Now that the weather is beginning to get colder in our northern climate and the leaves are quickly falling to the ground, my mind starts thinking about storing up certain things and putting away others for the winter. Some of this activity had to be done a month ago as we cleared the back yard in preparation for our deck rebuild - such as storing the patio furniture in the basement, putting all my lawn ornaments in the garage, draining all the hoses and hanging them up inside, throwing out stuff that had been chucked out-of-sight under the deck, and transplanting some perennials I wanted to save at the base of the deck. But there’s still much to do.
This weekend I really must sort through our clothes closet and store away our summer clothes and exchange them with warmer ones. The summer jackets in the front closet need to be transferred to the laundry room closet and replaced with winter ones – same goes for shoes and boots, hats and gloves, scarves and mittens. Summer bedding needs to be washed and packed away in the linen closet and substituted with warmer flannelette sheets and down comforters.
|Leaves frozen in the bird bath|
Outdoors, my abundant hostas have succumbed to the frosty nights and now lie yellowed and limp. They need to be cut back and the leaves stored in clear plastic bags until the next compost pick-up day. Ditto for the leaves which are quickly piling up on the lawn and begging to be raked, piled, and bagged. Once our deck is finished, there will be some last minute clean up before it gets too cold.
Then there are winter tires to install on the cars, snow shovels and ice scrapers to put in the trunk, winter windshield wipers to exchange summer ones, anti-freeze radiator and windshield washer fluids to pour in, and bags of road salt to dig out for the driveway. The snow blower needs to be cleaned and prepped although I hope we don’t have to use it too often! And, once the carpenters are all done and the garage is free of lumber and tools, we will need to sweep up and put things back in place.
In a couple more weeks it will be time to think about unpacking Christmas decorations, putting up the outdoor lights, doing a little Christmas baking to put in the freezer, and hiding away gifts and stocking stuffers (providing I get my shopping done sooner than usual).
|A squirrel's storehouse|
I’m always impressed by the instinct of the squirrels and birds that stay around for the winter as they industriously gather nuts, seeds, and nesting materials to help them survive the colder months. It’s amazing to me that they have the God-given sense to do this long before we humans make time for it.
In the Bible, God gives us some instructions on what we should or should not store up.
“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find knowledge in God.” Proverbs 2:1-5
“Wise men store up knowledge…” Proverbs 10:14
“He (the Lord) will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge: the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” Isaiah 33:6
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” Matthew 6:19-20a
“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” II Timothy 4:8
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart...” Luke 6:45
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints – the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven...” Colossians 1:3-5
God’s commands, wisdom, understanding, insight, fear of the Lord, salvation, heavenly treasures, a crown of righteousness, goodness, hope…these are the things we are to make a priority to store up in our lives. Really puts things into proper perspective, doesn’t it? The most important activity we can ever be involved in is cleaning out what doesn’t belong in our lives, letting those things go, and making room for God to have first place in our heart.
Until next Sunday,