We drive on the frozen lake to stop where he thinks the fish will bite the bait. My grandson jumps from the truck onto the snow-covered ice, eager to help unload the fishing gear that includes an auger, a shovel, and firewood. Once the holes are drilled, the rods anchored and the fire lighted, we sit on canvas chairs, and wait. We watch for a line tug, and listen for the ring of a bell that hangs from each rod.
When it happens, my grandson races to the hole, and pulls the line up. “Hand over hand. Slowly,” we call out. But it’s too late. Pulling the line up before the hook set, the fish escapes with the bait. “You’ll have another chance,” we tell him as bait is added and the line dropped down.
The next time, he grabs the line so fast the rod releases, but he hears our directions. Hand over hand. Slowly. Soon a fish lies on the ice. He jumps, excited, kneels by the flipping fish as if to say “thank you” then carefully picks it up with both hands, and releases it back into the hole.
The days of ice-fishing this winter are declining as spring approaches. Frozen atoms in the ice break as the temperature rises. Natures winter slumber wakes up slowly, in a steady resolve to bud fully as the days grow warm and as the sun sets later. A slow and steady refreshing revival.
The transition of winter to spring is more than flipping a day on a calendar. It’s a slow shedding of wool hats to light sweaters to t-shirts. It’s a melting, revealing, and growing. Sometimes it’s abrupt: a warm revealing of yellow grass one day to become snow covered the next. Just like we don’t push our hands into frozen soil but wait until the ground has softened naturally – we can let change happen in its own time.
Change is inevitable. Even a change we’ve been waiting for like a new job, a new home, and marriage can invoke stress. We can quickly try to adapt to our new environments, pull in new schedules, new people, and habits, yet tugged by the anchor of what we know. Our brains natural response is to hold on to what it knows, even when the change is good.
Ways to help us through change:
1. Validate your feelings. Don’t get hooked into guilty feelings from the uncertainty you feel especially if the change is good. Instead, talk to a friend, a life-coach, and/or journal to help you navigate the change. Understand that your feelings are normal and it takes time for brain to accept what’s new.
2. Refresh with self-care. Exercise, eat healthy, get outside, and make time in your schedule to do what you enjoy. Self-care reduces anxiety to increase your overall mental health, so that you have fortitude to navigate through change.
3. Revive with gratitude. Seeing what is good can boost dopamine, our brain’s “happy” hormone.
Importantly, be gentle with yourself. Slowly allow the transition to reveal a new routine. Steadily tug at the new ways. When you want to drop back to the old, validate your feelings, and release them to God. Slow and steady. Hand over hand He guides you as you walk this new path, refreshing your mind and soul.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23: 1-4 (NIV)
An Easter Reading Plan (Psalms)
Lent has begun, the 40 days leading up to Easter. Did you know Lent derives from a word meaning ‘lengthen?’ Slow and steady the days become longer as Easter approaches and winter transitions to spring. To help me refresh my bible reading time, I created an Easter reading plan that you can have to! You can grab a PDF version HERE.
I want to hear from you now! Let me know Your thoughts!