It's easy to fall into a bad habit of not bundling yourself, though. In the early morning when I leave the house with my work bag -- an over-the-shoulder carrier that's so crammed with paperwork that it triggers the "fasten seatbelt" signal when I set it on the front passenger seat beside me -- I forget that I should layer up with my scarf and hat. When I leave the house to run errands with my kids, my focus shifts to making sure they're appropriately clothed (and wearing two shoes, preferably matching) than ensuring that I'm good to go.
It's a bad habit, especially because the amount of time necessary to prepare myself is negligible compared to the amount of time I'll suffer the negative consequences of not preparing.
Over Christmas break, I learned this lesson in reverse. We enjoyed a day at an amusement park that had opened its kiddie rides and festive holiday light displays. And boy did we bundle ourselves: sweat-wicking layers, thermal layers, fleece layers, wind-breaking layers, and one final bulky layer of snow suits and winter jackets. (Plus hats and scarves and gloves and two pairs of socks and boots.)
Essentially, our family moved with the fluidity and speed of Randy from A Christmas Story. But we were warm -- so perfectly warm -- for the entire day. The cold didn't sting. We were prepared for it.
I think of other storms I face -- not in weather, but in life -- and realize that a similar principle applies. We can learn to bundle ourselves, protecting our exposed nerves with layers of prayer, wisdom, and support from friends and family.
We prepare ourselves and find that the storms don't sting as much when we're ready for them.
Image adapted from Emi Yanez (flickr.com)