By Elizabeth Tomlin
We did not anticipate snow this morning. I expected a few more sunny, crisp fall days for my lingering roses, but they now hold ice crystals. Today was supposed to be about completing a mile-long to-do list. On top of the list was a quiet time to write.
I did not initially welcome the snow. In fact, I rolled my eyes when the school text message notifying us of a two-hour delay pinged my phone last night. This morning, however, it was clear that the school made the right call. Eventually, they had to cancel school altogether.
Rather than putting the kids in front of the TV and hiding in my room to work, I decided to make memories. These memories included a hot breakfast, cocoa, snow angels, and a walk in the woods. So that’s what we did, and wow, God is good.
After returning to the house to thaw our frozen fingers, I sat down to read with St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Thérèse appreciated snow. She reflected on wearing the white habit of the Discalced Carmelites for the first time and wrote in her autobiography, “I had always wished that on the day I received the habit, nature would be adorned in white just like me.” She received her wish. Much like today, despite mild weather, it snowed the day that she received her habit.
“What thoughtfulness on the part of Jesus!” she remarked as she admired the snow. Thérèse reminded me today that “Everything is grace.” Grace, “the free and undeserved help that God gives to respond to his call to become children of God.” (CCC 1996). The grace of snow nudged my children and me into a morning of togetherness and play; on what would otherwise have been a routine Thursday of packing lunches, inching the minivan through the school carpool lane, and commuting to work in relentless traffic.
I am grateful for the grace of snow. I am grateful for the grace God gave to shake me out of my busy to-do list, and toward just being—being present, being thankful, being covered in snowflakes. What unanticipated thoughtfulness on the part of Jesus.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Tomlin is a WINE writer, mother of three, Army wife, and General Counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services. A founding member of the Military Council of Catholic Women, Elizabeth speaks broadly at Catholic retreats and conferences and blogs at joyfulmomentum.org. Her book about women’s ministry, published with Ave Maria Press, will be available in early 2020.