Saturday Afternoon Chat and a Cup of Tea: Snow and letting God calm the storm in me

Come on in out of the cold and have a seat.

Excuse the mess. We’ve been busy this week doing crafts, homeschooling, and being outside in the cold.

What have you been busy doing this week?

This week I don’t have anything too exciting or new to drink, but I am glad to have some local honey to put in my organic peppermint tea. I ran out of honey early in the week and added sugar as a sweetener which was completely awful. I haven’t put plain sugar in anything in years, other than a cup of tea a few months ago when I was, again, out of honey.

I never realized how sickly sweet it was. It was so sweet that it actually made me feel sick to my stomach. I cut back on sugar over a decade ago and I won’t lie and say I never eat sugar, but I don’t put sugar in tea or on cereal any longer. It’s just too much to me. If I sweeten things it is with honey or maple syrup or molasses. I think I shared one week that I like to add maple syrup to my hot cocoa, which is only plain cocoa powder mixed in hot milk. I don’t use the cocoa mixes with sugar added because it’s simply too sweet for me.

Don’t worry — I’m not a sugarless snob. I still have candy bars and some cookies or cake, although very rarely on the cake and cookies. I simply don’t have the cravings for sweet food as much as I once did. I do, however, still crave chocolate, so I’m not sugar-free.

Winter remembered it was supposed to be – uh – wintering this past week and dumped a few inches of snow on us over a couple of days.

Little Miss and Zooma the Wonder Dog were super excited because they love the snow. I don’t really love the snow but I went out with them and took some photographs and shivered. After the first little snow, both Little Miss and Scout ended up a tree, but they were both short trees so both of them could climb out easily.

Eventually, we went back inside and I started a fire in our woodstove and The Boy made us homemade French fries while we finished our school lessons. It was really a nice, relaxing day

We had another storm on Wednesday and Little Miss and Zooma the Wonder Dog enjoyed their time in the snow again.

Since we are low on heating oil and have an outstanding bill from the insanely high oil prices, we are trying to run the woodstove more often and I’ve been surprised by how well it is heating the house. It did heat the house well before but we never let it run past our bedtime until this week. Now it heats the house all night as well, which means we can reduce our oil usage and turn down the electric heat.

I was very stressed when I realized how low we were on heating oil. It seems like we’ve been getting hit with a lot lately and this seemed like something else. It isn’t easy, especially if we really do run out of heating oil before we can afford another order, but we really are very lucky. We don’t have it as mad as many people. Our house, while old, is in very good shape, with a fairly new roof and siding. We were lucky the woodstove was in the house when we came here and that it keeps us warm on cold winter nights.

We are able to afford food and lately, people have been giving my parents food they can’t use from the food pantry and they’ve been passing that on to us.

We’ve truly been very blessed by God, even when I feel lost and worried about the future.

There are still some appointments coming up for my youngest that have me worried, but I’m doing my best to trust God each step of the way.

Last week Little Miss had some trouble sleeping. She wasn’t sure why, but she simply couldn’t sleep. I was very upset by this because I was tired and worried about her but also about how I’d function the next day. Eventually, after about three hours, she did fall asleep but by then I was wired and wide awake and my anxiety was high. I prayed and suddenly I felt a strange calm settle over me. I felt almost happy. I closed my eyes and prayed for a couple people, thought about some ideas for a future story and eventually drifted off and jerked awake fifteen minutes later. Then eventually I drifted off altogether and managed a few hours.

As I was drifting off I thought about how sometimes God doesn’t calm the storm raging around us, but, instead, he calms the storm within is.

I need that calm right now, certainly, with all that’s been going on. Only God can calm the storm within us and it’s something I need to remember as much as I can.

It was good to have that reminder pop into my head that night, or morning, and I don’t think it came from my own mind alone.

Have you had any reminders you needed lately?

And what are you drinking today to help get you through your day? I certainly hope it’s some nice tea or cocoa.