Sun in the Deep Freeze

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I am a Wisconsin girl, born and raised.  I am used to the long winters.  I love snow and all its beauty.  But this winter has been BRUTAL.  We haven't seen the grass since the end of November.  There are gigantic ice chunks that have made their home on our roof (uh oh).  And this is the first time in years, that teachers have had 4 days off due to cold!!  Yikes.  I'm looking forward to the days where I can plan my outfits based on something other than, "Is this sweater thick enough to keep me warm?" or "Should I wear one pair of socks or two?"  Needless to say, I am so ready for this winter to be over.

Although this winter has been rough, there's one thing that has made it much more tolerable.  Usually, I remember winter being cold, snowy, and dreary.  You go to work in the dark, drive home in the dark, and if you're lucky maybe you'll catch a slight glimpse of sunlight through the window at lunchtime.  I mean shoot, that's why so many people struggle in the winter and deal with winter depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  It's terrible!  But this winter, although we've had more than our share of snow and freezing temperatures, it has been soo sunny!!!

When I started noticing that the sun was making more appearances, I noticed something interesting.  Every day that the temperatures dipped into the negative digits, the freezing cold was accompanied by the clearest of skies and the brightest sun.  We had a few days in the -20s, and from what I remember, each day the sun was bright and shining!  And the pattern has continued.  Today marks another day in this freezing winter with temperatures in the teens, and the sun is shining so beautifully through my window.  This has been so encouraging.  It warms my heart, my feet (!!), and not to mention my kitty is pretty happy, curled up, napping in the sunshine.  I can't help but praise the Lord for this because it feels like this is God's way of protecting and providing for us in the deep freeze.  Can you imagine how much colder these days would feel if the sun was not out?  It makes such a difference!

As I get ready to bundle up and venture out into the cold, I am choosing to put aside my frustrations with this winter and the eight pairs of socks I am going to want to put on, and instead be oh so thankful for the way that God provides.  I am so thankful for the sun today and the reminder it gives me to praise the Lord for the small ways that He cares for us, like sun in the deep freeze.

put the phone down….

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Today I was listening to the local Christian radio and an ad came on that made me kind-of angry.  The K-love announcer was talking about smart phones; about how we are always pulling them out in dull moments like when you are waiting in the doctors office, for someone to meet you, or, in her example, in the line to pick kids up from school.  I nodded along with the ad thinking yup, that's me unfortunately.  But the next part really surprised me.  I cannot remember word for word what she said but it was something along the lines of this… "What should we do when we go to pull that phone out?  We have the answer for you.  Download the K-love app where you can connect with other Christians!"

I'm sorry, but what?!?  I think I even said that out loud to myself because that was SO not what I was expecting her to follow up with.  Being a Christian radio station I expected something more.  Instead of encouraging us to pull our phones out, to download yet another app on our iPhone, and spend even more time with our noses in technology, shouldn't we be challenged to put the phone down?!  Shouldn't we be encouraged to take those moments when we are sitting idle and waiting for the next appointment on our agenda to just sit and maybe look at the beautiful world right in front of our eyes?  Shouldn't we be challenged to spend those moments talking to the One who created us, to listen for Him, and to appreciate what He's given us in this real world beyond the little screen?  All the apps, the blogs, the games, sure, they have their place- but nothing should take the place of spending quality time with Him.  THAT is what I was expecting to hear from the K-love ad.  THAT is what I want to be reminded of.  THAT is what I need to be encouraged in.

Maybe you aren't in the same place as me.  Maybe you already do a good job of putting your phone down.  [If that's you, then Bravo!! I admire you!]  This is very much something I need to work on.  I have been terrible with wasting time on my phone lately.  TERRIBLE.  I'll pick up my phone, open my email, look at new ones, close that.   Open Instagram, scroll through, "like" a few photos, close that.  Open Facebook, scroll through the newsfeed, read any messages or notifications, close that.  Then I'll be like, "Mindy that's enough" click out of the apps, put down the phone, and then 2 minutes later I'm back looking at Facebook or Instagram for no reason.  Why?  Seriously. Why?  What am I possibly going to learn by checking my apps so frequently? And most importantly, how much am I going to learn about the Lord who loves me when my eyes are glued to my screen?

