Eternal Spring Flowers

Looking for  a fun, easy yet effective spring craft… I stumbled upon se7en’s cardboard spring flowers.

They were so simply and we had such fun making them.

We simply had to outline on cardboard with a permanent market, paint in the spaces,

Cut them out and stick a kebab stick on the back.

And voila we had a beautiful bunch of happy flowers!

Finding Spring

This winter has been an exceptionally hard one. It has been bitterly cold – at least for this one Mama it has been – so many long dark days. I am sure the sun did shine many more times than I saw but it was not a fun few months. Having grown up in a lush green suburb that never really felt winter, living now in a place shaded only in brown and dusty yellow, split by streaks for fire burned black, winter bites the depths of my soul. Finding joy in winter is something I need to daily dig really deep to discover!

So spring has been so anticipated, I’ve longed for the longer warm days, to once again walk bare foot upon soft green shaded grass, to watch ducklings scoot across the pond as the weavers noisily build their cozy nests. To be greeted each morning my the sparrows chatter and each evening by the sweet fragrance of jasmine.

The 1 September – the day we use to celebrate the unofficial start of spring – is greatly anticipated in our home. The table is laid beautifully, flowers are collected and then we sit down to sweet fellowship and delicious food. Strangely, as much as spring was anticipated this year, I never really saw it coming. Having gone to bed far too late the night before and then woken far too early by a little person on this special morning, I was already not in the mood for Monday long before dawn! As the fog of sleep lifted slightly I realised it was 1 September and instead of the exuberant enthusiasm I felt only the cold of winter dig into my morning soul. No blissful joy that usually wraps this day only the thought of yet another thing to have to pull off! Yet, in true Mom sense, I rose to the occasion and began to look cheery and bright, yet my heart still clung to the darkest of winter’s days. I helped dash around the garden gathering flowers and quickly bake fresh scones, yet my heart was far from the enthusiasm of the new life represented on this day.

Eventually the candles were lit and we were all seated around the table, heads silently bowed in prayer. It was then that Peace arrived. Silently it invaded the corners of my soul. The flowers, the sweet smell of fresh scones, the warm smiles, homely laughter, candles flickering sure, strong and white…. The next half hour was spent reading poetry as well as many funny attempts of trying to remember spring poems from years gone by. Time stood still as we simply stopped to celebrate life.

Suddenly Dad needed to get to work and school needed to be started and it was time to clear up and move along yet my soul had begun to thaw. In the busy blur of yet another Monday, school, extra murals, friends, dentists and new guinea pigs spring begun to take root.

So often we push through to create special memories and events for our children and yet today I discovered that the pushing through today was in fact for me. And as Mom finds spring she’ll lead the way for others to follow and how blessed I am to have a houseful of little people to walk down this path beside me, encouraging me to keep on.


Spring Celebration

As a new mom I remember reading Sally Clarkson’s book Mission of Motherhood. One of the family aspects that stood out for me was her thoughts on celebrations. We not talking about Christmas or Easter here but rather everyday celebrations.

Since then we have selected a handful of special days and created our own personal celebrations around it. When our children look back on their childhood it’s my hope that they will say, “Our family was special because we always celebrated…..”

One of our favourite celebrations is Spring. This has evolved over the years depending on where we have lived and how old the children have been but this is how it looks today. Mom gets up really early to start making scones for breakfast. Once everyone is up we trek out into the garden with baskets to collect flowers and leaves to decorate the table with. Then while the children decorate and set the table we finish getting the scones, fruit, yogurt and fruits raw oats ready to eat. We then all sit down to breakfast with soft music playing, sweet flower scents drifting from the table and candles burning. Breakfast begins with a prayer thanking God for spring, hope, life and all things beautiful.

This year we focused on the Bible verse Song of Songs 2: 11- 13 , “See! The winter is past;    the rains are over and gone.  Flowers appear on the earth;   the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves  is heard in our land.  The fig tree forms its early fruit;  the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”

So after breakfast the older children wrote out and illustrated the verse while the younger ones illustrated theirs (we cut out some butterfly wrapping paper too – just to add to the effect.) As we had moms group that morning we spent the time making flower arrangements with our friends. W aim to have a lovely supper too at the end of the day during which we all either recite or read a poem that speaks of spring, hope, or new life. The evening is ended by Daddy praying for us.

It is always a beautiful, happy day that has become a focal point in our home

Finding Spring

I’ll never forget spring 2010.

Evey year, as a family, we hold a spring celebration on 1 September. The spring of 2010 posed a huge problem, there were no signs of spring anywhere. Not a flower bloomed and not a new shoot showed. How does one celebrate something that does not exist? Well spring of 2010 found us talking to the tree, telling them it wa time to wake up now and we hung to the promise of what was to come. And oh the rejoicing when spring did find its way into our homes. This year has been entirely different in that our garden had been bursting with colour and life since August and so we felt our spring celebration to be a bit late but we still used the time to thank God for the beauty he chose to surround us with.

These two contrasting springs have spoken to me very deeply as a mother, wife and woman. At times life is hard, it’s dry we always seem to be fighting against the stream and we see no beauty in our daily chores or what we spend our days doing. Sometimes money is tight, relationships are strained, children seem impossible or work is all-consuming. At these times we are hardly likely to see spring bursting around us! I have however learned that at these times we need to look into these dry branches of our existence and whisper hope and expectation. Beneath every wintered tree lies a green branch busy storing energy and life so that at the perfect moment it not only gives out a little blush of green, no it burst forth in colour and life. So in these hard times we need to cling to the hope that lies below the surface.

In the same manner other times in our life are so filled with blessing, happiness and wellness tat we are actually at the risk o not noticing or appreciating the spring surrounding us. It’s in these times that we need to ensure we don’t take the “little things” in life for granted, but to instead stop and be thankful.

So on a personal note from our dry winter f 2011 God has provided us with a wonderful new home, my husband has been offered an awesome job 5 minutes from our new house and we have been placed within a new church family. Out of the dry branches has sprung forth life and life abundantly

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