Winter honesty.

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Such a Friday picture. It was conferences week, too! Uffda.

I was listening to Prairie Home Companion the other day on the radio and I found myself laughing along and agreeing wholeheartedly with the picture of winter-weary Minnesotans that Garrison Keillor was painting!

He was wryly describing hardy Minnesotans as just plain sick of winter, sick of being tough, and sure-as-heck sick of being cheerful about it! His funny monologue went on to say that everyone has just stopped even acknowledging each other outdoors as they hurry about their errands or rush into stores from parking lots.

And it is so true! We all barely look up as we shuffle around in the slush and if we DO by chance make eye contact with a fellow Arctic-dweller, all we can offer is a grimace and that “another cold one, huh?” look on our faces. I wouldn’t say we all sit around complaining, but I will say that most conversations refer to weather forecasts or involve a glance at the gray sky. That and most of us can’t remember the last time our hands weren’t ice cold!

All in all, this is a rough season we’re in.

According to Garrison Keillor, everything becomes simpler and straight to the point in this raw winter. Since brevity is being applauded, in this post I’m just going to be honest.

Let’s be honest – while gray is easily one of my favorite colors, I’m sure sick of all this wintery gray. We could use a little sunshine!!! It was sunny this weekend and I think we all kind of became plants (or cats??) – we moved to spots by windows and positioned ourselves in a way to receive the most direct sunlight we could!

Let’s be honest – planning a middle-of-the-school-year wedding is really hard. The details swirl around me in e-mails, phone calls, Word Documents, printed to-do lists…And they don’t just leave me alone when I close my eyes! Being a new teacher too, I can’t tell you what I have more crazy dreams about, teaching mishaps or wedding snafus.

Let’s be honest – sometimes when I’m home alone, I just sit at my kitchen table and stare out the window because I don’t know which of the 241 items on my to-do list I should attack first.

(And I’ll admit: sometimes it’s not me attacking the list; sometimes it’s the list doing the attacking!)

I’ll be honest: I’m tired of good-byes. It’s not really all that fun to live alone. I’m tired of saying good night to C.B. and then one of us drives 5 miles away from the other. Having to say good-bye every day kind of emphasizes the loneliness.

But let’s be honest – we are down to 25 days!!! That in itself is super exciting! :)

Honestly, sometimes a hug and a sweet kiss on the forehead from the man I love are all I need to turn my day around.

To (continue to) be honest, some days the stress monster opens its jaws wide and threatens to swallow me whole. It is a terrifying experience and it happens way more often than it should.

But the most honest, true thing of all? I am a very flawed, very weary young woman who can’t stand if not for the strength of her Savior holding her up. I woke up this morning feeling more drained than ever but my daily e-mail Bible verse was this: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look I am going to put breath into you and make you live again!” (Ezekiel 37:5)

Perfect encouragement from a God who is perfectly HONEST with us. He never promised life would be easy, or that stress would become extinct, or that winters wouldn’t be cold!!!!! But he did promise us this: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Even if you don’t live in Minnesota, keep your head up this winter! Trust that this season will pass…and that we can be grateful in the midst of it. I’ll be doing my best over here. :)

Love from the negative degrees,

Hannah Bee