Tuesday I spent over four hours stuck in gridlocked, icy roads desperately trying to drive a carload of 2nd graders back to school from a field trip to anxiously waiting parents. Many a moment along that journey the feat seemed impossible…the kids hadn’t had lunch, some desperately needed to go to the bathroom and there were moments when we would only move a car length in 30 minutes. After lots of prayer and by God’s grace, we finally arrived at school at 4:30 pm and I began the internal debate as to whether I dare get back out in that chaos and brave our way home or just spend the night at school. I soooo badly wanted to be home, yet I was emotionally exhausted by what I had just endured and the heavy weight and responsibility of the safety of all those precious children. But a quick decision had me jumping in the car with a dear friend who had All Wheel Drive…and in less than an hour later we were dropped off at the entrance to our neighborhood where we walked the last mile leg home. I have never been so grateful to be home in all my life…the pause Doug wrote about yesterday was much needed and much deserved after all of the chaos and stress of Tuesday!
And pause we did.
Wednesday came, we were home, we were safe, and we were able to enjoy all that had caused the chaos the day before. What a difference a day makes!
For those of us in the South who don’t get snow that often, there is something about the white covering that is so intriguing, so calming, so relaxing, so beautiful, so inviting…..that is, when you are safe at home and able to enjoy it versus stranded on the roads, stuck, and desperately trying to get home. But when you are safe at home…it’s delightful! Our family has definitely embraced and enjoyed the pause in life that the snow has brought with it. We have been forced to be home because of the road conditions and that has forced us to rest and enjoy!
Yet it has also brought us out of the walls of our home and into the yard and street to play in the snow…..and in turn we have had some great time connecting with our neighbors who were out doing the same thing. A pack of 7 kids formed in our neighborhood yesterday and they spent the majority of the day together…sledding, exploring, having fun and growing their relationships. No school, no sports practices, no music lessons, no meetings, no errands….amazing what some down time does to develop a greater sense of community in the neighborhood. Nothing like a snow day to bring the neighborhood kids together! And the adults too! We ended our day with a four-family potluck dinner at one of our neighbor’s homes that included lots of fun and laughter! We got outside and played and connected…and then we all gathered.
It is amazing how it seems easier to connect with our neighbors when all our schedules and plans and commitments are stripped away. Slowing down, getting outside our walls, spending time with neighbors…it’s so good! I think this is how life is meant to be lived! What a difference a day makes in the relationships we have grown with our neighbors in the last 24 hours.
And now this morning…
…Brown-Brown has shown me all her bruises on her legs from all the sledding…evidence of “adventureing” well!
…I’m engaged in a new book that I started yesterday…evidence of pausing well!
…We’re drinking the last of our hot chocolate mix after happily serving most of what we had to the pack of neighborhood kids yesterday who spent the afternoon at our home…evidence of gathering well!
…And now our kids are off once again with their neighborhood friends…evidence of connecting well!
We are inspired, encouraged, and motivated to keep this pace…of pausing, of “adventuring”, of gathering, of connecting, and of living!!!!
When the snow melts, I hope to find more ways to gather with our neighbors…what about you?
I hope you are encouraged to get outside your four walls and gather together with your neighbors. If you do….let me know about it. I’m sure to be inspired by your stories too!