Snow days and chocolate chip pancakes…{Or being thankful for the season you’re in}

SNOWY 4 Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

SNOWY 3 Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball - Copy

SNOWY Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

Snow swirls soft and silent and the back yard looks like a snow globe.

I stir batter for Dearest Husband’s breakfast.

But if I listen really closely I can almost hear little voices asking, “Is there school today?” as they ran down the hall from their bedrooms to press hopeful faces against the cold glass of the living room window.

And then cheers once I said school was closed.

For snow days were fun days! And snow days meant chocolate chip pancakes. Always chocolate chip pancakes. With whipped cream.

While other moms in the neighborhood were running to the grocery store for bread, milk and diapers, I was dashing for chocolate and cream! {Essentials of life, I might add!}

As I made the pancakes, middle son called their buddy who walked up with his pajamas on under his snow pants and jacket. The four of them ate almost before we prayed, and some days we read a bible story together. Then they played Legos for hours downstairs.

Heading outside, they built snow forts in the piles pushed high by the town plows. They played all afternoon until the sun sank low and their cheeks burned bright, gloves soaked all the way through.

And there were days when they rode sleds down the hill in our yard.

MATT BEN Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

MATT BEN 2 Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

And that awful afternoon when my youngest slid into the lilac bush and a twig punctured his lip.

Rushing to the hospital, him bleeding and crying, and me trying to soothe him and I just kept praying that God would heal it and he wouldn’t need plastic surgery.

The Great Physician, my Maker who is my husband and the father of the fatherless, did!

He answered a single mom’s desperate prayer and even the doctor was amazed and asked me why I had brought my son in.

During the middle school years and beyond, I prayed even more. They would snow board out back, building jumps that sent them airborne while keeping me on my knees.

BEN Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

BEN 2 Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

The bigger they got, the bigger my prayers.

Memories as unique as snowflakes fill my heart and I thank God for each one. For all those days, and for three healthy boys and the energy to care for them without another adult in the home.

Yet when they’re little and we grow weary, we sometimes long for them to grow up at least a bit.

My arms would get exhausted wrestling three boys into snow suits so snug they looked like little astronauts as we headed out the door. I would dream about the day when they could dress themselves. Once they were able to, they were out the door without me.

And those baby steps towards independence were the first steps that would ultimately lead them away from home in a journey of a thousand miles into their own lives.

No little bodies to shake into snow suits today. No boys for whom to whip up pancakes. No teenagers to shovel the driveway.

But it is all good.

DANIEL Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

PANCAKES 2 Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

Forever shoveling...

And just as God intends for time passes and seasons change, and moments become memories to be savored and stored carefully in heart’s treasure box.

Now it’s me and him, my sweet husband. And us and Jesus, our sweet Lord who is always with us.

Snow swirls outside in temperatures too cold to mention. Pancakes sizzle and smell as good as they ever did. And I light a candle and turn up the heat a bit.

BATTER Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

PANCAKES Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

CANDLE Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

And I thank God for this life, my life now with all its newness and change.

Thankful that the transition to an empty nest has gotten easier since the first moving out when my middle son crossed the Pacific to work on an organic coffee plantation.

Or when my first born took a wife!

Or the baby followed his brothers, young men gone West.

No tears today.

For my empty nest is full.

Full of love and discovery and dreams coming true.

Yet memories of the baby days linger and even when they are older adults they will still be our babies, won’t they?

For the cord is never cut between a mother and her children.

A part of each of my three sons was in my body while I was yet forming inside my own mother’s womb! I just read about that at this imperfectly profound blog.

Such wonder how I cradled my babies inside my body while my mother carried me in her womb.

We were all there together, one nested inside the other like those Russian dolls I once played with, going back to my Grandmother Esther and my great grandmother, Baba, and even before.

Connected by this miracle of motherhood.

MOTHERHOOD COpyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

And I hold dear the blessings of before while I count the blessings of today.

And I am certain that as quickly as all the years of yesterdays have passed, these days of now will undoubtedly slip away even more swiftly.

Making me hug today tightly, not wanting to let go.

Then opening my hands as moments pass for I cannot keep time still. I can only still my heart so that the One who is outside of time can hold me as seasons change.

And my husband’s slippers next to our bed make me grateful. I lift up a silent thank you to God for this one good man so true and tender and open to God, so long an unknown object of my prayers and deepest longings.

SLIPPERS Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

PANCAKES 2 Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

I call him to our table and serve pancakes steaming hot off the griddle.

Life isn’t what it once was and memories of little ones will always tug my heart strings the way little hands tugged my jeans when they wanted “Up.”

But life is good, really good, in the present, in this one moment of time which is all we ever have, so I hold the gift and say thank you no matter the season.

Our three strand cord, our marriage that is a gift from God, is a surprise in the second half that binds me and him in a one-flesh partnership like never before.

And this is what tugs today and holds me even tighter.

I kiss him gently as I set his plate down.

And the snow outside keeps swirling…

~sheila

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5 thoughts on “Snow days and chocolate chip pancakes…{Or being thankful for the season you’re in}

  1. Beautiful.

    I was told I wouldn’t be able to have children. But God graciously gave me a son. I had him later than I would have liked, but I think it worked out for the best. I’m older and appreciate him more than I would have in my twenties. He is growing up so fast. Your post reminds me to savor each moment.