Punxsutawney Phil did not mess up this time. We truly have six more weeks of winter. Well, three since his prediction. Groundhog Phil only guesses correctly 39% of the times, by the way.

Have you seen the news about Texas? Our children’s violin teacher hails from Texas, but he lives in East Tennessee now. He expressed tremendous surprise at the weather over there.

What about our own snow? I never thought I would hear my children complain about having too much snow. They usually whine about how it never snows enough. This year though, by the fourth time it snowed, the kids did not play outside. Instead, they let the cats play in the snow by themselves. Enough was enough. But they still wanted hot chocolate. In their mind, it was not a snow day if we did not have hot chocolate.

When the sun does not shine and the icy roads keep you inside, you may be tempted to get grumpy and depressed. I know people who put on weight because of the lack of sunshine in winter. Well, indirectly. The lack of sunshine creates a state of anxiety, worry, depression and feeling crummy, so they try to fill the void with food. Others eat too little and lose too much weight. You may not know people in this latter category, but, trust me, they are out there.

Some of you may feel beat up after the election and its aftermath. The news cycle about COVID-19 seems like a roller coaster ride. The numbers go up, the numbers go down. January and February are, traditionally, tough months for the psyche.

When the sun hides behind the clouds, this is the moment to activate your faith. You know the sun still shines, even though you may not see it. Work with yourself to bring emotions out of facts. Words create feelings, so use positive words to encourage yourself throughout the day.

Remember that you have a history. Many of you have a history with God. Besides your faith in the earth orbiting the sun, you also have your faith in God. We have nothing to fear for the future unless we forget the past.

In the words of Rush Limbaugh, may he rest in peace, “It’s never time to panic, folks. It’s never, ever gonna be time to give up on our country. It will never be time to give up on the United States. It will never be time to give up on yourself.”

There you have it. God is still on the throne. God is still in charge, steering this ship. Whether “this ship” means your business, your life or your country, anchor yourself in your faith in God. Remember your history.

For myself, every time I thought my life was “over,” I realized instead that God was picking me up from situation A and gently placing me down in situation B. Situation B was better, easier, kinder, warmer and more financially rewarding than Situation A. Every time, without fail.

If you check on your own life, you will probably find the same. As Joel Osteen likes to say, “The setback is a setup...for further success.”

Last but not least, get inspired by Perseverance, the Mars rover NASA launched in July 2020, which just landed on Mars this week. Its name, its mission, its potential. Let’s all persevere until we see the sun again.

Adriana Zoder resides in Gatlinburg. A homeschooling mom of two, Zoder is the author of eight books and blogs at HomeschoolWays.com. You can email her at aezoder@gmail.com.