// Below zero temps gave the kids a few good days of ice skating on Granddad Eldon's pond
// Working cattle and tea on the fire
// Molly Wizenberg's recipe for rice pudding. I've made it twice in the past week. Best ever. Truly.
// Butchering a hog with a group of friends is an annual ritual; breakfasts of fresh eggs from the coop and smoked sausage ever since. No sugar and no flour for me right now but sorghum and buckwheat pancakes are so good I don't miss it.
// Snowy days when the cows get out on the wrong side of the fence.
// Coming in from the snow to a warm house and cup of hot cocoa with maple syrup.
Winter is one of my favorite seasons, maybe because I grew up in Florida and haven't had enough cold and snow to get tired of it yet. Or it could be because it's a bit more quiet on the farm. Whatever the reasons, I think the cold makes me appreciate and look for warmth and it makes everything so cozy.
This year though I've noticed I'm a little more emotionally challenged. I didn't think about it being related to the weather at all until I was talking about it to a friend and she said calmly, "Oh you've got a winter mood."
That's a thing?
I've somehow previously been exempt it seems. It really helped to identify it like that but still I wondered,
"Why is there not a relentlessness about my joy?"
I'm listening to this sermon for the third time today. He says if there is anything good about this day it is because of grace. I didn't realize that I have had a pattern of thinking that things should be good.
Why shouldn't they be good!?
Things aught to go right!
No, it's just starting to sink in... "If anything's good it's because God works it together...
Things fall apart.
The world is burdened down by evil and decay. It's the nature of things to fall apart.
So do relationships... so do families... things do not come together, they do not work together.
[Christians] get rid of the saccharine sentimental idea that things aught to go right, that things do go right, that that's the norm. Modern western people believe, if things have gone wrong, I'm gonna sue! Why? Because things aught to go right! Christian's say, if today my health is in tact, it's God holding it together. If someone loves me and somebody cares about me today at all... in spite of my flaws, in spite of my selfishness... it's God doing that, it's God holding it together. If anything goes good it's a miracle of Grace!"
... These are all quotes smashed together from the sermon I'm writing out to let it all sink in.
I don't know about you but that is news that transforms my way of thinking completely.
Understanding what the promise really is in Romans 8:28 means that I don't need to be shocked when bad things happen and it causes me to practice routine praise for the ordinary things that I now realize I had formerly seen as things I was entitled to.
"God does not promise better life circumstances if you love Him, He promises you a better life... So that when you suffer, you become like Him". -Timothy Keller