I cooked three different meals that we could re-heat, if needed, on the portable propane burners. I closed all the curtains. I filled pitchers with water and filled both bathtubs in case we lost power or our water lines froze. Jovani set up a portable gas heater and left it ready in case our heaters failed us.
We were as ready as we could be for the cold-snap that followed.
Even when we lived in Patagonia it never got to -7 degrees. While we prepared, I tried to hide my nerves from Adela who sees everything, but it didn't work. She finally pried the information from me. When I told her what was happening her eyes went wide and she went into action, working alongside me. She helped fill the pitchers then went and rounded up everyone's water bottles and filled them all up, too. Shortly it was time for bed. After a quick prayer to God, asking for His protection, she was sound asleep.
I watched her deep breathing and tucked her quilt in around tighter. What a delicate balance we live with our Heavenly Father. We must work but also trust. We must move forward but believe that He ultimately controls every outcome. We must prepare but have peace that God is our true Protector and Provider. Life is still teaching me how to keep this balance. I totally lean in to my own responsibilities and could prepare and plan endlessly. I often wait until I've reached the end of myself before turning to God and trusting Him with the rest.
Jovani had to haul hay during the cold snap and snow. A few times I went outside to break ice and do a handful of farm chores. The cold was biting and breath-taking. However, when I went to break ice for our ewes I stopped in amazement. Spread out in the pen sat our group of pregnant ewes. Fat and happy, they sat chewing their cud and blinking at me. The area was filled with peace. They were not frantically searching for shelter or pushing at each other trying to secure the best spot under the shed or next to the windbreak. They were utterly content. They had everything they needed with no thought that it all might go wrong for them later.
I broke ice and wandered back to the house. The scene of those peaceful ladies was still on my mind as I took off the multiple layers of clothing and warmed myself up with a cup of coffee. Micaela was stacking cans by the pantry. Adela was reading her latest copy of National Geographic Kids. Even my daughters were filled with peace and contentment.
I once heard Barb Mulvey from Hope Ahead Ministries explain it like this: God give us an umbrella of protection for today. However, when we become anxious, worrying about tomorrow, we step out from under the umbrella and are assaulted by all the what-if's.
I let out a deep breath and chose to settle into God's protection. Right then, right that moment, we were prepared for whatever might happen and we were warm and safe. After a few days, the temperature crawled back above freezing. I drained the bathtubs and poured out the pitchers of water. I was thankful that I had stopped worrying because the days were delightful with extra snuggles, books, movies, and bowls of popcorn. I would have missed out on it all if I had paced and worried instead of settling into trust.
How were you through the cold snap?
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"...and God was already there with me."