Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cabin Fever...Curse or Gift?

Winter



Means Cabin Fever


January is a hard month in the Rockies. Ice crystals hang in the air, and snow stacks with its coat of white sparkling in the evening sun.

The nights are long. The days are short. And it's cold...very, very cold. White and gray are common colors during this bitter time of year, although blue manages to splatter its way across the sky and offer a bit of hope to the soul. Green of any kind becomes a treasured commodity as does the rare and distant sunshine.

Cabin fever isn't a fable or myth for those in the north. It's real.

This annoying condition seeps into every aspect of human life about mid-January. The signs and symptoms include the following:

daytime fatigue/sleepiness
insomnia
anxiety/loneliness
cognitive dysfunction
grazing/lack of appetite
lack/spurts of energy

What do we do about this curse that impacts most people during the winter months? Is there a way to turn it into a gift?

Absolutely!

Wyoming is desolate with miles of wide open spaces. Critters outnumber us, and the land is wild. That's a fact we can't escape. Yes, each day files into another as cold seeps across the plains and mountains but that doesn't mean it should freeze us into icicles.

If there is one thing that living in this land has taught me, it's that life is precious...every single type and moment of it. When I gaze across the frozen plain or see a snow-capped mountain, I know the beauty around me is a gift from the Father above.

Winter, whether in gentle or brutal form, is a time for God's creation to hunker down and take stock of the things that matter. Spend the short, but icy days examining what we have, what we don't, and preparing for the renewal to come...not wallowing in the mire of the past or our current mess.

Cabin fever should not be considered a curse for it's a fire. Just as logs in the fireplace heat our homes against the storms of winter, cabin fever ignites a flame within each of us. Why? To save us from the curse of idleness that lies in the deep.

Will we allow it to prod at our soul and spur us to action or will we turn away and sink into oblivion?

That is the question to be answered each January morning.


So when you're itching to join the bitter, icy world outside, or having trouble concentrating this winter, or can't sleep, take a breath. Feel the fire burning and get ready. Because Spring is around the corner and God is good. He's got great things in store for you.

In Christ,

Renee

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Unanswered Prayer

The Faith Dilemma:

When Prayers Don't Work


Do you face a devastating illness, or pain, physical or emotional? Ask for healing and wake up to plow through another day in agony? Cry out to God each night only to be met with utter silence?

Does that mean that God has abandoned you? Or vice versa, you've abandoned Him? Your faith is weak or shallow? Or God forbid, lacking in some manner?

No.

Prayer. What's it for anyway? Why should we bother? Is it for us? For others? For God?

How about all of the above? Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we have a direct connection the Father.

Php 4:6-7  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

God loves each one of us. His unconditional love is amazing. And prayer is powerful, and it's for the Saints...all the Saints. Why should we talk to God?

Scripture reinforces why and how we should pray.  Does that mean every prayer, supplication extended to the Father should be "answered?" Even when we place more value on one than we would another...like healing?

And when one of those high-valued prayers go "unanswered," we're devastated and become angry at the Almighty. Or accused of being weak, faithless Christians.

But is it truly "unanswered?"

I've heard for years (yes, years...I was raised in the church) that God answers prayers two ways: yes and wait. But I believe in a third answer as well. That is the word most children do not like to hear: no.

I've prayed for deliverance and healing for years. I've asked fellow Christians to pray for me. I've received the laying on of hands and been anointed with oil.

I have migraines and seizure disorder. I've had these conditions since I was fourteen years old. I also hobble around on the knees of a seventy-year old woman (I'm forty-six.)

Does that mean my prayers and the prayers of Saints have gone "unanswered?" That there is not a righteous or faithful one among us, or the Lord God has turned His face from my plight? And peace is not mine to behold?

No. It means His answer, for whatever reason, at this time, is no.

It doesn't mean the answer I want may not arrive someday, although I may not experience it until I walk upon the streets of gold.

Until that day, I rest in His arms, weathering the storms with the strength He bestows. Why? Because I can.

As for "unanswered" prayer, I don't believe in it. It would be cruel for God to not answer us, and that's the one thing the God who died for me is not.

So, if the answer to your prayer is no, don't despair, but rejoice. God's strength and peace is yours for the taking. Claim it. He will see you through for His good purpose.

Take heart and remember,
God is good. All the time.

In Christ,

Renee

Pharmacist by day, by night and any other time I can spare, I write Christian romantic suspense. 
Born in Arkansas and raised in South Louisiana and Wyoming, my family spent a lot of time on the highways in the summertime. I actually wrote my first story on the road, calling it Comanche Sky. 
I love to fish, hunt, or pick away on my old guitar...usually next to a mountain lake.
Life is tough, and I enjoy writing about Christians and "real" life journeys...amidst "interesting" circumstances, of course. 

I live in Wyoming. Home, sweet home, God's country. And as the first snows fall on the Snowy Range, the wild meets the Forgiven...


Welcome to the journey!