Wake Up to Now

snow 5_smIt’s my first winter in Michigan. This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing the grass in my front yard, the furthest I’ve driven on white roads, and the most consecutive days I’ve had to wear a down coat. Growing up in Georgia and living in Mississippi and Florida does not prepare someone for driving on ice, sealing the windows with saran wrap and needing a pair of boots that are more functional than fashionable. But here I am, buried in several inches of snow with more to come, looking out my window as the flakes swirl, and occasionally tromping out in it because I love the crunchy sound snow makes.

Locals tell me my enchantment with the weather will pass, and it probably will. But for now I still get excited when it snows. I still want to go sledding more than my kids do, I try to catch snowflakes on my tongue, and I lose my breath a little when I wake up to a white landscape. I have had to re-learn how to drive, how to prepare my house and car for the cold, and how to dress appropriately.

And yet, I LOVE it. It is magical. One day I imagine my enthusiasm will fade, just as predicted. But until that day comes, I will enjoy the present. I will lose myself in the NOW, in the moments of snow falling and the temperature dropping and hot cocoa waiting on the stove (or, let’s be honest, in the microwave).

snow_smThere is something pure and wonderful about the snow, about the midst of winter, that I never experienced before. There is something about it that pulls me into the present, perhaps because I am calculating how much space I need between myself and that driver or how many pairs of snow boots one toddler needs. Somehow the snow grabs my attention, and pulls me into the present.

My three-year-old son recently grasped the idea that God is with him. It was encouraging to feel that he was paying attention to my efforts at spiritual lessons, though in the ever-humbling parenting journey, it is just as likely he picked the sentiment up from a grandparent or TV show as it is that he learned it from me. Regardless, he has started expressing the knowledge that God is with him. Most recently, in our conversation about birthdays, he said, “When I am ten, God will be with me?” Of course, that resulted in a long explanation of how God is with us now, and it doesn’t matter how old we are, who we are, etc. The conversation was one of those moments where I wanted to freeze time and stay, reliving the conversation and the wonder on his face and the security he had in the knowledge that God was, indeed, with him.

May we, this winter, take comfort in knowing that God is with us, NOW, not one day or in summer or when we actually achieve that New Year’s resolution we’d almost forgotten existed. God is here. God is ever-present. And may that knowledge take our breath away, as sure as the pure snow steals mine every morning. May we live in this moment, looking to God’s presence and love to sustain us.

Photo Credit: Donyale Leslie

Photo Credit: Donyale Leslie

Kimberly McClung DeVries was raised in a minister’s family, first overseas as missionaries and then in Georgia. She attended the University of Georgia to receive a degree in telecommunications, worked briefly in that field, and then went to law school instead, also in Athens. She has worked as a public defender and for a legal aid agency, and now resides in Michigan with her husband and two boys. Kimberly’s current life experiences seem to be focusing on pushing her out of her comfort zone, and that is the theme of her current writing.

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  1. David Sullivan says

    Never lose your enthusiasm for life whatever the circumstances. It is one of God’s many gifts to you. We miss you and your family.

  2. What an interesting view of Winter Wonderland! We all love the white stuff and the freshness Of snow falling on us, tasting it and enjoy Gods beauty. God is with us wherever we go and isn’t it great to have a child remind us of that. Enjoy your experience in Michigan. Love you