May is a month that just screams “SPRING!” in our neck of the Midwest. The days are longer, the weather’s balmy, the opportunities endless. However much I enjoy spring, I can’t think “spring” without also thinking of the challenges I face in spring, and especially in May.

This is the first year EVER that I don’t have the pressure of agriculture to make me hate May. My job out of college (has it been ten years since that adventure started?) was at a John Deere dealership, and my life revolved around agriculture and lawn and garden. Spring was hectic, chaotic, and no fun. (When you’re majoring in agriculture at the university, no one ever talks about spring being a time of stress and headaches and ulcer formation.) Longer days outside, more work inside. That dealership is where I met my husband. In November, after 18 years, he left the dealership and began a new career outside of agriculture.

Last year, I wrote about snow in April and how it affected life around here (for farmers and for my family). This year, the only up close effect I would have felt from snow in April would have been some grumbling.

Our farm has sheep (and they’re not really ours, truth be told). Grain farming is just something I observe now. I’m OK with that, for the record. 🙂

So this is the first year when I can ENJOY the farming going on around me, idly wondering about the stress involved but not experiencing it the way I have in the past.

In winter, I resist the urge to hide from the world, to curl up in a cozy blanket, to dive into a book and emerge months later when the weather is more pleasant. Come spring, I have to remind myself that it’s OK to stop (even though I don’t have nearly as much creating stress in my life as I used to!).

Stop whatever is sucking my time and just bask in the sun.

Stop going to ball games, parties, outings…tell those people “no” and stay put in my own backyard.

Stop and let the weeds keep on thriving and the young girl keep on picking.

Stop the chores for just a moment as I stop moving, enjoy the small people’s wonder at the world, and feel the warmth of the sun.

Stop worrying about what’s not getting done.

I’ve been wondering for almost a week what my resolution would be for May. I even offered up a little prayer about it. “What small thing should I strive to achieve in May?” I asked. “Let it be from YOU.”

And what has come back to me, screaming loudly from a variety of sources, is that May is a month to STOP.

I’m not quite sure just yet what that means, but I’m going to persevere and try to STOP myself from entrenching further in bad habits that lead me away from God and my vocation. Maybe it will be a May of discovery. We’ll see.

New Month’s Resolutions, which Michelle inspired me to start, are “short-term commitments; they are easily attained goals; they focus on what is needed right now, instead of what is best for a lifetime.”