Let not your heart be troubled......
--John 14:1

Yesterday was a rough day.  (Please recall the flat-tire-missed-practice-frozen-chicken-escapee-bunnies morning.) But, there is something special, perhaps magical, about a frozen lake house. Quiet and calming, it is a place of tranquility, of cozy, simplistic order. Covered in snow, bright and sparkling or dark and hushed, it is the essence of beauty. It is that place where the stresses and problems of the world seem to melt gently away. You can forget your self here. Or find it.

Arriving is not easy though. After all the preparation and planning beforehand (not my strong suits), there are way too many bags, boxes and backpacks to lug through the snow and into the house, while also remembering to let go of your burdens at the door. Yet, we had managed all of that, had enjoyed a (not-so) quiet day of games, reading, general mess making and bickering over what is more wasteful, eating the chips or not eating the chips, and then sat down for a healthy, life sustaining family meal.

It was during the cleaning up after dinner that I accidentally knocked the coffee carafe into the sink, fracturing it into several irreparable pieces. Now, those of you who have come to love (i.e. NEED) your morning cuppa understand the shock and horror of such an accident. I mean, a flat tire is one thing but this. THIS! The weight was almost too much. Ridiculously, it was as if the shards of glass had pierced my heart. (Perhaps I need to consider my coffee "needs".) Having just discovered Bulletproof Coffee the week before, and having brought all my special stuff to make it, I was at a loss. I went to bed heartbroken that, not only had I broken someone else's coffee carafe, but tomorrow would simply not be what I had hoped (a snuggly Valentine's Day with a cup of warm joe in one hand, a book in the other while curled up next to a cozy fire.) Slumber did not come easily, and my sleep was fitful at best.

Around 12:45 a.m. Madeline woke up, calling for me from upstairs. I eagerly bounded up the staircase, thankful for the distraction from beating myself up. She was cold and implored me to turn the heat up. (Note: She had asked us not to turn the heat on before she went to bed so that she wouldn't be too hot. Kids.) I got her tucked back in, adjusted the thermostat slightly and then went back to bed. While I meditated on our fast from wastefulness, and reviewed the happenings of the last few days, the words "with God, all things are possible" ran through my head and I was struck with an idea: the coffee maker here is so old that it doesn't have that auto pause feature that allows you to pour coffee while it is still brewing. Admittedly, this is something I have grumbled about in the past. Clearly one of those disguised blessings as I now realized I could use ANYTHING to catch the coffee in the morning. My heart leapt like George Bailey at the end of It's a Wonderful Life. I drifted easily off to sleep after that with gladness and thanksgiving.

Thank you, Pyrex! And you, too, old Mr. Coffee who used to annoy me so!

Sunday arrived, and with it, coffee! Armed for the day, we loaded up and trucked into the little town (of like twelve people) to go to a local church. We about doubled the congregation, which we were assured was because of how cold it was that morning which tends to keep both the elderly and the young families at home. But it was what we needed.

In the Children's part of the service, the minister wrote out Valentines cards for each of the kids. He started with the children he knew, wrote their names on their cards and handed them out. He then turned to our children and asked each of them to choose between Star Wars and Avengers, then wrote down their names.

He started with Solomon.

"Hi! What is your name, son?"

Without missing a beat, Solomon solemnly replied, "Steve."

We about fell out of our seats. The minister began writing Steve on the card while the rest of us laughed so hard some of us were crying. The girls explained to the minister that that was not actually his name, just what he currently wanted to be called.

"So, Steve, do you have another name? Maybe an alias? You know, how Spiderman is actually Peter Parker by day?"

He shrugged. "Solomon, I guess."

And so he had his special Valentine......

And I had mine.

Ah! happy those whose heart can break
 And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
 And cleanse his soul from sin?
How else but through a broken heart
 May Lord Christ enter in?
--Oscar Wilde

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