Walking through the dining room just before six this morning on my way to fix breakfast, I stopped in my tracks and stared outside at a layer of snow. Not a measly Arkansas powdered sugar dusting, either, but a serious birthday cake layer of pure, white, cold, wet snow. Eleven inches, the news channels all insisted, though I don’t believe I saw more than half that amount. With a little friendly persuasion from Zach, we all abandoned our regular activities to tromp through this winter wonderland in search of Narnia or the North Pole. Josiah and I got the bright idea to deck ourselves in summer outfits and discard our shoes for a “white” themed picture. By the time we made the mad dash back to the house, I couldn’t even feel my toes, but a few minutes inside soon left them burning with the heat of returning circulation.
Mom delivered the phone to me and I mouthed, “Who is it?” She shrugged. “Maybe a Japanese girl?” Quickly I greeted the caller. A familiar voice, but I couldn’t quite seem to place it. Finally I said, “I have no clue who you are,” and she alleviated my confusion with her name: Sarahlita. That certainly put a different spin on matters and soon we were chatting away again like the childhood bosom companions that we are. Funny how it is: no matter how long we’ve been apart, we always come back together able to pick up where we left off and always finding that the Lord is teaching us the same things. Even though she’s married now with a six-month-old son. As we talked, she kept probing, “So…nothing else you need to tell me?...Anything else big going on?...What exciting things are happening with you?...Anything specific you need prayer for?” and finally wrapping up with, “Well, if anything important does happen, do call me, or e-mail—or even if there’s something important you need me to pray about.” I enjoyed a giggling spell after we hung up without even a hint of guilt. There’s honestly nothing to tell.
“Tonight is going to be fun,” Lydia informed me, as she tucked her Bible onto her bookshelf. I raised my eyebrows. “What’s happening tonight?” She grinned. “I just finished John chapter two and I have tons of questions for you!”
At the supper table, I nudged her and whisper-asked if she was ready to tell Mom and Papa. She reached under the table and held my hand so tightly that my ring left indents on the insides of my fingers before she finally nodded. We launched out together on the story and watched our parent’s delighted faces. When Josiah came in a few minutes later, Lydia had to go through the retelling—by herself this time. The rest of the evening we all gushed, she called Nathaniel and Lauren, both grandmas and Josh Potts (since his testimony Sunday had driven her to want salvation for sure). Then the family met outside while Papa baptized her in the hot tub. I must admit, a hot tub does make the perfect baptismal on a snowy evening.
Every single day seems to get sweeter and better, and I know the Lord’s lovingkindnesses are new every day, for His compassions never cease. But I’m bracing myself—every mountaintop overlooks a valley. Soon I will have to make the treacherous descent. I find myself clinging to every single second, each one seeming a precious blessing, especially those with my family. I want to have each moment treasured in my heart for the day when a sword may pierce my soul. I want to cling to what God is doing now for the day when darkness and discouragement become too friendly, or when change looms up as a frightening obstacle.
I want to store up the seven fat years for the years of famine that are as sure to come as the spring rain.
Lord, Thy blessings always prove
The vast unmeasured of Thy love,
But teach my heart to yet discern
The mountain world-view I should learn.
For though some days are filled with pleasure,
Thou alone are my true treasure.
Happenstance may turn appalling
Still Thou art Love—my Love--enthralling.