Monday, February 13, 2017

Thunder Snow

I'm sitting here in my office writing...  The usual pretty view from my desk out to my backyard is now blocked by a snow covered window screen - courtesy of the wind and swirling snow outside.




Yesterday, in these here parts, we reached 60 degrees!  It was glorious, especially because there was no wind.

It was hard to take the forecasters at their word that we were going to have a major snowstorm today.
But, then again, here in New England, that's how we roll.  lol.

I admit that even at my age, I still get excited about a snow day.  There is something about a snowstorm that changes the mundane into wonderful...

A day off from work

A day off from school

Sledding

Hot chocolate

Slowing down to just enjoy looking out at the countryside covered in a fresh blanket of snow.

And of course, childhood memories of snow days gone by, filling our minds with pleasantness...


Growing up we lived in a Leave it to Beaver neighborhood.  True Story.  Snow days were the best!  I can remember waking up in the middle of a school night to look out the window at the street light to see how much snow was coming down and how much was on the ground. I would then make a determination that surely there would be no school the next day and would jump up and down with glee and then crawl into bed with a big smile on my face falling asleep until morning when my hopes would be confirmed!

YAAY!  NO SCHOOL!!

Our house was at the top of a big hill, just as it started to flatten out.  During big snowstorms,  our road was usually the last to be plowed which allowed for amazing sledding - pretty much right out our front door!

Most of us kids had flexible flyers.  Those of you who are my age will remember them well!  :-)

And those of you who aren't familiar, this is what they looked like.  :-)




Flexible Flyers came in a short version and a long version.  Since I am quite tall, I had a longer one.   Two could fit on it at a time!

The steering mechanism was awesome which we would either steer with our hands if we went down on our bellies or with our feet if we sat on the sled.

The neighborhood kids and I would have contests to see whose sled would go the farthest.

Mine ALWAYS went the farthest!

I can still feel the exhilaration of sledding down that hill which was right outside our front door.

Oh what fond memories! Even the parents would join in for some sledding!  The whole neighborhood - children, mommies and daddies would enjoy the snow day to its fullest.

I can still feel the stinging of my cheeks and feet when I would finally come inside, my snowsuit and boots drenched from the snow, mouth watering waiting for a delicious cup of hot chocolate.

And then we'd go out again for some nighttime sledding.  That was the best!!

We all slept good after a day out in the snow.  Such wholesome, healthy, innocent fun...


As adults, we can find ourselves longing for days gone by...  Our minds seem to remember mostly the good while it blots out the bad.  In so doing, we tend to romanticize the past, when indeed it may not have been as wonderful as we remember it in total.

And isn't that how life goes.  It's not supposed to always be wonderful...

If it were, we would never find our need for Jesus nor would we ever experience the special joys that come after trials.

However...

There is a longing that God has built into our hearts...


Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. 
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, 
for he has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11:16

We can look forward to a better country where...

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, 
and death shall be no more, 
neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, 
for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:4

Oh what joys await those of us who are in Christ Jesus!

But, as it is written, 
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, 
nor the heart of man imagined, 
what God has prepared 
for those who love him”—
1 Corinthians 2:9


There is nothing wrong with fondly remembering times gone by.   It truly is good for the heart.

 It is when we continually live in a state of longing for the past that we are wasting the present.

A life God has called us to live present in Him... 

For “‘In him we live and move and have our being’
Acts 17:28

When we live and move in Christ Jesus, our longing and solace won't come from the past, but will be rooted in the knowledge of God with us and in the knowledge that we will live with God for all eternity...

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. 
Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. 
But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God...

“Behold, I am making all things new.” 
Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” ...
Revelation 21:1-3; 5b



The Lord has taught me a few more things on this snow day...

Believe it or not, this photo was not taken in black and white,
but is the exact representation of what the lens saw...

A morning which started out rainy, in an instant, turned into a raging blizzard complete with thunder snow.   

Life can be that way too.  It can totally change in an instant...  

But as I heard the loud rumble of thunder above the howling wind and snow outside, I was reminded that the power of God is ALWAYS present.  Even though we can be deafened by a swirl of emotions, God's power can peal above even the loudest of storms in our own lives and calm them completely.

And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”  Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:28-33



And the birds, my favorite of God's creatures...

Eating at the bird feeders in a frenzy, getting their fill, while the storm rages on...





In the midst of life's storms, the birds have taught me the importance of continually and voraciously feeding upon the Word of God, filling up on His promises to sustain me/sustain us for the duration.



I guess you could say I have a new item to add to the list of what makes a snow day wonderful.

A time to slow down to reflect upon the beauty of God's creation, even at its wildest, and in gratitude, to thank God for His provision of grace and knowledge through the storm...



You might find me on these link-ups:
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26 comments:

  1. thanks! You took me back to childhood. Living on a farm usually meant work for snow days. We were much rather wanting to go to school than extra work on the farm. But times of playing in the snow and sledding were awesome!

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    1. Amanda, I'm glad!

