Joyful
Surprises

Spring is on its way to East Tennessee and with it comes the delightful surprises of nature.  Each day
growth is evident.  You can see green buds and tiny leaves on some trees.  The pear trees have
blossomed and others are following.  The forsythia has displayed its sunny yellow blossoms, and bulbs
that were dormant have sprouted from the ground to provide beauty to our yards and roadsides.  These
things make me smile and give thanks to our Creator.  What fun gifts He gives us each spring!  
My yard is a wonderful place to hunt for treasures.  Although spring comes every year, and although I
emerge from the ground or when they pop open on the bush.  I never get tired of the colors of spring.  I
find myself looking out the window more this time of year.  I find myself walking around the yard and
looking in the obscure and hidden places to see what might have sprouted.  It’s like a daily Easter egg
hunt!  
Sometimes there is a particular plant that I am anxiously waiting to see bloom.  Maybe it is something
new that I planted back in the fall.  Sometimes I am disappointed that effort I made last season doesn’t
seem to have produced the hoped for results this season.  Some plants may have been damaged by
harsh winter weather or hungry garden pests.  But even with disappointments, the surprises that just
appear help to put failures and those disappointments into perspective.  I can still be encouraged and
enjoy the beauty of the day.  
I guess this perspective is especially true if it has been a particularly long and dreary winter.  Although
winter has its own kind of beauty, it can be gloomy or even destructive. Winter storms may knock limbs
from trees.  The weight of ice can cause plants to break or a late frost may damage delicate new blooms.  
The joyful surprises of spring can help counteract the gloom that has set in and repair the damage done
over the winter. One little blossom at a time has the potential to override the winter damage that can be
seen in my yard or felt in my heart.
Spring surprises brighten our natural world just as kind warm words brighten our hearts and promote
healing in our emotional world.  Think of how good it feels to hear an encouraging word or an honest
complement.  These are the springtime gifts we can give to each other.  When we share our joy or speak
warm words to others in our lives, we bring spring into their lives.  Some hearts are very cold after a
painful and trying emotional winter.  There may be damage or brokenness that needs healing.  Those
hearts need a little warm up and some encouragement.  We can sprinkle some colorful blossoms into
our friend’s lives by our words or even a caring smile. I’m often amazed at how powerful the little things
can be.  Just a little encouragement at the right time can change a person’s attitude for the rest of the
day.  Then that person in turn may encourage yet another person.  
Maybe you are the one who is in need of the encouragement.  Actually we could all use more positive
encounters every day.  You will be amazed at how your day will brighten when you add some brightness
to another’s day.  Allow others to encourage you in return.  Be on the lookout for natural surprises in your
own back yard or in your neighborhood.  Maybe there is a little blossom that opened up today just for you.  
Maybe there is a kindness that you overlooked or a kind word that you didn’t hear.  Be on the lookout and
have a heart willing to receive a little surprise.  You’ll never find that hidden blossom if you don’t look for
it.  If you stay inside all spring your world may very well stay wintery, but if you go on a spring treasure hunt
you may be very surprised by the gifts that have been left just for you.  And when you find a gift or
experience some encouragement, be sure to share your joy with someone else.  Bring a little spring into
their heart.