Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Half Full of Snow

You know, sometimes life just stinks. I mean really stinks, as in, so bad that you might be inclined to feel utterly despondant. Sometimes the Lord orchestrates circumstances that really can feel incredibly overwhelming and difficult, and it's our business to truly TRUST Him through those times. We fail when we avert our attention from His faithfulness, and if we're all honest we all do it, at least to some degree. I know I do. Life can be chock-full of stuff like this, and for a lot of people (for reasons we cannot begin to figure out) these times seem to come in waves. One thing after another, after another, seems to go wrong or turn out badly. Sometimes it feels like you're never going to get a break and you begin to feel beat down, weary, and just have a really hard time staying upbeat and remembering to trust the Lord's wisdom and guidance. I'm certainly no stranger to these cycles of trials, and you probably aren't either.

I thought about this today as I thought about a very gentle, even half-joking rebuke (but a rebuke all the same) I received recently for my whining about snow shoveling. I didn't really mean to whine, not seriously anyway, but I suppose it probably came across as annoyingly whiney all the same. You may or may not have seen on the news lately how much snow we're getting here, but suffice it to say at my house, we're feeling like we're getting all of February's snow in one fell swoop. I can't even guess how much has already fallen since we live in the country where the winds blow almost constantly, and the snow piles up in very large drifts, rather than just piling straight up. If I had to guess how much snow we have here, I'd have to say about 2-3 feet. I know we have so much that the snow I've already shoveled off the deck is piled up as high as the deck, and today the kids went sledding from the deck into the yard. Our deck stands about 4 feet off the ground.

The way it works around here, due to Kev's work schedule, is that I'm the one who does 90% of the shoveling. Just the driveway, walkways and deck, but that's more than enough. I've shoveled more already this winter, than I ever thought I would, and we still have over 3 months of wintery weather to go. There are days when I'm out there 3-4 times a day/night just to stay ahead of it, as it's coming down fast and furious. All that, to say this:

Shoveling is actually good for you. Now I know there are folks who unfortunately overdo it every year and suffer serious health problems. Just today at the local grocer some folks were talking about an older, local man who had a heart attack last night while shoveling. He was rushed to the hospital and sadly, he did not make it. It happens every year, and it's a most tragic thing. However, I'm not talking about older folks or folks that are seriously out of shape. They shouldn't ever be in a position to have to shovel snow, someone (preferrably younger family members who care enough to bother) else ought to be along smartly to help them out.

What I'm referring to are those of us who are in relatively decent physical shape, but could maybe stand to lose a few Snickers bars, if you know what I'm saying. I wondered today just how good for you snow shoveling by hand really is, so I googled it and learned that someone my height, weight and age, burns over 300 calories an hour doing just that. If I'm out there 4 times a day, 5 days a week (which I have been for nearly the last month) I'm burning off (roughly) 6,000 calories a week, just by shoveling snow. Now that's a pretty decent workout right there.

So you see, my glass is not half-empty, my glass is half full... of snow. I'm good with that, and will not whine again this year. I hope.

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