Wednesday, February 17, 2010


It is about fifteen degrees colder than normal in FL right now. This has been the case off and on for several weeks. And while it is NOTHING compared with the many feet of snow, the ice storms and outrageous heating bills that our friends farther north are encountering, the cold weather here is a problem in its own way.

All the plants around the perimeter of my house look like someone has hit them with a flame thrower! I try not to get emotionally attached to things but planting and cultivating shrubs, trees and a little flower garden are good therapy for me. (Frank wishes my therapy involved the joys of vacuuming, mopping and dusting instead. Smile. But that's another post.) Many of our plants will be lost to this unseasonable weather.

AND there is the problem for us Floridians about how to dress. You must understand that when I first moved to NC in 1981, I did not own one single pair of closed-toe shoes. No, not one!! (You'll be happy to know that I've since remedied that and now keep a much better selection of needed footwear.) Also, our wardrobe of sweaters, even of long sleeved tops, is sorely lacking. Two nice warm sweaters can last the careful owner for years as there are typically only about three days in a FL winter that they can be worn.

Enter - LAYERING! This simple solution was unknown to me growing up in FL but I learned quickly while living in the snowy mountains of NC all those years ago. Now, it is important that you also know this: I am fashion-challenged! So, some of the pieces I choose for layering are often vetoed by my wise family. (It's part of the family creed. I will not allow you to embarrass yourself publicly if it is in my power to help you avoid said embarrassment!)

I've chosen some pretty unusual combinations before. I tend to think function before fashion and if I think it will keep me warm, I pile it on. (You may be hoping that my layered outfits are not as bad as you are imagining. Trust me they are worse!)

As I was snuggled under the covers on this cold FL morning, I was pondering the issue of layering - trying desperately to come up with a potentially acceptable outfit. And as usual, my mind began to wander.

Isn't it funny how we ALL layer in our lives. I'm not talking about clothing anymore; I'm talking about concepts and view points and chosen memories and such. We wrap ourselves in layers that we hope will protect us from hurt or vulnerability. And very often we discover that what we have chosen as protection is really detrimental instead. If I wrap my heart in bitterness or unforgiveness or even in self-pity, the outcome is not at all attractive!

It's important that we keep faithful friends around who challenge us to instead choose "garments of praise and joy and trust". These are not the natural choice of the human heart in most cases. Trusting God and choosing to wrap our minds in praise may seem uncomfortable at first. But we can learn to reach for these first when looking into our emotional closets. And as dear friends of
Godly character cheer us on, we end up with a MUCH better look!

HHMMMM! I guess that's why the Lord urges me to look into the mirror of His Word each morning before I head out in public. It's just part of the family creed, you know.

Stay Warm!


  1. Brilliant post! So very Sheri-ish and wise and funny. So glad you're blogging!

  2. Ummm, I'm coming over from Smithellaneous per an invitation from Becky! Love your post about layering. Living in the frigid, snowy midwest I (and my daughter who works outside in a barn with 19 horses everyday) are experts in layering. It is an art, you know. I also so enjoyed your post about the Olympics. I feel I react the same as you while watching all the sports. I have even covered my face with my hands and then peeked through my fingers too frigthened to see the outcome of some devoted athlete who has waited four years for one shot at glory. We also have a television in our kitchen at the office and with each lunch session you can hear cheers for the curlers, or the snowboarders or the skiers or skaters or even the commercials echoing down the halls. It is such a refreshing turn of events for lunch in the office.

    I am looking forward to returning to you blog. I thoroughly enjoyed your stories.
    Mary H from St. Louis, MO

  3. Hello! Coming from Smithellanous, of course ;)

    Don't worry, I am fashion-challenged as well, and 23! I guess I left all that stuff for my 2 sisters... luckily they are there to help me with all the shopping and clothing!

    I live in eastern Canada and even though it's winter 6 months a year here (we're having a pretty "warm" winter though this year), we feel the effect of your cold weather... The price of oranges is going up! ;)

    Anyway, I just wanted to say Hi!
    I'll check in again later for sure!

  4. Hi Mary, so nice to meet you. Believe it or not, I have three daughters. And yes, they dress me! Such a shame about the oranges. Probably many are coming to you from South America now. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks - Sheri

  5. Hi Sheri, Just to let you know I came here from Becky's blog. I thoroughly enjoyed your post and I'll be stopping by often. Welcome! Love, Judy

  6. Sheri, Just found your blog and I am still smiling. Your words of wit and wisdom are a treasure. Layers of love back to you, my friend. Cheryl D.