How to wait out the winter and the hard times

Anytime I go to the post office I try to take the long way home. I drive over by the yachts, by the pier and the lake that looks like an ocean.

Even after all these years of living near Lake Ontario, I still expect its water to be salty, and I make it a point to catch glimpses of it as often as I can. So, that day, like many Saturdays, I pulled past the mailboxes in the back of the post office and took a tiny road down by where the Genesee River empties into the lake.

Because it’s winter here, boats were out of the water. I could see blue tarp after blue tarp covering stern to aft, and my first thought was one of sadness.

I know boat people. They yearn to be on the water. And I know what it feels like to be a boat on dry land, to have what you were created to do put on hold.

But by the time I rounded the corner toward the pier, I had a different thought — almost like a whisper.

The boats are out of the water for their protection, and this is just a season, not a reflection of their worth.

Those boat owners who are pacing the floor waiting for spring would never risk leaving their vessels in the water during a New York winter. It would be irresponsible. Foolish even.

They understand that, and they sacrifice one season to enjoy many.

Maybe, like me, this is your winter. Maybe the things you are most passionate about are slightly out of reach, beneath tarps. Maybe no matter how hard you try to break the ice, you still can’t reach the water and set sail.

Friend? Maybe this is for our protection. Maybe we are so valued and cherished by God that we are being covered for this season.

And maybe we’re preparing for a beautiful spring.


Making a plan to seek joy

summer passports


I knew when I went to a work conference in California that I’d come back with a notebook full of ideas. What i didn’t know is what a difference it would make in my husband’s life.

Brian is a stay-at-home dad, and he home schools our boys. He has every Wednesday night off — and he has about 30 minutes to himself each night when he slips away to get something he “forgot we needed” at the grocery store. But I think we figured out that he had slept away from the boys for three or four nights in the last eight years… until he tagged along on my business trip.

That first day, I started to see a difference. By the second day, I could almost see his shoulders relaxing. And by the third day, he rattled off all the places he had visited while I was in class, and then he paused and said how glad he was to have the chance to explore and to have an adventure.

I had forgotten how fun adventure is, he said, and I think I can have more adventures at home, too