Seeing as I haven’t posted anything here since the end of December, Happy (not so )New (anymore) Year, blog world! My blogging ability seems to have waned along with my mood this winter. Winter in Cleveland has been quite an experience for this former Florida girl. I thought I liked a little winter, and I do like A LITTLE winter. Snow is great and pretty and fun when you only get a couple of big snows and then it melts away soon after. Though people jokingly warned me about winter here, I do not think I was prepared for quite so MUCH winter. I think you can’t be prepared for it until you experience it, and when you experience it you will either love it or hate it. Guess which side I landed on along with my many falls on icy sidewalks? I told someone recently that I think Cleveland winter has done its work and turned me into a bona fide snow Grinch. We haven’t seen grass or sidewalk or driveway since November (brief respite in an unusually snow-free December which lulled me into blissful unpreparedness) and January, oh, January, when we began to get mounds of snow and ice and more snow and gray, gray, gray, dismally gray skies for MONTHS. I’ve been truly fighting a bit of the winter blues, what with winter in general and some other things along the way that I don’t want to write about, and my energy for writing was completely sapped. So, if anyone even bothers to check here anymore, I’m sorry for the blog silence, but maybe, just maybe I can start getting my head above the gray clouds again now, with the hope of spring around the corner.
Driving here is not fun on a good day, in the winter it’s been….interesting. Throw in the mix that the last time we had the oil changed in my car (the one 4-wheel-drive vehicle we own) they put the wrong size cap on and it slowly lost all its oil without us realizing it, resulting in one day the car just not driving at all and the bad news that the engine was completely fried, and, well, it’s been a frustrating winter. Now, three weeks and quite and expense (but not a new car payment!) later, I have my car back with a new engine. Thankful, I am.
I know I shouldn’t complain and be so low in the winter. I know people who are facing real hurts and struggles, for whom I’m praying daily, and my griping about winter in Cleveland is pretty lame, which only makes me feel even more guilty about the confusing fog of blues into which I descended over the past few months. But my fog was real for me, and I’ve been praying through it, and God is good all the time, even when my feelings and emotions lack zeal. How extremely thankful I am that my standing with God and salvation are not based in my feelings and strength, but in my gracious Savior Jesus, who never wavers and who is ever interceding for His own.
Some great news today is, as I said on my Facebook wall just now: The sun is shining! The snow is melting! It’s a glorious 46 degrees and for the first time since November it feels LOVELY outside without a coat! No coat! No need for hat, scarf, OR gloves! The air doesn’t hurt my face! And I can see pavement on the sidewalks! No more ice skating to school! There are even a few spots of, what’s that stuff called again? Oh yes, grass! Dare I say the long, gray misery of winter may be coming to a close at last? AND I hear birds. Birds! I’d almost forgotten how very much I love to hear birds singing. It’s a lonely world when the birds go silent. So long, winter!
I will say that one very bright spot in our year here in Cleveland has been the church we get to join with while we’re here. The prayer, music, and Bible teaching are so rich, and I have been greatly encouraged by this body of believers and their commitment to worshiping Jesus well. I think this encouragement has done much to keep the blues at bay.
So, not a very serious post, but hopefully one to get me back to blogging again. I hope. If you’re interested, I have found a couple of books that are helping me learn how to pray well, and they’ve been a blessing to me alongside reading my Bible. One is The Valley of Vision, and the other is Prone to Wander: Prayers of Confession and Celebration by Barbara R. Duguid and Wayne Duguid Houk.
Happy (almost) spring!