Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wye Mountain: Joy and Sorrow

We've not always made it up to Wye Mountain each Spring to see the daffodils, so its not been a yearly event for us, but we have gone a fair number of times.   I decided to take the kids on Saturday with my sister and sweet baby Lachlan to see if we could get some pictures before the daffodils went caput.  Though Spring is just beginning, I think with all the rain that we've gotten in the past week, the flowers were a bit "trampled" and not as vibrant as in past years.  Even so, I think we were able to get a few cute ones of our kiddos.
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This little girl is certainly loved by her big brothers!
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It was such a beautiful morning, but it was quite chilly so we didn't lolly gag in the field of flowers like we have in past years.
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There was a little running and chasing (which helped them stay warm) and there was more running away from each other...which caused my little lady to pout and get upset...but it was just a day in the life with brothers and a sister.
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Doesn't Peyton look so big in this picture?  I truly can't believe I have such a handsome nine year old boy!
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Look at my silly girl, oh how I love her!
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Sweet Lachey, how precious is he?
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I'm so thankful for all these people God has so graciously placed in my life.   I'm one blessed Momma and sister and so thankful for the memories we're making and the moments we have gotten to share together this week.
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As I look through these precious pictures and enjoy the changing weather, from wintry cold to glimpses of spring--as the grass turns green and the flowers begin to bud, I'm also reminded of how hard life really is sometimes--as friends lose babies, as parents get sick and suffer devastating illnesses, when curve balls strike our lives and difficult days overwhelm us.  I'm so thankful for the illustration that likens our lives to a train track where the good times and the really challenging times always run parallel with each other--its not always good nor is it always entirely bad and for that I am so truly thankful.

I used to think that life came in waves, there was a wave of good and pleasant circumstances followed by a wave of bad and unpleasant circumstances, with a lot of ebb and flow in between.  I thought of life as a series of hills and valleys; sometimes we're up, then sometimes we're down.  But I've come to realize that life is much more like a set of parallel train tracks with joy and sorrow running inseparably throughout our days.  Every day of our lives good things happen.  Beauty, pleasure, fulfillment, and perhaps even excitement occur.  Thats the track of joy.  But every day our lives also hold disappointment, challenges, struggles, and perhaps even losses for me (or for you) and those we love.  That's the track of sorrow.  Most of us try to "outsmart" the sorrow track by concentrating our efforts on the joy track, as if by our positive outlook or outright denial of reality we can make the sorrow track go away.  That's impossible, because joy and sorrow will always be linked.   And in the strange paradox, at the exact moment you and I are experiencing pain, we are also aware of the sweet moments around us and the beauty of finding joy in the difficult journey.

I love Romans 15:13 which says, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the Holy Spirit."  And in this "holy week", as we look to this coming weekend of celebrating what Jesus did for you and for me, Hebrews 12:2 is such a great example of the train tracks of joy and sorrow.  It says, "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.  For the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Jesus knows first hand the reality of joy and sorrow.  He too experienced it.  He willingly went through the sorrow in order that you and I could experience the reality of eternal joy spent with Him in heaven if only we will trust in Him.  What a gift that joy and sorrow run parallel with one another---in a twist of fate, experiencing the sorrow makes the joy even better.
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