Winter just won’t give up the ghost this year! We had to deal with this today!
That’s it….I think I’ll move to Florida! Ugh!
Winter just won’t give up the ghost this year! We had to deal with this today!
That’s it….I think I’ll move to Florida! Ugh!
We are having a snow day today, if you can call it that. It started to warm up during the midst of the storm and started to melt nearly as quickly as it laid. We did get enough (maybe about 6-8 inches) of the white stuff that Katie was able to go outside, sled for a while, and build a snow fort.
It was nearly lunch time and so I started heating a pot of water to make instant cocoa to warm her up when she came inside. I started hearing a scraping noise outside and realized that she was cleaning off the back porch! Wow! Without being asked? Unbelievable! (Sorry for the poor quality picture, but if she would have seen me taking this, she would have stopped shoveling!)
I realized that her coat was absolutely soaked as well as her snow pants. I waited until she was done cleaning the porch to call her inside. She stripped out of her wet things and it brought back memories of snow days gone by. I guess I had one of those “far away” looks, because she asked, “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing,” I replied. “I’m just remembering when I was your age what it was like to be out in the snow.”
“Tell me about it,” she said.
So, while we made turkey sandwiches for lunch and stirred our hot chocolate, I recalled memories of snow days gone by.
When I was her age, it seemed like we got so much more snow than we do now. I remember large drifts in my backyard that would get as high as me. There was one year, and I can’t remember what year it was, we had an abundance of snow. There was a large drift that formed in our side yard and it packed down quite tightly. I had recently seen a movie or TV show that had a St. Bernard on it rescuing people and found it fascinating! I decided there “had” to be some sort of lost victim in that snow pile. I found an old broom handle and went to work searching for victims by poking the stick down into the snow bank. The giant drift was deep enough that it nearly covered the entire handle! The neighbor boy happened to see me doing this and wondered what I was doing. I soon explained that there were “victims” trapped under the snow and I was poking the stick down to find them. He quickly produces some sort of stick and began to search with me. Needless to say, we didn’t actually discover anyone, but our efforts were good!
Sledding at my house was awesome!! There was a field beside us that was hilly (we lived at the top of a big hill….one of the highest points of Peters Township, PA!) If you got the sled going just right, you could fly down the hill about 250 feet. If there was some ice involved, you went even further and could sometimes land in the stream at the bottom of the hill. The neighbor boy and me and my mom and dad would spend hours out there sledding and sledding until we couldn’t feel our hands, feet or faces. Then we’d decide we had enough and go inside for hot chocolate. We’d warm up long enough to thaw out and get dry clothes on and then we’d go out again. We’d sled until it was dark.
We lived in a quiet area. There was one point on our property where our land met with the farmer’s field that had two huge cedar trees . I loved to go back there at night in the snow and sit in a spot I’d create between the two trees, and look out over the snowy countryside and gaze at the stars. I felt very close to God in those moments. I’d often sing as I sat there with nothing but the moon and starlight to illuminate the night. It made me feel like I was the only person in the whole world. I haven’t felt that type of solitude in years. It was wonderful.
Katie and I finished our sandwiches and cocoa and she went off to play. I sat looking out the window at the birds in the back yard pecking at the suet in the feeders and thought how lucky they were. They could fly off and find that solitude I once experienced any time they wanted to. Suddenly, I felt very warm and fuzzy inside. I think it was a combination of hot cocoa and good memories.
I was happy as well to be home in my nice warm house. I didn’t have to go out and drive in the bad weather with all those crazy people who don’t know how to drive in snow. I felt blessed to have a job that I could do from home and yet enjoy a little quiet time with Katie. God had kept us safe in this “biggest storm of 2013” (so they said) and we were having a great day.
I remembered a scripture that would often come to mind when I would have those moments of solitude in the snow. It’s always been one of my favorite passages and has been a passage I’ve turned to many times in times of distress or fear. Psalm 121 says – “I lift up my eyes to the mountains–where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip–he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you–the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm–he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.”
My entire town is in a tizzy. They have called for bad weather starting some time tonight. We’re supposed to get snow. No one can pin point down how much we are to actually get. I’ve heard anywhere between 1 inch to 18 inches. I’m not convinced we’re getting anything. After all, it was 53 degrees at one point today.
However, weirder things have happened. I recall one year, about 20 years ago, that it snowed in April. It’s not April yet, so I guess it could happen. Some of our biggest snow storms have actually come in March. I remember in 1996 we had one of the worst snow storms I had ever seen. I had recently moved to a townhouse in Chambersburg, just 4 months before. We had over 2 feet of snow that storm. Even though I worked less than a mile from where I lived, I wasn’t able to go to work for 3 days! On that 3rd day, the office tried to open, and someone came and picked me up because I still couldn’t drive my car. They hadn’t plowed out our parking lot yet. It took us nearly 20 minutes to go 9/10 of a mile to work. We got there and saw two patients who were able to get out in the weather, and then we went back home. It wasn’t even worth trying to go! I ended up missing the next 2 days of work after that, not because of the snow. It was because when we got back from that uneventful opening of the office, they were plowing my parking lot. Under all that snow there was a sheet of ice. My foot found the ice and down I went like a pile of rocks and landed (hard) on my tailbone. Ouch! The next couple of days I could barely tolerate sitting down! Ugh!
