Love builds a shelter from the storms of life

by Craig on May 30, 2012


I’ve been thinking lately…
if life is a little stormy…
if it’s one big duck of a trial…
or one after another…
like a line of a baby ducks…

we have options.

We can just muddle on through storms of life on our own….That’s the sad way.

We can fly into the storms of life and steal their power…the way of the eagle.

And when we feel the tug of, “I want to give up”
we need to, but not the way the world thinks.

And then there’s finding shelter from the squall
a place to survive the storm, and rest as it rages.


I left off with a magical little camping story…
frolicking through the forest, twisting my ankle, a storm rising…
but not to worry…because I came prepared.

As the storm gathers I build my all-natural shelter…


…because a coyote scampered off with my tent.

Rude! ¯\(°_o)/¯


this is how it’s done.

We need to know this stuff…you know…just in case. ツ

The shelter needs to have space to lie under comfortably – and still breathe.

So we find a long branch for the top.

The survival “experts” recommend a fallen tree, but those have bugs. So I look for a nice long bug free branch…preferably one with the bark already peeled off like a carrot. ツ It’s the load bearing beam of the shelter, and we need it to not to cause more problems, you know?

Now we elevate the branch…leaning it against or between something (or things) sturdy.

And I think…

“What’s the straightest strongest purest load bearing beam I know…

or better yet…


Now, I’d prefer a big cozy shelter – but if the storm is a sudden one, there’s not generally enough time for that. Besides, shelters from the storm are for protection, not so much for property value and creature comfort. The people who “know” advise keeping it small, so body heat can keep us warm.


I gather smaller branches and lean them up against both sides of the beam.
If the branches don’t have enough leaves I keep piling them on…
and soon I have nice leafy, pealed, bug free walls and a roof.

And extra leaves from the branches are spread on the floor…
more insulation…and a reasonable amount of comfort.

Oh, and pine branches have that sappy stuff that makes for nice superglue.


Useful! ¯\(ˆ◡ˆ)/¯

And I think…

the way of love, and shelter in the storms of life, is the way of John 15…

to have that big pure crossbeam (v1)…
and be surrounded by the smaller, mostly bug free, branches (vv 2, 9, and 12)…
all bound together by the most excellent sticky stuff available. (vv 17 and 26)



the front door…

please come back.


linking today with Emily…


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

brian miller May 30, 2012 at 9:53 am

smiles…i like you camping analogy and it plays well witht he scripture there in the end as well….having lived outdoors for a year and making my own shelter and food and all right after college, i cant argue with the truth of the matephor either…smiles….hope you are having a great week man.


Craig May 30, 2012 at 11:18 am

I think maybe I should have had you guest post this for me, Brian – that’s a year’s worth of experience. I hope I never have – I’m sure you fared far better than I would have. And the week I’m having? Though I sure wouldn’t call it great – is always, ALWAYS blessed. Thank you, and God bless and keep you.


Brandee Shafer May 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm

This reminded me of “survival camping” with the Girl Scouts. It was a requirement for a badge…or something or other. They took us out by pairs and deposited us in the woods. The end. No, seriously, we had to build our own shelter (We DID have a tarp!) and boil our own water. There was a designated tree by which they drove every so often to check that we were alright; we had to switch out colored bandanas every so often. I think your analogy works with John 15. :)


Craig May 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm

there is no way I could ever be a Girl Scout – if THAT’S what you have to go through. I love the outdoors – I just don’t like being IN the outdoors. I like looking at it – and thinking about it – and smelling it – but not being IN it. There are BUGS in it – and I don’t heart bugs! But – so long as the analogy worked ツ God bless you Brandee.


Layla Payton May 31, 2012 at 11:21 pm

I don’t heart bugs, either…I don’t heart them AT ALL.


Craig June 3, 2012 at 6:19 am

blech – phhphphphppphphphthhhtpptptpththththhhhh bugs!


Mari May 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Hi Craig! It’s been too long since I’ve last visited with you but the “to do” list has been long on my end and am only now catching up with my reading…What a great picture you’ve painted with your words about God’s shelter (you are so creative!). Now I’m off to read John 15…

Will be posting the rest of my story next week 😉


Craig June 3, 2012 at 6:24 am

Mari, I’m delighted every time I see your unique name ツ and no worries – I know there are only so many hours in a day – look, you commented days ago and I’m just now getting around to replying – although I DID read it the very first day. Thank you very much for your kind words – always so gracious – and God bless you and keep you – and I’ll be by to read that post! ツ


Tracie May 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I like this analogy very much. The shelter of the Lord is exactly what I need (all the time, of course, but very much so recently).


