“What am I going to do when you go back to school?” I asked Brianne this morning, as we both sat by the window watching the wind and the snow.
On the third day school has been cancelled, right on the heels of Christmas break, both of our eyes welled up with tears, as she replied “Nothing.”
I love winter. I need winter. Without a Level 3 Emergency Warning making it illegal to go outside…I’m outside on a productive mission somewhere doing something. I never stop. Except in the winter. January in particular. After the Holiday Season has blasted through our lives with all its might, January rolls in and often forces life to a standstill at times.
Ad avid runner, cherishing my sunrise devotional everyday, even I retire in below zero wind chills. There’s no fun in enduring pins and needles and purple toes for pitch black winter mornings. When the geese huddle close to the shore…it’s time to go inside…and stay there for a while. Or, sleep in. My little girls are thrilled when they roam sleepily into my room in the morning and find me still tucked in. Laying there snuggling with my babies, watching the wind blow outside the window….I can literally feel my whole self relax.
Ah, January. An unfinished grocery list sits on the counter, and my little girls are singing songs of make-believe off in their own separate corners of the house. After all this time together, that’s become a rarity, as they’ve proven inseparable after their new-found friendship has been discovered over Christmas Break. Although, I’m pretty sure I have Barbie and her three sisters thank for that. My oldest daughter thinks she’s so cool to have a “Chelsea”- sized little sister that follows her around. Lo, the younger one, is just thrilled to pieces that her big sister is taking her under her wing.
Since the trash pickup was cancelled today, I had to bundle myself up and drag back in all the “New Year De-cluttering” my husband and I so proudly accomplished. After feeling how cold my leg was after I’d been back inside a while,
Brianne rushed to the window to check on the animals that live outside. No, not our animals. The woodland creatures.
“Mom! Mom! MOM!” my five-year-old came clamoring over to me in distress. “There’s a squirrel out there scampering around on the snow piles!!! Oh, NO, MOM!”
“Oh, no.” I replied. “Why isn’t he in his nice warm tree nest?”
“I don’t know, Mommy! He’s just scampering around out there…maybe he can’t find his tree! Maybe his tree is far away!” she continued.
The scampering squirrel.
Nothing that a little “God takes care of all of his creatures,” won’t cure. Imagine if she knew the gravity of the situation at hand when the temperatures drop into such dangerous digits. She caught a bit of it on the morning news the other day, as the camera panned across beds being readied in shelters and soup kitchen volunteers labeling hot soup. The concerned look that formed on her face as I gently unraveled the footage into something that she could digest spoke directly to my heart. Even in the dead of winter, there is work to be done. There are prayers of protection, healing, and help, to be prayed. Most importantly, much to be thankful for.
The opportunity to rest. To sit still and marvel at my daughters forming a friendship that will hopefully evolve and endure as mine has with my sister. Thankful for the warm home we’ve been blessed to snuggle up in, as the wind whips by at negative 30 degrees outside.
Just as God takes care of the “scampering squirrel,” (and He will…that squirrel will be back next year to squeak and squawk at me and eat my plants…steal the bird seed…he’ll be back…), He takes care of us. Of me. By giving me this gift of time with my kids. After a fall full of lost moments, buried under a jam-packed scedule…and a holiday season full of holly jolly commotion…the gift of time to view the photos and videos captured along the way is priceless. A brief pause to hold on to the present before time starts to fly again.
No way we would have noticed that poor little squirrel’s plight today, had we been rushing around. Almost makes me appreciate squirrels….almost.
“Be joyful always.” 1 Thes 5:16.