Seasons of Change

Perhaps there isn’t enough snow on the ground to be discussing changes in season. Perhaps I’ve jumped the gun in talking about something that hasn’t yet happened. Especially since the weather was so warm today. Still, for some reason, this is what’s been on my mind. And I’d like to think that what I share here is beyond me and serves its purpose on a bigger scale, so I am going with it. Perhaps it’s a mood swing and I’m just self-talking at this point… dragging you all down with me. Maybe it’s the surroundings. The walls are closing in. There is a tree just outside my front window that is totally void of leaves already. A blank canvas preparing for a dark winter. Last week we chatted about the harvest and the busyness of that time… and the joys that went along with reaping. And then comes winter. In Canada, we are blessed (or cursed?) to enjoy four, very distinct seasons. We understand (and are often teased about) our endless winters. Still, how can one appreciate the warmth of summer if you haven’t felt the bitter cold of winter?

Photo by Simon Berger on

I’m sure many of you have heard of this thing called SAD that people often suffer from during the onslaught of winter. SAD or “Seasonal Affective Disorder” causes about 14% of the general population to feel slightly depressed, isolated, fatigued during a seasonal change. The symptoms can be more serious, but most of us feel those “winter blues” when we are tucked up inside. I suspect with COVID the feelings of isolation and fatigue have been compounded in recent months. I’ve felt it too. Sadness (and I’m talking about the emotion here) is a God-given feeling. We don’t want to think of it that way — I mean, why would God want us to feel sad? And yet, Jesus himself wept for others, felt lonely and discouraged. It’s like experiencing the summer without the winter again. We must go through the seasons of life to truly appreciate “the other side”. Do you agree with me, here? Or maybe it’s just me and the mood I’ve been in this weekend. Maybe ya’ll are experiencing a joyous season right now and you are regretting diving into this post. Sorry if I’ve brought you down.

Are you ready to face it? Photo by kristen leigh on Unsplash

Okay, maybe I’m not sorry for leading you down this lonely path. The Bible talks a lot about seasons. Metaphors for not only in sharing the gospel but for spiritual growth. I’m sure many of you will quote Ecclesiastes back to me at this juncture in our discussion… for there is a “time for everything” and a “time for every season under the sun”. And you would be right. You know I love a good learning curve in this journey of life… and I truly think God gives us one every now and then to keep us moving forward. Growth only happens when seasons change. The “dead” of winter is the waiting period where everything slows down before the big growth spurt of spring. That tree outside my window seems bleak right now, but it’s working on the energy it will need to burst forth with blossoms come April. I’ve been around the moon enough to know this. You have to.

I heard a quote that made me think a bit. I don’t know who said it, but it’s pretty deep:

“Sometimes God doesn’t change your situation because He’s trying to change your heart.”


Part of me doesn’t like it. I’m stubborn and don’t want to have my heart changed. I don’t like to think about what could be. Unless it’s good for me. Or easy for me. But. Seasons change. Winter will soon be here and there is not much I can do about it but drag out the heavy boots and coats and embrace the wind. Face the ice and snow head-on and dream of warmer days to come. Will you join me and strap on the winter tires as we trek down the road together? Until next week, my friends!

Why there should Never be Leftover Chocolate!

Photo MinA Pexels

Photo: MinA via Pexels

I love chocolate.  Milk.  Dark.  White.  Hot, cold, melted, stirred, mixed, non-GMO, organic or infused with orange essence!  I love it all.  This to the detriment of my hips, and to the disgrace of my healthy optioned hubby.  So with the arrival and passage of Easter this past weekend, the bedeviled stuff has arrived.  Now don’t get me wrong… I believe Easter should be celebrated with its true meaning… the resurrection of Christ and all the holiness and grace of His sacrifice for us.  But at our house, we indulge in the confections too.  According to my limited research, the egg (having been the pagan sign of fertility and new life) became associated with Easter somewhere between the 15th and 19th centuries.

Easter should be celebrated with Christ’s sacrifice for us as its true focus (Photo credit: Jacob Meyer).

Most likely the Germans and/or the French were the first ones to create a hollowed out chocolate egg.  Then they filled it with sweets and distributed it among all the unsuspecting, innocent children. The children!(Personally, I think the Belgians make the best chocolate… but… whatever). Our taste buds have been hooked ever since. Currently, Cadbury World in Birmingham produces 1.5 million creme filled eggs a day.  Oh my heart be still!

So, this got me thinking… why? Why did I once buy a whole Costco-sized carton of Easter-creme eggs and store them for when I am having “one-of-those-days”?  Why do we love the melty stuff and drink in the “food of the gods” as our comfort cuppa?  Turns out chocolate is made up of some 380 chemical compounds that affect our brain chemistry.  The chemical substances in chocolate cause the release of neurotransmitters in the brain that signal us to feel — get this — “happy”.  A lucrative word.

Bear with me as my science mind takes over for a second and we research those chemicals for a bit.  Tryptophan.  It releases serotonin… a commonly known  “anti-depressant” making ya feel, well, no longer depressed.  Phenylethylamine.  An amphetamine releaser creating that excited, pleasurable high.  Theobromine.  Derived from the Greek word, “theobroma” meaning food of the gods.  A stimulant.  Anandamide.  Another “pleasure” producing chemical receptor named after the ancient Sanskrit word for bliss, joy or happiness.  No wonder chocolate bars are sold in drug stores!  Powerful stuff, people.


Turns out chocolate is made up of 380 “happy” chemicals! (Photo credit: Jon Tyson)

Leaving aside the science for a moment, let’s go back to that happy thing.  For most of us… women especially… chocolate is a good, happy thing.  If it were the only thing that kept us going, though, Cadbury would be manufacturing a heck of a lot more than 1.5 million creme eggs a day.   Recently, my world has been bombarded with sadness.  We lost my beloved mother-in-law a few weeks ago.  A friend recently lost her husband in a quick and unrelenting battle with cancer.  I sobbed big, snotty sobs on my last day of work just last Monday.  The world is filled with UNHAPPY.  Even in biblical times, we see examples of folks who have had to deal with their own sadness and feelings of injustice.  Psalm 10 outlines David’s struggle to make sense of his own unhappy.  Why does it seem that everyone around us prospers while we are stuck struggling to keep our heads above water?  David concludes that God is still the master overseer.  A few chapters later, in Psalm 30, David dedicates the temple to God, recognizing that Christ is the true source of happiness.  Sorry, chocolate.


Even 1.5 million chocolate eggs can’t make us truly joyful (Photo credit: Annie Spratt).

I’m not sure where you are on the happiness scale right now.  If you are like me, and are seeing some unhappy things in the world around you, be encouraged, my friend, to indulge a little.  Not only in that all that rich goodness of leftover Easter goodies (yes… that is permission to eat that whole bag of m&m’s), but be sure to share it with a friend.  One who points you in the direction of the true overseer of the “unhappy” and turns your sorrow into dancing.  There should never be leftover chocolate eggs in the house. Enrich the children in your life with yet, another Easter egg hunt.  Who says it should stop with only one long weekend? Encourage one another.  Connect. Turn those neurotransmitters on high with a cuppa melty, rich, heartfelt conversation.  Creamy hot cocoa optional.Blog1 - Page 015