Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I came home today to a cold, damp house.  Given how much it had rained today and the chilly temperatures, I wasn't surprised.  It was the kind of dampness that the furnace wasn't going to lift.  Only a big fire in the fireplace was going to warm us up.  I went to the patio to discover the stack of wood low and the kindling box empty.  Panic set in.  The wood was easy.  I just had to bring some wheelbarrow loads over from the wood pile.  The kindling was a different story. 

This summer and fall the kids and I had been diligent about picking up the small branches and sticks in our forest.  The idea was that we want to keep up the area beneath the trees -- it looks so lovely since our big work party this past spring.  The bonus was that the small branches make great kindling for fires.  Over the months we accumulated quite a nice pile of branches, dried and stacked in the shed.  I had hoped that the pile would last us through the winter.  Not so much.  We burned through them pretty fast, especially last week with the freezing weather.  No more easy fire starter at my fingertips.  Nope.  I was actually going to have to...gulp...get out the axe and chop some wood into kindling.  Ugh.

Sophia and I tromped out to the wood shed in the pouring rain.  I surveyed the pile and found a piece of cedar.  Kindling had always been Marc's job, but I knew enough from watching him that cedar starts great fires and it's fairly easy to split.  Being a novice, I decided to start there.  Well, it's been a few years since I have slung an axe.  My first few attempts were pathetic.  Sophia was quick to tell me that I wasn't very good at it...and that she was cold...and that hot chocolate would taste really good....and that Daddy never did it that way.  So noted. Thanks.  I set my jaw and tried again...and again...and again.  Finally after about fifteen minutes I had a respectable pile of kindling.  I was drenched and filthy, but I was done and had managed to keep all my fingers.  Hooray!

We headed back inside and we lit a huge fire.  I have been admiring it all evening.  It seems silly, but stuff like this encourages me to no end.  No, it's not fun to face a chore that I'm not good at, but it sure feels great to push forward and get it done.  I'm not good at a lot of things.  I'm having to learn a lot of things way outside my comfort zone, but that's what God has put before me.  I may not be good at these things, but I'm learning. Every single day I have been met with something new and God has provided for me brilliantly.  Whether it's friends to help with financial advice, the ability to figure out how to fix a toilet,  or the the simple determination to pick up an axe and embarrass myself in front of a five year old.  Whatever the days have brought, He has been faithful.  I am so blessed.

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
Matthew 6:26


  1. Your efforts were rewarded beautifully!!! Wow what a beautiful fire. I can almost feel the heat over here. :)Thank you for sharing Jane.

  2. Jane - you put things into words brilliantly! As a life-long single person, I totally understand what you mean about accomplishments. When you do something you're not sure you can do - but think you can - and persevere through it and get it done it's just so much fun. Through the dirt and grime - I've found it leads me straight through to worship. The verse you included is so appropriate. Thanks for posting - Kathy