It was a long winter here in Minnesota and on it's heels came an unusually cold and rainy spring. The first snow was in November. That melted but by December, the snow came to stay. We sort of skipped our annual mid-winter thaw this year and so I had snow in my yard until early April. Then after a day of no snow, someone thoughtfully decided to dump snow on it again and again. I have not yet determined who the guilty party is but I have my usual suspects, Alan Nethery (@shadowalker) !
We had a nice weekend a little over a week ago. They tell me it was a very nice weekend. I was out-of-state at the time, however and indoors at a church conference and my husband did freelance work all weekend. Sigh... then we got snow once again though not the 13 inches which fell less than an hour away from me to the south. I was very thankful for that.
Today has been a lovely day with temperatures climbing up into the mid-70's. There was nothing pressing so our first response when my husband and I looked at one another was, "Let's go somewhere!"
There was a time we would have done this without hesitation but things are a bit tight right now. Since losing his job last December, our only income has come from disability, unemployment and any freelance work my husband has been able to pick up. Of course, it is still rather hard to get ahead as he only gets to keep 45% of whatever he earns while collecting unemployment and of course, you can only collect on that for so long. Needless to say, we must watch every penny very carefully.
While it looked like the prudent thing to do was to stay home, we realized that the opposite might be true. While pondering this, I could not help but think about if God's provision extended toward other things besides our basic necessities. Could it be that God also understands that we need a time of refreshing physically and mentally as well as spiritually?
All our bills due up to this point have been paid. Our expected income for the rest of the month will cover the remainder and more. We have an "emergency fund" we have been able to set aside little by little for those unexpected things. We even figured out that between the two of us, we had enough money for gas and even an inexpensive lunch. Hmm...
We decided to go and we had a lovely drive through the bluffs along The Great River Road on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River. We crossed the Mississippi into Red Wing, Minnesota and started to think about lunch. I don't believe there is anyone better at finding little out-of-the-way wonderful little restaurants and "dives" er... diamonds in the rough than my husband. He appears to have a sixth sense or natural instinct when it comes to those sort of places and sure enough, he found this quaint little spot. I don't know how he saw it as it was set off the main road and down the hill from the highway we were zooming along. It took a bit of guesswork to figure out how to get to it but we managed to do so. There are people who can take something as simple as a sandwich and work magic with it. We encountered one of those people today and hours later we are both still satisfied. Needless to say, this place is on our list of places to visit when we pass through this area again.
We arrived home later this afternoon feeling refreshed, energized and very optimistic. This confirmed to me that our outing today was not only a want, it was a need.
Our Heavenly Father is ever mindful of all of our needs. He understands that we need those moments of fun and relaxation just as much as we have need of food, clothing, shelter and the companionship of others and delights in our enjoyment of these things.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.- Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)
Very true, K -Reminds me of the parable of the Talents. Too often we are guilty of "hoarding" our blessings in the name of being a good steward of what He has provided ...while in reality part of His supplying our needs includes our mental and emotional needs!
...Of course, some might think you being from MN that [b][i]snow[/b][/i] tends to be one of your "needs", so we Southerns are always happy to oblige ... IF we happen to have any snow to spare, of course!
The light at the end of the dark tunnel, the sunshine at the end of the darkness, to joy at the end of gloom!
Thank you Lord -Spring has finally arrived. (this does not necessarily mean the weather it can apply to many other things in our lives)
[quote]Could it be that God also understands that we need a time of refreshing physically and mentally as well as spiritually?[/quote]
An absolute resounding YES Often we only imagine God to be interested in 'spiritual stuff.'
Down here we are entering winter - no snow only overcaste rainy days, although today we experienced a pleasant Autumn day of 23 degrees.
I too had a lovely day. I took Tom and Mum and Sarah to Tollymore forest Park ( you ought to look it up, its beautiful). we hiked through the mountains for a few miles and then we too were able to lie beside a river in green pastures.
we need to get out and escape once in a while. We need sunshine too ( note to Ireland)
Indeed God did refresh my soul up there in the mountains of County Down.
thank you .
I am so glad you two had a good time and received the refreshing you needed and deserved. It takes quite a person to endure a MN winter, especially the one finally ending. Thank God He provided the wonderful day, the time and means for you to receive His gift to you which is a time of rest, refreshing and rejuvenation.
Blessings 2 You
In a world of "too's..."
God provides all that we need, including those things needed for refreshing. Problem we're often too..
and a whole buncha other "too's" to even notice, let alone take up what He's provided.
Glad you and hubby weren't "too" this weekend past.
I am too!
One of the "blessings" of our current situation in regards to his sudden unemployment is that we have not spent so much time together in about 28 years. During the early years of our marriage, we were finishing up college and when he went to tech school, we actually worked together for awhile.
My husband's former job demanded a lot of overtime work over the years both in the evenings and on weekends. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. On average, more than 25% of his annual income was from overtime. His former employer had once looked into putting him on salary instead but when a review was done to explore that option, they were informed that slave labor was illegal in Minnesota. I am dead serious about this response. Double and even triple checks were not uncommon.
We are learning what it really means to trust in God for all things.
And you know, K, the most amazing thing is that God knows where that oasis is for each of us! I truly believe that an oasis is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes it is in the places seldom travelled and at other times, it is in our own backyard. Sometimes it is in the people we meet unexpectedly, and sometimes it is in time spent with a dear friend. When we allow God to give us focus, the refreshment is far greater than anything we could imagine from elsewhere.