4 Truths to Warm Your Soul This Winter

by Katy Kauffman


Pain. That’s what I associate with winter, even in North Georgia. If I’m not careful, the cold can bring pain to my hands and head, and it can cause sinus infections that last for weeks. The cold temperatures translate into four or five layers of clothing; a colorful array of gloves, scarves, and hats; regular doses of hot chocolate; and watching movies underneath my snuggie (a soft, blue blanket with sleeves).


I’m a sunshine girl, so I also have to guard my attitude from turning as gray as the clouds above. Yesterday the fresh snowfall lit up my study with a radiant white light. It’s nice when God gives us some sunshine in the midst of a cold winter.


The soul has its winters too. We go through periods of isolation, coldness, or seclusion. Life’s trials can weather us, causing our joy to fade or our strength to diminish. But He who releases heaven’s storehouses of snow also shares with His children treasures of joy, peace, and grace. Do you need a little more warmth this winter?

winter, God’s love, adversity, joy, peace, 4 Truths to Warm Your Soul This Winter, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Thankful for True North

by Katy Kauffman


I kept losing North. It was 27 degrees outside, and although I was wearing 5 layers, I started to lose feeling in my fingertips. Cars kept crossing our intersection, and I had to keep up with where North was. A few weeks ago, I helped my dad and a team test light levels in a downtown area, and I was in charge of the grid map and showing them which spot to test next.


The red building, I thought. That’s it.


In the middle of a cluster of buildings, a mini sky scraper glowing with red lights served as my compass. Whenever I lost my sense of direction, I looked in every direction to find my red marker. Thankfully the marker never moved as we tested several spots in the intersection.


As we travel through life, our path doesn’t stay in a simple straight line. Sometimes we have to meander on an ever-curving path down into a valley or hustle up a steep, rugged path on a mountain. It can be easy to lose our sense of direction, and we wonder which way to go. Which way is North.

Jesus, the cross, hope, guidance, storms, adversity, Thankful for True North, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

The Whole Picture: A Guest Post by Dorcas A. Zuniga

My first experience with anesthesia was the summer I had my wisdom teeth removed. It wasn’t good. I remember getting to the bathroom and feeling dizzy. What happened after that is still a blank. From all accounts, I fainted as I entered the kitchen.


My three-year-old nephew, John Mark, was sitting with his older sister Stephanie on the stairs, just outside the kitchen doorway. When his mother asked him what happened to me, he said, “The feet that was going down, was going up.”

perspective, hope, adversity, trials, The Whole Picture, Dorcas A. Zuniga, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

From the Valley to the Pit – A Guest Post by Josie Siler

My feet crunched on the rocky path that wound through the valley as I contemplated the mysterious embrace of a dense fog; and that’s when it happened—I fell into a pit. It wasn’t a pretty fall either; it was a face first nose dive into a deep, dark hole filled with all sorts of creepy-crawlies that wanted to eat me alive.


I stumbled to my feet and assessed the situation. I tried to remember those glorious days spent at the top of the mountain, but the effort was like trying to capture the fog between my fingers. Was I really on the mountaintop just a few short weeks ago? Maybe, like the fog, it was a dream or a deception. 


Was the fog there for me to enjoy its beauty or was it there to blind me to the pit? Is it foe or friend? I’m not sure, but I know this pit is the last place I want to be, and the fog brought me here. 


 

desperation, hope, adversity, deliverance, prayer, From the Valley to the Pit, Josie Siler, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Is God Still Good When Life Hurts?

by Denise Roberts

Dad was diagnosed with cognitive decline five or so years before his death. Although the doctors never put a name to it, the reality was Alzheimer’s disease. We had seen the signs.

An engineer by trade, he could no longer troubleshoot the systems he helped design and install. The man, who in my opinion, could do anything, and who had practically rebuilt an old home as a hobby, was unable to install an electrical outlet.

Naturally quiet, he became more withdrawn from conversations.

Anyone who has traveled this path with a loved one knows how difficult it is to witness your loved one fade away.