      As I was writing the post in the back of my mind I was thinking about all the people who might have different take on snow days. lol.

      Glad you still found time to enjoy despite the extra work. :-)

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

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  2. Dear, precious friend! I could never put into words how much this ministered to me tonight! Thank you SO much for reminding me that longing for the past hinders the enjoyment of now. I am in such a battle with our minimizing, and as I open crates packed with memories from days gone by, it just hurts SO much. But, I know we can never go back, and I need to stop letting the memories consume my thinking to the point that I am missing out on the blessings God is pouring out upon me in the present. God always, always uses you to speak such needed words straight to my heart. I loved reading of your happy sledding snow days! Your childhood sounds so wonderful and ideal. So thankful you could enjoy this snow day and relish in the happiest of memories and present joys combined. God bless you abundantly for the constant encouragement you are to me...I just love and appreciate you so much!

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    1. Cheryl, I am humbled with my praise to my Lord that He would use my feeble words to minister to you in such a way. All Glory to Him.

      I can't imagine what it must be like for you to go through your life in boxes. May the Lord send extra blessings upon you to enjoy in the present as you are obedient in what you feel He has called you to do.

      Thank you so much sweet friend. You always bless me beyond measure.

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  3. I'm still very childish when it comes to delighting in the snow days as well. I'm a teacher, and I'm right there with my kids praying for enough snow to at least delay and delight in the day a bit. I moved to California though, so I think my chances are now pretty slim! :) Thank you for the reminder to delight in the Lord and our future with Him as much as fond remembrances!

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    1. Carol, Aw. Thanks so much for sharing about your own memories of snow days.

      Ahh, California! I had the privilege of visiting there four times while my son-in-law was stationed at Camp Pendleton. Enjoy the perfect California weather!

      You are very welcome! :-)

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  4. Beautiful pictures and post! We ranch and to be honest snow days mean extra work with feeding. It's fun to remember fun sledding days!

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    1. Laura, Thank you!

      Oh I'm sure they must. But I am glad you have fun memories of sledding. Thanks for sharing!

      :-)

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  5. Look at all of that beautiful snow! It's been two winters in a row now here in North Central Ohio that we've not had enough snow to cover the grass. It makes winter so dull. I miss snowy walks and sledding adventures. Happy Wednesday, from the Oh, My Heartsie Girls linkup!
    Megs

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    1. Megs, Oh Wow! I would think Ohio would get snow. lol.

      I'm glad I could bring some snow to you. :-)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  6. I enjoyed your post, thank you. I don't particularly like snow but I've learned to live with it and make most of it. Blessings to you!

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    1. Mari-Anna, I'm so glad you did.

      I think we can all take it or leave it sometimes. :-)

      Blessings to you as well. :-)

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  7. Thanks for this perspective! There's another snow day in the forecast for us tomorrow!

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    1. Michele, You are welcome. :-)

      Oh boy! Enjoy!

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  8. Beautiful! I love your words here--and the precious pictures of the birds on your feeder! You are so right, Karen--there is a wonderful balance between reflecting on the past and living in the "present" of His will--and then longing for the beauty that is yet to come and beyond describing. I love you, dear friend.

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    1. Awe, Thank you Bekki!

      Thank you for your sweet, encouraging words.

      I love you too!

      I will be responding to your email soon. <3

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  9. a lovely look - back and even lovelier look - forward to all God has in store! New England sounds magical - I love the idea of weather, but i'm a weather pansy here in CA...

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    1. Sue, Thank you for your kind words.

      New England does offer a lot, but I must say, I LOVED California the four times we had the privilege to spend there. The weather just doesn't get any better than there! :-)

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  10. Love this post, Karen! I'm a lifelong snow/winter lover, so your memories of snow-filled days and special times warm my heart. I appreciate your point that we shouldn't dwell too much on those happy times as if they were a heaven we've had to leave behind. I tend to do that. Thank you for the reminder through Scripture that the best is yet to come!

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    1. Jerusha, I'm so glad! Thank you for your kind words!

      Glad this post brought back such nice memories. :-)

      Indeed! The best is yet to come!

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  11. I love to watch the snow fall! I had never heard of thunder snow until recently, although we had a thunder ice storm once.
    Thanks for sharing your memories of snow days and the lessons on the storms of life. God is always with us! :)

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    1. Ruth, Oh! A thunder ice storm would be interesting! I remember as kids in New Jersey at least once a year we would have a major ice storm. Since moving to New England, and I've been here over 30 years, I don't remember ever having one.

      You are welcome.

      Indeed! :-)

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  12. I missed to listen to the thunder that day but read it in the news. I like how you wrote about the things you learnt on the snowy day. I am amazed at God's handiwork every time it snows!

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    1. Hi Alice, There is just something about thunder during a snowstorm that is so different compared to a summer thunderstorm. :-)

      Indeed! Just look at individual snowflakes. :-)

      I enjoyed talking with you this morning at church. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by my blog too!

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