Guest Contributor, Janet DeCaster Perrin, is a Christian writer and speaker in the Twin Cities area.
Winters can be brutally cold where I live. With wind chills below zero, at times, you can make small talk with just about anyone if you strike up a conversation about the weather. While the temperatures make for good conversation, daily life can seem a bit daunting if it includes leaving your house. I don’t know about you, but I can start to focus on the negative if I’m not careful. Sometimes I need reminders to focus on the positive, and give thanks in all circumstances. One day God used a situation from my everyday life, as He often does, to remind me where my focus should be.
When my daughters were much younger, I was feeling a bit of cabin fever one cold winter’s day. Refusing to be daunted by the cold temperatures, I bundled them up head to toe in snowsuits, hats, scarves, and mittens. It took as long to get them dressed to go out, as the time we would spend out playing. My older daughter, Hannah, was wearing her bright fuchsia snowsuit. Her hat was pulled down over her eyebrows and the only exposed skin was between her eyes and nose. As she played on the swing set, I pushed her bundled-up baby sister, Julia, on the swing. The cold crisp air made us catch our breath. It was freezing cold outside, but sometimes we just need fresh air!
As we played outdoors, Hannah looked up at me from beneath her bundles and exclaimed, “Praise God, Mommy, the mosquitos are dead!” It struck me that Hannah had the right attitude, and that mine needed some adjustment. While I was focused on the challenge of parenting my two children on a terribly cold day, my young daughter found something to be thankful about. Namely, dead mosquitos! It made me laugh then, and I’ll never forget it. Every winter since then, I am reminded to focus on the dead mosquitos, rather than the bitter cold.
With the faith of a little child, Hannah did just what the Apostle Paul advised all believers to do in Philippians 4:4. From a place of imprisonment for his faith, Paul wrote to the Philippian Church and to us today. He said, “Rejoice in the Lord always, I say it again, rejoice!” Like Paul, who wasn’t focused on his prison cell, but rather on encouraging others, Hannah wasn’t focused on the cold weather. She was just thrilled that mosquitos, which tend to infest our back yard in the warmer summer months, weren’t biting her. During that time, my everyday life included being a full-time mom to my two young daughters. I needed a simple reminder to focus on what I had to be thankful for, rather than the challenges.
Janet DeCaster Perrin is a Christian writer and speaker. She is a wife and mom who is passionate about encouraging others to pursue a relationship with Jesus Christ and to walk closely with him on the road of everyday life. She has served as a women’s pastor, Bible college adjunct faculty member, church and Christian school volunteer, and missions team member. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, and a Certificate of Biblical Studies from ACTS International Bible College. She is also licensed for Christian ministry with RAIN (Resurrection Apostolic International Network). You can find her blog at asamaritanwomanspeaks.blogspot.com and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.