by Sara Blasko, Children’s Minister
I do not love winter in Northern Michigan. I blame my parents…as missionaries in Haiti while I was growing up, I got to miss out on most of the Northern Michigan winters, and spent most of my winters in the sun. I know a lot of people struggle with depression in the winter simply because of the lack of sun. This year, has been extremely tough on me.
We moved to Kalkaska from Traverse City, 11 years ago, to be close to family. I had visions of our kids going to school with their cousins, and having Mom and Dad close by. Fast forward to present day and my sister and her family live in Savannah, GA, while my other sister lives in Lansing with her family. My extended family is all up north, and my in-laws winter in Florida. My Mom and Dad have recommitted to spending the winters in Haiti to do mission work. So that leaves us “alone” in the winters.

I have to laugh at myself, because I had a pity party, emotional breakdown, and an all together cry baby couple of days about this. As soon as the youth group started getting ready to go to Haiti, I started to pout. I missed my mom and dad, and I wanted to go! When they all got back and told me how much they loved my parents, I started to cry. WHAT ON EARTH DO I HAVE TO CRY ABOUT??? God has shown me in the last week how incredibly blessed I am to have an amazing family surrounding me. My Church Family. All of YOU!
While my biological sisters are far away, I am reminded daily of the sisters in Christ that I have. They call and offer advice, let me vent, share a laugh, pray for me, and love me. I even had one help me with my hair the other day! Last week I needed a trailer to haul something and Andy said to me, ” You didn’t really think that through did you?” and I was like someone will have one! I called someone that I consider a sister, and hers was occupied, I called someone I consider an Uncle and his was being borrowed, and I called someone that reminds me of my grandpa, and he had one. I am blessed with an incredible church family!
I spent the night Monday night up north with my 87 year old Grandma. It was so good to see her and spend time with her and just feel loved. I am so blessed with so many strong Christian women in this church that I love like a grandma. While at my grandmas, my Uncle stopped by for a visit and asked how I was doing with my parents being gone. I honestly miss them, but am so grateful for my church family for filling that void for me.

I urge all of you to look around and “adopt” someone. Find an older couple to check in on and visit. Help out a single mom. Be there when someone just needs to vent. Galatians 6:10 says: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Thank you to all of you for helping surround me with God’s love!