Messy Mondays 7: Weathering The Storm
Normally I don’t complain too much about Ohio’s weather; publically anyways. After this weekend though I think I am entitled to complain just a little bit.
Trust me, I know Ohio does not get the worst of the severe winter weather, but that does not mean us Ohioans just get to breeze through winter.
So anyways, this past Saturday my morning started out as usual. Woke up, got the girls going for the day, and my husband was out of the house giving private drum lessons. I noticed out the window the snow was coming down and the wind was blowing awfully hard. I knew the temperatures were in the single digits and below zero with the windchill. Needless to say I was thankful to be inside my warm house.
However, I was dreading the moment my husband got home because I knew I needed to go to the grocery store. Once my husband was home he assured me the roads were not nearly as bad as I thought. Mind you, my husband grew up in New York and ALWAYS says the roads are fine in Ohio! This should have been my first clue to just stay home, but I mustered up the courage to weather the storm figuring the store was only about 10 miles from our house.
You guys, talk about a messy mom moment!
Here I am, almost 7 months pregnant, driving down back country roads placed between corn fields while the winds are blowing the snow so hard it is a complete white out! I had the worst feeling in my stomach that I should just turn around but once out of my driveway there is really no good place to turn around so I kept pushing forward…at 10mph. Seriously, ten stinking miles per hour! It is a good thing this pregnant lady used the bathroom before she left the house!
I was in tears most of the way to the store, but I made it. Despite the fact that I had to nearly come to a complete stop multiple times because of not being able to see the road in front of me. If you have never driven in a winter whiteout you probably think I am crazy by now, but it was extreme!
Finally in the store I got all that I needed, including diapers which was what drove me to the store in the first place. (It was at this moment that I realized had I just done the whole cloth diapering thing I could have just stayed home!) I was such a wreck that I made sure to buy my favorite little cookies to give me enough strength to get home.
Can you tell I am a comfort eater?
I paid for my groceries, filled up the car with gas and sat in the parking lot for about five minutes debating whether or not I had enough strength to drive home.
I was in the middle of this nervous breakdown when I realized I needed to pray to God.
a) I was upset because I should have known to not go out in this kind of storm.
b) I was mad at myself for not using my better judgement and instead going to the grocery store the day before this storm hit.
c) And, I was nervous to no end that I would end up getting stranded on the side of the road while being seven months pregnant.
Once I began to pray though everything changed.
The weather itself did not change really, but I had a peace come over me that settled all of my fears and anxiety. The snow was still coming down and the winds were blowing just as strong. But, I knew God was giving me the okay to go forward in making my journey home.
There is no mistaking that as I prayed the entire way home God calmed the storm around me. Where I had encountered the worst parts of the storm on the way into the store I could now see more clearly on my way home. It was such a relief! At one point when I was about a mile and a half from my house I pulled up on a five car pile-up that had traffic at a complete stop. Thankfully it looked like no one was seriously hurt and the police were already on site assisting in traffic control and the wreckage.
I was only a little more than a mile from my house when I started to panic again. Seeing all of these cars crunched together made me nervous to keep going when all I wanted to do was just stay stopped so I didn’t have to worry about making the turn at the bottom of the big hill coming up. I even asked the guy directing traffic if I should turn around and find another way but he assured me to stay put and I would be able to make it by soon.
So, I waited and eventually made it onto my road and finished my journey home.
It was definitely the most stressful driving conditions I have had to endure in quite awhile.
I did not share this story simply to complain though. I learned some very valuable things from my trip through the winter storm.
1. You can save yourself a lot of stress if you just take the time to plan ahead.
I know some people always over-plan, or always under-plan. However, I am acknowledging the fact that I could have avoided this storm all together had I just planned my shopping trip one day earlier.
How many times do we as moms, and every day people, do this to ourselves? We think we have more time than we do so we put things off until the last possible minute causing unnecessary stress. For example: Waiting until the last 20 minutes to get yourself and two kids out the door. Unless no one is planning on wearing shoes, jackets or clothes without food on them this is unrealistic. Or, attempting to run errands with your kids during their scheduled nap times. Again, unless you plan on leaving your kids in the car unattended (big no-no) then don’t risk having to deal with the meltdowns that will come from over tired children. Just take the few extra minutes to properly prepare for the things going on in your life.
2. God will always help you weather the storm.
I mean this in the most literal way too. It doesn’t matter if you are driving through a winter blizzard, or if you are battling a storm inside of you. God has the authority to clear the winds and bring the storm to a hault.
While I was driving it became very apparent to me that God was literally making a way for me to get out of this storm. Where cars were piled up or off the road I was able to make my way through. And, when you could see the winds gusting across the road ahead they came to a stop while I made my way through again.
I know sometimes when we are in the middle of literal storms, or the storms of life it seems like God is no where to be seen. After all, He is the one who has the authority to bring all things to a halt, yet the storm keeps raging.
I know we are always so quick to pray God would stop the storm immediately but if He always saved us from experiencing these kind of storms we would never know our true strength, or His.
The fact of the matter is we always grow more when we are forced to push ourselves beyond what we thought we could ever do. We all have an inner strength we pull from when things get hard. Some of us know we have it in us to push forth, some of us don’t. And, some of us attribute that strength to ourselves while others attribute that to God. For me, I attribute that strength to God because I know first hand how little strength I have when things get hard. When things get hard I give up quickly and have very little strength to draw from on my own. However, when I pray and allow God to be my strength I have a reassuring peace in me that gives me the hope and strength to push on, knowing that God has already ordained my success, no matter the turn out of the storm.
I think it sounds a little crazy that I learned so much from a winter storm. However, I am thankful I did. I was facing a literal storm, but I have also been facing different kinds of storms in my personal life. All of which have seemed impossible to get through. And, all of which I have in one way or another brought on myself. But, again and again God has been my saving grace and has always provided a way through the storm. (Not around it like I want, but through it to the end.)
I want to end by encouraging you all to think about the current storms in your life. You probably feel scared and unsure if you will make it out alive. But, I want to assure you God sees His children in EVERY storm, and is there as your saving grace. Don’t think that just because things are hard He has abandoned you because He will never forsake you. I encourage you to pray and ask God for a way through the storm so you don’t have to feel stuck. And, when you do receive His peace and push forward!