Frost Heave

picture from blog post at: Herding Grasshoppers

I recently read a post from one of my favorite bloggers. I love Herding Grasshoppers and NOT just because her son is hard-of-hearing. She is witty, adventurous and “real”. I rarely walk away form reading one of her posts without a smile on my face.

She recently posted about “Needle Ice” and frost heave. I was very intrigued. I’ve seen frost heave when walking trails before, but wasn’t really aware of what it was I was looking at. After reading her post I immediately went to look for more information about this phenomena. Frost heave occurs when moisture-retaining soils freeze in cold temperatures. As moisture sinks into the ground the freezing temperatures cause the water to freeze into ice. When water freezes… it expands and creates pressure. The soil presses up and may expose the roots of plants and has been also known to bring rocks and pebbles to the surface. Take a close look at the picture. The ice crystals have actually brought small rocks and pebbles to the surface. Once this thaws, the rocks and pebbles are left on top of the ground. One would almost think someone had “planted rocks” in an area that may have once been clear of them!

What “Heaves” out of you?

I have given a lot of thought recently about what kind of thoughts and actions are seen in my own life when the going gets “rough“? When my life becomes saturated with a seemingly endless bombardment of trials, problems, set-backs, health problems, and struggles, I am often left pleading with God “PLEASE! Not ONE more thing!” But ya know something? God must know my limits better than I do. Because there have been some difficult times that I have prayed and pleaded “not one more thing – thanks so much“, only to have a blast of cold air on top of my already “saturated life”. Exhaustion, pain, fear, depression and plain ol’ “bad attitudes” may have HEAVED to the surface of my life. These things are usually hidden. Some of the heaving exposes some thoughts and actions that just aren’t pretty. Some of it is just “junk” and “rocks”. The “heave” may expose “roots” as well and leave areas of my life vulnerable.

This past summer, I was having a pretty difficult time. I was doing my best to stave off depression as it is an unwelcome visitor that worms its way into my life at inopportune times. I was to the point of pleading, “Not ONE more thing God – please! Hello? Are you listening?” The next day Chloe was hurt in the park. For whatever reason (as we often will not understand this side of  Heaven), God allowed ONE MORE THING. Chloe’s foot took a really long time to heal and I even had fears she would ever be able to work again. Yes, she is special to me because she is my hound dog and  “doggie friend”, but she really enables me to be more independent too! What would I do if her foot would not heal? During the months (yes you read that right) that followed a lot of “stuff” heaved out of that pressure and into full view – especially to my family. It wasn’t all pretty. I was cantankerous (a nice way of saying PAIN IN THE BUTT) and aloof. I knuckled down and did the things I HAD to, but did not exert myself to do anything else. I had a major pity party several months long.

But not everything that HEAVES out of our saturation point is bad. Sometimes we discover that in spite of disability – we are very ABLE. You learn pretty early on what you CAN do, and end up doing it really, REALLY well. My saturation points have received an extra dose of FREEZE and heaved up compassion for others, patience, encouragement, and determination. I may stand and look around at the defrosted ground and spy a rock here and there. But sometimes? Sometimes I see beautiful geodes or prisms. I’ve not discovered a diamond yet – but heck. I’m only 44. I’m certain I’ve a great number of frost heaves in my future. Diamonds come with maturity. (If you ask my family – I’m not exactly THERE yet).

Have you experienced difficult times? Things that have happened in a life that already seemed completely saturated with problems and struggles? Don’t fear the weather forecast of overnight “freezing temperatures”. Meteorologists are RARELY accurate! If they happen to actually nail it one time? Welcome the heaving frost crystals to the surface and determine to unearth GOOD THINGS. Prepare your heart in advance to showcase determination, patience, long-suffering, gentleness, kindness, and love.

Experience enough frost heave and you’ll find that the soil of your heart and life is well aerated and primed for Spring.

Denise Portis

© 2011 Personal Hearing Loss Journal

One thought on “Frost Heave

  1. Denise –

    That is SUCH a good lesson. I’ll be thinking on this for a long time. Will do my best to look for the blessing in the trials – a chance to expose (heave) what’s been hiding below the surface and deal with it.

    Well written, my friend!


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