A Winter’s Morn

Heading out to feed on a snowy morning, my tears froze on my cheek as I reveled in the beauty and peace of God’s world. Bubba the chocolate lab and I drove along the frontage road between pastures as we felt God’s presence descend upon us. The light dusting of snow covering the pastures, the snow nestled in the boughs of the Bois D’Arc, oak, and cedar trees made a picture-perfect setting. I think what struck me most was how quiet and peaceful this scene was.

On most days, as soon as the garage door goes up, I’m greeted by a cacophony of moos and brays as the animals remind me it’s their feeding time. Like humans, they too are creatures of habit and don’t like change. If I sleep late or spend longer in my “God time” than normal, Magic the donkey, Bianca the heifer yearling, or another will sound the alarm. This morning, there was silence.

Not an eerie silence caused by an unexpected cessation of sound that alarms you, but a peaceful silence that begged “Come and sit with me.” As I stopped along the pathway to take in the moment, Bubba laid down, placing his head in my lap. Switching the key off, the silence enveloped us. No birds chirping, no livestock calling, no sounds of tractors or automobiles in the distance. Instead, there was a peaceful, rest-inducing silence.

I felt like God stopped the world for a few moments just so He could spend them with me. Have you ever felt like you are the center of God’s attention and love? Oh, what a wonderful feeling that is. I call those moments Heart Hugs; and through the years, I’ve become addicted to them. Addicted to where I yearn for them; looking for every opportunity to tune out the world and tune into God.

Do you look for opportunities to tune out the world and tune into God? Share on X

Closing my eyes and giving myself to the moment, the tears flowed. That often happens when God comes near. I describe those heart-hugging tears as God squeezing the world out of me. After only a minute or two, I opened my eyes and wiped the near-frozen tears from my cheeks with gloved hand. In that moment, I felt God reminded me of how much He cares for me; and He wished me a peaceful day filled with His love.

How peaceful are our mornings? Do we awake in a tizzy or do we start the day with calm and peace? How about how we end them? Share on X

I pray each of you look for those opportunities to let God pause the world and remind you of how special you are to Him. It will leave you feeling refreshed, recharged, and better able to face the day that comes. For it is when we keep His peace at the forefront of our lives, that He lives out the words of His Son in John 14:27.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives
to I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
(John 14:27, NKJV)

God’s blessings,


Please join me each Thursday evening at 9:30 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya on PJNET TV. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.


58 thoughts on “A Winter’s Morn”

  1. J.D., in this beautiful post you paint a glorious picture of pausing to “be still and know He is God.” Thank you for sharing these precious moments with us. As soon as it’s warmer here, I’ll be on my deck seeking the quiet moments that I’ve enjoyed inside this winter.

  2. Oh, to have been there where you were, sensing God’s loving presence in the profound silence. Certainly, those were holy moments, J. D., ones we all need from time to time to remind us of how much the Lord loves us.

    1. As I mentioned, I’ve become addicted to those moments Ms. Martha. Sometimes they seem difficult to find; especially when we let the world invade our thoughts, but that’s when we have to escape this world and seek Him all the more. God’s blessings gentle friend.

  3. JD, you painted a beautiful picture of God’s peace and love. My mornings begin early, when it’s still dark and quiet except for birds chirping–but that is a call to me that the sun will rise–God’s faithfulness every morning– and He has cared for the birds who wake up singing. He cared for me too, while I slept–a reminder to put a song in my mouth to acknowledge His grace, love, and goodness. Psalm 136.

  4. Would love to play with Magic the donkey. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Sorry I couldn’t flow with the peaceful thought because this morning I need a laugh, a smile and a Hallelujah.

    1. Thank you Ms. Angela. “Magic” the donkey gives us lots of reasons to laugh and smile around here. Especially when he jumps and kicks both hind legs in the air when he’s preparing to run to the fence to get an oatmeal cookie and his long ears scratched. Am certain he and you would be instant friends ma’am. God’s blessings; and enjoy your day ma’am.

  5. I enjoy your farm experiences, Mr JD. I grew up in dairy country and my grandfather was the only guy I knew with his own pasteurizing and bottling machine. As I contemplated the peacefulness in my home and started to think about what to write, our dog, all 7.5 lbs of her, erupted in her “mommy’s home” litany. So much for the peace. Best blessings, kind sir.

