Author Archives: aliciachall28

About aliciachall28

Wife, writer, missionary and mother.

Winter Life Savers

This winter has been difficult here in my corner of the world. There were more overcast, rainy, sleeting, super cold days than bright sunshiny but chilly days. It’s only my third winter here in East TN, but I could definitely feel the seasonal affective disorder creeping in.

Luckily, I discovered a few things that brightened those dreary winter days. I thought I’d share them with you in case you needed some help holding on until Spring makes her complete and grand appearance.

  1. A stationary bike and spin class app. Several years back (like 10 or so), I became a fan of spin classes. In fact, I loved them so that I would go the gym at 5:30 AM and take a class before work. I always left feeling great and very sweaty:)  However,  taking a spin class at a local gym or spin boutique these days can be very costly. In comes the wonder of iPad apps. The hubs purchased a stationary bike from Amazon, and we downloaded an app (requires a monthly subscription fee) that allows us to participate in live or on demand spin classes occurring in Spin Class gyms in other parts of the country. Instead of venturing out in the the freezing cold— which was a mental battle in itself —to get a brisk walk or run in, I just hopped on the bike and worked up a sweat in the house. LOVE IT!!!!
  2. L.A. Colors Color Last Nail Polish. Never been one to keep a constant manicure. Never been one to keep unbitten nails either; until recently that is. I accidentally picked up this polish (under two-dollars at Wal-Mart) for a quick self-manicure. I was amazed that after a week it still clung to my nails. If your like me and hate polishing your nails every 2-3 days just to keep the chips away, then check out this bargain.
  3. Spring-scented candles. Found a set of lovely candles at my local Dollar Tree in some great scents: Watermelon, Italian Ice, and Strawberry Sundae. Burning those each morning, helps me hold on till the real smells of spring waft through the air.
  4. Dave Barnes Instagram Account. If you aren’t a Dave Barnes fan, you should be. He is a singer/songwriter whose songs have been performed by Blake Shelton and Thomas Rhett. He’s a fantastic songwriter (not just for country fans) with a great voice that has over 10 albums, each of which I adore. But even better is that he is HYSTERICALLY funny. In fact, he is doing a tour this year where he blends his musical talent and his stand-up comedy. I attended his Christmas show this year and was enchanted by his music and his humor. Check out his Instagram account for crazy funny (and clean) posts and info on his music @DAVEBARNESMUSIC
  5. Water bottle with fruit infuser. I’m not a fan of water, but need to be at my age. Drinking it with some fruit infused flavor, however, makes it much easier to consume.  Found this gem at TJMaxx and it works perfectly.
  6. The view from my window. My reading spot is situated near a window that looks out to the front of our home to the mountains beyond. On days when the sun spills through the slats on the shades, I’m reminded that winter can’t last, Spring always sends it packing. Both my mind and heart need to be reminded of that.

Hope you gained some inspiration to help you make it until Spring.  And please share any thing that kept you going this winter. We all need a little inspiration to make it through the last chilly days before Spring.


Please note: no company has paid me for my endorsement for any of these products. I’m simply sharing my happy discoveries to my friends. 


Staying in the Storm*

Some storms we can see coming. The dark clouds gather on the horizon. The sheets of rain cast a water curtain up ahead. Soon we will be traveling through it.

On the other hand, some storms arrive unexpected and uninvited. The rain pelts us, the thunder tears at our eardrums, and the lightning sends us sprinting to the nearest shelter.

There are times though when those same storms rage, and we have no shelter in which to run. No immediate relief from the cold stinging rain or the furious, bullying lightning and thunder. We are forced to stand in its midst and endure the torrential torment.

We yearn for relief. We scan the horizon for shelter. We cry out for a rescuer. But nothing but miles of storm lies ahead of us.

Our fear threatens to consume. Hope plays hide-and-seek in the dark clouds. Desperation rages and we begin to run, anywhere, somewhere, to anyone and anything that might bring relief.

Yet, if we only remembered God lives in the middle of the storm, we could find the hope, peace, and the shelter we seek. Our humanity believes the storm to be inhabited only by enemies and devastation. A lie Satan seeks to perpetuate.

Jesus calmed the storm when the disciples’ fear overwhelmed him (Matthew 8:23-26). But God was present IN THE MIDDLE of that storm. Because Jesus understood that truth, he could sleep peacefully through it. God made the thunder and lightning.  Jesus knew with certainty there was no need for terror or fear of the future.

So often when life’s storms — the devastating kind — show up, we want to run, to avoid its pain. Yet, learning to stand in the middle of the storm is the best lesson we can learn. We find God in a deeper way and our faith grows when we choose to let the storm rage yet find His peace in its midst. We understand God’s power and our weaknesses best as we simply rest in his arms while the rain pours and lightning strikes.

It’s not fun, nor is it pretty, but with perseverance, we can learn to dance to the rhythm of the rain while its pelting drops sting our skin.

No matter where we are today,  may we allow the Lord to teach us to find him in the middle of the storm not just when the clouds part and the sun shines. When our vision is clouded with tears and rain drops, and our ears deafened by the drum of thunder, may our faith rise just enough to listen for God’s whisper and find shelter in his arms while the storm rages. No more running from its fury, let’s all defy it by living steady and sure of God’s power while  standing in the middle of the storm.


*Post Inspired by the song “In The Whisper” by Christy Nickels (Listen Here)

Day by day, I’m learning how to stay
In the middle of the storm
I’m learning where to lay my headAnd step by step, I’m learning how to listen
In the middle of the noise
I will listen for Your still small voice

So let the thunder roll
And I won’t be afraid, ’cause You roll the thunder
And let the rain beat hard
Upon my roof, and I’ll dance to it’s rhythm
And let the mighty wind
Blow between the oak trees
As I let You steady me
‘Cause You’re right here in the whisper
Of my heart

Breath by breath, I’m learning what You say
When You told me I could trust
Even when the storm is raging on
And song by song, I will sing of your great love
While You’re singing it back to me
With the very voice that calmed the sea

So let the thunder roll
And I won’t be afraid, ’cause You roll the thunder
And let the rain beat hard
Upon my roof, and I’ll dance to it’s rhythm
And let the mighty wind
Blow between the oak trees
As I let You steady me
‘Cause You’re right here in the whisper
You’re right here

So say peace be still
To every beat of my heart
So say peace be still
To every thought in my head
I know your voice, and I will listen and obey
Every time you call, in the night