Bravely Venturing Forth

Tuesday was beautiful here in Fern Creek, Kentucky.  The sun was shining.  Yes – the sun was really and truly shining and it wasn’t crazy cold outside.  The sky was so very – perfectly blue.  It wasn’t a summer blue sky.  It is after all  – January.  But it was very blue and so very pretty.

I was so excited!  I love blue – sunny skies! 

As soon as NTI and my work for the day were wrapped up – the McFarland sons and I headed outside.  I was drawn outside like a kid is drawn to a candy store or more precisely like a knitter is drawn to a yarn store.  Jack and Will headed outside because I made them . . . They are very good sons who listen to their mom almost ALL of the time.

Cleaning off the trampoline.

It felt so wonderful to be outside with the sun on my face.  The rest of me was swathed and swaddled in wool and my great big – glorious puffer coat.  It is still undeniably January.  I could almost feel my body start making vitamin D more efficiently!  The sun is quite the mood booster for this aging pastor.

I am always struck by the stark difference between the seasons.  Summer is lush and green and a riot of color.  Summer is noisy and bustling and hot.  Summer is bright and so very busy.

Winter is so – so much quieter.  The McFarland sons and I were the only people outside in our neighborhood at the time.  I think everyone else must be hibernating right now!  I know most evenings I feel like hibernating on the couch with a good book and my knitting. There was so much less activity going on outside.  Very few people – not many animals – no bugs at all. 

There wasn’t much color either – but I found some beautiful color. 

I am me after all and I was determined to find some colorful things somewhere.  Also – Will is my son and my littlest guy loves color.  If my Will is with me – then there is bound to be a colorful hat or bright orange coat or pair of shoes in a color few other folks would dare to wear!

Always with the orangey goodness and this fellow!

One thing I have always loved about winter is the shadows.  Shadows are amazing this time of year.  If you are looking for some truly affordable yet fascinating entertainment bundle up and head outside and play with your shadow on a sunny day in January – so much fun!  Seriously – you will never feel so tall or so thin or so elegant in your entire life (unless you are blessed to be those things on a regular day . . .)

Winter shadows have summer shadows beat hands down. 

I noticed the sun shining.  I played with my shadow.  I chatted with my sons.  I watched and listened.  I explored.  I delighted in the sun shining on my face. 

I was amazed and delighted to see just how hardy these flowers are – seriously still green in January. . .

I gave thanks.  I felt so very blessed.  The world we live in is amazing and beautiful and lovely.  And once I started to lose the feeling in my fingers because of the cold (fun symptom of my autoimmune disease) I headed inside and I felt blessed to have a cozy, toasty, warm home to retreat to.

I was reminded again and again of God’s presence in the 45 minutes I was outside on a sunny January afternoon.  Yes – it was chilly – but it was a delight and a pleasure and a blessing. 

I know nature may not excite and delight you as much as it does me – but science has proven again and again and again that it is very – very good for us to get outside and spend time in nature.  Nature improves our moods and our sense of well-being.  And we all could likely use that right now!

Where are you seeing God’s blessings and God’s presence in your life right now?

You are all in my heart, thoughts, and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

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