Favorite Posts of All Time (2009): Flip Flops in the Snow
As I celebrate seven years of blogging, I’m republishing my favorite post from each year. And already, I’ve run into a glitch. See, 2009 was an extraordinary year for me. Probably because I declared it My Year of Yes, where I promised God I would say yes to whatever He asked of me, even if it didn’t make sense. Even if I was scared out of my skull.
For sure, I cranked out some of my best writing in 2009. I wrote daily, which resulted in several in-depth series and a host of “favorite” posts to chose from(many of which, even I forgot about until I started poking around.)
So, this week, I’m already breaking my own rules and running two of my favorite posts of 2009. I can’t decide on one. Sorry!
This one was obviously written in the early morning hours while I still had small children requiring constant care. And I read it with a lump in my throat, because today I am so far removed from that precious time…
Flip Flops in the Snow
Original run date: November 10, 2009
“He changes times and seasons…He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Daniel 2:21
Sneaking out of bed at 5:35 am, I tiptoe out of my room, so as not to wake the sleeping child lying next to me. I think it’s Elliana, though it’s very dark, so I don’t know for sure. She’s our regular nightly visitor, who also happens to be our lightest sleeper. The slightest creek in the floor, and it’s “good morning world.” Can’t risk that. Not today.
Long days filled with carpool lines, laundry baskets and meal preparation mesh with kissing boo-boos, quizzing math facts and refereeing sibling battles. Not much time for writing…again. Or ever, it seems. My only opportunities come late at night or early in the morning. And most of the time, I’m too exhausted for either.
I wake up my computer and settle in with a hot cup of coffee and a foggy brain so I can get Monday’s blog post up on Tuesday. It’ll be a short one. Better than nothing.
Quick, Sandy. Write! Create something witty , yet profound, before the day begins. No pressure.
Glancing at the clock I see I only have twenty minutes left before I must begin packing lunches and waking the children. How can this be? Didn’t I just sit down?
And so it goes with my life. Today. Week in and week out. At least for this season.
The constant fight for writing time—for me time—frustrates and fatigues this momma. Sometimes I wonder what God is up to: giving me this desire, this drive, this dream to write and create and impact my world. Yet forgetting—it seems—to also give me the opportunity to do so.
I think of the seasons. I think of the last few weeks, where literally before my eyes, the green leaves morphed to brilliant reds and yellows and then fell to the ground. How the temperatures swung from 80’s to 40’s. How sunset changed from 9-ish to 6-ish.
I think how the upcoming winter means no open windows. No swimming pools. No late evenings catching fire flies. No early mornings drinking coffee on the deck. No trips to the zoo. No picnics in the park. No flip-flops. No tank tops.
And if I choose to dwell on those things, I can become downright discouraged. If I choose to rehearse in my mind all the activities I cannot do in this season, I will miss the beauty unique to winter.
I will miss hot chocolate by the fireplace. And the pale glow of Christmas lights. And pumpkin-pie scented candles. And snuggling in bed under warm blankets. And marveling at the way the snow outlines every single branch on the trees. And cute scarves. And my favorite boots.
Sure, I could choose to forge ahead with my summer plans in the dead of winter. I could insist upon wearing my flip flops in the snow. But that would be foolish. That would be dangerous. That doesn’t mean I can’t love flip flops (and Lord knows, I do). And it doesn’t mean I can’t look forward to wearing flip flops when the season changes. But for now…
So, Lord, as my brief early morning writing time comes to a rapid close, please help me see the beauty of this season of life. Help me recognize the unique things that only come while small children are under my care. Help me embrace sticky kisses and little finger prints and footy-pajamas. Help me appreciate spontaneous hugs and silly songs and crayon creations.
Help me understand that there will be no grand announcement stating, “Mommy, this is the last night I will sleep in your bed or ask you to push me on the swing or need you to quiz me on my spelling words.” But as sure as the seasons change, there will be a last time.
Please, Jesus, give me wisdom to seize the opportunities unique to today. Help me remember that for a short time, I have occasion to eternally impact three lives. Today, a timely conversation about life with my ten-year-old is so much more fruitful than a mediocre blog post. Today, nuggets of truth deposited into the heart of my son are better than articles submitted for publication.
I love this so much! I’m in that season right now (5, 3, and 1) and I struggle so much with balance. So much to do, so little time! Boy do I need to be praying this same prayer. Thank you!
Oh how I love this post and how appropriate it is. Last night as I was waking up my own laptop with a manuscript infront of me, someone else’s words to edit, bring to life, create dimension, develop plots, create cohesiveness, avert the plot holes big enough to swallow Manhattan, I thought of the little boy I rushed to bed so I could “work”. I realized that if I did my calculations correctly, I didn’t need this little cushion of income. Nope. I could actually live the life I have been gifted. Maybe, I’m exhausted all the time because I’m trying too hard and not resting enough. Maybe, I’m envisioning that season of rest while I’m running this race. But then I realize with a gentle nudge that I might be in the wrong lane, in the wrong race and that might be why it feels like an uphill battle.
That may not have been what you meant in your post, but that’s what I got. So I’m going with it as affirmation. =)
this is beautiful. I love it so much.
Thank you for reporting this. I needed it today.
Ryan has less than 4 months left of Kindergarten. He will be at school 5 days a week in September…. And I am looking forward to maybe, maybe, having time to clean the bathroom regularly, do the laundry before we have no clean underwear, and not have to send him off to grandmas so that I can get some work done. But….I will miss board games and movies and snuggles on a Tuesday morning.
Noah is in Grade 3….that shift from easy spelling homework and bible memory….to book reports and math quizzes and science tests. And no reminders from the teacher to hand in this or that. It’s been tough, trying to shift responsibility for schoolwork from our shoulders to his little ones. And I just want him to hurry up and get it! But soon, he won’t need my help. Independence is wonderful….but bittersweet.
Thanks for reminding me of this. Thanks for helping me to pause and stop waiting for the future but appreciating today.
Your pictures are stunning and your words so powerful. (And to think, I wrote about cake pops today) What a great reminder on how to live our days.
P.S. I get a lump in my throat when I remember those seemingly long ago days too
Well, in the big scheme of things, we need reminders about how to live our lives AND cake pops. It’s about balance, remember.