We had an interesting thing happen while we were out and about-my daughter and I stopped by a restaurant where a friend of hers worked. During the course of the next hour my daughter locked my keys inside my vehicle. At first I thought she was joking around when she came back because she had such a sheepish look on her face. She wasn’t. So I asked for her set of keys to the house. I did a quick inventory of what I had on and how far I had to walk to gauge what my comfort level would be and the safety of the jaunt to where I lived…looked at the warmth of the clothing that my daughter and I both had on and even without a hat and gloves and pants that offered any measure of protection from the wind and the cold…I was much better off than my girl. So I decided that I would have her stay in the shelter of the restaurant and I would shove my hands in my pockets, try to keep my head as fully covered as possible with a jacket without a hood could be and braced myself for the wind and chill. I asked if she could stay in the restaurant until I made it back, was given the thumbs up, asked my child to stay in the restaurant (and to give me a call if she felt uncomfortable at all), zipped up my jacket and went for a walk (not voicing at all about the knot of unease that I had in my gut about walking on a major road…at night…in the cold).
Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
One thing was that was unfortunate was that it was dinner time, dark out and that it was in a busy part of anchorage. With those things on my mind as I started walking toward my condo my prayer was that God keep my daughter safe and as I smelled the acrid and grassy smell of marijuana smoke…I also asked that He keep me safe. I started rolling over in my head those people that I knew lived near the area that I was at and made 1 phone call after eliminating several other options. The person didn’t pick up and so I just kept walking.
Psalm 84:12 “LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.”
I looked down to do another inventory of my clothing since my legs were starting to sting because of the cold and I began rehearsing those things that I was grateful for in that moment.
-I am thankful Anna could be in a building that protected her from the cold and the wind because she was wearing jeans, a hoody and tennish shoes.
-I am thankful that for some reason when I was getting dressed I picked up a pair of marino wool socks and Merrill shoes (which just so happened to be slip-on and wool lined) that a friend of mine gave me that were also water resistant (mental note to self that I must thank her again the next time I see her!).
-I am thankful that I was wearing several layers on my upper body (earlier in the day I was shoveling a friends driveway and I had yet to take the layers off) to keep my core warm.
-I am thankful that as we were going into the restaurant, I got a chill and grabbed my jacket that I hadn’t been wearing thus far.
-I am thankful that the jacket I was wearing was wind proof and that it was fleece lined so that as I walked against the wind the majority of my body was a good ambient temperature. When I zipped the jacket up fully, it covered to just below my ears, however if I shrugged my shoulders I could put the bottom of my ears inside the zipped up collar. Even the pockets protected my hands beautifully from the wind as I shoved them forcefully into those quickly warming shielding compartments.
-I was filled with joy at the fact that though the temperature was below freezing, it was nothing like the dry bone-chilling cold of earlier in the month.
As I was just finishing repeating all those things I was thankful for, the person I had called earlier gave me a call back. I was asked what was going on and I proceeded to tell them my predicament. After the phone call I continued to walk until we met up. Then I was brought the rest of the way to my condo (in a divinely warm car) to get my spare set of keys, then dropped back off at the restaurant where my vehicle and my daughter were waiting for me.
1 Peter 1:8 “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”
In this simple and relatively short amount of time, there were so many things to be thankful for as I think back on the day. So many chaotically beautiful things that God somehow weaved together to bring me to a place of humming praises with a buoyant bounce that had me expressing appreciation and joy to God every snowy step it took.
It honestly makes me grin ear to ear as I think back on the looks that I was given as I gushed words of happiness and thanks…because do you know what I found… that I wouldn’t trade this time with Him for anything.