Delighting in New Creation

Last weekend was our first normal post-tax season weekend. We went out for brunch with my parents on Saturday morning, headed to Home Depot for gardening supplies, and spend Saturday and Sunday outside digging in the dirt.

garden-1176406_1920Well, Frank spend Saturday and Sunday digging in the dirt. The girls “helped” and played with neighbors. I watched them, reconnected with our neighbors after wintertime, and squeezed in bits of writing and editing as I could.

I love watching Frank prepare our garden each year. After long hours indoors, the weather is cooperative and his schedule is free to be outdoors. Every year he plans our vegetable gardens, moves the pots and redistributes the soil. We decide how many tomato plants we really need and if this is the year cucumbers will grow. After watching our peach tree succumb to frostbite our first year, we’ve tended it and have spotted the first blossoms. I play more of a consulting role – affirming that we’ll probably use five different types of tomatoes; wondering if we really need to try peppers again.

I like gardening but I like reading a book in the hammock better. Frank comes alive in the garden. Watching him this weekend gave me a glimpse into our retirement years: Me with a lemonade by my side watching Frank putter around. I think he’ll be one of those old men who has a magnificent garden, living up to his patron saint’s attributes.

This weekend reminded me of N.T. Wright’s book, Surprised By Hope. When talking about building God’s new kingdom he says,

“You are – strange though it amy seem, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself – accomplishing something that will become in due course part of God’s new world. Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation… every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support for one’s fellow human beings nad for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures… all this will find its way throug the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make” (pg 208).

Wright is saying that when we create and grow and use our passions and gifts, we are bringing about a new heaven here on earth. When I think about my own passions, I sometimes wonder how lounging in a hammock will bring about a shift in our broken world. And then I see Frank happily turning the earth, bringing new life to our garden, teaching the girls about soil and seeds, and I see a glimpse of this new heaven here on earth. I can completely imagine Frank for all eternity teaching others about the magic of our earth and delighting in what life springs from a mix of compost, soil, and water.

Remember, we are still in Easter celebrations. Jesus has risen from the dead but he has not yet ascended into heaven. We are still in the midst of rejoicing and awe. As we continue to emerge from winter and bask in the spring sunshine, I hope to keep this at the forefront – that what we are planting and creating now is a small glimpse at what will be planted and created when our earth is restored.

I am remembering to celebrate and hold this awe of Easter present as we participate in this new creation.

Are you still celebrating Easter? When is the last time you caught a glimpse of God’s redemptive creation?

Books Referenced:

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I Long for the New Earth

We often wish for a return to simpler times, when the world seemed easy to figure out and sort into categories. I wonder, though… When did those times ever exist? I’m over at SheLoves Magazine today reflecting on what it means to long for something with a relatively young worldview. Here’s an excerpt-I hope you’ll join the conversation over at SheLoves!

annie-rim-new-earth3“I’ve been painting since I was young,” my five-year-old recently told a friend. My friend and I laughed about Bea’s tendency to frame her life experiences as though she were an old woman, looking back over the years. She loves phrases like, back in the day and remember when to tell stories of her half-decade on this earth.

I’ve been reflecting about this attitude within our nation lately. Historically speaking, we haven’t been around all that long. Really, to be a nation for 240 years and a “world power” for less than a century isn’t all that long. Spain and Portugal ruled the “Age of Discovery” for 200 years. The sun didn’t set on the British Empire for 250 years after, longer than we’ve been a nation.

And yet we talk about historical preservation as though we are an old nation, looking back on a life well lived. We fail to realize that we are still actively living recent history. That in a hundred years, seemingly big events will be lumped together. I wonder if the Vietnam War will mark the beginning of American Colonialism, when history is reflected? I wonder if the Civil Rights Movement will stretch from the 1960’s into the 2020’s continuously when our great-grandchildren write of this time?

As a Christian in the modern United States, I sometimes see a call to “return to our roots,” to a simpler and more ordered time. We aren’t talking about our actual ancient roots; this is usually a call to return to life sixty years ago. In many ways, this is like a five-year-old reminiscing about all the accomplishments in her young life. Head over to SheLoves to read the rest!

How do you view history and our place as a nation in it? Do you think it’s fair to reminisce about “the good old days” when you’re young?

Finding Heaven in Spring Snow

“We were never made for heaven. Our bodies, formed of dust, were always intended for a life on earth. This world is our home. The great promise has always been not that we would go to live with God, but that God would come to make his home with us.”

Christie Purifoy

When I read these words in Seth Haines’ recent Tiny Letter, this idea resonated with me. I love this shift in thinking from going to heaven to bringing the reconciled kingdom of God to earth, to restoring the idea of perfection right here.

As we remember the Easter resurrection and the promise of a restored earth, I find myself seeing glimpses of this new earth – this idea of making our home here, in this creation more and more. As I intentionally look for it, I see God coming to make his home with us.

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Spot Bea…

Last week, Denver was hit with a huge blizzard. March is normally our snowiest month, giving us dense, wet snow that quickly melts. On Wednesday, it was clear that this snow was bigger. Daisy and Bea, who love to tramp around in the backyard on snowy days, stayed inside. We had tons of screen time, hot chocolate, and lounging. When the snow let up in the late afternoon, we made the long trek across the street for cookie baking with our neighbors. Bea got stuck in our driveway, so I plowed ahead, dropped Elle into our neighbor’s arms and went back for Bea.

At around 5:00, as people made it home from work, the sun peeped out and people headed outside to shovel. Shoveling spring snow isn’t my favorite – it’s heavy and slow going. But, it’s also rewarding – the sidewalk clears quickly and by the next day, the sun has dried the pavement. It’s also a time of community. Because it’s light out later, we gathered and shoveled and waved and were in the drifts together. One neighbor recently had surgery, so others gathered to shovel his drive.

After a day of being housebound, the reminder of community was so cool to watch. God seemed present in the snow shoveling, in the gathering and caring for neighbors, in the heavy spring snow that soaks into the soil.

It’s a small thing, shoveling snow with neighbors. But it’s a big thing, too, remembering that even wet spring snow is a glimpse of a restored earth.

How are you on the lookout for those small-but-big moments of finding community and restoration?