Thoughts on a Snowy Day

Have you been waiting breathlessly for a follow up to my last blog on the subject of “Mine”? You can breathe easier now because I don’t seem to have much more to say on the subject except that God is repeatedly nudging me to the old-yet-always-new truth in Romans 12:1 and 2 as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in The Message: So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so self-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Note the underlined the words. How easily I drift toward the culture that says “MINE” is the norm instead of staying on the path that leads to “well-formed maturity.” Yes, even at this stage of life when maturity has supposedly(!) been reached. God is never finished with his formation project and I can choose whether or not to follow the plan.

The picture above is taken through my dining room window after last night’s snowfall.  If you look closely you might see the screen’s grid which somewhat distorts the snowy view and the candles’ reflection.  But the candles in front are seen clearly. When I look at my culture’s expectations, I need to remember that the view is distorted. I need to keep my eyes on the light–on the Light–so God can bring out the best in me, continually developing well-formed maturity.


FightCan you see and hear the frustration, anger, tears, screams as young children tussle over the same toy? Adult conversation momentarily halts as the battle increases until a caregiver wades into the fray to prevent the battle from turning into all out war.

Recently I became aware of an inner tussle with the word MINE front and center. It started—or was fed by—an insurance company’s television commercial of a woman’s “she shed” burning. It’s a comedic ad that’s gone viral but for me was a reminder of a (somewhat) humorous remark I made to my husband as we prepared to return to the U.S. after twenty-plus years of living outside our “birth borders.” During the most recent years, the ministry office was in our home and while it was convenient to figuratively roll out of bed to the desk, more than a few inconveniences existed. During work hours, our “home” was an open book.

So when we mused about the kind of house we wanted/needed in the U.S., along with built-in closets (only wardrobes in Germany), a fireplace (if possible), and maybe even an icemaker in the refrigerator, I reached for the sky and laughingly said, “How about a small shed in the backyard where I can sit for writing, reading, thinking? No doorbellShed and a lock on the door would be nice!”

We eventually bought a lovely home (with fireplace, closets and icemaker!) where there was at least space to retreat—but no She Shed. Eventually we downsized to a condo which fit our needs, but retreat space became even more limited. Then age, health, and finances required a second downsize. It is a perfect place for our needs and I rejoice that God supplied the space even when the “odds” seemed to thwart our plans. No She Shed. Not even a spare room. No space that is exclusively MINE.

While a “man cave” has gained not only in interest but is often seen as a necessity for men who need a place to unwind, think, “privatize” after the demands of the workplace, similar space for women has only recently been studied. Hence the popularity of that commercial?

The other morning when that inner tussle threatened to distract me from moments dedicated to prayer, I began examining my demand for MINE. Why this niggling thirst for something, some place, that exclusively belongs to me? A place with a lock and without a doorbell! What else, who else do I insist is MINE? And why?

And with those questions I end this session! I welcome your thoughts on the subject (; MINE in the subject line) and promise to return with your observations and more of my own.