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Finding Joy in a Heat Wave

Updated: Jun 15, 2022

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4 NIV

It’s only Tuesday night as I write this, but so much has happened already this week! We have experienced record breaking heat all across the Pacific Northwest, and to top it off, our daughter Dorothea was baptized on Sunday morning.

But really, I want to talk about the weather. It seems trite to talk about something as mundane as the weather, but at the same time, it’s all anyone can talk about this week! Before this week, the hottest temperature recorded in Seattle was 103.  And we tied or busted that record three times this week!

Many people around the country (and world, even) have criticized our part of the nation for being unprepared for this weather. But, how could we be prepared for something we’ve never experienced before? Most Seattleites don’t have air conditioners; even many restaurants and other place of business don’t have them. Of the ones that do, most AC units aren’t equipped to handle the extreme heat that occurred on Monday.

In the Starr family, we’ve had to deal with 2 little children who also can’t handle the heat.  The best way that our older one can express his distaste is to act out. Tonight is the fourth night in a row that our son insisted on sleeping on the couch. I had suspected that it was because of the air conditioner that I bought last week, but tonight we turned it off. An hour and a half after he “went to bed” on the couch, we’re still prisoners trying to figure out how we’ll do what we need to do tonight, in order to be ready for tomorrow and unwind. A little head keeps popping into our doorway making up several excuses to delay sleep, insisting he sleep in our bed, flipping out over sleeping in his own room, waking up his baby sister in the process…. Oh, it’s pure joy, I tell you! Honestly, it isn’t. Or is it?? It’s teaching us how to anticipate tomorrow night when he probably pulls the same stunt.

On top of that, we FOUGHT for our predicament. I don’t mean that we intended to have little children in the middle of an historic heatwave at the tail end of a worldwide pandemic. But, the fact is, I wanted my two babies and fought to have them. So here we are!

In a way, it’s kind of fun going through this! We knew enough to not turn on the stove this week, and we’ve had a lot of food already prepared and sitting either in the fridge or freezer. I bought a window AC unit the second I saw that 114 was in the forecast a week out. I’ve been working from home since March of last year for my health, and for the health of those I live with. We knew we needed help having children, and we got the assistance we needed for both of them.

That said, I don’t believe that having Joy is the same thing as being happy, but I know that I can find joy in the little things. I’ve lived in super hot areas before, so I know how to deal with weather like this and make the best of things. I’ve also worked in daycare, so I can anticipate SOME of my son’s behavior (not all; I’m not omniscient).

The Psalms tell us that “the righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” (Psalm 34:19 NIV) It’s definitely not easy to face adversity, but we know that we can get through it, because God is with us. We can get through all sorts of things like heat-waves, pandemics, and even bedtime strikes! It’s all about looking for the little things that show we’re growing through our issues.

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