Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow Daze...

I grew up in northern Wisconsin, where snow on the ground in winter was just as much a part of life as grass on the ground in summer. We usually got our first snow around Halloween, and if we were lucky, we might see the ground again by Easter. We did lots of fun winter time skating in gym class, playing broom hockey, jumping from the roof into the snow piles after Dad shoveled it off, building snow forts, and of course, sledding. But we never, EVER missed school because of snow.

This past Sunday afternoon, about six inches of snow fell in our part of Arkansas. And we were out of school for the entire week. Along with the unsual snowfall came some exceptionally cold temperatures, so the tiny bit of melting that took place each day froze over each night and made driving even more hazardous in the morning. Here in Arkansas, we don't have much slow-clearing equipment, so once the roads get covered, we're pretty much stuck until the temperatures get above freezing and stay there. We also don't have much in the way of sledding the kids have to get a little creative.

Looks like fun, doesn't it? And it was made even more fun by the fact that the sledders had to bail off at the bottom of the hill, just before their "sled" ran into the trees. Ahhh, the joys of sledding redneck style!

For me, the anticipation of snow is just as much fun as the snow itself. Around here, if there is even the remotest possibility of snow in the forecast, the weathermen start talking about it a week ahead of time. And for the next several days, that's the topic of everybody's conversation. Is it really going to snow? In what part of the state? As the target date gets closer, and the forecast becomes a little more refined, the questions continue. How much snow are we going to get? Will there be any sleet? The day before the snow is expected, everybody goes to the grocery store and empties the shelves of milk and bread. Will school be canceled? How long are we going to be snowed in? The weather forecasters are still hedging at this point...We could get a dusting; we could get six inches; it all depends on how far north the low pressure system goes and if the cold air arrives on time; yada, yada, yada. Finally the big day arrives and everyone's got an opinion about what's going to happen. It's going to go north of us; It's going to go south of us; We're not going to get any; This is going to be a big storm. And everybody keeps looking out the window all day long. And finally the long-awaited flakes start to fall. The kids scream for joy and declare that they're not going to do their homework because they know there'll be no school the next day, and moms start cooking all that good comfort food that goes so well with cold weather. Anticipation fulfilled.

As I was anticipating the snow all last week, I couldn't help but think about my anticipation of Heaven. As excited as I was thinking about the possibility of snow, that excitement doesn't compare, not even the tiniest bit, to the excitement I feel when I think about Heaven. And while I've often been disappointed when my snowfall expectations have not been fulfilled, I know that my anticipation of Heaven will never disappoint.

Plans for the "While We're Waiting" Weekend retreat for bereaved parents are still coming together. We had a great organizational team meeting last week (before we got snowed in!). If you've considered coming, but were maybe a little uncomfortable with the separate sleeping facilities for husbands and wives, we have made arrangements for reduced rates at the Comfort Inn ($55/night + tax) and the Holiday Inn Express ($77/night + tax) in Malvern. These hotels are both brand new and are just about ten minutes away from Family Farm, where the retreat will be held. One of the things we'll be talking about at this retreat is the anticipation of Heaven and how we are going to live while we're waiting to be reunited with our children there. As a bereaved parent, I'd really rather spend my time talking about that than whether or not it's going to snow!

"For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance." (Romans 8:22-25 NKJV)

1 comment:

Kecia said...

That was a perfect description of the anticipation of snow in Arkansas! And then that's all that's on the news for days. :) We were "supposed" to get 4-8" and got an inch of sleet followed by an inch of snow. But my kids had fun anyway!