So, may I state the obvious?
It Is RIDICULOUSLY Cold!
I'm not sure who left the freezer door open between Canada and Michigan but can someone please close that thing???
And you're absolutely right - I have nothing to whine about.
At the time of this writing, we are experiencing our third week with evening temperatures below the freezing mark. It's cold here but at least we're in the double digits.
Most everyone I know is shoveling snow, missing work, avoiding ice, struggling just to keep their fingers and toes from falling off. I know; I can't really complain.
Still, I'm sitting in front of my fake fireplace as often as possible. Drinking hot tea by the gallon. Using the seat warmer in my car, daily. Rotating my three winter outfits to match the only pair of boots I haven't ruined by holding my toes too close to the space heater under my desk.
I'm a WHIMP! I admit it!
For all you dear readers who know you won't see the ground until April I have one thought, "Come On Down!!" At least by the middle of next week we'll be getting close to our normal again.
You won't be able to swim in our lakes like the silly ads claim. But you won't have to break ice cycles off your eyelashes either. Whew!
Believe it or not, I HAVE done true winters. Frank and I started our life journey in the mountains of NC. All three girls were born in Asheville. Most winters we had plenty of snow and even a few blizzards during our twelve years in that region.
But the girl who grew up in Florida has now fully re-acclimated to Florida. I no longer own any of the right stuff for winter. Yes, I own boots and a couple of turtlenecks. But they're strictly ornamental.
I can't find my gloves and I only have two pair of real socks. My "coat" is designed to lightly cover me during rain storms; not keep me warm. And don't get me started on pajamas.
We've resorted to throwing a couple of blankets into the dryer just before we hop in bed each night. Last night we broke the cardinal rule and allowed Gracie to sleep on the foot of the bed. It was a benefit to us all three, believe me, and I don't think any of us moved all night long.
To top it off, we just happened to chose the coldest week in history for early prayer. Consequently, Frank and I have been rolling out of bed between 4:30 and 5:00 each morning. He's been at church by 5:45 to turn on some heat and lovely altar music.
As brave members of our congregation have gathered between 6-8 AM, their loving pastor has been right there to greet them. Their whimpy pastor's wife, on the other hand, has huddled in the back right corner bundled under multiple layers and cradling a steaming cup of tea.
My aura has been less than welcoming, I guess. Only a few folks ventured to wave at me or even make eye contact across the auditorium until the sun appeared each morning.
Obviously, I'm exaggerating things a bit. Hopefully, it's helped you smile to think of someone totally unprepared and ill-equipped trying to cope with all this cold weather.
Truth is when we take time to gather the right tools and equip ourselves, most anything becomes more manageable.
Which is exactly why we set aside the first few days of each year to fast and pray together as a church. We've discovered that this time quiets our hearts and refocuses our perspective. We take time to equip ourselves for the year ahead; making whatever we may face much more manageable.
This scripture has become a key meditation point for me. "Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance." Jude 1:2 Another version says, "Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you."
I like both.
This short passage has become my key prayer for 2018. Feel free to adopt it as your own, I think that's what Jude had in mind. And as we lean in to hear the heart beat of Jesus, we quickly discover that He has mercy, peace and love enough to warm each of us.
Blessings! Stay bundled up!
Do you have a scripture or favorite thought you're pondering for the year ahead? Please share in the comment box, someone else may need it too.