Is this microphone on?
Because I need to go on record and simply state, “This is the winter that will not die!” I’m not even kidding you; it’s like the Snow Apocalypse keeps exploding all around us, day after day, until the days have become weeks, and the weeks have become months, and I have no idea how Laura Ingalls managed to survive in the one-room school house on the prairie, snowed in with the teacher, with no cell phone coverage or You Tube videos on cats to keep the kids entertained with. We’re still holding strong over here in Small Town, USA. We’re still digging out our driveways first thing in the mornings, to get the kids to school, because our superintendent does not believe in compromising education for the sake of twenty-nine inches of snow.
(Or whatever it is.)
(I’ve lost track of that little thing called Total Snowfall Accumulation right now.)
(And I never exaggerate.)
We’re still shoveling and scraping ice off cars; we’re still pulling over here and there downtown, to wipe our windshield wiper blades, because ICE! ICE builds up on them, and then it’s only by the grace of God that anyone can even SEE where they’re trying to go. We’re still driving slowly on roads that are every bit as slippery as an Olympic luge run, and… basically… we are all in desperate need of a Snow Day, just to build our morale back up.
Especially considering that my gym floor turned into a massive puddle today, as kids traipsed through in wet snow boots.
We were supposed to get “one to three inches” of snow today, but that was just our weathermen, filling us full of pipe dreams that one to three more inches wouldn’t be that bad, and that SPRING IS PROBABLY JUST AROUND THE NEXT BEND, after this last little DUSTING.
The weathermen lie.
Our one to three inches of snow quickly turned into another new foot of snow, with yet another Winter Weather Advisory chasing after it, because of all the snow blowing sideways and wiping visibility off the face of the planet.
In other words, it’s just all business as usual here this winter. When that groundhog pops his little head out of his hole in a couple of days, it’ll be to the sound of snowplows and the feeling of frostbite on his nose, which is when he’ll yell, “KEEP YOUR PIPES WRAPPED FOR A WHILE YET, BECAUSE I THINK THERE’S GOING TO BE SIXTY-SEVEN MORE WEEKS OF WINTER.”
I am OVER all the winter.
But here’s the thing, people. There are things to be OVER, which is really nothing more than a bunch of whining and complaining, because scraping ice off your windshield is a hard, first world problem.
And then there are things to be OVER, which are the really difficult things in life, which start with hunger and trafficking and poverty and cancer and wondering if you’re going to be able to pay the heating bill this winter.
And then there are things to be OVER, which are somewhere in the middle. Tonight, I have a prayer request that’s a little harder than shoveling every single day, but certainly nowhere near as hard as wondering if you’ll be able to feed your children this week.
My sister’s family is going through a sudden season of struggles with their three children.
My fourteen-year-old niece, Cousin L, ripped some cartilage off of her sternum and ribs. She’s ended up in the hospital this winter, because it WILL. NOT. HEAL. UP. The pain has been miserable for her at times, and every time it seems like she’s making progress in getting all that cartilage healed up, she’ll suffer something like a plain old SNEEZE, of all things, which will rip it all back to square one. As in, GLAD YOU WERE STARTING TO FEEL A TOUCH BETTER, BUT WHOA, NELLY! YOU SNEEZED REAL BIG-LIKE AND RIPPED IT ALL BACK TO SQUARE ONE, SO WHERE ARE THOSE PRESCRIPTION PAIN PATCHES THAT STICK ON YOUR RIBS??!! She’s had to cut back on her classes in the 8th grade, as the doctor wants her at home, resting as much as possible, to heal. She’s dropped her elective classes… has gotten a permanent doctor’s permission slip stating that she is never to participate in a phys ed class this semester… has given up choir and Spanish… and she’s going to school for half-days now, just to attend her core classes.
(Sorry, Cousin L. You may have gotten out of gym class, but ain’t no way you get to skip MATH.)
And then my eleven-year-old nephew, Cousin K, broke his leg plum, dadgum in half last Friday night, while he was sledding. The good news is that he escaped surgery; the bad news is that the orthopedic surgeon set his broken leg in the office yesterday, and Cousin K convulsed and almost passed out from the pain. He’s in a cast from his toes to his hip. So… add a forty-pound CAST to his seventy-pound body, and you have a little boy that my five-foot-two-inch sister cannot easily move around. Sister’s Husband has been carrying him around the house when he needs to move, while Sister holds his leg and carries IT! Using the crutches hasn’t been something he can tolerate yet, because the pain of moving his leg too much keeps making him vomit. He hasn’t been able to tolerate the pain medication very well, either, so he’s thrown up and thrown up and THROWN UP, every time they give him a dose.
And then Sister texted me this morning to say that her five-year-old… Little Cousin H… woke up with a 101-degree fever this morning, and that she’s coughing horrendously.
In other words, my sister’s kids are three for three. They’re all down and out of commission right now, and she’s just going strong, asking Jesus to keep reigning down his blessings.
Because yes… there ARE blessings in the middle of it. Her kids are broken right now, but they’re going to heal up, and none of them have anything life threatening. That’s an enormous blessing. The torn cartilage isn’t a brain tumor. The broken leg isn’t a broken neck. The fever and cough isn’t Whooping Cough.
There ARE blessings.
So… all of that to say… if you’re the praying sort (and I hope that you are), would you mind asking Jesus to watch over my two nieces and my nephew… to bless them with healing and comfort and SOME SLEEP… and that my sister could just have some encouragement and rest, as well? She could sure use a full, solid night of REM sleep, after she’s been awake, night after night after night, checking kids and handing out pain medication, cough syrup, and kisses to foreheads.
And if you’ll pray for my sister’s kids, I won’t even ask that you pray for us to keep our happy dispositions during Wicked Winter 2017.