Snow Days Make Slow Days…for when life takes your breath away

barn in snow

“See we made a good time tonight…home by 8:30.”

Good time.  Man code for speedy.  Quick.  Many errands run at breakneck speed as if by finishing early we break some unseen tape at some unseen finish line.  My head spins and my senses are all wonky like I’ve stepped from a dark room with shades drawn and lights off into a bright sunshiny day.

It’s been six days of snow and ice.

Six days since we rushed to the store to stock up on food for the kids and caffeine for the parents.

Six days of no school and limited services and the trash man can’t come cause the roads are too slick.

Six days of not making “good time.”

Six days of slow.

I always look out over the snow and think how beautiful and clean and quiet it all is, but this year…this year reminded me of how slow it makes us.

The hazardous roads make running to the store a decision pondered and taken seriously.  Offers to leave the house are scrutinized and weighed and every step is watched and cautious.

winterwalking_banner

 

Life becomes INTENTIONAL.

Every step, every move, every venture out the front door is mulled over, carefully considered, and made with specific purpose.  Our thoughts, actions and activities are distilled to only the very important.

It was frustratingly beautiful.

I didn’t truly notice it until the white roads faded to black grippy asphalt and the cars began to zoom by again. Until we took the on-ramp to the highway at prescribed speed and it felt like we were FLYING.  Until I realized that we had just spent the evening running around, flitting from house to house, dropping this off there, picking a child up here and zooming two towns over to pick a child up there and then back home to shower and get in bed to rise early and start a normal day with school and work and two cars rushing and ballet practice and recitals and “can you pick me up early mom so we can get there faster.”

My breath is stolen away by the pace of it all. I find myself secretly yearning for a little patch of ice to come and close us in again when just a day ago I was lamenting the days of slow.

When will I learn that I should measure my steps even when the ground is not slippery and uneven?

How do we find the slow without the snow?

 

Flows Like Water

“Come away with me….to the wild.” Jesus invites me to lunch.

“Ok.” I sigh and follow where he leads. I have been smiling and preaching the need for home care up and down these streets all morning and my smile feels a little pasty and crooked now.

So I follow Him to a park with benches and slides and children playing.  Here, Lord?

“Yes, but deeper.” He says.

I glance to the side. There is a sawdust path marked “Natural Planting Area.”

“Here.” He says.

Internally my eyes roll as I look down at my crisp white dress pants and my black leather pumps….Grrrreeeaaattt.  So I take my lunch and my Bible and this journal and I start up the path.

The wood chips are soft like a moon jump under my feet and my heels sink in and bounce out with each step.  I come to a picnic table nestled in this Natural Planting Area…which really means this is where God is gardener and man steps back to simply enjoy his handiwork.

At first I am chilly (the trees provide lots of shade) and I have to pee and I’m not hungry yet so I guess you could say I was a bit resistant and then I sit and eat soup with Jesus and we talk about the lady arguing with her husband on the phone because she “doesn’t have time to do it all.”

I can’t see her through the trees, but her voice raises sharp with panic and I pray peace over her and Jesus says yes and we fill her up with the love of Jesus.  She packs up her tow-headed two year old and rushes away and I pray that soon she will remember that no one has time to do it all.

All we have time for is long-lingering hugs that smell like little boy and sand castles and lunches in the trees with Jesus and I pray that God will remind me when my voice raises like panic and I dream of drowning in laundry.  I pray that God will remind me that He has filled me with His peace and love and the really important things involve filling others from that well.

I pray to Jesus.  I desperately want to hold onto this peace. I want to hold onto this presence.

And He brings to mind the fountain on More Mountain. It is a sculpture of cupped, but open hands joined at the wrists and living water gurgles up through those hands and spills out over them and down over the fingers and fills the bowl beneath until it runs over.

He says to me, “From open hands my spirit flows freely.  Don’t hold on….open your hands.”

And I think of what my pastor said this morning to his group of young shepherds.  He said that the Spirit is like a fountain. A fountain can only take in more when it has given out of its abundance and the only way the fountain continues to flow freely is when it spills out all that it has taken in and in its place there can be more.

And then God reminds me, “Cari, what does your name mean?”

Cari- Turkish- Flows like water.

And I smile and tears sting my eyes because he knew me before I was born.  Because he created me for a purpose and he created a purpose for me and OH! What a beautiful journey discovering that purpose is.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.- Ephesians 2:10