I’ve mentioned that I’m cold here. It was stunning to see 14 degrees on the weather app in October. Wowza. Did you know my toes and nose can become tingly numb in about three minutes? Wowza again.
Despite my fear that I might be cold from October to May here in the East Mountains of New Mexico (aka: Antartica), God has proven otherwise.
I’ve been warmed. Surprisingly physically more than I imagined, but more than I thought possible emotionally and spiritually.
God warmed my body much, but my heart more with cups, coaching, containers, a coat, and cords.
It all started when my precious friend showed up to demonstrate true friendship. She showed up with a cup of love, determined to help me make the transition to hot drinks. Actually, she was pretty stinkin’ confident her mug of preference would win me over.
I’m a iced tea die hard fan and have never really enjoyed hot drinks of any kind (even hot cocoa). I’ve been told, though, that a key factor in staying warm when surrounded by snow drifts, is to wrap your hands around a hot cup of something and let it warm your innards.
Jasmine brought her top gun and helped me make the leap in one jump! The Chamba Chai Latte and I were instant friends. Seriously. Pretty much like Jasmine and I.
Next item to tackle was the wood stove. Again, Jasmine to the rescue. She showed up one morning when it was 32 degrees, five kiddos in tow, handed me a cup of chai to help thaw my shocked self, and then she walked me through Wood Stove 101.
A few days later, a sweet woman I have only met a few times, but think is a jewel, called and said she had something for the “Texas Transplants to help warm them up!” I met her in town and she handed me eight homemade rice packs for warming hands, feet, beds, you name it. I was to touched by her thoughtfulness.
Then… a huge box filled to bursting arrived. From Minnesota (aka: North Antartica). A friend from college sent us mittens, gloves, snow pants, boots… you name it. I was left speechless.
You would have thought that by that time, I would have been convinced that God was not going to allow me to freeze to death here. That my fear of misery and frostbite and numbness in all appendages would be long forgotten.
You would be wrong.
Here’s the deal. I get cold easily. Stupidly easily. Ridiculously easily.
And we…. and by we, I mean the other half of my marriage that isn’t me…. want to use the wood stove for as much as our heating as possible… and by as much as possible we mean pretty much entirely.
That requires wood. At least four cords for normal mountain/high plains folks. Factor in a Southern Transplant Wimp and I’m pretty sure that’s more like five cords.
I’ve been pretty concerned about getting wood since the third time in July I heard men mention going to haul in cords for the winter. You heard me right, temperate climate folks, people have been gathering wood since JULY here!
I would look at our very empty patio and casually mention (or not quite so casually) to the part of we that was unconcerned about freezing to death for the need for wood. And lots of it. I wish I could say that I prayed for provision.
When we entered October with no wood, I started to wring my hands and plan which furniture would have to become kindling. And which kids were going to get to go forage in the fields for fuel.
Thankfully, God seems to not desire me to grow through the trial of freezing in the wilderness. I know this because he sent manna.
I mean wood.
Four trailer fulls (not to be confused with cords, which are different, for you newbies out there) so far. All free. Seriously.
One was a gift from a sweet friend’s parents. Three were a result of me being first to see a group email about free wood to the first person to respond. To say that I was happy every time my children and husband chopped, split and toted wood, is an understatement.
The first trailer was a start, but heightened my need for more. The second started to take the edge off my fears of freezing to death. When the next opportunity arrived, I finally realized God was taking care of me completely, not partly.
My heart sighed and I embraced all He has done for me to warm me up (and prepare me not to freeze to death).
As if all of that wasn’t enough, God went above and beyond. He sent me the most amazing coat in the world. Do you know how warm down is? Stinkin’ amazing warm! Not only was this gift from a friend a down coat, but it goes to my shins. That means this dress/skirt wearing gal is covered practically from head to foot.
And it’s pretty too!
I struggle with the balance between anxiety and being prepared.
And that’s where God met me: right in the middle.
In between the mugs, hugs of love showing me that people care, and before the snow covered the wood, God provided above and beyond for me. And then some.
Do you ever realize too late that you haven’t been grateful, but still fearful?
Have you ever realized that you are being loved in just the right way?
Take a minute and evaluate your heart attitude on gratitude.
I know mine had been sorely lacking, but I’m grateful he opened my eyes to my own sin.
Today, I declare my praise for provision!
He loves me with an everlasting love. A warming love, I dare say.
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” Matthew 6:31-32
Thank you, for the cups & cords & more, in my life, LORD!
What do you need to praise Him for today?