It was my fault! I put away the cute little snowmen on my mantle and replaced them with bunnies and spring bulbs. Maybe I was forcing spring’s hand a little, but I really thought winter was done. I was ready for spring! Henceforth, the onslaught of snowstorms began here in Southeast Pennsylvania. Yep, I’ll accept some of the blame for this year’s long, unexpected winter.
All this snow reminded me of another winter much like this one. It was about 15 years ago and we had just moved into the house we now occupy. The kids were little and our family had made a habit of going to the YMCA every night after dinner. It was good for us all. My husband would work out and I would swim with the kids. When he finished his work out he would meet us at the pool and we would sit in the hot tub to relax a bit. This particular YMCA had the best pool set-up and they kept the water a little warmer than most. It was almost like a little slice of summer in the middle of winter.
Well, one evening in March the unexpected happened. The day had been warm. I put my sneakers on, the kind that just slide on and off, and we went to the Y. We enjoyed swimming and relaxing just like the countless other times, but when we walked out it was cold and snowing. Our hilly driveway was icy and slick. My husband couldn’t get up the driveway in the car. So I decided he should drive around the block with the kids, and I would walk up and lay down some salt.
Slip on sneakers and ice don’t mix! Just as he was pulling up from driving around the block, my foot slipped. In my head, it was like I was watching something out of a cartoon or in slow motion. I slithered down the driveway belly first, shoes flying in the air and, to finish it all off, my head did a couple of bounces on the driveway. The kids were horrified and I was stunned, to say the least. Thankfully, I was okay and I hobbled up the driveway with no shoes. I ended up with quite the shiner.
That was the last straw. I was over winter!
In the coming days, I wasn’t a happy camper but I read a devotional from Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado. (Now, my all-time favorite go to devotional.) In it, I read something that has stuck with me and I’m reminded of it often. Max writes, “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning…” My heart stopped. Tears flowed out of my eyes, even my swollen black and blue eye, and down my cheeks.
Unexpected grace! Unexpected love! God sends ME flowers every spring!
The little winter snow storm that came in unexpectedly had melted and spring was back on track. When I walked outside to get the mail that day 15 years ago, crocuses were blooming and the daffodils were poking their little heads out.
God had sent ME flowers!
Over the past month, a snowstorm delayed a trip to Texas, but when I finally arrived, the daffodils were in full bloom. I was able to share a bouquet with my dad. We drew in the wonderful smell together, all the while thinking how God sends me flowers every spring. And when I got home, on the mantle where I had placed the bunnies with the bulbs, two beautiful red tulips in full bloom. My father passed away the following Thursday.
God had sent ME flowers to share!
If I were in your shoes, I’d go straight to God, I’d throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he’s famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to his surprises. He gives rain, for instance, across the wide earth, sends water to irrigate the fields. He raises up the down-and-out, gives firm footing to those sinking in grief. ~Job 5:8 (The Message)
To quote Bruno Mars, “I hope He buys you flowers!”