When the neurologist confirmed what we suspected, my prayers began in earnest. For healing, yes. But really for more.

the character of God, adversity, sorrow, hope, Is God Still Good When Life Hurts?, Denise Roberts

Delighting in God’s Training

by Lauren Craft

Does anyone like me? The footsteps and laughter of second graders filled the playground, but I stood there with a void in my heart. My family had just moved in the middle of the school year, and I missed the smiling faces of my friends.

At recess with my old class, I invented a game everyone loved: I pretended to be a film director and cast my classmates as actors in my adventure stories. It made them feel like movie stars.

On my last day, my teacher seated the class down on the rug where she normally held up vocabulary flash cards. Instead of beginning a lesson, she announced that it was party time. A goodbye party for me!

With this new class, I felt like a bug crawling on the jungle gym. Everyone already had their circles of friends, though I tried to push my way in. When I asked one girl for her phone number, she wrote down a set of digits on my notebook. Then I overhead her say to a friend, “It’s a fake number.”

It wasn’t just the girls. During class one day, I asked the boy seated next to me a question about a reading assignment. He squinted, saying, “You gotta figure it out yourself.”

That was more than twenty years ago, and the scar has long healed. I’ve learned to be thankful for that time because it made my heart a little bigger. In future school years, when a new kid joined, I was always welcoming. At my job, I’m quick to invite new coworkers out to lunch. If I see a woman sitting alone at church, I gravitate toward her and introduce myself.

I know it’s not just me. God gives this character training to you, me, and everyone. And He often does it through trials, just like my move in second grade. Whether He’s the one that caused the hardship is rarely clear, but what matters is that He uses those sufferings to sculpt us into the people He wants us to be. He sees our life from beginning to end, so He knows exactly what strengths we’ll need to fulfill His plans.

adversity, character, Delighting in God’s Training, Delighting in God’s Goodness series, Lauren Craft, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Door Post Verses: Peace

by Adria Wilkins

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you.
II Thessalonians 3:16 NIV

Light filled the hospital room where our little boy, Blake, was getting ready to go home. He’d never return to our home in Texas again, with his Peter Rabbit-themed room. He was going to our heavenly home.

Blake, who was born with spina bifida and other complications, died in June 2001 at age three. As each day unfolded in his little life, we found out that he couldn’t breathe, eat, or swallow on his own, and he couldn’t talk. Fifteen years ago our son, Blake, took his last breath. The sky was blue with just the perfect amount of clouds that day. We wondered with each shallow breath that he took, if it would be his last. We told him, “Go home, Blake, it is okay, go home.” A peace filled the room—a peace beyond all understanding. ...

 

 

peace, the peace of God, suffering, adversity, grief, Door Post Verses: Peace, Adria Wilkins, Joy Box Stories

The Healing

The ache I’ve felt in my soul
The desire to be made whole
The longings that have gone unmet
The pain I want to forget

A Healer I’ve needed and prayed for
The Calmer of the stormy roar
My Hero in difficult battles
The Releaser of chains and shackles

 

 

Pain, anguish, depression, adversity, healing, The Healing, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Stop Asking Questions – A Guest Post by Adria Wilkins

The unexplainable happened. My son was no longer getting the oxygen he needed to live. 

In 1999, we had a child born with spina bifida and multiple medical problems. His name was Blake. We had around-the-clock home health care. Blake had a tracheostomy, a surgically created hole into the windpipe, and was on a ventilator 24 hours a day. He was doing well and had not been in the hospital for a year. 

On that day, Blake’s trach tube came out and the nurse couldn’t get it back in. Emergency medical services rushed to the house and were able to reattach it. Because of the lack of oxygen for several minutes, Blake was left brain dead. 

Even though he was breathing again with the help of the ventilator, his brain was gone. We took him off life support just before his third birthday. I ask many questions about what happened that day, but never felt like all were answered.  

 

 

joy, suffering, adversity, hope, grief, the grieving process, Adria Wilkins, Joy Box Stories

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