In Winter

keep walking in winter

though the cold makes you shiver 

there’s growth to be found 

Buried deep in the ground 

In winter 

Keep walking in winter 

Though the frost may be bitter 

Barren fields lie in wait 

For the sunlight to breakthrough

In winter 

Season come 

And seasons go 

Every moment

leads to growth 

Like seeds our change 

Is happening 

In places unseen 

Seasons come and seasons go 

In every one of them

I know that

You’re working 

Deep below In winter 

Keep walking in winter 

Don’t be a quitter 

Keep your eyes on the prize 

therein our joy lies

In winter 

My snow buddies- the real reason I go walking in winter 🙂
a frosty delight 🙂
Even trees need to “lean in” to the Son.
Is that popcorn on my branches?!

I am a “morning” person by nature, but ever since the time change this past November, my dogs have wanted to get up before the crack of dawn. Literally. I mean like 5am sometimes. I have always been a light sleeper- and I can hear their faint high pitch whimper… which slowly turns into a deep, guttural “ARF”! The “boys” are getting older, and when they’ve gotta go, well- they’ve gotta go!

So I am usually out walking with them sometimes as early as 6am. I have learned the hard way that it is much more enjoyable when I take the time to actually prepare for this walk ahead of time. If you know me- the less I have to bring with me the better! But these chilly mornings beg for socks, snow boots, a hat, scarf, gloves, and a winter coat.

I hate wearing all that stuff, because I feel like I am weighed down. But deep down I know that preparation is everything. Just like I prepare myself to brace the cold, I have to also prepare my heart and mind each day for the spiritual walk…
so that I can be prepared to weather whatever storm comes my way 🙂

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.- 1 Peter 1:13

Only Jesus

It has been bitterly cold lately.

How cold is it?

So cold, that my semi-damp hair freezes in chunks when I walk the dogs!

So cold, that I think I have gotten a little bitter myself.

I really despise that about me. I see how easy it is for me come up with excuses for why I am in a bad mood. After it snowed a couple of weeks ago, I slipped and fell down the front porch stairs while holding a dog leash in each hand. My tailbone hit every step on the way down and then smacked against the icy asphalt. I laid there on the ice and cried because the pain was so bad. And there was no one home to help. Thankfully I didn’t break anything, but it left me in a lot of physical discomfort.

Sitting, standing, walking…getting in and out of the car… all the normal daily things I did brought me constant discomfort. It took a solid two weeks for me to be able to walk around without being in constant pain. I was GRATEFUL to wake up yesterday and hop right out of bed like my usual self!

But this morning, I see how easy it has been for me to allow myself to wallow in my own misery, and to make excuses for it. How quick I have been to complain and become frustrated with little things. How I have been snappy with my family and have thought of every excuse to justify my attitude.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5

What would Jesus say about my bad mood? I think He would tell me no one owes me anything for falling down those steps that day. I think He would tell me to be grateful that I wasn’t more severely injured. I think He would tell me to lean into Him more and not expect anything from other people. I think He would tell me how incredibly blessed I am.

Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past- Isaiah 43:18

He would tell me to stop focusing on my circumstances, and start focusing on Him.

The moment I begin worship and focus on Jesus- I am free from my selfish ways.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:13-14

Keep your eyes on the prize!

Ice walk

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a winter wonderland

ice-layered trees

sing for joy

unveiling their frailty,

revealing their beauty,  

 and declaring their

devotion

to the Son

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“Momma, I don’t feel like myself today.”

We all have days when we feel out of sorts.  A Sunday morning at home always leaves me feeling like something is missing.  Due to the snow and ice, the girls had been home from school for a week, and we were all going a little stir crazy. And then church was cancelled, too.  That, alone,  always leaves me feeling a bit “off”.

“Baby, neither do I…” I lovingly told my daughter.  “We are all a little stir crazy and out of our normal routines.”

Since church was cancelled, I decided to take a long walk.  The girls and I bundled up and headed out. We didn’t say a word to each other.  We walked in silence as we took in the ice-transformed landscape.  All we could hear was the sound of ice crackling, water dripping,  and birds singing.  It was nature’s symphony, and it was breathtakingly beautiful.

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I am so thankful that I don’t have to be at church to be in His presence.  I am thankful that I don’t even have to utter a word to spend time with Him.  It’s usually me that’s doing the singing on Sunday mornings- what a treat it was to hear His creation singing for joy!  It was the perfect time for me to be still and silent before Him.  He knows just what we need to feel His peace again.  He is always faithful to meet us wherever we are- and He did just that on our ice-walk!

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;

    let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Let all creation rejoice before the Lord…

Psalm 96

Layers

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a blue-hued sunrise

On frosty mornings

even the sky is prepared 

 and layered for warmth

How do you prepare for your day?  First, I get up and get a cup of coffee.  Then, I sit in silence and spend a few moments praying and getting my mind set for the day. Well, this is my goal most days. Something I recently started doing is putting my Bible right beside my couch so that I can read it first thing in the morning.  And then I take the dog out.  Usually, this means that I slip on flip flops- no matter what the temperature is, and sometimes I don’t even put on a coat.

This particular morning was different. I took the time to find gloves, and I put on socks (a big deal for a bare-foot girl)…and I even put on a hat and coat- a rare thing for me!  My dog, Remy, was running circles and smiling at me the entire time I was preparing myself to take him out.

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Our boy Remy

As I stepped outside, I immediately took notice of the sky- layered with blue and white stripes as far as I could see.  And on this unusually cold morning, I even noticed a lone bird singing his morning song.

It’s funny how every other cold morning I am rushing to get back into the house where it’s warm. Sometimes I could just kick myself for not being better prepared for things. I admit that I am usually in a rush, and don’t bother to put on the appropriate outer wear before I go walking outside.

But everything we do has a purpose. I thought about how often I go through the motions without intentionally thinking about what I’m doing and why I am doing it.  Everything we do has layers… layers of thought, layers of meaning, layers of purpose.

It was amazing how just a few extra minutes of layering helped me enjoy my walk again. The purpose of my walk?  First and foremost, it’s to complete a task- to let my furry friend to do his “business”. But the more important purpose?  Spending quality time with God.

And honestly, when I don’t take the extra few minutes to prepare for my walk, the only one I am cheating is myself. That extra layer of “worship” is thrown right out the window when I am doing everything I can to get back in my house as quickly as possible!

A little preparation goes a long way towards enjoying the journey…and my “walk” with Him!

be prepared in season and out of season- 2 Timothy 4:2

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