Early in the morning before the sun came up I slipped out from under those nice warm flannel sheets. Eyes half shut, I pulled my favorite mug down, and filled it with some hot Yerba Matte and a spoon full of honey.
I love the still dark and momentary quiet of the morning. Alone at the kitchen table I open that Bible up to James, again, cuz that's where I've planted myself for weeks now. And before my eyes scan the Words, I whisper a prayer for eyes to see and a heart that has understanding.
And right there in the first chapter He lays a thick layer of butter on this already life-giving bread, and I smile.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Heavenly lights..."
Every good and perfect gift...
Every good and perfect gift...
The sun's rising just outside the window and I can see more clearly now what the snow has done in the dark.
The Farm is a blanket of pure white, covered in a patch of first light. And as the sun rises over the rolling hills the white just keeps coming down.
The treasures will be up before I know it, maybe I should get breakfast ready, pull out all their snow gear for the adventure that lies ahead? But no, I just sit there, sip tea, feel the warmth coating my throat. I soak it all up. Soak up how the snow just keeps coming down. How His gifts just keep coming down. How He Himself, came down.
Before I know it seven o'clock and the reality of feeding six and layering them all up and packing sandwiches (cuz it'll be just a matter of moments before someone says their hungry :). And oh ya, I still need to brush my own teeth, maybe run a comb through my hair...
Is it even possible to get six folks out the door in an hour?
I wonder this when the littlest boy finds my toothbrush and takes off in a high-speed waddle, out of the bathroom and down the hall. He's laughing loud and I'm in the middle of brushing the spunky girl's hair and when I go to retrieve my toothbrush, it has mysteriously disappeared.
The Cowboy's at the front door. He's already scraped the wind sheild and switched the carseats into the one with four-wheel-drive. He's piling the kids into the Burb, gathering all their gear into the trunk, and I'm straggling behind, checking my mental checklist twice... jackets, gloves, hats, scarfs, cups... toothbrush?
Victory! We're in the car!
Switchback up that mountain that we love. The Cowboy and I remember our pact we made the moment we put up last year's tree... NO WIMPY CHRISTMAS TREE this year. :)
The kids in the back seat are making each other laugh and the two in the middle are stuffing their mouths with pretzel sticks (because they didn't eat their breakfast. :)
And the snow keeps falling.
Those simple words keep ringing in my ears...
This season, His birth, LOVE Himself coming down to earth that we might have hope. Those words, they can take on the meaning of stepping down, or even to get down. How it was His choice to come here, this sin-stinking place, in the form of a baby... I don't get it.
How He chooses to just keep coming down? Why?
How He knew it would all unfold in the end, His stepping down into the deep, carrying ALL the sin of the world?
And yet, He still came down.
It's not just the feel good gifts that are coming down, it's the ones that seem to end in pain, the gift of giving all of himself. He takes it, that sting, and uses it to redeem the whole stinkin earth!
I'm watching the snow,
Watching Love coming down.
We find that perfect spot down that curved snowy road. And we bundle up the treasures and everyone is in high spirits, ready for the hunt.
The Cowboy's got his saw and the kids trail close behind him with mouths and hearts full of questions... "Papa, which tree? How big? Will it fit in the truck? Where do we go? And How will we know? They're happy and brave.
All the little ones find each other in the snowfall, find friends and make snowballs. They laugh belly laughs and throw that white powder high.
All is fun and games until the sting of the cold soaks through the dancing girl's gloves and she goes from giggles to a panicked heap of frozen tears. "My fingers... they hurt so bad!" I take off her snow-soaked gloves and wrap her hands up in mine. I blow hot breath onto her stinging skin and she calms a bit. I offer her my gloves and her eyes say yes and they shine a bit of new hope.
All the while the snow is still coming down and I think it again, Love coming down. Always coming down.
My gloves are a short-lived solution and now the spunky girl is a puddle of tears alongside her sister. The Cowboy holds his girl close and wipes her tears. We attempt a family picture in front of our tree but the dancing girl just can't stand the sting and she wails.
I smile. I don't smile at her tears. I smile at the snow falling down and how my very breath warms her, and how even in the sting and the heap of frozen tears, His love is still coming down.
The three of us girls fumble back to the car, tears and all. We get into the heat, take off all that is wet, buckle in and pull some sandwiches out of the cooler. They're settled now and hope is regained... When I look back from the front seat I even catch a glimpse of smiles all around... Love coming down...
The treasures are all settled and the tree's but one hundred yards away from the car, so I venture out and join the Cowboy under the blanket of snow. Smiling with friends knowing that All is Well, just the way it is. His Love is always coming down.
When we get home and the tree is in and the treasures gather on the couch and wait for Mama and Papa to get themselves together, I can feel the joy in this place.
Together we decorate the tree and it's all a bit lopsided and it's all so perfect. The pellet stove's blazing in the corner warming the farmhouse.
The snow's still falling and Love coming down is molding all these hearts just the way He would have them to be.
Love coming down is the only one true way to let our hearts rise up. :)
The treasures are in bed and the lantern on the south side of the farmhouse, beams a strip of light out over the field.
The snow is still coming down.