Friday, January 21, 2011

Come In From the Cold

I wouldn’t describe myself as a winter lover and I wouldn’t go as far to say that I love snow, but every once in a while, I do enjoy a wintry mix. You know, the kind of snow that we get every few years that ushers a stillness into our neighborhoods, forcing us to stay at home with each other for a day or two, that’s the kind of snow I like.

I like these hushing snowfalls for lots of reasons. I cannot tell you how much I love to be at home with my husband and children with no plans, no agenda, just them, me, and a little time. I love these times because the world can’t demand our presence somewhere and life seems to be simpler. We are much more likely to have a real conversation, sharing more than logistics, calendars, schedules, meeting times, practice times, etc. The tyranny of the urgent slips away for just a bit, and we can just be. Be a family that reconnects and shares and loves.

I remember these snows as a child and teen, and every time it snows, I now think of sitting around my mom’s dining table with my brother, sisters, and neighborhood friends playing games for hours on end. My brother particularly liked to play Rack-o, and always wanted to play “one more round”. There was one particular winter snow where Mom went outside along with us to help us build a snowman. There was a hill behind our house and we started rolling a snowball from the top of that hill all the way down, making the largest snowman I had ever seen. It stood proudly at the end of our house, just as tall, and outlasted the snow by many, many days.

There were other snow storms though that didn’t have such fond memories. One year in particular, we had several inches of snow, it was bitter cold. We had not been out of our house in several days; it was ordered that no one be out on the roads. Once things improved a little, and I mean a little, I was called to work. It was so cold outside that the vehicles were freezing as people drove them, leaving them stranded. It was still quite dangerous to be out. I was terrified as Dad drove me into town where I worked. My eye was constantly on his gas gauge, I could see that his truck was on “E” and I knew he had no way to get more. All of the “what ifs” flooded my brain. We had to pull over a time or two and I worried we would never make it, much less Dad make it back home.

But he did.

That was the first time I remember being fearful of what a winter storm can do. No one wants to go out into a storm, chance being stranded, chance being afraid, chance being alone or cold. Chance death.

Sometimes storms can’t be avoided. Sometimes life brings storms and we find ourselves out in them, wishing we were within the comforts of home. We wonder if we will ever make it back, we wonder if we will be alone and stranded, we wonder if we will even survive. Although storms are not something we wish for, God always brings us through them and I guess we can look at the storms of life as a chance to come home to our loving Father. A Father who is thankful for the hush that stops you, brings you to the end of yourself, and causes you to just be with Him, spending time in His presence, allowing yourself a chance to reconnect with Him. Reconnect with real conversation, not just sharing the emergent with Him.

Although our storms are difficult, I bet God loves that hush that comes over our spirits as a result. He just wants to be with you. He just wants to hold you and allow you a chance to rest with Him and enjoy Him. So, come in from the cold places in your life, warm up some hot chocolate, pull out your favorite throw, open His story, and listen to all that He’s been waiting for this moment to tell you. 1 John 4:9 is a great place to start! Let Him warm you from the inside out with how much He loves you.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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