My kids have legit prayed for snow since the day we moved back to Georgia.
The last time we played in it was 6 years ago…right before our move to Orlando.
Lydia had been home for about 6 weeks from China, so she has zero memory of it.
School released early on Tuesday because the weather people said it was coming our way.
Of course, we had to stop at the grocery store on our way home because that’s what you do when you’re a southerner and snow or ice or both is coming your way.You join legions of other people racing up and down the aisles for things needed and for other such items like: marshmallows and rice krispie cereal and salsa and chips. You know…the essentials.
Almost as soon as we got home, it started free falling.
We didn’t know what to do except roll our heads back with our faces toward the sky.
It was like instant happiness. We couldn’t help but smile as it hit our skin.
Snow is a lot like Disney World. It’s magical.
It’s for belly laughs and snowball fights and drinking hot chocolate and making snow slushies with koolaid mix and sledding with friends and making the world’s smallest snowman and warming our feet by a roaring fire and making snow ice-cream and making snow angels in snow that is barely even covering the ground and it’s for freezing hands and frozen toes and home cooked meals and sweet together time.
And if you’re like me….it’s for staying in your pajamas for 18 hours straight and looking ridiculous when you throw a scarf on with a peacoat and cowgirl boots to go outside.
I’m kind of regretting that I didn’t record my fashion statement for you and most importantly for our family book for 2014.
Maybe I should reenact it in a What I Wore Wednesday post?No?? Really?? Okay, maybe not!
Hope you guys are ready to usher in your weekend.
Did you have some snow days this week? Tell me about yours!
for a lot of the years that i’ve walked with God, i’ve been preoccupied with parts of my story. okay, okay–consumed.
many of those years i didn’t ask him any questions. i was too afraid to hear the answers. deep down i was terrified there might not be a sufficient enough answer. So, i just lived life, and life was good. really, it was. but it wasn’t great. it wasn’t abundant like he came and died for it to be.
i’m a little shocked at how many years i just lived life and had a good marriage and made sweet babies and raised toddlers and ministered to teens with Andy and cultivated new friendships and maintained old ones and did laundry and renovated homes and went on family vacations. years i existed in a really good life. just not abundant.
every year i moved forward and presumably closer to Jesus. and then we moved to orlando six years ago, and i hit a wall in my relationship with Jesus. i had tucked my questions about my story everywhere i knew to tuck them until there was nowhere else to hide them. all the sudden, they were highly visible and stubborn…refusing to be ignored.
that move to orlando was so good. he moved me away from almost everything in my life that distracted me. family, friends, even ministry. teenagers were always at our house. always on our sofas. i loved every minute of being with them and helping them in their stories …because i loved them but also because it meant i could continue to quietly tuck my own story away.
college ministry was a little different. there were definitely a handful of girls there that sat on my sofa, but for the most part, it was the first time in our marriage and in ministry together when I wasn’t right by Andy’s side for every event. part of me felt sad over my lack of involvement, but part of me just knew that this was a season for me and God to sort things out. finally.
One of our favorite things to do in Orlando as a family was swimming in our neighborhood pool every day. sometimes twice a day. our favorite time to go was right after dinner, before dusk.
one night, we went down with our neighbors, and all the kids swam while we sat talking. well, not all the kids swam. lydia wasnt swimming because we weren’t swimming, and she was little and couldn’t swim yet, mainly because she was terrified of the water. we tried to force her into swimming lessons, but it’s kind of hard to learn to swim when you refuse to put your face in the water. she was 18 months old and had NEVER had her face in water…not even in the bathtub.
we were having so much fun watching the kids do cannon balls off the diving board that we didn’t really notice how dark it had gotten, until we couldn’t see lydia. in a single moment, it hit me that she wasn’t right by my side anymore. when had she walked away? she was just there with me.
I didn’t know what to do except dive into the pool. I didn’t even know where to jump. i couldn’t see her anywhere. if she was in the water, how long had she been there? as soon as i dove in, i saw her struggling body, and i swooped her up and brought her to the side of the pool. Andy grabbed her from me, and she coughed. She coughed! She was alive!
all those seconds seemed like days.
and when it was all over, i collapsed. my arms and legs..everything..felt heavy. my mouth was dry. my chest was in my throat. i couldn’t breathe. i laid my head on the side of the pool. i couldn’t move. i just wept.
later that night, when everyone else was asleep in the house, i wept some more.
i wept because she was alive and for a few seconds at that pool, i thought she might not be. i wept because we had only had her home for 6 months. we had waited so long for her. we had dreamed about her way before she was even born. i wept because her biological mother was somewhere needing her to be okay..to survive her story. I wept because her nanny at the orphanage cried her eyes out when she handed her over to us, and she begged us to love her and take care of her.
i wept because God had knit this child together in a womb a world away just for us.
i wept because that night, while she slept safely and peacefully in her bed, I realized how much i, too, need her to survive her story. i need her to do more than survive it. i need her to thrive..to live the fullest, most abundant life. i need her to know her worth..to know that God never, not once, took his eyes off of her..not in her mother’s womb, not when she swaddled her up in those blankets and pinned that note to her just before leaving her in that basket at the gate of the orphanage. i need her to know that her story is more than the hardest parts. i need her to know that God has always been with her…that he loves her unconditionally…that he died for her rescue and redemption.
and somewhere in the middle of all my weeping for her, it hit me.
all that fierce love i have for her..all those things i want for her…
God wants all those things for me. he loves me fiercely. unconditionally. fully.
he died for my rescue and redemption.
in that moment, his love swooped down and my tiny story with all it’s questions fell into his great big giant story of redemption.
i haven’t been the same. HE is the answer to all of my questions.
abundant life is found in Him.
857. our move to orlando.
858. hitting that wall and not being able to avoid my questions.
859. friends in orlando who weren’t afraid to enter my story with me.
860. Rick, our counselor in Orlando, who led us and loved us well.
861. God’s gentleness with me…he’s so patient and loving and gracious. He waits for us to trudge through our stories and “get” that everything we need is found in him.
862. his grace that finds me over and over and over and over and over.