    1. 🙂 Here’s what I know for sure Mr. Warren. When a 7.5# dog throws their head back and commences to announce to the world anything, all peace goes right out the window. A 106# Bubba has the same effect. His barking is usually because a horse in someone else’s pasture 1,000 yards away walks across his line of sight, or one of our cows makes their way into the south pasture. 😀 I hear you my friend; but these distractions only serve to make our quiet moments all the more special. Have a blessed day sir.

  6. Terry L Palmer

    Yes sir. I know that feeling of calm assurance, one of the reasons I walk out into our snowy northland, just the Lord and I, for those moments of silence in the snow are precious. Something about what God put into nature for us, to stop the rush with a snow, to tell the land to take a nap in His name of purpose and amen. Bless you J.D. as you listen and know His voice and amen.

    1. There’s just something about getting alone in nature with our Creator isn’t there sir? Whether there’s snow on the ground, a gentle rain falling, or a slight, refreshing breeze on a summer afternoon under the pine trees, we can always seem to find Him there awaiting us when we seek Him can’t we? Thank you so much for your comments sir. Much appreciated.

  7. Julie Souza Bradley Lilly

    This is absolutely beautiful, J.D.! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into not only your heart and life, but insight into the loving heart of our Father. Keep writing, dear brother! It’s a blessing to us all, and we are richer for it.

  8. I love this phrase “heart-hugging tears as God squeezing the world out of me” because it so perfectly describes something I’ve experienced. There’s much to be said for spending more time in God’s natural world.

  9. JD,
    Often times I experienced those frozen tears. Sometimes just out of plain hard work in the cold and other times for when God draws me up close. As you pointed out, more often than not, those animals aren’t silent or quiet when they are clamoring for something. We need to learn from them when all is quiet and we drink in the reality of Immanuel – God with us!

  10. Your descriptions made me feel as if I was right there with you, enjoying God’s glory. This morning, I walked to the mail box and heard an unfamiliar bird calling. I looked up to see a beautiful Bald Eagle perched on a tree branch. Eagles always remind me of my parents, who are in Heaven. Have a glorious day! Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    1. Thank you Ms. Melissa. I’m guessing that you are much the same way when you write, but I often picture my readers sitting across from/around the desk as I’m writing. In fact, and I know you would never do this, I’ll even have conversations with some of y’all. 😀 “So how would you say that Ms. Mimi?” LOL It’s when you answer that I start to worry about myself a little. Wow! I love your eagle sighting. That is a rare occurrence in your neck of the woods for sure I would think.

  11. I got a chuckle from the calls for feeding your animals usually give you. Mine are the same if I’m not there before sunrise–impatient neighs, stomping feet greet me. My dog anxiously awaits me at the door and cat wraps herself around my leg with pitiful wails of, “I’m starving!” It’s good to be appreciated, I guess. But like you again, my friend, I find my best time to share my thoughts and receive blessings from my Lord is outside in His creation. Thank you for your refreshing message. Made me almost wish for a little snow–for a fleeting moment. Wishing you a blessed week on the Cross-Dubya.

    1. Yes! Most times when I exit through the garage door, I instinctively high-step to get over Bubba! I know exactly what you mean ma’am. And the barn cats can have a mouse in their mouth and still put to down to beg for cat food! I’m betting you follow the “Ranch Rules” too; and we can only eat after we’ve fed everyone else. 🙂 Thank you so much for commenting ma’am.

    1. Yes ma’am. They do; more often than I sometimes think they should from a man. Then again, I’m trying to become “less of a man and more of a child.” God’s blessings sweet sister.

  12. He is always near, waiting for us to stop and draw near to Him. As Jeannie was reminded of a verse by your idyllic words, the verse that came to my mind was James 4:8 – – “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” God-hugs are there for the asking. I’m glad you turned off the switch on that beautiful morning!

  13. I love the way you said that the time with God was “squeezing the world out of you.” That is what we all need and that peaceful time is how we receive His voice. I felt the calm and peacefulness you must have felt driving through your pasture when I read this post. Beautiful thoughts!

