Life Happens

From the Heart of Grace Waters…

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Spring Forward

Today, we mark the occasion of “spring forward.” We celebrate more daylight time. Unofficially, we begin to say goodbye to Winter and we look forward to Spring. Outside, the weather is changing as leaves find their way back to branches and color begins to infuse the world with a sense of vibrancy and life. Things are changing. Outwardly, we’re optimistic as we look forward to time spent in the sun, festivals, warm breezes and cool treats. Things are changing.

But, what if all of these changes are only happening on the outside? What if all around us things are looking brighter, and to the person watching us, things couldn’t be better…but inside our hearts and our minds are still curled up in the freezing grip of a self-imposed Winter season? The dichotomy of our outward self warring with our inner being sometimes makes life interesting. Which self will win?

As I thought about the approaching Spring, I put myself in a self-reflection mode. I began to peruse the pages of my life, and I parsed out the things that I am not happy about, the things that don’t make me smile, the hidden doubts and fears that all but the very astute miss…I thought about the part of me that presents a perfect front, when inside I just want to be accepted, understood, wanted. I walked through my own mind and saw the times I thought I wasn’t good enough, and saw where I had spoken positive things, but the words didn’t reach my heart. I saw, for the first time in a long time, me, and in that place, I accepted every bit of me. I accepted that I won’t always get things right, and sometimes I won’t love the space I am in; but, I also accepted that my permanent place is not in lack or misunderstanding, but in a place of love, power, and the expectation of seeing everything my heart desires. Me is a beautiful place.

So, as this Spring approaches, I challenge you to do some Spring cleaning within yourself. Clean out the “dust” from your corners, and clear out the cobwebs that threaten to keep you in a tangled up place. Be willing to embrace who you are–every flaw, every doubt, every fear, but know that you are MORE than those things. As this Spring hurries to greet us, prepare yourself to expect on a new level, live on purpose, love deeply, and smile frequently.

Spring forward from within, and watch how your world unfurls to greet you. Things are changing…

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Spring Backwards?

We’re all excited about springing forward. If you’re like me you love the Spring. I enjoy the warm weather, the bursts of color, and the activity as birds fly and people enjoy the outdoors. While I could do without the extra pollen and allergies, Spring is one of my favorite seasons. As the changes occur around me, it is easy to get caught up in the newness of everything, and to become lackadaisical. This idea of new and fresh is so enticing that sometimes I find myself forgetting about the things I should be doing, and I’ve run off looking to entertain myself with whatever else has presented itself to me in this Spring season. My focus seems to automatically shift from what was to what will be because Spring comes full with promises and with opportunity, but if I’m not careful I can miss the things that I still need to be focusing on. Then when Summer comes I will be caught out in the heat without air conditioning, burned up by the elements because I failed to prepare for what was to come. Then before I know it, Fall and Winter will come along, and nothing has changed. So the next Spring, I would be back to trying to be new again. Freshness is great as long as we are being refreshed from a place of growth, not from a place where we have gone backwards. I remember writing last Spring about how everything appeared new because I had a new mindset, and because I had moved on from those things I’d dealt with before. Somehow though, I found myself confronted with those same issues, and when I realized that I had not truly conquered them, I fell backwards. I began to think the same way as before. I began to perceive things as though they were before. My actions began to regress, and I realized that though Spring is a time of newness, I’d tried to become new without first letting the past issues I was dealing with be healed. It reminded me of  a deep wound, that, instead of allowing it to be stitched up, I had only allowed a band-aid to cover it up. So, the wound never really healed, and was actually infected, just waiting for a chance to fester and cause more problems. So, as we prepare for this Spring of unknown opportunities, and as we look forward with anticipation to all the new things that Spring has to offer, make sure that we do not Spring backwards. If we have all of our old issues, and old situations dealt with, then we do not have to contend with the old things as we embrace our new season. Whatever you do, keep Springing forward, don’t fall back.


Spring Cleaning

It’s the first day of Spring, and it’s a gorgeous day! The sun is shining. The weather is warm. As I look around I see the flowers bursting in effusive color on the trees, and everything seems so much brighter. For some though, this first day of Spring is nothing more than a nuisance. It is a reminder of negative things that have occurred in the past. It is a time when the pollen count rises, and allergies run rampant. Even though the weather is warm, and color has taken over where before there was only gray and brown, not everyone is happy. Looking back a year ago, things were not so happy for me. I was still dealing with the residue of bad decisions made the year before. Things did not seem cheerful and happy. Instead each day seemed to blend into the next, and color did not register in my scope–all because of a bad decision. With this Spring coming up, it seems that the same negative emotions that I had passed through from last Spring tried to rise up and claim my attention again. Last Spring I saw the budding of beauty outside, but inside me it was a struggle to enjoy the beauty. As this Spring came about, I sensed a new excitement in me that I never had before. I almost looked forward to the time when Spring would inhabit the earth with its colors and sounds, and on the outside things were cheerful and bright. I knew that it would soon be time to clean my house, and get things in order. That’s what Spring is for. I took it a little further though, and I determined that as I cleaned up everything around me I would also clean up everything in me. That meant that the residue from past decisions needed to be completely cleansed. Any lingering thoughts or emotions that threatened to take me back to a low state had to be vanquished completely. Last night, on the brink of another Spring, I made up my mind that with this Spring cleaning I would spring forward–I would release myself from things that I held myself prisoner in. I would unlock my own chains, and sweep out the dirt until my insides gleamed like pure gold. That was last night. Today I stand a new person-a better person. What better way to start off my spring cleaning than to first start within myself? This transparency was just to encourage someone to start over new today. Get rid of old things that no longer matter. Release yourself from negativity, and from people who only know part of your struggle but none of your pain. This is a good time for you to learn to live again. Start cleaning!