Tag Archives: winter

Hit the Brakes

Is it just me or the is it the world around me?

This week we have some major factors working against one another:

  • Time change – do NOT get me started on how ridiculous it is to continue this practice.
  • Files disappear and then reappear again
  • I gave up coffee – Patricia, you’d be proud of me.
  • The back castors fell off my mobile, stand-up work station – they simply fell off within 24 hours of one another. Enter now the 2nd week of dialogue with Houzz customer service reps.
  • Intermittently soggy socks now bring to our attention the fact that last summer’s repair work hasn’t entirely prevented melting snow from trickling across my kitchen and bathroom floors

And finally, with spring 8 (count them, eight) days away,

  • We have an ice storm, followed by even more snow.

Yes folks, Snowmaggedon 2019 Hoodies are selling like hotcakes at Amazon.

So, finally finished dealing with customer service reps while stepping around my desk, I realized I had skipped right over my quiet time with God – a huge faux pas. This practice reminds me I’m not God – we know this because for years I tried to be God, only to prove I suck at it. That valuable life lesson cost me some twenty years of my youth, so I’m shocked when I slip back there again.

So, late into this morning I was feeling a little frustrated, isolated and, I admit, slightly neglected when not one response to this morning’s post appeared anywhere.

I grabbed the only cell device that was not charging and saw I hadn’t received the notification advising me about my most recent scheduled post…

This, friends, is why paper calendars can be problematic. Our phone calendars simply do not mislead us. At that point I was shamefully near panic mode, sprinting around the cottage in search of a pair of good glasses. Passing a mirror I realized I really must stop.

Just stop.

“I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.*”

Yep. I’d scheduled today’s post for tomorrow. What would have been today’s post is now rescheduled. So now I’m going to go make a snow angel. Or maybe something else that doesn’t require keying or more puddles.

The entirely silly point to sharing all this:

My life is good. I can slow down or stop without fear of hurting or harming anyone. And the world will keep going. God has this, so I needn’t try to control it. My loved ones are all well, I have food, a warm home, a car… I’m breathing deeply.

Peace, my friends!

*Isaiah 41:9(b)-10 (NIV)

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Soundings

All day today sounds of spring either startled me or repeatedly distracted me from whatever I was doing.

EARLY THIS MORNING:

LATE THIS MORNING:

Today’s experience was brought to us by weeks of averaging low 30-something high temperatures with flurries and freezing overnight, and then today – temps rose to the mid 40’s with wind! By mid-morning snow and ice began melting – very quickly.

Suddenly there was frequent, unexpected banging of snow. That’s right, snow rudely pounding. Okay, snow, ice and icicles crashing to the ground – did I mention loudly? We’re talking great weights of compressed fluffy whiteness, layered with glistening, multi-colored ice, thundering against the exterior walls.

About the third time I had to detach my claws from the ceiling, I began to get annoyed.

That got me thinking about some of my attitudes and habits – the ones I usually wouldn’t notice. God forbid we settle for less than what He wants for us just because we’re set in our ways.

I’d gotten used to sliding around on the snow and ice and layering clothes to keep from freezing. So what if I likely spent an hour a day layering the bulky, cumbersome dressings on and off? And even with excellent treads on my boots I had to step very, very carefully, avoiding that whole gravity/lost-balance thing. Still, I had it all under control.

Like the way I adore cinnamon rolls with my coffee. Despite their high carbs and starches, mine are basically heart healthy – I reasoned – so I made them every day. For months. ‘Til my clothes no longer fit…

Still, I didn’t want to give them up. God had to force me to relate the extra weight to my painful hips and knees before I surrendered.

But today there were sounds of water steadily trickling onto hard surfaces and splattering against the walls. And bright sunshine!

Soon little stream-like waterways trickled along the slopes of the hundreds of yards of pea gravel that Cole had just begun to level as the snow began to fall.

Finally, droplets of water from the roof caught the mid-afternoon sun, creating a cascade of minuscule rainbows. At least the droplets appeared on camera, even if the rainbows didn’t.

Me being fifteen pounds lighter now, I couldn’t resist the sunshine any longer. For the sheer pleasure of it I stepped outside in my short shirt sleeves to take it all in and shoot the excitement around me.

Now, this is my kind of winter. Finally!

