Saturday, March 2, 2013

Storehouses of Snow {Lent Day #18}

Summer vacations on the rocky coast of Maine, walking the historic streets of Boston, fall backpacking trips through the White Mountains of New Hampshire, eating out and shopping in NYC, and now weekly ski trips to Vermont ~ over mountain passes with covered bridges in the background?  Sometimes this Texas girl can't believe her own life. I certainly have a hard time taking in the fact that New England is my kids' home and stomping grounds, because it still doesn't really feel like "home" to me ~ even after over 13 years.

There's plenty of hard work, ministry, and regular old life in between all of those fantastical getaways, but the beauty and opportunity and history that surrounds me are oftentimes the things that help sustain me in the midst of those more difficult things, and for that I am thankful.
 So, yes, I can hardly believe that every Friday morning for six weeks, I've loaded up the kids and winter gear and lunches and headed an hour north to Dover, VT for an opportunity to take snow ski lessons along with many of our homeschooling friends ~ about 15 kids and 6 moms.  And would you believe all six weeks {including ski rentals} for just about $200 total?  You can hardly ski for one day at that rate under normal circumstances, but this is a special ski school program for school-aged kids and chaperones ski for free.
The kids are broken up into groups according to age and ability, and spend an hour and a half in ski school each morning where they get very thorough instruction in skills.  They stayed on the "bunny hill" for the first couple of weeks, but now get to ride various lifts to all different ski runs with their instructor getting help and special tips all along the way.
 After ski school comes lunch break in the lodge.  Everyone is completely famished at this point, but they try and eat as fast as they can in order to hit the slopes again for a couple of hours of free skiing.

 This is the first time my own kids have ever tried downhill skiing.  Before this, their only experience was with cross-country skiing.  They've picked it up quickly and can hardly wait for each Friday to roll around.  I had not skied in about 18 years {I was three months pregnant with Kory the last time!}, but it wasn't too difficult to pick it up again. Sort of like riding a bicycle, I suppose, but I definitely have more fear of heights and going fast this time around.  The ski lift is the actually the scariest part to me now ~ in my old age. ☺
 We kept forgetting to get Kory a neck gaiter, so our Classical Conversations director, Sarah, has been kind enough to loan him hers.  I though he might balk at the color, but evidently he is quite secure in his masculinity, because he now dons it every week with pride ~ even though he DID recently obtain one of his own.
We've been stopping here at the quaint Vermont Country Deli on our way home each week. Coffee and gluten free macaroons for mom, hot cocoa, chocolate bombes, and peanut butter buckeyes for the kids ~ or chips and root beer depending on the current craving.  Did I mention that we pass covered bridges on the way?  Yep ~ everything you've ever heard about Vermont or seen on a post card.  Wow.
 Yesterday, as I picked up my gear at a local rental shop, I talked to the owner about the snow conditions.  While our Massachusetts snow has all but disappeared, Vermont had over a foot of new snow that made yesterday's skiing so beautiful and enjoyable.  The man at the ski shop said that while we got rain in the last few days, they got lots more snow.  We couldn't believe the difference!
This morning I was reading Job chapter 31, where Job is recounting all of his past integrity and righteous living ~ wondering what he has done to deserve the type of calamity he is now facing ~ insinuating the injustice of God.  I cringed with the conviction of a having a similar attitude even though I know what's coming in chapter 38.  In that chapter God is going to ask Job a long series of questions that will ~ with love and grace and truth ~ sort of put Job in his proper place before Him. One of the questions is about hail and snow: "Have you entered the storehouses of snow, or have you seen the storehouses of hail?"

After God's righteous revelation of His power and might, Job finally speaks: "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I retract and I repent in dust and ashes." {Job 42:5-6}

Thanking the Lord for the glorious gift of snow and mountains and the joy they provide.  Repenting of the thought that I deserve this kind of a life due to my own good works and righteous living.  Amazed that even in my self-righteous, Job-like entitlement and in taking for granted the snow, He allows such enjoyment of it. He loves to give good gifts to His children, and I confess giving myself the credit for the gifts rather than the One who gives in spite of my attitude. Amazing grace.

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