So, here we are a few hours before the next big storm and I am amazed how different things are than they were just a few years ago. I remember when I was in school, you would go to school and get dismissed early if it started to snow. Now, here it is, hours before school is to even start, the snow hasn’t even started yet, and all the schools have closed for tomorrow! Really? Is this necessary? What if the storm doesn’t actually come? Will they reinstate school….no. Churches have already cancelled evening services for Wednesday….did I mention that it isn’t doing anything yet? Businesses are already announcing late openings for tomorrow….are they seeing something I can’t? Government offices are on liberal leave….well, they’ll take any excuse not to actually work! And even my own workplace has decided that we’re all working from home tomorrow.
When we dropped Katie off for Kid’s Klub this evening, we heard the usual jokes about getting enough milk, bread and toilet paper to hold us through the storm. David and I decided we didn’t need bread, milk or toilet paper….we’re well supplied at the moment. We were in desperate need of some potato chips though, and so we went to the store. Chips were picked over….perhaps everyone else had the same need. There was still plenty of toilet paper, milk and bread. I think they overstocked to prepare for the madness. I tried so hard not to laugh at the woman in the check out in front of me. She had 2 gallons of milk, 3 dozen eggs and 6 tubs of cream cheese. The guy before her had …you guessed it, milk, bread and toilet paper. The lady behind me had eggs, butter and flour….I think she planned to bake!
I’m ready for whatever comes. I’m prepared to work from home, and if I do work from home, I plan to rise early and get most of my day in before my daughter wakes up. Then, if there’s time left in the day, we’ll watch some movies and munch popcorn, and finish riding out the storm.
Job 37:6 says, “He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’” (NIV). It doesn’t matter much if we want it to snow or not, nor does it matter if we’re ready for it or not. If it’s to happen, God will speak it into being. We’ll survive without milk and bread. After all, doesn’t He also tell us in Matthew 4:4 “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” So, I think I’ll partake of some of His “daily bread” and spend some time in His Word tomorrow as we wait out the storm. Are you adequately prepared for the storms in your life?
The weather the past two days has been exceptionally weird. Yesterday we experienced pretty much anything you could come up with in a day as far as weather is concerned. I awoke to a beautiful sunrise, soon followed by giant snowball-like snowflakes coming down. This snow (which all the weather men assured us wouldn’t amount to much) started to accumulate and mix with sleet. We soon had around 2 inches! The temp dropped into the 20’s. By lunch time, it had all stopped. The sun came out and everything melted. Then came the rain, but it too was brief. Again there was a period of sun. But then there came a thunderstorm! Who ever heard of a thunderstorm in February….that’s a summer thing! I even heard reports of hail in the area. Once Mother Nature got done with her temper tantrum, it got windy.
Today, it flurried most of the day. It was cold and windy all day. I sure am anticipating spring! In fact, a friend reminded me that there are only 27 more days until we have Spring. (I believe I’ll start a countdown for that!)
The strangeness of the weather got me thinking. I recalled a verse from Hosea 6:3 – Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (NIV) Now, I’m not sure if we had “winter rains” or “spring rains”, but this verse reminded me that in all this, God was here. Did I thank Him for this weather. No, I didn’t, but I did thank Him for the safety He provided as I traveled in the sleet and snow.
I wonder how often God is visibly right in front of us. How many times does he allow something to happen to get our attention so we can feel His presence. How many times has He been obviously close by, but yet I didn’t acknowledge Him. If I couldn’t tell after the rumble of thunder that rattled the walls of my office that God was present, then I must have been oblivious. I know that He is always with me…there are just times when it seems He’s a little closer than usual.
Yesterday, after all that strange weather, God sent us a sign that He was definitely there. He painted a beautiful rainbow in the sky.
I’ve been feeling His presence in my life more and more lately. It’s undeniable that He’s here. He’s provided for us in so many ways….ways I don’t even know about, but yet there are many ways that I do know. As this blog progresses, I’ll share how He provides in the lives of His people.
I stepped out in faith 7 months ago to take on a job I had never done, for less pay than I was making, and without a clue how I was going to survive it all. But God has provided! Neither my family or I have wanted for anything. We have been cared for by God and He constantly is reminding me that He is in control of everything. Now, if only I would take the time to acknowledge His presence at all times. Keep reminding me, Lord!
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