The unfolding of spring ushers us toward slow summer days. 

Dearest Reader,

I missed you last week, prayed for you in my absence. Like you, we are walking through difficult circumstances I’m not at liberty to share. Just know, grief is weighty, and my heart is raw. I feel depleted and overwhelmed. Showing up is not easy.

I’m wondering if you are feeling the same?

The unfolding of spring ushers us toward slow summer days. 

And with it, we shift from “stay at home” orders to phase one, two, or three, depending on where you live.

Incidentally, I am not in much of a hurry. Yes, very much, we need to work, businesses need to recover and recoup.

We are longing for corporate worship and community, aching for conversation and connection.

A great deal of rebuilding is required to move forward.

We’ve been stripped of idols, reordered our priorities, and learned new rhythms.

However, before we move forward, I believe several questions are begging for answers. 

  • What have you laid down this spring that you are not willing to carry into the next season?
  • What have you gained/taken up that you want to keep as you move forward? 

I will be quick to tell you; I do not want to carry forward the tyranny of busyness. Nor, do I want an overfilled calendar or a bossy to-do list.

In the unfolding of spring: 

Making lists like this one I wrote in my journal recently is how I want to move forward:

“Deck sitting, bird watching, crows calling, and doves are cooing.

A gentle breeze was sweeping over me. Wind chimes dancing, making melodies.

Evening shadows growing long.

Lola nearby.

I believe we have the song lyrics backward, ‘Where you are is where I am.’ When they should be, ‘Where I am is where you are.’ 

Lord, this day has been one of practicing unforced rhythms of grace. If only I could capture it and hold it near.

Lord, help me remember this moment. Help me to find balance in unforced rhythms of grace and serving you.

I will remember.

‘Where you are, I am free.’

When life presses in, I will remember this day.”

Dearest One, as we move into the next season, next phase, what do you want to leave behind?

And what would you like to carry with you?

Ponder the words of Eugene Peterson from The Message:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30

We’ve been living frantically, wildly overconsuming, suffocating in crowded spaces, with too much stuff. Less is far better than more.

What will you choose as spring unfolds into summer? 

I leave you with the quiet words of Wendell Berry:

LIKE SNOW

“Suppose we did our work

like the snow, quietly, quietly.

Leaving nothing out.”

Wendell Berry

Let me know how you are moving forward by commenting below or sending a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com.

Lastly, I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness.

Your Wilderness Guide,

* Catch up here.

*Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotes are in the English Standard Version from Bible.com

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today. Mornings In The Word consists of short devotions and insights for the middle!

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word