bloom in the chill

To help fight the seasonal blahs which usually hit me in the sunless midwinter, I love to bring a bunch of fresh cut tulips home to brighten my kitchen table.  

Last week, as i bought some lovely pink tulips, the florist passed on a wise tip which has stuck with me. She suggested adding an ice cube to the water in my vase each day, to keep the tulips at their best. When I gave her the, “Really?!” look, she smiled and nodded, then mentioned how this only works for tulips.

A good florist knows the quirks of each type of flower they work with. And as God so nudgingly pointed out to me a few moments later, the same applies with people.

When we live or work with other people, we need to know enough about them to know how we can best relate or compliment each other’s skills/talents/gifts.

A good spouse, parent, child, coworker, co-minister gets to know those with whom they are spending their time, because each of us has a quirk just like the tulips do.

We are all made one of a kind, and as a result, what might work with one family member, friend or coworker won’t with another because of their differences, even if they have many commonalities.

The hardest part becomes when someone you work with or love throws an ice cube your way.

And you aren’t a tulip…

  • If that ice cube comes in a harsh word, those who feel most appreciated through kind words will curl their blooms tightly, pulling away.
  • Should the ice come in refusing to block out time together, the one who connects the most through quality time will feel unloved, and begin to wither the longer they are apart.
  • If the ice cube is the only touch felt by those who need caring touch to know they are loved, they feel that chill right down to their roots.
  • When the ice cube is the sole thing you have received from them, and gifts make you spread your bloom towards the sun, you bend over from the weight of disappointment.
  • Should that ice cube be the only gesture they have made, and loving actions is your chlorophyll, the lack of kindness will leave you dry and thirsty.

I have been learning that God is more than enough to help us cope with the icy chills which come our way whether in action or an unkind word, whether unplanned or deliberately tossed towards us.

There is nothing new under the sun, as God knows. As He knows each and every one of us intimately as our Creator, He is the best one to turn to to ask how to deal with the situation, sort our emotions out as we may need to, turn our hurts and anger over to Him, and then to respond as He leads us to.

Last week, I had a doozy of ice cubes tossed my way.  Most unintentionally, a few intentionally.  The resulting chill was intense, and painful.

Yet God knew they were coming my way, and prepared me with wise counsel ahead of time, so I could discern what was actually happening.

Because He did so, most people around me didn’t know there was a heaviness below the surface as I was inviting Him to warm up the chilly places within, and replace them with the warmth of His love.

Beloved, God has made a way for you too to bloom in the chill.

Draw close to the light of the Son. (John 8:12)

Let His Word feed you as you let Him lead you in the growth awaiting in this season. (Matthew 4)

Listen for His love song being sung over you. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Allow His love to ignite into such a fire in your heart that no matter what icy darts the enemy tries to sling your way, they will melt as you come near to Him.  (Psalm 39:3, James 4:8)PicsArt_02-23-07.43.49

the countdown is on


Aslan knew what He was doing when He offered Himself in the traitor’s place.

He knew that only blood from a willingly poured out life was offered on the altar, there would be no freedom.

Life would stay bound in permanent ice. No true warmth. No hope. Endless cold.

This winter, the area where I live got a long glimpse of the seemingly endless season of ice, cold and snow.
It was enough after five months to leave many Ontarians depressed and longing for spring to come.

But what if like in Narnia, winter never left?

How would you cope?

You may just laugh off that question with the comment, “That is only fiction, this is real life. That could never happen.”

Divorce, traumatic death, sudden job loss, serious illness.

All start like with a day.

Day added to day, adding weeks, to months to seasons to years.

There are some situations that feel like never ending winter.

When our hearts refuse to thaw, afraid to feel loss or pain again.

When we are so lonely in feeling misunderstood, we will betray our family, friends or faith in a blind act…and wish we hadn’t a second too late.

Aslan, or Jesus as we know Him here, knew we would feel stuck in the ice. Depressed, hating ourselves, stuck and unable to break free. At a loss to know what to do.

We don’t need to do anything save ask for His help.

He already did it all.

On the cross, with all our sins the nails that pierced him, it was His love for us and His desire to see us free that kept Him there to die.

Not the enemy’s plan.

God’s plan was set in motion from before our world was formed. The deepest magic as referred to in Narnia. The wild untameable outside our comprehension fantastically extravagant amazing love plan hatched by the Father, fulfilled by the Son as equipped through the Spirit.

It takes faith to strip away what we need to give over and lay at the foot of the cross.


God is who He says He is, as we see through His many names and character traits in the bible.

God did what He said He did- sent Jesus to live and breathe and walk among us.

God loves us as He says He does, not holding His most precious son back but offering Him as an expression of devoted passionate love to those who will accept this gift.

His defeat of what holds us back becomes the gift for all who choose to receive it.

Freedom, forgiveness, a new start.

Redemption, restoration, a new life.

Peace, hope, joy, love, grace, mercy.

Enough to thaw the iciest of heart and set it on fire with an unending flame.

Spring has come.
Winter is over.
Arise, and walk into the new day, new life that is waiting for you.

A new chapter in your story is waiting to be written.

Adventure is calling, and the History Maker is waiting to walk beside you through it all. Come into all that freedom had for you.

The countdown is on.
Victory is on His way.