Find the Joy – October Snow

 
Well, October is here. Not sure what happened to September. Maybe it got lost in the flurry of new school year schedules and…wait for it…a trip to Nashville!  Yep, I got to go to Music City with some dear friends for a music ministry conference in September.  It was my first time to that glorious place, at least as an adult aware of my surroundings, andmy first trip out of town without my family since I became a momma over 9 years ago. Not gonna lie.  It was amazing, not just because the music conference we attended was out of this world fabulous, but because I was maybe more “me” than I have been for a while.  Hear me when I say that I treasure my family and who I am because I’m called “mom”. But there is something to be said for adventuring out on your own and steeping yourself in something that fills your heart.  Something that you feel called to do.
Want to hear a transformative teaching from my time out of town?  Here it is.  We are blessed by God so thatwe can be a blessing to others.  I had heard that truth before, but until I heard it taught by David Platt at the conference, that truth hadn’t made its way into my soul.  Pause here and read Psalm 67. (And just a side note. Although we aren’t 100% sure, “Selah” likely means “to praise” or “pause and reflect upon what has just been said.” Rich indeed!)  
 

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, (Selah) that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. 

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon the earth.  (Selah)

Let the peoples praise you!  The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us.  God shall bless us; let all the end of the earth fear him!

Psalm 67, ESV

Does the beginning of this short little “song” sound familiar?  Maybe your pastor has spoken that over you at the end of a service…a type of benediction to carry you from “the altar to the door” (thanks Casting Crowns) and into the crazy week ahead.  However, do you notice the comma after that familiar benediction?  YES!  Not a period but a comma…meaning we are to keep reading beyond the blessing.  Our blessings from God are meant to spill out all over the place so that the whole world might be blessed through us and come to know God!  This illuminating “SO THAT” was huge for me.
Friends, if you are reading this, you are among the most-blessed people in the world.  We have a God given responsibility to be sharing, giving, serving, and blessing others in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. I walked away from that conference in Nashville feeling even more excited to tackle my music projects and to share with anyone who finds it.  I pray for the moments I need to develop and share my music with you.  Could you pray for that for me as well?  I’m still trying the figure out the momma/ministry balance.  It’s a toughie!  But for now, I at least have one song to share.
 
October in Alaska usually means the start of a long winter, and typically holds the first of many snowfalls.  I think the kid in me still rejoices in the first snow, the first blanket of white, but I’ll admit the adult in me laments a bit.  I may or may not audibly whine about the snow making the drive to school more complicated, but I mostly lament at how it signals the start of something harder, and darker.  I’m working on this attitude a bit, striving to find ways to enjoy our snowy months more, but I’ve come to realize how much I crave light and warmth.  About late January you’ll find me dreaming of sunny beaches and palm trees, and truly thankful if I have a trip south on the calendar during Spring Break.
However, finding the joy in every situation has been a mission of mine lately.  Find the joy in the pile of dishes: we have had food to eat. Find the joy in the endless string of homework questions: my children are learning.  Find the joy in the health struggle: God is my comfort and my provider. And yes, even in a first snowfall, I strive to find joy.  That is what “October Snow” was born from.  When we get a wet and heavy first snowfall during the stillness of a quiet October afternoon, there is a beauty there.  It can start so slowly, with the tiniest of flakes, and suddenly explode into a falling cascade of silver dollar sized clumps of white.  Just as quickly as it began, it will subside, leaving you wondering where in the world it came from and if it will come again.  I rejoice in the beauty, in the power of our Creator, and in the freshness of the added layer of light.  Yes, I rejoice in the snow because it adds a brightness to the dark. It adds light.  Not the warm kind, but a “fight back the darkness” kind nonetheless.
 
I hope you enjoy this (my daughter’s favorite) little instrumental, and may it bring you joy in the season, no matter what it holds.  Blessings friends, and strive to find joy!
 
~Andrea 💙
 
P.S. Thanks to Kyle Moffat at The Alaska Life,  Glen Conaway, and Pat Albert for the gorgeous pics showing the winter beauty around here!