Storms

I am currently re-reading an old favorite, “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. I love this allegory, especially the main character, Much-Afraid. This book was first introduced to me by my precious friend, Shannon.

Read her story here. ❤  Instant Friends

A specific passage caught my eye as I read this morning.

“…while the storm still furiously raged outside, there they were, sitting around a crackling fire, warming themselves and drying their sopping garments while they drank comforting hot cocoa and satisfied their hunger. Though the uproar of the tempest without was almost deafening and the hut shuddered and shook in every blast, yet inside was nothing but peace and thanksgiving and cheerful contentment.”

What a goal. To experience that kind of inner peace, no matter the storm outside.

I once heard someone say the following regarding life and storms. At any given time…

  • A storm is approaching
  • A storm is raging
  • A storm has passed

For me, it seems finding peace is most difficult when the storm is approaching. The clouds are far off in the distance, but it’s only a matter of time before it arrives. The “calm” can be thick with tension. Questions are constant. What if, what if, what if…

The time before the storm is when my anxiety builds. And then when the storm finally arrives, it fades. I just have to push through. That is when I realize I never really had any control anyway.

Although storms cause us to question, they seldom provide answers. They are sometimes accompanied by sorrow and suffering. But I must believe that the possibility of peace exists. Even when it is hard to find.

Each of us has to find our way through the storms. But we do not have to face them alone.

“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.” Psalm 57:1

Journey

Looking back
Thru worried eyes
Ashamed
Dark spots remain
Fear of
Disappointing
The ones
Most loved
 
Looking back
Thru critical eyes
Dejected
Dark spots grow
Guilt
Weighs down
Body, mind
And soul
 
Looking back
Thru trusting eyes
Hopeful
Dark spots fade
In light of
Grace
Love
Forgiveness
 
Looking back
Thru knowing eyes
Peaceful
Dark spots transform
Strength
Gained from
Overcoming
While remembering
“For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.” Psalm 116:8

Just What I Needed

“When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.”

Words from a hymn I’ve known since childhood. Words I’ve heard twice this week in a newer version of the song. The rhythms and melodies were new, but the words remained the same. A combination that evoked a much-needed sense of peace and rest.

The first hearing brought back memories. The second hearing brought the realization of just how much I needed to remember.

Yesterday, I received my second steroid spinal injection. I’m happy to report no fainting this time. Whew! However, it left me feeling anxious and restless. And though extremely tired, unable to sleep.

My evening became a cycle of panic, no sleep, and tears. The thought of my 5:30 A.M. alarm loomed. Followed closely by the thought of teaching school after only three-four hours of sleep. All I could think was, extra coffee!

My morning classes were surprisingly successful! Time with students and teacher friends seemed to help my energy increase. Even my fifth-grade class after lunch was acceptable. 😉

But then, my energy began to fade. I could feel myself hitting a wall. How in the world would I make it through physical therapy after school? For a few seconds, I considered canceling. After all, I just had that injection yesterday. Surely they would understand.

But when I got in my car, there was that hymn again. I smiled and began to sing along. On this second hearing, a new phrase stood out; “Weak made strong, in the Savior’s love.”

So I headed to physical therapy, my energy starting to return. A bottle of water and a protein snack pack may have helped a little. It helped my body anyway. But it was the music that lifted my spirit.

Therapy left me with a feeling of restored purpose. And though I walked away tired, it was a good tired. A tired that reminded me of the importance of taking care of my physical body.

All of this from the simple words of a new/old hymn. A hymn I heard twice in one week. Reminders of love, strength, and grace. Old words combined with new music to provide just what I needed.

Seeking Light

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Your words continue to shed a light
Our hearts continue to seek
Darkness must not be our plight
Your words continue to shed a light
They do not call us in hate to fight
They call us instead to be strong yet meek
Your words continue to shed a light
Our hearts continue to seek

“Shed a Little Light” https://youtu.be/crKDDS5D_os

Blanket of Snow

What is it about snow?  There’s a crisp excitement in the air.  Kids are laughing and smiling.  This beautiful white precipitation is a rare occurrence in Oklahoma.  And when we do have snow, it’s usually at odd times.  One particular year it snowed on both Halloween and Spring Break!

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Today was one of those days.  November 12-Fall hasn’t even officially arrived yet.  A little early for snow, but I’ll take it!  I smiled the entire drive to work this morning.  Those beautiful white, magical flakes floating in the air, blanketing the ground. My spirits were lifted, and there was a pep in my step that’s been missing lately.  I found myself stopping to look outside at every opportunity, snapping pictures.

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I wonder why snow has this effect?  Maybe it’s a reminder of clean slates, fresh starts, second chances…forgiveness.  Things we all need at different times in our lives.  Experiences which blanket us with peace and contentment.  Experiences which give us hope for each new day.

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And just like that, the snow is gone.  Will that pep in my step disappear with the melting snow?  Possibly.  Or perhaps I will allow the memories from today to stay with me, reminding me that tomorrow is a new day.  A day full of possibilities with chances to start over or try again.  An opportunity for forgiveness where needed.

The stresses of this life can be unexpected and overwhelming.  I don’t know about you, but I find myself needing that blanket of calm more and more often.   If we stop and watch the snowfall, no matter how brief, just maybe we will find that peace we so desperately seek. Remembering the impact created by that beautiful blanket of snow.