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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Spring: A Season of New Life

We are...a Divine work of art, something that God is making...something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. ~C.S Lewis

Keukenhof in Holland
Spring is coming in five days. Even the desert bursts with color. This is the season of new beginnings, of love, hope, and a chance to breathe in the fresh air.

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. ~Song of Solomon 2:10 –12

Care-giving can be a long, cold, and dark winter. But it has its purposewe’ve learned to dig deep, stay warm, and persevere. Well done thou good and faithful servant. Now get up and dance. Fill those vases with fresh flowers. Walk through a tulip field, or watch the mountains fill their bellies with orange poppies.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. ~Galatians 6:9

Spring’s early evidence is peaking in our back yard. But it’s not quite there yet. A surprising winter snow has left a little frozen mess out here in our desert oasis (see video below), especially on the grape vines. But even there, when the vine looked pretty dead, little green shoots appear from its dry brown bark. 

There’s already a lot of pruning to be done. The apricot, peach, pomegranate, and apple trees have blossomed and spawned a lot of scary branches.

Click here for Spring Bulbs from K. Von Bourgondien
Mom loves pruning. I used to watch her and Dad climb a ladder and prune the top branches. It was something they enjoyed doing together.

“My trees look much better if we prune,” she says. “And will bear bigger and better fruit.” She was right. Dad just loved playing with his electric tree saw. Scary!

I guess that’s why God loves pruning, too. He, of course, doesn’t need Dad’s electric saw.

I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more ~John 15:1–2  (New KJV).

After her second stroke Mom’s gardening life has been pruned back considerably. Though she’s accepted it, she doesn’t like it. She was vicious with those pruning shears. She knows she’s not in her spring season any longer but her garden is and the gloves are ready to go even if it’s only 15 minutes a day now. As soon as the weather warms up there’ll be no stopping her.

She’s learned to enjoy the fruits of her labor and she loves giving it away, too. Just ask our neighbors.

Soon spring will fling winter into the past. The rain is gone, the dark makes way for sunshine giving Mom and Dad a chance to sit in their garden.

For us caregivers God may have taken us through a cold hard winter when He had to cut off the branches that did us no good—a brittle branch of anger, a stubborn one of shame, regret, and there might have been a branch with blossoms of impatience. It’s done. We’re looking brand new now, with little sprigs of green and white blooms reaching to the skies.

Look up, smell the flowers, watch the green beans sprout their stalks. Be renewed. Don’t be afraid of a little pruning. It only means we do bear fruit. Gardeners, like my mom, prune branches that bear fruit so they will produce even more.

A Caregiver’s Prayer

Dear Lord, let spring reign in my heart. Renew, revive, refresh, and prune me. Thank you for giving me new life filled with hope, strength, and your amazing beauty.

Beloved Caregiver

The bitter cold
Will shed its snow
Into the crystal streams

New life,
New joy,
The fountain pours
To seas of color
A vibrant score

Come dance among the daffodils
And run so free down grassy hills
Beneath a sky of sapphire hues
And gently taste the morning dew
When winter rids its frozen cloak
And yields to fields of glorious gold
The new is here
Gone is the old
Let spring burst forth

Forevermore …
(Copyright 2019 by Deborah L. Alten)

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  1. Seasons of life change and we are comforted knowing God is with us during all the changes. Have a blessed week! :-)

    1. So true, so true, Melissa. Thank you ... and have an awesome and blessed week, also.

  2. Your words are as encouraging as those green shoots I am starting to see here in Pa!

  3. Such a motivating post! I love the thought of "well done..." now get up and dance!

  4. A wonderful post about pruning and gardening. And the hope of spring.

  5. THis is an inspiring post!Thank you for sharing!

  6. Love this!! I'm really hoping our property for Finally Family Homes will have fruit trees. I missed the great snow storm (we got it here too) of 2019. I was busy sitting at the computer & apparently missed it all :P

    I think gardening is such a blessing - helping us understand scripture better at times. Growth, pruning, dry seasons, "winters", etc

    I have a grape vine too - have had it for years. I'm terrible at it so it's only produced 2 bunches of grapes ever. Half of each were eaten by rude squirrels.

  7. Are Bradford pear trees are starting to flower. The new season offers hope

  8. Pruning a painfully necessary part of life!

  9. Such a lovely post. With inspiration and TLC woven through and through. Blessings!

  10. Debby, having been a caregiver for my elderly mother and my youngest son who has chronic health issues I particularly appreciated your comments about how providing care for another refines and prunes us - through things such as teaching us patience, smoothing out our anger, helping us learn how to give generously of our time and energy, and increasing our humility. I also appreciated your encouragement to notice the change of season and the coming of spring. God’s revelation of new life and growth emerging are great reminders that life can be renewed and restored. Thanks or the post.