Craig June 3, 2012 at 6:28 am

first, Tracie, I apologize for the late reply – a little bit of a roller coaster lately – been finding shelter – and usually when it’s roller coaster-ish, I isolate – the good thing is that I isolate WITH God. I read your comment the day it arrived – thank you – but the turtle is just now poking his head back out of the shell – you know? And, my friend, I just finished a prayer for all the things you need shelter for – RIGHT now. Thank you for the opportunity. God bless and keep you, Tracie!


Dolly@Soulstops May 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Thank you for reminding me of how He is my shelter, and for the mini-survival shelter lesson, which I hope I never have to use :) Blessings, Craig.


Craig June 3, 2012 at 6:35 am

I KNOW!!! , that survival stuff is interesting, isn’t it? It’s logical – but without knowing it I’d never do it if I actually needed to – I will NOW! ツ but, in this year I named “see” I’m looking deeper into stuff – about God being my (our) mine survival shelter – I think there’s more to see in that! Thank you Dolly, thank you much, and God bless and keep you.


wolfsrosebud May 31, 2012 at 7:56 am

love the ducklings… its nice there is more than one way… and it’s nice to know the WAY


Craig June 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm

First of all, I’m sorry I’m so late responding – you got caught in my spam catcher – and I just found you – and released you – hope it wasn’t too painful ツ – and it really is nice to know there is more than one good way to deal with storms – and every good way – includes HIM. I love the duckling too. Bless and keep you, and thank you.


happygirl May 31, 2012 at 11:09 am

Sudden storms and survival. I think having the tarp is wonderful. This was a great story of being connected to Christ in difficult times. Even if we have to use the branches cut off from the vine.


Craig June 3, 2012 at 6:31 am

I almost went – literally – with the vine in writing this. I guess if I placed myself in a jungle – I could’ve used the vine analogy literally. But it was in my mind as I was writing – and obviously that came out for you – thank you for being insightful and seeing it. And thank you for being kind enough to leave a comment, and God bless and keep you!


Beth May 31, 2012 at 5:40 pm

We have options. Just what I needed to hear today. Thank you for the inspiration, the truth, and even the humor. I love it!


Craig June 3, 2012 at 6:38 am

Beth, we all do SO have options. And I found that not choosing an option IS choosing. You know? I’m really glad you wrapped herself around my words today – thank you very much for YOUR kind words! ツ I bring the heavy a lot here – but along with the heavy usually comes a smile or two. I like funny! But funny is a really hard thing to write well – again – it’s risky because nobody ends up laughing – EEEEEEK!!! Thank you, Beth, and God bless and keep you.


A. May 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Thank you. This is good. What will my survival plan be? I like that perspective. What will I put in my ‘pack’?

I will be back to reread…to chew my literary cud. :) ewwww!


Craig June 3, 2012 at 6:41 am

Ummmm…..yeah!!!! EWWWWW. ツ but this survival stuff IS interesting – as is this year named “see”. Thank you A – you KNOW , I like YOUR perspective as well. God bless!


Layla Payton May 31, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Hey, friend! I saw that you visited me, so I made a special trip to say, “Howdy!”. Guess what happened after I posted about Mother’s Day? I came down with a migraine four days later, followed by the worst. body. aches. ever. Plus a few-ish more symptoms. 17 days later, I’m still sick. Guess what? MY “TENT” WAS NOT BUG FREE!!! I ended up getting bit…by a stooooooooopid tick. And now I’m super sick. *sad face* But, as you always do, you wrote the PERFECT post for such a situation. I love coming here. :) It’s always full of goodness and great advice (like bug free environments). 😉 Anyhoo, I’m still here, though I have a feeling I may have to pare down my life for a while. I might not blog much, but I’ll be stopping by to “see” you. Thanks for always sharing what God puts on your heart. It’s a true blessing!


Craig June 3, 2012 at 6:49 am

Leila, my friend, I have no idea how you can do all that you do – with the challenges that face you. You KNOW , I GET the physical challenges – you’re kind of a hero! And ticks – EWWWWWW – bloodsucking disease carrying evil, horrible insects – blech!!!!!! . I remember once getting in my underarm as a teenager – and running with a towel from the shower to the kitchen – having my mom take it out – THEN it let go and DROPPED out – and in my fear – the towel dropped – and the tick dropped… Well… Well… Let’s just say I was really panicked about where it dropped. I heart MOM stories. And know this, my friend, your babies are storing up so many of these, and YOU will heart hearing them for the rest of your life!! . God bless you Layla!! ツ


Katie June 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Craig, I love the storm series you are doing. As you know life has had it’s fair share of them for me lately. In all of it I am in a better place mentally and spiritually than ever before. God is the shelter in the storm.


Craig June 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Katie, I’m glad you’re finding this useful – I’m not a big fan of the storms you’re going through – but I’m a big fan of you. Go team Katie! God bless and keep you.


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