The snow started falling again in the quiet dark of the night. Elias, he kept racing to the window to give us updates, begging us to look at the lights in the field – one of us commenting that it looked like a flurry of bugs dancing in the glow.
I couldn’t help but think of the heat of summer, how when the warmth makes our skin sweat, I long for the cool white of flakes to fall.
Church had been cancelled due to the storm of the night before, and so we all piled lazy into our chairs with blankets and jammies and let the grey of the day make us move slow.
Tony braved the cold and headed out in the break of the blizzard and brought back something for lunch. I unpacked the bags on the counter and began to prepare food for the hungry ones that fill our home.
I placed a pepper on the green, scarred cutting board, prepared to take it’s top off when I paused.
Right there, nestled beneath the stem, a wisp of a curly-que almost hidden away…
I put my knife down and reached for my camera.
How amazing that the God who created the universe, each tree and star and planet, would add beauty to such a simple thing as an orange pepper. That He would place something so small and beautiful on something that I could have easily overlooked and missed.
I have been reading much about the glory of God, and how my life was made to reflect that glory. It’s caused me to slow down. To look differently at my role as a wife, a mom, a friend…
Even as a maker of lunch, day after day after day.
It’s a lesson that isn’t new, that I haven’t heard before, especially when my little ones were actually little and when the monotony was more monotonous than it is right now.
But still, lunches and dinners, laundry and cleaning – they must be made and done.
And I have grumbled, more than I have praised.
That small and dried out curl of a vine called me to remember – reminded me that abiding isn’t just a pleasant thought, it is a battle cry.
So, today, when one of my children raised her will to fight mine – when we stood squared off in that kitchen and emotions spilled over, I called her to fix her eyes on Jesus. I reminded her of that battle cry made over orange peppers and broken relationships. Over snow days and warm days and when everything seems fine –
Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.John 15:4-5
Like the snow that has been falling continuously outside my window since 10 o’clock this morning, cares and worries, mistakes and shame over those mistakes can pile unbelievably high.
Tony, faithfully, heads out and shovels the sidewalks of our street every few hours, trying to stay ahead of the weight of it. Lyla leaned against me as we watched him at the window,
“Why is he doing that when the snow is still falling, Mom? Isn’t it pointless?”
It can feel like it. It can feel horribly overwhelming, unless we change where we look.
Contentment and gratitude can seem as mundane as the dinner I need to prepare again, the sauce that’s been simmering on the stove since 3.
But my children know, just from the scent, the rich heritage that comes from the recipe hidden away. Their joy shouts loud throughout our home. Their gratitude makes the steps at the counter, the stove, the sink all worth it.
Contentment and gratitude, some of the smallest seeds, grow some of the biggest trees. These are some of the wildest forces for change in this world. Contentment says to God, “Where You put me, I will honor You. Where You send me, I will go. Where you are, I will be glad.” Gratitude says to God that you accept what He has given you to do, and you will do it, not grudgingly, but with joy.You Who? Why You Matter & How to Deal with It ~ Rachel Jankovic pg. 100
The trees outside our home are quiet and dark – the leaves fell months ago. But Spring? It’s coming. I know it is – life is only quiet beneath the snow. So I will praise Him in the waiting, in the resting and dark, believing that each quiet step of obedience will bring honor and glory to the One Who has made me His own.