Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Seasons continued

I've been thinking a lot about my blog from last night. I had so much in my mind, for the first time since starting the blog, I'm not even sure my blog made much sense last night. Oh well. So here's the continuation .
 I was thinking about winter. Once, when mom was first diagnosed in 2007, I took a trip to Ohio to be with her for 2 weeks after her surgery. It was definitely winter here-it was February and it was my kids' first experience with lots of snow (since we lived in Florida). I was taking pictures one day during that visit, and I captured a photo of what we called the "climbing tree" growing up. It was covered in ice and was absolutely beautiful. I actually have it framed hanging in my house. It was an accidental picturesque picture, but I love it. When I look at it, I remember a lot of things. First of all, the climbing tree holds a lot of memories-we spent hours in that tree growing up. Playing hide and seek. Or climbing it with my girlfriends. Or often times, I would climb it when I was in a bad mood, just to get "above" the world for amoment- cry or pray or just be quiet. I loved that tree. When I look at the picture I remember how much that symbolized for me at that moment even. It was really hard, the initial first time of mom having cancer and taking care of her after that surgery. It was a winter season for me. But I knew, as I'd seen the tree do all my life, that under the ice and dead branches, there was new growth. And come spring, there would be beautiful leaves on the tree. I am like that.....inside me, where no one can see (not even me), while I go through a winter season, God is developing me. Each hard circumstance or winter season I walk through is only eventually to bring forth some new growth. I came through that winter season....only to go through more. But it serves as a reminder to me that I made it through that particular one. And as it's been "winter" for me lately, I know that I am somehow growing. And though I cannot see or understand it right now, it's in me, somewhere, and one day God will use it. That is what I truly do believe.

I'd like to talk about more of a spring for me. Spring is about growth. And development. And beauty shining forth. And seeing things in a new light and being excited. Running does that for me. I'll be honest, as I was out on a run today, I thought to myself, "I have NO idea how I am going to make it through a full marathon in September." But I do love to run. I'm slow, but I suppose usually I don't care. I set goals-personal goals, really. In Septemeber, it'll be to finish. That's all. I've only been running for 3 years now. When I first decided to run, I just thought it would be a thing of proving to myself I could do something I said I could never do. Who ever knew it would become such  a passion? I feel free. I love it. Today I looked forward all morning to having my run. Granted, noon hour is not my ideal run time. But it still felt good. 5 am is my ideal run time. I never saw that coming, either. but as I've tried all hours for running, I do my best then. I have a race this weekend coming up called the Warrior Dash and I am SO excited for it! It's an obstacle course of sorts. But I cannot wait to do it. It's all about fun for me this weekend. Running started out as something to prove myself to others...and myself. Now i do it because I love it. Because I've discovered myself in the process a little bit. I hope and plan to continue to do it all my life.

Leaving Starbucks will be a new season. It will be scary on some levels, probably. Starbucks has become my comfort zone- I can almost act on auto pilot , I've been doing it for so long. I think it is giong to be a spring/summer type season for me. I need the change. I need a fresh perspective. I need to meet new people. To do new things. To try my hand at something a little different. To have a different environment. I learned a lot in my time at Starbucks. I learned I am capable of so much more than I ever thought. I learned to stand up for myself, I guess. I learned that I like to lead. Maybe not be the center of attention, but I like to lead. I learned I can do anything I put my mind to (running also taught me this.) I've made mistakes there and learned from those too. I made some friendships that will last a lifetime. Friends from all walks of life-people I've worked with through the years as well as a handful of customers who've become family to me in the process.

My mom loved seasons. She said she'd never love Florida because it didnt have seasons. I never thought I'd miss the seasons when I lived there. But moving back, I've come to appreciate the seasons. And they have become an analogy for me . I still hate winter....both the actual season and the moments that feel like winter in life. But it is part of life. So, I have learned how to deal with it better. Mom grew up in MN-she had awful winters. She never complained about them here. That was just like her in every way-never complaining. She also didn't love summer-she was Sweedish, fair skinned and not prone to love the heat. But she also never complained. Ever . We grew up without air conditioning. It was hot. (I'll be honest, that never bothered me.) Mom was hot, but never complained. Just in the last couple years or so, they got air conditioning.
 As I look at my picture of the climbing tree on the wall during that winter, I think about a lot of things-what God has brought me through. The winter seasons I've experienced. What He has yet to accomplish with me. Seasons are pretty amazing, if you really stop to think about them. I do appreciate them again, after not having them for so many years. I miss Florida, trust me. Part of my heart still rests there. But, seaasons are a part of life. And that's ok.

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