I’m SO Out Of My Element

I had to pick the coldest time of year to come to Chicago.

My sisters and I rendezvoused at my twin’s home in Tinley Park. I wanted to see Mom, whose capacity to snub her nose at Father Time has been quite remarkable. She’d recently had a bad fall, and I wanted to see her.

Being with my sisters was huge incentive to go as well. We enjoy each other and live too far apart to make it happen often.unnamed-3

Flying into a city where the temperature is in single digits wasn’t my idea of a good time. I don’t own clothing to accommodate a polar bear environment. Gayle had to bring a coat for me when she picked me up from the airport.

Getting to the car from the terminal was brutal. I thought frostbite had already taken life from my toes and fingers.

We’re talking three minutes of cold air exposure.

I’ve lived in Orlando long enough to have acclimated to the heat and humidity. I do sweltering well. I’ve not invested in cold weather gear for decades. There’s been no need.

I should have saved some sweaters.

It became more comical when my sisters thought that walking in frigid temperatures was a good idea. With the wind chill at close to zero, Gayle wrapped me like a five-year-old going out sledding. Heavy mittens. Scarf around my face. Headband and head covering.

unnamed-5I looked ridiculous.

We were out for 45 minutes. After three, I couldn’t feel my toes or fingers. I pulled the scarf down to my chin because my nose and mouth were becoming claustrophobic behind the wool. My nose and lips were the next to lose feeling.

I was out of my element. Miserable. Nose running. Frostbite may still be in my future.

Gayle and Janet gently mocked their Florida sister. They’re used to this stuff. They’ve got what it takes to live in this.

I felt out of my element when I was with Mom as well. She’s become very fragile with age. Her hearing is going. Her eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I feared I’d break her when I gave her a hug. She’s a tiny thing, and diminishing more each time I see unnamed-4her.

This may be the last time I see Mom this side of heaven. I’ve no guarantee she’ll be there next time I manage to come up. That’s hard to deal with. I can’t just smack a smile on that reality and be good with it.

When taken out of my norm, I falter. The cold did it. Mom’s frailty did it. It’s uncomfortable and daunting.

I can’t control life. It doesn’t mean I don’t try. I do. Daily. When life doesn’t go my way, I’m out of my comfort zone.

Jesus knows the bigger picture. My whole life is held in His powerful hands.

The challenge comes in allowing Him to help me in those hard times. Listen to and apply His truth. Recognize that His blueprint for life–the Bible–is a valid source of power and hope.

Reality? This life isn’t my element.

And He’s not leaving me on my own to deal with it.




11 responses to “I’m SO Out Of My Element”

  1. Out of your elements… the only option is being wrapped up tightly in His arms. Thanks for the reminder, dear friend.


    1. Being wrapped in the arms of Jesus is the only place to be–but I find it so easy to get wrapped up in so many other things first! Oh, to be able to go to Him first and only! Love you, sweet friend!


  2. C’mon! Winter looks good on you! 😜😉😂😊
    Our of your element, indeed. As we all are. This is a good set of words to reflect on today.
    Hope you thaw out soon!


    1. Thawing out may not be an option! I want to stay a little uncomfortable so I’ll know Who I’m really relying on–and that’s work. Thanks for your encouragement, Ames.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


    1. You are too kind, my friend. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you again for producing and posting this fine piece! I look forward to the next and next….! 🙂


  4. Alice Fredricks Avatar
    Alice Fredricks

    Yes, Dayle, I think it brings God glory when we get to the “end of ourselves” and have to lean hard on Him to carry us through those “out of our element” moments. I have no doubt you WILL make it through them even with “frozen toes”!


    1. Says the woman who won’t ever need to experience frozen toes! Thanks for the encouragement, Allie. I keep thinking I’ve made it to the end of me–only to have more of me show up. I’m persistent, that’s for sure. But I get weary of me, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry, Dayle. God created us for life so it is very understandable that we hate death. I love you and am praying for you now. ❤️ Grateful we know His grace IS sufficient….even in the worst of times. I love you.


    1. He did create us for life–and hope and joy and love. Thanks for your encouraging words, sweet friend. Love you, too.


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