Sunshine warms the heart

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2005

With the first day of spring right around the corner, many people are looking forward to trading their wool sweaters for short-sleeve shirts and sunscreen in anticipation of spending more time outdoors.

Springtime has a way of renewing the spirit and reminding us that even though there may be days that are dark and dreary, they are only for a season.

For centuries, songwriters and poets alike have rightly drawn parallels between the seasons and life’s unpredictable up’s and downs, resulting in a inevitable comfort to those walking through the valley.

A simple vote of confidence sincerely spoken has the power to bolster strength in someone ready to give up, so it’s no surprise that the converse is also true.

It is highly unlikely that one can live with constant ridicule without eventually becoming discouraged. As a stepparent, I am constantly reminded of the simple truth that the human spirit thrives on encouragement.

That’s why, despite the difficulty of being a no-child couple with our respective jobs during the week to the stepparents of two boys every other weekend, it is essential for us to remember not to weigh down their spirits with troubles they are too young to understand.

Too many times parents will burden little hearts with more than they can handle as is evidenced by their children’s countenance with expressions and body language, revealing a mysterious innate barometer that almost immediately detects a variation in relational pressure.

Though it’s hard, at times, to find the energy to sew into our children’s character the qualities we know will benefit them by modeling behavior worthy of their duplication, we realize that the circumstances we are facing will only be for a season.

We will not always have a five hour round trip drive to contend with every other weekend; we will not always have to share a car; we will not always have to live with my husband’s parents and we will not be bound by debt forever.

These things are, I remind myself, for a season. Eventually, the sun will peek out from around the clouds, the flowers will push their way through the surface and winter will be a faded memory. The tears we cried in the winter will remind us that through the cold and dark times, God was sewing in us a character that will better be able to appreciate the spring.