I woke up feeling defeated.
Saddened. Teary. All the gross feelings. In this challenging season, we have hit a harder stretch as our Covid numbers keep spiking and the impending doom of distance learning circles as a black cloud above all parents’ and educators’ minds.
It is Thursday, the first day of our three day fall break. Typically, we use this long weekend to do all the fun fall things and soak in getting through the monotonous routine building season of the school year and ready to dive deep into the learning and growing at school. We use this time breathe after pushing hard to get school up and going and know that when we return to school, our normal and structure will be there and we can start to soar.
Well, not this year. Not this year at all and it hurts. A lot. Everything is changing and constantly pivoting. Even as a write this, we are transitioning from face-to-face instruction to hybrid instruction, but our numbers do indicate a strong inclination towards full distance learning. And this breaks my heart.
I could list all the ick that these changes brings to me and my family. But, it is about so much more than my family of 5. It is about everything and everyone.
Everything is out of our control. All of this weighing so heavy on my heart.
So here I am. The first morning of our break and feeling like I am about to break myself. I grabbed my coffee and walked out onto my porch. It is a balmy 33 degrees. Snow will be coming soon and I am quickly reminded that this is a constant I can rely on. The seasons just keep strumming along, like they always do. I find so much peace in this.
I curl up on my porch and watch these little birds. There are at least 10 of them who keep flying to our bird feeder and skitter away. They come closer to me now as they see I am not a threat. And I am reminded of a Bible verse:
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
-Luke 12: 23-26 (NIV)
Welp. This is the truth I needed in this moment. I have the very next verse tattooed on my arm.
Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!
-Luke 12: 27-28 (NIV)
I do not have the words but I have a field of wildflowers on my arm as a reminder to consider the wildflowers and how much better God will take care of us than the fields. However, somehow I forgot this truth.
Yet, here before me are these beautiful birds, getting their fill for winter, from our bird feeder that we just moved to this spot a week ago. How would they have known it would be there? We have run out of seed twice since moving it, as we provide for these birds. Birds we did not know were there.
God will provide for us during this time. It is a real bummer of a time but I firmly believe that God will provide for us and see us through this season. We will be stronger because of it and on the other side we will see all the good that came from having gone through this season. However, right now, as we are stuck in the deep middle, with the paths constantly changing, I am reminded to just keeping looking for the next provision to get through and to stop worrying beyond the next step.
I have to look for the bird seed. The small provisions to move us forward. I cannot keep worrying about the long road or attempting to plan farther ahead. I am reminded to be present in this moment and seek God’s provision for today.
I spent far too long on my porch today, especially given that it was 1 degree above freezing, then I soaked up some family time, read a whole book, and went for a walk in the woods.
I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.
I have started to plan in pencil.
But, thanks to these little birds, I will start looking for the bird seed.
God’s provision is beautiful.