Staying calm under pressure


 You help them stay calm when trouble comes. (Psalms 94:19)

I love listening to my grandma tell stories from her youth. She, much like my own adorable offspring, had been lucky enough to have her grandmother be apart of her daily life. Her name was Lulu Bell (isn’t that a great southern name) and she lived a good part of her life on a farm in Nebraska. My grandma would tell me stories about how Lula Bell came across the Great Plains on a covered wagon and met a kind man who loved her so much that he promised to marry her on her 16th birthday, taking her away from the indentured servitude she was living in. ( talk about romantic) I enjoy all the stories about her, but this one in particular has always made me stop and think about the stock, or lineage, I came am from.

The story goes that it was a nice summer evening in Nebraska and  Grandma Lula Bell was sitting on her back porch stringing beans with a dish towel on her lap. She sat there talking with the others around her snapping the beans one at a time. Grandma says that she calmly called over to one of the men outside and said “pass me that (hula) hoe” it was leaning against the back of the house. As they handed it to her she kept on with her story she had been telling, never pausing.  As she dropped the beans into a bowl a rattle snake slithered out from under the stoop she was sitting on. In that same moment she brought the hula hoe down onto the head of the snake killing it to the surprise of all those around her. Grandma Lula Bell shook out the towel that was on her lap and then finished her conversation.

One of the things I love about this story is the fact that she was calm under pressure. The dictionary defines calm as, “not agitated; without losing self-possession” and that she was- with a snake under her and all. Grandma Lula Bell was asked if she knew the snake was under her feet and she said “of course I knew, that’s why I asked for the (hula) hoe.” What an amazing lady! She was not frighten, made sure she had a weapon at hand and she waited till just the right moment to strike.

What a great analogy for the problems in our lives. How many times have we needed to stay calm under pressure, not only of your own sake but for those around us? The picture of that snake curled up under her reminds me that there is an enemy who is waiting to bring discord, harm and destroy the good things God has made. Yet God reminds us in Luke that He has given us the authority to trample on those snakes and overcome all the powers of the enemy. God has given us the tools we just need to uses them.  You come from strong stock, you have it in you.

Heavenly Father I ask for calm when trouble comes, so many times I ask You to stop the trouble and remove it from my life, but remind me to stay calm and reach for my sword of truth and chop the head off that snake.



Oh the things that make you laugh


As I have said before this SoCal girl is learning that I really never experienced winter before. And I know there are those who deal with below freezing weather every winter, but having the high be what we all in the desert experienced as a low, has got this girl adapting quickly. And also learning you don’t breath deeply on single digit (and below) weather days! I learned this lesson one morning when I was taking our puppy Max out for a walk. It was a nice balmy 7 degrees outside and I was all bundled up with my puffy coat and gloves.

I don’t know about you but my eyes water and my nose drips when it gets really cold (something else I have learned here  too) and as Max and I started down the snowy path out my backdoor my nose started to drip. So I did what I always do when my hands are full and my nose is running, I breathed forcefully in and promptly sealed my nose shut! Oh my gosh! I started to panic, I could not breath, Max was pulling on his leash to move farther down the path and all I can think is- My nose just froze! I can’t breath! I am like that little boy who got his tongue stuck to the flagpole and I stood there with my cold gloved hand on my noses saying to myself….”I can’t breath, I can’t breath!!” Then the amazing thought came to me in  a slow motion haze….open your mouth. I gasped for air and promptly wondered if I would really ever live through a zombie apocalypse if I can’t recall how to breath in the cold.


I continued to do some mouth breathing as Max did his business. By the time I was walking back inside one nostril had thawed enough to open. To my relief the other side popped open with the help of some warm breath being blown in that area. A scarf wrapped around my nose and mouth when its that cold out, (something I have seen people do all the time), is my preferred method for walking Max now.

So my desert people, if you come to visit me in the cold winter, I triple dog dare you to…. breath deeply.