A Sunday Snow Day, & other musings…

When I went to bed last night, I saw that there was some snow. Checked the local forecast, which happened to call for a rain/snow mixture, tapering off around midnight. Ok. Beings as I usually leave the house around 7:30 to head to church, I mentally figured I’d give myself a couple extra minutes for the morning drive.

Woke up this morning to the surprise of Snow, with a capital S. 9″ to 12″ worth.

Snow like I haven’t seen since the January 2005 blizzard that threw Reno into a 2-week long funk of Snow Days for school-aged kids, & transportation issues galore.

Brother was already on it – he’d been calling & texting the house, trying to awaken me from my slumber. He was wondering – “Are we going to cancel church today?”

Shaking the cobwebs from my brain, thanking the LORD for a coffee machine that has a Magic Timer that allows it to be set to go off at the Desired Time in the a.m. Looking outside again. Consuming the nectar of the java bean. Watching the Snow fall, with flakes the size of silver dollars. Goodness.

Checked in with a couple of friends to get a report on other parts of the Reno/Sparks metroplex. It was just as bad (good?) all over. Ok. We’re canceling.

When it comes to canceling church, today was a no-brainer. Lots of Snow (with more falling,) little-to-no notice of the storm, messy roads… the only thing that really runs through my brain is, “Can we get the info communicated in time to those that need it?” Between email, Facebook, texting, & the 411 Mass Email Program that Mr. H is masterminding, I think we were able to get the word out.

Sitting inside with a full belly, hot coffee, & myBean, I’m pondering the falling Snow. The accumulated Snow. Thinking back to the last time Hillside canceled church & had a Snow Day. It was the 1st week of January, 2005, & we got absolutely slammed on a Saturday. I can remember struggling for about 30 seconds over the decision. Mostly because of a feeling deep inside that you really CAN’T cancel church. Almost like it was doing something bad.

So I prayed & asked God for clarity – was this sense from Him, or was it not? The gentle encouragement I received quickly was that I was feeling Fear, something that was most definitely NOT coming from Him. Fear of what people might think of me for canceling church. Fear of not measuring up. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown.

So I rejected the Fear. Smacked it away like it was a ping-pong ball. Said, (out loud even!) “I will NOT be afraid!”

And BOOM! It was outta here.

Not too long after the 2005 Snow Day, I was at a ministerial meeting & the topic turned to the big Snow that we’d recently had. When it came to my turn to talk, I shared that rather than try to ‘have church’ we’d decided to take a Snow Day. Talked about my confrontation with Fear, & how I responded.

One of the guys said that he would never, ever, ever cancel church, no matter what. I asked why, & the answer blew me away: “Because you can’t receive an offering if you cancel church.”

Another guy agreed, & added, “If you lose a Sunday offering, you’ll never get that money, cause it’s not like the people are going to give it the next week…”

Hmmm. So the reason to have church, to not cancel, is so that people can give money? And that if they don’t have the opportunity on that Sunday to give the money, that money is lost?

Ok. That sounded a lot like more Fear to me.

We can talk a great game about God being our provider, & sing the songs, quote the verses, but when confronted with Snow & people missing an offering opportunity, Fear shows up.

I’ve GOTTA believe that God is my Source & my Provider, for everything I need, in every area – & not look to or put my trust in people, offerings, or Publisher’s Clearinghouse, for provision. Because He has promised not to abandon us. Or forsake us. Or forget us. So say BOOM! to the Fear. Booyah. Hope that didn’t end up sounding like a rant. But, goodness!

And the neighbors are out riding their snowmobile down the street. Marvelous. Now THAT brings me joy.

TheWeez is off to Hawaii for 11 days. Lucky girl. Which means we’re down to 2 children. More like 2 mostly grown men. And probably less Taylor Swift playing in the house… One of the results of theWeez leaving is that theBean has gone into cleaning mode… in & around theWeez’s room, the loft area, & the upstairs.

Me? I’m watching the Olympics. Pondering going outside to watch the neighbors some more. Shovel a bit. Thank God for always watching out for me. & enjoy my Snow Day.

What was THAT? & other musings on a Tuesday…

Left the office a little early today to run some errands only to find… snow. Flakes the size of KAN-tuck-ee. I did what anyone else would do in that situation: I checked my Weather Channel app on my iPhone. It confirmed what I already knew; there was no snow. Except that there was. Checked the hourly forecast. No snow. The weekly forecast. No snow. Actually said 0% chance of snow.

Except that there was. Sigh.

Made it home, only to find… blue skies. Silly skies. Goodness. What WAS that?

I’m hungry. Looking back, I forgot to eat breakfast & lunch. Oops. Sort of missed them, probably due to the filling affect that coffee brings with it. Only had 2 cups today, but they were very well placed cups.

What to eat? I can visualize dinner right now – chili, topped with processed Con Queso… using salami as a spoon to scoop it out. Ah, yes. I think that would be great. Now only if I had a personal chef to make it for me. Because cooking chili would take at LEAST 3 minutes. Then a thought hits me. Con Queso. Spanish for “With Cheese.” With cheese? As opposed to… what? I don’t even want to read the ingredients. Bet its not organic. :)

Reading a fictional book a friend lent me, based upon another non-fiction book. So far, so good.

