I looked at the tree branches outside my window and saw them! BRIGHT GREEN BUDS!
(I did a double take to make sure they were really there.)
At the first real signs of Spring, it hit me, "Whoo...it's been a long winter."
The hardest part of winter for me are the gray overcast days. (I'm writing from Chicagoland.)
Blah. It's like being in neutral - do you stop? do you go?
Gray feels like indecision or a needling anxiety. Motivation starts to run low. A string of gray days can feel like a lingering sadness that you can't seem to shake loose.
But Spring is here! (Did I forget that it was coming?!)
Bright green buds on winter branches - it's a natural picture of hope.
I've been listening to a podcast about hope, by a man named Kris Vallotton:
Here are some of my notes:
"Hope is the confident expectation that good is coming and faith is the ability to see the good that is not yet visible."
"Hope is the seedbed that faith grows in...Once I lose hope, I stop believing."
"Hope grabs my soul and tells me something good is going to happen to me."
"Hope gets me off my couch and onto the front porch so I begin to seek...
to look with earnest expectation and anticipation."
"My hope is not in my ability, but in my God and who He is."
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." - Hebrews 10:23
"But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, 'You are my God! ... So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!" - Psalm 31:14, 24