God Created Snow!






Snow is in the forecast today and it will be mild compared to my memories of The Blizzard of 1978 when snow accumulated three feet high atop roofs in my Chicago neighborhood.  My awning collapsed.  Chilly temperatures dipped and the whirling wind whipped across my face like single-edged razors.

I learned to drive in extreme weather conditions on the streets of Chicago.  That blizzard year, I drove my mint green Chevy Malibu confidently even though I had to be pushed out of roadside snow banks by kind, strong, men more times than I like to admit.

A snow memory that surfaces during that storm is when I met up with Joanne, my first mentor in my newly found faith.

It took me thirty minutes to drive to Joanne’s house, even though she lived only a few miles from me.  I arrived safely and trudged through big pockets of white fluffy snow with my knee-high boots.  When I got to her front door, she quickly scooped up my little baby, bundled in her carrier, freeing me to balance the diaper bag and other goodies I packed.  Talk about a hassle.

I relaxed with Joanne in her living room and we discussed things like the bucket catching the leak in the ceiling caved in by the heavy snow as well as her iffy insurance policy. 


I originally met Joanne at church.   A mid-week outreach program headlined Joanne as a key speaker.  After the presentation I approached her offering accolades for a job well done.  She invited me over to her house and a weekly ritual of coffee and coaching developed.  Joanne attended a Christian college majoring in Counseling and helped me, as a new student of the Bible, not only learn Christian principles but how to serve God.


As I visited her on that dismal Chicago winter day, we sat in her living room discussing Scripture and sipping coffee.  Joanne quoted James 1:1-4:

Dear Brothers and sisters,
When troubles of any kind come your way,
Consider it an opportunity for great joy.
For you know that when your faith is tested,
Your endurance has a chance to grow.
So let it grow,
For when your endurance is fully developed,
You will be perfect and complete,
Needing nothing.


She asked me:  “What do you do when troubles come?”  I answered sheepishly:  “I complain.  It’s hard to be happy when things go wrong!”  Joanne told me the secret to finding joy in the mishaps:  Thank God for all of it!

Her solution was absurd, but I listened.  “Let’s practice,” She advised.  “Let’s thank God for the snow.”  I felt like a lunatic especially when I glanced up at her dripping ceiling, but I followed her lead.  There we sat, thanking God for the crippling snow.

Little did I know way back then that her instruction would open the door to victory in facing any situation because thankfulness allows God to enter in, take control, and hold back the forces of Hell for the sake of maturing His people.

I look out my window and think to myself that the snow flurries dancing to the ground today will never compare to that winter of 1978 when over 250 inches fell of white fluff causing pain, hardship and delays.  However, I will never forget the golden morsel of truth in the midst of it:  Thankfulness!


Thirty-eight years later, thankfulness still holds true.  Only now I don’t feel so much like a lunatic.

Comments

  1. Hi Mary! I have to learn from your friend and mentor Joanne. She stepped out and invited you into her life, all from just a chance meeting. And look what fruit it grew! You'll never forget that lesson in snow, in thanksgiving.

    I know you do the same things Joanne does too. You are so welcoming and cheerful in faith, you are another mentor! God is so good...thank you for sharing your story today :)
    Ceil

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    1. God is faithful to provide! Joanne needed someone to practice those counseling principles with and I needed help! A mutual need was met! Thanks for visiting, Ceil.

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  2. A powerful post, Mary! I think that thanking God in EVERY circumstance is a great show of faith. How blessed you had her in your life to coach and mentor you. I had two lovely people - Muriel and Joyce. Thankfully, I didn't have to trudge through tunnels of snow to visit them. Have a blessed evening.

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    1. That's funny--so glad those mentors were easily accessible to you. How does a person get by without a mentor at times????

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  3. Oh my goodness, I can't begin to imagine that much snowfall!
    Thankfulness doesn't sound terribly different than optimism, does it?

    Your Joanne sounds like a treasure, indeed. Is she still a pivotal player in your life?

    PS - Tom wonders if you recall the Blizzard of '67? I've a co-worker who lived in 'near north' and actually walked to work downtown that day because she was young and afraid if she didn't show up she'd be fired!

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    1. I think you're right...thankfulness - optimism --the same family, Myra! I lost touch with Joanne when I moved out west but she will always be dear to me. Tom, I was in high school in that blizzard of '67. I was out with a girlfriend and when it never stopped snowing so heavily she dropped me off at my home and I worried like crazy because it took her so many hours to get home herself. That storm was very scary.

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  4. This is such a lovely post, Mary! I am blessed in that I love the snow and enjoy the winter, too, but I know that many people do not. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. It's a good thing you love snow, Linda, living in Canada!

