Keeping Your Soul From Freezing This Season (& A Gift for You)

I’m a surefire pessimist. Just ask my optimist husband.

I wasn’t finding one ray of beauty this Illinois 6-below season—but I needed to. Needed a big shot of reality for my declining attitude. With two solid months of wild winds, slippery ice, gray skies ahead it’s already a struggle not to feel depressed. The loss of light, locked windows, frigid temperatures make me want to hibernate. See you in the Spring, is what I want to say to every friendly invitation.  

After 13 days of sulking and sickness, I’m outdoors. Boots breaking through the glass of my brittle environment. As cold cuts through hat, nicking my ears, I spot sunlight glistening off frost and it’s mildly melting all foul feeling.

It’s a beast of a season. So many of us shut in enduring this cursed plague. And if bodily infection weren’t enough, our hearts were barely fighting off all the fighting before this new squall of suffering barged in. But honestly, truthfully would we dare say suffering is not part of God’s plan?

“The more we allow the Bible to shape our prayers,
the more our requests will line up with God’s plans.”
Jodie Berndt

Listen how Eugene Peterson interprets Paul dealing with feeling depressed in 2 Corinthians: “We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.” (8-9, 11)

The apostle Paul relied on God and asked for prayer! Paul was not the super-human I thought he was. He was a person. Like us. 


“We can do more than pray, after we have prayed, but not until.”
Alistair Begg

This scripture speaks daily in view: PRAY Without Ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Weeks before sickness it became little more than dried wood and pale paint. Crumpling my list of mind armoring prayers after a super stretch of revelation and transformation. What is it God warns us of a mistake like this? When we become too big for our religious britches? Here it is, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Co 10:12)

Well, I fell. Of course. Off my high inflated horse.

The winters of life arrive in all seasons. Plagues & fighting are not exclusive to present years—even more reason to be prepared.

Whatever the weather—our soul will freeze without a breath of fresh prayer.

I’m hearing Ecclesiastes in my head, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (1:9) It feels like I’m back to square one. Learning all over again how taking matters into my own hands is grasping for the wind. Allowing Satan to hold my tongue, instead of fearing God and obeying His commands.

It’s not like not praying is God saying, You’re on your own fella. It’s turning away from Grace. As if to say, I don’t need You, God. I have today under control. If I get in a jam, I’ll let you know. If the wheels fall off, He’s the backup plan.

It’s treating God like a one-night stand.

As sure as our mind can run off the rails—The Lords’ comeback prevails, “Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” (Is 44:22) Jesus, boundless in love, rich in mercy, with all unsearchable power and glory refills the sails of our sorry soul. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim 2:13) Come back, Compassion says, remembering the yoke of our flesh. Delighted to hold us, our Father welcomes and clothes us, calling for the fatted calf.


There’s A Breath of Fresh Prayer for you at the bottom of this blog (click on the gold button). A collection I pray for the saints each day. I’m working on a Collection of Praise—which I can’t wait to share soon! Check back as prayers will be taken down and added.

I know for myself, prayer has not come easily. I don’t always know what to pray. Or I start out strong and wander off. Praying scripture helps find the words, and will, God longs to give.

Print, share, beloved of the Lord. Pray for mine and me, as I pray for you and yours.

Love you tons, 
Jo Ann

6 thoughts on “Keeping Your Soul From Freezing This Season (& A Gift for You)

Add yours

  1. Jo Ann,

    I was not able to finish a comment. We enjoyed your writing and pictures, who are the kids?

    Ecclesiastes has caught my attention over time.

    I read your blog to your mother, fun.

    Love, me and her

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m grateful to hear that! I cherish the thought of you sitting and reading this together.

      I know Ecclesiastes has been one of your favs.

      Love you tons.


  2. Such good words. “…too big for my spiritual britches.” Yeah, I know all about that too. I know all the right answers. But they don’t always guide my heart and my emotions and my actions. Can’t wait to copy the prayers. Thank you my friend. I hope you all are feeling better too. It has taken us some time…and you’re right, we were already depleted before it came to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Time. Yes…the older we get, the longer healing seems to take.
      So glad to share these prayers with you!
      Hope you’re enjoying your family and getting stronger. Grace & peace to you.


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