, Hopes and Impediments, even though he's gone from this world.68. Our darling daughter is in the double digits. A decade of motherhood, and I haven't messed the kiddos up too badly...69. Hot, running water.70. Finding one of the kiddo's Easter eggs and snitching some candy. Shhhh... don't tell.
Okay. I'm not exactly doing a happy dance, but I do feel lighter, brighter, and ready to roll out the door with a smile on my face. It could be chocolate cheer. More likely it's from the grace that comes with gratitude. God, you are so very good. Now, can we talk about when that snow is going to melt??