Because of my love for snow, I still remember both Brooklan and Aili's first snows; I have a picture to remember both of these times--holding each of my daughters as the beautiful snow fell; Brooklan was just a few days old and I believe Aili was just over a month old--and Brooklan--who had just turned 4--actually took the pic of me & Aili. :) After seeing the beautiful snow tonight, that's the first thing I thought about. Missing this moment with Avelyn. Although...I just thought of this...even though she's not with me, she's seeing it. Seeing the beautiful, peaceful snow, just like I am.
Tonight as I looked out our front window to see the snow falling, I very quickly remembered the peaceful RAIN I watched a few months prior, the night we got a call from Avelyn's doctor letting us know her blood pressure was dropping. Sitting outside that night, watching that rain gave me the peace I had not yet known I would need as we left our home at 3am for what would end up being the last day we would spend here on this earth with our baby girl. I believe I did a Caring Bridge post about that peaceful rain the night our precious daughter flew to see our Savior. Tonight I sat outside bundled up with a cup of hot chocolate doing my devotional from my Hope book. Another peaceful night, but this time in the snow and thinking about my daughter (and life, for that matter) in an entirely different 'light.' As I sat outside in the cold, but comfortable night, I used the lights from our small Christmas trees sitting on our porch to light my page as I read my Hope devotional. I was wrapping up a week's worth of lessons on angels. The lessons have been really good...I have learned a lot. The peace I felt sitting outside on our front porch tonight was different than what I felt sitting in that same place a few months ago, in mid May - two weeks and a day after Avelyn was born. Today I initially felt a bit of an empty peace, missing my daughter in what would have been her first snow, but still with peace full of HOPE--knowing exactly where she is and that I will one day see her again. And God continues to fill up that empty peace, making it a FULL peace, by helping me to know Him more, focus on Him, love Him - try to live out His will for my life, and continuing to help me realize that in everything He does, "He works for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28). THIS gives me peace. He gives me peace. The instant things get tough for me here, focusing on Him helps me to put everything into perspective!! I hope and pray you feel this peace as well. It's a peace that "transcends all understanding" (Phil 4:7), a peace I know exactly where it comes from, but that I don't understand how or why I am able to feel it in such tremendously difficult circumstances. I am beyond blessed and thankful that I know Him and am able to receive this peace, even though I don't understand it. Praise God.
As we all celebrate Christmas this next week, I pray we will all remember the 'reason for the season.' Look up. Look into that snow, through that snow, into the heavens above. Talk about beautiful.--What Christ has done for us is beyond beautiful. Enjoy celebrating our Savior's birth, friends. May you all have a Merry Christmas, safe travels, wonderful times with family, and that 'peace that transcends all understanding' knowing that He came to this earth, down from that beautiful heaven, to be born in a barn, to save YOU.