so, i know you know this, since my last 2 posts have had to do with winter weather and the travails of traveling in it, but everyday i'm more aware of the fact that we are in that terrible, beautiful season called 'winter'. moving to montana from sunny southern california was indeed quite the shock to the system! a 180 in every possible way, i'm fond of saying. we've lived here through 2 winters already though, and we've actually quite enjoyed them. this year is proving to be a bit different. it seems we practically already have as much snow now, only one month in, as we had all winter last year! this is apparently what the local montanan's like to call 'the kind of winter that sifts out the californians'. hmmm. well this ex-californian isn't going anywhere. although i must say, the sight of so much snow hanging heavily on branches is a bit disconcerting. the more snow on the trees, the heavier the branches and often the trees just can't take it and they fall over, potentially breaking fences or causing accidents. just yesterday one had to be chain-sawed into pieces and removed from the highway. and then there is the amount of snow on the rooftops!! oh my, i don't know if they can take much more! the rooftops, i mean. the deep snow, the harsh wind, the biting cold, the icy roads all equal dangerous living conditions. there are people who just aren't prepared, or who don't have the means to deal with what the weather is bringing right now. and it can be scary. i was thinking of this yesterday as i watched the horses, with their tangled manes and ice covered backs, run through the snow anxious for hay. i watched as the trees swayed, branches heavy with all that snow. i watched as car after car slid on the road, several off of the road, only to have their tires freed by kind motorists that stopped with shovels at the ready. and i thought..."what if that happens to me? what if i slide off the road? what if my roof can't take the weight of the excess snow? what if our electricity goes out during a storm and we can't stay warm? what if the snow is so deep we can't get to the horses, or worse, to the store for food?......" and then last night i read joshua 1:9. 'have I not commanded you? be strong and courageous. do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.' thank you Jesus for your protection, for your provision, for your great and precious promises!! you are worthy of praise and i trust you! yes, this command applies to my immediate circumstances and my accompanying fear of 'what if'. but it also applies to everyday. our spiritual journeys and battles. God never said anything about 'roads being paved with ease'. but he does talk an awful lot about running races and fighting battles...oh and winning them! we can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens us! be of good cheer, my fellow winter warriors....the joy of the LORD is our strength.