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Record Snow

The Eskimos had 52 names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love – Margaret Atwood

I had booked a cabin at Whaleshead Beach Resort for my birthday weekend this past weekend. Today is my 60th birthday. They say you should never ask a lady her age. That is something I was taught many years ago. Have you ever wondered why?

I found lots of conversation online on this topic, but I think the general consensus is that it makes a woman feel self-conscious about her age, she feels she is being judged based on how old she is, and it can feel like a very personal question, much like being asked how much you weigh; it’s nobody’s business! (Unless you want to tell them  ) I have never minded telling my age. I am thankful to be alive. I am thankful to celebrate another year of life.

Wendell and I used to go to Whaleshead often. We went just the two of us, but just as often we went with family. Lots and lots of memories have been made at this little resort nestled on the steep hillside facing the ocean just north of Brookings.

What made this trip different was two-fold.

First, I was going alone.

Second, Brookings had record snowfall the day before I was to leave.

In fact, much of the west coast received record snow as it turned out.

One Brookings resident measured 4.5 inches of snow on Thursday. To put that in perspective, snow is rare in Brookings! Brookings averages only 0.7 inch of snow per year, although 10 inches did fall in January of 1916, according to wiki pedia.

Portland International Airport recorded 10.8 inches.

I received over 4 inches.

My sister lives in the high desert above Loma Linda and sent video of a few inches in her backyard and one of her pugs “chasing” snowballs and getting the zoomies “in this strange and wonderful stuff.”

Magic Mountain north of Los Angeles closed; Disneyland closed early due to the coming storm. LA itself, blanketed by snow in this rare storm…and I need to drive to Brookings.

One Headline posted by read “Oregon reacts to a massive snowstorm: ‘Good time to stay home.”

I groaned. There was snow all up and down the coast. There was snow from coast to coast!

What I did not know, only because I am on a self-imposed time out from all news, is that over a week ago there was a coast-to-coast storm warning.

The Winter Storm Warnings stretched from Washington D.C. to California, and from Nevada to Montana. Lots and lots of snow was forecast to fall across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest, possible blizzard conditions.

I went to bed Thursday evening not very hopeful. Even if the snow quit falling, the roads would be bad. (The road from Grants Pass ALL THE WAY TO Brookings apparently.) I said a little prayer, “Father, the planning was terrible, maybe a bit foolish on my part; please help this work out.”

I awoke Friday morning to the most beautiful weather. As the morning progressed it became more and more clear. The roads became just wet, bare, pavement. After checking road conditions online, and a quick call to the resort itself, I found my way head west by 2:30pm Friday afternoon.

I arrived safely and got home safely Sunday, despite the poor timing. I awoke this morning to more snow fall and slippery conditions on the road. Be careful out there!

I’m so thankful I had that weekend. I would have been okay with not being able to go, if that is how it ended up. However, it did cause me to think of those verses in James regarding plans.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15 NKJV

Our best laid plans can often go sideways and for that reason alone we should put our lives, daily, in His capable hands. And really, be ready for disappointment. It’s always just around the corner.

Proverbs 16:9 tells us the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (ESV)

That is not to say we should not have plans for the future. We plan for adulthood. We plan for college. We plan for marriage. We plan for a family. We plan for retirement, we plan for a birthday weekend away, but what happens when those plans don’t turn out the way “we planned”?

I have said several times, as well as muttered under my breath a few times, “this was not the plan.”

The plan was not to spend my birthday weekend alone. Without going into any detail Wendell dropped the ball on my 50th birthday. I half-jokingly told him then he could make it up to me on my 60th. Wendell has been gone 2 years now. That was not the plan.

We were going to raise our children, get them out of the house and become reacquainted. This was not the plan.

This is where I lean on the promises of God. Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Is life hard? Yes, it can be. Is life unfair? Yes, it can be. Is life unpredictable? Most certainly, and often. But Proverbs 16:3 tells us to commit our work to the Lord and our plans will be established.

That doesn’t mean things will always go our way, I believe, at least for me, it means when things don’t go my way, it’s easier to handle.

The key to planning anything, is to involve the Master Planner. Trust in the Lord. And remember, we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good. Hang on to that promise when your plans go south.

I will leave you today with Psalm chapter 20, The Message Bible:

“God answer you on the day you crash,

The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach,

Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,

Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,

Exclaim over your offerings,

Celebrate your sacrifices,

Give you what your heart desires,

Accomplish your plans.

When you win, we plan to raise the roof

and lead the parade with our banners.

May all your wishes come true!

That clinches it—help’s coming,

an answer’s on the way,

everything’s going to work out.

See those people polishing their chariots,

and those others grooming their horses?

But we’re making garlands for God our God.

The chariots will rust,

those horses pull up lame—

and we’ll be on our feet, standing tall.

Make the king a winner, God;

the day we call, give us your answer.”

May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! And may all your wishes come true.

by Jeanette Stark – Monday, February 27, 2023

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