The Winter of My Full Content

School closed for an unprecedented four days. Wind chills plummeted into single digits and sometimes into the negatives. Impassable roads left us home bound. These are not common occurrences in North Texas. Special thanks to the Packers and Steelers for bringing their winter weather with them to the Super Bowl.

Despite being in our own version of the Frozen Tundra, this past week has been heavenly for my family--lots of cooking in the crock pot, cuddles, and curling up with good books. However, we did not become like Little House on the Prairie and totally disconnect from the world. Technology helped keep the boredom at bay. We watched our fair share of TV and movies, played Wii, and relied on Facebook to keep us up to date on the status of the rolling power outages and school closings.

But we did turn off the TV and turn the pages of our books. Landry read for a total of three hours on Wednesday; she finished two and half Diary of a Wimpy Kid books over the course of our four-day surprise winter break. She told me, "I love reading more than watching movies." Words to warm my heart. Jason immersed himself in Unbroken; I finished Matched by Ally Condie and started Revolution, a fantastic book by Jennifer Donnelly. Peyton often sat on the floor with a stack of books, and I made up for the read alouds that I missed at school by reading aloud at home. In the midst of this winter storm, relationships and reading have sustained my family.

Before you gag on my sugarcoated picture of family bliss, let me add a dose of reality. There were moments of tension--yelling, temper tantrums, and timeouts--and not all by the 3 year old. Cabin fever did set in, and Thursday brought a welcomed reprieve with Landry going to school after a 2 hour delay, so Jason and I took Peyton to Chick-fil-a for some interaction with others, and we restocked our supplies at Wal-Mart. You know you've been cooped up too long when an outing to Chic-fil-a and Wal-Mart feels like an adventure. But despite our moments of imperfection, we rallied through this confinement as a family, and we enjoyed each other. The girls played well together (most of the time); Jason and I stayed up late and watched movies; this precious time together made me realize how blessed I am to not just have a family that I love but to have a family that I ENJOY.

Friday morning we awoke to a Winter Wonderland, and we finally got to go outside and play in the deep, deep snow, just like Peter from The Snowy Day. It was like God's reward to us--as if He was saying, "You've been inside for a long time. Now go out and have some fun."

After this unexpected winter break, I feel refreshed. Perhaps I am buoyed by today's thawing out of things--the sun shining, the temperature rising, the ice melting--the feeling that normalcy is just around the corner. I will soon slip back into my daily routine that won't feel so monotonous for a while because the "Super Storm of 2011" rejuvenated me and forced me to focus on my family. It's sad that it took a major winter storm to make me feel so rested and grateful.

The irony is that we have been held captive in our homes during this "super" week when materialism and celebrity have invaded our fair city. Perhaps this has been God's way of taking us by the shoulders and firmly commanding, "Be still and know that I am God." He had to cover us in sheets of ice and blankets of snow to make us stop the madness of our self-involved busy-ness. We needed to be still for a while.

Thank you, God, for this gift of snow and ice, relaxation and rejuvenation, comfort and contentment.

I am still, and I know that YOU are a Mighty God.


  1. I, too, am very thankful that we had this surprise week off. It was a wonderful and rejuvenating break; just the thing I needed to head into the stretch until Spring Break. I have Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God." above my bed. I love it. A great reminder that He is in control - we need that reminder on many of our hectic and seemingly unmanageable days :) Thanks for this sweet post of your family time - both the good and the not so good times. I am truly blessed to work with you and am excited to be reunited on Monday!

  2. I'm just now catching up on your blog...I love this post :)


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