*

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”

Romans 12:12 (NLT)

*Image courtesy ABSFreePic.com

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More Than a Walk

Stepping out from my warm cottage the temperature changes were exhilarating. Looking up at the buildings as I passed, I shivered, but not from the cold.

When the weather warmed up and then cooled again large, ominous icicles formed. After it warmed again the snow cover began sliding down and some of the frozen daggers began randomly dropping.

As I walked I imagined cold, heartless creatures silently creeping after me.

Then I realized the frozen bars were a covert plot to imprison me within the darkness indoors.

I felt the cold and gloom pursuing me. My plans, hopes and aspirations began to appear insignificant, worthless. Even the sunshine seemed like a distant memory.

But looking up on my mid-morning stroll God’s beautiful heavens assured me the malefactors were only in my mind.

I am a child of the Light. God rescued me from the shadows long ago.

Together we banished the mood.

As we returned to my comfy home, above the crashes I heard His voice stirring a breeze, whispering, “Hear it? Spring is coming…”

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.”

Psalm 139:7-12 (NKJV)

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Filed under Notes from the Apex, photography

Fire and Ice

The morning after our first snowstorm I drew back the drape from the small window that faces the east. Immediately I recoiled from the startling cold. Condensation had formed and frozen between the screen and the pane. A heartbeat later I was mesmerized by the kaleidoscope images from the rising sun.

Feeling the chill against my face and the heat from the stove at my back, the world is a marvelous place.

  

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.”

Psalm 19:1 (NLT)

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Feel Warmer Yet?

We interrupt this cold spell to remind you summer will be here before you know it.

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”

Romans 8:18 (NLT)

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Winter Waning

*

With much of the country covered in snow and ice I can’t complain about our mild winter. Still, appreciating the shorter days continues to be a challenge.

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” — Anne Bradstreet

“To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring.” —  W.J. Vogel

“The problem with winter sports is that–follow me closely here–they generally take place in winter.” — Dave Barry

“I know the look of an apple that is roasting and sizzling on the hearth on a winter’s evening, and I know the comfort that comes of eating it hot, along with some sugar and a drench of cream… I know how the nuts taken in conjunction with winter apples, cider, and doughnuts, make old people’s tales and old jokes sound fresh and crisp and enchanting.” — Mark Twain

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently?” — Lewis Carroll

“O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” — Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Sunshine cannot bleach the snow, nor time unmake what poets know.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’”

Job 37: 5, 6 (NIV)

 

*Image courtesy John L. Green, Jr.

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Trust

As winter drags on:

 

Image (c) 2018 RapturePractice! Publications

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Gray Pearl – Walk #1

As we turn into the last stretch of winter I reflect fondly upon the unseasonably warm, sunny days of the Advent season here. As the sun rose I caught myself wanting to complain about yet another dark, overcast morning. Then I noticed the moon hanging over the trees in the pearl gray sky.

Awestruck. Whine diverted, I can wait on the sun.

 

Winter wonder by God.

Image by Roo (c) 2019 RapturePractice! Pub.

 

 

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First Snow

Just the right
Amount of white
Till the sun rose
Above the treeline
Then back to wood work!

 

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

 

Images (c) 2018 RapturePractice! Publications

 

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Intermittent

With exceptional ISP challenges continuing to frustrate folks almost as much as the Presidential Alert trickle down this week, I’m spending extra time helping with seasonal chores.

This week among other tasks that come around in autumn but are best done before the first freeze or snowfall, we addressed the woodpile. While this can be physically exhausting work (less so this year with the new log splitter), I’m glad for the way it helps me realign my priorities. The wood stove, my heat source not only keeps me warm all winter, lends a pleasant ambiance but, like it or not, it forces me into a whole-body workout daily.

The fact is I actually like the work. As many of my peers are slowing down substantially I’m delighted I can still keep up with the youngsters and run the cottage on my own.

“Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is ‘finding his place in it,’ while really it is finding its place in him.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Despite the most recent disruptions, I’m assured that I’m exactly where God wants me today. When beauty grips me in the most remarkable places I often believe I can feel God’s presence surrounding me.

At the woodpile, for example:

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 – 13 (NLT)

 

All images (c) 2018 What Next: Behind Roo’s Ruse, div. Rapture Practice! Publications, Invaluable Beauty 1/18/2018

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