The sun glistening on the snow beckoned me outside. A memory from my childhood crossed my mind and took up residence as I walked across the snow covered sidewalks. The layer of snow was much thinner now and my body is filled out and older, but vivid memories of past snow days covered my vision and a smile met my lips. What would my footprints in the snow reveal today?
The winter of 1978 blasted Cincinnati with blizzard – like conditions and several feet of snow. Anytime outside was fleeting due to extreme cold and blowing snow, but the memory of footprints in the pristine snow as well as the crunch as my boots broke through the icy layer on top sent my senses reeling. Hollow echoes left behind by boots, frosty puffs of air dotting the path before me, lips tingling, and a whiff of smoky winter air came rushing in, filling every pore of my being. As I ventured outside this past week, I looked to replicate this childhood memory, but nothing was the same except for the snow covering the ground.
Looking at childhood through an adult lens is like looking at a faded picture with yellowing borders. The crisp fallen snow is not as welcoming and the memories take on a harder edge as our perspective changes.
I now see footprints in the snow that are singular and a path that is uncertain. I ask myself hard questions that do not always have answers. I forget to look at the whole picture instead by only examining one small piece of the whole. I miss the possibilities within the narrow world of practicalities. I forget that dreams are just as important now as they were as a child.
[Tweet “Do you forget to dream because your possibilities are confined to a narrow world of practicalities?”]
God takes our lives and sees the whole picture. When we hear, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, we can be sure God is crafting these words behind the scenes just for us. What looks like one set of footprints in the snow to us, in reality is God keeping pace with us step by step, providing all the strength and guidance we need. We are never alone and what is perceived as singular in nature is in fact a hundred fold because of the guidance of God’s blessings along the way.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:6, 8
God is with us. He is ready to take care of the details because He has already created the big picture. When life gets bogged down with practicalities and details, we are reminded in Deuteronomy that God goes before us. He has it figured out. We can be courageous and venture out into the snow and make footprints with abandon. God will never leave or forsake us.
So take some time today to dream a little and let life’s possibilities take root because who knows… God may turn them into realities!
Linking with: GIVE ME GRACE
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This is an awesome post! Thank you for the important reminder to not get caught up in all of life’s “practicalities” and to seek the kingdom first!
Thank you son!!! You inspire me to dream and your inspiration helped me to form these words on this page today. Let’s keep praying to seek God’s kingdom first and our agendas second. Love you!
What a beautiful post! My life verse is the verse you shared in Deuteronomy. It was so special to read your insights that shed even more blessing onto a verse that I have held onto for many years.
I was very struck when you said, “Do you forget to dream, because your possibilities are confined to a narrow world of practicalities?” I do, much too often.
I have been blessed by the hope and encouragement that you brought through this post.
Your sweet words touched me deeply. First, I love knowing that I shared your life verse. How wonderful for you that it popped up today. Second, I am blessed that you were encouraged here today.
I pray this week brings more blessings and encouragement. Blessings to you too!
I so enjoyed this reminiscence — we’re just coming off a week of snow storms here in Maine and the grandboy was here with his folks for Sunday dinner. We bundled him up and hauled him through the woods on a little sled, and I felt my worlds colliding on those wooded paths. Wasn’t it just three days ago that I dragged his dad over those same paths, listened to his little sing-songy voice as he enjoyed the views, marveled at his big-boy boots and strong posture in the sled, but then quivered at his smallness compared to the great wide world that surrounds a small red sled?
And then, here you are pondering foot prints and having similar thoughts.
I love the Body of Christ.
Amen! The body of Christ seems to reach others just where they need to be reached. I find this often as I read other blogs in my travels through this community over a week’s time. How wonderful that you were reminiscing about a similar thing as me and our worlds bumped into each other right here online.
Thank you for sharing your memory and for joining me here today.
I remember that storm, but in Louisville. My vivid memory is sliding down Main Street, USA in my two legs – on a road that is never empty of cars but was that day. I had walked to the grocery store with a friend to pick up a few items for my grandmother! I’d checked to see if any of the other neighbors needed any items. On the way home, like any exuberant teenagers, my friend and I sang at the top of our lungs (no one was about to hear) and slid on the icy roads with determination to see how far we could go. Sweet! Sweet Memories! I wish I had that same exuberance right now – and the energy to go with it! I’m learning not to focus on where I am but to focus on God who has the big picture. I wish I had understood this when I was much younger. Thank you for the memory reminder – and the focus reminder! Shalom, Mary!
Well first it’s fun to know we are or were almost neighbors. Second, I love your memories. They just were sharing on the local news over the weekend about the winter of ’78. It is one that sticks out vividly for me.
I love how God is teaching you to focus on Him and His amazing plan. I know it can be very difficult for me to let go and let God. This is a life long lesson that keeps getting refined as we get older. God knows we need help in deferring to Him instead of trying to figure it all out by ourselves. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Thank you for joining me. I loved your insights.
Mary, this is a beautiful offering, and encouragement to my soul. Every since loosing my dad last February I’ve spent a lot of time remembering. I’ve relished the memories, because he is still there. He will always be there. But you’re right, the memories are just pieces of the whole picture. It’s important to remember that God has an amazing purpose and plan for each of our lives. We need to be careful not to become too attached to just one piece. I’m so thankful for the promise of Duet 31! Sabbath blessings to you, friend!
Thank you for sharing how these words made you feel. Losing a parent is so difficult and coming up on the year anniversary is even harder. You need to remember but we need to honor God in moving forward toward what He has already planned for each of us.
I am always blessed when you stop by here, June and how openly you share and encourage me. I pray this week is blessed for you. I am praying for you as you near the year anniversary of your dad’s death.
I needed this message today, Mary. I’ve felt “knocked down” quite a bit by 2016 and it’s only entering the third week! Thanks for being such a great encourager here–always giving us a peek into God’s redemptive and better way.
I am blessed that God has provided this space for me to write. I’m in awe that He gives me the words over and over. Thank you for being part of my blogging community and letting me know that my words made a difference today.
I will be praying for you as we enter this new week. May God steady your heart, fill you with strength and reassure you how much you are loved. Sending hugs your way!
I suspect we would all have a life different than we imagined in those early footprints. I’m grateful for God’s leading footprints because who know where I would have gone without them! Happy Sunday, friend!
Happy Sunday! God is the leader of our lives and He will never lead us astray. The lesson of the footprints can mean different things to different people as I am finding out through the comments today.
Hope your weekend was renewing and refreshing!
A beautiful reminder especially this time of the year when we’re starting again. 🙂
Thank you, Lux! I love how God plans the details of our lives but also wants us to dream of how we can see the bigger picture that will further His kingdom.
Have a wonderful week!