Tuesday, April 10, 2012


"Senora Prudhomme, it's SNOWING outside!"

I looked up yesterday morning and confirmed to my student that yes, estaba nevando, it was in fact snowing. Is anyone surprised? It's Michigan.  Michigan is menopausal in early spring, with hot and cold flashes that alternately bring us Michiganders out of our stuffy houses to play in the sunshine, and then send us scurrying back inside the propane-heated enclave that is our winter den.

As I tried redirecting this dear student back to the task at hand (having a thrilling conversation about place settings in Spanish), I glanced outside and thought about my farmer friends.  Our ridiculously warm bout of  summer weather in March caused all the fruit orchards to wake up and bloom.  It was really nice to visit the beach in March in only jeans and a tee shirt, but now the fruit trees are in dire straits as Michigan has returned to normal temperatures (e.g., cold).

The cold temperatures are dangerous to "tender vegetation".  An app on my phone is always popping up and letting me know that it's going to be cold outside at night, and that I should protect my tender vegetation.  I don't even have any vegetation in the ground yet since I'm not planting until late May, so I'm not really too concerned about my own garden.  The fruit farmers, on the other hand, are in big trouble with wintry temperatures at night.

Copyright National Geographic

Lately, I have felt like this picture of icy winter sums up my life.

Things were going swimmingly.  I was blooming.  And then winter came back and ice settled over my branches, stifling growth and tender vegetation that had been developing for the better part of a year.

Full disclosure: I am not perfect by a long shot.  I write for this blog because I'm passionate about encouraging people and I'm so glad with how God has blessed me through that, but right now I am struggling to focus on others.  I can't write.  I have probably a dozen half-hearted blog posts that are terrible and never deserve to be posted.  Lately it's been all about me: how much I hurt, how much I want to get off this ride, and how sorry I feel for myself.  Nobody wants to read that stuff.

So, my friends, it's really not important anymore how I got here, but the important part is how long am I going to allow myself to go on like this?  It's only going to be by removing my focus from myself and putting it back on the Lord that I will pull out of this wintry dormancy.

What is it going to take for me to make that decision to thaw?

Truth is truth, no matter how I feel about it.  I know that I serve a God that is bigger than my sadness, that loves me beyond measure, and that cares very deeply about how much I hurt.

I will keep slugging this out in the trenches, even when I open my Bible and it looks like it's in a foreign language, so distant are the words.  I am going to pull out of this winter and dance once again in sunshine with His leading.

Psalm 86
A prayer of David.

 1 Hear me, LORD, and answer me, 
   for I am poor and needy. 
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; 
   save your servant who trusts in you. 
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord, 
   for I call to you all day long. 
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord, 
   for I put my trust in you.

 5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, 
   abounding in love to all who call to you. 
6 Hear my prayer, LORD; 
   listen to my cry for mercy. 
7 When I am in distress, I call to you, 
   because you answer me.

 8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; 
   no deeds can compare with yours. 
9 All the nations you have made 
   will come and worship before you, Lord; 
   they will bring glory to your name. 
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; 
   you alone are God.

 11 Teach me your way, LORD, 
   that I may rely on your faithfulness; 
give me an undivided heart, 
   that I may fear your name. 
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; 
   I will glorify your name forever. 
13 For great is your love toward me; 
   you have delivered me from the depths, 
   from the realm of the dead.

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