Learning from Seasons: Praising in Pause or Prosperity

Honestly, the last thing I want to give is another opinion about the pandemic going on in this world today. Personally, I’ve felt confused causing waves of anxiety to come at me. I’ve felt at a loss for words, and quite frankly, for any understanding regarding the current situation.

As I scrolled through social media this morning, I noticed consistent patterns in people’s posts. Well, at least the posts I could see. Good, bad or indifferent, it all revolved around the coronavirus (Covid-19).

When I looked at the calendar, I noticed today marks the first day of spring. But, there were no social media posts to reflect that. The darkness and uncertainty of what’s happening in the world around me tries to swallow up any bit of light and newfound hope. But, I felt this tug upon my heart to shift my perspective towards what is represented by patterns in seasons.

You see in the winter season, there seems to be a pause, or a stillness. The leaves die off of trees and flowers are not in bloom. Some animals hibernate or move South. There’s a dryness and chill in the air. What is visibly seen are ordinary colors in nature and much is not pleasing to the eye.


However, the winter season is not void of life. One, of many things, that is truly worthy of praise. The trees themselves are very much alive and there are cold-resistant plants that thrive. There’s a different, colorful species of birds that emerge, and other natural life flourishes during the winter months. Life in bloom may be at a standstill, but hope is not lost.

I’m moved within my spirit from anxiety to peace concerning the world’s current circumstances. Sure there’s been a shift in what society describes as “normalcy”. We are all left in a darkness with uncertainty about what the future holds. Life in bloom maybe at a standstill, but hope is not lost. I am reminded that both light and hope are found in the Lord. And these trying times cause me to shift my gaze towards the emergence of new life.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.- 1 Peter 1:3‭-‬6 NLT [emphasis mine]

From the perspective of which seasons were created, we can look at the pattern associated  with this first day of spring. It brings with it the hope of life in bloom- prosperity. Much more reason to praise! In fact, scripture adequately describes this “Hope for Restoration” in Isaiah 35.

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! … There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.- Isaiah 35:1‭-‬6‭, ‬10 NLT [emphasis mine]

Whether in a season of pause, as in the stillness of winter, or a season of prosperity, as in the hope of spring, one thing remains. To praise our Lord Jesus. For He is peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). For He is light in the darkness (John 8:12). For He is the source of hope (Psalm 71:5). For He is eternal life (1 John 5:11-12).

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.- Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11‭, ‬14 NKJV

Filling My Cup & Pouring Out to Others

I read it everywhere, it seems. Scrolling through social media and I see it as a meme, a word of encouragement to another, or a self-motivated proclamation. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” In other words, you can’t give to others if you are lacking in your own life. Seems accurate.

The first time I heard it I began my search for things that would make me feel good about myself. Things to fill up my cup. Shortly after my firstborn, I committed to a workout program and even created a motivational fitness group via Facebook. I splurged on myself by purchasing from and helping close friends selling products through Multilevel Marketing (MLM). I took every opportunity I could to dash out of the house for some “me time”. A couple hours here and there to be alone while my husband looked after the kids.

So, I had my things in place. I could feel good about myself, finally. I could work at breakneck pace to pour out even more than I had before. Until I couldn’t. Those things weren’t enough. The more I searched, the emptier I felt. My cup looked dirty. It looked beaten. It even became broken.


It didn’t take long for me to fall short of my fitness expectations and I slinked away with zero motivation (or cares). I learned I had been spending too much money to splurge on myself. What was intended to help me feel good actually became an addiction. In an effort to abandon the new habit, I felt worse than I did prior to splurging on myself. And although time alone can be super helpful, it just seemed as if it was not enough. I have faced feelings of guilt for both leaving my family and for wanting to be gone longer!

I questioned the legitimacy of this statement. I mean, I knew when I felt dirty, beaten and broken, I certainly did not have lovely things to give to others. But, if this were true, where did it all go wrong?

Then one day, one of my favorite home décor pieces caught my eye. It’s a long canvas with the 23rd Psalm written upon it- which is what makes it a favorite. My eyes fixated on one line- over and over again. “..My cup overflows with blessings..” (Psalm 23:5, NLT).

