the breaking

Prior to this <airquotes>spring</airquotes>, I would have told you I lived in West Michigan. Lately, I’d have to say it’s up for debate as there is a bit of a Seattle-y feel; what with our consistently overcast skies and 20-90% chances for precipitation on any given day. And honestly? I’m not even complaining.

But the farmers are.

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sometimes you just need to hear it

So, I have an intern. I mean, I was given the opportunity to mentor an intern. But here’s the thing: I actually feel terrible for her. I’m still not quite nine months into my new gig and I’m about 50% less confused than when I started. While that’s great and all because … learning!, this poor young lady is subject to 100% of my day and the miracle in all of it is? She hasn’t left yet.

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at what cost

Can I get an amen for the possibility of spring? There was this very brief teaser this past week when I swear I heard a bird chirping as the warm(ish) breeze brushed my very pale, very dry and likely more-wrinkly-than-it-should-be skin.

But it felt like heaven. Because this winter? Has flat-out sucked. (And yes, my dearest Aunt Kathy B … I said ‘suck.’ For dramatic effect. Duh.) Continue reading

sunday drive

Note that I didn’t say Sunday driver, although, I can’t lie and say as of late, that I don’t relate to those I used to tease for driving all over God’s creation at a blazing 35 mph on a Sunday.

The only difference between those folks and myself is that I still drive at least five over the posted speed limit. It’s my rebel heart. But it is, in fact, Sunday. And I did, in fact, go for a drive.

See, meteorologists all over the dang place are using words like blizzard, snowmageddon and snowpocalypse. Or, maybe just winter storm warning but, semantics. All I know is I’m getting this weird vibe I may be homebound for the next several days. And instead of being stuck in a crowded Meijer with all the crazies stocking up for said storm (dear people: you had all weekend), I stuck myself in my car and headed towards the lake.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I figured it had been cold enough for some ice to form but I know of some other crazies who swam in Gun Lake just a week or two ago. I applauded their bravery as I watched from my couch with a blanket wrapped around my already double-layered inclined-to-be-cold body. But at that point, there was certainly some water. And Lake Michigan is like, way bigger.

I decided to head towards Fennville because there’s this sweet little roadside park that typically offers complete solitude. And after having started a bible study recently that’s blowing my mind, I wanted the time and the water to myself.

It was quiet as I’d suspected. It was also noticeably cooler and I’m really thankful I grabbed my mittens getting out of the car. I took my time going down the just barely snow-covered ice stairs. As I got closer, I realized that the ice had formed much further out than I’d anticipated. For a minute, I figured I’d stop where the other footprints had. But I saw an opportunity to walk closer to where the water still moved and I’m not sure if it’s that rebel thing or just stupidity but I headed down the few additional stairs that typically end at a sandy beach.

I knew the walk wouldn’t be easy but I had my good boots and the mittens and knew that both would aid in getting me as close to the edge of the certainly frozen area so I could snap a few photos. I only had a few close calls and I might have laughed at my seemingly constant desire to push fate. But it was so, so worth it when I arrived to the top of a relatively steep ice formation to look out over the water in the process of freezing and where it met the rest of the lake.

While the visual was stunning, the sounds were what got me. It was so quiet given I was the only dumb person in sight which allowed for me to hear the creaks and groans of the water just underneath the layer of ice, fighting the tension of freezing amidst the cold. And just before I left, the sun broke free from the clouds and gave my cheeks a reprieve from the bitter cold.

All of it was beautiful. After a tough week at work, some intense study and writing, and soul searching, it was exactly what my tender heart needed. It was my church today and I appreciate that God led me to that place to meet Him. I feel confident in saying if you ever need to meet God where He is, it’s easy if you go outside. Unless you’re in Michigan and it’s in the next several days … in that case, keep yourself safe and look out the window.