The Long Winter

We just finished reading The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The last song she quotes is one that Pa learned over the winter, while clearing snow off the railroad tracks:

This life is a difficult riddle,
For how many people we see
With faces as long as a fiddle
That ought to be shining with glee.
I am sure in this world there are plenty
Of good things enough for us all
And yet there’s not one out of twenty
But thinks that his share is too small.

“Then what is the use of repining,
For where there’s a will there’s a way,
And tomorrow the sun may be shining,
Although it is cloudy today.

“Do you think that by sitting and sighing
You’ll ever obtain all you want?
It’s cowards alone that are crying
And foolishly saying,’I can’t!’
It is only by plodding and striving
And laboring up the steep hill
Of life, that you’ll ever be thriving
Which you’ll do if you’ve only the will

 

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the day our world came crashing down around us. Mr. Wonderful lost his job, we lost our home, and in the end, many friends and people who meant a lot to us.

But today, I want to focus on the blessings that wouldn’t have happened if the heartache had been directed toward someone else. I will list them.

  1. We live close to friends and family again.
  2. I’m working a lot more. At first it was quite distressing, and even now I don’t adore weekends, but the people I see… well I do adore them!
  3. We are at our home church, and everyone is so kind to us there.
  4. Being able to walk the dog at midnight or 5 am without feeling like you have to be armed to the teeth to be safe.
  5. Taking the kids to the park and meeting kids that our kids already know from school.
  6. Walking around town, and knowing just about everyone I see… and telling Mr. Wonderful a bit about all their lives.
  7. Having one community to be invested in, instead of two.
  8. Having Mr.Wonderful around a lot more… he’s not in school currently. And he doesn’t have meetings every.single.night.
  9. So much less pressure. To succeed, to be everyone’s everything, to please the little old ladies and the blow-hards.
  10. Spending so much more time at my parent’s house. And seeing Mr.Wonderful’s mom more than ever.
  11. Parents’ babysitting for their grandkids!!!
  12. Daycare at my aunt’s!
  13. Driving around and taking the kids to places we know from living here all our lives.
  14. So much love and support… financial and emotional support from people who love us.
  15. Finding out who your friends really are… and the people who stuck with us through the process of moving. Two friends in particular. You know who you are. Were so helpful and we literally could not have moved without them.
  16. Being able and glad to move back into our old house!!!

There are many more, but I’m sleepy and not wanting to keep awake to write them. During this part of the reading, I got a bit misty:

Then what is the use of repining,
For where there’s a will there’s a way,
And tomorrow the sun may be shining,
Although it is cloudy today.

I think all along, I viewed this happening as ultimate defeat. Like we’d always be set back in our finances, and never go on to make something of ourselves, as it were. But today, the sun shone, and the breeze blew and I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that God is for us and not against us.

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One thought on “The Long Winter

  1. I will name a few more:
    1. Working with great kids of all ages from communities where we grew up, went to school, and where we live now and where our children go to school.
    2. Seeing the children that I teach when we are out and about in the neighborhood.
    3. Knowing that this relatively new purpose makes a difference, not just for us and our family, but also for those children as well.
    4. Serving in ministry where God sends us, not because of an appointment or for the money, but where our gifts, talents, knowledge, and experience are needed and wanted.

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