Dear Ones,
Hope you are keeping warm and safe! I love to stay inside when it is so cold out, -7 today, but I went to Aldi’s this morning and going to Costco this afternoon. Probably going to walk in the underground though.  I am going through cards and gifts and want to get at some piles of papers. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
I look out on a beautiful landscape of over 20” of fresh snow. As lovely as it is, I also notice that the trees are heavy laden with snow as their branches are all bowed over. I would like to go outside and shake the snow off but their branches are too high for me to reach. In time the sun will help melt the snow and likely a wind to help blow some of it away.
The verse of a familiar song comes to my mind, “Are we weak and heavy laden/ cumbered with a load of care/ Precious Savior still a refuge/ Take it to the Lord in prayer.” Maybe we feel like those trees that are bowed over with grief, are lonely from being quarantined and separated from loved ones, or feel anxious over the future etc.; but even then, we have a place to go where our burdens are lifted. The Lord knows our weaknesses and troubles and promises to share our burdens. Maybe we don’t sense relief all at once but as we come to really know that the Lord understands and is with us, the heaviness begins to melt away. King David said in Psalm 55:22 (Amplified), “Cast your burden on the Lord (releasing the weight of it) and He will sustain you; He will never allow the (consistently) righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail).” We are invited to trust God with whatever concerns us and weighs us down.
God may also help us by providing safe places to experience His love through others; a place where we can be nurtured and healed. Our churches should be such a place and also gatherings of small groups of caring believing people. As things get darker in our culture, I believe God will draw us together with others who help us feel we belong and are cared for. Maybe it is a small group that meets in a home, but we feel loved and nourished and healing takes place.
Let us not be weighed down like the snow laden branches but open ourselves to the wind of the Holy Spirit, and the warmth of his love and the fellowship of others.
Challenge for today: Seek a place you can be free to share your burdens and also help others to feel cared for.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy