Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter Storm Warning!!!


So, today we wake up to a warning for a 'major winter storm.'  If your children are anything like mine, there was much rejoicing.  When they were younger, they would use methods to ensure the coming of snow: putting spoons under their pillows, wearing their pjs inside out, flushing ice cubes down the toilet and repeating a snow chant -- yes, this is the cumulative wisdom garnered from the 8 year old sages at school.  On the other hand, parents are pulling out shovels, finding the 'big coats' and making sure there is enough food to last a day or two.

Yet, don't we do the same things in life.  We anticipate storms in our life and either look for the good or prepare for the worst.  For 'life storms' I would offer different advise: prepare for the storm and find the good.  Not to minimize the impact of storms (whether they be financial, relational, physical, et cetera) because I know that life storms can be some of the most brutal.  All I'm saying is whatever advanced preparation you can do (although occasionally time is part of the storm) may be helpful. 

Before my mother passed away from cancer, she had several bouts with that disease.  One thing I remember is 'wig day.'  When the day came that Mom needed to get a wig, my mother and her best friend had 'wig day.'  In the morning, they scouted out wig shops and shopped until they found the right one.  Then they went out and 'tested' it at lunch.  Don't get me wrong, there were still tears and it was not a 'happy go lucky' day but it was a way of making a very awful part of the storm bearable.  

Years later, I spoke with Mom's best friend and she told me that it was one of her hardest yet most embraced memories.  The other thing she told me is that from the time she left her house to pick up Mom and throughout they day, she prayed.  She didn't simply try to cover up the bad with a diversion, but put it into the hand of our loving God and knew He would walk beside them.

I don't know if you are facing a storm, in the middle of a storm or enjoying a time of peaceful breezes but from my experience with 'storms' I have learned a couple of things.  You can't avoid storms - you don't control life.   You can't pretend that a storm is not raging around you - you must walk into it with strength knowing God will guide your steps.  You can't obsess about the likelihood of a huge 'storm' coming - you can't predict what may or may not happen.  The biggest lesson of all: talk it over with God.  And I don't mean offer up lofty prayers with stilted holy language.  I mean pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage (tea, coffee, juice, bubble water....), find a comfortable place (preferable private....audible conversation with God can be disconcerting to others) and have a conversation with God (actually speak to Him because he is in the room).  

May you find our God faithful in all your storms -- Cynthia

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