When Spring Arrives and Winter {Soul}stice Remains


“It’s a chorus of bees,” I say to him from the stoop, next to the lavender plants flanking the concrete pathway to the front door.  Their humming, like monks chanting deep soul verses, crescendo as more join in the swooping harmony surrounding the violet crowd.

A buzzing melody of the heart seasons swarm around us.  Winter’s lonely soul places giving way to springs expectancy.

He wipes sweat drips from his forehead with one hand, holds the shovel in the other.  Spring warms early and dirt sticks to his legs like a magnetic fuzzy face board.  We exchange turns digging out the pencil holly in front of the bay window. The bay window where early morning sun streams her tiny golden fingers over his bed, tickles awake.

Insects invade on branches rooted more than five years now; shiny, petite leaves flocked on upright stems transform brittle brown in winter.  “Do we have to take it out Mom,” he asks, “the bottom part of the plant is still green.”

We grieve the end of good things, when time waves her hand goodbye.

Winter bankrupts beauty.

When the heart lays long in the living death of winters grasp, beauty gathers in the cesspool of meaningless, blinds to light rising on the horizon, falls deaf to spring’s knock at the back door of communion.

Spring’s hope of resurrection pulses the heart awake again to beauty.

I take blade to a grey withered branch, a wallflower next to stems flush in green and clareet leaves, preparing for clusters of rose buds.  Dig a hole for the new rose on the block, the one that will fill in the empty space.

He is doing this to me too, cutting off the barren places of overdone commitments and worn out schedules, to make room for new things.  Meeting the girl I only know by name, this week, to start a mentoring relationship. Watering the soil of youth with the experience of life, trusting in Him for the growth.

Pruning is painful.  Winter is bleak.  Sometimes both are a necessary companion to spring’s gift of grace, to recognize the arrival of His goodness anew, hear the bees hum songs of spring.

 If the LORD had not been my help,   my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.  When I thought, “My foot slips,”   your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.  When the cares of my heart are many,   your consolations cheer my soul. Psalm 94:17-19 ESV

What heart season are you in? Are you in winter? I would love to encourage your resurrection into springtime through the power of prayer.  Leave your requests in the comments, or email me here: shelly@redemptionsbeauty.com.

Sharing the gifts for Multitudes on Mondays:

For warm weather that renews a love for gardening.

Red geraniums sitting cheery in pots to welcome visitors at the front door.

No make-up and hats to cover dirty hair on lazy Saturdays.

For an expected window of time with H, without kids or agendas.

Courage in my girl, the way she wants to run for student council.

Her responsible character, to do a last minute testimony in front of a crowd that makes her heart flutter.

For the opportunity to hear Ann speak in person this weekend.

Painted toes and sandals.

Sweaty boys that smile after a weekend away with friends.

The lamb stew for St. Patty’s Day, the best we remember.

Friends around the table to celebrate.

Linking with Playdates with God, On Your Heart Tuesday, Soli Deo Gloria, Just Write.

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45 Responses to When Spring Arrives and Winter {Soul}stice Remains

  1. ljbmom says:

    Shelly, I’m late in my visiting but so glad I made it by tonight. The pruning is so hard. But this: spring! This is where I am. New life. You asked what I do…I am a master’s level psychologist at a medical rehab facility. I work with folks who are going through tough physical illnesses–spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, amputation…But I have also been studying to be a Lay Pastor and will begin filling pulpits soon. So exciting and terrifying all at once! But I remember these words.The Lord’s steadfast love holds me up. Amen.

  2. I hate the after-effects of a good pruning. So very ugly. But in time more beautiful than ever. Especially when done by a hand who knows.

    Loving this early spring even though I’m still carrying a little winter in my heart. But there’s beauty in that, too.


    • Yes, even though winter is harsh, it is usually I time I look back on with gratefulness for what He did during that season to change me. And I hate pruning my rose bushes every year. It kills me to chop them to the ground. They are full of beautiful leaves right now and already full of new buds.

  3. “Pruning is painful. Winter is bleak. Sometimes both are a necessary companion to spring’s gift of grace, to recognize the arrival of His goodness anew, hear the bees hum songs of spring.”

    I have had a long season of pruning — but I can say when Spring comes and sings her song, it is absolutely breathtaking! And are you words here friend.

    Just a lovely way to start my Wednesday!

  4. Denise says:

    I enjoyed just letting this post seep in, bless you.

  5. Oh Shelly. I had to soak this in twice.
    There’s no doubt about it, I’m in a pruning stage, but can feel spring’s hope of resurrection on the horizon! What grace. . .
    So thankful for you, friend!

  6. Love your words – they paint a clear picture. Good comes from winter; it is hard but it is needed, right? It produces beauty.

