Saturday, January 01, 2022

Every Good Story Begins with a Storm

Every good story begins with a storm, it is fitting for 2022 to open with a storm. I believe 2022 is going to be part of a very good story.  

And we have a storm! 1 - 2 inches of snow was predicted. This is what we woke to, significantly more than 2 inches, 7- 8 inches.  In addition to snow, we have ice and wind gusting to 75mph. 

On days like today, I am grateful for all the windows Wayne and Cynthia built into our home. We sit inside, warmed by the woodstove and watch the snow blow and swirl from every direction. It is the closest we will come to living inside a snow globe. It's magical. 
The white swirls are blowing snow

Michael is slated to preach tomorrow. He was heading into the church to find a quiet place to put the finishing touches on the message when we got a text from Pastor. The parking lot was an ice rink.  The snow and wind is predicted to continue and so we are not going to meet in person this Sunday. Sanding is pointless - it would blow away. 

The power flickered on and off all day, finally going off in our area around 7 p.m. We are well prepped for power outages.  I have several kerosene lamps - one from when we lived in Liberia.  They are not simply decorative. 

We have a woodstove, candles, flashlights and headlamps. Our only real concern is our well water pump requires electricity. We have a few cases of drinking water and are heating snow to get water for flushing. Showers are non-essential. 

Alex and Grandpa went to bed. Nolan was still working. The girls, Michael and I sat in the living room until around 10 and shared memories inspired by other weather events. Michael stayed up to keep the stove going until I got up at 6:30 a.m. (Jan 2nd).  The lights came back on for 30 minutes, went back out, came back on....I suspect Jan 2nd is going have a lot of flickering. 
Michael reads Stacia's novel 

What about that first line? Will 2022 be a good story? Yes, it will.  It's started not only with a storm but with our long-awaited Amaryllis blossom. 

Was 2021 a good year? Yes, it was.  

Was 2020 a good year?  Yes, it was.  

God has been sovereign in every year. All years have valleys and mountains, challenges and celebrations. God has been faithful, His presence is constant, He is the good shepherd who goes before us in all terrain. 

Stacia points out there was an entire generation that lived through World War 1,  a pandemic, the Great Depression and World War 2....and kept a sense of optimism alive. 

We've had years before with miscarriages, earthquakes, death...and not felt the doom and gloom which so many freely express about 2020 and 2021. 2021 was HARD. We lost family members to Covid. Inflation is up, supply chains are stressed. We feel all the stresses the media gleefully or reluctantly reports.  I think, collectively, we have focused on the bad, the hard, the challenges to the exclusion of the good and the faithfulness of God. 

In 2021 we lost family members. We also gained family members. We had 2 weddings. Krista and Jamin both took big career steps. Nolan began college and is knocking it out of the park. All our grandkids are healthy. Dad caught Covid in 2020 and hasn't caught it since. Michael's Parkinson's is stable. 

So much of our outlook is determined by what we choose to focus on. I made a conscious choice in September to quit focusing on my fear and to instead believe God holds and counts my days and knows what each day will bring. 2021 was not bigger than God. I will walk with him, in wise, discerning faith-not fear. I will step away from the media reports, the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds and focus on what I know to be true. I will take every thought, or at least more thoughts, captive to the Lordship of Jesus. God writes this story, He is not frustrated or surprised by the plot line or twists... He works in ways which often surprise. When I am frustrated, frightened and surprised by the plot twists, I will consciously choose to seek His presence and to observe where He is at work in the situation. 

I am confident 2022 is going to be a great chapter in God's story. As all good stories do, this one begins with a storm. 

It's ironic our power has gone out again and I will not be able to save or publish this. ::snort:: 

Our Amaryllis - Uncle Bill's Treat

 My Uncle Bill loved Amaryllis'. He bought a bulb every Christmas season and we'd watch to see if it would bloom before Christmas. When we moved to Hardin, he began bringing us a bulb each year. One for us and one for "Grams." We all loved watching them. 

Uncle Bill died the day Arielle was born...obviously, years ago. I found myself this year missing him, those days when we lived in Hardin, the brief time when Mom and Dad came home and lived there before Grams passed away. 

Michael came home one day in November with an amaryllis bulb. We kept it moist and watched as it grew and then began to bud.  It didn't bloom by Christmas - but look - a bit of color. 

I don't think any bloom could be watched for and waited for more eagerly than this one has been. 

Dec 25th 

Dec 27th 

Dec 28th 

Dec 29th

Dec 30th - getting close! 

Dec 31st

We woke this morning to the first bloom! Happy New Year! Welcome 2022. 
Jan 1st

I expect it will be spectacular in a few more days...and maybe I'll have to add a few more pictures...but I had to share this sight today. 

Jan 2nd - I think we're going to get four blooms

January 3

January 5th 

Look at this...four blooms on Epiphany. It's now fully blossomed. 

I'm so glad Michael bought this this year. It's been fun to remember past Christmas'. It's been a silent memorial to Grams and Uncle Bill.  AND it's such a bright note of color and hope as we went through the New Year's storm....I won't update this post again now that it's fully blossomed.