It's been a long stretch of rainy days. I can hear the rain on the roof - it lulls me back to sleep. Just a little bit longer . . .
The next time I open my eyes, it's well past my usual wake up time. Funny, I don't remember turning off my alarm. The rain, though calm and nurturing, is maybe a little too calm as it takes some self-talk to get out of bed. I try to channel a sweet, sing-songy 'Rise and shine' like my mom use to say, but it comes out more like Eeyore's 'better get up and do the day'.
I've always liked January with it's snow-covered scenes, cozy evenings, and there's always a chance of a snow day which is such a treat. But there will be no snow days this January - there is no snow. The rain, the gray, this stretch of mundane days of January actually suit me just fine as it has offered a time for my soul to just rest. With the insane craziness of moving, Christmas, teaching, and running a retail store - all in the month of December - I desperately need to rest.
The new house is becoming familiar after being here a month. She offers a shelter and safe place to heal. I can see now God's wisdom in leading us here. As difficult as it was to leave, it is good to be here. This will be a place to begin again with new opportunities.
I head to the kitchen, make some tea, and sit at the kitchen table. I have found this to be a good spot to watch the sun rise on days that aren't rainy. As I make out my list of to-do's for the day, familiar words from Isaiah 60 pop into my mind: 'Arise, shine, for your light has come'. I find myself thinking about those words a lot during this season of Epiphany. I write them on my list. arise. shine. Out of curiosity, I look them up on my phone.
Arise 'to get or stand up', and shine 'to give out a bright light'.
I dig deeper: arise 'to come into being'; shine 'to glow or be bright with reflected light'.
Something inside begins to stir. 'Arise, shine' is a wake up call. 'Arise! Shine!' A sweet and sing-songy soul-call from the heavenly Father. I've been hearing it in the distance for the last two weeks, but now - now I hear it loud and clear. He's saying it's time! It's time for me to emerge from this much-needed January slumber, to 'come into being', and 'to be bright with reflected light'. It's time to glow and radiate the beautiful light that is God's glory that has come in the form of baby Jesus. That light holds hope, love, sacrifice, and promise. It never dims, never goes out. It shines bright through the darkness - even on these gray January days.
A new year, a new chapter, a new day - each an opportunity to hear His call, "Arise, Shine! for your light has come". . . It's an awakening of body, mind and soul. It's a realization that this call is one of action. Not that we look for ways to shine, but when the heart is full of gratitude and joy, it just overflows into our outlook and interactions with each other. Interactions are actions! Each is an opportunity to shine.
This call isn't just for me. It's for each of us. If you struggle with this, you are not alone. But I encourage you to try this: begin by listing what you are grateful for. Each one of those things on your list is a gift from a God who loves you. Keep counting, every day, and you, too, will begin to hear the call in the distance - arise, shine . . .
Hi, I'm Tracy - horticulturist, beauty-seeker, Word-lover, and blessed to be the owner of Bella Botanica. I also love to write about plants, gardening, and about my faith journey. Thanks for reading!