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Monday, January 12, 2015

Give Thanks for Ice

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NIV)

The news ticker at the bottom of the TV screen was on continuous repeat from last evening through this morning. Updated from hour to hour with additional schools that were on delayed opening or closed completely, it was in a continuous loop under the evening’s favorite programs. When I was a child, we listened to the local radio station for school closings.

I remember one year my sister, Donna, and I waited with Mama for Daddy to come home from work. He was late and a blizzard raged outside. We sat in the sun room surrounded by windows, and watched the snow and sleet fall so thick we couldn’t see the road a few yards in front of the house. We all worried, but Mama had a way of discounting danger and lifting up the beauty in each flake. “It’s already falling in small, clumpy snowballs,” she said. “Half your work is done.” I laughed because I was sure there would be no school the next day.

Daddy walked in late, when the frozen sun had already given up fighting with the freezing day and night had overtaken our corner of Ohio. He had ice cycles hanging from everything: his old fedora hat, his eyebrows, his nose and his square Gaines chin. He chilled down to his ice crusted shoes. After hugs and kisses, Mama quickly drew a hot bath for him. By the time he had thawed, he felt fine.

Wait a minute — “Give thanks for the Ice?” The next morning’s sunlight bounced prism-like, multicolored beams off the ice and snow all over my world on Barton Avenue. A phone call to the small grocery on Wilmington Pike, where Daddy had abandoned his car in their parking lot the evening before, brought news that his old Dodge lay completely buried under everything that the storm had dumped. He put his feet up on the footstool, picked up his Dayton Daily News, delivered by a teenager with a sled, and sipped his hot coffee.

I stood at the dining room window and plotted my strategy. The four foot tall drift in the back yard would make the best ice and snow fort a ten-year-old could build. No one thought about wind-chill factors or hypothermia at that time. A pair of pants under my leggings, a warm coat over layers of sweaters, mittens, a hat and a scarf across my face was all I needed. Two neighborhood friends, Nancy and Edna, joined me as we dug out the ice covered snow fort and crawled in. It was a perfect day and a fantasy-laced way to spend it.

We are to be thankful in all things, for that is God’s will for us. I’ve written about this passage before, but I guess I needed a reminder. When we get a snow and ice blizzard, we receive ice castles at the same time. Many of us are so disappointed with the storm we forget to take advantage of the changes the storm brings with it. If we are thankful for the blizzard, we are more likely to find the opportunity for a glorious, sunny winter day, where magical blessings lie buried beneath the icy crust. Let us pray:
“Father of sunny sand-covered beaches and ice-stacked igloos, I thanks you for the blessings of each. You know my heart, dear Lord, the things I like and those I don’t. I give them ALL to you as a gift offering. I choose to find ice beautiful and snow like dancing angels that float down to bless me. I choose to live completely in you, oh Lord, so that you may live in me. Forgive me when I do not see your blessing in the storm. May I lift you up in all circumstances, so that those around me may also receive daily blessings and not disappointments. Everything you give us has a blessing inside, like a locket full of your love.  For all these things, I thank you and in the name of your son, our savior, Jesus Christ I pray. Amen”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2015 Doris Gaines Rapp

News at Eleven (Glo Magazine Jan, Feb, March, and April 2015 – now on newsstands and online at - page 50-51

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