Last Christmas we had over 14 people for the holidays when our furnace quit. Yup over the entire Christmas holiday including Christmas eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day our furnace was kaput!
O’ baby it was cold inside.
We hit the Walmart and ‘tada’ all their space heaters were on sale! So we bought 2, rotating them around the house as needed. We all survived and the furnace guy received a BIG Santa’s welcome! We even offered him a cookie!
Sometimes our hearts grow cold too don’t they? Sometimes through whatever reason we are snappy, distant, checked out, unavailable emotionally, bitter, jealous, angry, naggy… sound familiar?
Sometimes I think it’s easier to keep 14 people warm on a cold winter’s day inside an unheated home than it is to keep our hearts warm don’t you? Especially when life gets a bit bitter.
One of my personal fears is that when I go through a season of bitterness that I’ll stay there and it will become my new normal and that keeps me fighting hard to keep my heart warm.
One thing I DIDN’T expect about hitting middle age was how easy it was to turn toward ‘the dark side.’ Just like I assumed I would be richer, skinnier, and smarter – I also assumed I would be full of charity, love for others and internal warmth. But, the truth is the more you experience life the more impatient, self entitled and round you become. It’s like the older the furnace the more you have to keep an eye on it just in case the pilot light goes out.
Keeping our hearts warm as life hits us with icicles is not easy but there are a few things we can keep in check.
- Keep the Pilot Light Lit: As soon as we disconnect from God our light so easily flickers, when we stay connected to Him it keeps our internal furnace in check.
- Don’t let the Cold Air In: Boundaries (something I’m learning) helps us to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Sometimes there are people in our lives that bring bitterness and toxicity to our lives. We have to learn that it’s not okay for them to do that and that it’s okay for you to say that it’s not okay.
- Shovel Your Walks: Sometimes we get a buildup of unchecked emotions and hurts that build up. Ever had a snow storm so fierce that you couldn’t open the front door? I have! INFACT, one year we had such a dump of snow that we had to yell at the kids to stop sledding off the top of the Jeep. They yelled back “What jeep?!” Don’t let yourself get so buried that you lose your way.
- KISS – Keep it simple Santa. Don’t kill yourself trying to make everyone else’s life perfect at the expense of your own heart.
- Call the Furnace Repair Man! If you need help to light your fire again, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes we just can’t keep ourselves warm and we need the body heat of others to help us through.
I hope that your heart grows three sizes this year!