Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trees in a Winter Storm

A storm rocked our area last week.  Snow, ice, wind.  It was bad.  Especially when the freezing rain hit.

At first it was beautiful. We were surrounded by beautiful ice trees.






But- as the freezing ice continued, weak branches and treetops broke and split under the weight of the ice.







Branches littered the ground- and even houses.  But, left standing was the tree- a little worn for the weather- but strong and ready to recover.

Years back my dear sweet Grandma Jane wrote a beautiful poem called Trees in an Autumn Storm. I took the liberty to change a few words to apply the storm.  I think there is a great lesson to be learned.


Trees in a Winter Storm

May I bow before God, as do the trees
before the culling winter storm--
gracefully, never fighting winds not seen.
Upper branches filled with new growth,
Responding to the sometimes thrashing torrents of rain.


For them, no hiding place from God's time-to-time testing.
They are out in the open; vulnerable, accepting.
Lifting from the roots skyward, stretching toward heaven.


And when the storms come, as they always do,
They appear to accept, and even enjoy their time of challenge.
Roots, reaching deep hold base trunk secure, firm, sure.
The bending to the winds and ice will come from the reaching latter growth.


That which has not before experienced the storm
will stand or fall from the nurturing trunk
as heavenly forces call for an accounting of new growth.


Thrashing, swaying, twisting, accepting, ever accepting
'Till the storm is through.


Then all becomes calm, as gentle rain descends.
Bathing each leaf and branch with healing touch.


The trial is over.  The sky lightens.
The trees stretch once again heavenward.


Upon the ground lie twigs and leave, and sometimes branches,
that stood well when there was no storm.
Weaknesses hiding amid the strengths, 'till now.


The trees do not mourn the loss.


They have been pruned by the God that created them.
That which was strong has become stronger.


They are filling the measure of their creation.


There are lessons to be learned from winter's storms--
about life, and God, and growth, and obedience,
And so many other things--


If we could just open our eyes and hearts,
To the simple, visual parable of trees in a winter storm.




Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weather I Like it or Not

No, that wasn't a misspell.  I meant to type weather. You'll see why.

Monday I felt the impression to do all of the laundry in the house.  Yes, ALL the laundry.  My kids brought their dirty clothes from their rooms (I mean all of them- from under the beds, behind the dressers, everywhere) and sorted them. We gathered towels, blankets and rags. The downstairs looked like a war zone of clothing.  For two days straight the washer and dryer were running.

Then, Tuesday night all I had left were a pile of blankets to wash.  I felt the impression to wash them, but pushed that aside.  I was tired and figured I would just do it in the morning. Besides why would God care if I washed my blankets then, or the next day.  So, I threw them into the garage (out of sight, out of mind) to be washed in the morning. 

Wednesday morning I woke up to a cold house and no power.  

The first day wasn't too bad.  We have a gas fireplace, and we hooked up our generator to a few lamps, the refrigerator and the TV (a sanity saver!)  But, that night, we were cold.  We all had clean jammies to layer- but no extra blankets.

The blankets were sitting in the freezing garage- dirty.

We made do.  It's Sunday- going on four days with now power- and we are still making due.

The point is- God tried to help me out. He gave me the idea to do all the laundry.  I listened- mostly.  But, I didn't listen completely.

I did it again the other night.  I felt the impression to call a friend of mine.  It was dinner time.  I was tired and busy.  So I told myself I would call her the next day.

The next day I found out she was in the hospital - having her baby weeks early.   She had found out the afternoon before that she would need to have the baby right away.  She had just enough time to go home and grab a few things before going back to the hospital.  

That was about dinner time.

I had the impression to call her.  And I didn't follow the impression.

Sometimes God puts ideas into our heads to help us out- impressions about our lives and the things around us. Sometimes the impressions make sense, sometimes they don't.  But, they are always for our benefit.
He wants to help us.  He does help us.  But, it's us to listen AND follow those impressions when they come.

We have had crazy weather.  Ice storms, snow, rain storms and wind storms.  I just heard that another wind storm is on the way.  Who knows when the power will come in (well,  He does.) 

 I'll tell you one thing I do know, though.  Next time I feel an impression, I'll follow it: weather I like it or not.