  7. Christina says:

    Breathtaking photos! I love how spring resurrects beauty and reminds me of resurrected hope in my life. Enjoyed your list and visiting today:)

    • I think spring is my favorite season because of what it evokes in me personally. I don’t get that same feeling with other seasons. There is a definitive marker of change all around us that restores hope. Good to hear from you Christina.

  8. brownpaperandstrings says:

    Absolutely lovely! Glad I found you via Just Write!

  9. Winter bankrupts beauty…beautiful. Yet is stores it and hides it away, for a time. And when winter releases what’s been held onto, the color in contrast to the bleakness…ahhh, love that time…when new life is birthed! This is a wonderful post. We are so glad you linked up!
    Chris Ann & Kristin

    • The seasons tell us much about our soul don’t they? And each one is needful for fulfilling the life He gave us. We are enjoying the fullness of spring come early here at the beach in SC. Beauty on branches everywhere and a reminder of new life in Him!

  10. joepote01 says:

    Yes, pruning is so painful, at times, isn’t it? I’m so glad I can trust the Master Gardener to know what is needed for new healthy growth!

  11. Meredith says:

    This is lovely — and I am definitely in the pruning stage.
    What comforting, and healing words to read in the middle of it!
    Thank you!

  12. Welcome spring! I think I’m still in winter myself right now.

  13. LuAnn says:

    Spring. Yes, Spring.
    In my back garden, encircled by the patio, the ground is covered by a strange, hard fungus. This weird growth has covered last year’s mulch like hard armor. I have to break it and then lift it one huge patch at a time. It’s a cast-like covering, a wall-like stronghold. Nothing gets in, nothing gets out. There are some hard surfaces that work the same way in my life. God is breaking and lifting them off. Time for this seed to soak in and sprout.
    Thanks for you words today. They are beautiful like your garden.

  14. kd sullivan says:

    so lovely…winter bankrupts beauty…I have been beauty deprived, and now I can’t keep up with the counting! My soul eyes are dizzy with life, love and loveliness.

  15. Nancy says:

    We talked about pruning in a Bible study last year, and one of the images that has stuck with me is the tender, personal nature of it. God’s hand holds each branch as He trims it. The pruning is painful, but He performs it with love.

  16. Pruning is so painful, but the abundant growth that follows gives me hope.

    I love winter, but we had very little of it this year. I needed a sweater less than a dozen times, and wore a coat only once.

    Lovely list and photos, Shelly.

    • Patricia, the only time I think I wore a coat was when I travelled out of town. We have had a wonderfully mild winter but truthfully, I’m not ready for this much heat already. Think I might have to live in the ocean this summer!

  17. love the lazy Sat with no makeup and hat! :) spring is a favorite but I guess there is something to love about each season :)

  18. The last 2 years have been a hard pruning – and I feel the emergence of new growth, a different kind of growth. We pulled out ivy this week and ordered burning bushes for a hedge. I had the first break from my boys in a long,longtime – and,like you,so loved seeing their smiles come home! Have a great time with Ann!

    • Two years, that is a long pruning. So grateful you are seeing new growth, what a gift. Love that time alone and always glad when they return. I know one day it will be longer than overnight or a few days, so I treasure their presence while I have them.

  19. Deidra Riggs says:

    Winter makes me look hard for beauty. It’s not my favorite season. Not in terms of weather, and not in terms of my heart. But it does serve its purpose and, when spring finally rolls around it is truly a breath of fresh air.

  20. Sharon O says:

    so wonderful… I loved the humming like monks chanting…
    so good I could just picture the monks… in silence and then in ‘perfect humming harmony’.
    To prune us is painful, but God knows it is necessary for our growth just as we trim away the bushes or trees HE triims what is not needed in us too.

    • Sharon, for some reason the monks came to me the moment I heard them humming. And every year when I prune my rose bushes down to nubs, it kills me. But then the profuse leaves and flowers that return in spring make me certain that it was the right thing to do. I believe it is true for us as well. We become even more beautiful after pruning.

  21. The pain of cutting away — not easy. Looking forward to Spring — so glad He makes all things new. Beautiful post! Love the imagery…. got lost in there… :)

  22. Rebecca says:

    Oh, this was beautifully written! This is a constant cycle of season in our souls, isn’t it? :) We are enjoying warm days too, here in NC. I’m so glad I linked up near you on the Multitudes on Mondays Link-Up. :)

    I host an additional Monday Link-Up for encouragement to sort of “sister” Ann’s. Stop by anytime, and I look forward now to reading more from yours! :)

    Blessings with love,

    • Rebecca, so nice to meet you. Love the way these link ups help us find each other. Will check yours out too, thanks for letting me know. We lived in NC for five years along the coast. Enjoying SC now too.

  23. tpohlkotte says:

    oh, I’m in the first budding of spring. Not yet full bloom, but the promise of birth. I feel it. Hasn’t it been great to have these beautiful days? {close to 80 in Wisconsin, in March??? we don’t know what to do with ourselves :)}

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