My theBean is at work. Tuesday & Wednesday are Doubles: a lunch & a dinner shift. That means they’re the longest days of the week for me. She works hard. Sometimes I like to go in to her restaurant, sit in the lounge & watch her do her thing. So gifted, such an eye for detail. Very pleasant in all of her interactions with others, something I’m still trying to learn. Love that girl.

Listening to PFR. I could listen to Great Lengths over & over. As a matter of fact, I AM listening to it over & over. Feels a little like a binge.

Of all the emotions that, when unleashed & given full vent, are most destructive, jealousy, born from discontent, has to be at/near the top. Man, it’s ugly & doesn’t play well with others. It undermines, whines, cries out in immaturity for self-fulfillment, but ironically is never satisfied.

Teach me LORD to be content in any & every situation.

Went to the gym to show a couple of buddies the way of the Kettlebell. Pretty soon, the gym is going to have to get another set to keep up with the demand. They can thank me later. :)

Prepping for Christmas Eve service & a Christmas Eve message used to be something I dreaded – mostly because I felt like I needed to come up with something Clever. Unique. Special. Different. And the longer I’d been around & attended church Christmas services, the more daunting ‘my Task’ became.

Then a couple Eve’s back, it hit me. Christmas isn’t about me. Being Clever. Unique. Special. Different. Christmas is about Christ, & the Good News of Great Joy for EVERYONE. And I get to be a part of telling that news. Silly me, making it so hard, when in reality its the easiest & best story ever.

Verdict is in: Chili. With Con Queso. Yes.

Saturday-ness in the Inclement Weather…

Just got in from shoveling. Again. It’s like a competition. This bout with the shovel was the best, because it was raining. Truly. Nothing like it, especially with the promise of more snow for the evening. Ahh.

I got to perform a wedding earlier this afternoon. Right before I went into the sanctuary, I stopped to look through the foyer windows & out into the world – amid the falling snow, I saw sun. Little blue sky. Rays sparkling off the plentiful snow piled on the ground. Beautiful, like myriad diamonds. What an environment to do a wedding in, I thought.

After the wedding, I was lurking outside the room where the pictures of the bride & groom & their families were being taken… thinking about the weather, wondering when in my life I’d learned to hate snow. Don’t know. At some point, the sheer joy that falling snow would bring had been replaced by a dread, a tangible negative response in my gut. Tried to pin the time down, but nothing came to mind. It’s fear.

Fear? Of snow? Why? Hmm.

Weez - 01/2005 SnowstormIs it from worrying about having to transport youth group kids from home to Camp in the mess of snow? Worrying about theBean traveling from Sonora to C-town when we were dating? Getting stranded during my Domino’s delivery days? Or is it more recent, from the blizzard of 2005?

Why fear?

Something comes to mind: Danger. Separation. Isolation. Being without. Lack.

Hmm. Not sure why, but the realization & beginnings of identification with the pit in my gut makes me feel better. I pray. Ask for a new way of seeing snow. For comfort. Truth. Confidence in my God’s care & provision for me.

I look outside again & see that there is a backhoe in the Church parking lot. Scraping the snow off the lot & the driveway. It’s Rod, a guy from Church – he found out we didn’t get the lot scraped after the big snow Monday & borrowed the backhoe from his workplace. Then, he came up on his day off & spent a few hours plowing & scraping the residual snow & ice from the lot. Went out & talked with him. He was beaming. Glad to help, to do ‘his part.’

I wept…

Now, it’s later, & I look at the winter wonderland that has enveloped all I can see around me. Flakes the size of Silver Dollars (remember those!?) are falling. I sense awe, & wonder. Ponder the beautiful blanket of snow that makes everything it covers a work of art. Amazing.

I want to go shovel again… maybe later.

looking back on a Snow Day…

Woke up this morning to the joyous celebration that always accompanies a ‘Snow Day” – meaning the promised snowfall had not fallen short of expectations, 7 the prayers of my 3 children (& kids all over Reno,) had been answered. Stayed in bed for a few extra minutes; seemed the right thing to do, considering the fact that the need to rush off to school as Carpool Dad had been removed. Smelled the coffee. Ah.

Did what I always do when its snowing – check the weather report at weather.gov (like Duffy told me to,) to see how bad the storm would be, & how long it would stick around. Good news… confirmed by the evidence from the windows. Spriling snow, but not much. Which meant… shoveling the driveway.

Dressed for success & made my way to the driveway – don’t know exactly why I’m drawn to shoveling snow, but it feels absolutely like the right thing to do – clear a path to the cars, clear the cars, scape the windows. Great satisfaction at completion, in spite of the input my neighbor gave letting me know it was going to snow all day long. (BTW: it didn’t. Booyah.)

Took IDoey to the dentist, braving the most dangerous & difficult thing about the snow: drivers. Almost got taken out a couple of times by a black Hummer driving in the middle of the 4-lane road. Rewarded ourselves with chocky donuts, & navigated our way back up to the house.

Got a call saying that in spite of the snow & cancellation of school, IDoey’s dress rehearsal for White Christmas was still happening, giving further credence to the saying, “the show must go on.” So we piled into the car & navigated the streets again. Worked out, (Yes, it was a kettlebell day. I’m feeling the results of the last 3 weeks. Good results. Love it.)

Home. Chili-beef soup, made extra spicy with the brown Tabasco, aka Chipotle... And cornbread. Little rotwein. MNF. Now just waiting for dress rehearsal to be done so the day can end.

Reminiscing with theBean. This turned out to be a great day, snow & all. Life is good.