Wednesday, February 19, 2014

spring always comes.

Disclaimer: There are actually a lot of things I enjoy about the cold weather- the crispness of the air, playing in the snow, and bundling up in soft scarves and cute boots.  And I do realize that winter in Virginia is far from the harshest weather.  So keep that in mind as you read my ramblings below.

It's been a rough winter.

After spending 5 years in New Orleans (where I distinctly remember teasing my best friend as she walked through snow in Harrisonburg & I enjoyed sitting on my front porch in flip flops- yep, eating my words now!) and 2 in Tampa (where anything below 65 degrees is considered freezing) I've experienced a rather rude awakening during my first year back in Virginia.  

Public schools have been delayed and canceled so much for snow and freezing temperatures that they haven't had a single normal week since before Christmas.  My school generally stays open- we're a daycare and we want to be a stable place for working parents- but even we had to close one day last week as roads were impassable.  We've had record low temperatures that have caused everyone here to change their definition of cold- for example, I had a day where I stepped outside and thought, "Wow, it feels nice out here!" only to check my phone and discover it was 28 degrees outside.

But today- today, the winter is thawing.  The high was 59 today, and the 12+ inches of snow we got lost week are steadily melting.  As it turns out, people DO have grass in their yards, and there actually are side walks along the main roads- I was starting to forget what Harrisonburg looked like without snow covering most of it.  And don't get me wrong- I'm fully aware that this is Virginia and that we will likely get several more snows in the next couple months.  But all the same, I was reminded- spring is coming.  Winter never lasts forever.  And it reminded me that the same is true in life.

Obviously, per the blog name, I'm a fan of the 'seasons of life' metaphor.  I just can't help but feel that it is so applicable.  Life can be hard.  Really hard, actually.  I have had my own seasons of winter, of anxiety, despair, and hardship.  And sometimes, when you're in the midst of them, it just seems like it's never going to end- it will always be freezing outside and things are never going to change.  But I was reminded today that spring always comes. Year after year, winter comes and all the leaves on the tree die.  But in that same rhythm, year after year, spring comes and brings new, glorious life.  In my own life, I have seen the Lord, time after time, bring life to where there had once been death.  I have found, in the darkest of nights, that Jesus brings beauty, sanctification, and refinement through the very things that hurt the most.  And the thing I cling to- especially amid those struggles that I have had for many winters- is that one day, there will be a Spring that never ends.  

And y'all- after this cold winter, spring is going to be amazingly sweet.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

my husband, the wild man.

It doesn't take a genius to observe that Cori and I are different.  Very different.  That's been obvious from the night we met- I loudly sang JMU's fight song at the bar I was gathered at with friends, while Cori, new to the city, kept his volume to a reasonable decibel as he got to know the different people in our group.

But one of the funniest differences between us becomes apparent at Christmas and birthdays.  When someone asks me what I'd like for my birthday, my requests stem from things I'd like, but wouldn't necessarily buy for myself.  Jewelery.  Fun shoes.  A book that I could wait to get at the library, but would love to own and read now. Cori's brain, however, runs on a completely different track.  When his parents asked what to get me for Christmas, he told them I wanted a microwave cover (like, to keep things from splattering inside).  A MICROWAVE COVER.  For CHRISTMAS.  I mean, that's definitely one of Santa's top sellers, right?  (To their credit, my in-laws got me an AMAZING blender and a gift card to Kohls, among other things.)  

But for Cori, that was right on track.  Two of his favorite Christmas gifts this year were a snow shovel from my parents and long underwear from me (because after 2.5 years of marriage, I've finally learned to love him for who he is).  I endlessly tease him about this sense of uber-practicality, because in my book, it's okay to put a microwave cover or socks on the 'things we need' list and pick it up next time you're at the store- you don't have to put it on your wish list.

Cori's birthday is in a week and a half, and I've been pestering him about what he wants.  He's mentioned a few things, and tonight, he added something new to the list. I knew it was going to be good when he started out by saying, "You're going to hate me for this."

Would you like to know what my husband would like for his 29th birthday, his very last birthday of his 20s?

BATTERIES.  All kinds of batteries.  Specifically double A and triple A, but just in general, he wants a good stash of batteries.  Because really, what else says "It's my special day, let's celebrate ME!" like batteries?

But you know, I guess that's one of the reasons I fell in love with this guy 4 years ago, and why I continue to fall in love with him more and more every day.  Because Cori (unlike his wife), doesn't think the world revolves around him.  He enjoys being celebrated and receiving gifts, but he doesn't need it or expect it.  He's selfless.  And practical.  And generous.  And I love him for those things (as does our budget!).

Mark my words, you won't ever find me putting batteries on my gift list.  But the more I live life with Cori, the more I cherish our differences and the ways we refine and soften each other.  I've learned to love the challenge of embracing our differences.  With that said, I guess I'd better go grab a cart at Costco- because I've got batteries to buy in bulk!