Some people enjoy change. I, unfortunately, am not one of those people. Then again, I do LOVE the changing of the seasons. Absolutely love it. And not just spring, with new life coming out of the dead brown left from last fall–green grass, daffodils, tulips!!, beautiful flowering crab trees, hearing the birds chirp in the morning as I wake up, the air warm enough to shed heavy winter coats…I love when summer arrives and the garden is growing and the yard needs mowing (I’m rhyming, this could be a poem!), flip-flops & bike rides and swimming at my parents’…and then fall as the heat goes away and the air is crisp, the beauty of the leaves changing colors–and harvest, I love harvest (ok, since Matt will read this, I LOVE it the first week, the second week I love it, by the third week I like it…and then I’m just ready to see him for more than 1/2 hour a day 🙂 And winter! hot chocolate, playing in the snow, holidays, staying home a bit more….
And yet by the end of each season, I’m really ready for the next to start–I like that kind of change. Maybe because I know it’s coming, and because–it’s the same every year? I mean, the seasons do change, but they do so in the same order every year, year after year–so maybe it’s really not that different after all….
Anyway, I was thinking about all this because it’s March. March is generally my least favorite month because usually ( with the exception of this year) it is no longer winter, but not yet spring, which means the pretty white snow is not covering everything up and it’s just–brown. Brown & rainy & dreary. And it brings spring break time, when it seems (seems) that everyone I know is going to Florida–and I want to go too!!!! I’m ready for a little sun & weather warm enough to break out the flip-flops, which for me is about 75 degrees, although our kids would wear them at 65 if I’d let them 🙂 About four years ago we did get to go ‘south’ for spring break–about 3 hours from home to southern Illinois where we stayed in our camper (yes, in March, not the ideal camping month in Illinois) and spent the week working in the hoghouse–feeding sows, processing litters, washing crates–was fun in its own way & I enjoyed it ( and I did agree to it ahead of time!)–but, ya know, not a day at the beach.
That pull towards a little warmth after so much cold….it hit me this morning that when we’re in Brazil it will be the opposite–this longing I get for a little vacation to warm weather will instead be me wishing for a little getaway to the snow. And probably this longing won’t wait til March, but kick in mid-December. Along the Amazon river, where we’ll be, there are 2 seasons–hot & rainy, and hot & dry. But hotter during the dry season. Being two degrees off the equator, it never gets ‘cold’ like it does here. (And remember I said I really liked that, at least for a couple months out of the year 🙂 Though I’m told that as I get acclimated, 70 will feel ‘cold’ to me. Being from the Midwest, I’m still working on the idea of enjoying Christmas at the beach. The dry season there is roughly Aug-Dec., so by the end I will be so ready for–a change?–from the sweltering heat–wishing I was heading north for a vacation 🙂
Here’s to hoping that realizing now that this is going to hit me will help when it actually does. I was talking with one of our kids the other day (the chatty one) and she was sharing with me how sad she was about things she missed, our old house & her friends, and how things would never be the same. Her older sister had the chance to experience more there than she did, and her younger siblings (according to her) don’t realize what they’re missing out on. I was trying to hold it together, because I understood how she felt, because I’d been there, except that I processed it all (for years) before we moved. So we talked awhile, and I told her that maybe God would use how she felt right now to help her younger sister someday, because someday she may realize she missed out on a lot of things her big sisters did (although to be fair, she’ll have some incredible adventures they never had at her age) & be really sad–and big sister will be able sympathize, because she’s been there. I also reminded my dear daughter of the reason we are doing this…because we believe it’s what God’s called us to, and because we want so many other people to be able to hear the truth about how Jesus paid for our sins to give us life eternal, just as she’s had the opportunity to hear it so many times.
This was affirmed to me in church Sunday morning as we read out of Luke 24 about the empty tomb…Jesus died and rose again FOR US…for you & me, so that we could be saved from death, to life–and how everyone deserves the chance to hear about this.