Monday, March 03, 2008

February Showers bring March Flowers...

I love California in February and March. Spring comes very early here. There really aren't 4 seasons here like the midwest, but March always seems like a turning point. This week it's supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny every day. I have pangs of guilt even writing this because so many of you are still very much in the throes of winter. February and March are probably the worst months for those of you in the midwest. I remember thinking "Will the gray cold days EVER go away?" But they always do...
There's an obvious metaphor in the transition
from winter to spring. We all have situations in our lives that reflect the winter. The cold, wet, gray weather gives such a sense of bleakness. And sometimes that bleakness seems endless.
Last year at this time I was feeling incredibly bleak. We had just lost Bryan; my dad was undergoing chemo treatments; my brother was in Iraq; I was trying to gather the energy and will to finish my master's degree; I was still getting used to a new caregiver; friendships were changing; and Aaron was struggling with all of these things too- with varying degrees of intensity.
I'm not sure of the exact day I began to see signs of spring. I wish I had written it down. I just remember waking up one night around 2 AM with an old familiar tune from my St. Charles days going through my head. It even took me a few minutes to remember the words:

Jesus, lover of my soul
Jesus, I will never let you go
You've taken me from the miry clay
You've set my feet upon the rock
And now I know
I love you I need you
Though my world may fall
You'll never let go
My Savior my closest Friend
I will worship you until the very end

Whenever that day was, it was my first glimpse of spring. And since then, spring has produced some beautiful things.
Bryan's memory lives on in our hearts and through Bryan House (see for more info!) ; my dad's chemotherapy was successful; my brother made it safely home from Iraq; I finished my master's degree; I still have my caregiver; I've made new friendships; and Aaron has been through all of this- with varying degrees of intensity.
We also are hosting and leading a LIFE group; I'm preaching, teaching and counseling; Melissa is healed; my sister is having another baby in May; Aaron is having a good year.
This summer we are going to use our travel agency gift certificate we received from Aaron's students last year on a cruise to Alaska. It's a dream we've had for a long time but never thought we could afford.
We are also going to spend 2 1/2 weeks at Southern Oregon University so Aaron can begin his master's degree.
So things are good. I was reflecting on the seasons of this past year as I was sitting on my porch in the 70 degree sun today. There have been rainy days, but the signs of life are always so hopeful. Many of you know that I love tulips. I even named my cat Tulip! I love tulips because they are usually the first spring flower to poke their heads up through the ground after being dormant all winter. The bloom is always an intense bright color and the leaves are so smooth and streamlined and simple. Nothing fancy. They don't last long in California because it gets too hot, so I was enjoying my tulips today while I was outside.

I am very grateful that God fulfills his promise of spring in our lives--and now I have time to sit on my patio and enjoy it. I realize that all of you don't have the privilege and luxury of many spare moments in your day, but try to take some time and look for the signs of spring around you. They are there.

Much love to you all-


Anonymous said...

It's still cold here, but the sun is out today. Spring isn't here, but the promise of it is beginning to show around the edges of winter. I am eager for it. Thanks for the reminder in your blog.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Kari for your encouragement and reminders of Spring. I love you. -D

Christina said...

What a beautiful entry...something I'll be sure to come back and read for encouragement.

We still think of you guys often!

Christina & Scott

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm new to your site. I am a student of your husband. I just wanted to say that I think about how you and Mr. Guzman are so strong. I look up to you and you are very brave. I love the spring too. I think it's a great time of year and it's not to to hot. Well I think that you and Mr. Guzman are great people.

Best of luck,

Anonymous said...

All I can say is, "Thanks, I needed that!" Though you and Aaron are far away, I think of and pray for you often. And, I am thankful that God reaches out to me through you over that distance.

I'm thrilled about your trip to Alaska. I was there in 1979 and the memories are still vibrant. You are going to LOVE what you see.

Take good care.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kari...

Love it!!! Your Spring message is wonderful...There is 1 patch in my backyard that doesnt have snow and today I notice a couple tulips poking their little heads out..I was thrilled...
I have followed your story since the time of your accident and have also been blessed with meeting our mutual friend Amy...
Happy Spring...and yes God is so faithful to provide each season...
Karen :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kari,
You are just so wonderfully amazing. You probably didn't even realize you were writing a sermon when you updated your site and yet it has lifted all of us up on this gray Illinois day with ice and snow on the ground.
I know those you are counseling and working with will be blessed as well.
Love to you and Aaron.
Jan Yessa

Anonymous said...

Oh our dear Kari just so happy that spring is here for you I know your love for tulips glad to hear they are blossoming around you.
I also wanted to let you know I just had a pancress transplant just got home on thursday 3-20-08 what an awsome gift I have recieved. Glad to here you are going to Alaska nice travel adventures.
Love you lots

Anonymous said...

Hi Kari
I've been following your blog, and I'm glad to know your doing well you are amazing! You have endured so much & still you are faithful to God, you are once again an inspiration to so many people. I think of you daily & all the time we spent together, I miss you alot!! You & Arron are always in my prayers. Guess what I'm a grandma now Chase has a beautiful little girl named Olivia Grace he's a very good daddy, she's 15 months its very nice to have new life in my house.
Love you always

Brea said...

hey there! i love your comment about the tulips! some tulips have come up here in stika and i have to tell u they look so vibrant in color when nothing else has bloomed yet! I think spring is almost here in alaska as well we have had sunshine for 4-5 days straight!

Unfortunetly matt has left sitka today, he was here for the month of march but got a job in nevada 45 minutes outside of vegas for the next 6 months! He is really excited about the opportunities he will get with this job, and i am as well.

I cant tell you how excited i am, i saw the northern lights last week as well as my first whale! it was a great week!

Lots of love, thanks for sharing such an inspiring entry about how wonderful life is!


Erin Miller said...

Kari, I tagged you on my blog. It's your turn to share 7 random things about yourself. :) Enjoy!

prettigirlpoet said...

You are such a wonder, a beauty, I can never say enough. Just the other day, I shared what you conveyed in your sermon about Moses and Aaron and Hur and holding his arms up. I will never forget it. And it always helps. Always.

It is getting to be spring here, I took Kaleb, Isabel and Diego to the park today. I thought about you all week.

I wish I could see you soon.
Love you,
Susan Trestrail (colby)