She's our little nine year old neighbor.
It's not your typical Tuesday. It's a snow day Tuesday. Which means in a couple of hours my house and her house will become the shared playground for the afternoon.
There are already snow boot tracks criss crossing through both yards. There have been hours of Barbies played, countless cups of hot chocolate, many loads of wet snow clothes spinning dry, and lots of movies shared.
Thankfully on snow days my girls usually sleep in. A bit longer than our neighbor. Just give it a couple hours and the house will be a hub of activity and brainstorming.
Yesterday I felt a bit of tension as I surveyed just how many activities were spread across the house. I couldn't find kitchen counter space as the girls had decided to make candy and decorate cookies. After which they tried to sell to a few kind neighbors. I finally went upstairs to escape the activity for a minute and heard them charge back inside, snow boots squeaking across the wet hardwoods, "We made a dollar! Someone bought our cookies!" My oldest girl cheered. "We are starting to make money!"
I smiled in spite of all the chaos. Oldest girl is always drawing up plans of how she will start her own business and you know...make money.
I think their plate of cookies turned up a small four dollars. But after sampling the cookies, that was a generous profit.
The silent snow started falling Friday and fully cloaked the yard in brilliant white by Saturday.
It's been a few days of slow going, family time.
We have loved it.
Fire popping and crackling at night. Lot's of movies and games.
Red cheeks, igloos.
So many sinks of dishes. There's been a lot of snacks eaten.
I have a feeling this is the last snow day as warmer temperatures are set to come this afternoon. The snow will puddle and all of the snow cone making will cease. In fact its supposed to be sixty degrees by week's end.
But it's been a lovely slice of January.
Snow makes everything dazzling white.(Until it's trampled on and scraped by sleds and trudged on by boots)
When snow first falls it brings beauty to all it covers.
I remember discussing this with oldest girl a few years ago.
We sat in traffic stopped at train tracks. The snow had fallen and was still cemented icily to the ground. As we sat looking at the train we noticed how pleasant the hill in front of us looked. Usually this hill was a mangled maze of weeds, ivy, and shrubbery that needed to be mowed down. It was an eye sore. But not on this day. The snow had clothed this usually ugly hill with beauty. A new beauty that wasn't indigenous to the space. Funny, all of the weeds and messy vegetation actually provided a great base for the snow. The dips and shapes that emerged from under the snow were interesting and pleasing to look at.
At that time oldest girl and I discussed this. How snow had transformed the quite ugly into something strikingly beautiful and had used the ugliness underneath.
We revisited this conversation the other night at dinner as the wind whipped around the house and temperatures plunged.
I know the application here. It's easy to see. That when God's grace falls, His redemptions covers the ugliest patches of dirt in our lives and His holiness brings a startling beauty.
Even to that spot. That person that seems almost unredeemable. Even if that's me.
That relationship that seems filled with broken places.
That part of my life, season of my life, or brokenness of my life that almost broke me.
He can redeem even that.
Every year when the first snow christens the earth Isaiah's words fill my thoughts. I'm staring out the door, breathing in that cold, but clean air. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool." (Isaiah 1:18).
It's true. But I must confess I've always had so much trouble believing it.
As I wash all the hot chocolate cups today, oversee crafts, and listen to little girls hatch their dreams of entrepreneurship gazing out my windows looking at the snow I'm going to pray to believe it.
Believe it more this year.
|Cold kissed rosy cheeks|