Well, it is Alaska. We do get snow. And we have. It is February. That darn rodent saw his shadow again this year. They are calling for 12 weeks of winter still left for us up here. That rat said 6 weeks, but that’s for the lower 48. Up here…well, we got to see the sun today. I cannot even explain to you how exciting that is. I have all our blinds open. And I got to see our newest level of snow-blown “snow berm” around our house. It started snowing on Friday and pretty much kept it up until this morning, which is Tuesday. My poor husband is the consummate snow plow guy. He looks so frozen when he is plowing and shoveling the snow, but I think he secretly likes it.
Of course, he will vehemently deny his pleasure, but look at that smile! LOL! It’s snowing so much you cannot see across the street. But he is so good. He tries to leave me a clear pathway and exit for my car from the garage. The way the winds blow, it blows across my side of the garage and skips his side. And I’m the one with the granny sedan. He has a big, ole 4-wheel drive, 4-door-truck! LOL. He travels for work and we laugh because for the 2 weeks in a row he was home, we had just a little snow. He was leaving Monday and of course it starts pounding us with snow on the Friday before. He plowed Saturday. It snowed Sunday. He plowed again before he left for the airport Monday morning; it snowed 4″ at least by the time I went to bed on Monday. So once again, I am stuck. But you know what? I kinda like it. Shhhh….
I’ve been in a slight slump. A lot is facing me and I just flat out am done. My stress is high. I’ve sort of just shut down. I rarely sleep a full night. I have these lovely zinging things all over my skin from Covid. It’s been 2 years and I still have after-affects. And the zings all over my skin wake me up and then I stress out and break out in full on sweat-mode, leading into a panic attack. But you know what? I have chosen to take that to task and be done with all of that, too.
I started to attend a women’s Bible Study. And I am finding peace there. It is so wonderful to sit around a table with a cup of coffee and chat about the faith with women who try really hard to live their faith – every day. And boy, are they fervent prayer warriors! Wow. I stand in abject awe at how they grasp the promises of Christ and act on them in praying for everyone who asks it of them. And we are seeing the scriptures in a new light. The Book of Romans is no easy task, that is for sure. But growing in God’s Word has been – it’s hard to describe – but because of this weekly Study, the stress is going way, way down. I can sigh and feel relief. I am so glad my dear friend, Michelle, invited me to attend with her.
In addition to that, I also started a Bible Study with my good friend, Rhonda. We are doing a book entitled, “The Armor of God,” based on Ephesians 6. I cannot fully express how this has invaded my heart, mind, and soul, And today, in week two, day two, I chose to fully claim the promise of Christ, which is to live in God’s truth, and to reach for that righteousness that is in me, through my faith. I refuse to allow the times and the “tempter” to trample my peace; to keep me awake at night in full panic mode; to procrastinate becoming the woman I know I am inside.
Do you ever feel like if you could just get the right key, you could unlock everything inside of you that has you caged in? This idea came to me when we were discussing the “belt of truth” and the “breastplate of righteousness” in Ephesians. The abject truth that never changes. The righteousness that our faith imparts to us through the gift of the Holy Spirit. And I just can’t quite reach the lock…
I tend to be a conservative in pretty much everything. I am not an “Hallelujah” shouting sort of Christian. I was raised with decorum in Church. You do not speak when others are. You dress nicely – your Sunday best – for Church. You behave at all times (parents always threatened us – which is rather ironic, if you think about it). And yes, I was taught formulaic prayer and I cannot tell you how comforting that was when I was hospitalized all alone with Covid. I have never prayed so much in my life. Hours would go by and I’d still be calling on all the saints and angels, and everyone I knew, to pray for me and my husband to be healed and out of there! But I have never been a specific, directed, praying person in the sense of just praying to God. I always start my prayer times with, “Jesus, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Always. But now I feel like I can claim the promises God gave us. When I am awakened now, I pray that Jesus remove the stress from my heart; that He remove the affects of Covid from my body and help me to fully heal; that I give in to Him all these silly issues and allow Him to direct it all. I beg for Satan stop beating on me with his knowledge of my weaknesses. I ask Christ to hedge me with my salvation in Him and a protection against evil in my life. I beg for a restful sleep. And I thank Him for dying on the Cross for me. In those words. In fervent prayer. And then I restfully go back to sleep. It has been amazing.
My husband had a very important phone call the other day. And I knew he was wanting a certainty from this call, and I know he was nervous. So after he closed himself into his office for the call, I retreated to our main bathroom. I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for my day, and I just started fervently praying. And I mean, I was praying! I was leaning on God so much, and I was expressing my desires for my husband and the person he was speaking with. And I kept at it. I realized, suddenly, that my husband was standing in the doorway looking at me. He asked me, “Were you singing?” And I replied, “Nope. I was praying for you and for that that phone call.” He seemed to be happy that I was so caught up in the prayer, I did not notice him approach. And as it turned out, the phone call/meeting turned out exactly as I had been praying for. God will work miracles – we just need to lay it all out there for Him to work. We believe; we pray. God acts.
Somehow, I was able to crack open that cage inside of me and allow God full access. And I am allowing my heart and head full communion with all of this. Working as a woman on a mission – to become a better me. To allow God to work in me through His gift of the Holy Spirit, through my faith in Him. Wow. What a total blessing.
And because of this, He is allowing me to accomplish things I have been putting off. He is giving me the confidence and the grace to do these tasks I have felt were beyond my ability. I am tackling them one issue at a time and somehow He is giving me this peace that is washing over me in waves…all the while allowing me to do what I have been afraid to do. I am breathing quieter and finding strength where I did not know I had it.
“I call to you Lord, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. May my prayer rise before You like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers…”Psalm 141:1-4
This prayer is said daily in the Eastern Churches, as well as the Orthodox. And I find this prayer so comforting. And as I am making my way as an older woman, seeing the sunset get ever closer, I feel a need so deep to work this out with God. To know Him as He knows me. To allow Him to work in me and through me. To allow myself the peace that is Christ. And to share this with my family and friends. Yes, it is winter. The snow is everywhere – both on the ground and metaphorically in our hearts and minds. But the promise of Spring – the Light – is an eternal promise. Let us all grasp for that promise.
“And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.”Romans 4:22-25