Sunday, March 27, 2016

Rambling Thoughts on Easter & New Life

Today I am met with another first of this new life: the Easter Basket is filled and ready for a girl who won't see it until Wednesday. She and I spent a wonderful few days of her spring break with our almost-94-year-old Grandpa. Yesterday I dropped her off at her other home where her dad had hidden eggs around the property for an impromptu Easter egg hunt.

I knew she was in good hands, but those hands weren't mine. As I drove out of the neighborhood, I felt a whoosh of emotion. Tears welled up in my eyes and for an instant I thought about reaching out to people to comfort me, but instead I prayed, asked for strength, and found it in myself.

My year of firsts will basically culminate with her ninth birthday--the last big occasion that will take place on her weekend with her dad. I am fascinated by what has become of my life.  I am at the intersection where "creating a writing life" meets with "adjusting to being single with a child." Of particular note is the overlapping way I have decided to "write new narratives" for my own life as I have created characters that before I thought of them, did not exist.

A few weeks ago as I pondered what this Easter day would look like, I felt a twinge of self-pity. Alone without my daughter. Without a place to go after church, etc. The writer in me didn't let me stay there for very long, luckily. Instead, I wrote a different script. I was going to spend the morning with family after all--my church family. They love me deeply and I love them. We would share Easter breakfast and worship together.  My afternoon would be spent on my own puttering around my house preparing for house guests who would arrive the next day.

One of my favorite things is to watch how God uses serendipity and very small gestures to speak to me and to comfort me. He did not disappoint this Easter day.

I had the privilege to put together the Easter worship service and to shepherd the congregation through it. At the last moment as the inspiring sounds of the piano prelude were pouring into the sanctuary by the unbelievably talented hands of our pianist, I began leafing through the hymn book looking for something to read.

My style of worship is not big and loud with hands waving above my head. It is quiet and contemplative, and certain that God will always meet me where I am. Today he caught my attention with the lyrics of hymn 482 of the Community of Christ Sings. This is what I read as a welcome and call to worship:

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
wheat that in dark earth many days has lain; 
Love lives again that with the dead has been; 
Love is come again like wheat arising green.

In the grave they laid him, Love by hatred slain,
thinking that he would never wake again,
laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen;
Love is come again like wheat arising green.

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,
he that for three days in the grave had lain;
raised from the dead, my living Lord is seen;
Love is come again like wheat arising green.

When our hearts are wint'ry, grieving, or in pain,
your touch can call us back to life again,
fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been;
Love is come again like wheat arising green.

At first, the hymn caught my attention because of the mention of wheat.  Days before, I had taken country drives with my Grandpa and my daughter. He had mentioned how good the wheat crop looked. The fields were bright with the green blades. I wouldn't have been able to distinguish the wheat at this stage of growth from any other crop. And now God was whispering to me reminding me that He is a part of everything I see and experience and that all of these things are interconnected.

I thought about my life in the past few years. How "laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen" describes how I'd felt. I was like that wheat growing deep beneath the surface long before the blades of green growth were apparent above the soil. In those years of disappointment and confusion, I was, in fact, doing the hard work of preparing for this new life.

It was the fourth stanza that really grabbed me though. My heart has been wint'ry, grieving, and yes even in pain. His touch--through the prayers of people who love me, phone calls, notes, and the quiet of solitude of this past year--has called me back to life again. It would seem I am my own walking Easter story!

And lest I worry about my daughter missing out, not being at church with her friends on this special day, a mama friend walked up to me and said, "The girls want to share these eggs from the Easter egg hunt with Cadence. What can we put them in?"

Love is come again like wheat arising green. My daughter doesn't have to be present or next to me every moment of her life to feel loved, to be seen, and remembered. There are two young girls remembering her on their own. It brings tears to my eyes as I think of it.

This life is what we make of it. We get to choose how to write our narratives. I am smitten by life's goodness even in the midst of pain, transition, and adjustment.


  1. As we thought Natalie would be with Scott and us this weekend, but it wasn't so. We had plan a nice simple dinner at home with them joining us.

    So, Susan and I had dinner alone together, without our youngest Child and grandchild. I should have been more in tune with the Spirit today and invited you to join us.

    Thanks for your service today. Guess we were feeling the same things today and never connected.

    Next time...

  2. You are amazing. I loved reading this. I thought of our little ones several years ago at reunion. I thought of good talks about life over the lunch tables. Even when we stray, this way and that, God folds us back in like wisps of hair, with a place prepared for us. Lisa Cox (Duffer)

  3. You are amazing. I loved reading this. I thought of our little ones several years ago at reunion. I thought of good talks about life over the lunch tables. Even when we stray, this way and that, God folds us back in like wisps of hair, with a place prepared for us. Lisa Cox (Duffer)

  4. It seems you are doing a stellar job with Cadence - and rejections? WHO CARES? If you are being obedient to the call of the Lord on your life? It's HIS responsibility to do with your writing what He will. xoxo

  5. Your writing draws me in - I don't say that about many. xo

  6. Praying as you repost this for #tbt you are able to reflect back and see and know how God has walked with you in this year and can see how you are growing into who He made you to be, more and more and more! (May that be said of all of us!) Happy Easter!

    1. Yes, indeed, Karrilee! This is one of the reasons I blog. I like the chronicle of the ups and downs of life and how far I have come. My daughter is with me this holiday and I am looking forward to her presence on that special day. Thank you for reading and commenting. Bless you on your journey and in your writing, too. xo