Every year during the Christmas season, we sit around our dinner table and talk about what our dreams for Christmas are. One particular Christmas, we were planning a trip to North Carolina with family in the hopes we'd get to experience snow falling from the sky. You see, for almost all of my kids' lives we've lived in VERY sunny Florida. Mountains and snow were something known to them only through television and movies. We decided to give it a go and make the trip, knowing at least they'd get to see mountains. But as we sat around the table and talked about our dreams, no one mentioned a toy or present. They all spoke of snow. My oldest daughter wished very specifically for snow falling while ice skating. Inwardly, I groaned knowing that this one was going to be a tough one to make come true.
As a parent, there is little I won't do for my kids. I want to give them everything wonderful (within reason;) and sitting there, I desperately wanted to give them snow. But, I am well aware of my inability to create weather patterns so I did all I knew how - I prayed and began checking the weather app on my phone with a certain obsessiveness. I was determined if there was anything I could do to make it happen, I would!
The week before Christmas was like a weather channel roller coaster. One day it showed there was a 60% chance for snow, the next day it was down to 20%, and the next day appeared as 0%. I didn't want my kids to be shocked and disappointed, so I shared the stats with them and encouraged them not to worry. We'd have fun with our cousins no matter what! They told me to relax, they'd been praying, and went about their Christmas preparations.
The time came and we headed on our road trip. My obsession with the weather app reached an all-time high. I was checking it at least once an hour. As we neared our destination we decided we'd check into our cabin and head farther north the following day in hopes that we'd catch the elusive white flakes. I found our location's zip code, typed it in, looked dead in my husband's eyes and said, "There's a 40% chance of snow before 11 a.m. After that, it goes down to 0%." We determined we'd get up there before 11 a.m. and headed to bed.
We woke up at around 7 a.m. the following morning and began our preparations. Funny thing...getting four adults and seven kids ready for snow takes a little longer than I anticipated. We got on the road around 9 a.m. with an hour-long drive ahead of us. I reassured myself and my husband, "We can do this! It will happen!" We divided into two cars: the boys and the girls. My husband and I got the girls in our car and were not so surprised to hear (thirty minutes into the trip) that the ladies needed a restroom. UGH!! I encouraged the girls to go quickly and 20 minutes later, we left the McDonald's as focused as ever on our mission. We got back on the road and whizzed around the windy mountain roads. Ten minutes later my niece piped up with, "I don't feel so well," followed rapidly by vomit spewing from her sweet mouth. We pulled over as soon as we could, cleaned her, changed her, threw a towel down in the car and kept on keeping on. I was determined to get to SNOW.
But our chances were passing us by quicker than a summer rainstorm in Florida. I pulled out my trusty app, and looked with great disappointment at my husband. We were now at 0% chance of seeing snow. I broke the news to the kids. There were some tears but I silver-lined it by telling them that at least we could still try sledding down the hill.
When we arrived at the ski resort to see a beautiful brown mountain, incredibly long lines, and way too many people (turns out we weren't the only Floridians on this quest for snow!) all the adults looked at each other and cringed. We could not get in the line for tubing because you had to get there hours in advance to secure your spot and they were all sold out. The adults fought to maintain sanity as we dealt with hot, disappointed, hungry kids. We realized their Christmas dreams weren't going to come true, but tried our best to make it fun-ish. I got hot dogs for everyone and my husband went to see about ice skating. He reasoned that at least we could skate off some energy before loading up and heading back. And we could fulfill half of our daughter's wish.
We gave up our hopes of snow that day. There were some tears and some sadness because God had not answered their prayers. I consoled my kids and promised that we'd try again another year; this just wasn't the time. They ate their dogs and we headed to our appointed ice skating time. They got on the rink and started skating with sad smiles. I watched their sweet faces and laughed as they tried not to fall (Floridians don't have a lot of ice skating experience). Our spirits were lifting as we enjoyed being together. Suddenly, I noticed moisture on my eyelashes. I looked up and was astonished. SNOW flurries were falling from the sky! We all started shouting with joy! The snow began falling harder and harder as the excitement grew and grew. It fell so hard that everyone started making snow balls and snow angels. My husband whizzed by and we both had tears of joy and gratitude in our eyes. My kids were laughing and screeching and praising God. They said, "We knew He would give us snow." Our family gathered for a picture together and tried to contain the happiness bursting from us. To us, it was a Christmas miracle.
That moment on the mountain is one we will never forget. I had given up hope for snow. But God knew. He knew how sweet His gift would be when it was unexpected. He knew the joy it would bring, the faith it would create in us, the praise it would elicit. His gift of snow while ice skating was a miracle moment for all of us, but especially our sweet Abby who had wished and prayed and hoped for something only God could give. None of us will ever forget that day and that our God LOVES us and cares so much more than we can even begin to understand.
Lisa is a deep-thinker, a philosopher in cute jeans and flip flops, a Nutty Professor - mom style. She recognized God's presence at an early age and has lived life mostly open to Him. She hears His voice in books, movies, and music - no matter the genre! She is serious about the work of living Loved, loving God, and loving people.