Snow Essentials

It’s been a great day here. How has yours been so far?

I’m sitting here at my laptop looking out the window on a frozen world. White snow is on the ground and on the roof of each nearby house. White clouds cover the sky. We even have a white car in the driveway. The outside temp is a low 31 degrees and more snow is predicted. That’s a lot of frozen.

So what do I want? Mittens? Ice melt? Bread and milk? No, I want CHOCOLATE!! The dark, moist chocolate cake kind of chocolate with that buttery, smooth chocolate icing on top. The kind your fork goes into with the least amount of resistance and that one bite is enough to send you into a melting swoon, eyes closed, and smiling.

Sadly, my last grocery list was a healthy and cost-conscious one, concentrating more on necessities like bread, milk, yogurt, chicken, fruit, vegetables, and dog food than sweet tooth cravings. Pitiful, right?

But what do I have… Let’s look in the cupboard: no chocolate chips, no semi-sweet baking chocolate, and not enough cocoa to make a homemade version. On to the refrigerator and freezer: no chocolate syrup and no chocolate ice cream. Now it’s to the pantry: no boxed chocolate cake mix, but wait–there on the third shelf, hidden between a bag of pecans and some dried apricots, is an unopened bag of CHOCOLATE-covered cranberries!

I like chocolate covered cranberries. They’re not chocolate cake, but I’m going to embrace and appreciate every one of those sour little cranberries blanketed in semi-sweet chocolate all the same.

Sometimes my life is like that, too. I may want chocolate cake, but all I may have in front of me is chocolate covered cranberries. I may want the smooth commute, but I have traffic. I may want something new or different, but I have what I have–and, though I may not realize it immediately, it’s just fine. My eyes close and I smile.

All I really need is Jesus Christ.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20




Today’s To-Do’s

Good morning! My, it has been a L . . . O . .  N . . . G time since writing here at ChristBesideMe! Do you even remember my posts? Here’s one written on the last day of 2014 for the first day of 2015. I hope it gives you some smiles, some laughs, and a hug of encouragement.

Here, on this last day of December, let’s start with a little background:

Our daughter is home from college for the Christmas break. She ALMOST had a safe drive home. Stopping for gas one hour from home, another car clipped her fender in the gas station parking lot. She called me in tears. Overhearing her voice, our son thought she’d hit a deer! Finally we calmed her down and understood what she was saying. We were so thankful she and the other driver were alright and assured her she was more valuable than any car.  Numbers were exchanged and she drove on. She was rattled though and, once home, burst into tears when she walked through the door. My husband thought she was just overwhelmed to be home, sweet man. When she explained the situation, he reassured the main thing was that she was alright. He was consoling and understanding. He was her hero (and mine later, as you’ll see).

The next day, we drove her car to the body shop. Mike was our contact.

We did a little Christmas shopping after that. Our time was peppered with calls from insurance companies requesting more information and statements. She had left the info in the car, so we called the body shop and asked Mike if he would retrieve the “tiny, torn piece of white paper with blank scribbly writing on it either inside or on top of or underneath the zippered Vera Bradley case in the glove compartment or on the passenger seat or in the passenger seat floorboard.” Amazingly, he found it! Then another question sent him back to the car a second time, and he returned (a second time) with the needed info. Definite hero work.

One week later, I was driving home from some last minute “elf-ing” and the traffic was HORRENDOUS! “There must be a wreck,” I thought. So, I looked at my GPS to see if a lane was closed and if there was a wreck ahead–and, lo and behold, I caused one!  I quickly told my husband about the wreck, then checked on the other car. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. My car suffered the worst of the impact, and-after exchanging the necessary info–I limped off to the body shop.

Who was working? Mike. He was surprised to see me again and assured me they were working on our daughter’s car but that it wasn’t ready yet. I confessed my attempt (and success) at upstaging her and we went out to initially assess the damage. Looking at the crushed bumper, I winced. Mike reminded me how good it was that I was ok. Eyeing the crumpled hood, I bit my lip. Mike reminded me how great it was that the air bag had not deployed. Yes, heroes will put your perspective back in order.

After that, I called my husband and he sweetly came to pick me up. It was so nice to be DRIVEN home, and–by this time–he was very practiced at facing car accidents with consolation and understanding. (It helped that I felt like an idiot–and promised not to use GPS in the future for routes I already knew!)

Today, we drove to the body shop to pick up our daughter’s car. Mike met us with a smile and informed us they’d given us our own special parking spot. We had a good, much-needed laugh.

God orders our steps. (Proverbs 16:9) He holds our times in His hands. (Psalm 31:15) He knows the paths we will go down, the people we will encounter, the earthly heroes who will impact our day.

I am thankful for that.

I am thankful for sweetness and understanding, for perspective and laughter. I am thankful for God’s sovereign hand.

~And keeping that in mind, will make the new year happy!