Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
-Atrributed to St. Francis
Notes from Across the Road
Seven Awesome Things About a Michigan Winter
Between the freezing cold, the long dark evenings, the treacherous roads, and the never-ending battle between your mailbox and the plow truck, Michigan
winters are a humdinger.
The last few days of cold and snow and re-learning how to drive on the stuff have threatened to take me out of my happy place, so I decided to psyche myself up with some things I like about winter. Seven of them, because seven is my favorite number (and because I wasn’t sure I could come up with ten!)
- 1. I love summer, but I do not handle heat well. Especially at my age and stage of life, where hot flashes make me a human furnace. In winter, they just keep me toasty! So while I someday hope to live in different places and see what that’s like, I’ll always be a thick-blooded Northerner, more comfortable in a cool climate.
- 2. My fridge is a small dorm-sized model, about three feet tall. It serves my needs and conserves energy. But in the winter, my inner front porch gets converted into a giant walk-in fridge where I can store large pots of soup, plenty of fruit, and any leftovers kind people give me. That’s pretty awesome, and I miss it during the warmer months.
- 3. When winter is howling outside, I’m filled with gratitude that I have a warm, safe place to live. Anything that causes me to count my blessings is a good thing.
- 4. My best vacations happen in the winter. It’s when the sign shop slows down to a crawl, and I’m able to take time off and go south for a couple weeks. I always look forward to that, hoping I’ll get to visit a new state and go hiking and exploring. I’m hoping to get back to Big Bend in Texas this winter.
- 5. There’s nothing quite like the beauty of morning sun on new snow. The whiteness hides and simplifies the landscape. Everything sparkles and the world looks newly-made. I love that.
- 6. The short days and long nights of winter here have always inspired me to reflect on my life and write lots of journal entries about where I’ve been and where I want to go. Sometimes that kind of reflection can get intense…but it always opens new doors and helps me grow.
- 7. And finally, the very best thing about winter in Michigan is when it ends. When you live here year-round, you really, really appreciate spring when it comes. It’s an Event, never taken for granted. Every year, when I’m about to lose my mind during February, I remember that the plants underground are stirring and getting ready to head skyward. That gives me hope.
So there you go. I feel better, don’t you?
(Dedicated to my Dad, a thin-blooded Missourian who has never adjusted to Michigan winters, even after 39 years here. Hope this will warm you up a bit, Dad!)
Peace and Blessings,
Sugar Ridge is striving to be Christ centered and Bible based, as we prayerfully seek God's will and share His word in love.
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