Less than a month ago, I shared about how putting my phone down over the holidays was such a blessing, about how it helped me in my pursuit to live out the Jim Elliot quote that says "Wherever you are, be all there."  It was so great being fully engaged in my surroundings and feeling more connected to the Lord; I was so proud!  Well… apparently I've had a relapse and slid back into the lame habit of filling way too many free minutes with my phone in my hand.  I guess I should have added this to my February To-Do list because I really need to work on this.  Maybe that means putting limits on how many times I can access an app a day?  Or taking full days off from using apps? Or having an analog weekend like some other bloggers I know?  I don't know, but it's time to get more disciplined.  There are lots of books to be read, sights to be seen (like the beautiful snow scene from snowshoeing with my family- image above), people to be appreciated, and a God who deserves to be worshipped- all of which do not require the iPhone.

Seeking Motivation

Monday, February 10, 2014

Coming off the holidays (how long am I allowed to use that excuse?) I am still having a hard time getting back into a schedule and finding the motivation and discipline to pursue the goals and dreams that I have for myself. This is somewhat of an uncomfortable place for me because I consider myself to be a dedicated person- someone who gets an idea and goes for it, who doesn't sit idle and someone who dominates a to-do list. In the month of November, I felt like that was a pretty good description of me. At the beginning of the month, I linked up with another blogger and shared my to-do list for the upcoming month. One of my to-dos was to be consistent in my attendance at the gym. More specifically, to go to a Body Pump weight lifting class once a week throughout the month.


Want to read more?  Head on over to Circle of Friends to read the full post.   

February To-do List

Monday, February 3, 2014

A couple months ago, I linked up with Hayley Morgan over at Tiny Twig, who challenged us to join her in making goals for the month of November.  I decided to call mine a "to-do list" instead of goals because it makes me feel like my list is more attainable and less optional.  This gave me a greater push to stick to it, and work towards getting them done.

I cannot believe that November came and went so quickly, and here I am at the beginning of February, and I have yet to share how my November to-do list went! (yikes!) So here's a quick update:

               get a lil Christmas shopping done [buy at least 3 gifts]
               read A Million Little Things
               go to Body Pump once a week
               hang some pictures on the walls
               write November goals post
               go to Puerto Rico!!!

I am proud that other than reading A Million Little Things, (which I won as a giveaway from the lovely Heidi) I pretty much dominated my to-do list.  Going to Puerto Rico, and celebrating 2 years with my hubby by having a little staycation in Milwaukee were definitely two highlights of the month.  But I was also pretty excited about getting some pictures hung on the wall finally (check out my Instagram to see a pic of the gallery wall I put together).

Last time I made a to-do list, I made a point to not just include things that I wanted to get done, but to celebrate special moments and choose to make joyful activities a part of my monthly goals.  This is something that I'd like to continue in the month of February (and every other, for that matter).  With that said, here's what I've got lined up for this month:

               find an area rug for the living room
               rid Finn of his itchy mites (I hope I hope)
               do something FUN!!!!!
               celebrate my hubby - plan a date
               read The Fault in Our Stars
               work out weekly (at least once a week in addition to volleyball)
               get into a daily rhythm of reading the Bible

I am really looking forward to the encouragement and accountability that linking up with Hayley and all the other ladies brings.  Can't wait to cross these items off my list and make this February a memorable one.



Kitten update: Last week I shared about my sweet kitten, Finn- and how he's dealing with quite a bit of health issues.  I am happy to say that at the moment he's doing well. Still dealing with the mites, making many trips to the vet to get his lime sulfur baths- and finished his cold medicine.  But so far, no fatal disease- praise the Lord.  Besides the itches, he acts like any other kitty running around like crazy and chasing his toys.  He is such a trooper.  I am really looking forward to the day we are done with all this and hopefully he will just be a happy and healthy kitten.   

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...