Posted in Devotion, Life, Weather

Winter Redeemed

Earlier this week my students and I were discussing how symbolically winter often represents death or an ending. 

Then it started snowing.

And hasn’t really stopped at all today.

I think it’s beautiful how God is redeeming something that’s supposed to be dead. He’s making something clean and beautiful out of decay and death.

That’s exactly what he did with me. I was dead because of sin. He redeemed me and made me clean and beautiful. Thanks God.

 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord : though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

Isaiah 1:18 ESV

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Posted in Life, Weather

Snow Days and God Things

So we got a foot of snow on Monday and they’re calling for more tomorrow. My snow days have been pretty lazy. I had already done all of my prep work for both of my jobs this coming week, and I don’t have papers to grade. When the snow really started to fall, I was a bit upset because that meant I wouldn’t get to use my lesson plans that I spent several hours putting together. And they were good this week. I was not planning on writing a post because I didn’t want to admit my laziness and I was bitter over the large amount of snow that caused school to be cancelled so many days.

Today though things are looking up. I still am here at the house and there’s still a foot of snow covering the yard, but things are looking up. I could leave now if I wanted to do so. This morning I decided I was going to try to clear my driveway even if it took me all day…and it would have, especially once I discovered that there was no shovel to be found. Turns out, it’s locked in the garage, which since I’m housesitting I have no access to. I spent about an hour with a broom and bucket clearing the short walk from the house to my car and the six inches right around my car.

Then a miracle happened. A neighbor came trudging across the yard and flagged down another neighbor with a tractor. As I type this, the tractor is clearing me a path out of the yard. While I was using a bucket and a broom, I had been envious of another neighbor who had someone on a tractor clearing his driveway, but now I’m a bit shameful of that envy. God provided me a tractor. I just had to do a bit of work myself.

You know, I think a lot of things in life are that way. Our selfish nature is to assume that things should be just given to us. I don’t think that’s how God always works though. Yes, some things, such as grace, are given to us freely even though we don’t deserve it, but sometimes God wants us to get a bit dirty and sore first. That’s what happened today. God wanted me to get out there and do some work myself before he sent along a tractor. The hard work made me even more thankful for the tractor, because my broom and bucket would have taken me a long, long time to clear that entire driveway.

This was taken sometime in the midst of the snow falling on Monday.
This was the last measurement I took. I’d say we got about a foot out here.
My efforts to clear a path with a broom and a bucket.
After the tractor made a couple of sweeps across the yard.
Posted in Life, Weather

Do you have any sleds for sale?

I do not normally post about things that happen in my life, but tonight the story is too great to pass up.

Today I went sledding. The plan was to meet some friends on the big hill near campus and use these old lunch trays that were hiding in our dorm kitchen. They worked well last time so even though there was twice as much snow this time, we figured they’d work. While waiting on our friends, my roommate and I started trying the trays out near our dorm on a smaller hill. There was a cute little child and his father just a little ways over. The father let us use the sled (the child got more enjoyment out of watching us go down the hill than he did going down the hill himself). When they were ready to head out, the father (who turned out to be a professor) said we could borrow the sled and return it tomorrow. The child was a bit hesitant and even shed a few tears. The father was insistent and convinced the child that he needed to share.

We went sledding. The sled worked much better than our lunch trays. The snow was perfect and packed down enough. Some kids had even built ramps to jump over. We piled on and soared down the hill. It was grand fun.

Until it wasn’t. Until we put three people on the sled and hit a stick. Then it felt like a rock dropped in my stomach. That child cried because he didn’t want to share his sled. We were going to make him never want to share again if we returned a sled with a hole in it! The kid might be in therapy until he’s 25 over this incident. Okay maybe that thought was a bit exaggerated (in our defense we didn’t have that thought until much later when we were on the hunt for a new sled). We made a few more trips down the hill. Why not? We’d already broken the sled so we knew we’d have to buy a new one anyway so might as well enjoy the time.

Then the hunt began. In still wet clothes we loaded up to go to Walmart.

To find out that they were out of sleds.

