Signs of Spring: nothing makes me happier

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Spring is coming. It really is. After all, it's May now, and all the signs of spring are here. Never mind the fact that Friday night my hands were so cold from standing outside taking pictures in the drizzly, 45 degree weather, that I had Tom build me a real live, crackling fire! Still...aside from the weather, there are signs that spring really is coming! May 1. We love watching birds in our back yard, and a few years back, Tom started recording when certain birds showed up in the spring. Our favorite has always been the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. Each year, we seem to get a few more. The amazing thing is that they are so consistent, that we've come to expect them on May 1st. Now I don't know how this little guy knew it was spring (the weather certainly didn't clue him in!), let alone May 1st, but sure enough, Mr. Grosbeak showed up at the feeder exactly on the expected day! The next day Mrs. Grosbeak and another mister showed up, and so did an Oriole! Nothing makes me happier than seeing the birds show up again.

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May 2. What says "Spring" more than Prom? And Friday night was Leah's first. She borrowed a gorgeous dress from her cousin Stephanie; bought new blingy shoes, jewelry and handbag; had her hair and nails done; was escorted by her long-time friend, Jacob...everything came together beautifully...well, that is, except the weather. (Did I mention the drizzly, 45 degree yuckiness?)  Proms have a way of making you think of days gone by...of little girls with their daddy at father-daughter dances, of your own high school days, of other special dressy occasions. Even though I did spend a little time reminiscing, I found I was mostly in the moment, just enjoying the happiness on my daughter's face. I was also pleased and somewhat surprised with the little sister, who in years past, would have been nothing but jealous; but who instead, was so helpful and had many kind and loving words for her big sister. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my girls smile and laugh.

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May 3. Saturday, my girls marched with the band in the "Blossomtime" parade, from St. Joseph to Benton Harbor, Michigan. Blossomtime...another sign of spring. It's been so exciting to see my daffodils and tulips blossom, and to see many other new plants I put in the ground last fall find their way up to the sunshine as well. After our hard winter, I really wondered how they would survive. And while I lost a few things, most are now popping, and the hostas seem to be growing an inch a day. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my hostas pop out of the ground in the spring.

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May 4. Today Leah and Chloe professed their faith before our congregation.  After responding to some questions and reading their very own "faith statements," the council laid hands on them and prayed for them. They were both able to share their musical gifts with the congregation as they used the voices God gave them to sing, and the fingers He created to dance across the piano and flute keys (thanks for that lovely picture, Chris R!). I am so thankful for the wonderful teachers and mentors (Allie and Sarah) they've had in their lives that have brought them to this point! Nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids come to know and love the Lord! 

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Pastor Mark's sermon pointed out to us that our friends, our marriages, our careers, our children, our bodies, etc., will surely disappoint us in the life which can be seen here on earth. But he reminded us of the unseen hope we have in Jesus...the reason the girls professed their faith today, and the reason we all need to continue to profess our faith on a daily basis. This hope reminds us that in Him, all things will be redeemed, and made new and perfect one day. Much like the promise of springtime in the dead of winter, we cling to that hope, knowing He will make all things new. The reappearance of the birds, the girls in pretty dresses and boys in tuxes, the flowers...they are  present not only to make us happy, but to show us a little glimpse of the unseen glory that awaits those who put their trust in Him.

So...spring is coming. It really is.  And nothing makes me happier.