Saturday, January 22, 2011


This morning as I went out on my back deck, I was hit by the beauty of the snow. The sun made the crusty top hiding the powdery fluff underneath sparkle like no earthly diamonds could. I noticed in the pristine backyard the tracks of rabbits and squirrels and creatures otherwise hidden from me at night (a possum or racoon, I assume). In the neighborhood, instead of the usual traffic noise, I heard the crunching of cars as drivers manuevered out of their driveways.

As I looked at the imprints of animals in our yard, I thought what once was hidden is now revealed in such an amazing picture. I breathed in deeply the crisp, cold air and watched, like a child, my breath hang in the air. The scene reminded me of one of my favorite childhood poems by Whittier, "Snowbound."

After searching through my books, I finally gave up and googled the poem. (Don't you love the internet?) Printing out sixteen pages, I wanted to share some of the images he so cleverly captured. (Don't worry; I won't share that many pages, not even a stanza.) As I type his words for you, I wonder if you, like I, feel we have lost something precious with our advanced technology? Snow days provide time for sledding still; that is true, yet the days also include nintendo games, Wii, television, texting, and yes, computer blogging. I covet, though, Whittier's time he expresses with family as they are snowed in by winter's blast. I encourage you to read the wonders of the children as they listen to stories from their family members and relish time spent together.

In our busy, busy lives, lives filled with running like taxis our children from one event to another, lives spent on facebook and I-phones, how much time is spent actually sitting together as a family just playing and sharing and talking?

It is a precious In Between Time not to be wasted, I feel.

So tonight, our television and computer will be off. My little family will devote this Saturday night to playing games, talking, and sharing. Hopefully, hopefully, it will provide great memories some day for each of us.

"Shut in from all the world without, We sat the clean-winged hearth about, Content to let the norh-wind roar In baffled rage at pane and door, While the red logs before us beat The frost-line back with tropic heat;...The house-dog on his paws outspread Laid to the fire his drowsy head, The cat's dark silhouette on the wall A chouchant tiger's seemed to fall;...We sped the time with storied old, Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told, or stammered from our school-book lore...."

Whether you are enjoying a winter's mild day or its snowy storms, I hope you join me in making time for personal contact with those you love and with the One who loves us even more.

For His glory...


  1. I love your blog and I love this post... I think I need to move to St. Louis so I can experience the snowfalls I love so much and you describe in a way I've never done before, nor thought of. Your prose makes me want to be there, right there, standing outside the door of your deck. Peaceful yet filling my child-like heart with excitement. And, your evening makes me yearn for something of the same, makes me miss my Michigan family and Tabby, those who love to cozy in and spend time together really enjoying each other.

    And, I relate deeply to so many of the things you write... You are blessed with the gift of turning words into experiences felt in the heart. God is using you, Gretchen, through your writing. You are not just someone who doesn't make any contribution to the world. You are connecting people to our awesome God thru your writing your thoughts in ways others, who may be going thru or thinking the same things, can relate and not feel alone. I struggle with not working outside of the home, often feeling like I'm not a useful being in this world. Yet, at other times, I know God has something in store for me, just as He has for you, to continue making a difference in this world. By NOT working outside of our homes, I think we have the opportunity to make a BIG difference in this world, an opportunity those working outside of the home don't have from lack of energy/time put into a long day's work.

    Please keep sharing your writing with others... It's a gift - - for you and them, given by God.

    Have a beautiful day and wonderful evening! Bless you, Gretchen. You've blessed me...

    Debbie (Korando)

  2. What Debbie expressed is right on the mark, Gretchen. For me, because I work and taxi kids to and fro, I don't have the precious time and energy as you do to live so deeply.

    I am thoroughly enjoying your posts. Please keep them coming. :)