My Mid-life Lessons from a Winter Storm

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My Mid-life Lessons from a Winter Storm

By: Terry Burgess, Founder and Men’s Mid-life Coach, Upward MC

I remember when I was a school aged lad that my favorite word on the news was Snow.  However, now that I am 48 years old. That word has mixed meanings to me.

This past week was the 40th anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978.  I remember that one very well. I remember being in snow drifts that were nearly as tall as me when I was only 8 years old.  I survived, and I had fun playing in the snow then. However, this past week reminded me of how I have changed since those days. This week though God used two winter storms in a matter of 3 days to teach and reinforce some lessons for me.

Forward to the World I live in today, I live in a very old house (112 years old) which I love immensely because of its stature and history combined.   However, this house comes with many challenges such as location of plumbing lines, many cervices created by non-square building methods of the early 1900’s, and the fact that though the house is made of solid oak there are nearly 20 windows in this two-story house not to count the glassed in back porch entry way.  The foot of snow and sleet/freezing rain we received this week presented some unique challenges but also showed me the power of prayer and faith.

Earlier on Monday when the second blast of snow hit us I prayed to God to keep our shower line from freezing since it is on an outside wall where the glassed-in porch is located. It also run underneath the porch where there is a sheltered entry to our basement.   When cold weather hits us the two things that freeze up as far as plumbing is our shower line and our toilet intake line both are located on outside walls.   This freezing happens in our shower when we leave our water flowing with a small trickle of water to help keep then from freezing. 

Earlier this month our toilet intake was frozen for 3 days (manual flushing with water from sink) and our shower was frozen for 4 days. It was after this episode that I installed a heating vent in the crawlspace underneath the bathroom to help keep our pipes in that space from freezing.  This would only leave the encased pipes leading up from under the house to the wall in the glass-enclosed porch which does not have any heat source.

The shower did freeze up since the temperatures were near zero.  God showed me his power when after running a space heater in the bathroom for extra heat with the shower door cracked open a little and the shower head taken off and the water turned on to open the valves, so the pipes would hopefully not burst.  I was sitting in my office and nearly 2 hours later I heard the water flowing near the bathroom.  I thought OK the pipe burst again.  I walked inside the bathroom to find that the pipe did not burst it was the shower running water.  This was just one way that God showed me that if I had faith in him he could do anything.

Wednesday, I was going out to help my family to clear out a path in the drive way when I slipped on the stairs leading from my back door.  My leg got caught underneath the wooden decorative poles as I slipped down three stairs.   God blessed me again because then only injuries I sustained was a few bruises and 2 minor skin abrasions.   I still do not know how I did not break by ankle or lower leg.  My wife afterwards told me “Your heart and joints could not take the exercise and effort in the severe cold.”  It was at that point that it came to my mind it was God’s way of telling me to get back inside to protect me.

I learned this week I do not like snow and cold weather because of the effects on my body and lifestyle.  However, I also learned that God can use our dislikes to teach us some powerful lessons!  You must open your mind and eyes to see the hidden message and opportunity when you are faced with challenges and things you dislike.


Please feel free to contact me for a complimentary 45-minute coaching session.  I can help you develop a simple starting point plan to help you get on the road from your “mid-life crisis” to your “mid-life rediscovery and renovation” for your life.  You can visit to schedule you complimentary coaching hour!

Terry is a Personal Leadership and Mid-life Coach for Men with Upward MC in Benton, Kentucky.  He can be contacted via e-mail at  or by phone at 270-493-0967. His website can be found at


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