Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Cold Days, Warm Heart

 Big snowstorm here in NJ this week. We've done a lot of shoveling, but the good news is, I've had some good visits with my neighbors because of it. I am lucky to live in a neighborhood where people help one another. Before I was even out of bed on Monday morning, one of my neighbors was wrangling his snowblower along my sidewalk. Later in the day, another came to say hello and shovel with us for a while, hefting some of the heavy snow that the plow pushed into our driveway. Several neighbors shouted solidarity, and we joked and shared a good laugh. And we did our part as well, helping some others. On a snowy windswept day, neighborliness warms my heart.  

Hubby's pick-up bed... and... it's still snowing...and blowing. 😊

I love the way snow transforms the landscape. One day the world is brown, gray, skeletal, and dull. The next day it is bright and glittery, full of soft curves and lumps, crunching and squeaking beneath our boots. A miracle of transformation!

These beautiful paper snowflakes were given to me by my good friend Joey who lives in Minnesota. I see her every few years, but she is always in my heart. Thanks again, Joey! 

I find great comfort in music, and lately I've been taken with this jazzy rendition of Heart & Soul. I can't watch it without smiling and humming along. My grandkids pound out this same oldie on the piano now, and their efforts are a kind of chaos that delights and warms my heart.

Thinking about this post, I remembered a book from my shelf, one that reinforces a warm heart. Embracing the Love of God by James Bryan Smith. I commend it to you and leave you with one of its treasures... these words express God's love for us by way of a compilation of Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, and James B Smith:

I have called you by name, from the very beginning. You are mine and I am yours. You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests. I have molded you from the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother's womb. I have carved you in the palms of my hands and hidden you in the shadow of my embrace. Has it crossed your mind that I am proud you have accepted the gift of faith I have offered you? Proud that you have freely chosen me, after I had chosen you, as your friend and Lord? Proud that with all your warts and wrinkles you haven't given up? I never expected you would be perfect.
I love you. I love you. I love you. Nothing will ever change that.

Here's wishing you a warm and happy heart, both today and in the days ahead. 

Thanks to Fran Haley for hosting our Spiritual Journey group. Find more at

Let all that you do be done in love.  1 Corinthians 16:14


  1. Beautiful from beginning to end - the snow (which I love, though that's a LOT!), the generosity and camaraderie of your neighbors, the beautiful paper ornaments, the amazing quote from the book - which fill me with great emotion. The song -! I am listening to it as I write this comment; it makes my heart dance. I think this is the first of very few things I learned to play on the piano! Sang the song lots as a child. I will be singing it all day today, with extra bounce in my step. Warm heart - absolutely. Thank you for these gifts, Karen. <3

  2. Karen, I feel like I've received a hug. Lots of love in this post...and the quote at the end is perfect. Thank you.

  3. Lovely words, Karen, and thanks for sharing your snow with us. We have a 40% chance of snow a week from Saturday. Those chances usually disappear. But, I'll keep my childlike faith and hope for some snow before winter disappears. I want a day transformed to light and glitter! Love your collage of heart items at the end and the quote too!

    1. Thanks, Ramona. I hope you get some snow... just not this much. ;0)

  4. Karen, I am filled with the spirit of heartlove after reading your post. There were so many artistic expressions from crafting to song to prayer. It may have been bitter cold in NJ this past week (like in MY) but you certainly reversed memories of cold to warmth. Thanks for a spiritual boost with prayer.

  5. Thanks for all of these wonderful messages full of heart. I would not survive in such cold. The neighbors helping each other is what happens here after hurricanes.