    1. Ms. Barbara; I am always so blessed by your kind, insightful, and encouraging comments ma’am. Thank you so much for adding to our conversation. We are blessed indeed to share our lives with folks like you ma’am. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much Ms. Lisa. And you’re right ma’am; we need to look for those moments when God invites us to spend time in His presence. He can renew us in those moments. Am hoping that code your trusty CR-V gave you was just a lose wire and you made it across the big scary bridge okay. God’s blessings ma’am.

  14. J.D., I wish everyone could experience what you call “heart hugs.” Those awesome moments of realizing His Presence are worth everything. I’m going to have to start a list of JD-isms. So far, there’s “God Time,” “Eternity Time,” and “Heart Hugs.”

    1. LOL I have to laugh Ms. Dottie; as when I retired in 2011, my team commissioned a caricature of me and it included two stone tablets; and written across the top was “Jim-isms” and the tablets included some of my team’s favorite quips and comments. Thank you so much for the smile my friend. I pray you and yours enjoy “Heart Hugs” every day from this point forward ma’am.

    1. You are too kind Ms. Rachael. Thank you so much for commenting ma’am. I pray you experience God’s presence each day; as you sneak away to the beach, in your quiet time with God, or in the midst of your busiest day. God’s blessings ma’am.

  15. Hello, friend.

    I love the way you’ve described ‘heart hugs’. What a delightful description of those moments alone in His presence. I can’t seem to have enough of that time anymore.

    I’m so glad you were able to soak in that time with Him.

    Peace and grace to you,

    1. Will be praying for lots more of those moments for you sweet friend. Sometimes we have to look for them, but oh, they are such a blessing when we find them. God’s blessings!

  16. J.D. Finally have time to circle back here and leave a comment. This. Is. A. Beautiful. Piece. I pictured the peaceful, scenic, winter-wonderland. And I love your description “heart-hugging tears as God squeezing the world out of me.”

    1. How very kind. Thank you Ms. Karen. I’m so pleased that you both enjoyed and appreciated the post ma’am. As you and your dear husband Mr. Mike know, it’s so easy to get alone with God when we’re just surrounded by His natural creations. And we know we’re blessed when He shuts out the world from us, when it seems to be overwhelming, so we can share in His peace. You’re such a blessing ma’am.

  17. How beautiful, just taking in God’s beauty, seemingly just for you. Wonderful heart hugs.
    Blessings to you always.

    1. I join you in that prayer Mr. Monty. Perhaps if more folks would search out these moments, there’d be lots less time to be fearful, depressed, and lonely. God’s blessings my friend.

  18. Evelyn Mason Wells

    J.D. , what a wonderful experience of tagging along with y’all and experiencing the peaceful moments and heart hugs! Well written!

    1. You’re always invited to tag along with us as we travel around God’s classroom (that’s what I call the Cross-Dubya) Ms. Evelyn. As I suspect is the way in your neck of the woods there in Georgia, God is always ready to teach us something, or just share a quiet moment with us, among the natural world He created for us. God’s blessings gentle friend.

  19. J.D., what a special gift quiet connections with the Lord are. Thank you for sharing yours with us today. I could feel the beauty of it.

    1. They sure are Ms. Debbie. I love my quiet time with God; and try to get at least a few minutes alone with Him each day. It sounds silly, and perhaps selfish to some, but my “God time” is a special time reserved just for Him and me. It’s the time that He refills my cup and prepares me for the coming day. I pray you and Mr. Larry find those special moments each day for “Heart Hugs.” God’s blessings sweet lady.

  20. AS you know by now, J.D., I’m always impressed with your willingness to be transparent and to bring us into the world around you as you experience it. You never present God’s truth in a way that sounds like you’re lecturing us, and that is so refreshing. I admire your openness about the tears. So often it’s something guys try to hide, but tears are one of the tangible ways our hearts respond when God says something special to us in a close, personal way. They’re often the heart’s way of saying “You’re incredible, Lord, Thanks for sharing that with me.” It’s pretty cool how your peaceful moment found its way into so many other hearts. Great piece, Brother. We’re all grateful.

    1. As always, I’m humbled by your kind and encouraging words Mr. Ron. I decided long ago that I’m not a preacher; and I’m far too flawed to lecture anyone on living a godly life. In my Christian writing, I instead strive to invite folks along with me in my journey. Much the way you have mastered my friend. Be well; and thank you so much for always encouraging me to work harder. God’s blessings sir.

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