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It was with some sense of defeat that Saturday approached and I thought, “All I have to write about is the weather.” But weather seems to be the main thing on my mind these days. My daughter’s math teacher had shared a theory in December that every seven years Michigan experiences very little snow while the temperatures regularly rise into the forties and keep everything melted and somewhat of a dull, rusty “green.”

His theory may be why I wasn’t expecting the snow that raged through Michigan this last week, nor the three oddly-spaced Snow Day school cancellations. I have felt like we never returned from Christmas Break and finally got all the “white” that we were dreaming of at Christmas.

Everywhere I go, and I’m still going lots of places because I’m a mom, we talk about the weather.

When I worked with international students, and when I spent my days in India, I found that most of the rest of the world does not talk about the weather. I thought it was weird, but in fact, they think we’re weird for constantly bringing up the weather. Go figure. Have you noticed just how often Americans start a conversation, both the serious ones and the mindless chatter at the grocery store or while waiting for church to start, with weather?

I’ve been led to believe that we talk about weather to avoid saying anything of real depth to one another, that it is mere time-pass. But I’ve decided that is wrong. Weather is very, very real, and we talk about it for good reason.

This past Tuesday night I had to bring my son to his taekwondo class. In a snowstorm. Being busy and distracted, I didn’t notice that he had climbed into the car without a coat, hat, boots, or even socks inside his Crocs! This is not unusual, unfortunately, but we were having a snowstorm and I was frustrated and worried about him getting into the building safely.

I decided to drop my scantily clad child at the door rather than park and have him navigate over to the dojo through the whipping, wild snow. And it was wild. Approaching the door in my minivan, I couldn’t make up my mind where to stop because right before the entrance the snow was racing down off the roof in a roller coaster-like loop. Park wrong, and Reuben would get decently blasted by the fury.

After getting him in the door and sitting through the class, the weather had not improved. I was cramming my hat on at the door to go collect the van when one of the instructors admonished me to, “Be careful out there,” just as I pushed the door open.

“It’s awful out there!” I screeched at him, turning to see that his face had become a vision of shock, and awe, seeing the snow swirling feistily outside the door. My son told me that while I brought the van around, Mr. Ajay talked to everyone about the weather, insisting they drive slowly and with care.

We talk about the weather — all the time — because it does matter to us. It affects us. It changes our day, our life, our attitudes and emotional well-being.

Over the course of time, as my international students experienced weather in the US, they talked more and more about it. And it wasn’t just chit chat. It was wonder and worry, and a growing sense of wisdom as they learned to navigate weather. They no longer scoffed at Americans for starting- and ending- conversations with weather.

We also talk about the weather — whether we know it or not —because weather is one of the most tangible and obvious ways that we see God. I don’t think we even know it, but when we start our conversations with:
“Can you believe this weather?!?”
“How about that snow out there?”
“Did you manage the roads ok— was it icy?”
“If we have another day of rain like this, I’ll lose my mind!”
“It is soooooo HOT!”

and so on, and so on….
When we start and end our conversations that way, do we realize that we are acknowledging God, and God alone?

I think we end up discussing the weather because we just can’t help but express our awe over God’s obvious revelation of strength, and might, and power through rain, wind, and snow.

We have no control over the weather. None. It is all God, and only God, who makes the snow, the wind, the sun, the rain, and, oh, the rainbow! All God.

Say what you want about the day’s current weather forecast; it might happen that way… it might not. We watch, and we wait, and then we live with the weather the best we can. We never control it.

The winter weather can be harsh and biting, and we have plenty of ways to complain about it, and to advise one another how to deal with it. But remember that if you are inside, wearing your slippers with your feet up on the hassock, a mug of something hot in your hand, the snow and bluster beyond the window is mesmerizing, beautiful, even inspiring. It is awe-some, isn’t it?

Watch the weather. You will see God at work in the world- every day. Our instinct to talk about the weather makes God more real. In fact, our relationship with God, as created creatures (and not ourselves God) becomes more understandable in weather. Sometimes we must stop, wait, even bow in awe, when we experience God in the weather. And anything that gives us opportunity to deeply witness and experience God is a good, good thing.

It is only mid-January. More storms are likely. And, the melt will come. One way or the other… it is all God, and all that is good.

Woman in wind photo by Avin Ezzati on Unsplash

Blizzard photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash

Rainbow photo by Stainless Images on Unsplash

Katy Sundararajan

Katy enjoys writing here at the Reformed Journal about the small things that give us pause and point us to great wonder, the things that make our hearts glad and remind us of where our hope comes from. You can find more of Katy’s writing through Words of Hope free daily devotionals, and in Guideposts’ All God’s Creatures: Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers. Give Katy a good book, a pretty view, or a meal around the table with laughing people and she’ll say, “All is well.”


  • Daniel Meeter says:


  • Doris says:

    Beautiful as always. ❤️❤️

  • Doris says:

    Your posts always make me smile. ❤️❤️

  • Scott VanderStoep says:

    Thank you, Katy.

  • Robin Klay says:

    I sat this morning looking out our glass doors, eating breakfast, and enjoying the ever changing scenery. It was snowing heavily. Outlines of many trees were demarked by snow. It was beautiful. Then, suddenly, the sun burned through, causing those trees to cast their long, long shadows over the snow. Just as I was thanking God for them, and for the sculped snow that draped corners of the roofs opposite me, it started to snow again–in fat flakes. I am still in awe as I describe it to you. Yes, the weather is God’s surprise for us and a daily reminder of the beauty and power with which He graces us. Thanks, Katy.

  • Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell says:

    Two thoughts: I’ve heard it said that “Drive carefully in the snow” is the way Midwesterners say “I love you.” Second, distributing burritos, blankets, batteries, and gloves to the homeless in Des Moines a few nights ago, it was about 5 degrees and the predicted overnight low was supposed to be -30 with the windchill. I can tell you what they were talking about.

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