And it was as if divine revelation came pouring into my very spirit. An old hymn came back to my recollection.

Fill my cup, Lord;
I lift it up Lord;
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.

Fill My Cup, Lord by Richard Blanchard

It was confirmed to my being. I had been searching in the wrong ways for my cup to be filled. Workouts. Clothing. Make-up. Motivational books. Quiet time. Coffee. And while these things are not necessarily bad things, they’re not good things when I do not seek Jesus first.

You see, there’s an account of Jesus meeting a dirty, beaten and broken woman at a well. And He asks her for a drink. She says something to the effect of “Well, I’ve been told I can’t pour from my empty, dirty, beaten, broken-down cup”. (My own paraphrasing of John 4:1-9). And Jesus’ response is radical.

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”… But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”- John 4:10 & 14

The real answer for all my searching is found here. It’s Jesus. It’s He who fills my cup overflowing with blessings. It’s He who takes my dirty and makes me fresh. It’s He who takes my beaten and makes me a bubbling spring. It’s He who takes my broken and gives me eternal life.

Jesus must come first. Nothing else is ever going to satisfy. Sure, it’s true. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” But, I can surely pour continually from The Well that never runs dry.

Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”- John 7:37-38 (NLT)

Spring Cleaning

There’s something about this weather that puts me in the mood to deep clean and organize my house. Otherwise known as spring cleaning. This was a tradition instilled in me since I was a young child. Though, this practice has been around for hundreds of years and common in many cultures.

There are known health benefits to spring cleaning- both physically and psychologically.

I’ve always supposed my, or my family’s, physical health to be compromised by allergies or asthma during this time of the year. When, in fact, we have become victim to the effects of toxins and pollutants in our very home. “Even the Environmental Protection Agency admits that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than the outdoors. If the average person spends up to 90 percent of their time indoors, we are breathing in dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold, bug skeletons, and toxins…”- The Huffington Post. Probably makes you want to stop reading this and go clean, right? Clearly, a deep-cleaning would benefit our physical health in a mighty way.

Organizing and de-cluttering create avenues for psychological benefits. To name a few, having less stress, gaining focus, and receiving a positive mindset are included. When relieving my home of unnecessary things by trashing or donating, I feel as if I’m embarking on a new beginning! Sounds cheesy, right? But, think about it… as they say, ‘out with the old and in with the new’. When we get rid of the old, we also rid ourselves of sometimes meaningless connections that come along with it. When we organize to make room for the new, we are preparing the way for creating more meaningful connections.

Now, imagine all the benefits that could come if we would do a little “spring cleaning” in our hearts.


Over time, some toxins and pollutants make their way into our hearts. Maybe as a result of lifestyle choices, relationships with certain individuals, or idolizing events or objects over God. Dirt and grime don’t necessarily come into our home in just one day. The same occurs with our hearts. Over time, these contaminants slowly take over. Clutter builds up and we become unorganized in our daily walk with God. It may be that we no longer give God control of our heart or designate Him as our first love.

Our hearts could use some deep cleaning, organizing, and de-cluttering. We will definitely receive both physical and psychological benefits in doing so.

First, we need to place God upon the throne of our heart. He should always be our number one. Giving Him precedence over everyone and everything with our utmost love. As 1 Peter 3:15 (NLT) proclaims, “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.”

Next, we should ask God to show us what toxins and pollutants need to be removed from our hearts. Allow God to conduct a deep-cleaning. “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.”- Proverbs 14:30 (NLT). 

Finally, we will definitely have to choose to abandon some things. We must get rid of the meaningless old clutter, and allow God to replace it with His more meaningful connection to our hearts. “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”- Proverbs 4:23 (NLT). 

I feel a good days worth of cleaning coordinates well with opening up my windows to let fresh air and sunshine in. Let’s choose to open up the windows of our hearts. Allow the very breath of God to rejuvenate you, and His Son to shine within you!

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”- Job 33:4 (NIV)