Snow Day on Bittersweet Farm
This week was one of the most productive writing weeks of my life. Wednesday was a snow day. We closed the church office and I did not leave Bittersweet Farm all day. I glued myself in the chair up in the corner of my writing loft early in the morning and wrote all day stopping only for food and coffee. When the snow let up I plowed, then scurried right back upstairs to keep the words flowing.
The new book spilled out of my soul. I wrote laughing and weeping in prayer and in thanksgiving. At times the writing itself was an expression of pure worship. The stories in this book are stories I never want to forget. They are stories I will never tire of telling.
Toward the end of this week, if all goes well, I will finish my self-edits and start sending the book a chunk at a time to the editor. She will work her considerable magic on the text. I will sweet-talk Lois into creating a beautiful cover. By spring you will be able to order a soft-cover or digital copy from Amazon or purchase one directly from me.
My Prayer on a Winter Morning
It was a bit of an ordeal getting out to the church for work this morning. Two or three inches of snow cover everything. It’s a bit inconvenient. If drivers aren’t careful the roads can be dangerous. Our baby (Hope) drives her little green Beatle all the way to Lansing every morning so we turn that worry into prayer continually.
As I pull out onto the road something seems out of place. It is. There, standing in the center of the road right is a graceful gray-brown creature staring right at me. Bright white snow covers everything. I pause in the road a moment. It is a scene of breathtaking beauty I might have overlooked had this creature in the not forced me to stop. The deer bounds away into the north field graceful and lithe.
With a start I’m reminded that I live in a beautiful place and I never want to get used to it. A prayer forms in my soul and spills out to God.
Lord, never let me tire of the beauty of snow covering the brown earth in winter.
Help me never, Lord to get used to the fragrance of woodsmoke on the country air.
Help me keep my soul alert to the delicate beauty of fresh tracks in the snow reminding me that I live always among wild creatures bright and beautiful.
Tune my ear on winter mornings to the presence of a new bird song that I might overlook by focusing on my worries.
We are still weeks from anything like spring and there are pictures on the internet this week of friends in warm and sunny places. I’m very happy for them. If I were sipping a cold drink on a warm beach or enjoying my morning coffee in a shady cabana in the Keys I would post pictures, too. Yet on white mornings like this I ask the Lord to help me to count my winter blessings.
“Lord, Remind me of the pleasure of
a mug of hot coffee on a cold morning,
the murmur of the faithful furnace warming us,
the weight of the quilt and the comfort of a bowl of split-pea soup…
It just wouldn’t be the same in 90% humidity.”
South of our little country house is a woods. The sun arcs across the southern sky behind the woods. In winter the leafless trees allow the sun to warm the house. In the summer the leaves shade our little home from the sun and provide a cooling shade. This is a smiling providence of which I never tire. I thank God for it and don’t want to ever forget.
The house is one-hundred-and-twenty years old. It’s been restored with modern windows and insulation. It’s tight and warm. Smoke streams from the chimney into the cold winter air. Birds gather at the feeders.
I know these things are small things to pray about but our God is big enough to care about the smallest of things.
So that is my prayer this winter morning.
Bittersweet Farm-Summit Township, Michigan
February 18, 2019