Saturday, January 3, 2009


Well, how are you doing with transitioning from 2008 to 2009? It’s time to take down the tree and holiday trimmings, sweep up the pine needles and hit the after Christmas sales—and stock up on Valentine’s Day chocolate, the displays of which are already prominent in the stores. Go ahead, pop a chocolate morsel into your mouth and snuggle into the hibernating months of January, February and March.


Perhaps a more apt metaphor might be of struggling into last year’s stiff, slippery, overstuffed snowsuit that you’ve outgrown and sludging through two feet—no, let’s make that six feet—of snow, while bracing yourself against an icy wind chill of -10—no, let’s make that -60. Severe weather causes painful frostbite, confines body, mind and spirit, and drives you stir-crazy. I see you in my mind’s eye as you shutter at this image and drop to your creaky knees to plead with your divine Weatherman for an early spring. I do envy those snowbirds…

I’ll know that I’ve successfully crossed the final hurdle into the new year when I no longer write 2008 on my checks. Even though I’ve hung the glossy, clean calendar (one I created myself featuring none other than my grandson, Evan) and have entered appointments into a fresh planner, it will still be awhile before I’m fully present in 2009.

Some years I have a mission trip in Central America to look forward to in the winter. Fond memories of sweating in the hot humidity of the tropics offers little comfort. I do so hate to sweat, but I would trade my shivers for sweat beads right about now. Alas, we’re not heading to Guatemala until April.

As you flip the calendar page and turn up the thermostat, would you say that you are snuggling or struggling with your Maker? Do you feel crammed into a religious format? You know: church every Sunday and Wednesday, committee meetings, and yet another pitch in dinner requiring that you use the oven for something other than warming up your buns (a fine Christian friend of mine, who happened to be from the South, living in Northern Michigan during our Air Force years, actually employed the stove in this very manner).

Let’s use the gift of nasty Midwest weather as an opportunity to snuggle into on our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I’ve found that a cup of hot chocolate goes well with prayer and Bible study.

I will snuggle (dwell) in the lap (house) of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23:6 NIV

FYI: My hubby got my goat this Christmas—I’m referring to a goat given in my honor to the India Gospel League, so a family can have milk and raise a few goats for income.

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