Extreme: exceed norms, high degrees, great lengths

by | Nov 14, 2022 | Faith, Nature | 6 comments |

Extreme Weather

Friday, we woke to the following extreme weather warning: “The National Weather Service has issued tornado watch in effect until 3 PM EST this afternoon for the following areas”—6 counties in central Virginia, including ours. 

Tornadoes exceed the ordinary for us here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, not that they cannot occur. Thank goodness, they didn’t, though we received nearly 5 inches of rain, some heavy downpours, and fog as above. As noted previously, we can experience extreme weather, which impacts all living things, and living creatures can experience extremely rare physical or behavioral conditions, as here, and here. Though we might think otherwise, these conditions are normal.

Extreme Generosity

Saturday dawned pleasant, as below; the danger had passed. I woke early to make Italian Beef Vegetable Soup in our large crock pot. The Women’s Ministry team had planned a “Let’s Do Lunch and Fill Bounty’s Freezer” event for that day. Many women brought crock pots filled with soups, which we sampled before filling the quart-sized containers. Generosity existing in high degrees. Now we have a chest freezer of meals to provide for short-term shut-in members of our congregation. 

We were well aware that filling Bounty’s freezer was not an act of extreme generosity, as with the case of the poor widow, putting her two small copper coins into the treasury—all she had to live on—as noted in Mark 12:41-44. We gave out of plenty not poverty. But the high degrees of support did exceed our expectations, and our joy overflowed as we worked together in the kitchen, all participating in the grace of giving. Or as Paul wrote about the extreme poverty and generosity of the Macedonians churches in his second letter to the Corinthians, “They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.” For Christians, generosity in the norm.

Extreme Effort

Sunday brought colder temperatures, stiff winds, and freeze warnings. At home after church, we turned off the outside faucets, disconnected the hoses, and rolled them under the deck for the winter. Later in the afternoon, I joined Keith to watch the Buffalo Bills host the Vikings. I’m not much of a football fan, but watching these athletes’ extreme efforts, going to great lengths, was inspiring. Running, kicking, throwing, and intercepting the football under seemingly impossible conditions, diving to catch passes one-handed, tapping both feet inbounds, protecting the ball from hitting the ground until the player was down.

I didn’t play my flute well at church that morning, mostly due to lack of practice on my part. Though I will never be a professional athlete or musician, I can adjust my activities to the weather, time, and resources, and practice every day. Exceeding the ordinary, existing in high degrees, going to great lengths. Giving myself first to the Lord.

Link up with Five Minute Friday: https://fiveminutefriday.com/2022/11/10/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-extreme/


  1. Heather

    Hi Carole! Visiting from FMF. I love your extremes – and how they’re reflected in your photos. Praise God for safety in times of extreme weather.

    • Carole Duff

      Hi Heather – good to meet you! Yes indeed, doxology, doxology, doxology—no matter what the weather.

  2. aschmeisser

    We did not have twister warning,
    it’s the desert, after all!
    But something new is always borning,
    and pride goes before the fall.
    I heard the wind begin to rise,
    and the front door wouldn’t open.
    Then, to my dismayed surprise,
    the house was well and truly broken
    by pieces of the neighbour’s place,
    torn away into the sky,
    and it was an act of grace
    that none of us were marked to die,
    but man, that was just such a pain,
    and I hope that it won’t come again.

    • Carole Duff


  3. bigskybuckeye

    Carole, thanks for sharing your weekend. Growing up in Montana, living with the extremes of nature was pretty much expected. Now living in Ohio, the extremes seem less intensive at times, but I still experience the Lord’s presence in every sunrise. Hope fills another day!

    • Carole Duff

      How wonderful to rise every morning, experiencing the Lord’s presence and hope! Thank you for your witness, Richard.


Leave a Reply

Meet Carole


Let's Connect

Favorite Subjects