As was every other store in our small town. Well Ace Hardware had some sort of roll-up sled but the guy on the phone said he was leaving in about 5 minutes.

Let me just say here that the internet and smart phones are very useful. While I continued driving, my roommate was calling every place she could think of that might sell sleds. The lady in Dollar General told us to try Ollie’s in the next town over. So we called. After convincing the guy on the phone that we didn’t want sweatpants, he said that they had sleds. Thank goodness! We hopped on the interstate with high hearts.

Until we started looking for an address. Turns out smartphones are not always so smart. My roommate had called the Ollie’s in another state. The one in the town we were heading towards said they were out of sleds. Must not be snowing in the state next door or maybe they already own sleds.

Hearts sunk again and freezing cold (we’re still wearing wet clothes at this point), we start trying to call various places in this new bigger town. Finally my roommate decides to call a lady from our church who she claimed “has all the answers.” The lady suggested Lowe’s. Since we were almost to Lowe’s, we decide to forego the call and make the trek in the store.

I’m sure the store employees thought we were crazy when we all started giggling over a stack of sleds in the front of the store. I can picture us now: three college girls in wet clothing and no gloves giggling over a pile of sleds while trying to find a green one. We couldn’t find a green sled so we settled for the tye-dye sled that had green in it.

Lesson of this story: Buy your own sled.

No really. I think the lesson is that God does answer even the smallest prayers. We were feeling very anxious wondering how we could face this professor and tell him that we broke his child’s sled. God provided though and led us to the right place. He used that lady from our church. He provided what we needed at that moment.

Posted in Weather

Did the Old Man Die?

It’s raining, It’s pouring.

The old man is snoring.

Went to bed, bumped his head,

Couldn’t get up in the morning.

 

It’s been raining quite a bit, too much in fact.  It makes things inconvenient.  But I’m not writing this blog to complain about the weather.  I’m writing this blog to talk about this song.  I don’t particularly like this song, because I don’t understand it.  It’s a kind of sad song as far as I interpret it.

1. The old man is snoring before he goes to bed.  I guess I can explain this by the fact that he might have fallen asleep in his chair by the fire.  Then he woke himself up with a particularly loud snore (it happens, I’ve seen my mom do it).  He proclaimed to the empty room (because he obviously lives alone) “I’m not asleep. I was just resting my eyes,” then he heads to his bed.  That’s why he was snoring before he went to bed.

2. So the old man goes to bed and on the way into bed he bumps his head.  On what?  The table, why was his head down there?  The head board, I suppose that’s possible.  This part of the song is very vague.  What part of his head?  What did he say?  How hard?

3. What does it mean that “he couldn’t get up in the morning?”  Did he get a concussion and die?  That would be terribly morbid for a children’s song.  Did he just have a really bad headache the next morning and stay asleep?  That’s a little better, but I feel bad that he had a headache.  Did he just not want to get out of bed in the morning because the world was all wet and cold and he didn’t want to go out in that weather?  That could be plausible since he’s old and most likely retired.  Hopefully that’s the case, but if it was wouldn’t it just say “he didn’t wanna get up in the morning?”  Oh dear.  The old man is most likely dead in his bed, and since he’s all alone no one but me knows.

Now do you see my dilemma with this song?  It’s depressing and confusing.

Posted in Bible Study, Weather

Be Still…

Psalm 46:10 says “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

Tonight I figured out one meaning of the word “still.”  I went outside with my roommate to watch the meteor shower and do some general star gazing.  I had in my head it would just be stars falling everywhere, so I was quickly disappointed to see still stars.  Then as I allowed myself to settle in to the cold, still my gaze, and quiet my mind- stars started falling.  They were probably falling the entire time but I had just not gotten still enough.

God is God.  And that’s enough.

The stars proved that to me tonight.

Another thought that occurred to me is how much do I miss when I’m moving fast on a day to day basis?  How much of God’s beauty do I miss when I’m focused on getting from here to there?

It’s a sobering thought.  Unfortunately, I cannot lay down watch the stars all of the time, because God also commanded me to go.  It’s a balance of being still and seeing God and moving and seeing God.  The common denominator? Seeing God’s hand in every  moment of life.