Thursday, March 3, 2016

Open windows...

There are only a few times a year in San Antonio when it is actually bearable to open every window in your house and let those cool breezes sweep from room to room. A few days ago, “I tore open the shutters and threw up the sash…” and I am enjoying these wonderful spring like days.

There is something refreshing about open windows. Perhaps, it reminds me of my sweet grandmother’s home. Minnie Mama had no air-conditioning, only warm summer breezes blew through her home. I still love the sound of whirling fans stirring the air. My open windows allow early morning sounds of waking birds to begin my days with a smile.

Fresh air permeates the house when my windows are open. In San Antonio, we are blessed with the aroma of lilac smelling, Mountain Laurels. While the blossoms and their scents last only a few weeks, open windows enable me to savor this delicious fragrance.

Oh, there are a few drawbacks to allowing nature to fill your home. Occasionally, a visit from a misguided bird will flutter through open patio doors, crashing their small feathery bodies  from one wall to another. Until I am able to coerce this lost creature from my home with a broom, I find my heart pounds and my hands sweat trying to remove this pitiful little bird out my back door. I also find, I get quite annoyed with the light film of dust that daily shows up on table tops, due to open windows. Only yesterday, I fertilized my flower beds with an organic mixture of manure and other good stuff. Forgetting my season of open windows, I climbed into bed last night and felt like I was back in Lubbock, Texas. Nature at it best, I drifted off to sleep in spite of the earthy odor wafting around me.

 I was 10 years old when I first saw “The Sound of Music.” I owned Maria. I knew every line she spoke, I wanted to be a novice and live with a bunch of nuns and the Reverend Mother. All of this was all quite exotic to me as I grew up a Southern Baptist. The only catholic I knew was Susie Anderson who lived down the street and had to eat fish every Friday. I would spend long afternoons twirling around my backyard, pillowcase trailing like a nun’s wimple around my head, arms outstretched, I sang, at the top of my lungs, “The hills are alive with the sound of music...”

All this to say, that while enjoying my open window season, I have been reminded of one of Maria’s famous quotes, "Where the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” 

While not biblical, pretty sage advice Maria, as it seems God has allowed numerous doors to close in my life, and I have no doubt God will close a few more doors before opening those big pearly gates. 

The opening and closing of doors, can be very overwhelming. When I think of moves I have made; college, marriage, even job changes, well, those were some mighty large doors.

I thought the heaviest of my doors to close was when my first marriage ended. I was 38 years old  and I had a 14 year old son and 13 year old daughter. That door had a resounding echo when it slammed shut, leaving me scared to death and a bit numb. Here, wise Maria’s words jubilantly rang true. It is my absolute belief that while God certainly did not close the door to my marriage, he opened wide the window that became an amazing vista for the rest of my life. 

Meeting Steve was so unpredictable, so surprising, that it left us both standing at its threshold in awe. Oh, one might say it was lucky, some fortuitous, but, I say, without a doubt, God “tore open the shutters and threw up the sash” the day he opened that window for Steve and me. It was pure technicolor panavision!

Tomorrow is March fourth, our 21st wedding anniversary. I have a good friend (Dellie, you know who you are) who also celebrates her birthday tomorrow. When she first heard of our wedding date, her words were, “March fourth, the only day of the year that gives a command!”  Twenty-one years ago, Steve and I happily marched forth through a doorway with a command for a new life and great beginnings. I am grateful for every moment of that March fourth command, yet, I feel that Steve’s death was the most devastating door of my life to close.

While I am no longer able to march forth through life with Steve, God continues to open new windows for me every day. I find there is real joy in the cool breezes that those open windows sweep into my heart. Some breezes are warm memories, some bring the fresh air of new adventures and always, I find delight in the open windows that bring the sounds of love and laughter from my precious grandchildren. Oh sure, there may always be a vagrant bird or foul odor every now and then, but hey…that’s living while allowing your heart’s window to remain open.

So tomorrow, I will fling wide the windows of my heart. I will march forth into new beginnings and continue to look for windows that may well become doorways to new adventures.  The hills are alive…and I thank God I have open windows to allow me to experience His beautiful vistas.

For what it's worth, 

Revelations 3:8 "I know all the things that you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one else can close." 

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