I was ‘spring cleaning’, preparing for the weekend celebration of the Easter holiday. I stepped onto our front porch to shake dust from a small area rug. I took a deep breath and held it long enough to avoid the dust cloud I knew would appear…it’s been a while since I have cleaned!
Inhaling deeply, I was caught off guard by the aroma of purple grape Kool-aid. I was surprised by the sweet fragrance of the Mountain Laurel trees lining our neighbor’s driveway. I could see they were in full bloom, their beautiful hues of purple clusters standing out against a backdrop of green.
It was as if Heaven itself was blowing a fragrant invitation to stop, look and listen, smack dab in the middle of my cleaning day. I sat in the white wicker rocker and remembered a quote I love…
“Hope is found in the space in between the inhale and the exhale.”
I noticed the nature around me, cardinals flashing their red glory as they darted from branches of trees to the bird feeder, squirrels daring to step several feet from the safety of the trees and tempting the prowess of our lurking cat, and the Esperanza plants bearing their yellow blooms. It seemed nature was celebrating spring and I got to be a surprise guest at its party.
Yes. Nature is celebrating and I am celebrating too. Not only the upcoming holiday, but more. I am celebrating repentance and grace in a new space opening in my heart. A space that belongs in the hands of Love instead of shame.
The exposure of my shame was brought through a storm of mercy that came into my life in January. By grace, my faith held fast the first few weeks of the trial; however, as the storm lingered, I began to sink. I do not like to linger in storms for loooooooooong periods of time. I lean more toward believing the lie that I can change things myself more quickly and I am responsible to do so. I mean really,
“SOMEONE has to do SOMETHING to fix what is broken.”
Believing in my own strength, I can tuck dependence neatly into the grave of my self-sufficiency, exhausting myself and others by demanding solutions be found to solve the problem. And when it doesn’t happen, contempt serves to cover the shame I feel in not being strong enough to stop the pain.
The lie took root in the soil of my heart as a little girl. I was ‘parentified’ as a young girl, given adult responsibilities at a very young age, especially after my mother’s death. I learned to be strong and sufficient to ‘just do what needed to be done to get through it’…at a cost to my vulnerable heart not learning to trust in the strength of someone bigger than me. In reality, I just needed to be held and allowed to feel and cry the tears of my broken heart.
Yes. I have much to celebrate in the resurrection life of my Savior inside my heart. I celebrate in repentance and confession, I ask for forgiveness and embrace the rebirthing of a little girl inside me, the one that lived vulnerably with a heart wide open, flowers in her hair, a dress of green and a handbag that held unknown treasures.
After tears of sorrow and joy while rocking on my porch and after reconnecting to the little girl I was, space opened to receive more of the true treasure of His life within me.
I inhaled more deeply the fragrance of the air; I felt new passion rising with a strong desire to…
JUMP DEEPER INTO THE WATERS OF GRACE….WITH ALL OF MY HEART!
I’m ready to jump in
And follow wherever
Love leads me…
Ellen Oelsen lives in the Texas Hill Country with her husband of 24 years. She is a mother of 4 children and loves their 2 dogs and 1 cat. Her hobbies include cooking, nature, reading, plays, and two stepping. She delights in offering hospitality of the heart and creating spaces of care, rest, play and reflection to inspire hope. She is beginning to expose the writer within her.
In celebration of this post, I want to grab your hand, get a running start and “cannonball” into the River of Grace!!!!!! I am celebrating with you in the exhilaration and unbridled joy of Redemption. Love, t
YES! The picture of ‘cannon balling’ with you brings a smile to my face T! What a joy that will be!!! Love you much!
Wow! I love “being a surprise guest” at Nature’s celebration! You made the choice to live in the “right now,” in order for you to even hear this invitation. Thank you for your vulnerable sharing of the gift your acceptance of this invitation brought. Thank you also for inviting your readers to experience the river of grace! A very powerful post!
Glad you enjoyed reading this post. Here’s to grace and hope in sharing the River of Grace together!
Thank you for changing my day. It is just beginning, but the lovely invitation to be a “surprise guest at Nature’s celebration” was delicious. You have invited me to slowing down and I trust that joy and wisdom and the unknown are available with being alert to “now”. I hope I have opportunities to jump into the river of grace today. I am sorry for your loss of your mother at a tender, young age. Thank you for your post this morning.
I look forward to the day when we get to ‘jump in’ together, Becky! Your sentiments touched my heart – thank you.
Wonderfully written. You have a beautiful heart and I am blessed to know you.
Thank you, Sharon – I consider our friendship a gift of grace and blessing as well!
Identifying with you on a very deep level, my friend! Two thoughts in particular, “I lean more toward believing the lie that I can change things myself more quickly and I am responsible to do so. I mean really.” Highlight, “I am responsible to…”.
Second, “Believing in my own strength, I can tuck dependence neatly into the grave of my self-sufficiency, exhausting myself and others by demanding solutions be found to solve the problem.” Even in this moment there is a situation I want to fix. Through your words I sense God inviting me to rest and trust, relying on Him to work out His good and perfect will.
Walking…or toddling, in repentance with you
Thank you for your vulnerable words, Cindy. I hear your heart and desire for Goodness to prevail in the “situation”. I am glad you are walking with me as we trust in His strength to provide all that is needed! Look forward to ‘more’!
How I love Nature’s Celebration! I have felt God leading me, ever so gently, towards the river. Thank you for encouraging me to Jump In! Island time soon my friend.
Hoping you can celebrate (as Nature does) soon, Lori! Yes – JUMP!
I am truly very proud of you sister, you’re story is amazing and a true celebration of you and all you have learned and become in His Grace! Love You, Crystal
So thrilled to see your name here, Crystal! You’re story (and the story we shared as kids) is amazing indeed. I love celebrating life with you still today and I love that you are my sister. You have been a vessel of His Grace and Love for me in so many ways and I have learned so much about celebrating life because of you and your generosity…I am grateful! Love you much sister!
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I woke up very early this morning…..thinking ” what can I do to make the changes that need to be made ” – feeling like I have to do something – I am responsible for doing the right thing – I need to take charge. Turning to your post here…I realize that is a pattern that would serve me well to move around. Opening my day with your words felt like a personal gift from you.
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