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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Flip Flops in the Snow

We are thrilled to welcome back Sandy Cooper to the Cafe!

“He changes times and seasons...He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning."

~Daniel 2:21 (NIV)~

Sneaking out of bed at 5:35 am, I tiptoe out of my room, so as not to wake the sleeping child lying next to me. I think it’s Elliana, though it’s very dark, so I don’t know for sure. She’s our regular nightly visitor, who also happens to be our lightest sleeper. The slightest creek in the floor, and it’s “Good morning, World!” Can’t risk that. Not today.

Long days filled with carpool lines, laundry baskets and meal preparation mesh with kissing boo-boo’s, quizzing math facts and refereeing sibling battles. Not much time for writing…again. Or ever, it seems. My only opportunities come late at night or early in the morning. And most of the time, I’m too exhausted for either.

I wake up my computer and settle in with a hot cup of coffee and a foggy brain so I can get Monday’s blog post up on Tuesday. Better than nothing.

Quick, Sandy. Write! Create something witty , yet profound, before the day begins.

Glancing at the clock I see I only have twenty minutes left before I must begin packing lunches and waking the children. How can this be? Didn’t I just sit down?

And so it goes with my life. Today. Week in and week out. At least for this season.

The constant fight for writing time—for me time—frustrates and fatigues this momma. Sometimes I wonder what God is up to: giving me this desire, this drive, this dream to write and create and impact my world. Yet forgetting—it seems—to also give me the opportunity to do so.

I think of the seasons. I think of the last few weeks, where literally before my eyes, the green leaves morphed to brilliant reds and yellows and then fell to the ground. How the temperatures swung from 80’s to 40’s. How sunset changed from 9-ish to 6-ish.

I think how the upcoming winter means no open windows. No swimming pools. No late evenings catching fire flies. No early mornings drinking coffee on the deck. No trips to the zoo. No picnics in the park. No flip-flops. No tank tops.

And if I choose to dwell on those things, I can become downright discouraged. If I choose to rehearse in my mind all the activities I cannot do in this season, I will miss the beauty unique to winter.

I will miss hot chocolate by the fireplace. And the pale glow of Christmas lights. And pumpkin-pie scented candles. And snuggling in bed under warm blankets. And marveling at the way the snow outlines every single branch on the trees. And cute scarves. And my favorite boots.

Sure, I could choose to forge ahead with my summer plans in the dead of winter. I could insist upon wearing my flip-flops in the snow. But that would be foolish. That would be dangerous. That doesn’t mean I can’t love flip-flops. And it doesn’t mean I can’t look forward to wearing flip flops when the season changes. But for now…

So, Lord, as my brief early morning writing time comes to a rapid close, please help me see the beauty of this season of life. Help me recognize the unique things that only come while small children are under my care. Help me embrace sticky kisses and little finger prints and footy-pajamas. Help me appreciate spontaneous hugs and silly songs and crayon creations.

Help me understand that there will be no grand announcement stating, “Mommy, this is the last night I will sleep in your bed or ask you to push me on the swing or need you to quiz me on my spelling words.” But as sure as the seasons change, there will be a last time.

Please, Jesus, give me wisdom to seize the opportunities unique to today. Help me remember that for a short time, I have occasion to eternally impact three lives. Today, a timely conversation about life with my daughter is so much more fruitful than a mediocre blog post. Today, nuggets of truth deposited into the heart of my son are better than articles submitted for publication.

Lord, today I come to you, asking you please to show me how to dress my life appropriately for this season.

What opportunities do you have today that you may not have tomorrow?

What can you do differently to seize those opportunities?

How might you be able to change your focus to help you enjoy difficult seasons?

In Him,

Sandy Cooper

Sandy is a wife of sixteen years to Jon, and the mother of Noah (deceased), Rebekah (age 10), Elijah (age 8) and Elliana (age 3). She is a freelance writer and fitness buff who prefers flip-flops over boots and who blogs mostly when her family is asleep. You can meet her daily at her website, God Speaks Today

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Blogger BizzieLizzie said...

Thank you for having the time to put this post together. I am here in the early morning - while my family is sleeping - getting myself together as so many moms do and reading this has changed my outlook for the day. I can relate on so many levels. I love it when God uses others to touch me! Blessings your way!

December 31, 2009 at 3:34 AM  
Blogger Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

Dear Bizzie Lissie...Thank YOU for taking the time to tell me how much it belssed you. You blessed me back. :)


December 31, 2009 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Such timely words for the end of one year and the beginning of another! I am constantly reminding myself that this is a season. Soon it will be gone and another will come without warning. Sobering and exciting.

January 1, 2010 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

Dear Sandy,
This post is very timely for me. This past weekend I've been dealing with taking care of a sick infant and an injured husband. It's good to know this too shall pass. God is good! Thanks for the encouragement to not only get through but find the joy in tough times.
p.s. the link to your blog does not work. I'd love to check it out.

January 5, 2010 at 3:48 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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