**Beautiful cover picture taken by my talented friend, Mackenzie Farris, owner of Mackenzie Lee Photography.
We got a generous hit of snow & ice this week in the Bluegrass State.
Of course Tyler hasn’t missed a beat of work (#taxseason) but for me the winter weather ushered in a week of complete rest, a silent house, & hunger for the Spirit. I’ve loved the quiet solitude that the snow brought, along with the gorgeous white picture it painted.
I love when the sun hits the snow and it sparkles, as if the Lord hides gems within each flake of fluffy precipitation.
For the last week I’ve rarely left the comfort of my couch, wrapped in the glorious warmth of electric blanket, gazing out my sliding glass door at the pristine view.
An entire yard of untouched snow lay before my eyes. Some days it continued to fall like beautiful artwork from Heaven. Other days the sun shone and I was nearly blinded by the twinkling landscape.
I’ve turned into someone who NEEDS to breathe in the crisp air everyday and feel the sun or wind embrace my skin. When the weather is bad I simply slide the deck door open, stick my head out and breathe for a moment. Even if it’s cold, as long as the sun is shining a bit and there is no rain, I’ll end up outside for a quick walk through my neighborhood.
Last Friday I took a stroll down my street right as the snow and ice began. It was bitter cold, cloudy and gray (which is actually my favorite) and God’s hand was so clearly in the midst of it all. I played “Heaven Come” on my phone so that it would permeate the atmosphere and influence those living on my street. The lyrics state,
Heaven come and fill this place
glory to glory and grace to grace
here and now your kingdom has come
our God eternal now and forevermore
Your presence is Heaven
Oh! To be with you! I love to be with you!
I danced down the street as the snow (and the Spirit) fell fresh on me. I sang and waved my arms as if to say, “Come on down and fill this place, Holy Spirit!” The beauty of nature is one of the greatest reminders for me of the beauty of our Lord! I admire Him so easily when I stare into the fabric of His creation.
Fast forward six days and the weather conditions are finally right for me to go on a real walk by myself. The temperature was just below freezing however with the sun shining it felt much warmer. Some of the snow had melted off the street making it easier to walk on without fear of slipping and sliding.
My phone battery was down to 10% so I opted not to listen to music and instead conserve my battery, just in case something happened to me. Oh that walk was glorious! The air crisp and clean for my lungs… the sun warm on my face… the crunching sound of the snow with every step sounded like a soundtrack playing over my life. I circled my neighborhood and thought about how sad it would be to watch it all melt away as temperatures would rise over the weekend. I knew I had admired the snow as much as I could from inside my house but I regretted not bundling up and forcing myself to play in it.
When I arrived back at my house I decided to walk around the yard and do some of my own frolicking. At first I was hesitant… look how beautiful that pure, untouched yard looks… I don’t wanna mess it up with my steps… the view will be tainted once I walk through the snow and make it look like a jumbled mess… But I quickly realized the snow would be gone before long and it wouldn’t matter if there were steps in it or not! I should simply enjoy it!
So I began to skip, walk, and even run a little around my backyard (yes by myself but I’m not easily embarrassed)! I picked up the snow and formed some snow balls to toss around. The more I played in the snow the more I understood it.
It wasn’t until I actually stepped into the snow that I realized it was a sticky, compact type of snow perfect for snowballs and snow men. I noticed it was a heavy snow, especially when walking through areas that were deep! My legs got a workout trudging through it. I thought about how perfect this snow would be as a landing pad for a good ole’ game of snow football just like we played on snow days growing up. And I also considered what a blast it would have been to go sledding in this snow… although I have a history of sledding accidents so maybe it was better that I didn’t (hit the only tree on the hill and broke my toe; another time fell off my sled landed on my face on top of the ice and had gashes all over my face like a monster.)
And of course, I took notice of the metaphor God was illustrating before me. There are so many different directions we could go regarding God and snow. But what He showed me this day was more about the Holy Spirit… stepping into the unknown.
You see, the snow is really beautiful from afar. We like to sit inside our warm homes, wrapped in cozy blankets, sipping hot chocolate and staring at it from a distance. Sure it’s a fine way to experience this heavenly gift but it’s not the best way. It is not until we venture out into the snow that we can truly understand what it is… we pick up on the characteristics of the snow when we step into it. We realize that it’s not only beautiful…it’s also a ton of fun. We dream of all the different creative and exhilarating ways we can experience and make the most of this snow.
Not unlike the Holy Spirit….
The Holy Spirit is really beautiful from afar. We seek to experience Him through listening to sermons, hearing others share their testimonies, watching movies of inspirational stories, and reading the Bible without actually desiring to live it out. The Holy Spirit is beautiful to us when we are comfortable and content… but that doesn’t mean we truly know Him nor are we experiencing His fullness. He has so much more to offer once you step out with Him.
And many of us afraid… afraid we will somehow mess up His beauty with our own junk. Because in the same way that my footprints changed the perfect, untouched snow, we believe lies from the enemy that say who we are/what we’ve done is so bad it will mess everything up.
So we don’t step out… we don’t follow into the unknown… we don’t go deep… we just stay on the shore. And we end up missing out on all He has to offer! All the fun! All the dreams! All the prophetic words of knowledge that He freely gives… we miss it all because we are too comfortable watching from the outside.
Yet the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, Our Savior, The Holy Spirit beckons… “Take my hand! Come play with me! It’s a lot of fun out here you can trust me! But you have to jump ALL THE WAY IN!”
He wants you to play with him! Like the snow, the Holy Spirit isn’t just a beautiful sight for us to admire – He’s also a ton of fun and He wants us to laugh, tease, run, jump, and be free with Him and IN HIM.
And those messes we worry about? They were taken care of 2,000 years ago on that old rugged cross. AS Believers we get way too caught up in this mentality of, “I’m so undeserving” “Am I really forgiven?” “I have so much regret over the past.” Guess what? NO, we don’t deserve forgiveness but that’s grace and that’s our free gift through our Lord Jesus. Stop getting stuck in the past which is right where Satan wants you. We have to WALK in our identity as SONS and DAUGHTERS of the King! We have to leave the past in the past. Forgiveness was won for you! Stop wasting that precious gift by being self-centered, focused on your mistakes… start realizing and walking in that precious forgiveness and freedom!!!
My faith journey can be broken down into three parts… First, I came to know God… Second, I came to know Jesus… and now I’m coming to know the Holy Spirit. When I call on Him I literally feel a tingling, electric sensation flow through me. I believe in everything the Spirit has to offer. I want baptism of fire! I want the gift of tongues! I want to be prophetic for Him!
I want to be so deep in the snow that all I can see is Him. I never want to admire Him from afar when I have the opportunity to interact with His holy presence.