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  5. I love that you confidently drove your car, even though it might have gotten stuck a time or two :) I never was a confident driver in snow/ice when we lived in Montana; I would call myself reluctant at best :)

    Joanne sounded like a wonderful mentor; I think we all need one like her in various times in our lives.

    betty

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    1. It's a whole different mindset when you're young! My car was new and a good size so I thought it held the road well. I got stuck a lot in life; I'm thankful for helpful strangers and mentors who gave me a good push in the right direction.

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  6. Thank you, Mary for this lovely sharing. I too have learnt from mentors like your friend Joanne and from good Christian books that have taught me to be thankful in all situation. At first I couldn't understand but now I have experienced how true and important it is to have a grateful and thankful heart.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that, Nancy. No wonder you are such a "thankful" lady!

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  7. Chicago snow - well, there's nothing quite as bad as that, right?! But this past week we had almost three feet fall on our mountaintop. It's created some inconvenience - power outages, satellite dish interruptions, cell phone disruption, and massive traffic due to all the influx of snow-lookie-loos - but it sure is a beautiful sight. Just last week, one of my grateful words was SNOW. And as soon as I picked that word to be grateful for, God revealed a lovely spiritual lesson out of it for me.

    Yes, Joanne, thankfulness makes all the difference!

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. It sounds like you realize how snow can interrupt life! I like your thankful heart!

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  8. That snow makes me shiver. Yes, usually it must be learned (or taught) to live a life of gratitude. Oh what a sweet friend to help you in your new found faith. It does last when you are serious with Jesus. Thanks for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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    1. We need each other to cheer us on in this journey. Everything Joanne taught me was the opposite of what seemed right to me. Talk about a lost girl. sigh.

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  9. What a wonderful mentor she must have been for you! Yes, definitely I would find it tough to thank God if my ceiling is dripping. However, it sure feels better when we are thankful, instead of complaining. God was thinking of our best when He said to be thankful in all things.

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    1. Great point, Lynn. He knows healing, sanity and wholeness will result by thanking Him for all of it. Father knows best!

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  10. You are blessed to have started your journey with a mentor like her. It is a difficult but good habit to get into --thanking God for everything. I am trudging that road myself and as new situations come up, it gets easier to trust Him with all of it as well.

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    1. I know you are, my friend, and I'm praying as promised.

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  11. When things go wrong we should praise and thank the Lord for always being in control. When we thank Him He uses the situation for the good. I have seen this often.

    God bless you.

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    1. Thank you for testifying to what works...thankfulness. I'm receiving that blessing!

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  12. Oh my goodness! What a wonderful post for me to read today. Yes oh yes...we have so much to be thankful for don't we? What a blessing to have had a mentor willing to come alongside of you in the early years of your faith. BLESSED! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Cindy! Hugs back!

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  13. I like Joanne! What a fun friend with a boatload of great advice. I have found that gratitude is always a powerful weapon against the enemy. I am ashamed that I have to be reminded to use it.

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    1. We all need to remind each other...thankfulness isn't our nature! But it can be our supernatural nature.

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  14. I'm always fascinated to hear the stories of how our Father intervened in others lives to direct the paths and hearts of His chosen. Without difficult times we'd never gain as much wisdom as we need to carry His word and love to the Ones He's called for us to pass them on to.

    Wonderful story and lesson. Bundle up, Mary!

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    1. You and I like to hear and tell stories, Floyd. I am so bundled up and staying warm!

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  15. Again, a blog post worth reading! This just reminds me that in every life situation, we should always look at the brighter side of everything! let it snow cause all things work together for good! (romans 8:28 [my life verse])

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    1. I didn't know that was your life verse. I'll pray it for you!

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  16. What a blessing the way you shared this. AND I sure would love it if you came to Omaha to see another "Joanne" friend/"sister". Grabbed so much, as usual. Bless you. AND thank you for reading my blog pieces... I have 4 this time, b/c I'm trying to stay in the timing with the Lord. Again, BLESS YOU!!!

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    1. You are the current Joanne in my life and it makes me smile!

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  17. Mary I love the lesson your friend taught you and how it stayed with you. I remember the snow from growing up in NY and then when we had our cabin in Flagstaff. As you know in Phoenix, not so much. We bring in manufactured snow for one day so the little children can play in it. :)

    But what a timely reminder Mary!

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

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    1. The manufactured snow in Phoenix is genius for those little ones. Yes, as one from N.Y. you sure would know about snow!

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  18. Mary, this is such a beautiful testimony to God's love for us that He puts people in our paths to help us along our journey with Him. I had a very similiar kind of friend when I was a young mother of one. I would spend hours at her house asking questions and she so patiently listened and guided me along my journey.

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    1. You must have felt like I did...experiencing Jesus right there in the midst of long talks!

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  19. Thankfulness in the midst of trials is something God is constantly reminding me of! Thank you for another reminder :) I like those verses in James and verses 5 and 6 remind me that when I lack faith I am "driven with the wind and tossed." It is better to remain firm by trusting God in the storm.

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    1. Vs. 5 & 6 always minister to me too. I don't like indecisiveness in myself.

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